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Old 01-06-2013, 03:56 PM   #16
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 4,276

Originally Posted by Crew-JTA View Post
I'm so glad I stumbled on this thread! I hope it's been as helpful to ThePinGuy as it has been for me. I have actually been trying to decide between the Canon sx260 and the Panasonic Lumix ZS20. I like them both, but I wonder which one has better results in low light. Does anyone have any experience or suggestions?
Judging by the specs, both should be pretty similar.


Someone else may be able to give you hands-on input.

Overall, superzooms are not going to be great in low light. They have small sensors, and usually slow lenses, which make them poor low light performed.

The only superzoom I know of, with decent low light performance, is the Panasonic FZ200 -- and that 's because it has a better lens at a much higher price. The sensor still isn't a good low light sensor, and I've still read you shouldn't go much over ISO of 400 or hit noise issues.

Compact cameras, and especially super zooms, are about compromise.
Bigger sensors bring better image quality, and much better low light performance.
But the way to get a big zoom at a low price, is to shrink that sensor down. (A tiny sensor can get big zoom results in a compact package). So the super zooms use tiny sensors, reducing the image quality, and greatly reducing the low light performance.

With something like the Lumix of the SX260 -- you may or may not find the compromise worthwhile. Depends on how discerning your eye is, what size prints you may make, and how challenging the lighting situations will be.
I promise you, you won't get a single decent dark ride picture at Disney World with any super zoom compact camera. On the other hand, in bright daylight, you may find the image quality perfectly acceptable.

So it's really, super zoom OR low light? You need to ask yourself which is a higher priority.
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