dpreviews 7 super zoom cameras

Jan 15th, 2009, 10:11 AM
  #1  
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dpreviews 7 super zoom cameras

dpreview.com, one of the top (if not the top) digital camera web sites has posted their review of seven super zoom cameras. Super zooms typically having a lens zoom range of 28-500mm (35mm equivalent). Pretty much ideal for safari.

Cameras by Canon, Fuji, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic, and Sony are compared. Here's the web page, but if you just want the "bottom line", they pick the Canon SX10 and Panasonic FZ28 as just a bit better than the others. http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/Q109superzoomgroup/

regards - tom
ps - note they begin their review with "You don't need to be on safari to appreciate the benefits of a big zoom range . . . )
cary999 is offline  
Jan 15th, 2009, 02:55 PM
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This is helpful for all those questions about what camera should I get.

All were $350 or less. In addition to that lead in safari comment, I liked this one:

"These superzoom cameras incorporate such large zoom ranges that, if you were to try to match on a film camera, you'd end up with something so large and imposing you'd expect it to need a special weapons export license."

Not of interest to the pros, but for the rest of us, it's an example of technology truly improving our options for less cost.

Thanks, Tom.
atravelynn is offline  
Jan 15th, 2009, 03:51 PM
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Not only would you need "special weapons export license" but also a Hummer to carry it . (Or a wife !!!!)

regards - tom
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Jan 15th, 2009, 04:38 PM
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Thanks, Tom, for the "heads up." I've been considering getting the Canon SX10 IS for a while and this helps.
ShayTay is offline  
Jan 15th, 2009, 04:47 PM
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So that's what we're for--carrying the gear.

I recall reading some of the early Caucasian explorers and adventurers in Alaska were given this advice: Don't try to get around without a dog sled and a good team of dogs and even better than the dogs for hauling your stuff was to get a local wife.
atravelynn is offline  
Jan 15th, 2009, 05:08 PM
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LOL!!! Can you "rent" a local wife??? That is, just for carrying camera gear .

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
Jan 15th, 2009, 05:13 PM
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Canon SX10. The only thing I -don't- like about the Canon SX10 as mentioned in the review is it is noticeably bigger and heavier than its predecessor Canon S5 and the other cameras in the group. But I have not seen/handled the SX10 so can't really say for sure if it would bother me.

FWIW, I use DSLR (Nikon) gear but still take a (old) Canon S2 on safari. For video. It takes DVD (not HD) quality video with stereo sound, the lens autofocuses, and you can use the zoom while videoing. Some of these other cameras don't have this and dpreview did not discuss video at all. Granted they are primarily intended as still cameras.

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
Jan 15th, 2009, 06:21 PM
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I was just thinking my comments above might be considered insensitive. They weren't meant to be. I don't think it's right that these women were burdened with heavier loads than what was piled on a dog sled. It is demeaning.

In comparison to the rent-a-wife comment, my mention of this fact I read is not so bad.

Thanks once more, Tom.

Ok, back to cameras. 20x is almost a microscope. Pretty amazing.
atravelynn is offline  
Jan 15th, 2009, 06:25 PM
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Forgive me but I am camera stupid. For my trip to Tanzania in July, I will be making a camera purchase. How much of a difference is there between the Canon SX10 and a Canon 40D with 100-400mm zoom lens? I am planning on buying a 40D and renting the lens. Intend on doing considerable practice before I leave. The SX10 would be a much cheaper and easier way to go. Any thoughts?
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Jan 15th, 2009, 06:30 PM
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atravelynn -You're most welcome, always happy to help a lady out of a tough spot

regards - tom
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Jan 15th, 2009, 06:43 PM
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And thanks for thinking I'm a lady.

Connor02, If you are camera stupid, then don't get a DSLR with removable lenses. Get one of these super zooms. The results are excellent.

If you were going to take up photography as a hobby that would extend beyond your trip and use the camera a lot, then a DSLR would be a good investment.

This link has examples of photos taken with these super zooms, even earlier versions than what is available now.
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=35143855
atravelynn is offline  
Jan 15th, 2009, 07:04 PM
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CO2 - atravelynn sums it up nicely above. And the link she refers to even has some of my old photos taken with a Canon S2!!!

But to delve into this a little deeper, (sorry ) lots of differences. Have you used a DSLR before? The one big difference you would notice most is that with -only- a 100-400mm lens you have only "telephoto" capability. However, the 40D probably comes with a "wider" zoom such as a 28-135mm, right? So those two lenses would give you almost (and good enough) the same lens coverage as the Canon SX10 zoom. But unless you have other reasons for lugging around a DSLR with two lenses, I'd seriously consider the Canon SX10. Plus the SX10 has very good video capability which you might really like on safari.

