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Old Dec 18, 2010, 9:00 PM   #21
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DigitalElect.com is an unreliable vendor. please beware!

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Old Dec 19, 2010, 7:22 AM   #22
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I would stay away from DigitalElect as I have never heard of them. Here are some other options from legitimate retailers.

6th Ave Electronics has the ZS7 for $237.12 w/ free UPS Ground. Use coupon code AFL4COUPON to being it to that price.

Office Max has the Canon SX210 for $234.99 in-store after this $15 off coupon.

The Nikon S8100 is available at a few stores at a good price. Best Buy has it in-store or online for $218.99. You might be able to use this 10% off coupon as well though I'm not certain. Staples has it for $224.99 after this in-store 10% off coupon. Walmart has it for $219.99.

I like the SX130 also but it's just too big for my needs. Based on experience, I know I would leave it home more often than not since it wouldn't fit in my pocket.

The ZS7 does have HDMI out. It's not critical for me since I dump everything to my PC and edit/convert movies but it's handy for someone who wants to play the movies right from their camera on their HDTV.

I've had this camera for about 8 months and have been very pleased with it. The lens is excellent considering it has a 12x zoom; it's sharper and has less distortion than the lens on the Canon SX210. The iAuto mode works very well but it also has full PASM modes (program auto, aperture priority, shutter priority, manual) if you need/want a little more control in a given situation. The auto focus is plenty fast which is handy for action shots. Again, the AF is a lot faster than Canon's. The sound is quite good for a pocket cam and I used it at a few concerts this past summer. Build quality is excellent. It feels really solid in your hands and after having dropped it on solid rock more than once, it sustained no damage except for a few nicks to the metal body.

It has its weaknesses of course. The flash is good for only about 10 feet whereas my Canon S95 can do 20 feet. The sensor is only 1/2.33" and thus low light performance without a flash is lackluster. The same is true for any camera w/ this sensor size though and sensor size is something you have to give up for the long zoom. I personally prefer Canon colors.

I guess the short answer is simply that I have been very pleased with the versatility and image quality from the ZS7.

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Old Dec 19, 2010, 7:41 AM   #23
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I am enthusiastic about the Canon SX130, as it fits in my purse perfectly and I feel that even at $179 it is a very good value. The new lens is excellent, and although, a bit physically larger, at least for me, it is a very good ZS5/ZS& substitute.

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Old Dec 19, 2010, 3:34 PM   #24
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If I didn't care about video in variable light situations, I really like the S8100. I was really impressed with its dynamic range on unflashed indoor shots and the LCD display was amazing.

The biggest drawback for me was that the AWB in video looked like it was defeated after passing over a bright object that forced it to dim. The camera adjusted the white balance pretty well for the bright object, but didn't open back up for less-bright subjects without restarting the video.

Other than the video though, the S8100 was slightly higher on my list than the ZS6 because of its low-light performance.
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Old Dec 19, 2010, 4:58 PM   #25
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Addendum to my previous post ... you can get the Canon SX210 for $199 shipped at Amazon right now w/ code 4ETCGR9T
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Old Dec 19, 2010, 7:04 PM   #26
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I purchased and returned the SX210. It has not received good reviews. At mid zoom its image quality is not bad. As the zoom is increased, the images loose focus and at 14X optical things get very "muddy."

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Old Dec 19, 2010, 8:14 PM   #27
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Thanks to all of you - FiveO, Mtnclimber, Nwtim - your feedback and suggestions have been wonderful !

Per our previous conversations, I've really narrowed it down to the 3 mentioned: Nikon S8100; Canon SX210; and Lumix (Panasonic) H5 or H7.

To try and list pros/cons:

Nikon - Gorgeous LCD; 1080P; Multi-shots (rapid); HDMI out; But - possible focus issue(s) - $249 @ BB tonite (no discount per FiveO)

Canon - 14x Optical zoom; 720P; multiple settings; But - possible auto-focus problems at longer telephoto lengths/movie mode - $249 @ BB tonite

Lumix - 12x Zoom, Geocode (Hx7); HDMI out (Hx7); But - no availability locally so nothing to play with except Hx5 - Hx5 - $199 @ BB tonite, Hx7 listed in catalog, but not in stock and sold out online.

I'm sure that I'm missing things, but that was my quick/dirty analysis. All seem doable - I've leaned toward 1st the Canon (Nwtim's Digital Camera Advisor listed most of these and the Samsungs, which I've never seen).

I would think (hopefully?) that any of these would probably work for my needs, but looking for a "push" in the right direction.

Thanks again for all the input - I'll stay away from Digitalelec.com (thanks).

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Old Dec 19, 2010, 8:27 PM   #28
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Dave-

Concerning the Panasonic cameras: perhaps you mean the ZS5 and ZS7 models??

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Old Dec 19, 2010, 11:31 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtclimber View Post
Dave-

Concerning the Panasonic cameras: perhaps you mean the ZS5 and ZS7 models??

Sarah Joyce
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Old Dec 20, 2010, 2:42 AM   #30
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If you live near a Costco, they carry the ZS6 (almost identical to ZS7 w/o GPS).
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