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  1. #1
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    Default Compact super zoom with wifi

    Yes, I am back. After receiving such good advice a couple of years ago when I was purchasing a 'bridge' super zoom camera (I ended up getting the Panasonic FZ100 and have been very happy with it), I am now after a compact camera but still with a good/long zoom, and with wifi.

    I am going to the USA again this year - visiting San Fran, Las Vegas, Anaheim and Denver. But instead of carting around my FZ100, I am thinking of getting a more compact camera to take to Disneyland and various sporting events (NFL, Baseball and Ice Hockey). And now they seem to make compact cameras with longer zooms (perfect for these sporting events, I hope). I will still take my FZ100 for general sightseeing, I think, but use the compact elsewhere.

    I don't want to spend a lot as it will be my second camera, not my main one, so am looking around $250AUD. I want the best that my money can buy -longest zoom, quickest, best in low light, wifi, panorama, etc. I also want sharp images but as I am not a real photography buff, I probably can't tell the difference like some can (eg ISO and noise talk causes me to glaze over!)

    I was initially looking at the Canon Powershot HS 280, but it is a little out of my price range here in Australia.

    So I have narrowed it down to Fuji Finepix F800EXR or Nikon Coolpix S6500. I am leaning towards the Fuji, although it is a little more expensive than the Nikon (by $50), but it has a longer zoom (x20 instead of x12) and a better battery life. Not sure which camera is better at night or in lowlight, and which is quickest (shot to shot, powering on, etc)? Can anyone advise which one I should go for? Am I making the right decision in getting the Fuji?
    Last edited by Kristin5; 07-29-2013 at 07:26 AM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Compact super zoom with wifi

    The Fuji F800EXR would be a good choice. Here's a link to a review by this website:
    Fujifilm FinePix F800EXR Review

    Usually the point and shoots that are the quickest and produce the best low light images are those with a CMOS sensor. The Fuji F800EXR and Nikon S6500 have a CMOS sensor. Other small, long zoom cameras with a CMOS sensor that you may wish to consider, as long as they are in your price range, are the Panasonic ZS25 (TZ35) (20x), Samsung WB250F (18x), and the Olympus SZ16 (22x). The Panasonic and Olympus don't have built-in WiFi but you can buy a memory card with WiFi (Eye-Fi) which will do just as well.
    Panasonic FZ28
    Canon Elph 330 HS

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    Default Re: Compact super zoom with wifi

    Ah, thanks Andy. I had heard of the Eye-Fi cards but had no idea what they were!

    I will go and read up on your other suggestions now (particularly interested in the Samsung, which I hadn't heard of before now).

    Our seats for the NFL are top deck (about midway up) - would a 12x zoom suffice or do you think I'd need at least a 20x? Guess there wouldn't be much (ie noticeable) difference between the 18x and 20x. We are going to a day game. But the baseball is at night as is, obviously, the ice hockey - would all these cameras perform satisfactorily in these light conditions or is one better than the others?

    I did read the review about the Fuji and it is quite good, so I am still leaning towards that (pending my reading of reviews, and prices, of the Samsung). Decisions, decisions...

    Oh, one more thing - do you think I would notice a difference in picture quality and ease of use (and speed) between these and my FZ100? Maybe these new cameras would be even better, given how far technology has come in such a short time?

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    Default Re: Compact super zoom with wifi

    I think you should go for the longer zoom, especially when shooting from the upper deck. Be prepared to take lots of pictures because it's tough to get sharp pictures of moving subjects from a distance. Don't worry about the lighting at the stadiums since the artificial light is very bright.

    Image quality from the FZ100 would probably be better mainly because of the FZ100's superior lens. But the small superzooms should do OK.

    You might want to give serious consideration to the Panasonic ZS25/TZ35 as I think its overall image quality is very good. As an owner of the FZ100, you'll find a lot of similarity between that camera's image quality and that of the ZS25/TZ35. Here are some sample images:
    Flickr Search: tz35
    Panasonic FZ28
    Canon Elph 330 HS

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    Default Re: Compact super zoom with wifi

    Looks like the Panasonic isn't sold here, just the TZ40 which is $370, and therefore out of my price range. The images look excellent though!

    The Samsung is very tempting as it is cheaper than the Fuji ($217 compared to $249), and most reviews are quite good. Except for the review on this site which says that images in low light aren't so good.

    I know that photos taken indoors with the FZ100, when I haven't added the external flash, aren't so good (can be a bit grainy looking - well, the photos taken inside at the Disney character breakfast were anyway), so I would like something a bit better and wonder if the Samsung is up to it. I'd also like to find a camera that might take good photos of fireworks, but maybe it is wishful thinking?! I probably just need a better photographer rather than a new camera!

    But the wifi on the Samsung looks like it'd be easier than with the Fuji. And I like the idea of a touchscreen but it might not be so good in practice as the smudges would show up heaps. I'm not sure about charging the battery in-camera either - I think the Fuji has a separate battery charger doesn't it? But it probably only matters if battery life is poor and a second battery is needed,which I don't think is a problem with either of these cameras.

    So confusing! But I think I am still leaning towards the Fuji, give everything I want to use it for. Do you agree?

    Thanks for all your help Andy :-)

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    Default Re: Compact super zoom with wifi

    The F800EXR may offer a bit more than the WB250f, namely more zoom and RAW shooting, but there's not that much of a difference between the two cameras in terms of overall quality. If they were priced the same, I'd probably pick the Fuji, but if there's a substantial price difference - $30 or more - I'd go with the Samsung.
    Panasonic FZ28
    Canon Elph 330 HS

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    Default Re: Compact super zoom with wifi

    I went and checked them both out today, and am still confused!

    Fuji looked better, felt better and the images were better, but, and it's a big BUT, the focus was so slow. Not sure it is going to do very well taking shots at sporting events. Plus, I have a shake/tremor, so it was having real problems focussing. Maybe an image stabilisation issue? Have you heard of this problem with focus on the Fuji f800 before now?

    The Samsung didn't look as good (seem to only be able to get the "black" here, but it is actually navy, which I don't really like), but beyond this it wasn't as comfortable to hold and the images weren't quite as good (the images on the screen seemed to look brighter and sharper on the Fuji, maybe because the lcd is better on the fuji?). In saying that though, wifi looks easier to use and the focus was quite quick, and I think it has some sort of stabiliser so my shake wasn't as much of an issue.

    Very confusing...
    Last edited by Kristin5; 07-29-2013 at 11:18 PM.

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    Default Re: Compact super zoom with wifi

    I've never heard that the Fuji F800EXR was slow to find focus. The F800EXR and Samsung WB250f both have optical image stabilization.
    It's good that you're trying out the cameras instead of relying on other people's opinions. You have to be comfortable with the looks, feel and performance of your camera. If you're dissatisfied with the Fuji and Samsung, try out some other brands, even if they don't have built-in WiFi (remember you can always buy an Eye-Fi card). I notice from the website for Ted's Camera that they have 24 stores in Australia and that it has a very good selection of long zoom cameras for under $300 AUD.
    Panasonic FZ28
    Canon Elph 330 HS

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    Default Re: Compact super zoom with wifi

    Yes, I was surprised to see this problem with the focus. But even the sales guy thought it was a big problem (surprising that he would admit it, given that the Fuji was $60 more than the Samsung at his store). I have since read a review which talks about this issue as well, but then some reviews say it is a problem with the Samsung too!

    I guess i have to go with my experience of them (i am very glad that i went and tested them myself) and so I have talked to my husband and he is happy to get the Samsung - if I buy it from overseas, I can get the gunmetal colour (though I am always a bit wary of buying from overseas due to warranty issues, but that is just a risk I shall have to take, to get the colour I want - superficial, I know!)

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    Default Re: Compact super zoom with wifi

    And thank you for the recommendation about the Samsung, Andy - without you, I would've gone ahead and bought the Fuji, sight unseen, and would've been very unhappy (although, could it just have been that particular camera - maybe if I tried it from a different store, it might perform better? Maybe the settings were wrong or something?)

 

 

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