Jess McMullin shares his research on choosing a camera for design research on the bplusd blog. His list covers a selection of cameras for still pictures and short video capture.
At the end of the summer I chose the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ5 to complement my Canon SD20 for both work and play. At work I wanted to be able to capture things like white boards, projected presentation screens, and do short video of live screens. I also didn’t want to spend more than $300. My SD20 and iPhone work for some things, but the lack of zoom and limited video features became an issue over time.
As you can see above, Jess also likes the TZ5. I ended up chosing it primarily because you get Leica glass with image stabilization without a Leica price. I also wanted the ability to do 720p high definition short video without having to buy a video camera. I was considering just using my SD20 and trying one of the new family of compact HD cameras from Kodak and now Flip. The Panasonic ended up hitting the sweet spot for me in terms of meeting my requirement for features and price and I’ve been quite happy with it. I should also note that in a pinch, the iPhone is pretty damned good for things like capturing white boards.
I find it’s always hard to make recommendations for gear, but hopefully this bit of feedback about the products out there helps get a better picture when looking for a tool for this kind of work.