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Old Aug 12, 2011, 4:32 PM   #1
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Default Nikon p500 or?

I'm looking at a Nikon p500.

Reviews are generally extremely positive. But I read about its "small sensor" and "Overall image quality is not up to our expectations."

Are these relative to other sub $400 super zooms? Or are they something of an absolute - the sensor on a $400 super zoom is acceptable at that price point, but is, by definition, smaller than one on a DSLR costing two or three times as much? Likewise image quality.

After starting with my wife's Canon 3000, I am buying my first "real" digital camera to learn how to use it, then perhaps graduate to one that will help me take higher quality photos.

One part of what I do is working as a reporter for a website, shooting people speaking at night meetings where I cannot get as close to the Speaker as I would like - a 4x zoom doesn't get it done, though I doubt I will really need 36x. The other is "recreational" photography.

Is the Nikon a good choice? Or?

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Old Aug 12, 2011, 6:03 PM   #2
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All super zooms have small sensors. That is what allows them to have long zoom lenses and still remain compact. The image quality is usually far inferior to that of a DSLR system due to the smaller sensor. When the review stated that the image quality was not up to expectations it means that its image quality is not as good as cameras of the same class as the reviewed camera.

But your requirements for a low light camera with zoom strays far outside what super zooms can do. For that you need a DSLR system or at atlest a micro 4/3rds system.
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Old Aug 12, 2011, 8:15 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by David_MC View Post
But your requirements for a low light camera with zoom strays far outside what super zooms can do.
+1

Panasonic and Canon generally rank at the top of the superzoom class, though the latest cams from Fuji and Sony aren't half bad either. The Nikon would place below all of them imho. However, as David said, your requirements cannot be met by any superzoom.
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Old Aug 13, 2011, 4:37 PM   #4
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Default Hmmmmmmmmmmm

I'm not sure where the posts leave me.

My price cap is below $400, so I don't know that a DSLR fits.

When I ask about a small sensor, I'm thinking relative to what else is available for the same money, not relative to the biggest/best at any price.

Same with image quality - how does the p500 compare to similarly priced cameras, not "if I spend $1,000, will I get a better image?" My sense is every camera costing less than $1,000 has image flaws (and perhaps those costing even more). What do I have to be aware of with the p500?

I may be using "low light" incorrectly. Better perhaps to call it night time fluorescent lighting. My current camera at its full 4x extension in that condition produces an image with too much noise to make it usable.

I don't know that I will use 36x for meetings, but if I'm at 10x or 12x, what sort of image quality will I get?

Using an analogy from another world, it's as though reviewers use a Mercedes as the benchmark and say about a lesser car "the leather interior leaves something to be desired," rather than "the leather interior in car X is an outstanding value for the money, but is nowhere near the quality of the Mercedes."

I have the sense that there's a hidden Mercedes being held out as the benchmark, but as a newbie to this sort of camera, I don't know how to make the judgment.
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Old Aug 13, 2011, 9:50 PM   #5
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As far as low light in super zooms, most super zooms suffer from the same problems. For super zooms however, offerings from Panasonic, Canon, and Fujifilm trump Nikon's loogzoom cameras.

But a super zoom with better low light performance you may look at the Fujifilm Finepix S200EXR. It has 14x zoom and a 1/1.6 sized sensor. Steve has reviewed the camera on this sight. It is better than other superzooms in lowlight but it is not perfect.
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Old Aug 23, 2011, 7:17 AM   #6
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Hello to all my friends on SD, mostly Steve.. Becouse I have great respect of Your opinion, I need Your recomendation...between several cameras, I want to by one of incoming days... So... what is Your choice between NikonP500... Canon SX30IS... Panasonic FZ100..Olympus SP 800UZ... Fuji HS20 EXR.. Fuji HS10... Thanks a lot !

Last edited by Miiodrag Bozovic; Aug 23, 2011 at 7:26 AM.
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