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Old Jul 7, 2014, 12:41 PM   #1
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Default Back from the dead, and need lots of help!

Hi folks--
Maybe I'm not back from the dead, but I am back from a long period of silence on these forums.

About 10 years ago, I was using my trusty Digital Rebel (1st ed!) and old Mac to make some pretty decent pictures. Times and life change, and I got out of the digital photography game. Though I (think) I know how to take some decent shots, I just didn't have the time to do the necessary photoshopping and editing on my computer, and the convenience of the camera phone supplanted my desire for good IQ.

I had an EP-L1, but I couldn't see the LCD in high light (I should have purchased the EVF, but it just seemed too expensive), and many of my pics were out of focus. I sold it.

For my birthday two years ago, the wife contributed to the purchase of a D5100. It's very nice, but very bulky. And I think there's a problem with the 18-55 lens, as there's a soft spot that I can't seem to get rid of on nearly every image. Instead of, you know, taking it in to have it looked at, it just sits in my closet.

The wife and I travel a lot, and we need something else. And I simply do not use a computer at home anymore-- the iPhone is it. I'm much more likely to adjust levels or sharpness in an app rather than loading photos onto a computer (probably the GiMP--I don't own any version of Photoshop anymore!)/

So we're in the market for another camera. Please help an old very amateur photog regain at least some sense of quality pictures!~

What we need:
- Great IQ. I suppose something with a fairly large sensor, not too much noise at medium ISOs. I like vibrant colors.
- A full set of controls. At least Program, but A/S/M, all helpful. Needs a good auto mode for the wife. But the full modes have to be actually usable, too.
- Reasonably compact. Doesn't have to be ultra compact, but it has to fit at least in a large jacket pocket or a small purse.
- WiFi. I need to share, and edit, on my phone.
- Decent length to the lens. I'd like 300mm, 35mm equivalent. The ultra zooms seem cool, but I don't want to sacrifice IQ for them.
- Macro. My DSLR can't do it, and I like to take closeup pictures of objects (right now, my fetish is watches).

What would be nice
- Viewfinder. Maybe they've gotten better in the last 5-10 years, but I have a hard time seeing what I'm supposed to get on the LCD. I know this isn't compatible with "reasonably compact" most of the time...
- A decent flash, but shooting low-light without a flash (low noise, or just really good IS) is an OK substitute.
- Great battery life
- Articulable LCD screen.

What I don't care about
- Megapixels
- Amazing movie modes. (I want the option, but really that's for capturing a moment, not shooting Citizen Cane).
- Ultra long lenses
- Sony. Memory sticks and their usually too high price have biased me. But I'm willing to be proved wrong.

Of course, we'd all like to keep the price down, but I can convince the wife to go maybe $500-ish (I'd like that to be a kit price, with a couple of memory cards and perhaps a backup battery if necessary).

The wife and I are taking a road trip in a week and a half to Yellowstone, Seattle (to see the Mariners play), Portland, Oakland (to see the A's), San Fran (to see the Giants, and other things along the way of course, probably on the PCH), to Reno, and back home. I'd like this camera to come with us.

Thoughts so far:

The Coolpix P7XXX line seems pretty nice, but do any of them do Wifi except for the 7800 (which seems bigger and too expensive)?

Amazon's No. 1 seller is the Canon PowerShot SX510, which seems like it has many of the features I'd really like (minus the viewfinder of course, and perhaps a tad big) at a pretty decent price. But it the IQ ok?

The Canon G16 seems okay too, but with a pretty short lens (140mm equivalent) I'm unsure if it will be as flexible as I want it.

Fuji FinePix S8400W? Not much on Steve's about it. IQ?

So there's my long post. Thanks in advance for the recs!

Last edited by perdendosi; Jul 7, 2014 at 2:01 PM.
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Old Jul 7, 2014, 5:27 PM   #2
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G'day mate

As you say - any camera without an eyepiece VF is not on the agenda

With Panasonic just releasing their new FZ1000, it means that the previous top-of-the-line job, the FZ200 will now be shortlisted for qwik sale ... you could do very well with one of these, tho it might not have all your 100% of desirables it will certainly be in the price range

Has Fuji & Lumix superzoom cameras and loves their amazing capabilities
Google me at Travelling School of Photography Australia
Recent images at http://www.flickr.com/photos/ozzie_traveller/sets/
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Old Jul 8, 2014, 9:17 AM   #3
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Perhaps the Olympus Stylus 1 might be worth a look...
Has pretty much all you ask for and maybe even more... except for a large sensor- though is at least larger than the usual bridge/compact 1/2.3" fayre...
I'm not sure what these retail for where you are however...!

