Originally Posted by Weegsta
Thank you for your reply, I would say in the very near future I would love to learn more about manual controls and how to work them. I absolutely love the focus ring on the LX7 and the videos are amazing, would it shoot as good as the canon in auto mode?. The only thing is it would have to go on sale at christmas, my budget is $300 max, I looked at the other cameras you mentioned and they look good, I went to some sites where they directly compared them and the s100 took the lead on them. The only thing that bothers me is the s100 is having a lense failure problem. Also my computer is custom built with a good graphics card so it should have no problem. It is really down between these two, I'd say, the focus ring reminds me of the vixia hf g10 I have been wanting forever! Is there any other choices between the LX7 and the s100 you would consider?
If you are doing something artistic, like short films, music videos, etc. - the manual controls may be more important to get the right exposure, aperture, shutter, etc. using a more measured approach to make it look more professional. But on YouTube, in general, content is the most important thing.
Yeah, the LX7 will be comparable in auto mode. I wouldn't regret getting either one, I just think the availability of manual controls, plus the 60p option (60 progressive frames per second), is just a more desirable choice with the LX7, (at least on paper). It would be a good idea to find a store with a display where you can handle both of them, which helps in deciding. If you have a couple of SDHC cards, you can also format each card separately in each camera and take test footage, watch at home to help solidify your choice. Also watch many videos on YouTube and Vimeo, if available, of each camera as the different image output comes down to a personal preference.
You may also want to budget for a tripod and extra batteries. If a point and shoot, the ebay batteries - typically 3 for $10 are safe. I'd be more cautious with third party camcorder batteries. I know you are limiting your budget to $300...what I have found from personal experience is that if unnecessary purchases are consciously avoided, for example, eating at a diner or going to the movies,,,another hundred bucks can be scraped up possibly put towards something better and/or pay for accessories.
A camcorder will probably lasts longer (down the line) as there isn't a mechanized lens popping in and out.
Also consider a camcorder in that price range. There was just a recent sale on the Canon HF M500 - which is a very decent camcorder and was going for $299 (now $349):
Probably will be on sale again. It's not going to give you manual controls like a DSLR but it does have a pro sensor inside and very good image stabilization. There will surely be other decent camcorders on sale in the holiday season at that price point.
B&H is having a sale on the Panasonic G3, a micro four-thirds camera that takes removable lenses (this one includes a lens) for $299:
Again, that one won't have manual controls at least not yet...I say not yet because there is a hack for the G3 now to get higher bit rates with a promise for a future hack to have manual controls for video.
Here is a video from hacked G3:
Another point and shoot choice is the Sony HX20V which shoots 60o and has great image stabilization (see Bill's post above mine) $288 @ Amazon:
It does have some manual control, just not full manual control. Those Sony's also have very good build quality.
I would do some more research and wait as there will definitely be sales in December and you can decide the best options/time to buy.