Budget (£150) Camera to replace FS30

Shrimply

Standard Member
Hi guys,

I know you get loads of post like this, but hoping you will help anyway because my head is beggining to hurt.

MY Panasonic DMC-FS30 recently had an accident and needs replaced. Now I'm no expert, obviously, I love playing about with tech and trying to get the best pictures etc, but basically I just want something which can take decent photos in most situations.

Now I loved the FS30, its outdoor shots were, to me great, but I was always disappointed with the indoor quality shots. But I understand that you can't expect perfect quality indoors, but having not had much experiences with other cameras its hard to know how much to expect for the amount I'm paying. The other things I liked about the FS30 was its impressive macrozoom function.

Anyway I was looking at teh TZ18 or TZ20, I can get the TZ20 for £150 at the minute and reading about its features I was happy to order it till I read worrying reviews about image quality. But as I said its hard to judge how important these are, I mean can it be worse than my FS30?

Anyway I'd love opinions of the best option in my price range, and I'll add a few example shots later if it helps but photobucket isn't letting me login right now
 
Are you only looking at a pocket or bridge cameras? Have you any intention to go with a DSLR as your options would likely be far better served, but if funds are an issue, then maybe an all-in-one solution will best for you, but don't think you're going to get top-notch images from the likes of a Panasonic pocket or bridge camera (I cut my teeth with the DMC-FZ3). Might be worth considering moving on to a 'more serious' option.
 

Shrimply

Standard Member
Thanks, sorry should of said, I think I really just want another pocket camera like my FS30.

Don't get me wrong, you are totally right that a more advanced option would probably serve me much better, and I'd have great fun with one. I mean if I had the money I'd love to get into photography more seriously.

But I think i'd rather get a more expensive pocket camera than a cheaper bridge camera. Portability is also important, its nice just to have the camera there when you need it.

To sum up, I think I'd rather wait till I have the money to spend on more expensive options, then scrip and cut corners to get there now.

Plus given that I have a tendency to drop them out the window trying to get a night-time shot in the middle of the night I don't think it would be wise to spend too much :facepalm:
 

Shrimply

Standard Member
Hmm, this isn't looking very hopeful for advice :/ maybe I'm asking a stupid question.

Anyway as promised some example shots of what my old camera could do

https://skydrive.live.com/redir?resid=970E6A58E97A09CF!126&authkey=!ABW4_FgzPLT-T0s

I've included a low light one to show its faults in low light, which I'm like to improve on if possible. You really need to "view original" to see the images correctly

MY own research suggests the Canon PowerShot SX220HS might be an option,
Canon PowerShot SX220 HS in Grey - 5046B008AA - Digital Compact Cameras - Jessops

But it would mean a lot to here the thoughts of more experienced people
 
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Timmer49

Banned
I'm in the same boat. Looking for a new compact at up to £150. One on my short list you might want to look at is the Nikon S8200. It has a night scene mode where it takes multiple pictures at a high shutter speed and by putting them together creates a brighter picture than a slow shutter picture. Not sure how it works but the samples I've seen look quite impressive.
 

Shrimply

Standard Member
Thanks, had a look at the one you suggested but don't think its likely to get my attention over the sx230 or the TZ20. Reviews aren't all that great and frankly most Nikon compacts I've seen are pretty ugly lol.

I'm kinda heading towards the sx230 ( though should really buy it today cause Currys are offering an extra 5% off). But I've just been reading that although it performs well in low light it doesn't in auto mode.

I swear its like going round in circles....
 

Timmer49

Banned
Be careful with some of the Canon reviews though in particular the one on photographyblog. That site is very pro Canon and the review even suggests this as it glosses over some of the downfalls of the sx230 such as purple fringing (their sample photos try and avoid showing it). The SX230 also has an appalling battery life. One real life user suggests they got through 4 batteries in one day. That's ridiculous to me. Other than that it looks good although some suggest the Nikon is better in poor light.

Personally, I don't care what a camera looks like.

Having said that I have now added the TZ20 to my short list as reviews do look good and I have previously had a Lumix that I was happy with. So thanks for that.

Let me know what you decide. I keep going round in circles too.
 

Shrimply

Standard Member
That is my problem exactly, which is why I more or less settled on the Canon, but having investigate Amazon.com ( Not UK where the sx230 is less common) the amount of reviews about low quality images are about the same.

