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Old 07-09-2012, 10:22 AM   #15
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Re: the optics: this has to be examined per CAMERA, rather than just per brand, because for some cameras (including the one in question) Panasonic is using Leica lenses. There are a couple of Panasonic models that are actually rebranded Leica cameras all the way through.
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Old 07-09-2012, 10:48 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by ROBERTSUNRUS View Post
Hi, without all of the details, which can be mind boggling, I have three possibilities. First off, I'm looking for a super zoom pocket camera. [20X optical zoom] my old Canon has 4X zoom. Does anyone here have any experiences with these or other recommendations. My old Canon uses AA batteries and the new cameras use rechargeable batteries and have reports of short life.

I'm looking at Canon, Panasonic, and Sony.

Canon SX 260 12.1 MP 20X optical zoom.

Panasonic Lumix ZS20 14.1 MP 20X optical zoom.

Sony Cybershot DSC HX30 V 18.1 MP 20X optical zoom.
I don't have experience with those specific cameras, though I do have experience with two of Canon's products, both of which I like. I carry two, older cameras, an old Canon Powershot 550, which is very small, about the size of a pack of cigarettes, and fits nicely in it's case on my belt; I also carry a older Canon 5D, with a couple of extra lenses, etc. The 5D takes beautiful pictures (at least it has that capability, if the operator points it in the right direction) is a full-frame DSLR that's much larger and heavier, and tends not to join me on hikes of any real distance. The little Powershot can go everywhere without nuisance. We tend to use the little camera to take "snapshots", pictures of each of us to document our adventures. One of the features that I really like on the little camera (besides its portability) is that in addition to the LCD screen, it also has a viewfinder. While there's considerable parallax, the viewfinder comes in very handy when bright sunlight makes the LCD difficult to see. I suspect that later generations of this camera may have retained that feature.

As far as a review of the more technical aspects of the three cameras that you mention, they should be widely available online, or in photography magazines.
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Old 07-09-2012, 11:25 AM   #17
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These guys have really high quality reviews. They test everything. Steve's Digicams is ok but not near as good from a technical standpoint.

Reviews / Previews: Digital Photography Review

Optics is part of it, noise level is another part of i and then it comes down to low light performance and speed. Many point and shoot pocket cameras are really crappy for action and low light for anything more than a snap shot. Megapixels don't mean a thing. Anything over about 6 is just wasting storage space for most purposes. For some reason there is this more megapixels is better mentality.

Perry
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Old 07-09-2012, 11:54 AM   #18
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These guys have really high quality reviews. They test everything. Steve's Digicams is ok but not near as good from a technical standpoint.

Reviews / Previews: Digital Photography Review

Optics is part of it, noise level is another part of i and then it comes down to low light performance and speed. Many point and shoot pocket cameras are really crappy for action and low light for anything more than a snap shot. Megapixels don't mean a thing. Anything over about 6 is just wasting storage space for most purposes. For some reason there is this more megapixels is better mentality.

Perry
I always opt for more megapixels so I can make the entire front of our house a mural of one photograph. I am waiting for 10,000mp to be available, so, I can do a 10 acre plot of land showing my face to outer space. No wait, let's make it my butt. That will deter any potential ET Alien invasions.

Ken
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Old 07-09-2012, 12:12 PM   #19
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If you can identify the type of photography you plan on doing the majority of the time, it will help you narrow down your options.

Choose which features you want in your new camera. Some cameras have a wider lens, appropriate for shooting landscapes, cityscapes, etc. Some have super telephoto lenses that allow you to zoom in and capture far away details. Some cameras have a 'fast' lens allowing you to shoot indoors without a lot of digital noise. Many point and shoot cameras have manual controls for those that don't want the camera to make decisions for them. There really isn't a point and shoot camera that does all these things, IMO.

