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Pictures and video in one camera? Which one

Leaving for Germany in July and need a camera with a great zoom and able to get great video as well. Right now all I have is the Kodak 11 mega pixel all in one, think I paid 79.00 for it. We are looking for a unit that takes batteries since we will be out all day and may not be near somewhere to charge the unit and won't have the time to wait while it charges. (don't mind carrying extra batteries). I know that most if not all of you have brought back memorable photos and video, but ever wondered if you should of brought something different to get to get them? Don't want to break the bank, but it will be used for years to come. Thanks Tom

Posted by
3696 posts

You probably need to give a little more info on budget to hear from people who have cameras in the price range you want. I would go and spend some time at a camera store and compare. There are so many cameras out there it is hard to keep up... but I would always recommend a small Nikon with a zoom lens.... gives you some versatility.

Posted by
2081 posts


Buying a camera is like buying a computer. Put as much $$$ into it as you can afford. If all youre going to to is to watch/view you movies/pictures on your computer then anything will do. but if you plan on make photoalbums or printing your shot, think better.

heres a website i use for my "camera". I chose to buy a "camera" first. Both happen to come with "movie" functions. I use the "Camera" function 99% of the time. My last trip, i think i used the "movie" function one time out of ~ 3k of shots taken.

i carry 2 cameras. They are both "pocket" cameras, but #1 is a tad smaller than a pack of cigarettes and it fits into my chest pocket with ease. There is also no lens to pop out, only a cover to manually slide down. Its also the one i use 90% of the time. the other one is bigger and has a pop out lens. They complement each other since the pocket one has a wide/mid telephoto and the bigger one has a mid to ultrazoom on it.

Think about how your going to use your toy. Is it a movie camera first and a photo camera second or the other way around?

image resource

With re to batteries. I think what you will find is that some batteries are a bad idea. they dont hold up as well as the packs. if you check the link above it has a CIPA rating. Its sort of a standard on how many shots you can get on a charge or battery. Im not sure about if that standard is including movies or just pictures, but you will get an idea.

also, whatever you do if you go with a battery pack, get 2. and keep both charged. I have 2 for each of my cameras and i havent been left high and dry yet. once i do get back, they are both on the charger and it only takes about an hour for each. also, dont be afraid to dispose of used batteries, sometimes they just dont hold onto a charge as good as they did when new.

also, using the video function eats up alot of your battery power the same for using GPS if it has it.

what you may want to look for in your toy:

ability to zoom using the movie function.

edit to add,

I forgot to add.

when it comes to digital cameras what i found in my research was that.

larger megapixel (MP) cameras did not always mean better pictures. It turns out that the software inside the camera can make a difference too and many times i the combination of both.

Digital zoom. Here is another one of the iffys. your best bet is to get the "optical" zoom. Its the real optics thats doing the work and not the optical sensor (CCD) inside.

happy trails

Posted by
1994 posts

After several searches for high zoom combined with good low-light performance and light weight, each time I've settled on Lumix. You might want to look at their current line.

Posted by
15612 posts

After a lot of on-line research, I chose the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ2200 last summer. It's an "SLR-like" camera, bigger than the compacts and more versatile, but smaller and much lighter that the true digital SLRs. I've been very happy with it and the video quality is excellent. I bought a second battery - they are expensive, but I don't have to worry about running out of juice if I use the flash a lot. By the way, if you buy a camera with GPS, and you want to save battery life, turn that function off. It eats up the charge big time. The zoom is 25-600 mm, and I've had good results with the long zoom.

I also bought a Canon PowerShort SX260HS recently because I wanted a compact camera for day trips. It has a 20x zoom and overall I've had good results with photos, though not nearly as good with the long zoom as the Lumix. I've only tried to use the video a few times. I'm too lazy to read the manual so I only got it right some of those times, and the results weren't great because I couldn't hold the little camera steady enough while shooting.

I use the Digital Photography Review site whenever I'm looking for new equipment . It is a veritable wealth of information and it's easy (once you invest a few minutes in figuring out the site) to compare several cameras at once. Amazon's prices are usually the best, but you'll want to go to a camera shop or two to get a feel for the cameras you are considering before purchase.

It's good that you're looking now, so you'll have time to become familiar with it before you go.

Posted by
672 posts

I am a big fan of Canon PowerShot digital cameras. Bought an S90 in 2010, and recently upgraded to an S120 (the newest PowerShot model). I have taken these cameras on several European trips (including Germany twice) and have gotten excellent quality photos in many different settings (indoors and outside). I bought the S120 because my daughter now has my S90 while on study abroad. The S120 is 12-megapixel, has HD (1080) video, touch screen, wifi for cordless downloading, etc. It's aperture is F1.8-5.7 (35mm equivalent) and its focal length is 24-120 mm (5X), so not a real powerful zoom, but a nice focal range, as you also have some wide-angle capability. In addition to an 'auto' setting, the camera can be completely manual, or you could use aperture priority or shutter speed priority. So, if you like to play around with settings (versus shooting everything in "auto" mode), it is fun in that regard. "Scene" settings are also available (e.g., in bright light such as on the beach, etc.). It also takes excellent night shots. The camera is small compared to digital SLRs, but both the S90 and S120 took images that equaled my older Nikon D50 SLR in quality. Since the Nikon took up half of my carry-on (okay, maybe one-fourth) I unfortunately leave it home now. Definitely buy an extra battery for the PowerShot, though, and keep it charged. The camera is not cheap compared to basic 'Point and Shoots', but it is a lot less expensive than many of the popular digital SLRs and has a lot of their features. (You just don't look through the lens when shooting.) I think the Canon PowerShots are a great compromise between "break the wallet" digital SLRs and inexpensive digital "Point and Shoot" cameras. Lastly, I suggest looking at reviews by Googling "digital camera reviews" or something similar. If you want more zoom capability in a digital camera than 5X, there are many models out there. Just make sure that the picture quality is rated highly or you might be disappointed.

