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Old Aug 7, 2013, 8:04 AM   #1
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Default best superzoom with at least f3.0 lens, under $300?

I'm looking for a p &s $300 or less, with at least f3.0 lens and that shoots good images, and has superzoom. good video is also important but not critical. I have had a Panasonic zs5 for a few years, but it is hit and miss ans has a pretty slow lens (f3.5, I think). sometimes the images are great but sometimes somewhat blurry, especially at long zoom, low light, or when the subject is moving, and it takes a long time to process the picture. I don't think Newest panasonic (Zs40?) wil be much better. I was interested in Olympus sh-50 sz-30mr but some bad reviews scared me off. thanks
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Old Aug 7, 2013, 11:15 AM   #2
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mfox- I take it you're aware that the second you zoom in the lens ceases to have an f/3 or whatever aperture is quoted on a given camera. The low f number on the lens is the widest aperture available at wide angle only.
The only camera that offers a constant aperture (should you need it...) throughout the zoom range is Panasonic's FZ200- though I wouldn't call that a "point and shoot" and is beyond your budget.
As for shooting moving targets,a camera that has manual modes is better- as you can manipulate shutter speeds etc for a given subject.
Panasonic's TZ30/40 is one of the better high-zoom compacts out there- as it focuses fast and has good burst modes. Shot to shot times has come on a bit since the ZS5 also- better still if you switch image review off..!
Others that offer swift shooting/focusing are Sony's HX20/30/50v etc...
Beware however,that high zoom compacts are compromised by nature- offering a "jack of all trades,master of none" outlook for image/video capture.
Their plus points are the mere fact that they cram so much into a small package- so whilst they're not brilliant at one single thing,they're pretty good at doing all....
Just don't expect too much in the way of critical IQ or low light performance....
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Old Aug 8, 2013, 8:58 AM   #3
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Thanks. I am aware of the changing aperture with zoom, and that manual controls are good.But, believe it or not, I purchased a casio exilim ix-vr200 yesterday form amazon, and I should get it in a few days to try out. If it's not good, I'll return it. It does have lot of gimmicks, but some reviews said it had good image quality also. So, do you think the Olympus sz-31MR, sz16, or sh-50 are any good?
Thanks
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Old Aug 8, 2013, 3:03 PM   #4
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My own feelings toward the Olympus bunch is that they've pushed the optics too far... and 24x in a compact for my money is too much.
Fringing issues and excessive edge softening is all too common on these cameras.
If all you're after is "snaps" and are not too critical,they may suffice- but if outright IQ is important (as much as it can be in a P+S...) then I'd look elsewhere- and maybe ask yourself just how much zoom do you need,because the further you go,the worse things get...
Let us know how the Casio fares- not much info out there on these models...
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