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Old Jul 30, 2010, 1:41 PM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2010
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Default Any Expert Opinions for my next Camera?

I need help with my decision to get the best camera possible, with a max budget of $1000. I need experts with experience to suggest cameras which meet what I am looking for, or what I should be looking for, and suggest my best options.

Here are the things that are important to me, in general order of importance (to me):
Full HD video
High quality still/video image
Speed (burst rate, slow mode video, good low light performance)
Good macro (for stacking experimentation)
Strong feature set

Here is where I have been looking:
CMOS superzooms, 4/3 cameras, and entry level DSLRs

Here is where I stand:
Two weeks ago I bought a Nikon Coolpix P100. I returned it after
two days because of what I felt was poor still image quality. All the other features seemed to work great.
Now I am considering Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100 (August release), Canon Powershot SX30is (August release), Panasonic DMC-GH1, and Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2

Specs look good for the Panny P100, and I have confidence about the reputation for Canon Powershots, but I am thinking the GH1 and G2 are at the top of my list and the low point is 720p with AVCHD lite on the GH1. If I am going to consider interchangeable lenses, I want an "all-in-one" type superzoom, which means that because of price, I need to get the the camera with the single lense that is closest to a super zoom. The GH1 comes with the 14mm-140mm, which is good for me, and with shopping, will just squeak into my budget. And the G2 comes with a pancake, so I would need to buy the body and the Panasonic 45mm-200mm separately to keep the price inside my budget.

Your suggestions can be a camera I am considering, or a camera that I SHOULD be considering. Suggestions for camera first, and if you think one with interchangeable lenses is "The ONE", then after that, suggestions for the lense next, will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for any help.

Last edited by BillboTex; Jul 30, 2010 at 1:43 PM.
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Old Jul 30, 2010, 4:17 PM   #2
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If you want a useful suggestion you have to let us know what types of photography are most important to you. If you say "everything" the answer is simple - you can't shoot "everything" well for only $1000. You talked about features but not about what you shoot and in what conditions you shoot it.

For example: good low light performance. Shooting basketball is very different than your son asleep in his crip which is also different than a concert which is different than you children playing in the basement. Different situations with different solutions.
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Old Jul 30, 2010, 5:18 PM   #3
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Default Thanks, JohnG

Thanks John, but I am not sure I can give you an answer that will help you to help me. The standard that I put on ANY purchase - camera or not, is, I want the best I can get, for the best price. I am realistic enough to realize that nothing would be perfect, even with an unlimited budget, but I want to get as close as possible within my budget. I listed the things that were important, in order of importance, so suggestions could be made, considering what is important to me.

I will try to help you with as many specific photographic situations that I can think of (not in order of importance to me), but there is a risk that you will think I am not serious?......

sun, shade, rain, low light "drama" shots, Night city lights, night Lightening, night sky/moon, bug macros, flower macros, coin macros, tree bark macros, what is it macros, experimental "stacking" macros, zoo animals, trip animals, wedding memories, vacation pictures including Bed & Breakfasts, canyons, caves, historic buildings, bridges

For video, kind of the same as above, slow motion sports, slow motion children playing, world gymnastic tours, ice skating, video of me walking, hiking, bicycling, shopping, (with my chest harness), political events

I don't know where to stop? I thought my general ordering of importance would be more helpful to repliers? I am not looking for perfection in any category, just the best available within my budget. For example, in my original post, "strong feature set" is at the bottom, but I want the strongest feature set available within my budget. I am actually here for help....please?
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Old Jul 30, 2010, 6:17 PM   #4
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Get the new Panasonic FZ45 and the FZ100...you'll have the best of both worlds...I am looking foward to them...I am sure the FZ100 will be every bit as good as the HS10 and the FZ45 if not hurt by the 14 Mp will be the cats meow with 24X also as the FZ35 has proven it's macro abilities again and again and the FZ100 will also be good at Macro and up to ISO 800 I feel...

I am seriously thinking of letting the Canon 7D go...

Last edited by LTZ470; Jul 30, 2010 at 6:20 PM.
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Old Jul 30, 2010, 6:31 PM   #5
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Default Thanks LTZ450

Thanks for the unique advice - TWO cameras that keep within my budget is a new thought for me.

The reason I have been leaning more toward the G2, is because of sensor size. Usually image quality is increased with larger sensor size. The G2 sensor is 17.3mm x 13.0mm (or 225 square mm), and the FZ100 sensor size is 10.9mm x 10.9mm (or 119 square mm).

Thanks again LTZ
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