Budget (£150) Camera to replace FS30

Discussion in 'Photography Forums' started by Shrimply, Aug 22, 2012.

  1. Shrimply

    Shrimply
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    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
     
  2. Seymour Butts

    Seymour Butts
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    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.
     
  3. Shrimply

    Shrimply
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    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:
     
  4. Shrimply

    Shrimply
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    Any thoughts? A little bit of guidance would be much appreciated.
     
  5. Shrimply

    Shrimply
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    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
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2012
  6. Timmer49

    Timmer49
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    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.
     
  7. Shrimply

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    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....
     
  8. Timmer49

    Timmer49
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    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.
     
  9. Timmer49

    Timmer49
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    Actually reading user reviews on CNet has put me off the TZ20 completely.

    Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ20 User Reviews | Compact Digital Cameras | CNET UK

    Some Amazon user reviews back this up. The conclusion seems to be this "Impressive set of features but shockingly poor image quality in low light". Low light is very important to me so this is off my radar for sure.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2012
  10. Shrimply

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    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
     
  11. Goody

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    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.
     
  12. Shrimply

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    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.
     
  13. Timmer49

    Timmer49
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    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.
     
  14. Shrimply

    Shrimply
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    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
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2012
  15. Timmer49

    Timmer49
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    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.
     
  16. Shrimply

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    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 :)
     
  17. Timmer49

    Timmer49
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    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.
     
  18. Shrimply

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    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
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2012
  19. Timmer49

    Timmer49
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    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 ;)
     
  20. Timmer49

    Timmer49
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    Done. Just got the sx220 for £110. I don't need GPS. The price was the decision maker for me.
     
  21. Shrimply

    Shrimply
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    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.
     
  22. Timmer49

    Timmer49
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    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.
     
  23. Timmer49

    Timmer49
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    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.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2012
  24. Shrimply

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    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.
     
  25. Timmer49

    Timmer49
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    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.
     
  26. Shrimply

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    Thanks, glad to hear the night scene mode works well, mine arrived this morning ( It's a Japan one) but is still in the box until I make up my mind. I'll probably end up keeping it because I don't really know what I'd get instead....

    Sounds like it will be a bigger up grade for me than yours was so hopefully I'll be more impressed with the results.

    If you find a decent priced hard case that fits it please let me know, I think its a tricky size in general to get cases for.
     
  27. Timmer49

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    I bought a hard case off Amazon for about £5. Expecting delivery end of this week or early next.

    I must confess if I could get the S8200 for the same price I'd be tempted to try it and compare build quality. It's a shame as I once owned a Canon before (ixus v3) and it was much better build quality than this. Canon seem to have declined since then.
     
  28. Timmer49

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    One thing that was bugging me was photos seemed quite grainy. I had convinced myself that this was just my lack of ability and once I learnt how to use it properly it would be fine. So I started Googling to try and get some tips on how to take better photos. It turns out it might not be me and it's the camera afterall.

    Disappointed SX230 HS Owner - Steve's Digicams Forums

    People in that forum seem to suggest that Canon have gone downhill which is what I suggested earlier. I have to say that my Ixus V3 was a lot more impressive at the time than this sx220 is now. I remember being amazed when I got my v3 at how such a small camera could such good photos for a point and shoot. I definitely don't get that same amazement with the sx220. In fact I'd say I'm very ambivalent about the sx220.

    The more I test this camera, the more I am tempted to look elsewhere to be honest. The S8200 is calling me.

    Also, when I turn the camera upside down I can hear something moving. I haven't pinpointed what it is. I suspect it might be the awful quality lens cover. I know I've already mentioned it but it's that bad it is worth mentioning again. Shoddy quality.

    Edit: I should also point out that my previous comments on image quality were viewing the pictures I had taken on the camera screen. I was quite impressed at how bright the low light photos were. However, this afternoon I've had the chance to look at those photos on a screen and they are quite grainy and not very impressive at all. They almost seem a bit blurry. Certainly don't seem as sharp as my old Lumix even if they are brighter.

    It's a really tough one. On the one hand, I got it at a great price. On the other, it feels like a cheap camera that wasn't worth any more than I paid for it. Maybe less. I can't believe there isn't better out there at this price. There is no way that lens cover is lasting long.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2012
  29. shotokan101

    shotokan101
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    ...so it's got a flimsy lens cover then ? :devil:
     
  30. Timmer49

    Timmer49
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    Lol. I know I've gone on about it. I just surprised how flimsy it is when I compare it to previous cameras I've owned.

    I won't mention it again.
     

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