To me it seems like you need an ultra-zoom. The Olympus SP series is an example of an ultrazoom. Ultrazooms are a compromise between a compact and a SLR. They have big zoom. are medium sized(bigger than compact but smaller than SLR), have an in between set of manual controls along with scene modes and also have an in between price. What sets them apart is that they cant change lenses but their lenses have a zoom range that would otherwise be available only on SLRs for a very high price. As for the wide angle and zoom combo, there arent many options. I read that wide angle zoom lenses are very hard to make. The only camera I can think of that has that combo is the Olympus SP-550 which I own. Its on the more expensive side of the ultrazooms($500) but it has outstanding range. It does 1cm macro and can still go to 18x zoom. Mind you thats optical. It also has IS(image stabilization) which I have found to work at soeeds as slow as 4 seconds. On the down side it uses xD instead of SD but its worth looking into. Olympus fits you out pretty well with accesories. If you dont want to spend so much money get any other ultra-zoom just make sure it has IS(CCD shift or optical, NOT DIGITAL) or the zoom will pretty much be worthless. The older Olympus SPs dont have this so I wouldnt recommend it. Do some research though the Lumix are cheaper and I hear good but they dont have as much zoom(they have 10-12x).
I'm in the market for a new digital camera and I've been trying to do a lot of research and am narrowing down my choices. Hope some of the experts on here can help me. My big question is whether or not to go with a DSLR.
Here's a brief description of what my situation is. I have a 19 month old dd and a very active labrador. I currently use a Nikon point & shoot (Coolpix p1, I think). The problem I have with the camera is that there is a shutter lag of about 1.5 seconds (feels longer) and the next shot delay is at least 3 seconds, sometimes longer when the battery is lower. The problem with this is that I can't capture the shot of the moment and it takes too long before I can take another picture (especially with the flash). Also, the picture quality is not great.
I'm looking for a camera that will shoot nice pictures of my dd and dog with a better optical zoom and the possibility to shoot wide-angle (not a must). It sounds like I need a DSLR but I know I'm never going to use more than the pre-set modes. I don't have the time to take photography classes and I don't know if DSLR is the right camera for me.
Right now, I'm looking at the Cannon Digital Rebel XTi or the Sony A-100 DSLR. I've also been looking at the Sony DSC-H2 or DSC-H5. Open to all suggestions on brands.
Any advice or suggestions? Help!