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Old Oct 24, 2012, 4:33 PM   #1
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Default Want a camera for outdoor photography

Greetings,
I spend a lot of time hiking and camping in the Pacific Northwest wilderness areas and I'm ready for a camera that will capture better pictures than the Canon ELPH models I've been using. My current model is the SD1300 IS. I especially miss the polarizing filter and wide angle zoom from my old manual Pentax K1000 film camera. Llamas haul my gear so I can go with more bulk and protection than the ELPH style.


I like to take pictures of panoramic views, lakes, clouds, bugs, birds, night sky, wilderness animals in the distance, beaches, etc. GPS would be nice everything else being equal, but not absolutely necessary, same with add-on flash. As I said, polarization or the equivalent effect is a must. Stitching can be an acceptable substitute for wide angle, but I want a camera that has a stitching mode or a way to identify those shots for later editing.

A couple of cameras that look interesting are the Canon SX50 HS and the Nikon P510. The list is constantly growing and I don't speak the language so well. I'm not sure I'm looking in the right genre, or how to know. Maybe something like the pocket size Lumix DMC-TS3 is capable of producing polarized effects. I'm just about paralyzed by analysis. I need suggestions.

My budget for the camera is $450-500. I can add extras later, if necessary.

Thanks for your time.
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Old Oct 24, 2012, 5:44 PM   #2
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A superzoom- such as the SX50hs you suggest- is a good way to go if you want to cover a wide range of photographic scenarios whilst remaining lightweight and convenient.
Early impressions of the SX50hs are promising- and no surprise as the SX40hs was a great camera (I had one). You also have the option to add filters- and if Canon has chosen to add a filter thread onto the end of the lens barrel, you could also avoid the need for an adapter- though that in itself, not too much of a bind.
Another alternative in the superzoom category to consider is Panasonic's FZ-200.
Competitive in all aspects compared to the alternatives(and in many cases,better...) but with the addition of a fast f/2.8 lens across the zoom range- putting it in a class of its own for longer work,allowing MUCH more light in.
Something like the Panny TS3 is fine as a lightweight,rugged,outdoor snapper- but is invariably limited- certainly when compared to a superzoom.

Some early test shots from the SX50hs...
http://www.techradar.com/reviews/cam...articleContent
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Old Oct 24, 2012, 7:49 PM   #3
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How ironic, I bought my daughter a Canon Elph SB600 10 years ago And she is wanting to upgrade. Was initially considering a DSLR (small entry level like D3100) but with hiking wanted smaller. Since the SB600 still takes great photos (better than later elphs, victims of the megapixel race) she is focusing on IQ (Image Quality) while maintaining the small size.

I just gave her a heads up in Nikons V2 introduced today. Her reply email "Thanks dad. With the new price of the V1, it is tempting for me. I will have to look at the size as well. One main issue is that not only do I need something to fit in small hands, but size and weight are very important on hiking trips. I have become much better with hiking with heavier backpacks (I was basically the pack mule for (visiting cousins) who were not use to hiking), but I still prefer a smaller camera. I will look here in Switzerland for the V1 and V2 to see the size and read about what features they offer, don't offer as well."

If looking for something with a larger sensor than basic P&S 1/2.3 which includes the bridge cameras, first, how much zoom do you need - perhaps vs what you have now. Some of the 1/1.7 P&S cameras may be a consideration if zoom needs ar moderate. These include the Panasonic(Leica) LX 5 or 7 (D-Lux 5 or 7) at the shorter zoom, and the Nikon 7700 with the longer zoom and Canon S95/100 and G15. All of those, with the exception of Leica, are in your $450-500 range or less in the case of Panasonic.

Next step up, but staying within your range, are the significantly discounted Nikon Series 1 J1 and more capable V1 models, and some entry 4/3 cameras from Panasonic and Olympus. These would require 2 lens, and with the Olympus EPl-1, may be able to stay right at $500, where going to around 600 with the Nikon 1s and Panasonics. Not overlooking Sony's NEX with interchangable lens or Canon's EOS-M fixed lens, both very capable but with the even larger APS-C size sensor the lens become much larger due to the basic physica of the lens/sensor relationship - and with it comes bulk and weight.

That "packmule" remark of hers is almost funny as the cousins had a Canon S100 which is elph size, but they are from flat Florida.

Last edited by tizeye; Oct 24, 2012 at 7:56 PM.
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Old Oct 24, 2012, 9:03 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SIMON40 View Post
A superzoom- such as the SX50hs you suggest- is a good way to go if you want to cover a wide range of photographic scenarios whilst remaining lightweight and convenient.
Early impressions of the SX50hs are promising- and no surprise as the SX40hs was a great camera (I had one). You also have the option to add filters- and if Canon has chosen to add a filter thread onto the end of the lens barrel, you could also avoid the need for an adapter- though that in itself, not too much of a bind.
Another alternative in the superzoom category to consider is Panasonic's FZ-200.
Competitive in all aspects compared to the alternatives(and in many cases,better...) but with the addition of a fast f/2.8 lens across the zoom range- putting it in a class of its own for longer work,allowing MUCH more light in.
I've been looking at the photo thread for the SX40 HS. The majority of the shots are macro and very impressive, but the few zoomed pictures seem dark. There aren't that many of them to compare. I noticed the same thing on the link you gave me. If the adapter doesn't screw onto the lens does it snap on? I need to get some perspective of the difference in zoom and how much light a lens lets in.
Thanks
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Old Oct 24, 2012, 9:42 PM   #5
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Tizeye, I probably don't need superzoom. Once in a while I see animals and interesting things far away, but more often I want to bring the expansive views closer and capture them with wide angle. I realize that's not a quantitative answer. My SD1300 IS does not have a way to identify shots taken for stitching so I have to guess when using the software on the computer. Ugh. Gotta have filtering capabilities and I don't think software is the answer, but I could be wrong.
Thanks for the reply.
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Old Oct 24, 2012, 9:45 PM   #6
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Llamero, have you seen this page in Flickr?
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Old Oct 25, 2012, 3:06 AM   #7
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No I had not seen that site. WOW. Thanks. So the SX40 HS is considered a point and shoot, okay. What's defines a bridge camera?
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Old Oct 25, 2012, 5:10 AM   #8
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Llamero- the SX40 filter adapter clicks onto the end of the lens barrel,where one would put a lens hood.-

http://www.play.com/Electronics/Electronics/4-/24266546/676568159/JJC-Replacement-Canon-FA-DC67A-Filter-Adapter-For-Canon-PowerShot-SX1-IS-SX10-IS-SX20-IS-SX30-IS-SX40-HS/ListingDetails.html?_$ja=tsid%3a11518%7ccat%3a2426 6546%7cprd%3a24266546

As for the SX40/50- I'm not sure I'd call it a "point and shoot", despite what category Flickr choose to put it in..!!
Here's a couple of pics I took at full zoom with the SX40hs- and with regards the amount of light it lets in at full zoom- much depends on your shutter speed and iso setting- but compared to say the FZ-200,all else being equal,you could use a lower iso on the Panny or a much faster shutter speed for the same exposure- though of course,the Canon gets you closer...
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Old Oct 25, 2012, 1:42 PM   #9
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Very nice shots, Simon, especially the lamb.
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Old Oct 25, 2012, 1:48 PM   #10
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Simon, I hope you don't mind, that critter on the lamb's nose "bugged" me, lol.
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