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Old Dec 14, 2010, 1:25 AM   #11
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For this size camera, you will ultimately need to choose between low light w/o flash or zoom for technical reasons.

In sticking w/ your original post that you were looking for a camera w/ some reach, the ZS6 or ZS7 are one option. The ZS6 is a Costco-only model and is almost identical to the ZS7 sans a GPS. You should easily be able to get a ZS7 for about $230-240. I'm very happy w/ mine but I must admit I prefer Canon/Nikon color. The Nikon S8100 is kind of attractive right now as it is $179 at Target. I haven't used one but it looks promising. Samsung's HZ35 (w/ GPS)/30 (w/o GPS) are another option for ~$300. It's a little bigger than the ZS7 but still smaller than a Canon SX130. The Canon SD4500 might be worth looking into also - also for ~$300.

Although ideally you want to be able to hold a camera in your hands before buying it, keep in mind that B&H and Amazon both have very reasonable return policies, especially during the holidays. I'm not advocating haphazard buying/returning but if you've honestly done all the research you can and the camera still turns out top be ill-suited to your needs, then I see nothing wrong w/ making the most of your rights as a consumer.
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Old Dec 15, 2010, 8:21 PM   #12
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Dave, Imaging-Resource has a cool wizard called the Digital Camera Advisor, where you answer a series of questions and provide a weighting factor to your choices...
and

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...In sticking w/ your original post that you were looking for a camera w/ some reach, the ZS6 or ZS7 are one option...The Nikon S8100 is kind of attractive right now... I haven't used one but it looks promising. Samsung's HZ35 another option for ~$300. It's a little bigger than the ZS7 but still smaller than a Canon SX130. The Canon SD4500 might be worth looking into also - also for ~$300.
Thanks guys, NWTIM! , I went to the Imaging-Resource guide/wizard and input my needs on the slider bars, really very interesting. It came back with # 1 - 5 - Canon SX210/Samsung HZ30/35W/Sony H55/Samsung Hz50w and Hz35W plus another group of 6-10 along with comparisons. I thought that was quite beneficial and gives me some ammo to go the BBox store(s).

FiveO & NWTIM not sure I can see/hold all of these but it certainly narrows down the group into more or less equivalent choices. I did do some research on the Nikon S8100 and that might be another choice to look at.

I really appreciate your responses and suggestions, hopefully I can find a few of these to "play-with" over the weekend.

Dave
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Old Dec 15, 2010, 8:27 PM   #13
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Another camera to add to that list is the canon SX130. It has received very good reviews.

Here is one of the reviews:

http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Ca...Shot_SX130_IS/

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Old Dec 18, 2010, 9:23 AM   #14
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Hello,

Thanks for all your help Nwtim/FiveO/Mtnclimber .

I've narrowed it down to the Canon SX210, Nikon S8100 (both at $249) and the DSC H55 (~$ 229) locally. No one has much in the way of Samsung product in this area, so haven't seen much in that realm.

I sort of like both (Canon/Nikon) though its tough to hold either attached to the safety frames at the stores. Both seem to have a lot more 'bells/whistles' than the Sony, but again its hard to tell what would be most useful.

Canon a bit wierd w/flash pop up every time, but it auto retracts, whereas the Nikon doesn't when turning off. Trying the AF in the Nikon seemed a bit better, but again??? I also think the Nikon shoots at 1080P but I doubt that I will ever care.

Suggestions welcomed given my needs!

Again thanks for the help in narrowing down my choices.

Dave
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Old Dec 18, 2010, 9:34 AM   #15
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The Nikon S8100 is $179 at Target. Maybe that will help sway you.
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Old Dec 18, 2010, 1:07 PM   #16
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The Nikon S8100 is $179 at Target. Maybe that will help sway you.
Hi FiveO,

That would definitely sway me, but our Target doesn't offer it at that price - just called to check (they do have locally, surprise ) but its $ 299, so its less at both Walmart & BestBuy.

If you have a flyer/ad, email or link me, I might be able to get one of the stores to Price Match.

Thanks for the tip!

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Old Dec 18, 2010, 2:20 PM   #17
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The Nikon S8100 would not be my first choice considering its reported focusing problems reported in the DPR Nikon Forum.

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Old Dec 18, 2010, 4:30 PM   #18
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Hi FiveO,

That would definitely sway me, but our Target doesn't offer it at that price - just called to check (they do have locally, surprise ) but its $ 299, so its less at both Walmart & BestBuy.

If you have a flyer/ad, email or link me, I might be able to get one of the stores to Price Match.

Thanks for the tip!

Dave
It was at Target.com but sold out now. I guess I'm not surprised at that price. It was $199 + 10% coupon = $179. Amazon has it for $219.

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The Nikon S8100 would not be my first choice considering its reported focusing problems reported in the DPR Nikon Forum.
Seems to be a theme w/ Nikon P&S cameras this year. Similar reports with the P7000 and P100.

Anyway, you already know it wouldn't be my first choice either. Sticking w/ the 10x zoom theme, the Panasonic ZS7 would be my first choice with the Samsung HZ35/30 and Canon SD4500 coming in after that. But given the OP's 3 final choices, I would choose the Nikon out of those 3.
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Old Dec 18, 2010, 5:16 PM   #19
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In this case the Canon SD4500, followed by the Canon SX130 are my choices. And the SX130 is indeed available at $179 in multiple locations.

With 12X optical zoom (28mm to 336mm), HD video, a great built in flash unit, and a brand new lens that is really sharp, makes the SX130 a real bargain at that price point.

Here is a photo sample from the SX130:

http://anchorse.smugmug.com/Other/Ca...8_XWFSx-XL.jpg

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Old Dec 18, 2010, 7:55 PM   #20
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Hi FiveO & Mtnclimber:

I've found a couple of cameras online - DigitalElect.com (are they legit???) that has the Panasonic/Lumix ZS7 ($ 219), Canon SX210 ($ 215) and the Nikon S8100 ($ 205) supposedly available for Christmas delivery. I've not seen the Lumix, but have seen the Canon/Nikon for $ 35 +/- more locally. No one seems to have the Samsungs listed or the Canon SD 4500. So I'm a bit stuck.

The thought of a geocode has some appeal especially when travelling to foreign countries, might help identify pictures. Does the ZS7 have HDMI out? Is that critical? FiveO why do you like this camera so much?

I've sort of dropped the Canon SX130 d/t size, though I'm sure I could probably get used to it - push to shove. Does everything, but not excited bout AA batteries (I know, they exist pretty much everywhere, but..). Mtnclimber what is your rationale re: SX130 - price?



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