Seeking recommendations for a Point and Shoot super-zoom

For all talk about digital compacts or EVF-SLRs in the Minolta, Konica Minolta or relevant Sony ranges
User avatar
Birma
Tower of Babel
Posts: 6679
Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2008 3:10 pm

Seeking recommendations for a Point and Shoot super-zoom

Unread postby Birma » Wed Jul 24, 2013 6:23 pm

I am after recommendations for a Point & Shoot Super-Zoom, with view-finder (could be EVF) with maximum telephoto + image stabilisation being the biggest requirement.

My in-laws, with the boat trip business on the Isle of Skye, would like something to snap the wildlife they typically see from the boat. They are in no way photographers and so the camera will not be leaving "full auto" setting. They need something with a view finder (they hate using the rear screen on cameras), and I think image stabilisation would be good. High speed shooting would be good, and we're talking about dolphins, seals and eagles etc. diving / swooping in and out of view quickly, so something that is good for sports would be ideal.

Weather sealing would be a great bonus, and the more intelligent the Auto mode, or Sport mode is the better. They are completely brand agnostic.

Looking forward to your thoughts :) .
Nex 5, Nex 6 (IR), A7M2, A99 and a bunch of lenses.

User avatar
mvanrheenen
Emperor of a Minor Galaxy
Posts: 1708
Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 3:58 pm
Location: Netherlands
Contact:

Re: Seeking recommendations for a Point and Shoot super-zoom

Unread postby mvanrheenen » Wed Jul 24, 2013 7:34 pm

Hi Andy,

Although I don't have much experience with cameras other than the ones I and the missus have, I do have read some interesting articles about birding with compact cameras.

There are some decent superzoom compacts available with pretty good image quality, even at the ends of the range. This could be sufficient for your in-laws. Not sure how many superzooms are available with decent weather sealing though.

Compacts which pop up a lot are:

Canon PowerShot SX50 HS

Focal Length - 4.3 – 215.0 mm (35 mm equivalent: 24 – 1200 mm)
Image Stabilisation - Yes (lens shift-type), Approx. 2.5-stop¹. Intelligent IS
Viewfinder - EVF (0.20 type), 4:3 aspect ratio, Approx. 202,000 dots
Viewfinder / Coverage - Approx. 100%

Sport mode is available, example:

Image
Source

No mention of sealing though.

Panasonic Lumix FZ200

Focal Length - f = 4.5 - 108 mm (25 - 600 mm in 35 mm equiv.) (28 - 672 mm in 35 mm equiv. in video recording)
Optical Image Stabilizer - POWER O.I.S. (On with Active Mode (only for motion picture) / Off)
Viewfinder - 0.21" Color EVF (1,312K dots equiv.), Field of View: Approx. 100%, Lens 18.4x

It does have a Sports mode. Again no weather sealing data.

Some samples

Hope it helps a bit.

Mark

User avatar
Birma
Tower of Babel
Posts: 6679
Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2008 3:10 pm

Re: Seeking recommendations for a Point and Shoot super-zoom

Unread postby Birma » Thu Jul 25, 2013 8:27 am

Thanks for the thoughts and suggestions Mark - very useful. I have been looking at the DPR site as well. I know that the reviewers there are sometimes less than balanced, but it is a very comprehensive site, especially for topics like this where you have no prior experience. The latest models (Canon SX50, Sony HX200, Pany FZ70, etc.) all look awesome on the spec sheet. They are not as expensive as I thought they would be either. Especially if you are willing to go for last year's model. I think it is going to take a visit to see some up close to get an idea of handling and the VFs.

With 50x plus zooms, and some with 24mm equivalent wide-angle, it starts to make you wonder why you carry a bag of lenses around :) . I will certainly be doing some comparisons with my kit should the in-laws be convinced to invest.
Nex 5, Nex 6 (IR), A7M2, A99 and a bunch of lenses.

alphaomega
Viceroy
Posts: 1196
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 11:20 pm

Re: Seeking recommendations for a Point and Shoot super-zoom

Unread postby alphaomega » Sun Jul 28, 2013 2:12 pm

Birma
You should definitely look at the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200. My wife just purchased one from Jessops at £400 plus free bag. The EVF viewfinder is quite good and the F2.8 lens spanning 25 to 600mm in 35mm speak is fantastic. I was surprised at the quality of the Jpegs at 100%. I think that Pana have got it right at 12Mp. Quality falls of as ISO is increased but what do you expect of a less than post stamp sensor? Go and try one out before deciding on a purchase is my suggestion.

