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Thread: Compact Camera Suggestion

  1. #1

    Compact Camera Suggestion

    I am looking for an economic compact camera with the following features.

    1. F/stop value f/2.8 or higher at 16x zoom
    2. Optical zoom of 16x or more
    3. 14MP or more
    4. Sensor size 1/2.3’’ or bigger (Prefer bigger sensor size)
    5. Has Aperture Priority and Shutter Priority modes

    QUESTION

    1. Can you suggest a list of cameras that are most economic with these features?
    2. Is there any good site that has search features with these parameters?

  2. #2
    Clactonian's Avatar
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    Re: Compact Camera Suggestion


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    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Compact Camera Suggestion

    This is why people buy DSLRs or the mirrorless designs. I think any of the top end compacts that Canon, Nikon, Sony, Fuji, Panasonic, etc. put out would be worth looking at. I think the Panasonic FZ200 is the only camera that comes to mind quickly with the constant f/2.8 across the entire zoom range.

    the "X" in zoom advertising is rather misleading and very much a marketing term; it merely reflects the difference from the widest angle that the camera can shoot at to the longest zoom distance. It is rather useless as it is only a measurement that is specific to a particular camera. More useful are the equivalency numbers versus a full-frame / 35mm film camera. These are unfortunately rarely published for point and shoot or even superzoom cameras.

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    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Just a thought...

    I personally would not choose a camera with the LCD Screen as the only viewing option. I want a camera that has eye level viewing capability. Many of todays smaller cameras have eliminated eye level viewing as a space saving option. However, I have difficulty using an LCD screen (especially a small LCD) for viewing in bright sunlight (even when using a shield). Additionally, the image is so small on most LCD screens that I have difficulty ascertaining unwanted objects in the background and unwanted intrusions from the side of the image. I can also follow fast moving subjects more easily using the eye level finder.

    Although I prefer through the lens viewing, if push comes to shove, I could live with an eye level electronic viewfinder.

    If LCD screens were the only viewing capability on digital cameras, I would still be shooting with my film SLR or using a Hoodman type loup to view my digital shots. However, the Hoodman defeats the size saved by eliminating the eye level viewfinder.

    OTOH, there are people (my wife as an example), who far prefer LCD viewing. Different strokes for different folks...

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    inkista's Avatar
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    Re: Compact Camera Suggestion

    Quote Originally Posted by Lijo View Post
    1. F/stop value f/2.8 or higher at 16x zoom ...
    Ok, I'm gonna stop you right there.

    Any camera that's f/2.8 or larger at the long end of the zoom a) won't be 16x or greater, and b) won't be "economical".

    • The larger the max. aperture, the larger the lens.
    • The larger the zoom range, the larger the lens.
    • The larger the sensor, the larger the lens.


    People buy small compacts, because they're, well, small compacts. Honking big lenses aren't small or compact.

    Between your 1, 2, and 4:

    ... 2. Optical zoom of 16x or more
    ...
    4. Sensor size 1/2.3’’ or bigger (Prefer bigger sensor size)
    You're kind of asking for the impossible. Any of the 10x-30x zoom cams are typically either going to be f/5.6 or f/6.3 on the long end, or they're going to cost $500 or more and NOT have a zoom factor in two digits.

    E.g., the Canon Powershot G15 has a 1/1.7" format sensor, and the max. aperture is f/1.8-f/2.8 throughout the range, but is only a 5x zoom (28-140mm equiv.; actual: 6.1-30.5mm). And it costs $450, isn't particularly compact compared to other digicams, and is only 12MP.

    Now, you can easily find a bridge cam that's 1/2.3" format sensor, with 20x or 30x zoom, but it will probably be f/6.3 on the long end of the lens, and bigger and bulkier than the little compacts.

    This is just me, but I'd actually recommend giving up on the max. aperture requirement or prepare to give up on the zoom and double your budget. You could also consider getting closer, using a tripod, or an external flash instead of trying to use a large max. aperture with zoom magnification.

    If you can live with a slower lens, nearly any compact/bridge camera can fulfill your other requirements.

