I really want to buy a camera that will also take good quality video as well. I want to eliminate having to carry a camera and camcorder everywhere I go.
Are you looking for a compact point & shoot camera, a DSLR, or something in between? (Or perhaps you haven't decided yet that's okay!)
Probably a point and shoot. I want to keep it simple and not have to change a lot of settings from picture to picture. But I do like the possibility of being able to change lenses.
Is this your first camera? First ever, or first digital?
No. this will be my third. I had an Olympus and a Cannon.
Are you interested in a high level of control, or would you prefer to let the camera do as much "thinking" as possible?
Let the camera do more of the thinking for me.
If you had to choose, would you prefer a more versatile (large "Χ") zoom lens, or top-notch image quality with no zoom at all?
Both my previous digital cameras were high zoom cameras. They were nice on occasion, but I would probably prefer higher quality pics. This is where it would be nice to have the ability to swap out lenses.
What size of camera do you want? To what degree would you be willing to sacrifice other features for compactness?
Obviously the smaller the better, but it doesnt have to be something I can stick in my back pocket. That was one of the draw backs of my previous high zoom cameras, they were both bulky.
What budget have you allocated for buying this camera? Please be as specific as possible.
Do you plan to spend more on additional accessories now or in the future? (Lenses, lighting, tripods, batteries, memory cards, camera bags... it adds up!)
Yes. I have a 32 GB SDHC class 10 card I would like to be able to use.
How long do you plan on keeping this new camera?
As long as possible
What will you generally use the camera for?
I want a combination camera/camcorder. This is the most important quality.
I am planning trips to Disney World and Yosemite this year but also will use the camera for holidays and indoor activities.
Are you going to photograph sports? What sport, and from how far away?
Yes, soccer, baseball, football. Mainly of my younger son.
Will you be shooting a lot of indoor photos, or other low-light photos?
Probably more indoor than outdoor.
Will you make prints, or primarily view and share images on a computer screen? If you make prints, will they typically be small (up to 5Χ7") or medium sized (8Χ10"), or are you interested in larger sizes as well?
Mainly for the computer but occasionally make smaller to med size prints.
Are you interested in spending time post-processing to make an image "perfect", or would you prefer to use images basically straight from the camera?
Straight from the camera
Are there particular lenses or technical features that are interesting or important to you?
I would like to have 1080 video quality
Are there particular brands or models you already have in mind?
Whatever is best for my needs above.
Thanks in advance!
Wish lists are great but inevitably compromises need to be made. I'd be looking at one of the "super zoom" type cameras from probably Panasonic or Canon as my first choices for what you are after.
I understand that I wont get everything that I want, but is it possible to get a quality combo unit? If I have to settle for purchasing 2 units, then I will do that.
Sure, you can get cameras that combine still photography and take excellent videos. I agree with the super zooms that K1W1 suggested. Your problem will be low light photography, especially if any of it is indoor sports which are notoriously difficult. If you are shooting sports from a distance you'll that the bigger zoom lens at the cost of size and poorer low light performance.
How close will you be able to get to the action both indoors and out?
Right now most of the sports is for a 6 year old, so I'm up close to most of the action. I can't think of too many indoor sports other than basketball maybe, but again, I will be pretty close to the action.
I was reading the comparisons Jeff Keller did with the 3 ultra compact zoom cameras. I like the size of the cameras and it looks Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX9V may be a good camera with good video.
One of my problems has been I tend to get caught up in bells and whistles too much for things I won't ever use. I'm not looking to be Ansel Adams or Tom Mangelesen. I just want a quality photo for vacations and family events and the ability to take good video as well.
The price wasnt too bad for the Sony, but can I spend an extra $100 and get the quality photo that you don't get from this Sony?
The Sony HDR-CX580V is ~ $700 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS20 is ~$350. The Panasonic seems to have larger optical zoom and larger sensor. What makes the Sony or any camcorder worth twice as much?
I would try to get a camera with a hot shoe for an external flash as this is the best way to improve your indoor (living room) photos. Why not consider a Olympus E-PL3 as this with the standard 14-42mm lens should be in your price range. Sticking it on fully auto should give good results but the option is open to play if you want to learn more. When funds allow buy an external flash (such as the Metz 44 AF-1) and then some additional lenses to suit your needs.
Steve if you are still hunting for a camera that does both still shots & video, I am on the same hunt. I also want to replace my 2 cameras with one.
I looked at the technical info on many types & reduced my list of possiblities to almost the one type.... Sony cybershot (Australian cameras will probably have slightly different code names to what they will be called in your country) but these are what they're called here:- DSCW630P; DSCWX100F; DSCWTX20; DSCH90/10V/20V; DSCHX30V. There are some new models being released to the market this month & next which I am waiting for.
The Sony will continue to video as it can 'switch' which means it can take footage & commit it to memory at the same time. It depends on the size of your SD card basically. I will be getting the biggest I can which I think is 32Gb.
Also most Sonys have things like LI-Ion internal batteries, tripod thread, larger sensor, bigger & brighter LED screen, greater zoom on some models, but the night shots were a bit iffy on some models according to youtube video about the various Sony cameras(plenty of videos to view there). I want to take shots of the moon, xmas lights & things like that apart from videoing my lessons teaching natural horsemanship.
There is a thing where non-pro cameras in some European countries are only allowed to take video for less than 10mins & other country's laws which prevent amateur video longer than 29min59sec. So although the camera is capable of videoing longer (up to 45mins), the laws of the land prevent it unless the opperator pays a tax etc.
Thankfully I live in a sane country called Australia where restrictions like that don't apply. So most of the above listed cameras will take up to 45mins of video depending on the quality & lighting conditions. When I was talking with the expert we determined that with the settings of my preference I would get about 30mins of quality footage or if I wanted to upload it quicker & reduced my settings I would get the whole 45mins. Of course to take more you will only need another SD card & continue on happily.
I would already be the proud owner of one of the above models if it were that simple. However I also require the camera to supply the data to my pc in non mpg format! I truely like avi although I have heard rumblings of shortcomings, but no-one can be specific. I am really having a downer on quicktime & all it's relations! I know I can convert the footage but there can still be codecs left that are bothersome to Photoshop in particular & also WMM. I am a MS person! It's just how things are.
Sony did reply to my emails for information but I was still left a bit unsure. So I'll be asking or searching for that info in this forum.
But I hope my search has helped you somewhat Steve.
Last edited by Clissart; 06-07-2012 at 02:42 AM.
You will have problems finding a camera that has AVI output these days as it is such an old format with poor compression. MPEG and AVCHD are the formats of choice for this HD world!
Originally Posted by Clissart
I suggest you start by ditching your PC and getting a Apple Mac as these are very happy with the new formats and generally a pleasure to use!
But all Sony cameras come with software that will import, playback and save the camera output so you should be covered.