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Old May 26, 2011, 2:35 AM   #1
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Default Torn between the HX5 and FX700. Budget is $200

Looking for a good sub $200 compact for my parents.
Requirements: 3.0" LCD, HDMI, image quality, low light, good stabilization.

A side by side comparison of features is below:
http://www.dpreview.com/products/com...tDir=ascending

After searching and comparing for a week, I'm down to the Sony HX5v and panasonic FX700. The FX700 has superb hardware specs (speed, lens, touchscreen) and only feature I would miss is the GPS, but alas the noise levels are unacceptably high in multiple reviews. The HX5 has better low light performance, sweep panorama and a GPS.


HX5v Cons: Some people say the quality isn't as good as they expect.
FX700 Cons: Image noise. 14.1MP sensors are considered 'Bad'.

Some nice-to-have features to break the tie:
24mm wide, f2.2 bright lens, MPEG4/AVCHD 1080P with stereo+optical zoom, >8 focal points, 10FPS burst mode, sweep panorama, touchscreen.

Any words of reassurance for me? Other suggestions are welcome. (the Samsung TL350 is nice, but $250; Canon SD3500is is decent)

Last edited by fortworth; May 26, 2011 at 8:34 AM.
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Old May 26, 2011, 5:25 AM   #2
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Both have poor low light performance, but the HX5V's is less poor. A polished turd is still a turd.
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Old May 26, 2011, 2:37 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FiveO View Post
Both have poor low light performance, but the HX5V's is less poor. A polished turd is still a turd.
Tell us how you really feel about FiveO.
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Old May 26, 2011, 10:41 PM   #4
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While you're at that, give me some more options!

How about the ZS7 vs the SX210 ? (yeah yeah my budget can be moved to 250 for quality)

Last edited by fortworth; May 26, 2011 at 11:22 PM.
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Old May 27, 2011, 2:02 AM   #5
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With a $250 budget in mind, if low light is a requirement, check out the Canon SD4000. I know you lose the zoom, but that's price you pay for the brighter lens. Every major manufacturer now brags about a special low light mode but none of them are really offering anything other than trick modes. Sony, for example, takes 6 images in quick succession and stacks them. This works quite well for still images, but results in blurred images for anything that moves. Other companies use pixel binning which essentially increases sensitivity while reducing the image to 2-3MP. What really matters for low light photos is sensor size and lens brightness.

If we forget about low light - which is the only reasonable option if you want a pocketable superzoom - then the ZS7 is a very good cam. It's biggest weakness is that above ISO 400, the images become quite noisy. The Canon SX210 can go to about ISO 800 and the same goes for the SD4500. The ZS7 has the better lens and better handling, but the Canons have more accurate color reproduction, better AWB, and better handling of noise at higher ISOs.

I own the ZS7 and HX5V. I would highly recommend the ZS7. I would highly recommend against the HX5V. The SD4500 does not have a good wide angle so for me, that's a deal breaker. I think it only goes to 36mm if I recall correctly.

If you can do without A/S/M modes, check out the Nikon S8100. There have been some reported issues with focusing, but Canon's focusing isn't exactly spectacular either.
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Old May 27, 2011, 11:46 PM   #6
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Got the sd4000 for $200 at newegg with coupon code EMCKEHC29
edit:cancelled this order

Thanks for bringing it into my field of vision :P

Some cons are the motion JPEG video and 3.8x optical zoom, but both those are not too important. 28mm isn't as wide as I would like, but the low light and quality make up for that too.

Update: cancelled the SD4000 because the Nikon S8100 was available at Walmart For $153!!! (Sold out before I could get it)

Last edited by fortworth; May 28, 2011 at 8:58 PM.
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Old Jun 2, 2011, 10:12 AM   #7
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Finally settled on the Sony WX9. Reviews say the reds are oversaturated and the noise may be high, but I looked at many sample photos (including low light ones) and they were excellent.

So many choices in the market right now
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Old Jun 5, 2011, 2:03 AM   #8
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The S8100 is a superzoom, whereas the SD4000 will perform noticeably better in low light. Thus, it depends on what your priorities are. The WX9 lacks the zoom and the brighter lens so you get the benefits of neither. What you do get is Sony's very heavy-handed NR and no ability to control it or any other aspect of image control. It wouldn't have been my choice but if you're satisfied with it, that's all that matters.
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