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Please Help Me Choose Rugged P&S Cam (Need to Buy Quickly)

by k1mb3r / August 7, 2010 11:10 AM PDT

One moment I think I've had my mind made up on a waterproof, ultracompact camera with HD video, then I change it again! Please help!!! I've ruled out a lot (e.g. the Canon D10 because that thing is bulky), but some help in making an actual decision would really be appreciated!!!

***These are the 4 I'm considering in the order I'm leaning towards purchasing:

Panasonic Lumix TS2
Sony Cybershot TX5
Olympus Stylus Tough 6020
Pentax Optio W90


***These are the features most important to me:

Waterproof
Ultracompact
$400 or less
Picture Quality (I know some quality is sacrificed for P&S but the cam must fit in my jeans pocket)
Speed in regards to shutter lag
Speed in regards to burst mode
Speed in regards to navigating through options
Low-light quality (I take a lot of low-light indoor pics)
Wide angle (fits my purposes better than panorama, though panorama would work too providing no tripod is needed)
Shoots in a variety of settings (whether by use of scene modes or the camera handles the variety automatically without them)


***What's hanging me up on a decision:

I like the 10fps burst mode with the Sony, Lumix has 6fps.

Olympus has a preview option before committing to a mode.

Read the Lumix screen is sometimes hard to see in bright light. The Sony has a larger screen... love the touchscreen and ability to scroll through pics.

The Lumix has a wider angle and longer zoom.

Sony has panorama sweep, but I think a tripod is needed (will almost never have a tripod with me).

The Sony does not have a lot of scene modes, but does it handle scenes automatically without needing a dedicated mode?

The Lumix has an LED for low-light video, but the Sony supposedly handles low-light well so maybe it's just as good in that situation? Optio has 3 LEDs and a Micromode (would use micromode but it's not a feature that's a decision-maker).

I'm not sure which would be the best for lots of action shots with kids, pets, fish, splashing water at the beach... indoor shots with low light... nice quality, color, sharpness and responsivess for a P&S.

I would really appreciate any suggestions/opinions. I have one vote for the Lumix... I just don't know. I want to purchase in less than 5 days.

Thanks in advance for any help.

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I'd go with the Sony

The two are very close. I'd pick the Panasonic if it weren't for Sony's scene modes (Anti-Motion Blur, Handheld Twilight, Backlight Correction HDR) which work amazingly well.

Waterproof - yes

Ultracompact - yes

$400 or less - yes

Picture Quality (I know some quality is sacrificed for P&S but the cam must fit in my jeans pocket) - A slight edge to the Sony, probably because it is "only" a 10MP camera.

Speed in regards to shutter lag - a little slower than the Panasonic, but the difference is minimal

Speed in regards to burst mode - 10 fps

Speed in regards to navigating through options - very intuitive

Low-light quality (I take a lot of low-light indoor pics) - both cameras would normally be equal in low light, but the Sony adds Hand Held Twilight mode... works fantastically, but ONLY on still subjects

Wide angle (fits my purposes better than panorama, though panorama would work too providing no tripod is needed) - the Sony is wider 25mm vs. Panny's 28mm. Sweep Panorama does not need a tripod, and sweeping can be done horizontally and vertically

Shoots in a variety of settings (whether by use of scene modes or the camera handles the variety automatically without them) - all cameras have a main Auto mode... but don't expect as good results because you are asking the camera to "guess" the correct exposure even more than the scene modes.

Read the full reviews for both cameras at http://www.imaging-resource.com/

http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/TX5/TX5A.HTM

http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/TS2/TS2A.HTM

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Thanks for the help!
by k1mb3r / August 9, 2010 8:25 AM PDT
In reply to: I'd go with the Sony

Thank you for your help. Those reviews were really useful; in my search for reviews I hadn't come across them myself.

I had gotten confused with the wide angle- though the Lumix had 25 and Sony 28, not the other way around; I'm on camera-shopping-brain-overload. One of the reviews on another site stated a tripod was needed for sweep panorama and showed a very choppy pic he took without one- I hadn't seen anything else saying one was needed as you said also.

I think most of my low light shots would not be still, so the Lumix may have the advantage there with a stage performance setting.

I guess the Lumix also has the advantage with the scene modes.

I think I'll be good with either of these two cameras... I'll obsess the rest of the day and night, read any further recommendations/opinions, reread the reviews you gave me, and purchase tomorrow morning. Thank you very much for your help.

Thanks for your help.

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I bought the TX5
by k1mb3r / August 10, 2010 3:26 AM PDT
In reply to: I'd go with the Sony

What finally got me to decide was comparing the photos taken by each camera on the links you provided me... I clicked back and forth a hundred times and felt the Sony photos looked a bit better to me.

Thanks again! I can't wait to receive it!!!

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