There are MANY things to consider besides image quality. For example, I simply cannot use a camera without a decent optical viewfinder, it's a deal killer for me. So, for my 'walk around' camera I chose a Fuji X100 with a fixed (equiv) 35mm lens. It is lightweight, has excellent image quality, I can shoot 'RAW' and I'm very happy. Many would NOT enjoy his camera. You have to compromise when choosing your equipment so just figure out what is most important and then choose a camera and get to making photos! :-)

Check out Digital Photography Review for reviews
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Old 07-09-2012, 12:18 PM   #20
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my 2 I have the Nikon coolpix S1000pj. wide 5x zoom, 2.7 lcd and built in PROJECTOR, yes, projector out to 10 feet. Good to show pix to groups instead of passing the camera around.
Fits in pocket and the lens does not protrude to focus. size about 3x5x.75
Takes good action pix, night time, closeup and portrait.
CON takes time to change modes
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Old 07-09-2012, 12:20 PM   #21
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oops: I forgot, it takes movies with sound also
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Old 07-09-2012, 12:25 PM   #22
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Robertsunus,

In my earlier response, I meant to comment on batteries, but I forgot. That happened to me once before, forgetting, but I don't remember when it was.

Both of the older cameras that I mentioned use rechargeable batteries that I recharge before outings, and I've never had a problem with them. I do carry a backup, but I don't recall ever needing to change out in the field (there's that forgetting thing again). And I shoot mainly in manual mode and a lot of daylight flash with my little camera because my emphasis is our faces in a particular outdoor setting.

I don't know where you stand as a photographer, but Ken Rockwell has an interesting guide to help you calibrate where you fit. You can find a lot of information on his website at kenrockwell.com, including specific camera recommendations for particular purposes. Here's the link to his guide on where you might lie on the photographer scale. Seven Levels of Photographers 2005 KenRockwell.com

You may find his insights helpful. Often times there's a tendency (for me) to become overly obsessed with arcane technical details, while sometimes forgetting the intended pupose of the camera (or anything), and the important "feel" and ease of use.
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Old 07-09-2012, 01:34 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by DKB_SATX View Post
Re: the optics: this has to be examined per CAMERA, rather than just per brand, because for some cameras (including the one in question) Panasonic is using Leica lenses. There are a couple of Panasonic models that are actually rebranded Leica cameras all the way through.
I'm a Leica owner (M7) and believe it's the other way around - the Leica cameras & lenses referred to are in fact made by Panasonic. You have to move up the price scale a lot to get actual leica made bodies & lenses.

John S.
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Old 07-09-2012, 01:55 PM   #24
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I'm a Leica owner (M7) and believe it's the other way around - the Leica cameras & lenses referred to are in fact made by Panasonic. You have to move up the price scale a lot to get actual leica made bodies & lenses.

John S.
Thanks for posting John. I remember a few years ago, Leica was re-branding Minolta point & shoots.

Of course, since then Minolta has dropped out of the camera business entirely. In that vein, Sony bought Minolta's DSLR so the Sony Alpha DSLRs will take Minolta lenses. In case anybody is interested.
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Old 07-09-2012, 02:25 PM   #25
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I'm a Leica owner (M7) and believe it's the other way around - the Leica cameras & lenses referred to are in fact made by Panasonic. You have to move up the price scale a lot to get actual leica made bodies & lenses.

John S.
Well, that makes sense from the price points. Is Leica at least contributing design expertise? Or just rebranding cheaper cameras for more volume?
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Old 07-09-2012, 02:33 PM   #26
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I prefer the Pentax "W" models. Takes HD movies and stills. Waterproof down to 40', crushproof and fits in your shirtpocket. A real rugged camera.
Ditto this. Pentax seems to be an oft overlooked brand.
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Old 07-09-2012, 03:42 PM   #27
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Well, that makes sense from the price points. Is Leica at least contributing design expertise? Or just rebranding cheaper cameras for more volume?
I believe Leica is just "tweaking" the similar Panasonic model to be able to claim a difference, but the guts of the cameras, including the lenses, are similar between Leica & Panasonic.

John S.
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Old 07-09-2012, 03:56 PM   #28
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I prefer cameras that use standard AA batteries for a point and shoot. The proprietary Lithium batteries are a rip off. They got you as soon as you need a spare battery or your old one dies. They are around $50 each for these. Most SLR type cameras have the, one of a kind, lithium batteries. It is a trade off. Anyone who has tried to take action photos with a point and shoot knows about the lag between shutter press and the photo being taken. Really small cameras are more prone to shake and have more noise issues.

Perry
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