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Which super zoom / bridge camera

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eggontoast's picture
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 I'm in the market for a new camera, first off though I'm no David Bailey so ease of use is paramount. I don't really want a compact or have the funds for a DSLR so I'm considering a bridge camera. Ideally I want one which also shoots good quality full HD video too. Price range wise I only want to spend approximately £300. I know there are a few keen photographers on here so does anyone have some recommendations or advice they wish to share.

Joined: 27 May 2009
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RE: Which super zoom / bridge camera

Panasonic tz series highly recommended. Its a compact but super results. Staggering zoom etc

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RE: Which super zoom / bridge camera

If you go fo for a fuji camera you will get the lens sizes on the barrel which might prove useful.

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Paul.'s picture
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RE: Which super zoom / bridge camera

The Panasonic FZ200 looks a good un, if a little bit over budget.  It has a constant f2.8 all the way through its 25-600mm length, so that should really help getting sharp hand held shots with that long zoom.   Its not the longest zoom out there by miles, but it looks to be realistically specced.  Quite a few of these bridge cameras have 1200mm lenses @ f6.3, in english overcast dim light I can't imagine that 1200mm is particularly useful handheld due to blur caused by hand shake.

 

The advantage of that large f2.8 aperture also means you can shoot at lower ISO levels, so you will get cleaner images with less grain and sharper shots when zoomed.  A cropped clean and sharp image will look better than an uncropped slightly blurry slightly grainy one, so I wouldn't be wooed by the mega-zooms. Go for a shorter quality lens and crop if you need to Smile

 

Sorry I don't know what your knowledge levels are, so apologies if I told you how to suck eggs!

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RE: Which super zoom / bridge camera

Once short listed there a few excellent thourough review sites. Difficjlt to buy a bad un in general.

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eggontoast's picture
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RE: Which super zoom / bridge camera

RobinKidderminster wrote:
Panasonic tz series highly recommended. Its a compact but super results. Staggering zoom etc

Thanks for the suggestion, I did have one of the older TZ series but idealy I wanted to move up a level from them. Although I agree they are great cameras, especially for the form size.

Paul. wrote:

The Panasonic FZ200 looks a good un, if a little bit over budget.  It has a constant f2.8 all the way through its 25-600mm length, so that should really help getting sharp hand held shots with that long zoom.   Its not the longest zoom out there by miles, but it looks to be realistically specced.  Quite a few of these bridge cameras have 1200mm lenses @ f6.3, in english overcast dim light I can't imagine that 1200mm is particularly useful handheld due to blur caused by hand shake.

 

The advantage of that large f2.8 aperture also means you can shoot at lower ISO levels, so you will get cleaner images with less grain and sharper shots when zoomed.  A cropped clean and sharp image will look better than an uncropped slightly blurry slightly grainy one, so I wouldn't be wooed by the mega-zooms. Go for a shorter quality lens and crop if you need to Smile

 

Sorry I don't know what your knowledge levels are, so apologies if I told you how to suck eggs!

No worries, my knowledge of cameras is minimal to say the least and your information was very useful. At first glance the Panasonic you recommend looks ideal. I know that you are a keen photographer Paul, have you had any hands on play time with the aforementioned camera ?

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RE: Which super zoom / bridge camera

You do know that while onthe surface a bridge camera might look like the inbetween from a compact to a DSLR that the image quality and sensor size is the same as a compact, just with a larger zoom on it?

If you are looking for DSLR quality but in a smaller cheaper package i'd reccomend the Sony NEX3N, it has the same image sensor as most normal DSLR (not the big boys) and if you read reviews come out very well and will give really nice photos. 

I currently have the NEX5R which is a bit above your price range, but the NEX3N is designed to be easy to use and will treat you well for many a year.

 

It's a little over budget but quality wise is worth the extra and currys are doing an extra battery in the box which is nice to have.

 

http://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/cameras/digital-cameras/compact-system-cameras/sony-nex-3n-compact-system-camera-with-16-50mm-zoom-lens-black-21312070-pdt.html

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RE: Which super zoom / bridge camera

I have not played with the FZ200, but have played with its predecessor the fz150 and many before it.  if you need to go bridge I would recomend a Panasonic highly.

 

i do also love the Sony NEX range, it is excelent.  But if zoom magnification is a priority I would avoid.  The 18-200 is an expensive heavy beast, and quite a slow apeture.  I use manual canon FD lenses on my NEX 5N (a 300mm f4) but its not for the feint of heart!  

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