Fuji FinePix F600EXR or Canon Powershot SX230HS?
SNIP..... What I am looking for is good image quality in both low light, indoors, and daylight. I know I won't get as good as a DSLR, but I want the best of the P&S at this price range. I will also use it for shooting movies occasionally also (like my son's soccer games, children's choir, beach trips, etc....).
The F600 (if it's at all like the F505/550 that I own, and by all reports it is) will be very satisfying to use, fast and responsive, but with significant image quality compromises. High ISO is average at best. As a snap-shooter it's fine, for large art enlargements it's not fine. I played with the RAW mode and it helped with the over-aggressive noise reduction, but it's as much the lens as the sensor; corners will be soft.
The Canon SX230 - as reported all reviews I've been able to find - will be fast, responsive, and give great image quality at significantly higher ISOs. You pay more, you get more. Video mode on the Canon is supposed to be better, too.
I know that the F600EXR best settings is to shoot it at 8MP and not the 16MP setting. I will probably mess with settings manually when I learn the camera to get the best possible picture, but my wife is more of a just turn it on and start taking pictures type person.
Which makes the F600 good for her, but you'll quickly find it just doesn't deliver the photos you want. And 8 MP is not the automatic better photo you might think - it's a tradeoff between noise or dynamic range, and resolution - half the MP, 25% less resolution - and it IS visible in your photos.
I can get the F600EXR for $169.99 right now, and Staples runs sales on the SX230HS occasionally where if I can catch the next sale I can get it for about the same price, otherwise it would be about $200-225 range.
Any thoughts on which one I should purchase?
The Panasonic ZS15, of course....
Seriously, if you're that price sensitive I'd wait for the next SX230 sale. It' s funny I'd say that, as I really dislike the SX230 handling (the SX260 is much better), but if image quality is your biggest issue the Fuji Fxxx series isn't for you.
I went though this about 2 months ago, and I actually did end up with the ZS15; it 's a bit more of a brick than the Fuji camera but image quality and video is up there with the Canons; IMO the OIS is significantly better.
unus pes præ altero....
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