Compact camera specifications
My first off topic post, but there seem to be a lot of photography experts here and it seems too weak a question to be posting on a proper photography forum.
Old camera is dead, and we're in the market for a new one. Primary aim is taking family pictures. It needs to be smallish: not necessarily tiny, but no SLR. We'd like some zoom, but we don't need a massive 30x or so.
The old one was a Canon SX130IS, which took pretty good pictures and I was pretty happy with it. But pictures were often a little blurry and indoor pictures were not always great. I'd like the replacement to perform better in low light and to yield sharper images for printing in photo books etc.
I'm no photography enthusiast, but would like to to take more of an interest if I find the time, so could imagine playing around increasingly with manual controls. However, we do a lot of quickly picking up the camera and capturing a moment, so good fast point-and-shoot is more important.
So I've done quite a lot of reading and figured out that a wider aperture would improve the low light performance and bigger sensor would improve general image quality.
I thought about the Panasonic DMC-TZ101 because it is small, has a 1 inch sensor, has f/2.8 at the widest angle, and it has a 10x zoom. It seems to me that most superzooms use a narrower aperture.
So, my two questions are:
1) Is choosing a camera with a wider aperture actually going to give me an unwanted low depth of field when in point and shoot mode? We would want to be taking pictures of the kids and the background in focus without going through multiple settings.
2) When used in point and shoot mode, will there actually be a noticeable quality difference in low light and in sharpness or are the extra specs only noticeable by enthusiasts?
Old camera was 3.4-5.6 aperture, 28-336mm focal length, 1/2.3 sensor. DMC-TZ101 is 2.8-5.9 aperture, 25-250mm focal length, 1 inch sensor.