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    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Compact Camera Suggestion

    Quote Originally Posted by inkista View Post

    Any camera that's f/2.8 or larger at the long end of the zoom a) won't be 16x or greater, and b) won't be "economical".
    There is one Kathy; the Panasonic FZ200 fixed f/2.8 throughout the zoom range 24x (25-600mm equiv) with a 1/2.3" sensor @ 12.1MP is listing at $Cdn 600. I'm not aware of any other camera that even comes close.

    https://panasonic.ca/english/audiovi...l/DMCFZ200.asp

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    inkista's Avatar
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    Re: Compact Camera Suggestion

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyDiver View Post
    There is one Kathy; the Panasonic FZ200 fixed f/2.8 throughout the zoom range 24x (25-600mm equiv) with a 1/2.3" sensor @ 12.1MP is listing at $Cdn 600....
    I was interpreting the OP's "economic" to be <US$500 and probably ideally <US$300. But yeah, that's close. If the budget is in the $500-$800 range, possibilities exist. But at that pricepoint, interchangeable lens might be a better solution.

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    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Compact Camera Suggestion

    Quote Originally Posted by inkista View Post
    I was interpreting the OP's "economic" to be <US$500 and probably ideally <US$300. But yeah, that's close. If the budget is in the $500-$800 range, possibilities exist. But at that pricepoint, interchangeable lens might be a better solution.
    Agreed Kathy; I suspect a DSRL or mirrorless is going to work best for him, but you are right; fast, constant aperture, high zoom rate glass does not exist. I also know that B&H sells the FZ200 for $489 US, so it is getting into the price range.

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    Re: Compact Camera Suggestion

    If Panasonic had not wasted time producing the FZ100 and FZ150 before they came out with the FZ200 I would be using one today most likely. It was in a way a reversion to the FZ20 with the constant f/2.8 which was my first Pany except for the tromboning lens. [ my feeble memory suggests to me that it wasn't until the 30 and 50 did the lens not trombone I needed a collar to carry tele-adaptor on the 20 ... there was a 10 prior to the 20 in the 'Big FZ' line, my wife still uses the FZ3 I bought for her in those early hitch to Panasonic days .. the second in the 'small FZ' line ]

    But the 100/150/200 had/have a disadvantage to my thinking in that they all start from a wider angle than my x12 FZ50, I bought a second in case the first had a problem, I liked it so much. The result that with my Raynox 2020 I have 950mm reach whereas they are only 600mm at x24 so really why did I need to upgrade... didn't really need the improvements in noise supression at higher ISO and x24 zoom to 600mm when I already had 430mm.

    But then I read a dpreview review of the G3 and I realised that bridge cameras were not going to develope the way I wanted them to do so and organised the G3 with the 14-140 lens ... as near as one can get to a bridge camera with a larger sensor, considerably larger which permits cropping to give easilly equivalent images to the x40 and x50 cameras of today but also freed me from the restrictions of 100 ISO I imposed on myself since a dreadful experience of 400 ISO with the FZ20 ... I was delighted to work at 6400 ISO when it was needed with the G3 and now with a GH2 I have 12800ISO though not used it yet.

    So as a result of all that I continue to believe the Op should go to MFT rather than the FZ200 since he apparently doesn't want a long lens. If eventually he does get a long lens for the E-PL1 with its IBIS he will also need a clip-on viewfinder. When I bought mine I also bought the VF-2 [which cost more than the camera body ] to use my legacy lenses. It works well though IMO a kacky way to go after using built-in EVF for a good decade now. Just doesn't feel right

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    Re: Compact Camera Suggestion

    From an earlier posting by Lijo where he gave a link to a camera being offered in his country but now no longer available I believe he had accepted he could afford $336 which is possible to meet most of his specifications of that post with s/h MFT body and some new extras from Amazon as I did in my reply. The one that it wouldn't meet was a requirement for limited DoF at up to 15m which probably the FZ200 would handle for him with its f/2.8 lens when used towards the long end of the zoom, likely with help from an editing programme.

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    Re: Compact Camera Suggestion

    My son in law, who certainly is not a photographer of any skill has brought back some very nice images from his trip to Baja California, Mexico, shot with his Canon SX50. I was quite impressed with his photography since he has usually brought home some really lousy stuff.

    BTW: the SX40 might be a consideration, it starts with an f/2.8 aperture (35x, f2.7-5.8, 24-840mm - 35mm equivalent). The one drawback of the SX40 is that it doesn't have native RAW shooting capability. However, there is a non-OEM fix which will provide RAW capability for the SX40. The SX40 should be available either new or used at quite a reduction compared with the SX50.

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