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Old Sep 24, 2010, 12:46 AM   #1
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Default I need a camera that performs or is as close to DSLR

Hi, I am new to this board and would like some advice. I am in the market for a new camera. I currently own a Sony DSC H20. I love this camera and have been very happy with it. We purchased it before our son was born five months ago, so I could capture all his moments. I find ever since my son was born, I have been taking more pictures and really loving it. However, my H20 is limited when it comes to manual settings.

I would like to get more into photography. I considered a DSLR but it's to expensive at the moment. I would like a P&S camera that performs like a DSLR. Here is what I am looking for

I want great quality pictures that are of DSLR quality or close
I would like manual settings I can adjust to learn about photography
A camera that takes awesome and clear images when it comes to movement, like my little one rolling or something.
A camera with HD video. This is important to me because I need a camera and video camera in one because I am always constantly taking videos or pics of my son daily with my H20.
A camera that can take very good quality pictures in low light. I am always frustrated when I try to take a picture in natural light and it comes out bad or blurry so I am forced to use flash.
A zoom like my H20 or better
One that takes beautiful portraits because I always pose my son for his monthly pictures.

I have my eye on the Sony Cybershot Hx1 and the Canon G11 The only thing is the G11 does not do HD video and that is important to me since my H20 does. Do you guys know of any other camera's that perform like I would like? My price range is $300-500
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Old Sep 24, 2010, 2:40 AM   #2
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You can actually get a DSLR for that price. Look at the entry-level Sony, Pentax, Canon cameras. All can be had for < $500 with a kit lens.
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Old Sep 24, 2010, 4:09 AM   #3
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While many new dSLRs can record video, doing it is not for the casual user. The process is complicated and the results are often disappointing. For recording video, you may be better off with your H-20. Also, the lens on your H-20 has a 35mm equivalent focal length of 38-380mm, which will require lenses that, whatever dSLR you choose, will cause you to exceed your budget. The least expensive combination that I could find is the Pentax K-x with the 18-55 kit lens and the 55-300mm telephoto zoom lens for ~$725 at Amazon.com.
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Old Sep 24, 2010, 5:01 AM   #4
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your requirements list is a lot to ask from any compact camera with a small sensor. On spec alone Canon G12 and Nikon P7000 might fit the bill if you replace "great, awesome and very good" with simply "good" . But both cameras were just announced, so only time will tell if they can deliver what they promise. But both are within your $500 budget. In a long run you will be much better off with a beginners DSLR with a kit standard zoom, a fast prime for portraits and a dedicated flash. But this minimal DSLR kit will put you above your budget, unless you buy used.
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Old Sep 24, 2010, 9:46 AM   #5
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gcavvv-

You give us no indication at all about where you live?? Hopefully it is in the USA. Right now Sony A-230 cameras, Sony's entry level DSLR, one season ago, are priced very inexpensively on E-Bay, or you can order a brand new one from www.walmart.com for $375 with free shipping and a full one year guarantee.

If you are a careful shopper the Sony 55-200mm lens can be purchased for around $100 on E-bay. That would be a better way to go for you. It would give you a proper camera, with both manual and automatic controls, on which you could really learn and it would measurably improve your image quality.

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Old Sep 24, 2010, 10:46 AM   #6
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I live in California. Thank you for all your wonderful replies. The reason I am also not getting a DSLR is because with a new baby and lugging around a big DSLR would be a pain in the butt. A smaller camera would be better to fit in the diaper bag lol I also need HD video for his everyday moments. I think I may have listed to many things but last night I stayed up researching until my eyes were going to fall out and this is the list I came up with.

Sony s90/s95
Sony Cybershot Hx1
Canon G11 is off my list for no HD video
Panasonic Dmc Lx3/5


Out of these camera's which has the most qualities I am looking for? Being able to change lens is not a big deal to me. The reason I am looking as well is because I dropped my H20 and now it's not working as well.
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Old Sep 24, 2010, 11:09 AM   #7
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gcavvv-

I don't think that you understand the problems involved. Imager size plays a very large part in producing greater image quality and the ability to shoot under low light conditions. A DSLR camera with its imager that is 15 to17X the size of the imager used on the Sony HX-1 has a much larger advantage in getting the photos that you initial post describes.

If size is indeed your priority, then the Canon S-95 and the Panasonic LX-5 are your best choices. However, at some point, if you seriously want to move forward with photography, you will probably consider a DSLR camera.

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Old Sep 24, 2010, 11:19 AM   #8
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Hi Sarah, I would at some point in my life like to get a DSLR but it's probably not the best for me at the moment. Maybe when my son is older I guess I just wanted a camera that was close to a DSLR with the quality of pictures and one that does good HD videos and great photo's in low light.

The G11 sounded like a mini DSLR but the no HD video cut it for me. I've been seeing a lot about the s90/95 and it ability to perform like the G11 but with HD video. The HX1 interests me because it can do HD video but it also has manual settings so you can learn about the photography which my H20 does not.

Out of these choices which has the best quality pictures that come close to DSLR, perform great in low light, have manual settings that can teach me more about picture taking so in the future when I get a DSLR I have knowledge and have good video?

I'm leaning more towards the HX1 but I want to make sure I am happy.I'm sorry for the trouble I just want to make a good purchase

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Old Sep 24, 2010, 11:39 AM   #9
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gcavvv-

I own a Sony HX-1 among a whole bunch of other cameras. Sadly it has become outdated and it is due for replacement. So I would advise that you stay away from the HX-1. Please keep in mind that the HX-1 and other super zoom camera are not small or tiny. They may not "jive" with your small is beautiful philosophy.

However, if you wanted more zoom and HD video, the Panasonic FZ-35 or FZ-40 would be much better choices. They can shoot up to an ISO setting of 800 easily and ISO 1600 in an absolute pinch. That is no where near what a DSLR can do, but it gives you a lot of zoom in a great Leica formula lens in a 14 to 16 ounce package.

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Old Sep 24, 2010, 12:04 PM   #10
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You can also look at the canon G12, it shoots HD. It is canon new flagship in the G series line. And you can also look at the nikon p7000, it has a little bit more zoom, both will be about 500 dollars.

But for that price, I would consider spend the extra 30 dollars and get a m4/3 camera instead. It will give you better low light, and almost all the performance of a dslr with lens changing options also. The only department it falls behind on is for action shooting. The olympus epl-1 is about 520 dollars.
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