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Old Mar 2, 2015, 7:38 PM   #1
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Default megazoom/bridge camera suggestions for BIF

i love my sony A6000, but there's no lens solution that's long enough for birds in flight - except for a couple that are far too heavy for my damaged wrists. i considered going with micro four thirds for BIF, but i have rented the lenses, and for the price and weight, they really didn't deliver for me. i considered that the FZ1000 might work for me, but at the moment i'm on a bit of a budget, so here's what i am hoping for:

* image quality good for price/class (not noisy at base ISO, not watercolory)

* quick access to ISO, exposure and hopefully white balance

* mode dial with PASM

* fast zoom or manual zoom

* 400mm or better at long end, 300mm if image quality is strong at the long end

* decent EVF. image doesn't have to be great but it has to allow me to track flying birds in realtime.

* $400 or under (could go used or refurb - could maybe stretch a few bucks higher)

* Raw would be nice

regarding image quality, i realize this is going to be the compromise. my old FZ150 image quality was fine, and had the EVF had a faster refresh rate, i'd have kept it or would be buying another one. i expect a little noise at base ISO, but not highly viewable grain viewed at 50%, and useable up to ISO 800 would be nice. i don't expect pics as good as a 1" or APSC sensor, but good for its class would be nice - at least not horribly distorted, ultra low contrast or noisier than class at low ISOs.
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Old Mar 3, 2015, 2:05 AM   #2
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If you liked the FZ150, then you will also like the FZ200. Better EVF and faster lens.
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Old Mar 3, 2015, 2:11 AM   #3
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i know the FZ200 has a higher resolution EVF, but is it faster refreshing? my issue wasn't the quality of the image but the fact that one day i was tracking a walking pigeon and by the time i hit the shutter, still seeing him in the EVF, he was mostly gone from the frame.

if they sped up the EVF a bit, i'm getting an FZ200!
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Old Mar 3, 2015, 10:39 AM   #4
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The FZ200 EVF has a fast refresh rate that can keep up with fast movements. But I can't compare with the FZ150, as I never had one.
I've read somewhere that the refresh rate on the EVF is 100fps alternating between r,g, and b.

Rudi

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Old Mar 3, 2015, 11:17 AM   #5
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know anything about the fuji X-S1? it sounds interesting - a little larger sensor, manual zoom, a fair number of interesting features. a bit heavy, but no heavier than my A6000 with the 55-210 lens.
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Old Mar 3, 2015, 12:05 PM   #6
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I don't know that camera personally, but I've read it takes good pictures.
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Old Mar 3, 2015, 12:20 PM   #7
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X-S1 is a really nice camera and has the zoom (manual) and good picture quality. The EVF can operate at 50hz, which is enough to keep up with live action. It is a bit large and heavy, as you know. While I haven't noticed any problems with mine, the autofocus may not be able to keep up with BIF. Ozzie Traveler has mentioned problems with this. I have trouble keeping the complicated settings straight, and don't find the menu system very straightforward. Possibly just used to other ways of doing things.

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Old Mar 3, 2015, 4:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pcake View Post
know anything about the fuji X-S1? it sounds interesting - a little larger sensor, manual zoom, a fair number of interesting features. a bit heavy, but no heavier than my A6000 with the 55-210 lens.
G'day mate

With my Fuji X-s1 I could not even think of recommending it for a dog / cat / pigeon / goose walking across the grass ~ the animal would have been & gone before the camera even realised it have a moving 'target' in front of it

My camera is one of the 1st year's production ~ I cannot speak for latest models where I hope the focus issue has been fixed up

The other (unstated in all reviews) issue with all Fuji cameras I have seen is the focus system NEVER gets out of spot-focus mode

While the specs talk about spot vs multi vs tracking focus modes on paper (which all sounds good), as you activate any of these modes, the small focus box moves around the screen, but it never [unless you are in face-recognition mode] goes beyond a single of the 63 focus points across the screen ..... unlike the Panasonic where the focus target-box increases to a 3 x 4 focus-points when the camera can't get an autofocus with its normal setting ... or most other cameras I have used where multiple focus dots show & beep as focus is achieved

ps- we also have an FZ200 [hers !!!] ~ I will 'borrow' it today and see about focus tracking some of the local pelicans as the come & go

Phil
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Old Mar 3, 2015, 6:14 PM   #9
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There is the option of manual focus, though it is not a direct mechanical coupling. The focus ring turning is not directly related to the focus distance of the camera, and I have found it to be a bit awkward. However, if one can pre focus, the wait for the auto is eliminated.
As I always seem to find myself using spot focus anyway, I can't speak to the rest of Phil's comment.
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Old Mar 3, 2015, 6:55 PM   #10
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pcake- I'm surprised you had issues keeping up with moving targets with the EVF on your FZ150. I regularly use mine for sports use (in good light) with no issues whatsoever with regards the viewfinder.
That said, with the improved EVF on the FZ200 (and that you were happy with the IQ on the 150...) perhaps that is the logical way to go... especially with the boon of the fast aperture...
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