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Advice on super-zoom point and shoot cameras (1 Viewer)

Hi there, I'm hoping to get some advice on buying a super-zoom point-and-shoot camera.

What I'm looking for:

  • Primarily a camera for nature vacations, and especially for capturing distant birds on shore or in trees.
  • Strong IS. Prefer to avoid anything that is known to be especially difficult to focus (compared to other superzooms) since I have a mild hand/arm tremor. (I sometimes bring a light travel tripod on walks and sometimes don't.)
  • If possible, macro capability for leaves and flowers.
  • If possible, remote shutter capability (e.g., interacts with my cell phone).
  • Preferably with viewfinder for sunny conditions.
  • If possible, wide angle.
  • If possible, wind noise reduction for video.
Ideally I'd like to find the best possible compromise between powerful telephoto capability and solid image quality, and if under $650 is possible, great. (Nothing will be ideal for all purposes, I know--just hoping to find the best possible combination.)

What I currently own:
I have a Sony Cyber-shot DSC HX90V (with 30x zoom), which has been helpful, although image (and video) quality is so-so and I'd like to see if there's something better, especially for distant bird identification. (I also have a Canon Rebel T3 with its original 18-55mm lens--I don't think I want to invest in super-expensive DSLR lenses especially for vacation purposes.)

Telephoto use:
The reason I'm interested in telephoto is that I go on yearly summer trips to an east coast island where I take endless photos of birds with the hope of identifying them--this is one of the most enjoyable parts of the vacation!

Other camera uses: While on vacation I also shoot landscapes (forest and shore), and close-ups of flora (leaves, flowers, mushrooms) and some indoor shots. Starry skies on occasion. The HX90V does a reasonable job of it, although I wish the image quality were better and I like the idea of greater zoom power. Apart from using the pics for wildlife identification, I also post images to my blogs. I shoot occasional videos as well; these are always dominated by the sound of strong island winds.

I've started looking at Canon SX50 and SX60, Panasonic Lumix ZS60, FZ70 and FZ150, Nikon Coolpix P610 and P900 -- and feeling lost in the conflicting expressions of love and disdain.

Does anyone have any suggestions for superzoom cameras that would yield nice-quality images for my purposes? Many thanks in advance for any insights you can share! :)

Stella
 

nikonmike

Well-known member
As you say its a mine field,i have had and used the P610 and now the P900,i would say they are both great cameras for what they are,the 610 can be easier to use due to less zoom and a smaller body,will add two pictures the first from the P900 a Heron then the P61O a Dragonfly.

I didnt use the macro setting on the P610 as you have to get too close,its just at its closest focus.
 

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PeteQuad

Well-known member
I went through this not so long ago. I thought of them as different groupings depending on the size of the sensor. For the under <1" sensor size (probably your price range) I would probably have gone for the P900. Excellent quality pictures and extreme zoom range. Reviews tend to like it very much as well.

I went for the next rung up, the 1" sensor size. The choices were the Panasonic FZ1000 and the Canon G3 X. Nikon is coming out with the DL24-500 and Sony is coming out with the RX10 mk3 which will have a 600mm lens.

The Panasonic has been very well received but only has a 400mm lens and I wanted more. Nikon and Sony have not come out yet but have very impressive specs. I did not want to wait and went with the Canon G3 X, which has a 600mm lens. The camera has not been terribly well received but I like it a lot. I got it with the add-on EVF (a must for birds IMO) for about $850 used on ebay.

I am very new at this but here's some of the pictures I've been able to get in the last 2 months so far. https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/albums/72157666393306940

The next step up is a DSLR and I am already thinking along those lines. Good luck and let us know how you get on.
 

poledark

Well-known member
Hi Stella, the P900 fits your bill perfectly. Macro right down to actually touching the lens, up to 2000mm optical.

But don't expect to get much feather detail at 2000mm :)

Den
 

rka

ttbirds
Take a look at the FZ330/300 also. 600mm f2.8 but tiny sensor. My last 6 or 7 pics in my gallery give a good idea of what is possible relatively close (i.e. within 50 ft). Use feature called Extended zoom (cropping feature) to reach out to 1200mm and if really wanted, can use one of the digital zoom modes on top of that.

Don't expect to crop too much with this camera's pics though.
 

rka

ttbirds
As you say its a mine field,i have had and used the P610 and now the P900,i would say they are both great cameras for what they are,the 610 can be easier to use due to less zoom and a smaller body,will add two pictures the first from the P900 a Heron then the P61O a Dragonfly.

I didnt use the macro setting on the P610 as you have to get too close,its just at its closest focus.

That heron pic is very impressive.
 
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