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Old Dec 3, 2010, 1:02 PM   #11
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For the average Soccer/Football/Baseball Family the FZ100 would record some memories...but for quality shots I would have the 7D and the 70-200 4/L and the 100-400L along...I am going to take time out and shoot some sports just for fun...
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Old Dec 3, 2010, 3:18 PM   #12
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nwtim... what kind of budget are you working with? It's true that you're simply not going to get the best results without a DSLR and, say, a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens. But the combined price will be between $1300 and $2000.

And, while you say you're not satisfied with the results you get from a point-and-shoot camera, perhaps your expectations are not the same as those of some of us. Give us some more details about budget and planned usage and maybe we can come back with specific recommendations.
We can't really afford it at the moment, but I'm considering a two camera approach for our needs. I'm thinking it might be best to have a hand-sized camera (superzoom) for bigger zooms and decent HD video, and a smaller one to stuff into a jeans pocket for those times when it's undesireable to lug along a bigger one. With all the demands of our budget, I'd sure like to be able to do that for no more than $600-$700.

I bought a Sony HX5V in hopes that it would be a decent compromise of both worlds (pocketable and superzoom). I really like it a lot from a useability standpoint, and I really like the panarama mode and am impressed at how responsive the autofocus and autoexposure are during video. It just seems to be lacking for low-light photos and the 10X zoom seems to be just a tad less than I think I'd like for outdoor sports. I'm really tempted to keep it, but we can't afford it if we're going to need other cameras to make up for its deficiencies. I also tried a Panasonic ZS6 and a Nikon S8100 and liked the HX5V better for our purposes than either of them. The ZS6 had a bigger zoom and the autofocus worked well during video, but I hated how slowly the playback zoom and pan functioned which made it very cumbersome to check for redeye. Of the three, the S8100 did best on low-light photos, but it was completely unacceptable for light-challenged video and it took too long to check for redeye in playback as well.

As for planned usage, we do a lot of RV camping during the summer months and hit a lot of outdoor attractions - hikes, swims, water parks, museums, nature trails, etc. Sometimes it's no problem to have a big camera around, but other times it's very inconvenient. The rest of the year, our kids are involved in indoor and outdoor soccer and basketball and robotics competitions. We also try to squeeze in a couple basketball games at the local high schools and colleges, where I'd like to get pictures of the family in our seats and the action on the court. It's usually not much of a problem having a bulkier camera around for those venues, so I don't think I'd mind taking high definition video of the light-challenged stuff and capturing stills right out of the video. I'm not sure how effective that strategy would prove out to be, but it strikes me as a simple way to capture memories. Having been an avid amateur photographer in the pre-digital days, I'd also like to have one of my cameras have a hotshoe, but it's definitely not a must-have.

I apologize for such a wordy response. Hopefully more information will bring out more applicable feedback. I'm sure many have experienced similar predicaments as this and greatly appreciate all input.
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Old Dec 3, 2010, 3:30 PM   #13
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The FZ100 will be great camping, hiking, biking...also the ZS7...the S95 is the pocket camera for low light...it rocks...sharp as a pin...the ZS7 is great for hiking, biking, camping...both the ZS7 and the S95 fit perfectly in the clip on Ripoffs.com CO-129FF Case and will not come off your belt also waterproof...super tough...
If I just had to have something for lower light and a Super Zoom = FZ100 and S95
If I had to have two cameras for biking, hiking, camping = FZ100 and ZS7
I have all three so I take them all with me when RVing...
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Old Dec 3, 2010, 3:50 PM   #14
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The FZ100 will be great camping, hiking, biking...also the ZS7...the S95 is the pocket camera for low light...it rocks...sharp as a pin...the ZS7 is great for hiking, biking, camping...both the ZS7 and the S95 fit perfectly in the clip on Ripoffs.com CO-129FF Case and will not come off your belt also waterproof...super tough...
If I just had to have something for lower light and a Super Zoom = FZ100 and S95
If I had to have two cameras for biking, hiking, camping = FZ100 and ZS7
I have all three so I take them all with me when RVing...
Strictly hypothetical in your case, but if you could only have two of the three, which two would they be?

I had the ZS6 which is basically a ZS7 without AVCHD Lite and without GPS and thought it would be an excellent outdoor camera if it weren't for the clunky and slow playback zoom (2X, 4X, 8X, and 16X). What makes the ZS7 stand out for you as opposed to something like the Sony HX5V?

Thanks!
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Old Dec 3, 2010, 4:13 PM   #15
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Old Dec 3, 2010, 4:16 PM   #16
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The S95 and the FZ100 your wife will love the color accent mode and it is very sharp and does well in low light...plenty of control over the whole camera, but also a good Auto Mode...
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Old Dec 3, 2010, 4:24 PM   #17
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The S95 and the FZ100 your wife will love the color accent mode and it is very sharp and does well in low light...plenty of control over the whole camera, but also a good Auto Mode...
This is the direction I'm leaning. I know I'd love the S95 for a pocketable camera without even trying it (I loved my S70 back in its day). I'm going to have to find a FZ100 to try, but it seems I prefer it over the SX30 for its video.
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Old Dec 3, 2010, 8:16 PM   #18
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The FZ100 might be a bit steep for us if we're going to get two cameras. How do the less costly FZ35 or FZ40 compare?
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Old Dec 3, 2010, 11:17 PM   #19
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The FZ100 was made for Sport Families...$375...FZ35 does have High Speed Burst and is a great camera as is the FZ40...best bang for the buck is the FZ35...the HD video is OK also it's a great family camera...the FZ35 and the S95 will cover 99% of your requirements for photos...you can always add a Teleconverter and/or Macro Lens onto the FZ35 for more fun later...FZ40 should keep dropping in price to about $275...it is a very good camera also...

Sorry I forgot to answer your ZS7 question: HX5 could never take a Macro like the photos above with the ZS7...

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Old Dec 4, 2010, 11:38 AM   #20
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I have had the SX30IS for about 4 days. I had the FZ28, and still have the Casio FH20. The easiest to use in all kinds of situations has probably been the FZ28. I imagine the FZ35, still available, and the FZ40 would be similar. The FZ100 would seem to be great for sports with its very fast burst mode. The SX30IS has great image stabilization. It takes sharp pictures in good light or in low light of close up objects with a flash. However, it's not great in low light and it's not great at bursts of shots. If you were focused on a soccer/football goalie in a daytime game in early fall, you might get some good shots from the upper decks (and lower decks) of a stadium. However, I think the Panasonic FZ superzooms would be easier to use and the FZ100 would be ideal.
What is amazing about the Canon is the detail visible at full zoom (840mm) in good light. I took a picture of a temple 2 or 3 miles away and and microwave antennas on a mountain about 7 miles away and it's very impressive how much detail is captured.
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