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cg776

Please recommend a compact superzoom for ski trip

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Hi all,

I am going on a ski trip soon and plan to do some heli-skiing too, so I'm after a decent compact camera for taking shots of all the action as well as some video, I really like the sound of the new Panasonic Lumix TZ7 DMC-ZS3: it won out the comparo at dpreview, the only bad thing I've heard about the Lumix range is that the shutter cover can get stuck if the slightest bit of dirt etc gets in it, I'm wondering how durable it will be too... I guess another option would be something like the Pentax Optio W60 (or even W80 if its out in time).

 

Anyway, if anyone can advise on a compact camera which can take decent photos and shoot some nice video (the ZS3 can do 720p @60fps!) then that would be awesome!

I'd also like recommendations for what SDHC card(s) to get so that I can shoot the video without dropping frames etc.

 

Thanks in advance!

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What's your price range?

~$600

Also, what's your definition of "compact"?

Something where the lens does not protrude from the body when powered off, which can fit in a ski jacket pocket (with neoprene case etc)...I think cameras like the G9 etc would be a bit bulky for my purposes, but any advice, suggestions would be welcome.

 

Also, any recommendations for soft travel cases would be handy too, I've been looking at the Built NY Hoodies but I'm not sure if it will stretch to fit the Lumix...

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Either the Panasonic or Olympus 'Tough' cameras should fit the bill. I'd be more tempted towards the Panasonic.

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D'oh! I was going to say have a look at the Powershot G10, but sounds like that sort of thing doesn't suit.

 

FTR, the G10's dimensions are 109x78x46 mm, if that helps.

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Some questions/things to point out:

 

The dimensions of the TZ7 are 103 x 60 x 33 mm - not very much different to the G10, really. Though I don't think the G10 is in the $600 range...

How important is super-zoom? The snow is one of the few places where such a feature is not a total waste, as the sheer brightness of the environment is pretty much unmatched.

 

Have a play in a store. Put on some ski gloves and try using various machines. Try out "tough" as well as "zoom" cameras. Pay attention to how long it takes between powering the machine up and taking a shot, how easy it is to use with gloves and various zoom/video features. Bring in an SD card so you can take the images home for your own perusal.

 

Personally I'm in two minds when it comes to the snow. The "tough" cameras would be great to take with you as they can survive a stack better than you can. BUT any reasonably well-made compact (I'm a Canon fanboi) will take a few knocks, especially in a case and will always take better pictures. I would definitely do the glove thing, as it doesn't matter how good or feature-rich a machine is, if you know that you're just going to fumble it and have to chase it down the hill, it's pointless!

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The G10 would be tempting as I would like to eventually get into photography proper, the G10 would be a good start before going the whole SLR hog, the main limiting factor for me is that it can only do video at VGA res, whereas the TZ7 can do 720p...

 

Places like MSY and Megabuy (found through staticice) have the G10 list for $585!!!

 

Shops that I looked at on the weekend had the G10 for ~$900, and the TZ7 for ~$780, which is a total rip-off imho, at least I got to hold the TZ7, seems well made although I worry that the rotary switch on the top and the lens cover shutter are a bit flimsy, I think they are all similar in this segment though...also the soft cases/bags for the cameras that the shops had were pretty disappointing, along with their prices for SDHC cards...looks like I'll be making the purchase online, but having said that I haven't managed to get to any proper camera stores yet, hopefully this coming weekend (I'll be in Sydney CBD)...

 

If the G10 could film 720p, I'd probably go for it, especially at MSY pricing :D

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Bit of a shame you're adamant about the 720p video. The Canon D10 sounds quite good, with the only failing being vga video. Apart from that, it sounds like the best waterproof/tough camera on the market at the moment.

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Bit of a shame you're adamant about the 720p video. The Canon D10 sounds quite good, with the only failing being vga video. Apart from that, it sounds like the best waterproof/tough camera on the market at the moment.

I will definitely consider it, as I plan for photos to be the major use of the camera, a friend is also getting a new camera for the same trip, so maybe if he gets one that is good for video, then I could get the D10. The fact that the D10 is a 'tough' camera is also appealing...hmmm

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Well I ended up getting a Lumix FT1 from Paxtons.

The image sensor/processor appears to be the same as the TZ7, and they both use a 28mm wide angle lens, but I'm sure the TZ7s is better...oh well, at least the camera will be durable...

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