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Old Mar 29, 2015, 11:41 AM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 32
Default Camera choice ideas needed

Possibly interested in changing cameras to a super-zoom - my photos are primarily birds and general outdoor/nature shots.

I have an FZ35 with an Olympus 1.7X teleconverter lens. To be honest I have not used the teleconverter lens very much; nor the camera since I also have an entry level DSLR - Nikon D3100 with 70-300 mm inexpensive Sigma telephoto lens.
Both cameras seem to have considerable lag time between when I can take another shot, i.e. ducks flying overhead or a raptor - I can't get the shots off very quick it seems to me.

I would like to compare the FZ35 with the teleconverter lens and a couple of the newer model superzoom cameras. I do not know how to compare the capability of the zooms with what I have.

Options might include:
- FZ-200 - new at Amazon $400
25-600mm equivalent F2.8 lens (24x optical zoom)

- Canon PowerShot SX50 HS - new at Amazon $337 - refurbished Canon $229 - 50x optical zoom (24-1200mm) and 24mm wide-angle lens with Optical Image Stabilizer 200x Combined Zoom with Optical Image Stabilizer

- Nikon Coolpix P600 - New at Amazon $319
60X optical zoom 42x Zoom NIKKOR Lens and 84x with Dynamic Fine Zoom allow you to get even closer to what matters

These are the ones that are in my budget. If any of these would be better camera I would sell my FZ35 gear or the Nikon D3100 gear for that matter.
Also I am not interested in any long-lens DSLR - too much weight for me to carry around.

I hope this makes sense - I'm not camera sophisticated. Should I keep my FZ 35 - take it out and start using it or chose one of the other options above.
Would one of the above options give me much better zoom capability for taking photos of birds and nature. I very much enjoy taking photos and take quite a lot of them.

Thanks for any ideas - much appreciated.
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Old Mar 29, 2015, 3:42 PM   #2
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Location: Australia, New South Wales central coast
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G'day mate

While the FZ35 is a good camera, it is showing its age now when compared with current offerings ~ where camera makers are now offering more zoom and better internal software systems

However while better software will (maybe will) offer a slightly better image with less noise, the additional zoom reach above 24x zoom is mostly lost due to lens aberration issues coupled with camera shake above that which the built-in image stabilisation can cover. In other words, you lose many of the so-called gains

Of the cameras you mention above, the only one I would recommend you consider is the FZ200, with its professional calibre, constant aperture zoom lens

If you can get one to try, you'll find that it has a much faster focus & shoot time (than the FZ35), it has a better lens, especially at the f2,8 aperture, and the noise reduction improvements over the FZ35 are easily seen

Also - there are plenty of FZ200 users here as well - so you'd be in good company
Hope this helps
Has Lumix mirrorless & superzoom cameras and loves their amazing capabilities
Spends 8-9 months each year travelling Australia
Recent images at http://www.flickr.com/photos/ozzie_traveller/sets/
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Old Mar 30, 2015, 12:53 AM   #3
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Location: Belgium
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A vote for the Panasonic FZ200 here too. Good allround bridge.
(But I'm biassed, as I only have Panasonic Camera's )
The Nikon and Canon are good too and have a longer reach.
The FZ200 has i.Zoom, so you can go to 1200mm.
But going beyond the optical zoom, will detoriate IQ because of the
small sensor in this camera's.

Last edited by rudimaes; Mar 30, 2015 at 1:01 AM.
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Old Mar 30, 2015, 1:39 PM   #4
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 32

Thank you both for the input - I think you're right on the FZ35 just getting older now.
I did some comparisons - using this comparison site for example - the FZ200 vs. the Nikon Coolpix P600. Looks like pros and cons with both.


So I'll continue to shop and compare.
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Old Mar 30, 2015, 6:21 PM   #5
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For shooting speed and AF speed (which is useful for birding), the FZ200 is still the boss...
IQ means very little if you can't get the shot... but the "200" isn't lacking there either...
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