Travel Photography - superzoom suggestions?
Feb 23, 10, 8:02 pm
I am trying to sift through the various Superzoom P&S options that are out there as a backup for my NIkon D90 on an up-coming trip to Bhutan. Anyone have a favorite? I'd like a good amount of manual control, video capability, fast startup, minimal lag, and of course good photo quality.
From the reviews I've read, the choice comes down to Panasonic and Canon. The Panny Lumix FZ35 (FZ38 outside the U.S.) is smaller, probably important in your situation, and IIRC has a faster lens at extreme tele lengths, but is harder to find in brick-and-mortar stores in the U.S. and gives up a little bit of zoom at the long end.
As for Nikon: as a Nikon DSLR owner, you perhaps already know that its DSLR division and its Coolpix division are separate. The DSLRs are excellent, but the Coolpix P&S trade on their reputation without being nearly at the same level. Much as I hesitate to urge you to avoid the P90 in this market, since you know and like the brand, that's what all the smart folks say to do. (Cheaper Coolpix compacts are competitive, since expectations aren't as high "down there" and everyone builds to a price target, but that's not what we're talking about here.)
Feb 24, 10, 6:26 am
the panasonic lumix precursor to the "new and improved" pz 35/38 was the pz 18. my wife has used it a lot. if you look on her website, the britts, bluebirds, and snow are shot with that camera.
the great blues were shot with her new canon (t1i) and a 150-500mm sigma.
it is a very intuitive camera. the p&s olympus drove us crazy. it was not intuitive to us. i have no idea about the canon P&S
the panasonic lumix precursor to the "new and improved" pz 35/38 was the pz 18...Actually, there was an FZ28 in between. Lasted about a year, July 2008 to August 2009. If you find one around at a good price, it's still a good camera. Upgrades in the FZ35/38 are in video, a few more megapixels (from 10 to 12) from the same size sensor, and supposedly improved stabilization and auto-focus. Same lens, mostly the same features.
Feb 24, 10, 11:03 am
Thanks for the input. I was looking at the new Nikon P100 or maybe the L110 in the Nikon stable but don't mind looking beyond those confines. I am bummed that none of them deal in RAW format. I have a little Canon Elph that is nice little pocket camera but am thinking something a bit higher end might be better for me.
The Lumix line was definitely on my list. As well as possibly Samsung and Canon.
The Canon SX1 shoots in RAW. Other than that, I would suggest the SX10 or 20. I have owned the SX5 for a few years and it's been a really handy back up for my SLR.
Feb 25, 10, 10:28 pm
+1 for Panasonic ZS3 aka TZ7. Panasonic invented the compact superzoom category. And is still the best photo quality in this category.
New models for most brands are out this year however, and Sony's HX5 due out in the next few months is supposed to be a contender.