Hello, please help me buy a camera :)

Discussion in 'What Camera Should I Buy?' started by mjp1531, Oct 10, 2013.

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  1. mjp1531

    mjp1531 New Member

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    Hi, I am new here, but don't think I'll be a stranger. I am looking into buying a camera to replace the point and shoot CoolPix we have. I am looking for a camera that takes beautiful pictures (of course), and can take pretty clear zoomed pictures as well. I have recently moved from New Orleans to Oregon and the wildlife and scenery are amazingly beautiful. I live approx 3 blocks from a mountain that I see from the front door, and would like a camera that would actually be able to see and take clear pictures of the deer and antelope on it. I do have a son who plays football and skate boards, so I'd also like it to take some decent motion pictures as well. I don't know anything about photography and I would have no clue about settings until I read the manual, and did some searching on the internet. I don't mind learning a little, but I don't want the camera to be so hard to operate, that I pull out the CoolPix to avoid the issue. Hopefully you can help. I am not looking to spend an exorbitant amount of money, but I do understand that this is an investment. I hope I'm not asking for too much. Any help will be greatly appreciated, and I apologize in advance for not being up to par on cameras and their functions.
     
  2. Andy Stanton

    Andy Stanton Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    It sounds to me that you're looking for a point and shoot camera with a long zoom lens. There are two types of cameras you can choose from. One are the large superzooms, which come with a very long all-purpose lens, a viewfinder as well as an LCD, a nice right-hand grip and lots of manual control options. The other are the pocket sized superzooms, which have less optical zoom, no viewfinders and no prominent grip. If you intend to shoot wildlife, the viewfinder and ultra-long zoom lens of the large superzooms make them far preferable to the pocket-sized superzooms.

    In the case of the full sized superzooms the top cameras are the Panasonic FZ70 (60x zoom), Canon SX50 (50x), Sony HX300 (50x), Fuji HS50EXR (42x) and Nikon P520 (42x). All are very good - no one stands out. Price may be the decisive factor here.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2013
  3. mjp1531

    mjp1531 New Member

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    Thank you for replying so quickly! I will start to look at all of those options. Do you know if any of those have lenses that can be switched out? Like say I wanted larger zoom capability? Also, sorry for sounding stupid, but how far is 60x zoom? I don't know how to judge distance that way.
     
  4. mjp1531

    mjp1531 New Member

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    Also, when I was in the store the other day, the guy trying to sell me a camera was pushing the Nikon D5100. I don't know if that information is of any relevance, but I wanted to at least state that I have looked at that one.
     
  5. Andy Stanton

    Andy Stanton Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    No, you can't switch the lenses in superzoom cameras, but you'd have no need to because their lenses can shoot at an extremely wide range of focal lengths. The photo quality of a superzoom is not going to be able to match that of a DSLR because the DSLR's sensor is larger and its lens is probably better. But then again a DSLR would need several lenses to give you the versatility of the one lens of one of the large superzoom.

    The 60x zoom lens of the Panasonic FZ70 gives you a (35mm equivalent) range of from 20mm (extremely wide angle) to 1200 mm (extraordinarily long). A picture taken at 20mm will appear to be the same size when taken at 1200mm when it's 60 times further away from the subject.
     
  6. Andy Stanton

    Andy Stanton Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    The Nikon D5100 is a fine DSLR. It's much more expensive than a superzoom, especially when you purchase multiple lenses, though it takes better looking photos. Keep in mind that the most popular long zoom lenses for Nikon DSLR's are probably the Nikon 55-200mm f/4-5.6G ED IF AF-S or the Nikon 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR AF-S, which have 35mm equivalent maximum focal lengths of 300mm and 450mm, respectively, that will provide a fraction of the close-up ability of the 1200mm maximum length of the Panasonic's FZ70's lens.
     
  7. KCook

    KCook Well-Known Member

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    One the other hand, to get reliable results with 1200mm you will need a decent tripod. Quite a few folks start off with a point-and-shoot ultrazoom, such as the Panny FZ70. Learn a lot from that. Then eventually move on to a DSLR. You could skip that point-and-shoot stage, start off with a DSLR, but do not expect great results right away.

    Kelly Cook
     
  8. mjp1531

    mjp1531 New Member

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    Thank you all for your feedback. I have chosen the Panasonic Lumix and have been playing with it for the last 24 hours. I can say that so far I love this camera. I do wish there were more in depth instructions. Would you happen to know where I can find detailed information on how to get the best out of my camera? I managed to zoom in on a tower that is on top of a mountain about 5 miles from here, but later on that same day, I wasn't able to get the camera to actually focus on the tower anymore. It stayed a blur no matter how many times I backed it up and zoomed back in slowly. I know there are quite a few options to do things manually but the manual that came with it only explains how to do the basics like setting the clock, etc.
     
  9. Andy Stanton

    Andy Stanton Super Moderator Super Moderator

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