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Feel the intensity, not your equipment. Maximum image quality. Minimum weight. The new ZEISS SFL, up to 30% less weight than comparable competitors.

Any advice appreciated 🙏 (1 Viewer)

Peregrine Took

Well-known member
United Kingdom
Thank you for your reply and help. I just checked and this is only £300, am I missing something in terms of price?

Yes, you missed the point that I made about budget. That you probably shouldn't spend too much money until you know more about cameras, how they function, and what aspects of a camera are most important in relation to your subject matter. Otherwise, your £1,000 budget might be spent on the wrong thing. Your link to a camera with a focal length of only 210mm was an indication of this, hence my reply.

Some are suggesting you buy a lens that costs more than £1k - and that's without a camera body. I was offering an alternative... both from experience as a photographer and on the basis that when we try something new we often buy the wrong thing to start with.

I said don't get carried away with the technical stuff, but you might want to consider a camera with a 1" sensor and less zoom (such as a Lumix TZ200 15x optical zoom), rather than one with a huge zoom and 2/3" sensor. So, the consideration is (one of many), huge zoom vs. picture quality. Here is a comparison chart (ignore the brand names - not all sizes are exclusive to that brand).
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Yes, you missed the point that I made about budget. That you probably shouldn't spend too much money until you know more about cameras, how they function, and what aspects of a camera are most important in relation to your subject matter. Otherwise, your £1,000 budget might be spent on the wrong thing. Your link to a camera with a focal length of only 210mm was an indication of this, hence my reply.

Some are suggesting you buy a lens that costs more than £1k - and that's without a camera body. I was offering an alternative... both from experience as a photographer and on the basis that when we try something new we often buy the wrong thing to start with.

I said don't get carried away with the technical stuff, but you might want to consider a camera with a 1" sensor and less zoom (such as a Lumix TZ200 15x optical zoom), rather than one with a huge zoom and 2/3" sensor. So, the consideration is (one of many), huge zoom vs. picture quality. Here is a comparison chart (ignore the brand names - not all sizes are exclusive to that brand).
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View attachment 1453951
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Good morning, now that I am not in work and reading on my iPad rather than phone I understand what you meant on your original post. It does make sense, we could spend a lot and it not be for us and want/need something else so by not having such initial outlay makes sense.

We are just getting ready to drive into Cardiff to see some in the flesh and hopefully make a decision.

Thank you once again for your time, it’s appreciated.
 

Peregrine Took

Well-known member
United Kingdom
Good morning, now that I am not in work and reading on my iPad rather than phone I understand what you meant on your original post. It does make sense, we could spend a lot and it not be for us and want/need something else so by not having such initial outlay makes sense.

We are just getting ready to drive into Cardiff to see some in the flesh and hopefully make a decision.

Thank you once again for your time, it’s appreciated.

No probs. I hope I didn't sound rude in my reply.

The thread has prompted me to do something I've been meaning to do for a few years. Since giving up professional work I've been thinking about replacing my now little-used Fuji X gear, or adding a little camera, as I find the Fuji no longer leaves the house... for casual photographs I've just used my iPhone, which for an old-school type never feels as engaging as using a dedicated camera.

So today I looked at a Panasonic TZ200 in John Lewis, Cheltenham and thought it was an amazing little camera. My primary 'need' (ha!) is for something to take pictures as an aid to identification later - that could be flowers, trees, insects and butterflies, or birds - and I think 15x magnification would be fine for that purpose. If a camera like this was good of enough resolution for general everyday photography - holidays, people and places - and prints up to A4, it might usurp my Fuji.

The other camera I looked at was a Panasonic TZ90 (there's also an 80 and 95), which has smaller sensor and longer zoom (30x). I found the EVF / electronic viewfinder (which I prefer, rather than looking at the rear screen) wasn't as high resolution as the TZ200, but the camera is about £150 cheaper. The image on the rear screen looked about the same.

Just as you might read about smaller scopes getting more use than big ones, size might be a consideration for you. Would you or your wife really be inclined to take a large camera and lens, or even a 'bridge' camera, when you're birding, or just out and about? My experience tells me that unless you get seriously serious about (any kind of) photography, the bulkier your gear, after the first flush of enthusiasm, the less likely you are to take it anywhere.

