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Compact camera choice

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swill453
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Compact camera choice

#246708

Postby swill453 » August 24th, 2019, 10:17 am

I'm looking for a new compact camera and having trouble reconciling the pros and cons of a couple on my shortlist.

The Panasonic TZ90EBK is available for £299. It has a micro sensor (1/2.3") but a 30x optical zoom. The Panasonic TZ100EBK is about £373, with a bigger sensor (what's called "1 inch", having about 4.5 times the area of the TZ90's). However the optical zoom is only 10x. Both cameras are about the same size and weight.

I would imagine the bigger sensor would give better pictures in general, but my existing camera (a Panasonic TZ60) has a 30x zoom and I make relatively frequent use of it.

Would the ability to crop the "better" images from the TZ100 more than compensate for the limited zoom? Effectively using digital zoom, whether on the camera or in later processing.

Or can anyone recommend anything else? My main requirement is that it fits in my pocket, so no bridge/kit/SLR cameras. And let's say the budget is the higher figure above.

Scott.

Howard
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Re: Compact camera choice

#246736

Postby Howard » August 24th, 2019, 12:02 pm

It may depend what sort of photographer you are.

Two or three years ago Mrs H and I went to the Monaco Grand Prix. We were lucky enough to be on a balcony overlooking the corner where the pit lane exits and we saw Lewis Hamilton come out just in front of Daniel Riccardo and then win.

Given the occasion, a day or two beforehand, I bought an upmarket Panasonic pocket camera around the price you are considering. We went to the practice day and so I had a chance to experiment with the camera from the balcony and look at the results in the hotel the night before the race.

My (amateur) conclusion was, in that particular circumstance, having a powerful zoom was pretty useless. To get a speeding car in the picture was the important factor. And when I got home that was confirmed. I could zoom in on my desktop and crop the picture and the quality was excellent. So, no good having a wonderful camera zoom, if you completely miss the subject!

This factor also applies when photographing grandchildren jumping and running and unusual birds in the garden.

It's also more relaxing. I got the photo of Hamilton making the winning move and I wasn't even looking through the viewfinder. I was just pointing the camera approximately at the right spot and enjoying watching the race at the same time.

Hope this may help. But I do stress it's an amateur's view.

Good luck with the decision and hope you get brilliant results.

Howard

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Re: Compact camera choice

#246746

Postby Lanark » August 24th, 2019, 12:44 pm

swill453 wrote:However the optical zoom is only 10x.


10x is still a huge range for any lens if you hope to get decent quality.

If you look at the most expensive high quality lens's they have a fixed focal length or a limited range of 2x - 3x.

When it comes to budget cameras I think the best approach is to limit your search to the best brands and then pick one with what looks like the worst specs on paper.

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Re: Compact camera choice

#246754

Postby vrdiver » August 24th, 2019, 1:07 pm

You have mentioned zoom, but what about the other direction?

Both cameras have a maximum w/angle setting of 25mm (35mm camera equivalent) but the TZ90 has a minimum F-stop of 3.3 vs the TZ100's 2.8, which gives the TZ100 an advantage in lower light conditions. I assume that this will be exacerbated when using the zoom as less light will arrive at the sensor.

If you can find a stockist (London Camera exchange have always been helpful - and not only based in London) it would be worth going to look at the two side by side, trying them out to see how they behave for your preferred photography. They are also very helpful suggesting models to meet your objectives and (in our case) were able to identify a suitable camera (an Olympus TG5) that ticked all the boxes, even though they didn't have it in stock (but a nearby Jessups did, which we were able to try out despite the idiot of an assistant there). LCE are on-line (https://www.lcegroup.co.uk ) if you wanted to take a look.

VRD
(No link to the LCE except as a satisfied customer)

tjh290633
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Re: Compact camera choice

#246866

Postby tjh290633 » August 25th, 2019, 10:21 am

My own experience with Fuji compact cameras has been good. I have had my F300EXR for about 10 years, and nowadays it plays second fiddle to my mobile phone, but wins when I need the extra facilities, particularly the 15 times zoom. It also has the advantage of large memory and the ability to download easily to my PC.

Regarding the use of zoom, that is pretty easy, provided you don't need it in a hurry. Best to go to full zoom and make sure the camera doesn't go to sleep on you just as you want to take a shot.

I'm not up to date on what they offer these days, but it would be worth investigating their compact range.

TJH

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Re: Compact camera choice

#247036

Postby AF62 » August 26th, 2019, 11:37 am

If you are looking at Panasonic, then you might want to take a look at their eBay refurbished page - http://www.ebaystores.co.uk/Panasonic-Official-Outlet

Stock changes frequently and it all comes with a 12 month guarantee.

