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Camera choice help

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

  1. Blokewithnoidea

    Blokewithnoidea Active Member

    Okay. Not like this in my case. The full extent zoom is surprisingly good and apart from the haze caused by the distance, the photos are pretty sharp. I know this wouldn't be acceptable for many but this camera does 'bridge' the divide between the snapshot shooter and the person aiming for something better. I have to say it's not a whole lot better than the Lumix TZ20 compact though.
    The guy in the shop was very helpful (and sadly now redundant I guess). He did attempt to steer me towards a Sony Compact System camera. I should have listened to him but it's easy to be wise after the event. It was the idea of changing lenses that put me off, not the lure of massive zoom.
    At least, with the help of this forum, I now have some better knowledge and will now be able to solve some of the problems I was experiencing with the Nikon p510.
  2. AlanClifford

    AlanClifford Well-Known Member

    Ok, I'll be the one. 16 x what?
  3. Blokewithnoidea

    Blokewithnoidea Active Member

    Blowed if I know.
    16x more expensive?
  4. Snorri

    Snorri Well-Known Member

    OP-> original post or original Poster.
    The focus problem is usually down to two things, light or the lack of it or minimum focus distance of the lens. Both will get more of a problem when you zoom in, you will loose more light and the longer the zoom the longer the minimu focus distance will be.
  5. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Is the focus problem worse in hazy conditions ( or any infinity shot at long zoom?). It could just be loss of contrast. Often these cameras have a manual focussing mode, it might be not very easy to use if it is controlling a motor to move the lens but you should be able to set it to infinity setting. In this mode the shutter should fire. It is also hard to hold a camera still with very long focal length lenses, it could be camera shake that is causing the problem, especially if you have a boat in the solent with shoreline behind and the boat is small in the frame. Even a DSLR might have trouble in that situation.
  6. thornrider

    thornrider In the Stop Bath

    Surely a ratio is just a number without units - the long end of the zooms focal length divided by the short end of the zooms focal length. The original poster (OP) may not be a scientific photographer and thus, having read 42x on a lens barrel, used it to indicate that the ideal camera he sought should have a "really big" zoom potential.
  7. Roger_Provins

    Roger_Provins Well-Known Member

    True but without one other figure you can't know what range lens it actually has. In this case we know it was a 24mm-1000mm but equally, just from the x42, it could have been a 17mm-700mm or 28mm-1200mm etc (all rounded and 35mm equiv.)
  8. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    Beg pardon, {and I ask for a least one other deliberate offence this a.m. to be taken into consideration ;)}, will try to behave in future. :eek:

    This, actually, was never much of a problem in the old days when most compacts had a 35mm or 38mm wide-end. Now in the post-digital era, we have 24, 25, 26, 28 & 32 to add into the mix and I've probably missed a few.:rolleyes:
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2013
  9. thornrider

    thornrider In the Stop Bath

    True Roger, but ratios are used in many fields to describe the general extent of something :-

    Hill 1:5 Does not tell you for how long or how high the hill is.

    Mix tube A and Tube B in the ratio 3:1. Does not tell you how much of tube A to use.

    22% of the voters voted for Labour. Does not tell you how many people in total voted.

    99/100 innuits don't live in igloos. Does not tell you how many eskimos there are.

    But a 42x zoom on a camera that is not a DSLR nor has interchangeable lenses as specified by the OP does tell you :-

    a) That he wants to photograph subjects which are quite a long way away for a small camera user.

    b) The camera being a bridge camera will probably start at about 28mm nowadays but it probably wouldn't matter if it was 24mm, 25mm, 29mm.

    c) That at various times the subject could be over a range of distances otherwise it would't need to be a zoom at all - or a lesser zoom like 10x or 20x.

    Had the OP said that his zoom had to start at 24mm then it could be questioned how did he know that 25mm would not be OK, or how did he know that a zoom ratio of 17.56 x would not meet his needs.

    He was talking about a degree of something in non-specific terms that still precluded quite a lot of cameras - in the same way as my examples tell you that the hill is very very steep, most people voted something other than Labour, and most innuits live in something more substantial but unspecified.

    Now what would have been a No No is - this lens is built to be twice as sharp.
  10. Craig20264

    Craig20264 Well-Known Member

    Shutter speed when in Shutter priority(S) or Manual(M)
  11. Blokewithnoidea

    Blokewithnoidea Active Member

    So, returning to the original question...
    Knowing now that a massive zoom range is not applicable for camera with a larger sensor and that a camera with interchangeable lenses is the only way to get something with a large sensor, I need to revise my criteria.