Sorry if I'm rambling, or going off course for what you need - its as if I'm talking myself into a new camera, so I apologise! You might already have bought something in Cardiff... look forward to hearing how you got on.
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No probs. I hope I didn't sound rude in my reply.

The thread has prompted me to do something I've been meaning to do for a few years. Since giving up professional work I've been thinking about replacing my now little-used Fuji X gear, or adding a little camera, as I find the Fuji no longer leaves the house... for casual photographs I've just used my iPhone, which for an old-school type never feels as engaging as using a dedicated camera.

So today I looked at a Panasonic TZ200 in John Lewis, Cheltenham and thought it was an amazing little camera. My primary 'need' (ha!) is for something to take pictures as an aid to identification later - that could be flowers, trees, insects and butterflies, or birds - and I think 15x magnification would be fine for that purpose. If a camera like this was good of enough resolution for general everyday photography - holidays, people and places - and prints up to A4, it might usurp my Fuji.

The other camera I looked at was a Panasonic TZ90 (there's also an 80 and 95), which has smaller sensor and longer zoom (30x). I found the EVF / electronic viewfinder (which I prefer, rather than looking at the rear screen) wasn't as high resolution as the TZ200, but the camera is about £150 cheaper. The image on the rear screen looked about the same.

Just as you might read about smaller scopes getting more use than big ones, size might be a consideration for you. Would you or your wife really be inclined to take a large camera and lens, or even a 'bridge' camera, when you're birding, or just out and about? My experience tells me that unless you get seriously serious about (any kind of) photography, the bulkier your gear, after the first flush of enthusiasm, the less likely you are to take it anywhere.

Sorry if I'm rambling, or going off course for what you need - its as if I'm talking myself into a new camera, so I apologise! You might already have bought something in Cardiff... look forward to hearing how you got on.
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Hi, not at all and appreciate your thoughts. We went into Cardiff and saw some examples in store which was a great help due to ruling a few out for various reasons.

We liked the Olympus something Mark II but then went for a coffee and popped into John Lewis as well who hd a sale on. I had an impulse purchase of a Fuji T30 due to being reduced to £640. Upon looking at the detail of both cameras though I think the Olympus is a better option so my wife has gone back to buy. Im glad we have something and hopefully the UK weather os kind over the next few days so she can use it.

Once again thank you to everyone who has helped point us in the right direction.
 
I know what you mean in terms of size a few we saw I thought would be too big. We are used to point and click from our phones now and with a owning trip to Paris and New York the thought of carrying something big didn’t fill me with joy 🙈.
 

Peregrine Took

Well-known member
United Kingdom
The Fuji X-T30 is a lightly built, non-weather-resistant camera, similar to my old X-T1. Fuji's are great cameras, with relatively large sensors. The Olympus (I'm guessing OM-D E-M1 mkII) is great all-round camera too, more compact and with a slightly smaller sensor, but you'll find a better choice of exceptional lenses (and cheaper) than Fuji. Great if you want to add a long lens for birding.

I've considered swapping my Fuji for an Olympus of some description, for a barely noticeable dip in image quality, you get a much more compact set-up - and like I said, more choice of affordable lenses. Back in the day, my film cameras were Olympus OM1 and OM2, so I'm pretty fond of the brand.

Anyway, great choice, especially for trips to places like Paris and New York - enjoy!
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The Fuji X-T30 is a lightly built, non-weather-resistant camera, similar to my old X-T1. Fuji's are great cameras, with relatively large sensors. The Olympus (I'm guessing OM-D E-M1 mkII) is great all-round camera too, more compact and with a slightly smaller sensor, but you'll find a better choice of exceptional lenses (and cheaper) than Fuji. Great if you want to add a long lens for birding.

I've considered swapping my Fuji for an Olympus of some description, for a barely noticeable dip in image quality, you get a much more compact set-up - and like I said, more choice of affordable lenses. Back in the day, my film cameras were Olympus OM1 and OM2, so I'm pretty fond of the brand.

Anyway, great choice, especially for trips to places like Paris and New York - enjoy!

You guessed correctly and the weather resistance along with lens options is what won it for us. That said I was tempted to keep the Fuji for myself lol.

I do see the appeal of getting a smaller compact option in a seriousness though. My iPhone 11 Pro takes a nice pic but as soon as any form of zoom is required is where it goes wrong.