Posted by
11613 posts

I have a Canon SX 280 HS 20x 12 megapixel with photo/video/wifi/gps. It's too small to make ice. I got it at Best Buy for $199.

Posted by
1998 posts

Choosing the right camera is not easy, but first make a list about what you want to do with the camera.
*Size: compact size and travelzoom fits easily in your pocket, the least worry to carry with. Enthusiast compact camera’s are bigger, don’t fit in the pocket but are still easy to handle. More bigger are Superzooms (SLR-like, bridge) , wide zoomrange but changing lenses is not needed. For interchangeable lenscamera’s (SLR and Micro Four Third) you need a bag for lenses and accessories, takes most care to walk around with.
*Zoomrange, wide angle (about 25mm) for indoor photography and superzoom (over
200mm) for objects far away. Travelzooms are actually compacts with a high zoomrange. Advanced camera’s have in general a limited zoomrange. For interchangeable lenscamera’s is more the money you want to pay for that matters.
*Optical stabilisation for photography with better zoom and lowlightperformance without the use of a tripod and/or flash.
*Sensor: type, size and MP count, the latter is most of the time adequate, important is the quality and size of the sensor for sharper images and better picture noise reduction.
*Low-light performance, these camera’s has good quality or larger sensors and or brighter lenses for capturing pictures in darker conditions.
*Shutter lag, a quick responding camera is more fun to use, a long shutterlag can become frustrating, especially when you start to miss because of that the interesting moments.
*Everything automatic or do you prefer personal settings, like shutter-speed and aperture-size?
*Manual controls or everything hidden in the menu. Compact size and travelzooms are to small for manual controls, the larger the body the more outside controls for quicker responce and easier adjustments.
*Enthusiast compact camera’s have in general a limited zoomrange, but most of the time very bright lenses and more manual controls for high quality pictures and quick responce.
*For every type there are camera’s who performs best and are good value for the money.
*Your budget.
*For a dedicated decision you really will need to take enough time for it.
*Look for good video performance in combination with other features, like zoomrange, optical stabilisation etc.
*Most camera's have their own type of batteries, I think most chargers can be used abroad, but check out that first, not so sure about that. Focusing only on standard type batteries really limits the choise of your preferable camera!

As you see a lot to think about, even the list is not complete. To my opinion take again enough time before you leave to think about the camera you want to use. As noticed before website dpreview has a lot of reviews and a camera Buying Guide with lots of info. And at last: try before you buy!

Posted by
332 posts

The best advice that I received when trying to choose a camera is choose one that is made by a camera company and not one made by an electronics company. I have used Cannon point and shoots in the past and have been very happy with them. I also have a nikkon DSLR which is my baby and I adore. I would say unless you want to go beyond the point and shoot and really get into the mechanics of photography, I would not spend the money on a DSLR. Save your money for a nice dinner:)

I will say my point and shoot loves to eat batteries, so if that is a concern, make sure you have plenty. Also consider turning the flash off. You will get a better zoom with a point and shoot, mainly b/c you would have to buy a lens for the DSLR. Which translates to more $$$.

I would go to a camera store. (Not best buy not target) and play with the cameras. ONce you have paired down which ones you like, then go online and read reviews. It all comes down in the end to what you are comfortable with.

Posted by
813 posts

I suggest you get a camera with a GPS tracker on it. Not all have them. Not sure what brands have them, but ours we got about 4yrs ago has one. It's great when you get home and load up all those pictures and think......what castle is that? What street was that? Look at your iphoto map (or non-MAC equivalent) Then you can see down to about 10-20 feet of where the picture was taken. Genius!

Posted by
32228 posts


I had to buy a new P&S camera last year, and the model I bought might also work for you. Have a look at reviews for the Panasonic ZS-30. One very extensive review that provides lots of information is . You could also look at the Canon SX-280HS, which has very similar features.

One important point regarding GPS features. While that can be a useful feature at times, the GPS system will deplete the battery very quickly, which is why I leave it switched off most of the time.

Also, don't place too much weight on whether the Camera uses AA batteries. The proprietary Li-Ion batteries work very well and I've found that a battery typically lasts for an entire day. I always top it up at night when back in the hotel. However, I always carry a spare battery. The Panasonic only charges batteries in the camera, which took me some time to get used to, but that's not a major issue as there are third party battery chargers available.

Good luck with your choice!

Posted by
11 posts

I am going to Germany in May and have used the Panasonic Lumix 10 for my last three European travels but this time I am taking my new 5s iPhone and the Sony RX10. It has a fixed lens that is 24 to 300 mm and is great in low light. It takes wide angle and zooms pretty well. I bought the Sony with the help of National Camera Exchange. I have practiced with it and love it so far. It also works great with grandchildren.