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SpecialistMichael, MS, CSCS
Category: General
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Experience:  Senior Information Specialist
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POINT AND SHOOT DIGITAL CAMERAS! I really dont understand

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POINT AND SHOOT DIGITAL CAMERAS! I really don't understand why I keep on shopping for these things: they are so complicated to operate! Maybe it's just me: after ten minutes spent just trying to open the box the camera comes in, I begin to foam at the mouth. Two more minutes and I'm ready to kill.
Nevertheless, I'm considering Canon Powershot SX40 HS and Panasonic Lumix FZ-150. I want just one of them. Which one would you prefer, camera expert? One is cheaper than the other, and one of them has 3D capabilities, which does NOT impress me at all. But I do want pictures as fine as I can take them.
I'm very interested in landscapes, but far more interested in skyscapes--you really see our planet's forces at work there, and they can scare the hell out of you with their totally indifferent monumentality. Lordy, I am getting sappy in my old age!

So, considering your expertise and my lack of it, which camera would you suggest I buy?

FitnessSpecialist :

Hi my name is XXXXX XXXXX you available?

FitnessSpecialist :

Ill switch us to standard format so you have an answer when you return

My name isXXXXX have helped a myriad of customers on JustAnswer with their camera opinion and use questions.

Out of the 2 cameras you have selected, the Panasonic Lumix FZ-150 I think should be your choice. The photos I have seen from this camera is fantastic, very sharp, so sharp in fact they beat out some lower level DSLR cameras, and rival some of the mid range DSLR - and that says ALOT.

You need to keep in mind that no matter what, the quality of the lens is really what determines the quality of the photo with today's cameras. With this, if you are considering making a big hobby of shooting the skyscapes, a DSLR may be a consideration if you have the budget for a DSLR body and then a quality lens(which can cost as much as the body), but the Panasonic Lumix FZ-150 is a GREAT camera that makes for VERY VERY sharp images.

Not to throw yet another wrench in the gears, but something like a Sony NEX5 also makes for awesome images and comes with a 18-55 type lens that you would find on a DSLR BUT has functionality like point&shoot/SLR hybrid. The NEX5 also produces great images.

Let me know if you need more information but the Panasonic Lumix FZ-150 has my vote, in fact, if I wasn't shooting DSLR myself for everything including work and play, I would probably get the panasonic myself. It all comes down to lens quality at this point in the technology stage.

The only thing you need to be able to do is drag the shutter on the cameras, so you aren't forced into High ISO situations(think of this as sensitivity to light of the sensor) and thus potentially grainy pictures, so just do the looking around of night images and high ISO reviews. Otherwise if you can control the shutter and keep the ISO low, youre going to have some gorgeous images.

Just make sure you tweak your settings for file size, image "fine"ness, and maybe look into some basic editing software like Adobe Lightroom, you will make some GORGEOUS images.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I am very satisfied with my expert, so let's get that out of the way. My problem is that I am not as intelligent as he, nor certainly as knowledgeable.

The last two paragraphs in his advice, for example, are troublesome for me. , What, for example, does "drag the shutter" mean? Plus the rest of that paragraph? And in the last paragraph, what does "tweak your settings for file size, image 'fine'ness'," etc. Don't hesitate to use crayons for explanations, the darker the better.

Its Mike again, thank you very much for the great rating and tremendous bonus - its so very much appreciated.

So the term "drag the shutter" basically means using a setting so that you can use a longer shutter speed. So for example, you set the ISO(the sensitivity to light) a little lower, and the aperture(the lens opening), smaller[which would be a larger number] but use a longer shutter speed so you get the same appropriate exposure. This may mean shooting OUT of Auto mode, because the camera automatically sets ISO high in dark situations. ISO, while it enables crisp quick shuttered pictures, means some grainy look in the dark.

The "fine" comment, I mean by setting the the images to fine as opposed to "normal" or "low", more detailed where the other settings wouldn't otherwise be as sharp. It would make no sense, trying to maximize a photo after the shot was taken, if it wasn't maximized in camera. Also I personally like to shoot as large as possible file size(easy menu setting) so that IF i have to resize a portion of the image, its still nice and sharp.

Does that make more sense?

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