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Old Dec 11, 2011, 11:05 AM   #1
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Default Considering upgrade

I have a Canon S90 and Panasonic FZ35. Since purchasing them, I have learned the following about my habits and likes/dislikes:
  • I prefer a pocket-sized camera and am much more likely to carry a camera, the smaller it is. I usually am using my camera when on business trips and vacations where photo taking is not the primary purpose of the trip.
  • I prefer Canon's user interface over Panasonic's. I also like simplicity.
  • There are trips/times when I really need/want a longer zoom than the Canon provides.
  • I take a reasonable amount of nighttime/lower light pictures where Canon's brighter lens and bigger sensor are very helpful.
  • I would prefer the ability to use an EVF over an LCD display
  • All other things held equal, I would use the Canon S90 all of the time but for the short zoom and lack of an EVF.

I realize that there are going to be tradeoffs, but have been considering if the combination I have makes the most sense for me or if I should sell and or upgrade one or both cameras.

One option is to keep the S90, sell the FZ35 and buy a Canon superzoom so that I am still using two cameras, but at least have a similar interface (I tend to forget how best to use the FZ35 settings because I don't use it quite as much).

Another possibility is to sell both cameras and buy a micro 4/3 or similar with a couple of lenses and an EVF. The negative here is the added size vs. the S90 and the additional complexity of dealing with multiple lenses -- not to mention cost.

I am interested in others perspectives on my situation and also in hearing what cameras people would recommend as I have not looked at models for the last couple of years.

Thanks in advance.
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Old Dec 11, 2011, 1:20 PM   #2
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I own an S95 and an FZ40. The S95 is my everyday camera. The FZ40 only comes out for certain occasions like the zoo or on hikes where I expect there to be some eagles or something along those lines that I don't see every day. I actually prefer Panasonic's menu system by a wide margin over Canon's, both in terms of layout and speed. Honestly, Panasonic just makes a better P&S all around imho (better lenses, better reliability ratings [JD Power], better ergonomics), but they fall behind in 2 very crucial areas - color reproduction and JPEG processing. Anyway, if you really just want one camera, a micro 4/3 seems like the next logical step. I briefly considered getting one, but then I would just leave the lenses home all the time.
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Old Dec 11, 2011, 2:14 PM   #3
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Maybe the Canon SX220/230 would suffice...?
No evf or fast lens- but a decent all rounder...
I would keep the S90 for any lower light work- as your unlikely to use zoom in these situations anyway.
If you're looking at a superzoom,the Canon SX40HS is pretty useful....
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Old Dec 11, 2011, 4:34 PM   #4
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Thanks FiveO and Simon --

FiveO, I'm curious if you have any experience with the S90 and, if so, what your impressions are vs. your S95 (ergonomics aside - I have a grip and a lensmate ring to aid in that department).

Simon -- your suggestion regarding a good all rounder is a good one. Back when I was buying the other cameras I had considered buying the Panasonic ZS7 instead of the FZ35, but the extra zoom and EVF won me over at the time despite the additional size/weight. The cost of an SX230 is pretty reasonable. It may be worth trying one and seeing if that satisfies my needs most of the time. As much as I keep getting tempted by a DSLR or micro 4/3, I just can't help but wonder if it would sit at home most of the time -- even more than the FZ35 does now.
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Old Dec 11, 2011, 6:05 PM   #5
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I know what you mean Jazzer251- some time ago I had the old TZ3 and due to its portability,found it a very regular companion- leaving the big boy at home!!
Yes,it was no match for a DSLR's quality- but,as you say,when photography wasn't the priority of any given trip- it still came with me.. and it's 10x zoom gave me more than enough compositional opportunities when required.
Imagine my joy when the TZ's(ZS's abroad) finally included PASM modes..!!

One thing worth bearing in mind- given that CMOS sensors seem to be taking over in compacts(with good reason)- my guess is that the next TZ will have the same sensor as the FZ-150...
A mouth watering prospect...
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Old Dec 11, 2011, 10:47 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jazzer251 View Post
Thanks FiveO and Simon --

FiveO, I'm curious if you have any experience with the S90 and, if so, what your impressions are vs. your S95 (ergonomics aside - I have a grip and a lensmate ring to aid in that department).
I don't, but I have read countless comparisons from individuals who own(ed) both over at the DPR forums. It seems still IQ is extremely similar with an obvious marked improvement in video. Video and ergonomics aside, there's probably very little reason to upgrade.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SIMON40 View Post
One thing worth bearing in mind- given that CMOS sensors seem to be taking over in compacts(with good reason)- my guess is that the next TZ will have the same sensor as the FZ-150...
A mouth watering prospect...
I thought that this would be the case with the FZ100 and ZS8, but the ZS8 doesn't appear to have the same sensor and it certainly doesn't utilize the same JPEG processing. If the next ZS cam is as good as the FZ150 though, then I'll definitely pick one up. I have the ZS7 and it's a great P&S, but the color reproduction is very much typical Panasonic. The FZ150, on the other hand, has gorgeous colors (though unlike the FZ100, it does produce orange'ish reds).
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Old Dec 14, 2011, 12:42 PM   #7
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I don't know about these cam's you talk about but the Fujiflim line is a very good line of cam's I just orderd the new F600EXR. I have had the 300EXR for years since it came out, and have over 10,000 pictures out of it and with the 15X zoom it is sweet. The 600 shoots JPEG. and RAW. Take a look! Rick
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Old Jul 28, 2012, 8:14 PM   #8
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Back in December, I posted this question. I decided to stay on the side lines and just keep my cameras. I may continue to do the same, but I figured I would revisit my question in light of some of the new entries into the digicam world. I have also been rethinking the camera size issue. I know that at the end of the day I would always prefer a smaller camera, but occasionally I have found myself wishing that low light picture quality were better than even the S90 can provide.

I've started looking at the Sony Nex 5n (issue is no EVF or spend an additional $300 for one), the Nex 7 or Olympus OM-D (cost is more than I want to spend given my level of proficiency and amount of usage) and even the Nikon D3100 or 3200 (cost is more reasonable, but size is an issue).

Whenever I revisit the issue, I always seem to conclude that maybe I'm better off just becoming as proficient as I can with the cameras I own. Any new thoughts on the subject?

Thanks in advance.
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Old Jul 28, 2012, 9:25 PM   #9
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if you're looking for a truly pocketable camera, i'd say the size of the sony lenses may be too big. there are a couple smallish lenses for micro four thirds cameras, so they would fit in a jacket pocket, but probably not a pants pocket unless you wear loose cargo pants. i know there's a lot said about the om-d, but you might want to consider the panasonic G3, which is fairly small, has a built in viewfinder, and does great in lower light and at higher ISOs. personally i've had much better luck with panasonic's stabilized lenses than with oly's IBIS, but your mileage may vary.

i'm considering the sony NEX 5n. it felt great in my hand, the pic quality is better than some NEX cameras, and with a cheap adapter one can use old canon FD lenses. i find touchscreens work very well for me in certain photography situations, too. on the other hand, the optional EVF ain't cheap.

if you don't shoot in low light or challenging conditions, you may do better to stick with the camera you have for a while.
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