Forum Thread

Help Me Find a New Digital Camera!

jordanz12 735 120 August 14, 2015 at 10:31 AM
We've had a point and shoot Pansonic Lumix for several years now (purchased from Costco). But it's barely limping along nowadays. It's been dropped a few times, so has a some dead pixels in the images. And the battery enclosure is broken. We are looking to upgrade to something a bit nicer that can take pictures faster. We aren't very camera smart by any means, so we are thinking just another digital point and shoot, nothing like these big fancy DSLR's.

Here's the rundown of our main requirements:
- Takes pictures super fast (camera is mainly used for our kids, so as you know, the faster it can snap pics, the better for kids on the run).
- Under $300-400 if possible. Will go up a bit if it's really worth it.
- Lots of optical zoom. Ours had 20x or so, and it was really nice.
- Great pictures for low light indoors. Since many of ours are taken inside.
- Some basic image adjustment options are good, but like I said, we aren't very camera savvy, so wouldn't know which options to change for the most part.
- It doesn't have to be small/pocket size like our Panasonic was. If the slightly bigger ones with the bigger lenses and popup flashes work better, I'm all for it. Just never used them before.

Any help or options would be great! Thanks guys!

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#2
One deal that appears to be really good is this camera at Groupon right now for $180. http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-D...B00DY2Y28M

Is this a really good point and shoot setup for low light indoor images? Would it be really fast at taking and storing images/videos?
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#3
Quote from jordanz12 View Post :
One deal that appears to be really good is this camera at Groupon right now for $180. http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-D...B00DY2Y28M

Is this a really good point and shoot setup for low light indoor images? Would it be really fast at taking and storing images/videos?
It's a 2013 model year which might be why it's on sale. I honestly cant tell you how it compares with what you want. Reading some reviews from camera sites and users is probably best.

Point and shoot cameras will be somewhat hampered in low light because of their sensor size, although since your upgrading several years I would not think you would be going backwards. I doubt many P&S are going to be "Really" fast, your talking DSLR to get "really" fast. For instance my DSLR will do 10FPS, thats pretty quick.
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#4
I would recommend something in the Canon Powershot series

Something like this: Canon PowerShot SX520 16Digital Camera with 42x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom [amazon.com] for ~ $218. Read the Reviews & Questions to better see if this is a camera suitable for your requirements
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#5
Olympus PEN E-PL6
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#6
Be careful looking at zoom it can be misleading. The zoom is measured by how many times the longest zoom distance length is by the lowest.

For example a camera could have 20x zoom with a minimum lens extension of 5mm, and a max of 100. Another one could have 10x zoom with a minimum length of 10 and a max of 100. They would both show the same max distance.

The 20x zoom in this scenario wouldn't zoom any farther than the 10x.
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Last edited by Novakingwai August 14, 2015 at 10:12 PM
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#7
how strict are your main requirments?

those are some tough specs. something like a sony a6000 is possibly close.
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#8
Between the Canon, Panasonic, Olympus, and Sony posted, can you help me understand the importance of these specs?

- Continuous shooting speed (Canon 1.6 fps, Panasonic 9 fps, Olympus 8 fps, Sony 11 fps). Is this how fast it can take pictures?
- Max focal length (Canon 1008mm, Panasonic 1200mm, Olympus 42?, Sony ?). What is this for?
- Expanded ISO maximum (Canon 3200, Panasonic 6400, Olympus 25,600, Sony 25,600). What is this for?

Just trying to understand the important specs. Thanks!
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Quote from jordanz12 View Post :
Between the Canon, Panasonic, Olympus, and Sony posted, can you help me understand the importance of these specs?

- Continuous shooting speed (Canon 1.6 fps, Panasonic 9 fps, Olympus 8 fps, Sony 11 fps). Is this how fast it can take pictures?
- Max focal length (Canon 1008mm, Panasonic 1200mm, Olympus 42?, Sony ?). What is this for?
- Expanded ISO maximum (Canon 3200, Panasonic 6400, Olympus 25,600, Sony 25,600). What is this for?

