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x9200
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Postby x9200 » Wed, 08 Jun 2011 9:37 am

aster wrote:Guys, I'm looking to order the "Canon PowerShot ELPH 500 HS" from Amazon.com at $299 and am wondering if I'll be hit with any additional charges.

What exchange rate is used for customs purposes?

And since Amazon won't ship this one directly to Singapore, I'm forced to use VPost. Looks like it'll be borderline:

Package value according to XE: S$368
Estimated shipping costs: S$44
Total: S$412

With a code I can get the shipping down to around S$37.40, but that will still keep me above the 400 mark.

Any ideas? Are there any Amazon codes to get a small discount? If GST is charged, how do I go about paying it?


I know that my post will be of the annoying sort but.... the official SG canon price for the local model equivalent (ixus 310 HS) is $S529 meaning you can probably buy it around for ~ $S480. $S412 * 1.07 = $S440. And what if something get broken or will be broken on arrival?
Besides, nothing and nobody would convince me to deal again with vpost/speedpost just to save S$40.

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Postby aster » Wed, 08 Jun 2011 10:10 am

Yeah, the price difference could be minimal on this model after shipping and GST.

But with regards to something being faulty with the product, isn't it much better to order from Amazon rather than buy locally? I mean if the thing is completely dead or evidently broken then you might get it fixed locally, but anything minor and I think you can forget about getting it sorted locally, whereas with Amazon it's just a few clicks, a simple explanation, and out comes a replacement camera.

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Postby x9200 » Wed, 08 Jun 2011 10:44 am

aster wrote:Yeah, the price difference could be minimal on this model after shipping and GST.

But with regards to something being faulty with the product, isn't it much better to order from Amazon rather than buy locally? I mean if the thing is completely dead or evidently broken then you might get it fixed locally, but anything minor and I think you can forget about getting it sorted locally, whereas with Amazon it's just a few clicks, a simple explanation, and out comes a replacement camera.

I have/had 6 canon cameras and 2 canon camcorders all bought locally. I use the Canon service center (@Harbourfront) for all the repairs and unless something changed (I had no need to use them for last 2-3 years) this is one of really few services in Singapore I can fully recommend. I have never had any problems with them. Once they even fixed something for me for free far after the guaranty period.

Edited: oh sorry, I guess I missed the point, you would like to have a replacement... this I have no experience with. For the camera repair they were after the guaranty period and for the stuff within guaranty I only needed some tuning/adjustments.

Talking of ixus 310 HS, google says you should be able to buy it for less than $S470 (S$466 with GST to be precise). I don't know this particular shop so I can not recommend them* but I would call places like Alan Photo or Orient Photo (both SLS) or John 3.16 (Funan) to check their prices (probably in the range of 480-500).

*) It looks like he also sells on ebay: 99 transaction/100% positive feedback so appears to be worth of consideration if you are very much price driven. The payment/delivery mode is COD+self collect so rather safe. - I am not affiliated any way, just found it on the web.

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Postby aster » Wed, 08 Jun 2011 9:35 pm

Many thanks for the info, good to know that their service centre works well here in case something needs attention.

To be honest this one's for my lady and I'm still not convinced I'll get the HS 310. I also needed to pick out a camera for myself, but after taking a close look at the Sony HX9V and Panasonic Lumix TZ20 I'm actually keen on the Casio (whoudathunkit? :) ) ZR100 that just came out recently. I've seen it in action and it's one great camera they've managed to produce.

As for my wife, do you think something from the Lumix series might be worth a look? She's used one in the past (a Lumix compact) so something like the FX700 seems appropriate. Unless I should go for the new FX78?

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Postby x9200 » Thu, 09 Jun 2011 9:12 pm

aster wrote:Many thanks for the info, good to know that their service centre works well here in case something needs attention.

To be honest this one's for my lady and I'm still not convinced I'll get the HS 310. I also needed to pick out a camera for myself, but after taking a close look at the Sony HX9V and Panasonic Lumix TZ20 I'm actually keen on the Casio (whoudathunkit? :) ) ZR100 that just came out recently. I've seen it in action and it's one great camera they've managed to produce.

As for my wife, do you think something from the Lumix series might be worth a look? She's used one in the past (a Lumix compact) so something like the FX700 seems appropriate. Unless I should go for the new FX78?


I am not exactly up to date with the cameras but lets try.

1) 310HS, FX700 are the cameras for an amateur who wants more control with good image quality (full or extended manual control with a moderate zoom)

2) HX9V is almost fully automatic with extended zoom

3) FX78 is a basic idioten kamera

4) TZ20 and ZR100 are less popular species and belong to the 4th category (extended zoom, manual). Normally more ambitious amateurs care about image quality and big zooms and quality do not come together.

First you have to decide if you want to have the manual control with better quality in expense of the zoom. If yes then cat. 1. Compare the 2 models and compare them with cat 4. If you see no difference buy TZ20. It has A LOT on board but people complain about image quality. If you see a difference then the Canon appears more interesting (very fast lens and more).
I own TZ7 and also bough one Panasonic of the cat 3. for my parents. Both have image quality that I do not like too much but it is more than acceptable - it contains some sharpening artifacts, so if you are fine with it you should be ok.

