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Advice on new camera for dad

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by rpringle, May 18, 2014.

  1. rpringle

    rpringle Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 9, 2014
    Hey all,

    My dad's been photographing since the 70s and we've had a lot of fun since I got him into digital in the late 90s. The first semi serious camera I bought him was a Panasonic fz28 with 18x zoom. He used that for several years and really liked the size and zoom range. More recently I decided to buy him the fz70 for Christmas because again it looked like it had an incredible zoom and he was already used to Panasonic controls.

    However he has been trying to get sharp pictures in the telephoto end of the zoom and just can't. I've tried it myself and the evf seems tiny and focus is slow and doesn't hit the mark at the long end compared to my EP5 or DSLR. I know the fz70 isn't anywhere near the same league as those but I expected usable results at the long end, right now they just seem blurry and washed out even with exp comp at -1 ev.

    I'm considering getting him a new camera because he's been impressed with the shots I get with my micro43 and DSLR. However he doesn't like to change lenses as he likes taking landscapes and wildlife on our walks and canoe trips. I've been looking into something like a g5 and 14-140mm lens. As it seems that my 40-150 cropped gets better results than the fz70 zoomed in. I looked at the fz200 and sx50 but I'm concerned he won't enjoy those any more than the fz70. Basically I'm looking for a camera with evf, longest tele possible, not many lens changes, best quality, and a decent size for larger hands.

    Thanks Ray

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Mu-43 mobile app
  2. John M Flores

    John M Flores Super Moderator

    Jan 7, 2011
    Is he using good technique (tripod, high shutter speeds, awareness of atmospheric conditions, etc) when fully zoomed?

    Otherwise, the Sony RX10 may be a good fit. Only 10x zoom IIRC, but a much bigger sensor than what he has. I've also heard good things about the Panasonic FZ200-smaller sensor than RX10 but zoomier.
  3. Matero

    Matero Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jun 22, 2013
    Sorry I don't know cameras you mentioned but for quite a same purpose I've been thinking Olympus Stylus 1 for my dad. But he seems to be happy with my old 1st gen Canon Rebel, so I let him be.

    Sent from my iPad using Mu-43
  4. rpringle

    rpringle Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 9, 2014
    To John,

    Dad doesn't like using tripods as they get in the way for him, I have recently gave him my monopod and ballhead. He has been getting steadier shots with that but I agree a 1200mm equivalent is very long to handhold without some extreme IS, which the FZ70 doesn't have. I have found that I shake quite a bit with it handheld and usually have to be extremely careful not to add vibrations when I take the shot. It might be that the lens is just too long for him to use effectively. My EP5 only has an equivalent 300mm lens with 5 axis stabilizer so that it most definitely a big advantage.

    I would suggest to him to try a tripod and really setup his shots but the fz70 doesn't have a remote input so he would still need to set it to a delay and push the shutter which for small birds would be almost impossible. And many of our best bird shots are taken from canoe so a tripod or monopod wouldn't be feasible. The rx10 would be great but a bit out of my price range and possibly a bit too much for him.

    To Matero,

    I've actually looked at the Stylus 1 a lot for myself as a more compact everyday camera. Robin Wong has a very convincing article on it and it seems like a solid camera. The panasonic FZ200 has alot in common with it as it has an f2.8 aperture but has a 24x zoom.

    Ideally I'd love to get him a fuji xe with the 50-200mm tele as I think he would really enjoy the older style more visual controls for shutter and aperture. Coming from his Minolta SRT days it's been tough for him to grasp changing the shutter and aperture of more modern do everything dial controls. Not to mention at times it's hard for him to see the digital readouts for shutter and exp comp in the EVF.

    He has been able to get some good shots with the FZ70 but the keeper rate is pretty low. And even the keepers just don't seem to have the fine details I can get out of some of my more expensive cameras. I've seen alot of great shots from the FZ70 on flickr and from what I've heard they're generally difficult to get because of the issues with keeping the camera steady enough at longer zoom ranges. With Fathers day coming up soon I thought maybe it's time to get him something more serious than a bridge camera.
  5. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter Subscribing Member

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    The RX10 is a good choice if the zoom is long enough and the price isn't too high. If not, your own suggestion would also work well.
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