Well its time to think about replacing my 5 year old Canon Powershot S30 when the wife complains that its too big, too heavy and forms a big part of the bulk in her handbag. So I got into a research phase and thought that I need at least 6mpixel, not more than 8 becuase I dont want to spend a bulk of my hard disk to store pictures, and seriously, anything more than 4-5mpix is more than enough. So... say 6mpix, dummy proof (since I wont be the only user) and some feature to prevent camera shake... like optical stabilizer or high ISO. And small as well... medium small, not supersmall or superslim that they are difficult to hand hold.
So the shortlist boils down to: - Canon Ixus 800/850IS - Panasonic FX07 - Fujifilm F30 Here's a summary:
Canon Ixus 800/850IS Pros: - Ranked quite well in terms of photo quality... and that Canon DIGIC thing - Resolution not that bad for 6mpix. 850IS of course higher mpix but not bothered - uses SD card.. cheap - Optical stabilizer helps, but I'm not too much a fan since it works well only in some narrow shutter speed
Cons: - More expensive than the other two... especially the 850IS which is about 20% more - Enough of canon with the S30... nice camera but nothing special to me.
Panasonic FX07 Pros: - Leica lens - Optical stabilizer as well, but some people say it works better than canon's. Then again, not too much a fan of optical stabilizer. - SD card - Oh... 28mm lens. Canon's 850IS has it too but way too expensive I thinks.
Cons: - Panasonic's DSP seems to have this over correction feature when it comes to noise reduction, so most pictures at 100% will show some pastel effect that I dont see on other camera. Major shortcoming to me. - Even with the Leica lens, looks like the sensor doesn't catch as much detail as the other 2 considered here but just slight. dont think my wife will be able to tell.
Fujifilm F30 Pros: - Better resolution it seems than the rest here (over sharpening perhaps?) - No fight in terms of ISO... absolutely blows the rest away
Cons: - slightly bigger, but not by much - Seems to be some purple fringing when you have high contrasts or overblown highlights... - xd card?
Decision: going with the fuji for the picture quality... I think the wife will be shooting mostly at night so the high ISO performance will probably be better than any optical stabilization. I know this for a fact since I dabble a little in high ISO films for b&w... I'll take high ISO and fast lens anytime over optical stabilization. And the fuji is cheaper... and I think that there should be some plus on the fuji as well on the colour coming out of it. There's chrome mode which I hope will reproduce Velvia or Provia colour saturations, but not too sure.. worse case there's Photoshop!
so decision made... just have to wait for the camera to come... from Singapore of course, supporting the Singaporean GST system.