Compact Camera guidance for a newbie

Started 11 months ago | Discussions thread
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Cssaunders
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Compact Camera guidance for a newbie
11 months ago

Hi,

First post here, although have spent a fair bit of time reading through the forums as this does seem to be a hotbed of photography gurus - something I am far, far from. I am for all intents and purposes new to photography, having never ventured beyond auto snaps on cheap cameras until now.  Now I'm getting older, I'm starting to feel a little more sentimental about life and memories and realise that there are a lot of past times I wish I had captured rather than deciding my hand was better served with a drink or similar in it.

Anyway, I am looking for a fairly impressive Compact Camera that I can grow with (leaving systems or dslrs until I'm a little more 'involved).  Money is not especially an issue within reason, and so I would like to find a camera that can grow with me - at first I would probably need a good auto mode to help out, a menu and feature set that are accessible for a novice, and something that I can at my own pace play with settings and learn how to use it properly.  I of course would like to achieve impressive images in time, and imagine will be photographing quite often in day time for scenery on my travels, and at times in evenings.

The options I seem stuck on are as follows:

Sony RX100 (versions I or II) - this one originally caught my eye as being ultimately the best in class, but from research it sounds like there may be some key problems for me starting out:

  • Auto mode is limited on shutter speed (I think), meaning without a steady hand shots could suffer
  • DOF - Apparently a novice like myself could struggle to get to grips with certain shots, blurring people's heads and the like
  • Interface - The general impression sounds like this camera will be quite hard to get to grips with and very complicated for me to understand and work for quite some time
  • Ergonomics - the size and smoothness could be risky with my big, clumsy man-hands

Am I right in my concerns here or am I worrying too much?

Panasonic LX7 - this sounds like perhaps a more suitable camera, although probably has a lot of features I won't use for some time.  My only concerns with this are the size (it sounds like it is unlikely to fit in trouser pockets unless you happen to be a clown) and the lens cap...how much of an annoyance is the lens cap?  I can envisage myself frantically fumbling and missing shots, or even sitting there confused why the screen is black...

Panasonic TZ60/ZS40 OR TZ40/ZS30 - this seems like probably the most accessible camera as it's aimed more at the mass consumer market more than enthusiasts.  My concern is whether I will regret choosing a camera which is seemingly inferior in the end result - the image.

Apologies for the very long post, but I thought I'd better be as thorough as possible in order to get the right responses.  Any help would be massively appreciated, so thanks in advance!

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