Originally Posted by itat
I just found this thread so maybe I can ask for some advice on a new camera. We've had our Canon SX110is for several years and it takes decent photographs but I want to replace it with something with more zoom and that won't eat batteries for breakfast! We attending our oldest DS's university grad last month and really wished we had a better zoom for the dark auditorium shots. The lens on the SX110is says it's a 6.0-60.0mm and 1:2.8-4.3.
I'll likely never be into manual photography since I find f-stops, apertures, etc. to be very confusing, so the vast majority of my photography would be using the Auto-mode. I'm considering a basic DSLR like a Nikon D3300 with the standard "AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR II zoom lens". Is this a good choice for a very amateur photographer? Would I need a longer lens for more zoom (for indoor and outdoor shots)?
Its going to be a little difficult not knowing your budget, so I'm going to assume that you are willing to pay about the same amount as for that Nikon kit (~$550). Correct me if I am wrong in that.
The category called bridge cameras is what I think you need to look at. People like these for their reach (up to the equivalent of 600mm and beyond in zoom optically) and many offer a bright fast lens.
I second Oakman's suggestion about the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ300
Its not the cheapest at about $500 at amazon but its a really great all-rounder. Panasonic does a very good JPEG engine for those who don't want to fiddle around with processing and its a nice bright lens (f/2.8). At 600mm, it is quite a bit longer than what you have today. You could happily leave it on Auto, but it will offer all of the PASM options in case you ever want to branch out.
The downside is the cost and larger size over the cannon. Also, even this camera might not help you make the pictures you want to make in very low light situations. Physics plays a part here and just need to have reasonable expectations.
All in all, though, a big step up over the Cannon SX110.
The term DSLR got thrown around. As already mentioned here, I don't think any DSLR is right for you. Only because the reason to own any interchangeable lens system (like the Nikon D3300) is the actual lenses.
That kit lens is fine but (as someone also mentioned) considered to be slow, which means it is not going to work well for you in darker indoor shooting. Its is also a wide to standard length so you are giving up a lot in terms of zoom compared to your current Cannon, I think.
That camera with its larger crop sensor, excellent auto-focus and other attributes would be a very good starter camera for you if you eventually wanted to invest into some more capable lenses. But that is generally a rabbit hole and I suggest you not start down that hole unless you intend to move off of Auto.
Good luck with your purchase decision.