suggestions of high zoom almost digital slr

piper101January 14, 2009

Hi, I take a lot of pictures on trips, landscape and action, up close flowers, nature etc. I've had a compact digital camera for a couple yrs. but want to UPGRADE to something with a better zoom, faster for action shots etc. Honestly I think a digital SLR would be too complicated for what I'd use it for and I don't want to spend a vacation frustrated and miss shots because of learning curves etc.

SO... I have been searching for I guess a high powered zoom digital camera that lets me do point and shoot but lets me play with the goodies you get on SLRs. I've narrowed it down somewhat to Panasonic Lumix lines, FZ28K or FZ28S, an Olympus 20x zoom, a Nikon Coolpix P80, Cannon Powershot 20x 10MP or possibly a fuji film fine pix series. Pentax doesn't seem to make this hybrid,,not sure about Sony (my friend had problems with hers, (don't know which one).

Of course hubby, being a minimalist, threw out my Consumer Rpts issue all about this subject!

What are your thoughts, advice,,things to look out for or that are important,,,batteries vs. lithium ion charger etc.

What say you all? Thanks for your time.

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I should say, I've web searched and came up with these. I don't want to go into a full on camera store until I narrow it down, lest I get side tracked from the sales people.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2009 at 3:59PM
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You can't go wrong with the selections that you have.....I like Canon and continue to buy their product because I am used to the features.....they are known for nice lenses as are Nikon and others. I have the S5IS and I like it. It takes a steady hand or tripod to zoom alot for any camera, but I have good luck holding this one still. It is not big, was not expensive, and takes nice pics. Here are a couple I took today, as this Eagle was sucking up some sun on a -4 degree day.

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    Bookmark   January 16, 2009 at 2:08PM
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I've never heard of a super-zoom cam with x20 zoom. x18 is the highest I've heard of. Don't count the digital zoom, just the optical zoom.
Here's a site that lists their opinion of the best of the digital zooms, along with their reviews of each.
Go down to super-zoom.

Here is a link that might be useful: Stevesdigicams

    Bookmark   January 19, 2009 at 12:18PM
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Did you make your purchase?

My son bought the Panasonic FZ28, and I must say I'm impressed with it. I have the FZ5, but the FZ28 has so much more of everything--and costs less than I paid for mine in 2005.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2009 at 2:59PM
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No purchase yet. To confuse things I stopped by a camera store and also looked at Nikon D40 and D60. I might just jump up to that but it is more expensive. I don't know if I should make the jump since the D SLRs can go auto mode and then I can learn the rest or what.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2009 at 5:32PM
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Hello piper101

I just got a Cannon Powershot SX10IS - with 20x zoom 10MP for Christmas..
I don't know to much about cameras, but this one is
real easy to use... and the price was right.
Like all cameras it does have goods and bads.
Here is one of a few pictures I took with it.
I still have a long way to go to learn more.
Also this camera also takes movies and the zoom
works while taking them.

Hope this helps

Have A Nice Day

    Bookmark   January 31, 2009 at 11:08PM
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Wow, it does have x20 optical zoom! I'm impressed! And the articulated LCD screen, those are so cool.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2009 at 8:35PM
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When you talk about Nikon, Panasonic, Canon, Fuji, and Olympus, it becomes, to a certain degree, like the old Chevrolet vs Ford question.

They all make good cameras, and I own cameras (both film and digital, and SLRs and viewfinders) from all but Nikon.

Now, this is purely an opinion. My favorite non-SLR camera, and the one that seems to me to make the best pictures, is a Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ5. It is a small unit, but not a fits-in-your-front-jeans-pocket size. It has some manual-control options, and the Leica lens ranges from 28mm wide-angle to 10X optical zoom. The image stabilization is great. Fantastic small camera; its biggest shortcoming (to me) is the limited flash range, and the lack of an optical viewfinder. I got mine about 6 months ago for $200, although they generally are higher than that. Again, this is my best non-SLR. (Talking SLRs, I prefer the Canons.)

Now, before folks start taking me to task, I confess that this is merely, purely, solely the opinion of one old retired guy who has been shooting photos for 60 years.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2009 at 7:39PM
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Linda Giorgi

I am always watching this site and felt I had to comment. The Panasonic that Javert suggested looks just like the one I might need. I have a D90 Nikon but need to buy a camera for my school. Love the zoom. Thanks for suggestion. Does it take clear shots. Does it have a staplizer. I am going to try to research this camera. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2009 at 7:50AM
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Sorry to be late; didn't check in for a couple of days.

Yes, the Panasonic makes extremely sharp photos, thanks, in part to the Leica lens. It offers two types of image stabilization, both optical (the best kind): 1. continuous and 2. at the moment of shutter let-off.

Of my six non-DSLR cameras, the Panasonic DMC-TZ5 is the best one.

Like most digital cameras, it has a wide range of shooting modes, most of which I never use. But they're there. It also shoots video, but I've never done it; I do know that it lets you zoom during video filming - I understand that many cameras will not zoom during video.

As I said, the flash range is limited and the camera DOES NOT have an optical viewfinder. One other drawback - which you can overcome by careful "holding" - is that the flash is located below the shutter button, and it's natural to put your middle finger over it. You've got to get used to that. Panasonic has packed so much into this little camera that I don't think there was any other place to put the flash. And by-the-way, like most small digitals, it does not have a hot shoe for using an auxillary flash.

If you'd like further info from me, go to My Page and email me directly.


    Bookmark   February 12, 2009 at 10:28PM
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I have the Olympus SP-570 Ultra Zoom and LOVE it!
It has the 20x OPTICAL zoom, and 10 mega pixils!
I bought it to have in my purse as an "everyday" camera. I have a Canon DSLR, but there are times that I just don't want to lug it around.
It shoots great in auto mode, but you do have the ability to use their creative programs, or even shoot in full manual like the fancy SLRs.
I used the camera to shoot pictures of a full mooon, and this camera took better shots than my Canon! Using the same exact settings!
This camera has been perfect. It even has more megapixils than my SLR! So, that made me very happy!

    Bookmark   February 13, 2009 at 7:32PM
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I ended up after much research etc. with the Nikon D90. A very helpful site is,,,reviews, forums etc. People are very helpful. At the moment it is more camera than I need but is one that I can learn the Dslr stuff from. I was a very big picture taker in Point & shoot and the 35mm film cameras so I figured it was justified for me. Felt good in my hands etc. So that is my ending. I've had it less than a week but am impressed so far and learning a lot. Thx everyone! Nicole

    Bookmark   February 24, 2009 at 1:09PM
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Linda Giorgi

I also have a D90 and love it. You can shoot in auto until your learning curve improves. Great camera.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 7:15PM
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