M4 Motorway - New cam

I have sinned , I have gone ahead and bought a new camera and above that have bought a camera from samsung :0

(HD video here from my new cam)

Ok so here is the story, my wife fed up with my bulky canon400d wanted something she can carry around and click photos of my son whenever she wanted and secondly she is also getting enthused in photography.

So I decided on buying a new cam and started my research which lasted 2 months (yes I am very finicky about technology and need to know everything before I buy),the criteria were

1) budget (of course) - 150 pounds
2) good brand
3) Point and shoot with video (handy cams are too bulky and non versatile , already one in my attic gathering dust)

The technology didn't progress much from the last time I got my Canon 400d DSLR. The major changes that struck point and shoot were
1) All those funny presets like smile detection, beauty shots,color swap,50 different scene mode and etc. etc. which I seriously believe are marketing gimmicks
2)Optical and digital image stabilization works really well in long zoom and low light
3) HD video, some of the P&S started giving out seriously good video quality, all digicams have 640*480 video mode which is so so. Some digicams are coming out with 720p and 1080p resolution video recording which offers amazing clarity(and really big file size)
4)Zoom - with maximum given by Canon sx1 (20x). This is seriously important as it gives better working area and much better composition,but higher the zoom the more bulkier the cam.

Some of niche but very desirable features present in new P & S were

1) HDR sensors - like the ones from fuji film, I would love to get my hands on newgen fujifilm camera (exr series) which have the best image sensor in industry and If you are aiming to spend more time in parties then these are the ones to buy they have best low light shooting in industry like Fujifilm f100fd (almost bought this one review here )
2)Super Slow motion - Ok not for photography but wouldnt you love to make a matrix movie of your own . Some of the cams can shoot at 500fps (yup and they still fit in your pocket)and when run in normal 30fps the moment captured is phenomenal. Example New Sanyo Xacti series
3)All weather cameras - these are the ones which I almost bought as they weather any weather. Meaning you can take them to snorkelling,skiing, mountaineering and whatever your imagination takes you to. Examples optio w60, olympus tough series or olympus sw series. the only drawback zoom is only 3x and image quality is not upto the mark. but these do complement SLR very well, SLR being delicate and these being tough
4) touch screen controls - need I say more

Ok so what did I do after doing so much research, I jotted down my specific requirements as below

1)HD video a must
2)Zoom minimum 10x
3)should be compact
4)should have manual mode
5)Image quality should be good at least in moderate light (All cams can click good images (quality wise) in good light even your mobile camera)
6) budget (upped to 200 pounds)

I started of with my Fav Canon , to my dissappointment none of the Canon current models came close to any of the requirement , the canon s series s5,s7 or sx are either too bulky or too costly. Moved on to Sony and here the choices were even more limited. Olympus tough series was too tempting was about to buy one but after seeing the passable image quality dumped it.

Then chanced upon to look at a friends Panasonic TZ3 and was instantly impressed the current model was TZ which met all above requirements and had an amazing image quality thanks to it amazing optics (from leica). It had HD video though in quicktime format and files were huge but I was ready for that and so started hunting for best price. To my utter dissappointment the camera was in short supply due to newly announced TZ7 and hence the camera which was originally 180pounds was being sold at 220 pounds and was only available at few dealers. I wanted to wait fro tz7 but it was priced at 350pounds which was too high for me.

As I was losing heart my search chanced upon Samsung (yuck) WB500 or hz10w. Announced feb 2009 and available in March met all my requirements. hd video, 10x zoom, manual mode priced 200 pounds. But not even in my dreams I could think of buying sammy. But then with amazons amazing return policy, I was ready to give it a try.

So when it arrived and I tested It ,I was surprised sammy has upped the ante and the image quality though not canon standard was decent enough . The low light performance was not good but then none of camera apart from fuji have that capability
the features were
1)Manual focus (Jaw drop)
2)Auto exposure bracketting
3)Manual mode
4)Great lens
5)HD video
6)10x zoom
7)And 24mm on wide angle (match that, compact cam have minimum of 28mm or 25 mm in case of Panasonic)Panorama here I come !!!

So along with all p&s gimmicks it had features that i never thought to have had in a compact camera

And believe me it is small, it will fit in my shirt pocket but not as small to go unnoticed.

Though I am still skeptical but I am putting the camera through paces. I wouldn't suggest this camera to any one who is very very finicky about image quality (go and buy DSLR or wait for SIGMA DP2 to be launched)

All in all lets see how this relationship turns out to be and oh please remember this camera was brought for my wife and not me ;)

P.S- the Image posted above is from my canon 400D so dont get ideas.


Rahul said...

Well, well, well... quite a decent buying guide this would make.. Had it not been for the P.s, I was going to comment on the superb shot that you managed to get out of the samsung.. Hope the samsung turns out great..keep us informed.

dmg5um said...

Very well composed. the converging lines keeps you engrossed and the colors are very nice.
Pls give out the secret of this processing - if any, else I guess will have to buy the HD camera !! :)