General, Random

Travel Junkie Scores Her Latest Fix (a.k.a. Camera Upgrade)

As mentioned in a previous post, I was jonesing for a camera upgrade, but choosing the right camera for me was no easy task. After diligently researching every last detail (along with helpful input from others), I finally selected the camera that will (I hope) exceed my expectations as I trot around the globe.

The Canon PowerShot SX40 and the Nikon CoolPix P510 were among my top 4 finalists, but in the end, they didn’t make the cut. Canon and Nikon are both well respected brands in the photography community, but the reviews I read led me to believe I would have been disappointed with these cameras based on shutter speed, battery life, and possibly even image quality. Both of these cameras had amazing optical zoom capabilities, but I was looking for more than just a good zoom. I was in search of a well-rounded camera that would suit all of my needs, not just a one-trick pony.

I then went back and forth (for days!) between the Sony CyberShot HX200V and the Panasonic Lumix FZ200. They each had certain specifications that outdid the other, making it difficult to pick a clear winner. For example, the Sony had more megapixels, but the Lumix was slightly faster. The Sony had a GPS function, while the Lumix had a longer battery life. The Sony had a longer zoom, but the Lumix had better image quality. The Sony was cheaper and more within my price range, but the Lumix had a sharper lens. I agonized over these details trying to figure out which specifications were most important for my travel needs.

And the winner is………………

The Panasonic Lumix FZ200

The Lumix was more expensive, but in the long run, I think I’m sure it is the better camera. The deciding factor was the Lumix’s amazing zoom lens that has a constant f2.8 aperture through its entire zoom range! This is an amazing feature and it is the first camera in its class that has been able to accomplish this. What does all of that even mean, you ask?  It means this camera is pretty stinkin’ awesome!  In order to keep the size and the cost of a camera down, most super zoom lenses must decrease the aperture size as the lens zooms in.  This lets in less light, which in turn can affect image quality.  But not the Lumix FZ200.  This super zoom lens lets in the same amount of light even when the lens is fully extended!

I originally ordered this camera through an online website that I had never heard of before because it was listed $75 cheaper than on  Ten days later and my camera had not even been shipped yet.  I called the shady website (with an even shadier Customer Service Rep) and learned that my camera wouldn’t arrive for another week!  I decided the $75 savings wasn’t worth it, so I cancelled my order.  Amazon shipped the camera immediately and it arrived two days later.  Lesson learned….I heart Amazon!

Because of my little ordering snafu, I have only had the chance to use the camera once.  I used the camera on our recent trip to Norfolk and you can see those pictures here.  So far I am extremely happy with my choice and I can’t wait to play with it more.

Do you know a lot about cameras?  Do you think I made the right choice?


16 thoughts on “Travel Junkie Scores Her Latest Fix (a.k.a. Camera Upgrade)

  1. Dad says:

    The larger aperture Lets in more light but narrows your depth of field. Using a smaller aperture gives you a larger field of focus.
    When you are at full zoom your focus may be narrow.

  2. Wow, I have such a case of new camera envy now! I’ve been thinking of upgrading for a while, especially since I started blogging. I use an 8 year old Canon Digital Elph, so well loved that buttons labels are worn off, but I just don’t get the same quality pics as newer models. I’ve been on amazon for a half an hour now, maybe I’ll take the plunge!.

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