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Old Jun 10, 2012, 2:43 PM   #1
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Default Travel camera

I'm looking for an small unobtrusive camera with good IQ and zoom to carry on my travels. I've shortlisted the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ30/ZS20 and the Canon PowerShot SX260 HS.

Which one would be a better choice?Thanks
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Old Jun 10, 2012, 10:17 PM   #2
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to me, the 260 would be. in the samples i've seen, it has less noisy pics and i owned and liked the 230. i hear that the panasonic may allow for more control, and i do like panasonic menus, but the 230 was easy to use, good quality pics, effective stabilization, not too big.
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Old Jun 11, 2012, 5:08 PM   #3
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The SX260 HS would seem to have the edge in low light/high iso images- though maybe slightly more detail in the Panasonic's images.
What would concern me more is the maximum f/6.8 aperture on the canon at full zoom- which really doesn't let a great deal of light in- meaning slow shutter speeds (no good for moving subjects) or using higher iso's- which can hinder image quality. That said,the Panasonic's not much brighter at f/6.4....
Personally,I prefer the build quality on the Panasonic- and the menu/layout- and the flash built into the front of the case- as opposed to the pop-up/lift flash on the Canon.
And the Panasonic is superior in the autofocus speed department.

Interestingly,I think Canon's SX230 was slightly better in the IQ department- and might be worth looking at if you don't mind sacrificing a bit of zoom range.
Similarly,the Panasonic TZ25/ZS15 yields better IQ with a different 12mp sensor- again with a slight loss of zoom range,and mono audio on the movie side of things.
Both are cheaper and may be worth consideration....
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Old Jun 19, 2012, 3:13 PM   #4
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Thank you SIMON40 and pcake. I actually went and got the TZ30 based on web reviews and I hope I don't regret the purchase. SO far its been taking good pictures but somehow I feel that the IQ lacks that sharpness that make images jump out at you. You know that nagging feeling that something is missing in the photos, of not being quite satisfied and left hankering for more. I may just return it and go for something else but what that something else is I don't know. All I know now after using the panny for a few days is that.

1. it is pocketable
2. Great zoom
3. Battery not so great
4. I like the menu
5. HDR is good, natural colors
6. Soft photos, lack sharpness
7. GPS is ok

Ideally I want a camera that has a good zoom and is pocketable with good IQ. The panny meets all my needs bar the IQ. Any suggestions?
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Old Jun 19, 2012, 6:06 PM   #5
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I'm surprised the Panny' lacks in the sharpness dept'- that's usually their strong suit- unless your shooting at elevated iso's.
Are you using iA mode..? Maybe switch to program and experiment with sharpness/contrast/noise reduction settings...
Some Panny user's have expressed issues of noise,some of colour accuracy- but rarely lack of sharpness...
Maybe post an image here so we can have a look..?
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Old Dec 30, 2012, 6:13 AM   #6
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i had th zs15 and was verry satisfied. after about a year I was lured by various reviews that canon 260 is better and got myself one..
Which I passed to my wife after 3-4 months.
For a "traveller compact camera" it was slower to use(slower and more complicated autofocus,slower ready-for-next shoot, longer-2 sec- review minimum time ), somehow softer -less detailed picture, although the canon has warmer and more pleasant colours, a thing that may be correctd on after-editing. a month ago I bought the ZS20 and i am happy again..:-). this is a personal view, not related to all technical aspects..but mainly to the ones I use more and is important to me for such use..for more precise and planned photo results, I use an DSLR ..:-)
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Old Jan 6, 2013, 8:35 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bats View Post
Thank you SIMON40 and pcake. I actually went and got the TZ30 based on web reviews and I hope I don't regret the purchase. SO far its been taking good pictures but somehow I feel that the IQ lacks that sharpness that make images jump out at you. You know that nagging feeling that something is missing in the photos, of not being quite satisfied and left hankering for more. I may just return it and go for something else but what that something else is I don't know. All I know now after using the panny for a few days is that.

1. it is pocketable
2. Great zoom
3. Battery not so great
4. I like the menu
5. HDR is good, natural colors
6. Soft photos, lack sharpness
7. GPS is ok

Ideally I want a camera that has a good zoom and is pocketable with good IQ. The panny meets all my needs bar the IQ. Any suggestions?
Hi,

As they cram more megapixels and more zoom into the same size sensor, the image quality of these cameras is often a bit worse.

I was deciding between the sx230 and zs15 (the sx260 and zs20 were clearly worse for IQ). I bought the zs15 and returned it right away as the IQ was worse than my 2 year old canon sx130.

I wanted better IQ and the above mentioned were the best you can buy in this class if you want more than 5x zoom.

So I realized that I needed to save up and buy a camera from a better class of cameras - those with a larger sensor.

The Nikon P7700 has 7.1x zoom and significantly better image quality than the zs15. Last I saw it was on sale for $400.
There is no way to get more zoom on a point in shoot and have it be better quality than this camera.
With regards to the IQ, this camera stands closer to a DSLR than it does to a P & S like the sz15 (but still not as good as a DSLR). Plus it can be fully automatic or fully manual with an awesome set of controls at your fingertips.

BUT, if you ware planning on putting it in a pocket, it will have to be a loose jacket pocket - it is not very small. That being said, people who are semi-serious about getting a good camera won't stick it in any pocket because the pocket lint may ruin the camera (most will get a belt bag or something like it).

It is a bit pricey, but as I learned, you will NOT get better image quality than say the sx230 or zs15 (which are not too impressive) without spending the extra money if you want more than 5x zoom. Those cameras are just not made anymore, and if you get an older camera you will find that perhaps the IQ is better, but they will lack many standard features of today's cameras (zooming during video, HD quality, etc...)

Again, if you want better image quality and more than 4-5x zoom, check out the P7700.

Good Luck,
Juggernaut
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