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Old Oct 26, 2010, 9:32 AM   #1
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Default Best Compact Camera with great picture quality and zoom

hi,

I am looking for a camera with the following features in the order of preference.
a) Compact Size
b) Great Picture quality
c) Very Good Zoom

I have found 3 of them.. Canon SX 210 IS, Sony H55, and Nikon Coolpix S8000

SX210 has better zoom (14X vs. 10X) and all 3 have have 14 MP

But I need to know which of them offers great picture quality. I can compromise little bit on zoom for want of better picture quality.

I wish to click landscapes, animals, birds, family get togethers, also shoot videos of my kids playing or participating in stage shows and other cultural activities.

Thanks a lot!!

Last edited by brijeshtr; Oct 26, 2010 at 10:44 AM. Reason: included Sony H55 in my list of options
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Old Oct 26, 2010, 11:11 AM   #2
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Out of those 3, I would easily take the SX210 but I think the Panasonic ZS7 is a better cam than all 3. You might also consider the Canon SD4500 and Nikon S8100 (which is a vast improvement over the S8000).
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Old Oct 26, 2010, 2:38 PM   #3
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Thanks FiveO!!

Could you kindly share your reason for choosing SX210 over Sony H55... Is it because of zoom.

Which one of these offers better picture quality... I would like neat and crisp images... and I am ready to sacrifice some of the zoom and can settle for 10X zoom offered by H55 if it offers better image quality.

I am really confused between these 2.

other experts are also welcome to comment.

thanks!!
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Old Oct 26, 2010, 3:25 PM   #4
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Well IQ is a largely subjective matter so keep that in mind. For example, one person may prefer more detail even if it means more noise whereas another person might prefer less noise even if it means losing detail. One person might think one image is too soft and another person might think the sharpness is just right.

Sony generally opts for more NR (noise reduction) resulting in a softer image and also tends to bump up their reds a bit too high for my tastes. Overall I just prefer Canon's color reproduction and approach to processing. While the lens on the SX210 isn't great (and the SX210 isn't one of Canon's best efforts), I still prefer the overall IQ over the H55.
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Old Oct 26, 2010, 4:11 PM   #5
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Though nt an xpert I would strongly suggest the Canon sx130is.12x zoom and gd picture quality.
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Old Oct 26, 2010, 4:18 PM   #6
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thank a lot, FiveO!

Although I don't quite understand technical terms in photography (details vs. noice reduction) but I kind of understood the point you are trying to make. appreciate your efforts.

Would it be possible for you to share few images taken from H55 and few from SX210

thanks!!
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Old Oct 26, 2010, 4:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fayyaz View Post
Though nt an xpert I would strongly suggest the Canon sx130is.12x zoom and gd picture quality.
Fayyaz: Why do you think SX130is should be preferred over SX210is... are you saying that SX130is would offer better picture quality compared to SX210is? In fact, I was thinking that both are from Canon and SX210is appears a higher grade camera compared to SX130is which is from the same house (Canon) and so would be better.

would appreciate your detailed response on this.

thank you very much!!
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Old Oct 26, 2010, 5:41 PM   #8
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As far as I know, compacts do not stand out very much from each other in picture quality unil you get into the premium area like the canon g12. And even then you will not get as professional results as an entry dslr. (although they are much harder to use)
However, I have a personal love for canon p&shoots.
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Last edited by mrpete; Oct 28, 2010 at 11:24 AM.
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Old Oct 26, 2010, 6:08 PM   #9
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zoom and picture quality do not go hand in hand when considering a compact. The canon s90 and s95 are the best in the compact pns market. But have short zooms only 3.5x. And their image quality really comes through when you compare other pns with more zoom in the 7x-12x range with the smaller sensor, when shooting in less the ideal liking requiring you to shoot pass 800iso.
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Old Oct 26, 2010, 6:51 PM   #10
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There are certain cameras that do better than others in certain areas. I believe Sony's are generally noisier in lower ranges, yet are less noisy in high ranges (don't quote me on that though). So if you want to do low lighting, than it may be marginally better for than canon; but if you are doing a lot of outdoor stuff, than a canon ma be better.
There are also different levels of the same types of camera. The Canon s95 is pretty much the best small compact out there, yet it is expensive. Kodak and Fuji have cheap superzooms, but they do not perform as well as a Canon or Sony. So even for similarly specced cameras, you have a lot of variety.
It comes down to personal preference- how much money do you want to spend, how much quality do you want, etc.
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