Circa £250 Compact - Choices

ChristianBeccy

Active Member
I reckon I'm going to buy a camera tomorrow, luckily for me, Warehouse Express is about 2 miles from me and I'm sure that the cameras they aren't quite where I'd like them to be pricewise, could be subject to a bit of haggling. :rotfl:

We're off to the Red Sea in a couple of weeks and to the Maldives later in the year, so I want this for general holiday snapping and underwater use. I'll mainly be snorkelling and shallow diving. I will be taking the DSLR, but obviousy its impractical for most days out.

Main criteria :-

Second camera to my Canon EOS 400D, which I don't want to carry everywhere.
Pocketable
Versatile (I'll be using it for a bit of everything)
Waterproof housing available
Good spec - It isn't entirely inconceivable that this compact may render my DSLR redundant and therefore for sale, who knows?

Choices :-

Panasonic DMC-TZ8 - Good spec, Super Zoom, lots of nice features. Some say Panasonics lack quality? The cheapest of the bunch at around £250.

Pansonic DMC-LX3 - Better sensor than the TZ8, but far less Zoom. Stretching the budget for sure.

Canon S90 - Comparable to the LX3. Again, more than I had wanted to spend.

I've not had any of these in my hand yet, maybe none of these are truly pocket sized?

Do I choose the better sensor over super-zoom? I don't particularly need long zoom more than anyone else, I don't think, but at the level I'm looking at, could I distinguish the difference between the sensor in the TZ8 and the LX3 for example? Or is this really splitting hairs for a relative 'newbie'??

So, can I have your votes please? I'm the worlds worst decision maker and I truly hate myself for it. I'm sure for circa £250, whatever I choose will be a great camera. :clap:

:lease:
 
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denno75uk

Well-known Member
Don't know if you've read the threads that mention the Fuji F200 EXR, but I thought it may be worth throwing it into the mix. It can retail/has retailed for around the £250 mark, but amazon currently have it for £149. Even WE are doing it for £154 at the mo. It gets excellent reviews and seems to fit your criteria. Plus, WE have the underwater housing for it which apparently makes it useable to depths of 40m. Camera and housing could be had for the price of an S90 or LX3.
F200 EXR
Underwater housing for F200 EXR
 

cedmondson

Well-known Member
Can't really comment on the relative merits of the cameras you've shortlisted as i haven't made the comparisons myself.
However, I've just bought (Friday) a Canon S90 as a secondary camera to my DSLR and I'm impressed. It certainly isn't going to replace my 5D Mark II but it'll go places that the DSLR won't.
Early days but some shots last night under pretty challenging light conditions exceeded expectations - and being RAW could be tuned a little in Lightroom too.

If your trip takes you through an airport with a Dixons Tax Free they have it for £286 which is better than I'd seen elsewhere.
 

springtide

Distinguished Member
The Sony TX5 is due out soon, but about £280 I think. Basically a TX1 in a waterproof/shockproof/dustproof case. Exmoor R (backlite) sensor and one of the first range of Sony compacts to take SD card (at last!)

But only waterproof to 3m - which may or may not be enough for your usage.

Manual controls will most probably be lacking being a Sony compact.
 

ChristianBeccy

Active Member
Well, I went to Warehouse Express yesterday fully expecting to walk out with a Camera and Underwater housing, but came out empty-handed!!

The guy in there suggested that, for the moderately trained eye, the difference in sensors would be barely noticeable and that the overall net worth of the Super Zoom would probably outweigh it.

That said, the impending release of the TZ8 prevented me from buying the TZ7 that was sitting there beckoning me!!

Against the judgement of many on here that have suggested the S90, I have a feeling that I will wait for the TZ8, hoping it comes into stock before my departure on the 23rd March. As was said above, I could sit tight and see what the offerings are in duty-free, but I can't help thinking that one of the online retailers may well be better priced than the Dixons duty free price?

I've seen reference to the TZ8 for around the £250 mark. :smashin:
 

riverboat2001

Active Member
What did you go for in the end, i'm thinking along the same lines as you but the Canon is £100 more that the TZ8
 

Johnmcl7

Distinguished Member
The guy in there suggested that, for the moderately trained eye, the difference in sensors would be barely noticeable and that the overall net worth of the Super Zoom would probably outweigh it.

You have to remember though that it's not just the sensor, the bright lens on the LX3/S90 can let in twice as much light as the superzooms which is going to be a noticeable difference in low light as it effectively means that they can shoot at iso 200 while the superzooms will be going past iso 400 where they suffer badly from noise which even to the untrained eye is going to be painfully obvious. At the same time particularly on the LX3 while gaining on the low light side you do lose out on the zoom range.

That said, the impending release of the TZ8 prevented me from buying the TZ7 that was sitting there beckoning me!!

Against the judgement of many on here that have suggested the S90, I have a feeling that I will wait for the TZ8, hoping it comes into stock before my departure on the 23rd March. As was said above, I could sit tight and see what the offerings are in duty-free, but I can't help thinking that one of the online retailers may well be better priced than the Dixons duty free price?

I've seen reference to the TZ8 for around the £250 mark. :smashin:

I'd take the TZ7 over the TZ8 as the older model has a better screen and movie capability.

Edit: Just noticed this is an older thread that's been bumped...

John
 
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