Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums >

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Oct 11, 2018, 11:58 AM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 3
Default Probably pretty common "which camera" type question for experts - use from rooftop

Howdy! I've read this site for years but never posted before. I used to keep a fairly recent point and shoot, but since the iPhone 6, I've gone mobile-only. I recently moved to a 24th floor condo with a great 160-degree unobstructed western view. My iPhone 8 takes wonderful shots in the right conditions, but it's not up to this job. The field of view too narrow. Sunsets come out dim or lacking subtle gradation. I'd love to have some kind of optical zoom, too. There are neat sailboats and buildings in the 1 - 15 km range that I'd like to see better.
I'm looking for a camera that addresses those shortcomings and can produce photos that are noticeably better than my iPhone. I am not looking for "prosumer" quality; just a nice bump from the iPhone in these specific use cases. I wouldn't often leave the house with it, so I don't care about portability. I'm perfectly fine with a used camera. My photography skills are rudimentary. I understand I'll probably need a tripod to do longer exposure shots of sunsets, but otherwise, what sort of camera might fit the bill to get improved nice wide angles and sunsets?
jpizzl is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Oct 11, 2018, 3:49 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Australia, New South Wales central coast
Posts: 3,312
Default

G'day mate

Your description of phone pics mirrors my vision of them too ... fine on a sunny day, esp when you are not discerning about image quality

As your description of 'future' photo taking seems to indicate fully-automatic & non-complicated style of use, I would suggest you look at the Panasonic FZ-80 for its huge zoom lens and lots of auto-features, or for a better lens without so much zoom, the Panasonic FZ-300. A serious photographer who does not want to get into swapping lenses will go for the FZ-300, but from your description above, the FZ-80 might suit your needs

Hope this helps
Phil
__________________
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/
Ozzie_Traveller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 11, 2018, 4:31 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
TCav's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Washington, DC, Metro Area, Maryland
Posts: 13,730
Default

Considering your vantage point, you might be interested in a camera with a Panoramic feature. You start the exposure while pointing the camera to your left, and slowly sweep the camera to the right. The camera will take several photos along the way and merge them into a single image.


Something like this:



Or this:
__________________
  • The lens is the thing.
  • 'Full Frame' is the new 'Medium Format'.
  • "One good test is worth a thousand expert opinions." - Tex Johnston, Boeing 707 test pilot.

Last edited by TCav; Oct 11, 2018 at 4:34 PM.
TCav is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 12, 2018, 1:49 PM   #4
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 3
Default

T-Cav - Excellent point, and I have done that. It works really well on overcast afternoons without much contrast. The problems I run into are that 1) the ideal exposure often varies a lot throughout the same panorama, so the phone picks an exposure at the start that ends up being terrible, overall, and 2) the view is so wide that I end up having a tough time holding the camera smoothly enough to get a nice uninterrupted panorama.
I bet I can mess around with manual settings and/or other apps to address the exposure issue. Maybe a stitching-together type panorama app can address the wide angles better. Since I'm fairly far from everything I want to shoot, panorama software should work pretty well, in general, even if the stock app makes it tricky to pull off in one smooth motion.
jpizzl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 12, 2018, 2:16 PM   #5
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 3
Default

Awesome, thanks! Both look good. I was leaning FZ80 at first for its extra-wide angle, but I have read a lot of comments about the FZ300 having an awesome lens and just being made really well. That makes it attractive, even if I don't think I'll use the ruggedness. I see 2012-era FZ200's @ US$200 on eBay, compared to $320 for the newer model, so it seems like this line holds its value really nicely. That'll help me justify the expense ;-)
jpizzl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 12, 2018, 3:14 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Australia, New South Wales central coast
Posts: 3,312
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jpizzl View Post
Awesome, thanks! Both look good. I was leaning FZ80 at first for its extra-wide angle, but I have read a lot of comments about the FZ300 having an awesome lens and just being made really well. That makes it attractive, even if I don't think I'll use the ruggedness. I see 2012-era FZ200's @ US$200 on eBay, compared to $320 for the newer model, so it seems like this line holds its value really nicely. That'll help me justify the expense ;-)
Hi again

The 'big' thing with the FZ-200 & FZ-300 is the "constant aperture zoom lens" whereby the lens maintains its pre-set aperture as you zoom from wide-angle thru to telephoto. This is a feature usually found only in $2000+/- professional SLR lenses

All 3 of the Panny cameras mentioned above have the usual P-A-S-M operational settings and also 'scenes' and 'creative', these latter 2 offering about 3-dozen pre-set settings that permit you to shoot heaps of stuff and the camera 'tweaks' the image into something crafty-to-look-at

Insofar as Pano stuff - I do heaps of it, shooting 160 deg wide scenes using the zoom lens at various positions ... I often shoot a pano of hills 1/2-mile away with the lens out at 1/2-max zoom - so the wide-angle side of it does not matter. Computer stitching of 12 to 20 single images is via PIXTRA software - been using it for years and it's great

Hope this helps
Phil
__________________
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/
Ozzie_Traveller is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 8:47 PM.