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Old Oct 16, 2011, 12:51 PM   #1
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Default Suggest a camera for under 400 USD

I am looking to buy a new camera soon and want to seek opinions from experts here. I have been a point and shoot camera user and current camera is Panasonic DMC LZ8.
I will try my level best to list down my priorities and requirements so experts here can make me best recommendations

Budget
400 USD is the budget i have decided on for now, but can go a bit more if the camera is worth it.

Size
Compact or a Brdige (between compact and SLR) size is fine with me. Should not be very bulky.

Features:
Decent Megapixels - I know high Mpx does not necessarily mean better pics.
Zoom - Higher the better, current camera has 5X and at zoom end the pics are not that good. So need the pics on zoom end to be good as well.
Good Auto Settings- I am an amateur photographer and have no much knowledge about aperture etc so i prefer to click most pics at Auto settings. But i am ready to learn.
Low Light/Night performance - Camera should give very good pics when clicked at night / low light. Pics of illuminated building or say fireworks (sometimes), night scenery etc. (I have a Vegas trip coming up and need a camera before that).
Wide Angle - So that more of can be fit inside a single frame.
HD Video - Need upto 720p, may never use 1080p even if the camera has the feature.

Camera Use
General use only, landscape, buildings, illuminated night scenery etc.
May never take big prints.
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Old Oct 16, 2011, 2:17 PM   #2
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More MP means poorer image quality in nearly all cases, unless you plan on printing massive posters. If manufacturers don't increase MP though, they won't be able to convince much of the general public to upgrade. You want low light performance and yet you want more zoom. Improvements in low light ability require a brighter lens (e.g. F2.0) and a larger sensor (e.g. 1/1.7"). Basic physics makes a long zoom with a bright lens and a larger sensor in a compact package a physical impossibility.

How about the Nikon P7000? 7x zoom and it has the brighter lens/larger sensor for low light. It's about $365 right now. Other than that, if you want more zoom, you're going to have to give up the low light improvements.
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Old Oct 16, 2011, 2:36 PM   #3
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Oh is it so ?? Sorry i was not aware about all this. I am an amateur with this information
You see my requirements is to get a VFM camera and also zoom is to be used more in day time rather than night. For night shots i may not really use much zoom if i am not expecting good pics. Just that when i click pics when in Vegas (those illuminated buildings etc etc, but not limited to this), they should come good.
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Old Oct 16, 2011, 3:30 PM   #4
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I guess what you're looking for is basically an "all in one" solution- and a bridge camera is the obvious choice given your price range and the zoom you're looking for.
They're not the best option for low light work- but are still capable of producing decent night shots with the use of a tripod and lower iso/longer exposure settings.
The main contenders in the bridge category are-
http://www.whatdigitalcamera.com/equ...-the-year.html

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Old Oct 16, 2011, 3:41 PM   #5
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^^Yes...you have hit the nail. Although it sound greedy/selfish to expect everything from a one camera and that too in limited price range is what i expect but i am sure there may not be any such offerings so i want to get the best available in that case.
Let me check the link you have given
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Old Oct 18, 2011, 2:48 AM   #6
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Check out the Canon SX40. Honestly, I like the Panasonic FZ150 better, but the SX40 does better with high ISO shots, which are inevitable when shooting w/ a bridge cam in low light.
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Old Oct 21, 2011, 4:24 PM   #7
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It's a toughie,isn't it FiveO- do you go with Canon's high iso ability or the super fast speed of the Panasonic...? I'm undecided....
Are we not helping rak007....lol...
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Old Oct 22, 2011, 9:22 PM   #8
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Does Sony HX9V fit my bill ? I think i have revised my budget to 300$ now
Is this a good camera for normal day pics and even night pics ?
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Old Oct 23, 2011, 4:52 AM   #9
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The Sony HX9V is a fine little camera- though there are a few contenders in this category too- the Canon SX220/230HS possibly setting the benchmark..?
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/q311...zoomgrouptest/
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Old Oct 24, 2011, 3:28 AM   #10
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I prefer the Canon SX220/240 or the Nikon S8100/S9100 over the HX9V. I'm not a fan of Sony's heavy-handed noise reduction, over-sharpening, or overly saturated reds. Sony makes great sensors, but their processing leaves a lot be desired imho.

You're giving up low light ability for zoom in the case of all pocket superzooms btw.
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