Popping out for food now and will have a play tomorrow and will report back in a few days of how we get on.
 

etudiant

Registered User
Supporter
The TZ-90 is a splendid little camera, great reach and hugely capable, essential to buy one of the 'Missing Manual' booklets to even begin to use it fully.
Only beefs, not weatherproof and image quality is softer than the big guns.
The TZ-200 has a bigger sensor, but less reach, the images I got were not dramatically better than the TZ-90s to my eyes.
Sony has the superb little RX100VII, excellent image quality, less reach than the TZ-200 and cadaverous colors, expensive and even less well documented than the TZ-90. The Q&A manual is about 10x the size of the user manual, which helps indicate the depths of capabilities hidden in this little powerhouse. There probably is a way to get the colors to be more vibrant, but I've not found it yet.
No experience with the Fuji or Olympus gear, have seen Nikon P950s in the field carried by happy owners, but it is a hulk.
 

njlarsen

Gallery Moderator
Opus Editor
Supporter
Barbados
You guessed correctly and the weather resistance along with lens options is what won it for us. That said I was tempted to keep the Fuji for myself lol.

I do see the appeal of getting a smaller compact option in a seriousness though. My iPhone 11 Pro takes a nice pic but as soon as any form of zoom is required is where it goes wrong.

Popping out for food now and will have a play tomorrow and will report back in a few days of how we get on.
I am curious to see what lens(es?) you got with that. You should have a camera body with about the same abilities as mine, great for sitting birds, less than the best for birds in flight. For a beginner camera with a limited budget that is about as good as it gets!
Niels
 

Peregrine Took

Well-known member
United Kingdom
The TZ-200 has a bigger sensor, but less reach, the images I got were not dramatically better than the TZ-90s to my eyes.

Interesting. A 1" sensor has almost four times the capture area of a 2/3" sensor, so I'd expect it to be much better, not least in low light, which would extend your shooting time well into the 'golden hours' at each end of the day. Having checked them out yesterday, I'd be happier to forego the reach of the TZ95 for the TZ200's better sensor and an EVF with twice the resolution. The Olympus is another step up again, and then the Fuji - I found my X-T1 was sharper than my Nikon D810, which was then the benchmark. Sharpness isn't always everything, although it is for serious bird photography, which is why these little 1" and 2/3" cameras will never compete with the best mirrorless or DSLR cameras. Like most things in life, you need more than of everything.
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Screenshot 2022-06-26 at 09.31.57.png
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etudiant

Registered User
Supporter
Interesting. A 1" sensor has almost four times the capture area of a 2/3" sensor, so I'd expect it to be much better, not least in low light, which would extend your shooting time well into the 'golden hours' at each end of the day. Having checked them out yesterday, I'd be happier to forego the reach of the TZ95 for the TZ200's better sensor and an EVF with twice the resolution. The Olympus is another step up again, and then the Fuji - I found my X-T1 was sharper than my Nikon D810, which was then the benchmark. Sharpness isn't always everything, although it is for serious bird photography, which is why these little 1" and 2/3" cameras will never compete with the best mirrorless or DSLR cameras. Like most things in life, you need more than of everything.
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Perhaps the difference is much greater in worse light, but for ducks on the Reservoir here in NYC, I found the images comparable.
 

MiddleRiver

Well-known member
United States
Interesting. A 1" sensor has almost four times the capture area of a 2/3" sensor, so I'd expect it to be much better, not least in low light, which would extend your shooting time well into the 'golden hours' at each end of the day. Having checked them out yesterday, I'd be happier to forego the reach of the TZ95 for the TZ200's better sensor and an EVF with twice the resolution. The Olympus is another step up again, and then the Fuji - I found my X-T1 was sharper than my Nikon D810, which was then the benchmark. Sharpness isn't always everything, although it is for serious bird photography, which is why these little 1" and 2/3" cameras will never compete with the best mirrorless or DSLR cameras. Like most things in life, you need more than of everything.
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View attachment 1454192
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I had the ZS200 which I think is US version of TZ? The form factor was excellent and the 1" sensor was quite good, but zoomed to max, mine seemed quite 'soft'. The detail just wasn't there. That led to an a6600... and the whole rabbit hole.
I also have an RX100III which is my 'travel pocket camera' and it has taken some incredible shots. Totally diff focal lengths, but it does suggest to me that 1" could deliver?
 

