[Tweeters] Camera question and lots of answers!

Teresa Michelsen teresa at avocetconsulting.com
Thu Nov 14 13:20:56 PST 2013

Many, many thanks to EVERYONE who wrote to me with ideas about cameras,
sharing their experiences, joys, frustrations, photos, and videos - many
with comparisons of different cameras, websites for reading reviews and
looking at photos, and ideas of where to buy. Thanks!!

Thought I'd briefly summarize the responses I have gotten back so far,
although I will still be doing more reading of reviews, etc. before
deciding. Everyone recommended the group of cameras known as "superzoom"
which are intermediate between the DLSR (big cameras with interchangeable
lenses) and point-and-shoots that everyone is familiar with. The two
favorites appear to be:

Panasonic (Lumix) FZ200 and the Canon Powershot SX50. Lots of people swear
by each of these and some have both :D Pros and cons, without yet having
done my further research, appear to be:

Panasonic: Faster shutter speed and faster focus. Better video. Better
performance under lower light conditions and consistently at all zoom
lengths. 24x optical zoom, less than Canon. Multiangle video screen with
clear visibility under any light conditions. Better multishot capability due
to its faster focus and shutter speed. Many other bells and whistles, but
you can mostly ignore them when you are just learning. More expensive
(cheapest I found was $500). Can screw on additional lenses and filters if
you want, but again, don't have to start with this.

Sony: Long optical zoom length of 50x. Compact, lightweight. Easy to use.
Possibly a better starter camera due to simplicity of use. Less expensive
(~$350). Main complaints appear to be slower focusing and shutter speed
(twice that of Panasonic), poor performance under lower light conditions,
hard to hold steady at high zoom. But there are very few complaints,
overall, and mostly raves for this and the other.

Photos online with both are awesome, really, although much may depend on the
photographer!! I find myself leaning toward the Panasonic, mainly because of
the faster shutter/focusing. As a beginner especially I think it would be
terribly frustrating to miss shots due to slowness when I already need all
the help I can get, and I may need the multishot to work well for some
situations. It may be a little harder to figure out at first, but it seems
like a camera I can grow into if I find I really like photography. This is
the same one that my companion was using in Panama, but branded differently
and half the cost of his (of course he got it when it was brand new).

Those are my thoughts for now - and again, thanks for being such a great

Teresa Michelsen
Olympia WA

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