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Old May 12, 2011, 6:39 PM   #1
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Default Best Camera for AUTO mode and video???

I am not a photographer, but need a camera that makes me look like I am!

Here is what I need help on...I have read for hours and my mind is just spinning away. I need a camera quickly (likely an online - Amazon? - purchase). Please help put an end to the misery and confusion.

Need:
1. Best possible camera for "AUTO MODE" - correct colors, crisp images in all lighting conditions- set it and forget it. I honestly do not care about ANY embellishments. I will be taking pictures mostly indoors of my children, and some outdoors for trips/etc.
2. While I am purchasing, I must have this same camera give me very good video. Again, I don't want complicated video settings or grainy (if at all possible). Good audio too, please.
3. Not so fragile that family members would break or ruin it with average handling.
4. Little to no photo editing/tweaking after taking pictures. Download and be done. ALSO - video editing with iMovie on the new Mac for my husband should not be a hassle, please.
4. Under $500

I almost bought the Lumix LX-5 due to its praised video mode and very excellent photo ratings - but from what I have just read I have to be proficient in setting the camera manually because Intelligent Auto Mode is really quite bad??? But the Canon S95 has no zoom and NO AUTO FOCUS?? in video mode and not as good low-light as the Lumix LX-5. If I am video taping anything, it is most likely going to be moving (child!) so not having an autofocus to adjust as the subject moves is insane to me.

Do I just need to take photography as a hobby and learn how to use the Lumix LX-5? Is there a wonderful camera that meets all these needs? You experts are a blessing, as I am overwhelmed in this area...THANK YOU!
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Old May 12, 2011, 10:02 PM   #2
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1. You're already chasing a fantasy. Obviously some cameras AWB is better than others, but no camera exists that can get the AWB right every time in all lighting conditions. Additionally, your requirement for "crisp imaged in all lighting conditions" requires that you pursue a micro 4/3 at the very least and more likely, a dSLR.

2. Once again, you are approaching dSLR territory if you want non-grainy video in low light. What qualifies as "good audio"? Anyone serious about audio would never use on-board mics at all.

5. Keep dreaming. You're looking at thousands unless you adjust your expectations.


  • There are a ton of comparative reviews on these 2 cameras that sum things up quite well.
  • Which one is better at high ISO is a matter of some debate, but the S95 is generally considered better in this area,
  • The LX5 has a brighter lens throughout the focal range. The S95 is F2.0 at wide but shuts down quickly as you zoom.
  • The LX5 JPEGs are inferior to the S95's in terms of color and may require some adjustment.
  • The continually adjusting AF isn't as big of a deal as it sounds considering these are P&S cameras. The camera won't need to adjust focus very often in good lighting and the video will be bad in poor lighting with either cam. Still, it would have been nice if Canon had enabled this feature.
  • Neither of these cameras will meet the criteria you have set forth above.
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Old May 12, 2011, 10:34 PM   #3
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Canon PowerShot G12
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Old May 12, 2011, 11:40 PM   #4
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Yes, I know I may be unrealistic. I am hoping for a very good result, not perfect. And by 'low light' I meant indoor photos -sorry- I used the wrong descriptor, not dark/dusk/candlelight photos. I am a complete novice (obviously!) and want the best all-purpose camera for the average family use. I could learn a few 'tricks' for best photos, but in general hope to find a setting/mode on the camera that 'thinks' for me most of the time - my brain is usually distracted with my large family's needs. The goal is less grainy, less blurry, best color and clarity I can get with a mild price tag. Thanks.
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Old May 12, 2011, 11:42 PM   #5
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Any certain features or reasons the G12 is a good pick? Thanks for your help, all.
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Old May 12, 2011, 11:57 PM   #6
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Actually, you had it right. Indoor is most certainly low-light. Check out the chart here to give you an idea of the difference in light between the average family living room and a sunny day outdoors. This should give you an idea f how challenging it is for a camera to get adequate lighting to avoid blurring and the use of high ISO indoors.

As much as I like the G12, I think it's a poorer choice for someone who is going to be shooting mostly indoors than the S95, LX5, or the XZ-1 due to the fact that it loses a full stop on the lens. Actually, considering the XZ-1 has the brightest lens in its class throughout the focal range, and the fact that alongside the S95 has the best OOC (out of camera) JPEGs in its class, you should have a look at it.
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Old May 13, 2011, 1:23 PM   #7
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OK, so maybe the XZ-1 and the S95 are top choices.

I realize this is like asking for the 'best boxed brownie mix' recommendation at a gourmet cooking blog...you all know how to make amazing photos from 'scratch' and I am hoping for a quick AUTO mode fix only... But perhaps you have friends/spouses who need a similar thing.

I recognize that with manual settings and photo editing afterwards I could get BEST quality photos with some cameras. I am looking for Very Good (if possible) out of little to no tweaking.

Thanks for your insights and time!!!
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Old Jul 25, 2011, 12:53 PM   #8
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I'm in the same boat. Are these three (S95, LX5, or XZ-1) still the best option or has something better come along in the few months since this thread was updated? Which one has the best video?

Thanks,
Shawn
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Old Jul 26, 2011, 11:12 PM   #9
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do some reading about the olympus epl1. i've heard very good things about its auto, and the video isn't shabby. its best low light video would be with a different lens than comes with the kit, though. http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...al_Camera.html
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Old Jul 28, 2011, 2:45 AM   #10
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EOS 7D will do the trick
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