Frankly, once you decide about the manual control and quality chose the functions most important/appealing to you, google out the raw (unprocessed) images for the models and buy what you like most. I would not buy Sony because many sony appliances (not only cameras) I own got broken and their service in SG sucks including that everything beyond the guaranty period costs small fortune. Whether this is Canon or Casio or Panasonic it really does not matter.
You surely know DPreview site - you can compare the spec of all these cameras and see the sample raw photos.
Last edited by x9200 on Thu, 09 Jun 2011 9:54 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby aster » Thu, 09 Jun 2011 9:52 pm

Hi x9200, thanks for your help. I really like the Casio ZR100 for its features, intuitive interface, good button layout, etc. and will probably choose that camera for myself. Just need to decide whether to get it from Amazon or go to Best Denki at Vivo where they give you lots of freebies with it, including an Aigo digital photo frame, mem card, and... additional camera totally free (some lower model).

For my wife I'm still contemplating the Lumix FX700 but like the TZ20 I am worried about the sensor: is the Panasonic MOS sensor a back-lit one or is it still the old type?

The FX78 is basically the same as the FX700 except that is has some new "hi-speed" CCD sensor... and literally no buttons on the back (not a good thing IMO).

I wanted to give the Sony DSC-WX5 a closer look but although the .sg website has it listed I could not find it at the two Sony Centres I visited today. :?

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Postby x9200 » Thu, 09 Jun 2011 10:11 pm

FX78 and FX700 are two VERY different cameras. FX78 is a low end and does not have half of the functions of FX700.
What PRACTICAL difference does the new sensor make? All these improvements you see with new models are typically at best incremental - you really see no shocking differences in real, everyday use.

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Postby aster » Fri, 10 Jun 2011 12:41 am

Really? I thought the main difference was just the sensor? The FX700 has the shutter/aperture priority settings of the bigger cameras, but apart from that I thought most features/functions were similar on both models. Plus surprisingly the FX700 is cheaper. A lot cheaper.

I have yet to see the FX78 in Singapore, but it's priced at US$350 on Amazon which sounds a bit steep. I guess this makes the FX700 a steal at just US$199 if it's a much higher model?

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Postby x9200 » Fri, 10 Jun 2011 2:43 am

I should have not called it probably the low end camera but it is what I said earlier - just an idioten kamera: fully automatic with no advance photo taking control. You probably pay more for the touch screen, smaller size and the ccd (I don't think you would notice any difference). Besides A/S priority and M, FX700 has slightly faster lens, higher max shatter speed, larger flash range, slightly larger macro range, much higher cont. shooting speed, 2 more metering modes including spot. FX78 has larger screen (but the same No of pixels), 2 more AF modes.

If this would be me and from these two I would buy FX700 but I use the manual modes.

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Postby aster » Sat, 11 Jun 2011 1:43 am

My wife is adamant that she wants to try another camera manufacturer so I guess the Panasonic is not longer being taken into consideration (though it has served us well for over 5 yrs).

So right now I'm pretty much looking at Sony unless there is something else out there (compact, good for flash-less shots) that's worth recommending?

I checked out the electronics fair at Suntec today and found some interesting prices for Sony cameras, especially since they were inversely proportional to US pricing:

1. Sony WX5: Suntec S$349 - Amazon $250 (S$309)

2. Sony HX5V: Suntec S$399 - Amazon $199 (S$246)

I guess this really makes the WX5 very well-priced here in Singapore. :)

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Postby aster » Sat, 11 Jun 2011 2:08 am

One more thing, I was under impression that the Sony G lens were supposed to be a class above the Carl Zeiss ones? Is that not the case?

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Postby x9200 » Sat, 11 Jun 2011 9:11 am

As an average it is probably the other way around. Sony's main photography expertise was acquired with Konica-Minolta and they have never been known as the optics champions. My guess is Sony is advertising their lens superiority to replace ZC lens and get rid of the license fees.
There is also another possibility: ZC is a well know and established name in this field. Sony is not. This is included in the price (they pay for using the brand name). If this part is removed there is some money that can be spent. Sony can design and manufacture a specific lens of similar performance as ZC. They should be able to offer something better resulting from this price difference (purely based on materials or labor) but I do not think this would be a difference of a class (unless ZC license fees are that high).

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Postby aster » Sat, 11 Jun 2011 8:26 pm

Google dished out some interesting results. Some posts I found claimed that the G Lens is somewhere in between the generic Sony lens and the Carl Zeiss, whereas others claimed that the G Lens are the top range that Sony uses.

Putting that aside, I saw the Lumix FX78 today and wasn't impressed. If there's anything you really shouldn't look at after seeing a nice Sony with a beautiful lcd screen to give you a preview of your recent photo... it's an lcd touchscreen that appears so low-res that you think you're playing some archaic video game.

For the Sony cams, I liked the WX5 more than the WX7 which some people claim was an "upgrade" from a G lens to a CZ (hmmm...). But still, not too impressed with the results.

Saw the Nikon S8100 and didn't even want to turn it on, it just didn't feel right. Gave it a quick go in the end but wasn't convinced.

Any recommendations for something I can buy my gal? Something compact, with an emphasis on getting the most out of shots without the use of flash. Should I just give in and go back to the Canon HS 310?

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Postby x9200 » Sun, 12 Jun 2011 10:09 am

I would be probably very tempted by Canon SX230HS (full manual super-zoom with GPS on board) as an everyday camera I always carry with me (now TZ7).

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Postby therry_fx » Mon, 20 Jun 2011 12:54 am

try Canon S95, a pro compact camera. One of the trusted camera shop in sg is SLR Revolution, even you can get a quote online as they have FB account.


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