User avatar
Birma
Tower of Babel
Posts: 6679
Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2008 3:10 pm

Re: Seeking recommendations for a Point and Shoot super-zoom

Unread postby Birma » Mon Jul 29, 2013 5:17 am

Thank you for the recommendation Alphaomega. The FZ200 does look interesting and I will try to get my hands on one to look at as you suggest. From reading reviews at the moment I think it is down to this Pany or the Canon SX50. I wanted to like the Sony HX300 but several reviews have suggested its not as good as the Canon.
Nex 5, Nex 6 (IR), A7M2, A99 and a bunch of lenses.

Eiffel
Initiate
Posts: 37
Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 6:49 pm

Re: Seeking recommendations for a Point and Shoot super-zoom

Unread postby Eiffel » Mon Jul 29, 2013 11:16 am

The Fuji superzooms are also worth a look (X-S1, HS30EXR, HS50EXR). EXR sensors have some unique advantages (ability to trade off resolution for higher sensitivity or higher dynamic range, and RAW capture).

I'd also caution about silly zoom ranges as without a tripod this is of limited partical interest
Proud owner of DK's dearly missed A900 ;-)

User avatar
bakubo
Subsuming Vortex of Brilliance
Posts: 5631
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2007 7:55 am
Location: Hawaii
Contact:

Re: Seeking recommendations for a Point and Shoot super-zoom

Unread postby bakubo » Mon Jul 29, 2013 1:15 pm

I have seen posts of small birds and other things taken with the Canon at 1200mm equivalent handheld that were pretty good. The IS works well on it. Stabilized EVF, of course.

User avatar
bfitzgerald
Subsuming Vortex of Brilliance
Posts: 3572
Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2008 10:48 pm

Re: Seeking recommendations for a Point and Shoot super-zoom

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Mon Jul 29, 2013 9:45 pm

I'd go Fuji on this one higher price wise XS-1 is the one to go for, for a more bargain level HS50 has the range some want might even find a HS30 or 20 around they're actually not bad at all. I prefer the images from the Fuji v the Canon's and Panasonic ones, though I did play with the FZ200 for a bit quite a bit better than previous models has to be said but it's about the same price as the XS-1 and that camera is def a class above the FZ200 IMO
Last edited by bfitzgerald on Fri Aug 02, 2013 10:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

alphaomega
Viceroy
Posts: 1196
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 11:20 pm

Re: Seeking recommendations for a Point and Shoot super-zoom

Unread postby alphaomega » Thu Aug 01, 2013 9:52 am

Fuji XS-1 may be a fine camera and Fujifilm make interesting sensors, but I would go for the Pana
FZ-DMC200 with its F2.8 constant aperture through to 600mm as opposed to the Fuji F5.6 at the long end.

User avatar
bfitzgerald
Subsuming Vortex of Brilliance
Posts: 3572
Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2008 10:48 pm

Re: Seeking recommendations for a Point and Shoot super-zoom

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Mon Aug 05, 2013 10:19 am

Really comes down to bigger sensor v faster lens. They're both about the same price where I am, no idea if Fuji will update their model to their X Trans sensor.Either seems like a good choice, both have somewhat better EVF's than you used to get on these types of camera.

User avatar
Birma
Tower of Babel
Posts: 6679
Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2008 3:10 pm

Re: Seeking recommendations for a Point and Shoot super-zoom

Unread postby Birma » Mon Aug 05, 2013 10:42 am

Thank you Eiffel, Henry, Barry and Alphaomega. There is certainly plenty of choice in this area. I'm still waiting to get hands on with any of the choices to help make a decision.
Nex 5, Nex 6 (IR), A7M2, A99 and a bunch of lenses.

User avatar
Greg Beetham
Tower of Babel
Posts: 6155
Joined: Sun May 27, 2007 3:25 pm
Location: Townsville, Qld. Australia
Contact:

Re: Seeking recommendations for a Point and Shoot super-zoom

Unread postby Greg Beetham » Mon Aug 05, 2013 12:13 pm

Good luck Birma, when you get one give us some feedback on it if you have time.
Greg

User avatar
bakubo
Subsuming Vortex of Brilliance
Posts: 5631
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2007 7:55 am
Location: Hawaii
Contact:

Re: Seeking recommendations for a Point and Shoot super-zoom

Unread postby bakubo » Mon Aug 05, 2013 3:13 pm

I suggest you keep in mind what would be good for them and not worry too much about which one would be better for you. Usually there is some overlap, of course. For example, there are lots of things they might care about that you don't. Easy availability of a battery, repair, replacement, etc. I don't know which is best for those things, but worrying too much about the details of specs can sometimes lead to a poor choice for them. Actually, I avoid giving any camera recommendations to family and friends. No matter how much effort you put into it you will probably be blamed for any problems or disappointments.

