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Camera choice help

Discussion in 'General Equipment Chat & Advice' started by Blokewithnoidea, Jun 7, 2013.

  1. Blokewithnoidea

    Blokewithnoidea Active Member

    I'd be grateful for some guidance:
    I (we) currently have a Lumix TZ20 compact and a Nikon Coolpix 510. The Lumix is excellent for a compact, offers useful features and is relatively controllable. The Nikon is a disappointment as it often struggles to find focus and lacks control over depth of field. Unfortunately, I know very little about cameras and did not research well enough before wasting money on the Nikon. (Our nearest camera shop that stocks a range is over 2 hours away). We really need to find an affordable camera that suits our needs:
    1. No interchangeable lenses or one lens that does it all. I know I'll only ever use one lens.
    2. Big zoom range. (Our Nikon has 42x which is a feature I use lots).
    3. Large sensor.
    4. Full control over depth of field. (i.e. selectable aperture in 'aperture priority' mode).
    5. Macro - preferably auto selected as with the Lumix TZ20.
    6. Filter thread. I'd like to use UV & polarising filters.
    7. GPS.
    8. Viewfinder.
    9. Screen that hinges both ways.
    10. Reasonably compact. We carry the camera around on a push bike.
    11. About £400 (and new).

    Any ideas?
  2. thornrider

    thornrider In the Stop Bath

    Dont think you will find any camera that meets all your specs and your target price.The combination of 40x zoom, screen that swivels in both planes, and auto macro are main problems. Some sort of less ambitious bridge camera is a possible compromise possibly by Fuji.
  3. Roger_Provins

    Roger_Provins Well-Known Member

    Nothing that I know of will meet all your needs. If there's a camera with large sensor and a zoom with a 42x range I've not heard of it. All big zoom cameras I've seen have tiny sensors.
  4. Craig20264

    Craig20264 Well-Known Member

    You're Nikon p510 meets most of your requirements, except the large sensor, filter thread and a screen that hinges both ways. As the other guys say, you won't find a large sensor on a superzoom. As far as aperture goes, you have The "A' setting which is your aperture priority mode, albeit a not very broad scale, f3.0/5.6-8.3 if I remember correctly. Viewfinder is electronic and not brilliant, but it's there. I reckon there are worse cameras to throw in your bike pack.
  5. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    Why do you need a massive zoom? At a guess, bird & wildlife photography?

    If so, your best bet may be to accept a little more weight, bulk & inconvenience and go for a Panasonic G series evslr and carry two lenses. A standard zoom and a tele-zoom or tele of some sort plus adaptor for the Pannie.

    You could get camera+std zm for your budget. You would need to save up for the tele-zoom. The more complicated lens option - but possibly cheaper in short term - would be an old pre-set manual focus tele lens (s/h via auction site or dealer) & adaptor for microFour Thirds.

    Your image quality could be better than at present but ...

    ... here is the really big question: what are you going to do with the pictures?

    If viewing at home on PC & TV plus the occasional print at A4, then I would stick with what you have got and learn to bend it to your will a little more! ;)
  6. Roger_Provins

    Roger_Provins Well-Known Member

    ... but the OP's first requirement is not to change lenses
  7. IvorETower

    IvorETower Little Buttercup

    Canon Powershot SX40 or SX50.
    Fuji HS-30 or the new HS-50; the screen of the HS-30 only tilts up and down whereas the one on the new HS-50 also swivels out from the camera body, like the ones on the Canon models that I mentioned.

    Go to the manufacturers UK websites and have a good look at the features etc, and try to get a hands-on demo too before you buy

    You can start here:

  8. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    :confused: Nuff said? :confused:
  9. Roger_Provins

    Roger_Provins Well-Known Member

    I reckon :)
  10. Blokewithnoidea

    Blokewithnoidea Active Member

    Thanks for reply. You're right in that the Nikon p510 meets most of our requirements and, if it weren't for the focussing issue, I would not be complaining. Since buying the Nikon, our photography has stepped up a gear. The "A" setting remains an 'auto' setting. The aperture cannot be adjusted, it just goes to full aperture and adjusts exposure by shutter speed.
  11. Blokewithnoidea

    Blokewithnoidea Active Member

    Thanks for your reply. The Nikon is fine for snapshots but struggles when something better is expected. I have been researching and briefly looked on line at the Sony NEX. The zoom is reduced but all the other features appear to be there.
  12. Blokewithnoidea

    Blokewithnoidea Active Member

    Thanks for your reply. It seems odd that the bridge cameras still have compact sensors. You'd think that a 42x zoom would benefit from a bigger sensor. Looks like I'm going to have to live with the Nikon until I can afford something better. Maybe something like Sony NEX????
  13. Blokewithnoidea

    Blokewithnoidea Active Member

    Thank you for your very rational reply. Maybe I should be looking more at ways to make the p510 work for me. The focussing issue is the main problem.
  14. Blokewithnoidea

    Blokewithnoidea Active Member

    Thanks for your reply. I'll have a look at these.
  15. Roger_Provins

    Roger_Provins Well-Known Member

    Because a 42x zoom lens for a large sensor would need to be massive.

    NEX is a good choice - except for your 42x zoom requirement
  16. AlexMonro

    AlexMonro Old Grand Part Deux

    See Prof Newman's article in last week's AP for the full technicalities of why zoom ranges of more than about 20x on larger sensors (4/3 and up) would be ridiculously large, heavy, and expensive.

    I think the OP needs to decide his priorities - large sensor with depth of field control and good image quality, especially in low light, or huge zoom range and flexibility / portability.

    The high end Fuji bridges (Hs30 / HS50) probably come closest to his requirements overall.
  17. AlanClifford

    AlanClifford Well-Known Member

    The Fuji X-S1 has bigger sensor, about twice the size, than the Nikon510 but it is still relatively small compared to a, say, C size sensor. You really need a much bigger sensor to get the longer actual focal length lenses, for control of depth of field but then you won't get the massive zoom.

    Current price is £389.
  18. thornrider

    thornrider In the Stop Bath

    A 42x zoom is the 35mm equivalent of about 28mm to 1200mm. A 1200 mm lens for a 35mm camera is the size of a couple of quart milk bottles.

    To make such a zoom range feasible then the crop factor of a tiny sensor is used. Going down from full frame to even APS-C size sensor then the crop factor becomes 1.5 or 1.6 making a 50mm standard lens 75mm or 80mm. So you can imaging that to get to a 1200mm lens and still be smallish then the sensor has to be really tiny. This is also the reason why one of your camera can only adjust the shutter speed on full zoom - the lens is already open the maximum.

    Your ideal spec of camera would have to be so big that you wouldn't get it on your push bike.
  19. AlanClifford

    AlanClifford Well-Known Member

    This video from the Camera Store just about sums it up.
  20. Craig20264

    Craig20264 Well-Known Member

    I have the P510 and the aperture is definitely adjustable when in aperture priority. Are you sure you are using the correct wheel to adjust?

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