Let me preface this by saying I work at Best Buy (in Canada). Take that either as a plus or a minus based on your beliefs about the company.
Personally, don't go the camcorder with photos route. Camcorders in general take poor quality photos. Cameras are catching up to faster quality video at a much faster pace and manufacturers like Canon who used to lock down zoom during video are finally starting to let up in their fun zoom models.
My choices would all be in that fun zoom size (10-15x zoom) rather than the megazoom (18-26x zoom) size because you'll actually take the camera with you. My top pick would be the Samsung WB600 or WB650, followed by the Panasonic ZS5 or ZS7, Sony H55 or HX5V, Canon SX210 and Nikon S8000 (which is troublesome but does some things very well).
Personally, test them out. See which feels nice in your hands. It's something not enough people do before they buy a camera and then they end up with something they don't like. Each manufacturer also has a bit of a shift to their white balance in a warm or cool direction that you'll either like or you'll hate and it's hard to see that in store.
Hope this helps,
I need to buy a camera that would let me shoot good photos as well as record high quality videos. Basically I don?t want to carry two cameras (camcorder + digital camera) where ever I go:). I am looking for one camera that would give me both.
Obviously there are SLRs out there however they are above my budget.
There are some super zoom digital cameras that let you shoot HD videos. e.g. Sony H55 or Nikon L110 or Panasonic Lumix?s superzoom cameras . Does anybody have used any of these? Is the video quality of these cameras sufficient for non-professional use?
Also, there is Sony Bloggie which is actually pocket HD camcorder however lets you click 5 MP still images and with 5X zoom.
Would someone who is expert advise me on this?