Free Shipping on ALL Products
camera reviewsbest cameraslens reviewsphotography tipscamera forumvideo toursphotography bookssupport me
It is currently Tue Oct 21, 2014 5:19 pm

All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 15 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2007 7:33 pm 
Hello All,

I'm looking to purchase a new digital camera. I'm mainly looking to use it on vacations, outdoor, indoor and some occasional cat shots (not much else left ey :lol:). I'm also looking for good image quality. Nothing professional, but something I can appreciate for a point and shoot camera. I came across the TZ3 first and it looks very nice. There are a couple things I'm unsure about though:

    -I've read that the image quality isn't the best. How that relates to me I'm unsure. I may think it's good, whereas a pro may find small deficiencies.

    -The 10x optical zoom sounds fantastic, but I'm not sure I'll need all of that power. Maybe I should look at a 3 to 6x zoom and get a slimmer camera?

    -I read in the full review that you can't zoom during video capture? I'm not sure that I'd absolutely need that feature, but it would be nice to have. Is zooming while capturing a movie absolutely impossible to do with the TZ3?


Now onto the G9. This is moderately more expensive, but has many features with manual controls. I'm sure I can read and learn about these controls, but I'm not sure that I'll need that much power in a camera. Also, can anyone confirm whether zooming is possible while capturing video with the G9?

I think I'll ultimately end up going with the TZ3. I just want to make sure I make the right choice and maybe spend more money if it'll be better in the long run.

Great site btw, I stumbled across it and I'm glad I did!


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2007 9:04 pm 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2005 3:32 pm
Posts: 9975
Location: Queenstown, New Zealand
Hi Dustinjd, welcome to the Cameralabs forums!

I think they're both great cameras, but are quite different propositions. The TZ3 is more of an automatic point and shoot, whereas the G9 is an enthusiasts camera with lots more controls. It depends what you're looking for really, but I'd really advise picking up both models in person and seeing which looks and feels best to you personally...

They are both very good though, so I don't think you'd be disappointed.

Gordon

PS - neither camera can optically zoom while filming videos - although few compacts can do this.


Last edited by Gordon Laing on Tue Oct 23, 2007 9:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2007 9:24 pm 
Yeah, welcome here! :)

I donĀ“t know much about the Lumix, but the G9 is perhaps a more interesting model. My best friend owns it, and me the G7.
I can assure you that even the G7 was able to zoom digitally while shooting movies.
Additionally it is astonishing how well the sound quality turns out in these movies.
Gordon said it already: you certainly have to try both in real to know which fits you better. Personally i suppose you to pay a bit more for the better :)

With point and shoot photography turns to boredom in a short time...

Good luck to the right decision!


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2007 3:52 pm 
Well I went to Best Buy over the weekend and looked at a bunch of cameras. One of the things I'm finding most important to me is to find a compact, point and shoot camera that allows zooming during movie mode.

I really like the Panasonic TZ3, but as mentioned by Gordon earlier, zooming during movie mode is not supported.

While at Best Buy I looked at a Canon Powershot SD870, but couldn't confirm zooming in movie mode because they couldn't get a memory card in it. Of all the cameras I looked at, I'm leaning most towards this. The only thing left to do is confirm movie zooming.

I was able to try a Kodak EasyShare Z812 and a Sony Cybershot T200 and they all supported movie zooming, but I need to do more research on the other features/quality of these cameras to see which is best. The Sony T200 is really nice and I even sorta liked the touch screen controls. The only thing I wasn't impressed with was the pictures/movies looked fuzzy on the LCD. That might have been some settings issues.


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2007 8:25 pm 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2005 3:32 pm
Posts: 9975
Location: Queenstown, New Zealand
Hi Dustin, the thing to watch out for is whether the camera is optically zooming or digitally zooming while filming.

Very few cameras allow you to optically zoom the lens while filming videos. Doing it digitally can reduce the quality, but at least you have the option.

As for the PowerShot SD870 (known as the Ixus 860IS elsewhere), I can confirm it does NOT zoom optically while filming, but it can zoom digitally.

Nice camera though...

Gordon


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2007 3:14 pm 
I might help here too since I've owned - almost - all three cameras you mention...I say almost, because I actually did not own the latest Powershot SD870 (aka Ixus 860IS in Oz), but rather the 6 megapixel Ixus640 that was just before. Nevertheless, I can tell you about my experience with the Canon Powershot Sd-series, as well as the Panasonic TZ3 (which I did own) and the Powershot G9 (which I do own now...don't ask...).