And the Nikon gets a similar percentage of detrimental reviews
Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Nikon COOLPIX S8200 16.1 MP CMOS Digital Camera with 14x Optical Zoom NIKKOR ED Glass Lens and Full HD 1080p Video (Black)

What is becoming clear about the sx230 is it can take some really good shots, but you can't expect these on a "point and shoot" auto mode.

I'm on the verge of giving up completely, haha
 

Goody

Active Member
Don't forget Topcashback for an extra 1.51% at Currys! I went through Quidco to get the SX230 at Currys a couple of weeks ago as a present for my other half. I've always fancied the Canon S95 as a compact, but the SX230 was more suitable for my other half.

She has only taken a handful of photos with it at present and I have not seen the results on the computer, but on the camera screen, this high ISO shots looked really good. It's made me think that mt 450D may be due to be upgraded, seeing how sensor technology has improved in compacts.
 

Shrimply

Standard Member
I think I'm going to end up with the sx230, want to order it tonight so I get the extra 5% discount. Only think of real concern to me now is numerous reviews about a delicate lens cover which doesn't sound too clever.
 

Timmer49

Banned
I'm leaning towards the s8200. I can't find many of these bad reviews you mention and have found far more bad reviews of the sx230. I'm happy to be corrected though as I don't want to make a mistake. The one thing I do prefer about the sx230 is the speed of the autofocus when zooming during video recording. The s8200 takes a split second to adjust unlike the sx230. The s8200 seems far superior in low light conditions though from the samples I've seen and the really bad battery life of the sx230 puts me off. I tend to shoot a lot of video and apparently the sx230 battery only lasts 30 minutes when shooting video.

This is tough.
 

Shrimply

Standard Member
Haha, I'm good at finding negative reports

But here is one for you
Nikon Coolpix S8200 review | Expert Reviews

And another that isn't totally complementary

Nikon Coolpix S8200 Review - Watch CNET's Video Review

And Amazon.com, mainly complaints about built quality

Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Nikon COOLPIX S8200 16.1 MP CMOS Digital Camera with 14x Optical Zoom NIKKOR ED Glass Lens and Full HD 1080p Video (Black)

Not saying its correct, we all know there is a lot differences of opinion, I have to say though I haven't found any really bad professional reviews for either the TZ20 or the sx230. Its user reviews which list the defects.

But I'm well aware you could come back and give me an equally or more negative list for the sx230 because I've probably read them. However, looking into the negatives I'm not totally convinced, most of the samples I've seen from it are very impressive. Reviews talking about purple fringing etc don't seem to think its a big problem and I can hardly notice it on the images. My main worry is about the fragility of the lens cover.

I have actually just ordered an sx230, mainly so that I could get the discount, knowing I can return it unused within 7 days of receiving it if I change my mind. And am also able to get it out and see if I like the feel of it, but am not allowed to turn it on.

In contrast to you though I really have no intention of using video, and the cheapness of third party batteries for the canon ( under a fiver at 7dayshop) is also a positive.

I've also found this, regarding the sx230 which to me is very interesting
http://chdk.wikia.com/wiki/CHDK_in_Brief
http://chdk.wikia.com/wiki/Features
http://chdk.wikia.com/wiki/SX230
 
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Timmer49

Banned
I'm totally put off the s8200 now lol. I'm considering upping my budget as I don't think I'm going to get everything I want at current budget.
 

Shrimply

Standard Member
Sorry...

I was like that with my budget, but I don't think I can really afford or justify spending more. Plus the fact that this sort of technology goes out of date fast and I'm quite accident prone.

I got the sx230 for £162 if I decide to keep it, and I think i'm going to like it, the CHDK stuff looks really interesting and probably means I could really get into playing about with it and seeing what I can do.

Also I'm not totally convinced by people saying the battery is dismal, others say it isn't much less than you'd expect, especially if you turn the GPS off.

Anyway, if you come up with any other suggestions you can give me a heads up in the next few days :)
 

Timmer49

Banned
Let me know what the low light shots look like on it. I've just read it doesn't have HDR so I am put off it now. I was almost ready to go for it and put up with the dodgy battery life but no HDR crosses it off my list. I hated the low light performance of my old camera so I'm desperate for HDR mode on my new one.

I am going mad here now. I am leaning back towards the S8200 and taking the risk on build quality. The HDR mode on it makes a massive difference in sample shots I've seen. It's that or spend another £100 on the Sony HX20V which I like the look of a lot but can't justify the extra hit on the wallet. If I could afford it, I think I would get the HX20V without thinking any more about it. Sounds like a cracking little camera.
 

