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Needing More Zoom

Discussion in 'What Camera Should I Buy?' started by RisingPhoenix, Apr 12, 2013.

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  1. RisingPhoenix

    RisingPhoenix New Member

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    First, to explain. I am not a terribly experienced photography, though I am not a beginner. I currently have a Canon EOS Rebel XT with an 18-55 mm lens. I like the fact that it is a DSLR and can take great quality images with high resolution while allowing me to manually change the settings. However, in a month I will be traveling to South Africa and need a camera with better zoom abilities, and would I would also like to upgrade on MP. I will be hoping to take action pictures of the wildlife there but I also enjoy doing close up macro-style photography on flora. To answer the questions:

    Budget
    * What budget have you allocated for buying this camera? Please be as specific as possible. - under < 300-350.

    Size
    * What size camera are you looking for? Or does size not matter at all to you? - hopefully more compact than my DSLR. certainly no bigger.

    Features
    How many megapixels will suffice for you? - i'd like 16 MP

    * What optical zoom will you need? (None, Standard = 3x-4x, Ultrazoom = 10x-12x) - ultrazoom. looking at 26-30+

    * How important is “image quality” to you? (Rate using a scale of 1-10) - 10

    * Do you care for manual exposure modes (shutter priority, aperture priority, manual)? - would prefer, but not a must

    General Usage
    * What will you generally use the camera for? - action of African wildlife as well as still photos of friends and touristy-things

    * Will you be making big prints of your photos or not? - yes

    * Will you be shooting a lot of indoor photos or low light photos? - not likely

    * Will you be shooting sports and/or action photos? - sports, no. action as far as animals running, likely.

    Miscellaneous
    * Are there particular brands you like or hate? - familiar with both Canon and Nikon. not a fan of Olympus.

    * Are there particular models you already have in mind? - I have been considering the Nikon Coolpix P510 and L820 as well as Canon Powershot SX500 IS

    * (If applicable) Do you need any of the following special features? (Wide Angle, Image Stabilization, Weatherproof, Hotshoe, Rotating LCD) - perhaps image stabilization, and weatherproof would be nice, but not a must.

    Thank you in advance for any help and input offered!
     
  2. KCook

    KCook Well-Known Member

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    This is a little tricky. The telephoto for the cameras listed will be fine for daylight use. For telephoto at twilight a DSLR is better, but the lens needed will be over the stated budget.

    For macro, stick with DSLR.

    Kelly Cook
     
  3. Andy Stanton

    Andy Stanton Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    The top 3 DSLR-like long zoom cameras for under $400 are the Canon SX50 (50x optical zoom), the Nikon P510 (42x optical zoom) and the Sony HX200v (30x optical zoom). All three are excellent cameras with very good image and movie quality but I would not award them a 10 in image quality as their sensors are too small.
    In deciding among the three here are some additional factors to consider:
    The SX50 has a lower resolution LCD than the Nikon or Sony but it's fully articulating, unlike the others which have LCD's that can tilt only. A fully articulating LCD is a terrific feature.
    The SX50 is the only one of the three with a hotshoe, which enables you to attach a separate flash.
    The Nikon P510 has, by far, the worst battery life (200 shots), compared to the Sony HX200v (450 shots) and the Canon SX50 (315 shots).
    The SX50 is the only one without a built-in GPS.
    The SX50 is the only one that can shoot in RAW mode.
    Here are some sample images:
    Canon SX50
    canon sx50 - Flickr: Search

    Nikon P510
    nikon p510 - Flickr: Search

    Sony HX200v
    sony hx200v - Flickr: Search
     
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