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Old Oct 4, 2011, 7:22 PM   #1
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Default A "Bridge" too far....?

I'm frustrated...!! Why..?? Because I cannot find a "walkabout" bridge camera that ticks all the boxes.
So here goes- this is what I'd like to see.....
25-450mm or thereabouts- manageable for any stabiliser to be consistently successful and enabling the use of a larger sensor- maybe 2/3 or larger,without the need for a huge body. Good quality glass. An aperture that stays put(f/2.5 or so would be nice)throughout the zoom range(remember the FZ20..?!) and that steps down to at least f/11. A manual zoom ring and a manual focus ring(again,like the gem on the FZ20). A tilting LCD,preferably recessed into the body(like Canons S/SX line...) A decent full resolution burst mode- say 4fps+ for at least 10 shots,more would be nice. Resolution in the 8mp range,keeping shots smoother/cleaner and easing the pressure on processor. Nice build quality- NOT like the ghastly HS10 plastic..(the old s6500 felt FAR superior!!). Decent electronic viewfinder,with a decent rubber eyecup(again,take note Fuji..!!).
Things I don't give a monkeys for are- GPS,HD video(VGA 30fps will do for occasional "surprise" use..),panoramic modes,EXR modes(!!!!)..etc

Basically,a decent "all in one" photographic tool for individuals who know how to use a camera- and that don't want to make too much of a sacrifice in image quality compared to an SLR.
Yes sacrifices are inevitable,but with the advancement in technology, processor speed,noise control(potentially) we should be a great deal closer...
This obsessive quest for galactic mp counts has pushed all the advances right back,with image quality suffering with artefacts galore and typically "digital" grainy look at ALL iso speeds- and the monstrous zooms haven't helped also,pushing stabilisers to the limit(and all to often,beyond!)making auto-focusing at the long end difficult..

So- in essence- FZ20 aperture,S3/5is focusing speed,s6500 zoom ring,FZ20 focus ring,Canon or Panasonic's stabiliser,FZ build quality,Leica glass,SX30 screen,Z740 rubber eyecup (lol..!),G series switchgear and a nice 8mp sensor with speedy processor...

Anyone care to add to the list....? Am I dreaming..?
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Old Oct 5, 2011, 7:44 AM   #2
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Well you are under a number of misapprehensions.

Higher Mp don't generally adversely affect IQ for one thing. Common myth, basically nonsense.

Not sure how you are going to manage a large sensor and a small constant aperture lens with the current laws of physics.

2/3 sensor - f2.5 constant aperture out to 450mm equivalent? In a passingly small body? Let's see...

11mm diagonal sensor. 3.93 crop factor. 450/3.93 = Actual focal length of 115mm required to sensor plane, total length of lens probably around 150mm. 115/f2.5 = 45mm iris, probably means a 80-90mm diameter lens housing. Then add in image stabilisation, etc. Not going to be a very small camera at all.

You want some pretty fast electronics too to cope with the burst modes.

They could probably build it for $1000, but I think you would still find fault. Basically it's not going to be much smaller or cheaper than a DSLR, which is probably why no-one has done it. With the bigger sensor and slower lenses you get the same effect using a DSLR. So...

Get yourself an entry level DSLR instead. Put a big zoom on it (something like the Tamron 18-270) and don't change lenses. Job done.

OR - go mirrorless.

Try out the new Nikon J1/V1. The DXO mark scores are excellent for that size of sensor and they have a 30-110mm (90-330 equivalent) lens.

Between the mirrorless cameras and the entry level DSLRs the camera you want has almost no buyers.

Something like a Nikon P7100 or Canon G12 is probably as close as you will get, they have everything you want except the big zoom.
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Old Oct 5, 2011, 9:46 AM   #3
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Of course my figures quoted would be flexible- 30-350mm would do..lol... and Panasonic gave us a fixed f/2.8 lens YEARS ago on the relatively petite FZ20- granted with a smaller sensor- but surely something larger could be accommodated in not too much larger body with a slightly larger sensor- even maybe a 1/1.6"...
As for high mp counts affecting image quality- I can only go on what my eye sees- and that is excessive artefacts and noise reduction- even at base iso's...!

