After taking over 12,000 pictures and experiencing numerous drops and a few spills, my Kodak Easyshare Max z990 is finally starting to flake out in the picture quality department.
With Kodak out of the digital camera business, I am eager to try one of the more popular brands. But which one? And what model of camera should I buy? … It is so easy for me to get excited about the latest and greatest features being advertised by the manufacturers. So, I am starting with a list, based on my past camera experience, of my must-haves, nice-to-haves, and which features I really don’t care for.
If anybody knows of a camera that fits what I am looking for, let me know!
Zoom – I can be made content with 10x zoom. But I love the 30x on my Kodak z990. So 10x is a must. 30x is excellent. And more would be amazing!
Good quality 1080p Video – My family and I have really enjoyed making 1080p video over the last several months. Of course, the quality is more important than the resolution. I will consider a camera with 720p video if all other features are amazing.
View Finder and Manual controls – Really, why do some cameras skip out on these? Sometimes the LCD just doesn’t cut it. Nor do the smart / auto settings.
Size / Weight – I like the feel of a bridge camera in my hand. Compared to pocket cameras, bridges have a bigger lens and a grip than pocket you can wrap your hand around. Like a mini, lighter weight dSLR. … z990 gets a little heavy at about 1.3 pounds, so slightly smaller would be nice.
Price – And last but not least, my camera will need to be in the $200 – $300 price range. Of course, I would be thrilled to find a camera meeting my needs for $75. But that does not seem likely.
Low Light Performance – I take a lot of indoor pictures without the flash. I want these to turn out nice. … I also take a lot of silhouette pictures outside. I have yet to find a camera that does well in low light without messing up the crisp darkness of a silhouette.
Fast Response and Good Action Shots – Wildlife and kids don’t hold still for that perfect shot. I really hope to get some nice shots of my daughter in karate this year.
AA Batteries – They are just more convenient!
Super Macro – My Kodak z990 is the first good quality camera I have owned that lets me get up close with small subjects. (lady bugs, seashells, dandelions) It has been so much fun!
2 second and 10 second timers – These are a standard feature, right? I hope so!
(Other things I want but won’t be too upset if I can’t get them.)
Take Pictures while Shooting Video – Another feature I have become spoiled to.
Positionable LCD – Something I can tilt to see what I am taking a picture of when the picture is up high or down low. Who knows? I might even stop randomly dropping to the ground and laying on my tummy every time I see a lady bug or a pretty flower.
Threaded Lens – So I can add filters.
Photobooth – Another much-loved feature on my z990. Takes 4 low resolution pictures, timed about 10 seconds apart then puts them together to resemble a strip from a photobooth. I really like how well it focuses between pictures, compared to the focus with my 10 second timer.
RAW – I use to be really excited about the idea of getting a camera with a RAW image format option. But now that I have one – I have to say, it really isn’t something I use.
DSLR – Another thing I use to think I wanted. A nice DSLR with all the cool interchangeable lenses. Then I realized that the smaller SLRish bridge models that I usually get are bulky enough.
::: Up For Consideration :::
Let me know what cameras you suggest I look into! So far these are what I am looking at:
Fujifilm FinPix S8300 42x zoom, macro shots from as close as 1cm, 1080i video (how crazy would interlaced video drive me?) and HS (high speed) video recording options. (high speed requires use of a much smaller resolution) , partial color pictures (like a black & white picture with a red rose), pop color pictures, and more, uses 4 AA batteries and weighs about 1.5 pounds. Comes with about a $300 price tag.
FinePix S4800 30x zoom, macro shots from as close as 2 cm, 720p video at 30fps, uses 4 AA batteries, and weighs about 1.14 pounds, uses older CCD sensor (other cameras I am looking at use BSI-CMOS). Comes with about a $230 price tag.
Both Fujifilms let have options to take 3d pictures. Not sure if you should use the flash? You can even take a picture in natural light immediately followed by a with-flash one.
Nikon Coolpix P510 At about $350, this camera does come in over my price limit. But it has 42x zoom, weighs 1.22 pounds, and has a tilt LCD screen and GPS logging! Plus it has already been around for several months, so I have a better idea what I would be getting into. Biggest initial downside? Battery is not AA. I could get 2 backup batteries and a charger from newegg for about $25. But I already have several rechargeable AA’s.