I am in the market for my first digital camera. My son got the LZ7 and I learned how much more you can do with a digital camera vs a 35mm film camera. WOW! I am impressed with it, but I personally would prefer a tad bit more zoom capability, although 6x isn't bad at all and I may go with it. My current line up for possible purchase is between:
Canon A650 IS
Canon SX100 IS
The features that I prefer are
At least 6x optical
The A650 IS has an enormous 12.1 MP with a 1/1.7ccd but only 6x zoom. Is it better to have more pixel capability with less zoom so you can edit your photos and bring the image closer that way, or more zoom with lower pixel as in the case with the SX100 IS at 8.0MP with a 1.15 ccd with 10x zoom? I know ccd size is important with this also and I am gaining an understanding that the larger the better. Is this correct?
I do like the Panasonic FZ18 also, and the toss up between all of them is the question above, and overall image accuracy, quality, noise, and a tight budget. I am trying to keep it under $300.00 U.S..
I have found the A650IS for $269.00, the SX100IS for $209.00, and the FZ18 for $259.00, all U.S. dollar.
Of the three, I would like your evaluation for each one on noise at 100, 200, 400, and 800 please. I have tried to do it myself, but I am not very knowledgable yet as to what I am looking for in particular to differentiate the levels, especially when they get grainy. An I cannot find a review for the SX100IS or the A650IS that goes into details. I do like your video reviews tremendously. They are easy to understand, and your knowledge of all the variations of available cameras with your personal opinion of the camera performance means a lot to simple folk like myself who don't know that much yet.
I'll save more questions for later, lol.
Randy (wanting to be an educated buyer)
Do you know of any other cameras that may be better or equal to these that you can recommend with the features that I am looking for?