Last edited by SIMON40; Jul 8, 2014 at 9:20 AM.
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Old Jul 8, 2014, 11:55 AM   #4
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Sony nex bodies use normal SDhc cards.
Really like my nex-5r though it has no evf, the nex-7 does have a evf built in.
Their sensor is aps-c sized so same as most dslr's.
Use Sony E mount lenses, and they can load and run apps from the sony play store much like smartphones.
Including a free remote control apps I can run the camera and see what it sees from my google pad or cell phone

Imaging is all about light and your ability to sculpt it.
Equipment is just a secondary nuisance.
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Old Jul 8, 2014, 3:29 PM   #5
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check out the Fuji x-10 or x-20

28-110 equiv zoom


OPTICAL 'zooming' finder

x-10 plain finder

x-20 'info overlay' finder

I have the x-10 set up as follows:

lcd - off

velvia simulation - on

P exp mode

iso 200

power save - off

autofocus - multi/single

FANTASTIC street camera with old school rangefinder 'feel' (and depth of field preview/indication + good manual focus incl the ability to preset hyperfocal settings)
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Old Jul 8, 2014, 7:42 PM   #6
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Thanks for the recs folks.
I think the NEX is out. I don't want to carry lenses with me. (If I did, I'd just take the Nikon I have).

The Fuji is out, too. I need a longer lens than that.

I've been looking, and it really seems like the Stylus 1 is the best option for me. The sample images I've seen on dpreview and flickr seem, to me at least, to be the best IQ of the lot. And it's got every feature I want (wifi, EVF, articulable screen). Except, of course, it's $100 above my budget, and a little shorter lens than I'd prefer. I don't need 1200 mm equivalent, but 500 on a camera with really good IQ would be nice.

I've decided that Wifi is a must. That limits my options of some of the nice cameras out there (like the Canon XS50). Maybe I'm wrong, but I want to be able to enjoy my photos right away, and that means transferring them to a phone to store with the rest of my photos, not putting them on a card, taking the card home, going through the photos, then maybe transferring them through a third-party service.

Other contenders right now:

-"Compacts" (cameras I could fit in my pocket, but are still of decent size)
Canon PowerShot SX700
Like the Digic 6, long zoom, wifi, size. Don't like the lack of EVF and small sensor. Haven't seen enough samples to get an idea of IQ, but the few I've seen look pretty decent.

Pana ZS40
All of the above + EVF (even if it's not the best). But the sample images I've seen just don't look as good to my eye as the few from the Canon. Panasonic seems to err on the side of blockiness/patchiness (100% zooms often look like paintings to me), while Canon seems to err on the side of noise/grain. The latter looks sharper, which I guess I prefer. Any thoughts about that?

--"Bulkier" models (can't fit in a pocket easily)
Fugi FinePix S1 Wifi, Articulable LCD,EVF, "Dustproof," But it's bulky, with a small sensor, and some of the images I've seen are downright unimpressive, but others look OK.

Nikon Coolpix P600. Articulable LCD, EVF, crazy zoom, wifi. IQ looks pretty good. It's just very large, and not super cheap

-- Cheapies
Samsung WB350 -- cute, wifi, no articulating screen. IQ?
Canon SX510 -- bigger, $200, no EVF, but wifi, super popular.

What am I missing? Wifi is a must. 300mm+ is (now) a must (the Canon G16 looks beautiful, but I think I'd really miss the long zoom for all the trips I take). Hi IQ is a must. Portability (meaning fitting in a jacket pocket) is a "really prefer," but I may be willing to choose something that doesn't fit in a pocket if I've got a good reason. An EVF, or an articulable LCD, is a strongly prefer, unless you can convince me that the LCD will actually perform in bright light conditions (one of my complaints of my PEN... lots of photos from Africa were soft because I couldn't see the focus points).

Should I just jump ship on the long lens idea, and get something that goes to 140 or 200mm, and then buy a cheapie ultrazoom? IQ certainly won't be good, but it'd at least work to capture moments (like baseball players on the field, bears far away from our camp, etc.)

Last edited by perdendosi; Jul 8, 2014 at 7:49 PM.
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Old Jul 9, 2014, 3:07 AM   #7
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The Panasonic FZ1000 has all the features you ask for, but it's rather bulky.
I think you will have to compromise or wait what's anounced in the next few months.
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Old Jul 9, 2014, 11:15 AM   #8
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If a big zoom is in the equation (with the resulting compromises....) another contender...?
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Old Jul 9, 2014, 12:45 PM   #9
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Just placed an order for a Stylus 1, refurbished (got it on eBay from a reputable seller for $520). I'll let you know what I think!
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