njlarsen

Gallery Moderator
Opus Editor
Supporter
Barbados
There is a long thread on the RX10-IV that seems to strongly indicate the 1" could deliver. However, it is also very expensive, above the range given in the first post.
Niels
 

MiddleRiver

Well-known member
United States
There is a long thread on the RX10-IV that seems to strongly indicate the 1" could deliver. However, it is also very expensive, above the range given in the first post.
Niels
Agree. The Rx10iv gets great reviews. The ZS200 mixed. I could have exchanged it to see if I got a soft lens but I decided not to. In truth it was ‘ok’ and I just wanted better… it’s my understanding that superzooms are optically challenging to make…
 
If it's for general use and not a huge zoom, you could buy the Olympus Pen-F (used) or Pen E-P7 body and a 'pancake' lens. Happy to spend your money! :D
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Ha! I don’t even want to start Googling another camera at the moment lol.
I am curious to see what lens(es?) you got with that. You should have a camera body with about the same abilities as mine, great for sitting birds, less than the best for birds in flight. For a beginner camera with a limited budget that is about as good as it gets!
Niels

We got two but can’t remember the details of which though but will report back. Today was a busy day with family and cleaning out an aquarium which took four hours. The memory card arrived around 7pm courtesy of Amazon; turned the camera on and realised we had no idea what we was doing so hit YouTube for a beginners guide.

We are off Wednesday so hope time and weather is kind so we can have a play.
 
Sorry for the late reply, we have recently moved and still sorting the new house. We have yet to have a proper play with the camera but been looking into a birds of prey photo experience in West Wales for August. I thought this will give my wife the opportunity to learn the fundamentals.

One thing I have noticed while taking the dog for a walk is that the zoom is not as good as we were led to believe when buying the additional lens. Below are pics of the everyday lens and one we was recommended.

Any recommendations on a better lens in terms of a zoom which isn’t going to be in the £1000s. I’m still trying to get my head around the world of lenses.
 

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Richard D

what was that...
Supporter
United Kingdom
You can pick up the Panasonic 100-300 for about £325 used or £500 ish new - it;'s not at all bad but keep it to 275mm max or it gets soft. High quality long lenses unfortunately cost money...
 

Peregrine Took

Well-known member
United Kingdom
Any recommendations on a better lens in terms of a zoom which isn’t going to be in the £1000s. I’m still trying to get my head around the world of lenses.

Lenses are usually referred to in '35mm equivalent' terms. That's the size of film, back in the old days. Today, 'full frame' cameras have a sensor that is the size of film. This is useful because it means that all the old lenses of bygone years can be made to work with full frame digital cameras, exactly as they did with film.

(Richard D has thrown me when he mentions Panasonic lenses... you did buy an Olympus, right? That's what's in the photo.)

Assuming you did buy the Olympus, it is a 'four-thirds' camera with a sensor that is (to keep things simple) half the width of film, or full frame, so you double the focal length of your Olympus lenses to get the full frame, or 35mm, equivalent.

If you double your 45-200mm lens it is the equivalent of 90-400mm lens, the latter being where you've already been advised to start for birding. If you find an Olympus lens with a 400mm focal length, it equates to 800mm. A 25mm lens is a 50mm equivalent.

If you still don't understand this, I suggest you read up before you spend any money... there is plenty of information on the internet - and possibly on the Olympus website. It's not that difficult to learn, but might be mind-boggling to start with, especially if you've never used film or full frame cameras.

Then take your pick from the Olympus range (or find a third party 'Olympus-fit' lens - Sigma and Tamron might make lenses for Olympus), to suit your budget.

If you want the easy answer, this will give you 50% more telephoto... 75-300, or 150-600mm equivalent for around £550.00:

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PS. I think your camera has built-in stability, but did anyone say you're going to need a tripod? Manfrotto BeFree GT is my suggestion, it's compact, but sturdy enough for your camera/system, but there are dozens of makes to choose from.
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Richard D

what was that...
Supporter
United Kingdom
The Olympus and Panasonic 4/3 lenses work fine on each other's bodies - I've got three Panasonic bodies and use the 75mm Olympus and 60mm macro on them. I'm not aware of any compatability problems with newer bodies/lenses.
 

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