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06/16/2010 10:27:29 AM · #1
Hi! I already have a DSLR (Canon 20D) but I want to get a smaller compact camera too to just keep in my purse or to take with me for times that I don't want to carry my heavy DSLR. I know that the smaller compact cameras will never be as good in low light conditions as the DSLRs but I've read that some are much better than others, so I'm trying to get the one that will do the best job. I'd also want one with a rechargable battery, Image Stab. & a decent zoom if possible. I've been looking at the Fujifilm Finepix F200EXR, Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3, & the Canon S90. So, I'd like some advice on deciding between these three OR if there's one that I've overlooked that would be better, I'd like to know about that one too. (I'm planning on selling the Panasonic DMC FZ20 that I currently have to get something smaller that will fit in my purse.) I need to go to work now but will check back in later. Thanks!! :)
06/16/2010 10:34:42 AM · #2
I was looking for one recently but settled on a not so small super zoom. It depends on the size of your purse as to whether it will fit.

Fuji HS10 - 30x optical zoom, 10fps up to 7 shots in high speed mode, shoots RAW though the format is not supported by LR or Aperture yet (too new so I suspect soon).

My HDR entry was done with this camera with jpeg images.

Oh, and the high ISO is pretty incredible for a small sensor camera.

One draw back, it uses AA batteries but the life of a charge is about 250-300 images.
06/16/2010 10:39:14 AM · #3
Yeah, I'm really looking for a smaller one. That one does sound nice though :)
06/16/2010 10:41:37 AM · #4
The S90 has good rep and ought to be a good choice. I've read up on it a little recently. The always opinionated Ken Rockwell speaks very highly of it. I looked at the S90 and the G11 in Fry's the other day, and I found the S90 to be a bit small for my preferences. I'm looking at getting a Powershot G11, which is not as slim and pocketable as the S90, but I like the more substantial feel and the amount of direct control it has.
06/16/2010 03:07:02 PM · #5
Ken Rockwell does seem to think really highly of the S90. His photos looked really nice that he took with it. I'm probably leaning towards that one a little more than the other two. It also supports RAW, which is nice. I wish it had a bigger zoom, but none of the three are really great in that area.
06/22/2010 03:49:02 PM · #6
I just went through this same research process in attempting to decide on a camera to purchase for my daughter\'s birthday. I was originally leaning toward the G11, but after getting input from my various photography groups, settled on the S90. A number of my pro contacts keep it as a backup to their expensive dSLRs, and some even use it instead of them on occasion. Good luck!
06/22/2010 04:27:49 PM · #7
All the hype about the S90's high ISO performance is ... wait for it.... ABSOLUTELY TRUE :).. The thing works well... I've shot street scenes at night successfully, I've done macro work with it, and get this... My current entry for "Point of Color" is taken with the S90...

I actually like it so much, I'm working on getting a G11 through the loyalty program, and once they're back in stock, I'll have one of each variety... My only complaint about the S90 is that the damn thing feels like a (admittedly dry) bar of soap... Not at all what I like in terms of handling.. On the up side, if I actually did carry it in a pocket, I'm sure I'd like the fact that it won't hang up on anything.. Oh and the pop-up flash is... well, I would have done that differently I think..
06/22/2010 05:33:23 PM · #8
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ5 has been a very nice shirt pocket alternative to the full kit. The controls are limited, but the lens is a nice Leica with good size and in burst mode is startlingly fast for a P&S. The anti shake technology is well done cause it can be hard holding these little things steady when you are used to the comfortable bulk of a SLR.

The s90 does look intriguing, though I wonder how robust the lens control rings will turn out to be, but it looks like it might be worth the extra hundred bucks for the larger sensor alone.
06/23/2010 03:03:51 PM · #9
I also just read about the new Samsung TL500. The aperture range on it's lens is F1.8 - F2.4. The F1.8 is very tempting. It is larger than the S90 though so wouldn't be as easy to just stick it in your pocket. I read a comparison by Dan Walther on another site. Here's what he wrote:

"I have both the S90 and the TL500 in hand, I purchased both and told the camera store that I would return one within 7 days. They were cool with that as long as each remain in "new" condition. This has allowed me to work with both and do a direct comparison of each camera's strengths and weaknesses.

I am hoping this write-up will help others make a more informed purchasing decision.