Anyway, other reasons for wanting the 40D over an SX10 could be: making prints larger than 8x10 inches, taking photos in very low light like at sundown or indoors, using other special lenses, you like to "play" with cameras (primarily a man thing), and the "macho" look (also a man thing). A really big reason for me is having the DSLR optical viewfinder. I hate the electronic viewfinder (EVF) on non-DSLR cameras. YMMV


regards - tom
ps - lynn - I don't think you're a lady, I know you are!!!!
cary999 is offline  
Jan 18th, 2009, 10:53 AM
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"A really big reason for me is having the DSLR optical viewfinder. I hate the electronic viewfinder (EVF) on non-DSLR camera"

That would be awful to have only the EFV. In sunlight, which is where you usually are when taking wildlife pictures, that electronic viewfinder fades out no matter how big it is or what kind of tilt feature it has.

My Sony DSC H2 and H9 both have the regular viewfinder where you close one eye and squint to look through it. I almost never use the EVF.

Those other cameras don't have the optical viewfinder? "Or am I confused on terminology?" asks the lady as she squints.

atravelynn is offline  
Jan 18th, 2009, 04:28 PM
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Ok, using the Sony H9 for example. The small window, top center, you one-eye peek through is a viewfinder. The "big" screen on the back is just that, an LCD screen.

In the olden (film) days there was only an "optical" viewfinder. That is, the viewfinder used glass lenses through which you viewed the scene. Glass - Light - Optics. Take a look at any film camera, they all have optical viewfinders. The classic being the 35mm SLR with the optical viewfinder and mirror system. Giving you a large, clean, bright view of the scene through whatever lens is on the camera.

With the Sony H9 and many other digital cameras this one-eyed viewfinder is no longer optical (glass) but electronic. The electronic viewfinder, EVF. And also we have the LCD screen on the camera's back. Either "view" can be used to see the picture scene and take a photo. Also, today many small digital cameras have simply eliminated the eye viewfinder and you use the back LCD screen to compose and shoot. However, a digital SLR, a DSLR, still uses the old optical eye viewfinder very much like the old 35mm film SLRs.

If you've never looked through the viewfinder of an old SLR film camera or DSLR - DON'T . What you see may make you never want to look again through/at an EVF. I grew up with 35mm film SLRs and every time I use an EVF I curse it. Thus, as I said above, one primary reason my cameras are DSLRs.

regards - tom
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Jan 19th, 2009, 04:44 PM
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Ok, I get it.
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Jan 19th, 2009, 07:58 PM
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I pondered the SX10 vs FZ28 debate a month ago, I jumped on a FZ28 for $239.95 no tax no shipping, I love it so far! Super small and lightweight compared to my Canon 30D + lenses, great photos.
wildcatzoo is offline  
Jan 20th, 2009, 01:52 AM
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Tom
Totally agree with the viewfinder issue.

If I could find a digital with a viewfinder like the SLRs, I'd swap.
Lynneb is offline  
Jan 20th, 2009, 11:34 AM
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CO2, people have laid out lots of good pros and cons for the two cameras. Assuming you go with an SLR, the Canon 40D is an excellent choice and the 100-400 lens is a great safari lens. I've used the 75-300 IS (own) and the 100-400 (rented from LensProToGo.com, excellent prices and service) for distant shots with very good results. If interested you can see results at my web site---shots in Tanzania were mostly done with the 100-400 while others (Botswana, SA) were mostly done with the 75-300.

You sound like you have the right approach with the SLR in mind; i.e., lots of practice before you leave. If you rent the 100-400, make sure you take a bean bag to help steady the lens. Even with the IS, you'll shoot lots of shots under moderate to low-light conditions and anything to help steady will be an asset. Good luck!
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Jan 20th, 2009, 11:52 AM
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thanks to the link for dpreview. I am always wondering about longer lenses and getting more power into less weight.

PS Who says playing around with cameras is a guy thing? I belong to a camera club which is about evenly split men and women and the women are just as eager to discuss new gear as men.

And if there is "rent a wife", is there "rent a husband"?
irishface is offline  
Jan 20th, 2009, 01:23 PM
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IF - camera club, just curious, where is it?

"rent a husband" - maybe, make me an offer I can't refuse!!!!

regards - tom
ps - but I'm not officially a husband (just engaged), does that matter?????
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