It seems to me that the least important thing in 99% of applications is high megapixel counts- yet seems to be the MOST important to manufacturers.
And whilst image quality is VERY important to me,it seems to be way down the list of priorities for manufacturers...

Perhaps I'll get an old G7 and carry around a 1.7x converter in my pocket..... oh wait,no tilt screen.!
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Old Oct 5, 2011, 10:09 AM   #4
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Also- I have Tamron's 18-270 VR lens attached to my 20D- it would just be nice to have a lighter,smaller alternative from time to time which wasn't such a drastic drop in IQ,had a decent zoom and a relatively fast lens at the long end(the Tamron's not fast but the Canons high iso noise control curbs this...).
I run/cycle in the mountains and end up in some barren,bleak,isolated but beautiful environments,with some occasional sightings of rare wildlife- and would be nice to find a camera that could capture all of this with aplomb...

I loved my old S3is but was spoiled by awful fringing and ghastly noise past iso 200...
Perhaps Canon could bring that back without the problems mentioned...
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Old Oct 5, 2011, 10:29 AM   #5
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You need to read this:

http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Publications/DxOMark-Insights/More-pixels-offset-noise!

With very small pixel pitch, down around the 2micron level it's possible to overstep the mark. But usually the manufacturers don't. 99% of these complaints are because the viewer keeps looking at 100% magnification, which obviously appear to show more noise. But the prints or down-rezzed files keep on getting better.

You may be an exception, but most people who complain about this haven't actually done any proper tests, they are comparing 100% views of different resolution cameras and leaping to the wrong conclusions. The myth spreads and becomes accepted wisdom. And it's generally nonsense. Certainly at DSLR sized pixels and usually at P&S sized pixels too.

You do understand what an f-stop is right? If the iris has to be a certain size because of the size of sensor and focal length there is no way to shrink the lens beyond that limit. This is physics that you can understand with a ruler.

Anyway, the camera you want is the new Nikon V1 or Panasonic m4/3, it just happens to have interchangeable lenses.
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Old Oct 5, 2011, 10:41 AM   #6
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Closest thing to what you are asking about, other than the lens focal length, is IMO, the discontinued K-M A2, and with a TC lens, would have most of what is important to you. Being an older camera, it has some noise issues, but the noise is easily cleaned up. Autofocus was, IIRC also a bit slow.
Manufacturers seem to have found that the mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras offer more in the way of flexibility and portability, as well as more profit from lens sales, so I think the direction of camera development is not in the direction you are looking for.

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Old Oct 5, 2011, 12:33 PM   #7
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VT- I'm not sure it would clean THAT much noise up...lol...
And no,alas,I fear your right about development,Brian...

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Old Oct 5, 2011, 12:54 PM   #8
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Peripatetic- maybe I was a bit ambitious with zoom range- though a 300mm zoom with 1/1.6" sensor and f/2.5 is workable- only requiring 70 or so mm to sensor (length of lens depends on where the sensor sits in a bridge's body) with an aperture of just over the inch wide open...
But yes- not quite as svelte as I'd like....
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Old Oct 9, 2011, 5:16 AM   #9
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Fuji have just announced something close to what you are wanting, but with the limitation of the impossibility of an f2.5 aperture at full zoom discarded. The camera is already the size of a small DSLR with kit lens.

Check out the X-S1 announcement:
2/3 sensor
24-624mm equivalent F2.8-5.3
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Old Oct 9, 2011, 11:01 AM   #10
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Looks interesting- nice to see Fuji have raised the flash housing- not obstructing the focus ring as in the HS10/20...
And if they do indeed start a mirrorless,interchangeable lens camera- lets hope it has the X100 sensor/processor combo'...
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