Pros for TL500:
- Wider angle (24mm vs 28mm)
- Slighter faster at wide end (F1.8 vs F2), although at 28mm they are both F2
- Much faster throughout zoom range
- Fantastic screen, a joy to behold
- Has an extra control dial for timer mode, continuous shooting, bracketing
- Screen can pop and for different angle shooting
- Requires review of image in playback mode to determine auto-ISO value chosen by camera
- Record video with a button press at any time
- Has more advanced face detection modes than S90, including favorite faces
- Cool mode that takes 2 pictures and combines them from great dynamic range
- Dedicated auto-exposure lock button AEL

Cons for TL500:
- Still a bit buggy, perhaps the latest firmware will handle remaining issues
- No orientation sensor
- Charger flaky and sometimes refuses to charge a battery that is not completely drained
- Costs extra to purchase an external charger (from the box must charge battery in camera)
- Function of wheel and front wheel not displayed, must "try it and see"
- Cannot delete a shot during auto-review, must switch to playback to delete

Pros for S90:
- Automatically rotates images that are taken vertically
- Has a slick auto-rotate during image review based on how you hold the camera
- MUCH smaller when actually holding the two or doing the "shirt pocket test". DPReview's information on the size of the TL500 is simply wrong, it is not smaller in any dimension than the S90
- Includes an external charger
- S90 has a programmable shortcut button in addition to dials
- Function of wheel and dial displayed at all times
- Displays auto-ISO value selected during half-press
- Two customizable shooting display choices, my menu customization, and custom shooting memory mode
- Can delete an image during the 2-second "review mode"

Cons for S90:
- Small is nice but this thing is tiny, some danger of dropping while handling
- Well-documented issue with the wheel on the back being too easy to move accidentally
- No dedicated button for video, must change shooting mode

Additional comparisons:
- The TL500 has a wheel and a ring on the front. The S90 has a wheel and a dial on the front. Both give a nice level of directed/manual control.
- Both have many options for customization, although Canon's software seems more well thought-through.
- Both cameras use the same sensor and so theoretically give similar results, in practice the JPEGs produced by the S90 are superior in noise reduction, sharpness, and color, when using each camera in the full-auto mode. I am sure RAW files could be processed to look identical.
- As far as pocket cameras go, it may seem minor but the S90's retracting lens that closes off automatically when turned off is much more convenient than the lens cap on the TL500 that must be removed and replaced constantly

Can you tell which one I chose? Hopefully I was pretty balanced, although I ended up choosing the S90. If I didn't already have a Nikon D80 for occasions when a larger camera was worth hauling around, I wouldn't have weighed the size and lens cap issues so heavily.

Anyhow hope this helps some folks
!"

Message edited by author 2010-06-23 15:04:57.
06/23/2010 05:25:50 PM · #10
Originally posted by pianomom:

I also just read about the new Samsung TL500. The aperture range on it's lens is F1.8 - F2.4. The F1.8 is very tempting. ...


It's not really a significant difference... In terms of shutter speed, f/1.8 vs. f/2.0 is equivalent to something like 1/10sec vs. 1/8sec... Not much difference really, certainly not nearly as important as form factor when choosing this type of camera.. I would like to know how the IS systems compared, as that's more significant than the min f-stop...
06/23/2010 06:47:19 PM · #11
Next time I get a carry-at-all-times P&S camera it will probably be something like the Canon D10 -- waterproof, shockproof, etc. ...
06/23/2010 10:16:53 PM · #12
good choice,i am looking for a smaller one
06/23/2010 10:37:36 PM · #13
I love having a water proof camera...
06/24/2010 09:29:36 AM · #14
Originally posted by coryboehne:

Originally posted by pianomom:

I also just read about the new Samsung TL500. The aperture range on it's lens is F1.8 - F2.4. The F1.8 is very tempting. ...


It's not really a significant difference... In terms of shutter speed, f/1.8 vs. f/2.0 is equivalent to something like 1/10sec vs. 1/8sec... Not much difference really, certainly not nearly as important as form factor when choosing this type of camera.. I would like to know how the IS systems compared, as that's more significant than the min f-stop...


The specs say that they both have Image stabilization, but I haven't read anything yet as to which one works better. On dpreview, they are both listed as "yes, lens".
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