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best long zoom camera for me
Hi all..

I am in the market for a long zoom camera (12x or higher), but am not sure which one is best for me. I've come to realize that I am not know enough about photography to have a DSLR, and I like the freedom and options that a long zoom would give me..

I would mostly be taking outdoor shots of scenery, landscapes, sightseeing shots and maybe even some wildlife if I can..

I'd also like to know if anyone would recommend getting a telephoto adapter for an even longer zoom. Do they compromise the image quality?.

My main choices right now are the Canon S5 IS, the Sony H9 or maybe one of the Panasonic Lumix ones. But I'm also open to other suggestions..

Any help would be greatly appreciated..

Thanks-chris..

Comments (8)

I have the Panasonic FZ 50 and am very happy with it. Have been toying with the idea of a tele converter but they are very expensive in Australia (got a price of $400 AUD) as their isnt a competitive market for them.

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Same pic zoomed up.

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Comment #1

I'd say your top choices are:.

PanasonicFZ18 (wide angle lens plus 18x zoom, RAW)FZ50 (big camera with 12x zoom, RAW).

CanonS5IS (flip out screen, 12x zoom, best video/stereo sound).

For landscapes the wide angle will be an advantage, but the FZ18's image quality is a bit compromised because of the very long zoom (not much though). The FZ50 is a bit serious and as big as an SLR, but has a good lens. The Canon has no wide angle, no RAW, but is a very good camera and the flip out screen, great video and sound might just swing it if you're at all interested in video..

Adding an extra telephoto lens to these cameras will reduce image quality a bit but if you wouldn't get a shot of something without it, that probably doesn't matter much. You're least likely to need one with the FZ18..

Androohttp://Androo.smugmug.com..

Comment #2

Hi,.

You say "I would mostly be taking outdoor shots of scenery, landscapes, sightseeing shots and maybe even some wildlife if I can.".

Now, outdoor shots of scenery, landscapes, sightseeing shots mean a wide angle and little else and I'd push you towards the far less zoom but very suitable for this x3 cameras..

And you say "maybe even some wildlife" and the word "maybe" suggests not very often which makes me stop and think. What I'd suggest is a small zoom camera for most of the time and a dSLR with a long tele (equivalent to 300mm or more in 35 mm film terms). That will cost a lot but, if you are only going to use it now and then, it might be worth saving for..

Trouble with long zooms is that they try to be all things to all men and it doesn't always work. best to get some thing good for what you'll do most of the time and something specialised for the wildlife. You'll find two cameras are often vastly superior to one and the small zoom will be easy to use, easy to buy and easy to carry around. You'll probably take a lot of pictures with it that are real keepers. You could do this with the super zoom but few will be keepers from the long end of the zoom. (That's because of the restrictions imposed by the design, btw.).

Regards, David..

Comment #3

David Hughes wrote:.

Hi,.

You say "I would mostly be taking outdoor shots of scenery,landscapes, sightseeing shots and maybe even some wildlife if I can.".

Now, outdoor shots of scenery, landscapes, sightseeing shots mean awide angle and little else and I'd push you towards the far less zoombut very suitable for this x3 cameras..

And you say "maybe even some wildlife" and the word "maybe" suggestsnot very often which makes me stop and think. What I'd suggest is asmall zoom camera for most of the time and a dSLR with a long tele(equivalent to 300mm or more in 35 mm film terms). That will cost alot but, if you are only going to use it now and then, it might beworth saving for..

Trouble with long zooms is that they try to be all things to all menand it doesn't always work. best to get some thing good for whatyou'll do most of the time and something specialised for thewildlife. You'll find two cameras are often vastly superior to oneand the small zoom will be easy to use, easy to buy and easy to carryaround. You'll probably take a lot of pictures with it that are realkeepers. You could do this with the super zoom but few will bekeepers from the long end of the zoom. (That's because of therestrictions imposed by the design, btw.).

Regards, David.

I assume your kidding regarding few keeprs from the long end of the zoom?.

Im just a rank amateur snapper but have no issues getting keeprs fom the long end.

Yea these are nothing special but they are just there it is - snap with little to no post processing.

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Comment #4

I just upgraded to a Rebel XTi from my S5 IS. I was extremely happy with the S5 and due to my inexperience, still take better photos with the S5 than the XTi. That will change over time, but the best shots I have ever taken are still with the S5..

I wouldn't worry about a teleconverter - the 12x on the S5 is adequate, and I am not sure how steady a shot you could take with that camera at more than that (I could be wrong, though)..

BTW...the reason I upgraded was because I wanted to do more creative stuff that would have pushed the S5 over it's limit. I still carry the S5 in my bag as a backup/wife camera..

Happy shooting!..

Comment #5

Davoe wrote:.

I assume your kidding regarding few keeprs from the long end of thezoom?Im just a rank amateur snapper but have no issues getting keeprs fomthe long endyea these are nothing special but they are just there it is - snapwith little to no post processing.

Hi,.

Well, there's wildlife shots and wildlife shots. And for winter in the depths of the forest something specialised will be needed. For summer out in the open at mid-day, you can get away with less. But I would aim for f/2 at the long end and that's expensive and I've not noticed it on super zooms..

Regards, David..

Comment #6

Just going on the feel of his post. Obviosly a quality DSLR and lense will take schmicko wildlife shots - but your talking ALOT of money. Somwhere in the order of 7G australian id say at a minimum..

However going by his requirments you can still easily get keepers at full telephoto with a P and S...

Comment #7

Great Shot.

Looks like that FZ50 Extra Optical Zoom works out to be 21x..

Comment #8

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