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Old Apr 3, 2012, 11:59 PM   #1
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Default Camera hunt!

I've found the reviews on this site useful and just from browsing through the forums, they seem incredibly helpful. So... first post! I'm currently looking for a new camera. I WANT IT TO DO EVERYTHING.

Kidding. I DO want it to do everything, but I know that's impossible. What I need at the moment is a compact with at least 10x zoom, good image quality (duh), a decent burst mode or two, and quick response (shot to shot and burst, mostly). I'm going to be using it primarily outdoors during the day, so being able to shoot at night isn't as important, but I would like it to not totally suck when it turns late afternoon and the sun starts to dim. I like to take pictures at the track (horses, not cars), so hence the quick response and burst mode. So far, I've narrowed it down to the Sony HX9V and the Panasonic ZS20. I had included the Canon SX260 but I tried the SX230 out and it was markedly slower than I needed and the reviews for the SX260 seem to indicate that the speed hasn't improved enough. I've used Panasonics and have been pretty happy, but I want to make sure I don't overlook anything. From the copious reviews, it appears that the Sony has somewhat better image quality but I haven't been able to find anything on the burst mode beyond the most rudimentary information. I know it shoots 10fps but then it takes forever for the buffer to clear. I don't need anything that fast; 2 or 3fps is sufficient. I just don't know if the write time would be diminished enough for it to be useful.

I also took a look at the Fujis, Nikons and Samsungs but the reviews didn't seem strong enough although all three had intriguing products. I know Sony's got a refresh of the HX9V coming out and also don't know if I should wait to see how that is.

I consider myself a passably lousy photographer, more out of laziness than anything else, although I'd really like to learn how to take good pictures. I'm very intrigued by the micro four-thirds cameras but I need to learn more before I can take a crack at them.

WORDY!

Hope someone can help me out, and thanks!
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Old Apr 4, 2012, 7:37 PM   #2
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The ZS20 is definitely worth considering- with fast autofocus in addition to the burst rate.
The megapixel mad Sony HX30v might be worth a look- as may be the Samsung WB750(see recent addition in reviews section here). Fuji's F750exr(770 with GPS) is another contender.
The Canon SX260's continuous drive speed is roughly 2.5fps- with 10fps in a burst- but as you say,standard shot to shot time is important also- and in my opinion,probably more important- for that spontaneous shot/change of direction.

A very in-depth review of the ZS20...
http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Pa...30/index.shtml

Just one point of note- bear in mind Panny's ZS15 was launched alongside the TZ20- granted with "only" 16x zoom- but also with a 12mp sensor- and I'm hoping it is the sensor used in the FZ-150- which should make a direct IQ shoot-out with the ZS20 interesting...!!

Last edited by SIMON40; Apr 4, 2012 at 7:50 PM.
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Old Apr 4, 2012, 10:09 PM   #3
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micro four thirds and a bridge camera pretty much have the same controls, so you could learn the same stuff on either m4/3 or a bridge. if the m4/3 cameras make you nervous - and btw, olympus makes some consumer friendly cameras - perhaps the panasonic fz150 or canon sx40 would be right for you. i had an fz150, and found it fast, good colors, good daytime quality, great image stabilization.

btw. although a lot of less experienced photographers are made nervous by lots of external controls, a camera with more buttons and dials means less things are buried in the menu where you have to find them. i find that my panny m4/3 cameras are easier to use due to more external controls. after all, you don't have to use them, but if you want them, it's better not to have to spend lots of time digging or constantly read the manual. to me, that makes photo taking a lot less fun.
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Old Apr 4, 2012, 10:49 PM   #4
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If you're looking to take pics of racing horses, it's a good thing that you ruled out Canon. While I love my S95, the AF on Canon's P&S cams is horribly slow compared to Panasonic and Sony. Panasonic has the fastest AF out of the three.

I highly doubt the sensor in the TZ15 is the same as the FZ150, although that would be fantastic. The FZ150 is a really nice bridge cam.
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Old Apr 5, 2012, 1:10 AM   #5
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Thanks to those who have responded!

Simon40:
I'll take a look at the ZS15 as well. I was intrigued by the Samsung, especially since it appears to have a nice burst mode, but based on reviews it seems lacking in other areas. And the Sony Hx30V and Fuji 750 don't seem to be in the wild as yet, but I definitely want to take a serious look at both of them. I did find sample photos on DigitalVersus, which was rather illuminating. Not sure how accurate a site it is but it was nice to see shots from different cameras side by side. They list speed tests as well (shot to shot, etc).

pcake:
I looked at the fz150 but I really am looking for something smaller and more pocketable, hence the compacts. The micro four-thirds are intriguing because of the smaller size and the expansion capabilities. That would be something I'd look into when I get serious about actually trying to take good pictures and not just lucking into them <g>. I did a little bit of research and liked both the Olympus and the Panasonic, so it's nice to hear you praise them.

FiveO:
Yeah, the Canons take such nice pictures but they're soooo slooooww! Too bad. The sensor in the fz150, BTW, is a 1/2.3 and the sensor in the sz20 is a 1/2.33, but the sz15 seems to have the same sensor as the fz150. Not sure if the 1/2.33 is a typo! I know two of the compacts (Samsung and maybe Casio? Has anyone used the Casio?) have a 1/2 sensor, which I believe is a little bit bigger?

Again, thanks for the feedback!
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Old Apr 5, 2012, 3:24 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruefrex View Post
FiveO:
Yeah, the Canons take such nice pictures but they're soooo slooooww! Too bad. The sensor in the fz150, BTW, is a 1/2.3 and the sensor in the sz20 is a 1/2.33, but the sz15 seems to have the same sensor as the fz150. Not sure if the 1/2.33 is a typo! I know two of the compacts (Samsung and maybe Casio? Has anyone used the Casio?) have a 1/2 sensor, which I believe is a little bit bigger?
Yep, they may be the same sensor. I have just been very skeptical about it as the ZS10, despite having the same size sensor as the FZ100, used a different sensor. The FZ35 and ZS7 shared a same-sized sensor also and yet based upon the difference in IQ, I have remained doubtful that the sensors were the same. Of course, the differences could primarily be in the glass. In any case, I have seen various reports and reviews that the ZS15 produces images that are superior to the ZS20.
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