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Old 01-06-2013, 03:56 PM   #16
havoc315
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Quote:
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.

http://snapsort.com/compare/Canon-SX...Panasonic-ZS20

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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Old 01-06-2013, 04:14 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crew-JTA
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?
Hey Crew-JTA, I've researched both cameras, so I hope I can help. First of all, I don't thing you would go wrong with either camera. If I remember correctly, the canons low light quality was better than the Panasonic's, but the ZS20 has better and faster focus for indoor use. The SX260 gets better reviews overall, but they both rate well. Some advantages of the ZS20 is the auto AI is considered one of the best around. Even though some consider the touch screen as a gimmick, I though it was nice and actually very useful (much more than I thought). I also believe it is more responsive, and may get a slight edge for video speed and quality.

My suggestion is try them out at a big box store and see which one fells better to you. For myself I would probably give a slight edge to the Canon, but for my brother the Panasonic was the better choice. Again, I don't think you would go wrong with either. I've seen the SX260 advertised for $199 lately and I believe the ZS20 is just under $250 on Amazon. You also may want to look at the Pan zs15 for just over $150. It is 16x and also lacks the GPS and touchscreen, but photo quality was rated slightly higher.

I don't have any of my research notes handy now, but if you have any questions just ask and I'll take a look.

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Old 01-06-2013, 04:39 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by photo_chick

It is hard to tell sometimes what people mean in text. when we have no intonation or body language things don't always come across.

Yeah, what I got from your post was a message that said "don't buy super zooms because they will have camera shake problems that cause blurry photos."

That zoom can make things a little more challenging, especially if you don't know why you're having problems. And not just with super zooms, but with a telephoto zoom on a DSLR as well.
I agree! My intention was never "don't buy a super zoom", I just wanted them to know some of the potential cons. I've never been a big fan of emoticons, but they can come in handy in a discussion thread.

I think I also misread your response as an attack on me. I do agree that a better understanding of photography helps, but sadly a lot of shooters are lacking. I know you mentioned that flash in dark rides is one of your pet peeves, which I agree with, but I think most of it is because people are shooting in auto and have no idea how to turn the flash off.

The fact that the notification ding for your post woke me up and I couldn't fall back asleep also didn't help.

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Old 01-07-2013, 12:00 AM   #19
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Wow! You guys are awesome! Havoc315, Mikegood2, and photo_chick, you have all given me some homework. I'm generally a point and shoot kind of girl, but the more I research the more likely I think I'll be to actually use the features I'm looking for. Thanks again for your help. Off to do a little more digging before bed!
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Old 01-07-2013, 01:04 AM   #20
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The fact that the notification ding for your post woke me up and I couldn't fall back asleep also didn't help.

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Oh no! I had to make my husband turn off his notifications at night. They kept waking me up.
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:56 AM   #21
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We picked up the Panasonic Lx5 just before Christmas for $249. The price seems to jump around quite a bit. So far we are very pleased with it as a backup to our DSLR.
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Old 01-07-2013, 12:18 PM   #22
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I bought my dad the Nikon S9300 for Christmas. So far it is nice. I played with a few in the store, including the Canon SX260, a Fuji and an Olympus. Of those, I liked the SX260 and the S9300 for dad. Ended up with with the Nikon partly due to color(they ran out of black in the Canon, fuschia and teal just didn't cut it) and I thought the Nikon handled a touch better. He doesn't really need the 'superzoom' and in hindsight and with more time I may have looked at other models but nothing really stuck out to me in the cheaper p&s's and I waited too long to start looking.
For myself I bought a refurbed Nikon P310. I was looking at the Canon S100 but it was quite a bit more $$. I ran across some photos taken with the P310 and bought it on a whim for $150. It is really good in lowlight and has a wider angle lens(for hiking landscapes) than my little Canon p&s. I am very happy with it.
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Old 01-07-2013, 01:16 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by My2Girls66
I bought my dad the Nikon S9300 for Christmas. So far it is nice. I played with a few in the store, including the Canon SX260, a Fuji and an Olympus. Of those, I liked the SX260 and the S9300 for dad. Ended up with with the Nikon partly due to color(they ran out of black in the Canon, fuschia and teal just didn't cut it) and I thought the Nikon handled a touch better. He doesn't really need the 'superzoom' and in hindsight and with more time I may have looked at other models but nothing really stuck out to me in the cheaper p&s's and I waited too long to start looking.
For myself I bought a refurbed Nikon P310. I was looking at the Canon S100 but it was quite a bit more $$. I ran across some photos taken with the P310 and bought it on a whim for $150. It is really good in lowlight and has a wider angle lens(for hiking landscapes) than my little Canon p&s. I am very happy with it.
That's pretty much the same setup, only newer, that we took to WDW in June 2011 and were very happy with the results. My brother had the S9100, which he has always liked, but the zoom has been acting up for awhile and got him the Panasonic zs20 to replace it. Even though the Nikon super zooms don't get very good reviews, they are very nice cameras. It does appear, at least in the past, that the zoom is more susceptible to issues over time though. Just something for you dad to keep an eye out for.

I borrowed my dads Nikon p300 and still use it 'til this day on occasion. I was looking at the canon s100 at the time, but borrowing his camera worked out much better and cheaper I think you will be very happy with your purchase, it may not be quite as nice as the s100, but they are very comparable and the you can't beat the price you got it for. The image quality is nice and was also very happy with the video. The only thing I wish it had was a RAW mode.

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Old 01-07-2013, 01:40 PM   #24
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That's pretty much the same setup, only newer, that we took to WDW in June 2011 and were very happy with the results. My brother had the S9100, which he has always liked, but the zoom has been acting up for awhile and got him the Panasonic zs20 to replace it. Even though the Nikon super zooms don't get very good reviews, they are very nice cameras. It does appear, at least in the past, that the zoom is more susceptible to issues over time though. Just something for you dad to keep an eye out for.

I borrowed my dads Nikon p300 and still use it 'til this day on occasion. I was looking at the canon s100 at the time, but borrowing his camera worked out much better and cheaper I think you will be very happy with your purchase, it may not be quite as nice as the s100, but they are very comparable and the you can't beat the price you got it for. The image quality is nice and was also very happy with the video. The only thing I wish it had was a RAW mode.

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I have had many p&s's and have never disliked the photo quality of any of them. Even so, I stress about buying them for fear it wont be any good. I tend to over think/research. Shutter lag was the biggest complaint of the older ones, not really an issue now. I am really enjoying the P310. I bought it and took it to France to visit my DD. It did well handheld at night for the lights and indoor in the museums, my DD has a cheap Coolpix and my old D50 but I ended up leaving the P310 with her. She loves it! I bought another one for myself.
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Old 01-07-2013, 05:11 PM   #25
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You can also check out the Canon HS320. I took my newly bought HS320 from Costco for $200 along with my Canon 60D DSLR this past Christmas/New year trip. I think I only took the DSLR out twice duing our 12 days trip. The HS320 has decent overall quality and low light performance is not bad.
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