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Old May 26, 2011, 3:41 PM   #1
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Default $250 Point & Shoot for general use

I'm looking for a P&S in the $250 range for general use. (Indoors, outdoors, landscapes, people...). I'm also interested in decent macro capability. I do a lot of backpacking, so smaller is better.

Currently I'm looking at:

Canon 300HS
Panasonic DMC ZS7 or ZS8

Any opinions on these choices or recommendations for other cameras would be appreciated.

Thanks,
pete
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Old Jun 14, 2011, 3:21 PM   #2
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I'm in the same boat as you. I'm going on an extended backpacking trip soon and will need camera to capture the memories.

I'm looking at the Panasonic ZS6 and the Canon 300 HS - both sub $250. If the ZS7 could still be found for $199 like it was a few months ago, this wouldn't even be a discussion for me. Unfortunately, it's now twice that price on Amazon.

The ZS6/7 appears to be a better camera by all accounts (maybe that's because there's just more information out there on the ZS6/7), but availability is a concern. Amazon only has 10 left (assuming they're accurate) while the 300 HS is a new and will be around for a while.

The only real differences I can see between the two is aperture/shutter priority control (Panasonic has it, Canon does not), low-light performance (Canon wins), optical zoom (Panasonic wins), body size (Canon is smaller, more compact, but Panasonic appears to be more "grippable" - offset), IQ (I would say the Panasonic wins based on my research).

Overall very comparable cameras, probably can't go wrong with either.

I should mention I am not even remotely educated on cameras, so take my advice with caution. I'm basing everything I say off the hours of research I've done over the past few weeks.

Last edited by harrisonrmatt; Jun 14, 2011 at 3:34 PM.
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Old Jun 14, 2011, 6:31 PM   #3
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I'm an avid backpacker also and, for the most part, have found the ZS7 to be an excellent camera for that purpose. I highly recommend this camera to people all the time. However, that said, I found myself shooting at higher ISO levels much more often than I would like when under tree cover. This happens quite often in the area where I live as virtually every trail runs under the perpetual cover of trees. For that reason, I went to a larger sensor camera with a brighter lens (the Canon S95). Now if you tend to shoot on more open trails or simply don't shoot at all until you hit a great vista, then I would recommend the ZS7 without hesitation. If, however, you shoot in many scenarios like I described above (constant tree cover),then you might consider the Canon as Canon's HS cameras do better at higher ISO levels than the ZS7.
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Old Jun 15, 2011, 7:43 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FiveO View Post
I'm an avid backpacker also and, for the most part, have found the ZS7 to be an excellent camera for that purpose. I highly recommend this camera to people all the time. However, that said, I found myself shooting at higher ISO levels much more often than I would like when under tree cover. This happens quite often in the area where I live as virtually every trail runs under the perpetual cover of trees. For that reason, I went to a larger sensor camera with a brighter lens (the Canon S95). Now if you tend to shoot on more open trails or simply don't shoot at all until you hit a great vista, then I would recommend the ZS7 without hesitation. If, however, you shoot in many scenarios like I described above (constant tree cover),then you might consider the Canon as Canon's HS cameras do better at higher ISO levels than the ZS7.
This is excellent news, thanks FiveO! I'm actually travelling abroad backpacking, so I'm not sure how many trails I'll be on (hopefully at least a few though ), but I imagine most of my shots are going to be more typical "travel" shots; lots of outdoor-type content.

I'm hoping whatever I shoot at low ISO levels, and appear too dark, can be corrected (enough) using Photoshop. Again, I think most of my shots will be using 400 ISO or lower, so for the most part I shouldn't be too worried. I pulled the trigger on the ZS6 yesterday as Amazon's stock kept creeping closer to 0.
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Old Jun 15, 2011, 5:35 PM   #5
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Here's a random shot from one of my many hikes. It's a little underexposed but I didn't have much choice shooting directly into the setting sun.

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Old Jun 16, 2011, 7:34 AM   #6
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Nice shot! Where was this taken?
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Old Jun 16, 2011, 4:32 PM   #7
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Nice shot! Where was this taken?
northern PA
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