My cameras - opinions needed (long) - Please help.

Started Nov 19, 2012 | Discussions thread
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GeraldW
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My cameras - opinions needed (long) - Please help.
Nov 19, 2012

I have a collection of Fixed Lens Cameras (I hate the term "point and shoot" for high end FLC's).  I'm in the process of updating the collection and my longer term goal is to eliminate my DSLR and just use FLC's.

I currently have the Panasonic FZ200, FZ150, & ZS15, and the Canon G11 & S90.  I have a Canon SX230HS; but it's already packed up and ready to ship out as I prefer the ZS15.

Here's where I am with each camera:

FZ200 - Somewhat disappointed with the noise and difficulties of getting really good shots at higher ISO.  However, I love the EVF and the controls, I love the slightly larger body and the handling and feel.  I took it to the Galapagos islands and got fewer good shots than I did four years ago with my Canon S5IS.  The FZ200 worked quite well in bright light; but rather poorer in overcast and dull days.  It works well for my granddaughter's ice hockey - at least as well as my Canon 60D with the 18-135 IS or 55-250IS lenses.

FZ150 - I was going to sell this; but after the Galapagos trip, I wished I'd taken that.  It did superbly in February in the Caribbean and in June at my granddaughter's high school graduation.  It's also a lot better with the TCON 17 than is the FZ200.  I don't like the handling and controls and EVF as well as the FZ200; but I do prefer the image quality; particularly at high ISO.  It's slower at longer focal lengths and does not work out for hockey.

ZS15 - I wanted a travel zoom and after trying several decided on this one.  I had one before; but it wasn't as good as this one (sample variation?).  This one stays.

G11 - I've had several G series cameras, and I like this one as well as any, and better than most.  I've considered the newer G15; but don't know if I really need the faster lens, and I know I'll miss the flip out LCD.  I have a Canon 270EX flash for it and it is fitted with the LensMate filter adapter system, so it makes a very good light weight substitute for my DSLR.  But both the FZ's have flip out LCD's, both have a dedicated hot shoe and both take 52 mm filters directly on the lens; and both have faster lenses than the G11.  For portraits it works very well with a bounced Canon flash, or an off camera flash and an umbrella, and a small side slave flash.

S90 - This is my pocketable camera for parties, dinners, and just wandering around.  I really do need a low light camera that doesn't make a bulge or drag down one side of my jacket for dinners and such and it needs to be shirt pocketable.  The RX100 might be better; but so far the S90 meets my needs well and it's paid for.  So it stays around.

The fly in the ointment here is the FZ200.  I tried the FZ150 at NR -2 and sharpening +1 and never looked back.  After one week it was dialed in and worked wonderfully.   I figured the FZ200 would use the same settings and I'd be done; but it didn't work like that and posts on this forum indicate that others are still looking for the optimum setting.  I also had very good results with an FZ28.

So where do I go from here?  I can easily keep the 60D for hockey and portraiture.  Although for flash work, the FZ's have the Metz 24AF-1 flash with bounce, and I can easily get a larger flash with tilt and swivel; so it's really only hockey that's justifying the 60D.

Most of the pictures I take are on travel and most of our travel is on cruises - 42 so far.  I'm almost 75 and really, really do not want to lug my 60D on travel.  I got my first good camera in 1955, and I do understand photography from a technical standpoint.

I thought I had it all figured out; but the FZ200 has crossed me up.  The S90 and the ZS15 stay - the FZ200, FZ150, G11, and 60D are subject to change.

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Jerry

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