Let’s keep this short and sweet – If I had $____ to spend on a camera what would I buy. . .  (see below for lens ideas)

If I had $200 to spend I would buy the Canon HS300 This little P&S is little! but offers excellent quality, 1080p with stereo audio and the neat feature of slow mo video.  I would spend the extra $50 on an 8GB SD Card (it comes w/ a 4GB and HDMI cable) an Ultra Compact Camera Case and a Joby Flexible Tripod.  NOTE: This Camera at $149 is already blackfriday discounted – Amazon’s price matches the expected door buster price being offered by BestBuy.
If I had $400 I would buy the Canon PowerShot S100 & that would require me to scrounge a bit for an extra $30 but it wold be worth it.  The new DIGIC 5 Image Processor means fast performance and excellent low light images. Additional features similar to the HS300 above but with a very cool control ring for manual control over a range of settings and GPS for automatic location tagging of your photos.
If I had $600 I would buy the Panasonic LUMIX G3 Four-Thirds Camera with 14-42mm Lens And just like that we are now in the territory of cameras with removeable lenses – DSLR like – this is not a true DSLR because it doesn’t have a mirror that directs the image that comes through the lens to an optical viewfinder.  What it does have and offers is an electronic viewfinder and a flip out LCD screen with touch to focus (and lots of other touch to do something options)  Fast and silent autofocus, 360 motion panorama and loads of video options.  Downside- battery life isn’t great and additional lenses aren’t cheap.   There are other really close competitors for my heart at this price range.
If I had $800 I would buy the Canon EOS Rebel T3i with EF-S 18-55m IS Lens You get a whole lot of DSLR for this price- a gorgeous flipity out LCD screen, 1080P recording – in fact the T3i shares same image/video quality with the much more expensive 7D and even offers a few features like video zoom that you don’t get in the 7D.  And for those that dream of going big as a photographer wireless flash control is a cherry on the T3i pie.

If I had $1000 I would buy the Canon EOS Rebel T3i with EF-S 18-55m IS Lens (yep same as above) and add an external flash like Speedlite 320EX Flash – This is going to do loads for your indoor & outdoor photos and has a video light AND has a remote for triggering the shutter on the camera.

If I had $1200 I would buy the Fujifilm X100 – this is a DSLR sensor in a small range finder like body with a fixed lens.  Sure you are giving up the versatility of a DSLR with removable lenses and no zoom but what you get is a fantastically peppy camera, superb quality and it is all packaged in a stylish body.

 

 

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