Home News Buyers Guide About Advertising
 
 
 
   
Results 1 to 2 of 2
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    16

    Considering a long-zoom digicam (long post)

    Well, I am one of the dummies that has not ventured into the digital pool yet, but will finally be purchasing my first digital camera within the next 4-6 days so that I can get up to speed with it before my trip to Central America later this month. Sorry for the long winded post, but me thinks more detail will yield better replies. I am flummoxed and starting to get extremely frustrated with choosing a camera. I have researched extensively on-line, and have avidly read the last year’s worth of Shutterbug and Popular Photo magazines.

    To start with, I do not have the budget to get a dSLR. Even the D50, iST or Rebel XT are out of my price range. Since I am making my first purchase, I need everything- the camera, probably a flash, possibly a conversion lens, extra battery, large capacity memory card, a color corrector for my monitor and Photoshop Elements 4.0 (which I like after testing several programs).

    While the camera will be used for capturing everyday shots, I take a trip to Central America (Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama, etc) each year and would like to finally be able to fill my frame with the birds, monkeys and other wildlife you cannot get close to without a lot of optical reach. This makes a big optical zoom a requirement for me. I also am interested in capturing wide beach and mountain vistas, but realize that a wide angle adapter lens or simply stitching a couple of captures together on the computer can accomplish this.

    On the other, opposing side, I have always loved ambient and night time photography. This is where the dilemma is. Most digicams with bigger zooms appear to be lackluster in low light. I am quite familiar with low light photography and am not afraid to experiment extensively with settings to squeeze the most out of a camera. Painting a subject with a flashlight during long exposures or setting off a handheld flash in the frame at various points of a long exposure are not a problem for me either. For this reason and more, a hot shoe is important to me. While TTL metering would be nice, I am familiar with non-dedicated flash use.

    I plan on sharing and viewing my pictures on the computer, but my first love has always been the printed product. I will be regularly printing 5x7 photos and will also want to print 8x10 photos of the occasional photo.

    Noise is an issue for me….I am spending the money to have about 20 8x10 photographs printed from downloaded test images of the same subjects made with the DMC-FZ20, DMC-FZ30, Canon S2-IS, Nikon 8700 & 8800, Fuji S5200 and S9000. I am one of those people that notice the noise in the photos taken with these cameras and it detracts from the enjoyment of the pictures for me in larger photographs (a shame considering the excellent lenses on these cameras). I also fully realize that there is not a super zoom digicam that offers the ability to capture both crisp daytime pictures and sharp ambient/night photos with little noise.

    From your experiences, which one is likely to perform the balancing act the best? I am off to the photo shop to test these in person and pick up my prints as well. Thanks for taking the time to read this rambling and thanks for any replies. Happy shooting! --K

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    4,498
    Quote Originally Posted by kmancpbh
    Well, I am one of the dummies that has not ventured into the digital pool yet, but will finally be purchasing my first digital camera within the next 4-6 days so that I can get up to speed with it before my trip to Central America later this month. Sorry for the long winded post, but me thinks more detail will yield better replies. I am flummoxed and starting to get extremely frustrated with choosing a camera. I have researched extensively on-line, and have avidly read the last year’s worth of Shutterbug and Popular Photo magazines.

    To start with, I do not have the budget to get a dSLR. Even the D50, iST or Rebel XT are out of my price range. Since I am making my first purchase, I need everything- the camera, probably a flash, possibly a conversion lens, extra battery, large capacity memory card, a color corrector for my monitor and Photoshop Elements 4.0 (which I like after testing several programs).

    While the camera will be used for capturing everyday shots, I take a trip to Central America (Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama, etc) each year and would like to finally be able to fill my frame with the birds, monkeys and other wildlife you cannot get close to without a lot of optical reach. This makes a big optical zoom a requirement for me. I also am interested in capturing wide beach and mountain vistas, but realize that a wide angle adapter lens or simply stitching a couple of captures together on the computer can accomplish this.

    On the other, opposing side, I have always loved ambient and night time photography. This is where the dilemma is. Most digicams with bigger zooms appear to be lackluster in low light. I am quite familiar with low light photography and am not afraid to experiment extensively with settings to squeeze the most out of a camera. Painting a subject with a flashlight during long exposures or setting off a handheld flash in the frame at various points of a long exposure are not a problem for me either. For this reason and more, a hot shoe is important to me. While TTL metering would be nice, I am familiar with non-dedicated flash use.

    I plan on sharing and viewing my pictures on the computer, but my first love has always been the printed product. I will be regularly printing 5x7 photos and will also want to print 8x10 photos of the occasional photo.

    Noise is an issue for me….I am spending the money to have about 20 8x10 photographs printed from downloaded test images of the same subjects made with the DMC-FZ20, DMC-FZ30, Canon S2-IS, Nikon 8700 & 8800, Fuji S5200 and S9000. I am one of those people that notice the noise in the photos taken with these cameras and it detracts from the enjoyment of the pictures for me in larger photographs (a shame considering the excellent lenses on these cameras). I also fully realize that there is not a super zoom digicam that offers the ability to capture both crisp daytime pictures and sharp ambient/night photos with little noise.

    From your experiences, which one is likely to perform the balancing act the best? I am off to the photo shop to test these in person and pick up my prints as well. Thanks for taking the time to read this rambling and thanks for any replies. Happy shooting! --K
    Well, if you've been doing your reading as seems you have, then you should already know that the Fujis walk the line that you've drawn the best out of the choices you've presented. Here's a side-by-side comparison of the S5200 and the S9000: http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/comp...9000z&show=all

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •