Zoom v Portability

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Applespider, Mar 23, 2008.

  1. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #1
    I've had a read through the Superzoom thread from last month but I'm still pondering my options and some thoughts would be useful.

    I'm off to Hong Kong shortly and, obviously, am likely to take lots of pictures. I've currently got a P&S Fuji F10 which has been around a bit and which I've been pretty happy with, particularly in low light. I feel the need to upgrade more for the occasions where I want a wider angle or a bigger zoom than the image quality.

    I've narrowed it down to a few of the Panasonic longer zooms/wider angles for now which all have IS (which my F10 lacks).

    The TZ3 (£165, with 7.2mp with 10x zoom),
    the FZ8 (£180, 7mp with 12x zoom)
    or its replacement, the FZ18 (£245, 8.1mp with 18x zoom).

    The FZs are larger, the TZ is about the size of my F10. All seem to have similar limitations in terms of noise above about 200ISO since they use the Venus III engine but since I can't really imagine trying to use the zoom lens in low light, I'm guessing my F10 can continue its sterling efforts in those situations.

    I guess my questions are how much more use is 18x than 10x optical zoom given that I'm coming from 3x? And is it worth the additional price and the tradeoff in portability? The other thing to consider is that the FZs have a lot more manual controls than the TZ if I do want to experiment a little.

    I'd really welcome thoughts from those who have used any of those cameras or something similar.

    I have thought about upgrading to a basic DSLR but, to be honest, the learning curve terrifies me and when I add the cost of getting a longer zoom lens, I don't think I'd get the full benefit of the gear compared to the price. I just can't see myself carrying around all that equipment that often (particularly when on vacation, I'm often toting a camcorder too). I feel I'm probably better off getting something that I use more often even if it is a trade off in picture quality. I rarely end up taking things down to pixel level. I'm also unlikely to have the time to devote to learning enough to get the best out of a DSLR.
     
  2. CrackedButter macrumors 68040

    CrackedButter

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    Location:
    51st State of America
    #3
    I have the F10 as well, its great. The zoom for me is the limiting factor, I use it for research and experimentation now. Though as a student I have managed to get final work out of it.

    But why the move to panasonic? Why not stay in Fuji's line of P&S's or even get a bridge camera? Fuji do a x18 i think and its a basic bridge camera, plus it has IS.

    http://www.fujifilm.com/products/digital_cameras/s/finepix_s8100fd/index.html

    http://www.fujifilm.com/products/digital_cameras/z/finepix_z100fd/index.html - this is the camera I would buy when my F10 dies because its smaller and the zoom doesn't protrude and I've only heard good things about it.
     
  3. Applespider thread starter macrumors G4

    Applespider

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #4
    Mainly because they seem to get better reviews and offer more bang for buck. I'm not great at brand loyalty unless performance/value matches it.:eek: Unfortunately, the Fuji bridge model doesn't use the Super CCD that the Fx0 used so the noise factor is still an issue. I did start off looking at those. I'm still planning on keeping the F10 until it dies so no real issue in having that on hand if I think I'm going to be in lower light situations.

    cube, I'm confused by your link. DPReview says that all three Panasonics have image stabilisation with lots of example shots.:confused:
     
  4. cube macrumors G5

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #5
    No IS was the Fujifilm S6000fd/S6500fd, which apparently uses the same sensor as the F30, but reportedly slightly worse IQ, so the advantage over this is mainly the zoom range.

    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/fujifilms6000fd/

    I don't like the newer Fuji bridges because they have smaller sensors and more megapixels, even if they have IS (except the new S100fs which has a 2/3" sensor, although again more MP).
     
  5. Over Achiever macrumors 68000

    Over Achiever

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Location:
    Toledo, OH, formerly Twin Cities, MN
    #6
    I thought the S6000/6500fd used the same sensor as the F30/31fd? I have the S6000, and I get decent pictures at ISO 800, it's only when I get to ISO 1600 that things deteriorate quickly. It's a great camera, but doesn't have optical image stabilization. Great value though, I think you can find it under $200 nowadays.
     
  6. Applespider thread starter macrumors G4

    Applespider

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #7
    I think I was thinking of the 8000 when I posted that. And yes, the 6500 is a ridiculous price now. I was tempted but I've ended up going with the FZ18 since had a play with it today in the store and was pleasantly surprised by the weight/feel of it. Some of the sample shots online look pretty good too - and I'm looking forward to playing with some of the tricks that the newer cameras have.

    It doesn't feel so bulky that I won't be able to squeeze my old F10 into a corner of the bag which should give me the best of both worlds. The FZ18's zoom range for well-lit places and the F10 when I want something in lower light where most zooms are be pointless anyhow.
     

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