Just trying to understand the important specs. Thanks!
Continuous shooting speed is how many frames per second it can take a picture. For example, 9 FPS means 9 frames per second, which means it can take 9 pictures in 1 second.

Max focal length is the max distance the lens can move from the sensor in the camera, which means more zoom. 1200mm has more zoom than 1008mm.
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#10
Okay cool, thanks. And it looks like ISO settings are for light levels? So the higher the ISO, the better pictures will be in darker environments? Is that correct? Do the Olympus and Sony would excel quite a bit for low light pics?
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#11
Quote from jordanz12 View Post :
Okay cool, thanks. And it looks like ISO settings are for light levels? So the higher the ISO, the better pictures will be in darker environments? Is that correct? Do the Olympus and Sony would excel quite a bit for low light pics?
No, it's not quite that easy. ISO is how sensitive the sensor is to light. If you remember back to film days you had the speed of film? This is about the same thing. Higher number in theory means the camera needs less light/time to take a properly exposed photo. However it's not an indication of quality. When you use higher ISO settings photos become grainy with what we call "noise". Some cameras have settings available so high the pictures are kind of unuseable because of the great amount of noise.It does tend to mess with colors too.

Lens speed its Fstop is just as important if not more important than the ISO the sensor goes up to. If the camera lets in a lot of light then the sensor doesn't have to go as high thus improving quality. If the sensor is super sensitive but the lens is poor then the results wont' be great.

Read full reviews of these cameras, not just look at the bullet pointed specs. The cameras your comparing are not really in the same class in terms of size and performance. For instance the Olympus mentioned here has a removeable lens with a larger sensor (Should have better low light performance). While it's not big it's going to be significantly larger than a pocketable point and shoot.

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Sell the printer for $120+ and get a heck of a nice camera for less.
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Last edited by LiquidRetro August 18, 2015 at 01:51 PM
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#12
Low light and long zoom in single package significantly limits your field of choices. Your additional price requirement likely makes it an impossible feat. Check out the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 and the Canon G3X. I can't think of any other cameras that offer a long zoom and a large'ish sensor. If you forego the low light or zoom, you'll have a much better selection of cameras to choose from. Perhaps it's worth considering an S120 or similar for indoor and and SX50 or similar for outdoors. You can pickup both for combined price of under $400.
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#13
Little late posting. I'm a Sony camera fan. Won't say they are better than others of course, just the overall package. My current is an HX20v, bought it as refurbished a couple years ago on a "deal". Around $200, used some rewards, out of pocket about $5. The issue with these is if you zoom in on screen, especially higher detail areas, they look watercolored. Normal size or close, they look very decent. I take most of my pictures around my place, I have it on me almost every day I mow in the hayfield (over a month to two or so). The new models look decent, but many will say overpriced, sensor too small, etc. WX500 or Hx90v, same picture quality, WX500 just has less features.

I did just order an a5100, refurbished deal has been cheaper, but I have been waiting a month for prices to drop and wanted an upgrade while things are still green, so I paid more. A bundle with two lenses was $470 or so (one closer range, one zoom), it has been $380 from Secondipity (search here), they have a website, sell on ebay, or through amazon. Also, Walmart had it for like $408ish, then $429, but out of stock (was waiting on that one again).

A6000 has more features, viewfinder (important, but I haven't had one in 7 years), screen tilts up and down (but not all the way forward like a5100, which I won't use though), little faster burst, addons for flash/hotshoe (can add slave flash to a5100). A6000 costs more, for the same picture quality, only important thing I'd gain that I'd use was the viewfinder, which I would use, but not often enough to justify. Built in flash is stronger on a6000. A5100 does have a touch to focus screen a6000 doesn't, not a full touchscreen like on phones etc.

Reviews on either are very good, decent step up from P&S, you can crop pictures more since they have more/better detail (so the zoom isn't -quite- as important). Consensus is included lenses aren't great, camera corrects some issues they have, but they are good, and down the line you can swap to different ones if you want. Reviews often state they are good for novices.

There are a few kid pictures in this review, so you can see how it does.
http://www.imaging-resource.com/P...ALLERY.HTM
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