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Old Feb 19, 2012, 10:32 AM   #1
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Default Best Camera For Quality Image Cropping

I'm new to superzoom cameras. I especially like photographing birds and have gotten a few decent shots, although I know they could be improved. There are times when I want to crop out all but the head and shoulders but I lose detail and sharpness. I have used a Canon SX150is set at the highest resolution. They were shot through a window, though. I just bought a Lumix DMC-FZ47 hoping to improve the crop quality. What mode is best for using the zoom and then possibly wanting to crop? Or should I look at buying another camera? I really don't want a DSLR. Your suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

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Old Feb 19, 2012, 11:02 AM   #2
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Shooting through a window is never very good for image quality as it's poor quality glass with lots of imperfections. There are also excessive reflections because of the uncoated surfaces. Try shooting your tests with nothing between the camera and the subject before buying a new camera.
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Old Feb 19, 2012, 12:07 PM   #3
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Thanks for your comment. Here's s shot I took through a window using Canon SX150is. It's the only way I can get close enough. I read where there's a filter I could get for the FZ47 for taking photos through glass. The main thing I want info about is what settings to use to get the best shots so that I might be able to crop.

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Old Feb 19, 2012, 12:21 PM   #4
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The best way to "get close" would be to have as much zoom as possible(optical) in the first place.. reducing the need to crop.
Canon SX30/40 has 840mm,the Nikon P500 has 810mm and the new 510 has 1000mm..!!
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Old Feb 19, 2012, 12:43 PM   #5
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I've tried but even with a tripod the images are blurry. I just can't seem to get focused correctly. I've never used the manual mode, would that help? thanks for your input. Here's a shot I just took with the FZ47--(again, through glass).


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Old Feb 19, 2012, 4:16 PM   #6
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Up until a few weeks ago I had a Fuji HS20 and took these shots through a window. Now I have a Canon T2i. The Fuji was great for convenience and zoom but wasn't very good at low light and was really slow processing images after shooting in burst mode. The quality of the pics was quite good. My avitar of the humming bird was taken with the HS20.
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Old Feb 20, 2012, 2:35 PM   #7
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I have the FZ47, too. I am assuming that even at full zoom, you are too far from the bird(s) to fill the frame with them. If you are close enough to fill the frame with them, do so!
My experience with the FZ47 tells me that it focuses sharper and more accurately in good light. If the light is somewhat dim and the contrast around the subject is slight, it doesn't always focus super accurately.
However, you need to make sure that you are taking into account the focal length and the shutter speed. too. If, for example, your shutter speed is 1/25 of a second and you are shooting at full zoom (600 mm) it's hard to get sharply focused images. That's a problem I had during a recent overcast day here. I hiked the ISO setting to 400 and the pictures were sharper. I had the Canon SX30is and I felt that the image stablization was even better than the FZ47's. Also, it went out to 840mm. However, I think the image quality of the FZ47 and SX30is at ISO 100 was very similar. You might try the SX40is; it's supposed to be noticeably better at higher ISO's. However, you will pay a lot more for it than you paid for your FZ47, I bet.
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Old Feb 20, 2012, 3:18 PM   #8
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Thanks for your input, robbo. I bought this camera (fz47) because it had consumer reports best rating for a super zoom. Had the fz150 been included in the ratings I might have preferred it. Didn't know it existed until I read about it here! Wish I had found this forum before I bought!
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Old Feb 20, 2012, 5:29 PM   #9
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Well, if you bought the FZ47 cheaply low price, you can probably still sell it on Ebay for close to the same price. Of course, you would have to take into account Ebay seller's fees and Paypal fees (smaller than Ebay fees) and shipping. I like my FZ47. The FZ150 still costs a pretty penny . I was thinking of getting the Sony HX100V (before). It zooms out to 810mm. That would be good for shots of birds. However, both these cameras are still over $400 at most reputable etailers. For me, it's not worth it. I got the FZ47 for less than $200 around Thanksgiving.
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Old Feb 20, 2012, 7:58 PM   #10
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if you need zoom, perhaps the canon sx40 would be better as it's got more of it.
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