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I have a couple of specific requirements for a small, very portable digital camera. Some of these have been mentioned in other discussions, but I have not found any that are recent, and none that cover everything I am looking for.

This digital camera will be very small, point-and-shoot is OK. Zoom is 3x to 5x optical. Pixel count is 10megapixels or higher. Price will be under $150, and under $100 (on sale or not) is preferred.

The catch is that I want 720p 30fps video, and the ability to use optical zoom during video capture. It seems like all the inexpensive digital camera, HD or SD video, do weird things about their optical zoom. Some do not allow optical zoom at all. Some cut the audio capture during optical zoom.

I am getting a headache from reading specs, and digging up user manuals and reviews, and finding nothing!

Can anyone suggest a digital camera that might meet all these specs?

Thanks!
 

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Look for the Olympus Stylus 5010 or Panasonic Lumix FP3.

There are many more options that don't include video, but for less than $150 including video, the options are still pretty limited.
 

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Look for the Olympus Stylus 5010 or Panasonic Lumix FP3.
Thanks for the suggestions!

Unfortunately, the owner's manual on page 32 indicates that the Olympus can not use optical zoom when recording video. You can use the optical zoom if you turn off audio capture, which is not acceptable for my uses. This seems to hold true on all less expensive Olympus digital cameras.

Ditto the Lumix FP3. According to page 19 of the user's manual:
●The focus and zoom will remain as they were at the beginning of
recording
Confirming that the suggested camers do not work as I specified takes a fair bit of time - even with Google, finding manuals can be slow. Far as I can tell, Panasonic Lumix manuals are not online at all, and the guides they do have does not include the suggested model.

I was hoping for feedback from users who own cameras that work in the way I am looking for.

There are many more options that don't include video, but for less than $150 including video, the options are still pretty limited.
Actually, there are a LOT of cheap cameras that do video, and many that do 720p video. The catch is how they handle optical zooming during video capture.

I can kind of understand what they are doing - the zoom lens is noisy, and that could be picked up by the mic. Some more expensive models that allow optical zoom during video capture get around this by slowing the room rate, such as the Lumix ZS7. Still, I would like to find one that does not enforce these restrictions.
 
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