    Several manufacturers are now producing compact SLRs. I know that these aren't technically SLRs because they don't have TTL view finders but...
    What's the thinking on these? Maybe Sony NEX or Panasonic?
  12. Roger_Provins

    Roger_Provins Well-Known Member

    The Sony NEX has been getting excellent reviews and, with the adapter, will mount almost all of the current Sony lenses plus all the old Minolta AF lens - a huge range. http://www.dyxum.com/lenses/index.asp
  13. thornrider

    thornrider In the Stop Bath

    There are both compact DSLR's (Canon has just introduced one which is really tiny - can't remember what's it's called though) and Compact System Cameras called CSC's for short. Both types have TTL viewfinders but in the case of the CSC's they are mostly not eye level viewfinders - but some are but at more than £400.

    Sony's NEX 7 comes highly recommended, as does the Fuji XE-1 but are way above £400. The Panasonic GX1 and some of the Sony Nex's like the 3 are more in your price range.

    Maybe have a look at the Panasonic GX1 and the Sony Nex 3 and 5 on the net and see if what they do appeals - but what they do they do well.
  14. Snorri

    Snorri Well-Known Member

    Well Canon eos 100D and 1100D are small for SLR. As for CSC I found the GX1 to be very intresting option, that said the one I was using had the optional view finder and the new compact zoom lens. This made it small and very nice to use but still giving the quality of the bigger sensor and "slr like" features.
  15. AlexMonro

    AlexMonro Old Grand Part Deux

    I think the generally accepted term for the class of camera you're talking about is Compact System Cameras - CSCs - which have interchangeable lenses, but don't have a moving mirror to provide an optical viewfinder - the R for Reflex part of SLR. Some have electronic viewfinders (EVFs) - a tiny LCD mounted where an SLR viewfinder would normally be, others rely on just the rear LCD, which can be a problem in bright sunlight, and makes it harder to hold the camera steady.

    I think some of the Sony NEX range are very good, and also the Panasonic G series. Olympus make some good CSCs too, judging by users' comments here and elsewhere. The Samsung CSCs seem to often get good reviews in AP, but I never seem to hear of them anywhere else.

    All CSCs have size and weight advantages over DSLRs, and the latest ones reach the same levels of picture quality.
  16. IvorETower

    IvorETower Little Buttercup

    You could do a lot worse than looking at this offer:

    One thing to remember with micro-four-thirds (MFT) sensor cameras (Panasonic and Olympus) is that lenses to go wider than the 24mm equivalent are pricey. So long as you don't intend or need to spend out huge amounts on such glassware, MFT offers a reasonably good path to follow. Sony's NEX series, and Samsung's CSC offerings use APS-C sized sensors (almost identical to Canon, Nikon etc "full DSLR" sensors).
  17. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Indeed. In between the divertisments I asked what the conditions are that give you the focussing problem. You probably missed it. If the query is because your camea won't lock onto a boat mid-solent with land behind then you are going to have more or less the same problem no matter what you buy!

    I have loads of rubbish shot from Cowes on a SLR with decent lenses!
  18. Blokewithnoidea

    Blokewithnoidea Active Member

    Sorry, I did miss it. Lots of distractions away from computer. The focus problem occurs relatively close-up with very little or no use of zoom. I looked at a p510 forum and other owners appear to be having the same problem.
    Never mind, I'm over it now. Once you know the limitations, it's easier to live with them. Thanks for all the technical stuff. :)
  19. Blokewithnoidea

    Blokewithnoidea Active Member

    Hmm, interesting. So, the Sony NEX has a decent sized sensor. That's a good start. Coincidentally, I got to use one of these cameras very briefly yesterday. NEX5. The zoom isn't powered but there's a quality feel to it and the images on the display look crisp. I never got to see them on a computer screen.
    Some confusion about focal length of lenses. I once owned a Canon EOS film SLR. It had a 50mm fixed lens and a 35 to 200 zoom. I understood these measurements but digital SLRs appear not to use 35mm equivalents, presumably because the optics are different to focus on a different size sensor. That's about a 6x zoom i guess. So, given the two-lenses that come with the NEX5 kit, what, in 35mm focal length terms, would I get? (I know such a camera is a lot more than £400).

  20. thornrider

    thornrider In the Stop Bath

    NEX 5N has an APS-C sensor. To get 35mm equivalent focal length of a lens on this size of sensor multiply by 1.5. So 18-55 is 27-82. The lens is not different - the sensor crops the finished image.

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