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Old Nov 28, 2012, 3:35 PM   #1
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Default Super Zoom big or little?

I'm looking to replace a Canon S3 IS that I have used for some time, but have never been really enthused about.

I like taking nature photos from my many hikes. This includes macro and landscape images. You can see some of what I do with the old Canon here.

While I would love to have a good super zoom, I would also not mind getting something a little more compact. I really don't know which way I would want to go. I would also like to have the GPS tagging. It would be great to be able to plot images along trails.

Here are a few of the cameras I am interested in:

Super Zoom: #1 - Nikon P510; Or: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX200V,

Compact Zoom: #1 Canon Powershot SX260 HS; Others: Fujifilm Finepix f770EXR; Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS20; Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX9V

I am sure I would be happy with the compact, especially at the register. But I feel like I might be missing some great potential by giving up the EVF and the greater options in the Super Zooms.

What do you all think? Where should I go to.

Thanks.
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 5:58 PM   #2
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If I was looking at a superzoom/bridge- I'd be looking at Canon's SX40hs, the SX50hs or the Panasonic FZ200. Alas, they don't have GPS- but I think they are superior than the two you mention in almost every other way.
If you find the S3is's size an issue- then the current bridges are even bigger..!

Enter the compact zooms- all of the above offering large zooms and GPS- plus many other toys/tricks.
If you don't mind losing shutter and aperture priority then the Sony might be worth a look- though the smallest zoom here. The F770's ok- but shooting in 8mp as opposed to using 16mp will yield better images- unless you use the EXR technology all of the time- shot to shot time is not the best- and using the burst mode locks up the camera for quite a while.
The Panasonic seems to offer it all on paper- and is a well put together camera,with speedy operation.
The Canon SX260hs (I have the non-GPS SX240) is a nice all rounder and I might be inclined to suggest is the best of the bunch- but it's a close call...
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 8:10 PM   #3
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Those Canon's and Panasonics are also at least $80 more. From the reviews I have seen, the P510 is a good Super Zoom.

I really do like the idea of the compact zooms. Almost everything about them. The lack of an EVF has me skeptical, though. I imagine it would be hard to zoom in on a bird while holding the camera out in front.

I need to get my hands on one and play around.

Thanks.
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 3:29 AM   #4
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The lack of an EVF is a bit of a bind- but of course, keeps things more compact- and yes,keeping things steady at arms length requires a steady hand- though the stabilizers on these compact/zooms are very good these days, with the Sony,Canon and Panasonic particularly good in that department.
The P510's ok- just not as good as some of the others available.
The stabiliser,being sensor based, isn't quite as good as the lens based Canon/Panny- and that could be an issue with a 1000mm zoom. The glass itself isn't quite up to the mark either. The AF system is slower than it's competitors and the movie mode is frankly poor- with the AF system really struggling- especially with moving subjects.
The burst mode,whilst shooting at a rate of 7fps- will only manage 5 frames at that speed before the buffer fills up. Other than that you only have a 1fps option.
You have no flash hotshoe or RAW capture either.
Maybe many of the above factors might not be an issue for you- but worth knowing/bearing in mind.
Have a look at some video's/reviews on youtube... see what you think.
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