Buying camera for cruise

4 months 3 days ago #641136 by Will-Buntin
I'm going on a cruise to Alaska and I'm looking for a non-DLSR camera. I think in order of importance, Price (under 500)
Image quality
Zoom (>25x)Wouldn't mind to have Bluetooth but that is optional.The cameras I've narrowed it down to are  Panasonic Lumix FZ300
Panasonic Lumix FZ80 (currently on sale for 297)
Canon PowerShot XS70
Canon PowerShot XS530
Canon PowerShot XS60 Are there any of these any of you would recommend over the others? Have I left a good option off the list? The FZ80 is looking good right now because of its price. I know my budget precludes having the 'best image' - I'm looking for the best image I can get on my budget. Any help is appreciated.


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3 months 2 weeks ago - 3 months 2 weeks ago #642800 by Ozzie_Traveller
G'day Will

Firstly - WELCOME to the forum - coz you've come to the right place for answers :)
Secondly - although I do have a Panny dSLR, I am like you in that I am essentially a non-dSLR user and love these superzoom cameras

Both Canon and Panny make good cameras [along with 1/2-dozen other mobs] but lets concentrate on your choices. Personally I use Panny equipment - over the past decade have also used canon & fuji and settled on Panasonic

There are two big things for you to consider ... a) the lens quality and b) the small sensor comes with both +ve and --ve issues

Lens first ... the more zoom within the lens design, the more compromises the maker has had to build in and compensate for. Over the years I have seen 'some' beaut sharp images shot at 50x zoom and many blurry images at 50x zoom.

Sensor second ... the more pixels that are squashed into a small space, the more noise that will appear on images, and your coffee-table book after the cruise will show this noise as well

My 100% for you would be to pay the extra $$ and go for the FZ-300/330 camera for several reasons.
1- the lens is a 24x zoom max; it is known to be very sharp, and it is unique in that it is a 'constant aperture' lens as it zooms. In other words, as you zoom outwards, it holds its aperture rather than closing down to a smaller aperture. There are canon & nikon dSLR constant aperture lenses and they cost 'heaps'
2- is the sensor is locked at 12mpx - a very smart move by Panasonic and it means that noise is limited considerably when compared with other 'bridge' cameras

The FZ-300 also has heaps of extra features for you to play with should you wish to do so. More on these with a later reply if you want to know more

ps- I have the FZ-200, older version of the FZ-300 and it's g-r-e-a-t :) ... along with the FZ-2500 as well

Hope this helps
Phil from the great land Downunder
www.flickr.com/photos/ozzie_traveller/sets/


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1 month 2 weeks ago #651033 by Will-Buntin
Thanks for the feedback. From my original list, I have taken your advice and narrowed it down to the FZ300. I was looking at Amazon today and they have the FZ1000 knocked down to 597 ($200 more than the FZ300. Any insight as to what the extra 300 gets me? I do see the sensor is larger (1"). I don't know anything about the lens. They have increased it to a 21.1MPX which I know you commented that keeping that lower helps reduce noise. Not sure how the increase in sensor size with an increase in MP plays out. It is also a lower zoom (from 24 to 16). I'm figuring I'll want to take pictures from the boat to shore and would like to be able to get a decent zoom. Since they are both Panasonic's I'm thinking they will share a few features. I guess I just don't really know what to take into account to help me decide if I want to spend an additional $200. Any advice is greatly appreciated.


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1 month 2 weeks ago #651045 by Will-Buntin
Just found the FZ1000 for 450 on eBay. That changes the math a bit...


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1 month 2 weeks ago #651047 by Nikon Shooter
You guys are swimming in waters that are
totally unknown to me! :P

Light is free… capturing it is not!
This person is a posting maniac and deserves a #1 badge!Top Poster

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1 month 2 weeks ago #651107 by Ozzie_Traveller
G'day Will

I would still go for the FZ-300 as your walk-around bluddy-good camera for this cruise

Yes there are differences between the FZ-300 and the FZ-1000 ~ also there is a size & weight difference as well ie: the FZ1000 is about 10% larger and 25% heavier
[for NS .... it's about the same difference between a mid-range APS dSLR and a top-of-the-range APS dSLR in size and weight and sensor responsiveness]

The FZ-300 has the later features for fast focus, beaut EVF and the new 4K multi-shooting modes

=if= you are planning prints of 20" x 30" on a regular basis, then the larger sensor FZ1000 will be better ... however if you are wanting a "walk-around-Porsche" then go for the FZ-300

Hope this helps
Phil from the great land Downunder
www.flickr.com/photos/ozzie_traveller/sets/


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1 month 2 weeks ago #651165 by Will-Buntin
Thanks Ozzie_Traveller!


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1 month 1 week ago #651410 by Ozzie_Traveller
G'day Will

Some suggestions - without costing any $$$

Download the 200+page FZ-300 user manual and meander thru its options and settings. Most will be familiar to you ~ just like swapping from one car to another car ~ but other bits will be quite new and open up possibly / hopefully exciting possibilities

The FZ ~ just like your dSLR had the usual P-A-S-M shooting modes, although apertures don't go down as far as F22, -but- is also has 2 or 3 other shooting modes that do not exist on dSLR cameras.

Investigate the 4K shooting options ~ in-camera focus stacking; & 60fps shooting modes ~ great for hummingbirds + insects in flight. Investigate the creative / arty-farty shooting mode for some potentially exciting in-camera filters and special effects ... and so it goes on & on

It may be that you will never return to a regular dSLR after your cruise :)

ps- I had the user manual printed up for $15 as a lovely wire-bound manual that fits easily into the lid of my camera case

Hope this helps
Phil from the great land Downunder
www.flickr.com/photos/ozzie_traveller/sets/


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1 month 1 week ago #651420 by Troponin
Good stuff! 

I have actually considered getting a  PaS instead of a new lens. I feel like I want too many lenses for stuff that is not my niche, vacation snapshots are one of them. Sometimes I leave the camera at home because i don’t have the right  lens for the event. A point and shoot would solve all of that.


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