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Re: Compact camera choice

#247215

Postby redsturgeon » August 27th, 2019, 11:26 am

As people have said it all depends what sort of photos you normally take but the fact you already have a 30x zoom and use it frequently might suggest that you would miss it if you went down to the 10x.

I would not disagree with any of the practical points that have been made, using a long zoom is a bit of an artform in itself.

As a general rule though us professional would rather get the shot in camera than try to crop out a zoom later.

John

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Re: Compact camera choice

#247243

Postby Garless » August 27th, 2019, 1:10 pm

One thing I really am grateful for is, when I chose a compact camera a few years ago, I chose one with a viewfinder as well as a screen to compose the picture. Often in Europe in summer it was too bright to use the screen.

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Re: Compact camera choice

#247259

Postby fuiseog » August 27th, 2019, 2:23 pm

The later Panasonic Lumix DC-TZ200 has a x15 zoom, but at a price. You may find the following site helpful.

https://www.dpreview.com/products/panas ... ic_dczs200

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Re: Compact camera choice

#248239

Postby scotia » August 31st, 2019, 12:21 am

Your two selections the TZ90 and the TZ100 look good choices. I have a Canon compact with 20x optical zoom (25mm to 500mm 35mm equivalent) which I find very useful - especially for wildlife. So I think I would go for the TZ90.

swill453
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Re: Compact camera choice

#248320

Postby swill453 » August 31st, 2019, 11:01 am

scotia wrote:Your two selections the TZ90 and the TZ100 look good choices. I have a Canon compact with 20x optical zoom (25mm to 500mm 35mm equivalent) which I find very useful - especially for wildlife. So I think I would go for the TZ90.

Maybe. But the much larger image sensor in the TZ100 is really tempting me. I know I said I make use of the 30x zoom in my current TZ60, but while it's useful to capture distant objects, with hindsight I realise I rarely get an image that's sharp enough to be a "keeper".

In all other respects the 1 inch sensor should give the TZ100 a significant edge over the TZ90 (or TZ97 which also exists). The TZ200 has a bit too much of a price premium at the moment.

I'll probably mull it over for a few weeks though. My current camera is on its last legs but hasn't given up yet.

Thanks all for the advice so far.

Scott.

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Re: Compact camera choice

#248447

Postby redsturgeon » September 1st, 2019, 1:17 pm

swill453 wrote:
scotia wrote:Your two selections the TZ90 and the TZ100 look good choices. I have a Canon compact with 20x optical zoom (25mm to 500mm 35mm equivalent) which I find very useful - especially for wildlife. So I think I would go for the TZ90.

Maybe. But the much larger image sensor in the TZ100 is really tempting me. I know I said I make use of the 30x zoom in my current TZ60, but while it's useful to capture distant objects, with hindsight I realise I rarely get an image that's sharp enough to be a "keeper".

In all other respects the 1 inch sensor should give the TZ100 a significant edge over the TZ90 (or TZ97 which also exists). The TZ200 has a bit too much of a price premium at the moment.

I'll probably mull it over for a few weeks though. My current camera is on its last legs but hasn't given up yet.

Thanks all for the advice so far.

Scott.


There is much to recommend the use of the largest size sensor practicable in any situation, I use nothing but full frame personally, but it does depend on what you wish to do with the output. Are you enlarging to anything larger than 10x8 inches for printing? Are you intending to selectively crop areas for the final image? Or are you, as most of us do these days just going to view on a computer screen and use the output for viewing over the web?

There is always much than can be done with learning to use equipment optimally that will enhance results more than an upgrade in equipment. I liken photography very much to golf in this respect, many people would rather buy a new set of clubs than spend the equivalent money on professional coaching.

I still use my Nikon D700 regularly and it produces fantastic images even though it is now over 10 years old (a lifetime in digital photography terms). I do have a much newer camera with lots more facilities but I'd challenge anyone to tell the difference between two similar image taken by either camera.

John

swill453
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Re: Compact camera choice

#248498

Postby swill453 » September 1st, 2019, 5:27 pm

redsturgeon wrote:There is much to recommend the use of the largest size sensor practicable in any situation, I use nothing but full frame personally, but it does depend on what you wish to do with the output. Are you enlarging to anything larger than 10x8 inches for printing? Are you intending to selectively crop areas for the final image?

Yes and yes.

Scott.

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Re: Compact camera choice

#248511

Postby redsturgeon » September 1st, 2019, 6:25 pm

Go for it then!

:D

John

swill453
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Re: Compact camera choice

#248514

Postby swill453 » September 1st, 2019, 6:38 pm

redsturgeon wrote:Go for it then!

I probably will, eventually. Though I have to say a 30x20" print from my existing camera with the small sensor is eminently acceptable to my non-professional eyes. Landscape in bright sunlight though.

Scott.


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