Which of these two cameras should I buy?
November 17, 2007 5:24 AM   Subscribe

Which camera should I get: the Panasonic Lumix DMC FX30, or the Canon Powershot SD750 (Ixus 75)? Please help me choose!

My husband has very kindly offered to buy me a new digital camera for Christmas. So far I have narrowed the selection down to two very similarly priced cameras, the Panasonic Lumix DMC FX30 and the Canon Powershot SD750 (Ixus 75), but I'm not sure which is the better choice. Can anyone help shed some light on the differences? (I am not very technically minded.)

The focal length for the Ixus is 28-100mm whereas for the Lumix it's 35 - 105mm. I don't know what this means but it seems important. The Ixus macro is 5cm and the Lumix macro is 3cm. I enjoy taking macro photos, but again, I don't know what this means. Also, the Ixus takes a Li-ion battery and the Lumix a NB-4L one. Are there any pitfalls associated with either battery?

Most importantly, I am looking for a camera without a pronounced "shutter lag". I realise that all digital compacts will have a delay to some extent, but my last camera, a Pentax Optio E10 had a delay so dreadful that I essentially couldn't photograph people and had to limit myself to stationary objects! I'm keen to avoid this.

I'm in London, if it matters.
posted by hot soup girl to Technology (17 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: The Lumix. All that macro and focal length stuff is nice, but there is only one feature you care about on a camera this size: Image Stabilization. According to that chart, the Panasonic has it, the Canon doesn't.

I had Lumixes (Lumixen?) for years and recently switched to a Canon because I got tired of the poor build quality on the Panasonics (they break fairly easily). I love my Canon and much prefer it to my old Lumix, but if you don't want to pay substantially more for the Canon with Image Stabilization it's a no-brainer -- buy the Lumix. I.S. at low prices is what made the Lumix line great and there's a reason for that, it's just a fantastic feature, especially in a small camera and especially indoors. I would absolutely go Lumix at this price range.
posted by The Bellman at 6:05 AM on November 17, 2007

here are my two cents : I own a Lumix LX2 - I'm very happy with the lens, the picture quality, the stabilisation system etc. I've never owned a Powershot.

Shutter lag on the lumix looks reasonable to me (ymmv).

Maybe you should go to Flickr, look at pictures taken by these two cameras and decide which set you like best.
posted by Baud at 6:12 AM on November 17, 2007

To explain the focal length... the human eye sees something like a 45mm perspective. Going below that is a "wide angle" (zoom out) and above that is "telephoto" (zoom in). Having an extra 7mm on the wide end is generally way more useful than 7mm on the long end (and in this case, it's only 5mm extra on the long end of the Lumix). This means you're less likely to back into a wall trying to fit everyone into the shot.

For "macro" I believe they're talking about how close the lens can focus to an object. So the Ixus can focus to 5cm in front of the lens, if you put an object any closer than 5cm to the lens, it will not be sharp.
posted by knave at 6:23 AM on November 17, 2007

Canon and Panasonic both make great stuff. On cameras with similar specs, I'd say either one is fine. But I agree with The Bellman: Image stabilization makes a huge difference to the quality of your pictures.
posted by winston at 6:37 AM on November 17, 2007

i just wanted to give you another choice--the panasonic lumix tz3. this camera also has the 28 mm lens, the image stabilization, and an unbelievable 10x optical zoom--unheard of in a camera this size for this price.
i just bought one on amazon for 240 or so.
posted by alkupe at 6:53 AM on November 17, 2007

I own a Lumix TZ3K, and boy oh boy oh boy do I love it.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:31 AM on November 17, 2007

I'm a VERY satisfied Lumix owner; I'd throw my vote to them.
posted by willmize at 8:24 AM on November 17, 2007

Best answer: The Lumix Fx30 is the same camera as the Leica C-Lux 2, but you pay almost a $300 premium for the Leica name and red dot. The C-Lux is probably overpriced -- but the Fx30 is a bargain.

The optics on the Lumix are some of the highest quality available in a sub-$300 camera (because they're manufactured to $500 camera standards). You won't be disappointed.
posted by toxic at 8:36 AM on November 17, 2007

I own two Lumixes. The one thing that is important with my cameras is to use a Panasonic-made memory card. I bought a 1 gig card made by another company, and the recording time on the images was so long that I couldn't really take multiple shots in a row. But with the Panasonic cards the record time is super-fast. I do love these cameras. I have had one for five years that recently broke, not a bad lifetime for a digital camera. I love it so much, I sent it in to get repaired, which will probably cost more money than a new camera, but the qualtiy to file size ratio on this old camera is so amazing that I can't move on. The 10X zoom is really a fun feature.
posted by Eringatang at 8:42 AM on November 17, 2007

2nding Baud's suggestion - I recently was shopping for a new camera and found the sample galleries on the excellent dpreview site you link to really useful for seeing what my different shortlisted cameras were capable of.
posted by forallmankind at 8:51 AM on November 17, 2007

I'm on my second Lumix and it get's high marks from me, and I had the first powershot for ages.
What I like about the lumix is the super crazy fast startup to taking a picture time. Like 1/2 second.

It's an excellent camera.
posted by asavage at 9:51 AM on November 17, 2007

I think you have the focal lengths reversed in your question. The FX30 is 28mm-100mm. It will shoot at various screen proportions including 16:9.
posted by zadcat at 11:11 AM on November 17, 2007

I love my Lumix, dmc-fz7. It is my first digital camera but it has far surpassed my expectations.
posted by fieldtrip at 12:02 PM on November 17, 2007

I tried out a Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3 and had to return it due to its poor image quality in low light/no flash situations. The Lumix line is somewhat infamous for that.
posted by of strange foe at 3:30 PM on November 17, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks for the replies. I visited a camera shop today to see and handle both cameras. The Canon has a much bigger viewing screen and feels great to hold. The Lumix is a much smaller camera, with a smaller screen. I'm inclined towards the Lumix because the image stabilisation feature, but the Canon just feels so goddamn nice. I still haven't decided but have to make a selection before the end of the weekend.

If anyone else has any comments, I'm all ears! Thanks ,everyone.
posted by hot soup girl at 4:34 PM on November 17, 2007

You might take a look at some of the Canons that do have image stabilization, such as the Powershot SD800, 850 or 870. Keep in mind that between now and Christmas, the prices on these models may drop slightly. (I just purchased the 870, and the price fell about $10 in the last two weeks!)
posted by bchaplin at 7:10 PM on November 18, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks everyone! I am now the delighted recipient of a Christmas Lumix. Yay!
posted by hot soup girl at 11:20 AM on November 20, 2007

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