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What pocket-sized camera should I buy? Must be quality all-rounder wt telephoto zoom

Discussion in 'What Camera Should I Buy?' started by ship69, Sep 24, 2013.

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  1. ship69

    ship69 New Member

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    Hi

    Please can anyone suggest what camera I should buy.

    > Budget
    > * What budget have you allocated for buying this camera? Please be as specific as possible.
    Not sure, say: GBP 150 - 450 (at a pinch)

    > Size
    > * What size camera are you looking for? Or does size not matter at all to you?
    Must be EXTREMELY 'pocket-able'. I want it to be in my pocket without noticing. As much as humanly possible this means flat sides with nothing sticking out. No big fat lenses that wont retract.

    > Features
    > How many megapixels will suffice for you?
    Not sure... 8 to 10+
    Pixels are NOT super-important to me.
    Much more important is quality of the CCD, i,.e. the colour accuracy and the ability to not lose detail in bright highlights and dark shadows...

    > * What optical zoom will you need? (None, Standard = 3x-4x, Ultrazoom = 10x-12x)
    I need a focal length equivalent on 35mm SLR of slightly wide angle (say 35mm) to at at least 150mm, ideally perhaps 250+ mm
    A good-ish telephoto is the most important.
    I am assuming that this means that image stabilisation will be important.

    > * 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)?
    Not very fussed.

    > General Usage
    >
    > * What will you generally use the camera for?
    Portraits, insects (e.g. butterflies), landscape/views.

    > * Will you be making big prints of your photos or not?
    Sometimes

    > Will you be shooting a lot of indoor photos or low light photos?
    Yes

    > Will you be shooting sports and/or action photos?
    Only occasionally

    > Miscellaneous
    >
    > Are there particular brands you like or hate?
    I like Canon. Then Nikon. Maybe Fujifilm. Possibly Lumix, Sony. Dont very much like Richoh, Pentax, Olympus

    > Are there particular models you already have in mind?
    - Canon PowerShot G1 X - but doesnt look 'pocketable' enough.
    - Canon Powershot G15 - but only goes to focal length of 140mm, also not really pocketable enough
    - Nikon Coolpix P7800 up to 200mm (equiv) ...?

    Needs to be fairly easy to use with good ergonomics.

    > (If applicable) Do you need any of the following special features? (Wide Angle, Image Stabilization, Weatherproof, Hotshoe, Rotating LCD)
    - Rotating LCD definitely a major bonus for covert portrait shots in social situations.
    - Image stabilisation (presumably this is important for long focal length shots)
    - Weather proof not necessary
    - Flash not necessary
    - removable lens would be a nice bonus

    Any recommendations?

    J
     
  2. Andy Stanton

    Andy Stanton Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    The top compact point and shoot cameras with retractable long zoom lenses are made by Sony - the HX50 (30x zoom) and HX20 (20x zoom), Canon - the SX260 (20x), Panasonic - the TZ40 (20x) and TZ30 (20x), and Nikon - the S9500 (22x). The Nikon P7800 is a very good camera but it's much bulkier than the other cameras I noted and has much less optical zoom. The image quality on the P7800 is probably superior to those others due to its larger sensor.
     
  3. ship691

    ship691 New Member

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    Andy - thanks for your suggestions.
    My main concern is that cameras with lenses going to way beyond 200mm (equiv) focal length will have much less good quality lenses. I.e, image quality/resolution will suffer. Am I correct in thinking this? i.e. a x7 lens is likely to be way better than a x20 or x30 lens.
    What I need the telephoto bit for is mostly just taking social photos.

    My other slight concern is that some of these camera are NOT very pocket-able. i.e. They are too fat and do not have flat sizes.
    Although this is hard to tell without going to handle them in a shop...

    Articulated screen
    I am planning to photograph insects too - and so a good macro and I suspect an articulated screen might be useful for this, as well as taking slightly sneaky social photos...

    Btw, how important or useful do people say an EVF is?
     
  4. Andy Stanton

    Andy Stanton Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    I agree with you that the very long lens on some small cameras does not produce great results at the long end of the zoom. For instance if like the image quality of the Canon SX260 HS but want something smaller with less zoom, the Canon Ixus 255 with 10x zoom would make more sense.

    As far as an articulated screen goes, I think they're very useful but they aren't too common in small cameras, mainly because they add weight.
     
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