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ablasdel May 23, 2010 9:21 AM

New to good cameras not sure if I actually need an SLR...
So I have 2 cameras to speak of (both low quality that is why I am here):
Sanyo Xacti VPC-E2
Olympus mu-7000
(others are phone cams and obviously don't count)

So I have been noticing that the quality on the videos leaves a lot to be desired.

So I am going to be a Dad soon and want to be able to have crisp videos and Pics to remember the early years with.

I'm not really a photographer by any stretch so probably best if the camera isn't too crazy complicated. But I am willing to learn.

I am quite fond of the zoom features as about 10x (optical) seems mandatory to get the photograph where I want it most of the time.

So I guess my question is:
What cameras would be a large improvement on the quality I have now while keeping the price not so high with a decent zoom?

mtclimber May 23, 2010 9:31 AM


You might want to take a look at the Panasonic ZS3, ZS5, and ZS7 models. They combine a wide angle, 12 X zoom and excellent video for $300 to $370. Are you a resident of the USA? Knowing that would help us in making suggestions.

Sarah Joyce

ablasdel May 23, 2010 9:59 AM

I'm an Expat American living in Japan. But I have friends who can get goods and ship them to me if need be.

Another quick question. What tech specs should I be looking for to compare video and picture quality?

mtclimber May 23, 2010 2:00 PM


In terms of video tech specs, the ZS7 uses the AVCHD format. It is a good format but not very easy to edit. The ZS7 also has GPS for geotagging. Some folks like the GPS a lot. An equal number see the GPS as a huge drain on the ZS7's battery and not a really worth while feature.

In the final analysis, you have to read the camera reviews and balance the subjective impact of the different technical specifications. Certain features are more meaningful to different camera users. It is a very subjective process.

Sarah Joyce

ablasdel May 25, 2010 9:53 AM

The ZS7 looks amazing and to be nearly exactly what I am looking for.

I've been looking for the competitor brands and it seems nothing else even comes close. (did I miss something?)

The GPS sounds like a nifty feature and you can always turn it off when battery is an issue right. :D

If anybody has any more input it is welcome!

One issue though I've been searching around and I use Iphoto as a database for my pics and vids and it seems to be said that AVCHD doesn't import to iphoto. If anybody uses these can you confirm/refute this?

It strikes me as the only issue I would have with this camera.

mtclimber May 25, 2010 12:39 PM


Yes, I too feel that the Panasonic ZS-7 is an excellent choice and it has very good image quality as well.

Sarah Joyce

ablasdel May 25, 2010 7:49 PM

I think this one is out of my price range but what do you think of the nex-5 from sony?

mtclimber May 25, 2010 7:57 PM

The NEX-5 is impressive, but larger than most folks really want.

Sarah Joyce

ablasdel May 25, 2010 10:13 PM

You are right about the size. It is a lot bigger. Once you put on a zoom lens it becomes comically big. You are right, It looks cool and is high quality but the price/size isn't what I am going for.

Wow I really suck at the tech stuff. could you give me a quick Idea of why the ZS7 ( is better than the mu 7000 (

I just can't figure out which numbers should be bigger and which numbers should be smaller to make a good camera. If only there was some standard way that they test every camera to be able to compare each one to the other...

ablasdel May 26, 2010 6:57 AM

as if I haven't asked enough already... What advantage would a "video camera" have over a "picture camera" when taking videos?

I found FiveO's review of the zs7 vs hx5v and I am liking the zs7 even more.

Though I am a bit worried about the blue line thing with bright reflections. Does it only happen with the sun or will a bright bulb cause it too? Also can you see when it is happening on the LCD or do you just know after the fact?

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