* The Powershot SD-series. Fantastic little camera. Canon image quality, sharp, well-exposed images, always. I believe that most (I'm not 100% sure on this) point & shoot cameras do not feature optical zooming, but rather digital zooming. I believe that the reason stated is that the noise from the motor driving the optical zoom would interfere with the sound being recorded. Thus, digital zooming...
However, I find that digital zooming when shooting movies in kind of alright, but in context of what you actually expect, I believe that you will not be satisfied with it (digital zooming). I think you probably want what digital video recorders do - that kind of zooming and quality - and you won't find that in digital point & shoot cameras.
Main advantage of the Canon SD870IS, compared to the other two you're looking at, would be its size. It's small, and probably the only one I would qualify as "pocketable". The TZ3 and the G9 are a bit bigger - not by that much -but nevertheless bigger enough so that they're in a size-class above.
* Panasonic TZ3: Great build quality, and obviously its main advantage is the 10x zoom. One other thing I liked about it is the 30sec night shooting option, if you want to take longer exposures at night. Both Canon models are limited at 15 sec, although I found that sufficient for most night shots. Another big advantage of the TZ3 - and I believe the SD as well, although I'm not 100% either on this one - is that it has a wide-angle zoom. So not only it's a 10x zoom, but it's also wide-angle. I found that a really, really useful feature - a feature that is actually missing on the G9 (as I said, not sure about the SD870IS).
* Powershot G9: This is what I own now. Its main advantage is that it's almost like a mini-SLR control-wise. Of course, I'm not talking about high-ISO noise capability here (more on that later) or lens inter-changeability (although you do have some options that the other two don't. See http://www.lensmateonline.com/newsite/G7.html). With the G9 you can control shutter priority, aperture priority and manual control, and control over the ISO in a very, very intuitive manner, in my opinion. This gives you creative control that the other two cameras can't even touch. It's also the best built one - built like a tank. However, it does not have the zoom-reach, nor the wide-angle, of the TZ3. It's also the heaviest, but I kinda like that, feels like you're getting your money's worth, especially since it's also the most $$! :wink:

In summary:

* All three cameras will give you great shots. All three have Image Stabilisation, and all three have a nice 3" screen.
* The SD is the smallest, the TZ3 has got the zoom and wide-angle, and the G9 has got the control features.
* All three cameras will give you - for all intents and purposes -the same graininess of pictures at high ISO. The thing with the G9 is that you can control that, so that it won't go above a certain ISO (say,200 ISO), whereas the other two will just choose whatever is necessary (i.e. 80 ISO)
to expose correctly (but with graininess, aka noise).

My conclusion:

* The only reason I would get the TZ3 is if wide-angle and 10x zoom would be paramount to me.
* The easiest to operate and carry around is the SD-series.
* The most complete is the G9. I figure that if I'm going to have a point-and shoot of that "bigger" size, then I might as well have the G9 over the TZ3 - unless, as I said, the TZ3's wide-angle and 10x zoom are important to you.
* Think carefully about the size. Imagine yourself on holiday, and think whether you might leave the TZ3 or G9 at home because you couldn't be bothered carrying a camera in your hand, when you'd rather have one in your pocket. I know that many times I felt like that on holiday, when I wanted to sigh-see absolutely unencumbered - less to have stolen, less to loose - and when my little Canon SD was just perfect because it would fit in my pocket. Yes, you can carry the TZ3 or the G9 in your pocket - in the same way that you can walk across fire if you really want - but I wouldn't. They are both cameras that, at best, live in a camera bag attached to your belt.
Please bear in mind that all I said is only my (opinionated) point of view. This is what I would do, so - as Gordon said -you must decide what's best for you.

Hope this helps a little!

PS: after all my ranting, it occurred to me that, maybe, you want "apples" and we're selling you "oranges!" (I like my metaphors...). Have you thought that, instead of a camera that does average video, you actually want a digital video recorder that does great video (and zoom!) and average pictures (some do have that capability, I believe. Up to a few Megapixels?...). Just a thought.

Cheers

A.


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2007 3:47 pm 
You guys are all incredibly helpful. I appreciate it.

So it has finally come down to the TZ3 and the SD870. The G9 is nice, but my wife-to-be is going to need to operate the camera too, so I want it to be easy to use as well. When I tried the SD870's zoom feature while capturing a movie, I saw the fuzziness that you guys were talking about with the digital zoom. I do like the portability and the interface of the SD870. But I also like that you can shoot widescreen movies with the TZ3. I wish someone would make a camera that would encompass features from both these cameras.

Might I add that choosing a digital camera is maddening! :lol:

I'm going to Best Buy one last time today to check these out and buy one. I'll let you know how it goes.


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2007 4:20 pm 
Offline
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2006 4:30 pm
Posts: 9823
Location: UK
dustinjd wrote:
Might I add that choosing a digital camera is maddening! :lol:

I hereby declare you an F.C.L. (Fellow of the CameraLabs Forum). :wink:

Bob.

