Hello - I've been looking around this site and reading Gordon's awesome reviews, and they have been very helpful. I'm looking for a new camera for our family, although my wife will be the primary user. The criteria I have (from her) is fairly vague, and includes "no 'lag' between shots", "good pictures inside", and that it double as video camera. MY criteria is to stay under $500.
More specifically, I can tell you we have three kids and this would be a camera that would be used everywhere
and for many purposes. Foremost would be the usual birthday parties, Christmas celebrations, wedding receptions, school events/plays, etc. Second would be "family outings", such as trips to the zoo, farm, parks & hikes, etc. And finally, it would be for capturing our kids during their sporting events, which right now are primarily football, baseball, and swimming (both indoor and out).
I've probably read a thousand reviews, including both professional (like Gordon's), those which I would consider 'knowledgeable', and amateur stuff like on Amazon (sometimes those can be helpful). I've strongly considered the Panasonic LX7, the Canon SX50, Sony DSC-HX300, and Nikon P520, but have ruled each of those out for various reasons.
Right now, I've narrowed my choices down to the Canon S120 (@$400) and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 (@$450). I keep revisiting the SX50 and LX7 just because they get great reviews, but the other two seem to offer more. With the S120, it seems like it would be a great "point and shoot" style camera, small form factor, great indoor shots and video, but may lack much zoom for those longer-range shots. The FZ200 offers a pretty wide range, lots of zoom, and room to learn/grow (which she has expressed interest in), but my concerns are that it may not be as good for indoor parties or family moments, and I've read a lot about Panasonic's getting dust in the lens and the interface being awkward.
For those who have a lot more experience than me, can you advise which may be the better option to suit my requirements? Any opinion is valued and appreciated. Thanks for your time!