User avatar
Birma
Tower of Babel
Posts: 6679
Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2008 3:10 pm

Re: Seeking recommendations for a Point and Shoot super-zoom

Unread postby Birma » Mon Aug 05, 2013 5:44 pm

Wise words Henry - I know exactly what you mean about providing recommendations. I am aiming to give them a view on what is available, what the sorts of prices are going to be, and what to look at in comparing them.

Probably a key thing for them will be how easy the camera is to put in "fully auto" mode, and then not to worry about anything else but zooming and pressing the shutter button. I actually think that the zooms have got a stage now where they are beyond what you can hand hold (e.g. 1200mm!) so the latest releases may not be the best thing. Last years models are always a bit of a bargain.

(A very interesting article on Kirk Tuck's blog today about the end of the technology race in cameras.)
Nex 5, Nex 6 (IR), A7M2, A99 and a bunch of lenses.

User avatar
bakubo
Subsuming Vortex of Brilliance
Posts: 5631
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2007 7:55 am
Location: Hawaii
Contact:

Re: Seeking recommendations for a Point and Shoot super-zoom

Unread postby bakubo » Tue Aug 06, 2013 2:00 am

The last time I got involved in trying to help someone get a new camera was in 1986. A friend/co-worker asked me to help her get some new camera gear because she was not satisfied with her 35mm p&s and wanted to move up to a much better camera. I sat down with her and tried to find out what she wanted. We met 3-4 times over a period of a week or more fine tuning things. Here are the non-negotiable things she "had to have":

- must be an SLR (since those were for "serious photographers")
- must have interchangeable lenses
- must have a general purpose zoom lens
- must have a flash
- maximum budget (I don't recall the exact number of dollars, but not very high for what she said she had to have)

I tried at first to get her to consider some of the newer p&s cameras that I thought might be fine for her, but she insisted she wanted an SLR. In 1986 almost all SLRs were manual focus except the new Minolta Maxxum/Dynax/Alpha 9000, 7000, 5000. I suggested some manual focus SLRs and showed her my Minolta X-700 so she could see what they were like (she had never touched an SLR before). She was surprised that it was manual focus and hated it. She then added another must-have: the SLR must be AF. Well, that simplified things. The only SLRs that were AF were the new Minolta models.

The Minolta 7000 was out of her budget so that left the 5000. I searched and found one of the few lenses and flash for her that would work with it and meet her requirements. The total price was barely in her budget. Her maximum was really too low for what she wanted though. I sat with her as she ordered it all from B&H. By the time she was ready to order I was already wishing I had never agreed to help her. I was starting to get the impression she had unrealistic expectations. I tried to get her to lower them a bit. I also discovered that she didn't seem to have any interest in learning all that "technical stuff" such as apertures, shutter speeds, exposure, dof, etc. :o

A week or so later she got the new gear and we got together so I could get it all unpacked, lens attached, battery and film put in. We played with it together for awhile. I was quite interested also since I had never seen or used an AF SLR at that time.

I bet you can guess what happened next. Over the next couple of weeks she would call me or come by my office to tell me of problems she was having. She was more and more disappointed in her camera gear. Then she started getting upset about the whole thing. She said her husband also was angry that I had "talked her into buying" all this expensive gear. The damn thing wouldn't AF on their little running around daughter or dog in their family room at night with almost no light. The photos were crappy. And to top it off her friend had bought a new p&s for much, much less that "worked great" and made "fantastic photos." I tried to gently remind her of all the things she had insisted she must have and that I had tried to get her to just get a new p&s. I showed her the paper that had her list we had made together and the notes that we had written on it. That didn't mean a thing to her. She accused me of convincing her to spend a bunch of money on something she didn't want. Fortunately, she worked in a different building on a different job. I was glad to never see her again. What an ungrateful cretin. I sure learned my lesson though. :lol:
Last edited by bakubo on Tue Aug 06, 2013 5:07 pm, edited 3 times in total.


Return to “Digital non-SLR”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests