Camera recommendations?

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Camera recommendations?

Post by krismunk »


I'm in the market for a new camera and thought I'd solicit some recommendations.

Background info is I'm a crappy photographer with very little interest in gear in the market for a versatile and sturdy p&s camera with a price tag below 300$.

For years I've had various Panasonic Lumix models but I keep killing them off way too fast. Sand, water, dust, sometimes I don't even know what... either way they always end up with the dreaded System Error (Zoom). The latest I've had ws the DMC-TZ3S, previously I've had some models higher in the range, some lower.

I'm basically looking for something that is more sturdy, but at least versatile, takes at least as good pictures and is just as easy to use and carry around.

I'd be using it mainly for herp pictures, also some bug and landscape pictures, and - to the probably limited extent possible - mammal & bird shots.

Every now and then I do get annoyed at the limitations. First and foremost I would like to be able to take higher quality shots at a greater distance and I would like to have the option of manual focus for those situations when I cannot get the camera to agree with me on what should be in focus.

I would also like to have an easier time taking decent photos in poor lighting conditions and being able to take photos that are more clean and crisp with more vibrant colours. I suspect these limitations have more to do with the photographer than the camera, though.

I have considered trying an upgrade to DSLR but I've decided against it because:

a) While I would like more flexibility in terms of what shots are possible and a higher overall image quality I'm pretty sure most of the limitations I'm currently encountering have more to do with my skills as a photographer than any shortcomings of my equipment. If I can't even make the most of what I have why upgrade to something more where due to a lack of interest I would probably end up making even less use of my possibilities?

b) I don't want to spend a fortune on gear, particularly given my track record of wrecking it.

c) I like being lightweight in the field. I don't want to lug around a lot of gear and spend time packing it in and out and making adjustments every time I want to snap a picture.

...Any suggestions?

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