Shrimply

Standard Member
The sx230 has what they call "Handheld Night Scene composite mode" which I think, although I maybe wrong is the same as HDR, although I may be very wrong.

I think we both are looking for pretty much the exact same thing, I also investigated the song, its just a shame its previous models aren't readily available at the price drop of the manufacturers.

Here shows a good comparison

Canon PowerShot SX230 HS review: noise, SX230 HS vs Lumix TZ20 / ZS10 vs Cyber-shot HX9V | Cameralabs

Looking at the images at the bottom of this page might change your mind too, the canon is actually better than the Nikon S9100

http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/TRAVELZOOM/TRAVELZOOMA3.HTM
 
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Timmer49

Banned
The S8200 seems to be a vastly superior camera to the S9100 though.

From what I have read (which is now far too much), the battle between the SX230 and S8200 is this:

Pros of S8200:
1. Better low light performance. HDR mode making a significant difference.
2. Better battery life

Pros of SX230
1. Better image quality in good light conditions
2. Smoother video (e.g. quicker auto focus adjustment)

I can see this ending in my flipping a coin lol. As I said I hated the night shots from my old camera. They were so dark. I know all compacts suffer from this but I saw an image of street at night taken on the S8200 and SX230 and was blown away by how much brighter the S8200 was using HDR.

I am slightly tempted by the SX240 (GPS-less version of the SX260). I have no interest in GPS as, just like my phone, I turn off every battery sapping feature as battery life is far more important to me. It's still more money but has a newer image processor and other newer parts which narrow the gap slightly between night shots on the S8200. It is also has slightly better battery life than the SX230. I'm having a hard time justifying the extra cost though.

I wish I had more money to spend ;)
 

Shrimply

Standard Member
Mind if I ask where from, cheapest I could find it was £150, it was worth the extra for black and with GPS, but if its available that cheaply I could be swayed.

Currys haven't even dispatched mine yet lol.

Let me know how you find it.
 

Timmer49

Banned
Off EBay. It's manufacturer refurbished with full 12 month manufacturer warranty. I did the same with my tablet pc and what I got was as good as brand new. Almost a third cheaper so an easy decision for me.
 

Timmer49

Banned
Have Curry's delivered yours?

I've got a few first impressions of my sx220:

1. The macro mode is poor. 5cm focus is a lot longer than my previous camera. I'm rather disappointed with the macro on this.
2. It does feel like the lens cover won't last long. Not the best build quality on that one. Other than that the rest of the camera is well built. I'll definitely have to get a hard case for it to try and protect that lens cover though.
3. Picture quality is good but low light isn't fantastic. Perhaps I was hoping for a little too much in such a small compact. The S8200 sample shots on review sites looked better though.
4. Video quality is great although the re-focusing during zooming doesn't seem as quick as some other samples I've seen. This might be due to the fact the samples on the net are mostly on bright sunny days whereas I tested in lower light.
5. Battery life is shocking. I can see myself having to carry not 1 but 2 spares with me. I never even needed one spare with my old camera.

Overall I'm happy with it but there are just a few niggles that stop me loving it. For the price I paid though I can't grumble.

To anyone with a bit more money though I'd go for the sx240/260 as this model has better image stabilisation and better battery life (although it would have to be significantly better to make much difference). The IS on the sx220 is good but I feel my old camera had better IS than this one. It's most noticeable at full zoom.
 
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Shrimply

Standard Member
Haha no, but then good service isn't something I expect from the DSG group. Interesting to hear your views, still not decided if I'm gonna keep the camera yet. If you were only just happy at paying £110 I'm not sure how happy I'll be at £162 haha.

We shall see, out of interest what was your previous camera. I don't think you've said, if you have I aplogise.
 

Timmer49

Banned
It was a Lumix TZ something. I can't remember the exact model now.

I've decided to keep mine. I'm convinced that lens cover is going to break at some point though. I'll be honest and say I wouldn't be keeping it if I'd paid 162. Make sure the one you get says made in Japan. Apparently the ones made in China are even worse build quality.

If you are keeping it a hard case is an absolute must.

Now I've found the handheld night scene mode the low light shots are a lot better. Don't even need the flash now in a lot of circumstances where I would have done with my old camera. I hate the scroll wheel to the side of the screen though. Would have preferred buttons for navigating menus.

Overall its growing on me but I feel like ill have to wrap it in cotton wool.
 

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