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Total newbie looking for help with camera purchase


I am a total novice in photography and don't know anything about how to adjust settings on cameras. I am looking to purchase a camera for my every day needs. I mostly photograph my constantly moving young children, outdoor activities, and scenery while we are hiking/snowshoeing/camping etc.
I prefer pictures that are up close but I don't necessarily like to be right in their face to get it. I want a decent photo without needing an SLR, which is too bulky for my needs and I don't know how to use it effectively anyway. I would prefer to spend less than approximately $500.

What kind of specifications should I be looking for? Any particular cameras?

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It was recommended that I try the fujifilm x20 and I have that in hand. It looks like it will take perfectly fine pictures but I am worried the zoom is not enough.
Paul Morgan Plus
13 16.2k 6 England
2 Feb 2014 10:35PM
It a good little camera, the zoom of 108mm should be perfectly long enough for your needs
3 Feb 2014 11:33AM
Hello MH,

I agree with Paul I use the previous model the X10 and can easily print to 12 x 16 with it. It also copes with contrasty conditions very well indeed here's an example.

1-grabshot.jpg



This is out of camera and you can see that the sensor has held the highlights very well indeed. All it needed was a little bit of brightening in the centre, the stall holder was very happy with the print Smile

Jem
Do you lose picture quality when you use an ultra zoom? The one I was thinking of getting is the Panasonic fz200.
If I keep the x20, I'm assuming that I'll be able to zoom in and crop if I need to and the quality will still be good? I don't plan to enlarge anything bigger than 8x10. Mayyyyyyybe 11x14 if I really loved it.
Paul Morgan Plus
13 16.2k 6 England
3 Feb 2014 7:18PM
You could probably get away with cropping a little, but if your going to be doing this a lot, it would be better getting a camera with a lens with more reach.

I too use an x10 and it is fine for most occasions when all I want to carry is a compact.
That's where my dilemma is. I don't think I'll enjoy lugging around anything too big while I'm hiking, chasing kids, etc. but then again they might be 20-30 meters away and I'll wish I had a good zoom on their face.
4 Feb 2014 12:11AM
Hmmmm the new Panasonic TZ60 may be a good choice small body huge zoom;

http://www.dpreview.com/products/panasonic/compacts/panasonic_dmczs40

I used their LX4 at one time and could get 12x16 prints off it at ISO100.

Jem
Carabosse Plus
11 39.7k 269 England
4 Feb 2014 12:17AM
I have found the Panasonic LF1 to be an excellent camera. I probably use it more than my system camera.
Paul Morgan Plus
13 16.2k 6 England
4 Feb 2014 2:05AM
Sounds like you might want Wifi and GPS. Mainly outdoor photography- so you are not too concerned about sensor size and depth of field etc. So I could look at Canon G16 or S120. That's about $400. Those are good cameras. You could also go with a fun camera like Nikon AW110 or Pentax WG3-that would be the colorful, waterproof, freezeproof kind. You might want to run a feature search for cameras on a site like TraitMix.com to get the lay of the land.
Thanks! That'll give me something to chew on!

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