_________________
Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8.
Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2007 6:10 pm 
One option not mentioned would be last year's Panasonic TZ1 (if you can find one). It does allow optical zoom during video, and also has a 10X optical zoom, but it starts at 35mm equivalent, rather then 28mm (TZ3). Also, the Panasonics have been criticised for not-so-great audio during video.

The TZ1 has a few other differences from the newer TZ3 that you'll want to investigate (don't remember them right now).

BTW, I find the TZ3 to be quite pocketable, even in jeans and shorts pockets, but maybe that is a difference of pants fit. The Canon SD series are certainly much smaller, but give up many features.


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2007 8:03 pm 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2005 3:32 pm
Posts: 9975
Location: Queenstown, New Zealand
Hi, I just wanted to clarify the Ixus 860IS / SD870 lens starts at an equivalent of 28mm, so both it and the TZ3 will give you the wide angle. But of course the TZ3 keeps zooming long after the Canon stops!

BTW, if you liked the timelapse feature of the G9, it's also there on the Ixus 860IS / SD870, although Panasonic has its widescreen movie mode which is really nice.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2007 2:43 pm 
I finally decided to get the TZ3. I like it a lot so far, there's much to learn about it yet. One thing that has me a little puzzled is taking pictures in moderate to low light areas. I'm sure it's probably a setting issue on the camera, but I've posted some example shots below. The first one is from a 2-3 year old somewhat cheap Olympus digital camera and the second shot is from the TZ3 (also it's in 16:9). I wanted to capture the natural sunlight coming in so I turned flash off and the other settings were set to Auto. To me it seems like the Olympus does a much better job of capturing the natural light, yet the picture quality is fuzzy/unclear. The TZ3 takes a much sharper image, but it seems like the scene is darker and has a gray cast on it. They were taken not but 5 mins apart from each other, so the lighting was the same. Any insight would be much appreciated.

Olympus
Image

Panasonic TZ3
Image


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2007 4:05 pm 
Offline
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2006 4:30 pm
Posts: 9823
Location: UK
.
Having looked at the EXIF data for the first one we have
  • Exposure Time (1 / Shutter Speed) = 10/25 second = 0.40000 second
  • Lens F-Number/F-Stop = 40/10 = F4.00
  • Exposure Program = normal program (2)
  • ISO Speed Ratings = 200
while for the second we have
  • Exposure Time (1 / Shutter Speed) = 10/80 second = 0.12500 second
  • Lens F-Number/F-Stop = 33/10 = F3.30
  • Exposure Program = normal program (2)
  • ISO Speed Ratings = 200
The exposure time for the second one is just 1/3rd of the first one while the aperture is less than one stop faster
so this appears to be a metering issue with the TZ3. No surprise there, I suppose. It's almost as though the
Panasonic was assuming the flash would fire and failed to compensate for the fact that it was off.

By the way, is the clock on the TZ3 set correctly? According to the EXIF data the shot was taken at 21:12 which,
at this time of year, is pretty late for a natural light shot taken indoors even if you are a long way south of the equator.

Bob.

_________________
Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8.
Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2007 9:28 pm 
Bob.... I'm simply amazed. :lol:

I took those shots at about 9:00am EST in Cleveland, Ohio. I thought the time was set correctly, I'll have to take another look.

Funny you should mention metering and exposure. I read the manual a bit since I took the pictures and was able to get more natural light in some of the shots by increasing the exposure. Also, it's interesting you mention that it was expecting the flash. Because on the TZ3's LCD screen the scene looked great. All of the natural sunlight was coming in and warming everything up. Then when I clicked the shot, I immediately saw the once natural looking scene went dark on the LCD, much like the picture.

One of these days I'll fully understand all of the detailed information you mentioned. How did you extract that info by the way?

*edit* Ah, it seems if I go into the image information in Paint Shop Pro there's an EXIF Data Tab. Now to read up on what all of this means!


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2007 11:44 pm 
Offline
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2006 4:30 pm
Posts: 9823
Location: UK
.
Well, I don't know that the Panasonic was expecting the flash: it just looks to me as though it was.

As for the EXIF data, as you mention there are a number of programs which will display it. If you use the Firefox browser then try the Exif Viewer extension described here. It was what I used and it allows very quick access to that data when browsing.

Bob.

_________________
Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8.
Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2007 4:34 am 
dustinjd,

I suspect that you still have the "Slow" limit set at 1/8th second, which is the default value from the factory as I recall. It can be reset for up to 1 second (and it retains the new value), which I would recommend.

The IS on Panasonics is good enough that you CAN get handheld exposures at that speed. I took some decently sharp night shots without flash on my recent trip to New Orleans at shutter speeds over 1/2 second, with no more support then holding it against a fence railing.


Top
  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 15 posts ] 

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  

All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2012 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.
/ How we test / Best Cameras / Advertising / Camera reviews / Supporting Camera Labs

Webdesign by Alphabase IT
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group