Cameras

General discussion

Best Camera with High Optical Zoom?

by tacos / October 22, 2004 4:49 PM PDT

Hi. I'm in the market for a new digital camera and have only one priority, high optical zoom. After the zoom, I am looking for the best camera in general (stabilizer/vibration control, lense, megapixel, battery life, etc.) I am hoping to spend less than $500. Any recommendations? Thanks.

Post a reply
Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Best Camera with High Optical Zoom?
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Best Camera with High Optical Zoom?
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
Re: Best Camera with High Optical Zoom?
by robertdelisi / October 22, 2004 8:55 PM PDT

Panasonic,,,,,,,,,i have one,,,,the best

Collapse -
Re: Best Camera with High Optical Zoom?
by dcmorris / October 22, 2004 11:41 PM PDT

Check the November issue of Consumer Reports. It has a special section on digital cameras.
Also, I have found the sales people at Circuit City very helpful. Maybe I have been lucky but I have got a lot of good info from them. However, there is always a chance they are pushing a certain model or line.
Good luck.

DC

Collapse -
Re: Best Camera with High Optical Zoom?
by snapshot2 Forum moderator / October 23, 2004 12:27 AM PDT

Olympus has been the the big zoom business longer than anyone else. They make excellent lenses.
They do not currently offer image stabilization.

Panasonic has several models of big zoom lenses and all have image stabilization. They use Leica lenses.

Konica-Minolta currently has three models of big zoom cameras. Only the Z3 has image stabilization.

Canon has one big zoom lens with image stabilization, it is 3 megapixels.

Kodak, Fujifilm, Nikon also offer one model of big zoom lenses - none have image stabilization.

To see what is available:

Go to:

http://www.dpreview.com/

On the left side of the page click on "cameras".

....

Collapse -
Re: Best Camera with High Optical Zoom?
by tacos / October 23, 2004 3:04 AM PDT

Thanks a bunch guys. So I'm now leaning towards the Panasonic FZ20 for about $500. Can anyone talk me into another camera with high optical zoom that is better? What about a Nikon 8700 or Minolta A1 or A2 or Dimage Z3 or Canon Pro Shot 1?

Collapse -
Re: Best Camera with High Optical Zoom?
by JK654 / October 23, 2004 6:15 AM PDT

Without image stabilization, a large optical zoom will in most instances be worthless unless you plan to use a tripod. If you had a larger budget, then you could get a Canon D20 slr for example, which has a low noise iso 3200 mode, which would enable you to use a high telephoto setting without a tripod, especially if you use an image stabilizing lens on it. This image taken with a D20 at iso 3200 is really cool(no, I didn't take it, and I don't own a D20, at least not yet. Happy )

http://www.pbase.com/bret/image/33959925

Collapse -
Re: Best Camera with High Optical Zoom?
by snapshot2 Forum moderator / October 23, 2004 6:42 AM PDT

"Can anyone talk me into another camera with high optical zoom that is better? What about a Nikon 8700 or Minolta A1 or A2 or Dimage Z3 or Canon Pro Shot 1?"

It appears that you are leaving your $500 target and some of these cameras don't have image stabilization.

Bring us up to date on what you are looking for now .... and what you want to use the camera for.

...

Collapse -
Re: Best Camera with High Optical Zoom?
by tacos / October 23, 2004 10:17 AM PDT

Yeah, I may be willing to spend a bit more if it is worth it. My main interests are going to be outdoor scenes, wildlife, sporting events, etc. At this point I am leaning towards the Panasonic FZ20, it seems to have everything I am looking for (12x optical, Leica lense, and image stabilization). I just don't know if there is anything I should be looking for including the actual internal mechanisms? Thanks.

Collapse -
Re: Best Camera with High Optical Zoom?
by JK654 / October 23, 2004 12:56 PM PDT

It sounds like you could use a digital slr with a fast(lets plenty of light through) lens. Since your subjects will be moving fast a tripod won't help much,
and you will need to use a fast shutter speed, so image stabilization won't help you much either. You need a camera with a low noise iso 1600 or iso 3200 mode, such as a digital slr. The rule of thumb for photography(without image stabilization) is that the shutter speed should be faster than 1/equivalent 35mm film camera focal length. For example, if you use a lens that is 300mm equivalent, then your shutter speed should be 1/500th of a second or faster. Most lenses don't let much light through at such a focal length(perhaps they are f5.6 or slower?) so you would need a high iso setting to take a photo at 1/500th f 5.6 or f8 except in the brightest daylight.A Digital Rebel or 20D with an 80-200mm f2.8 lens(the camera has a 1.6x factor, so at the 200mm setting on the lens it acts like the equivalent of a 320mm lens)
set at up to 1600 ISO would give you plenty of leeway to take the type of photos you want to take. Most non slr digital cameras only go up to 400 iso, and even at 400 ISO the images are very noisy. Those that have an 800 iso mode are extremely noisy at that setting. My advice to you is to buy a digital slr and some nice lenses. Yes, it will be expensive, but it will allow you to take the type of images you want to take. A Digital Rebel is around $800, while a 20D is around $1600. That is just for the camera body. An 80-200mm f2.8 lens might cost around $900 or so. Then there are memory cards and extra batteries. I don't own a digital slr yet, but am considering buying one. I have been studying the issue, and was waiting for the price of the digital Rebel to drop, but now I like the images on the web that I have seen from the 20D. So I am not so in love with the Digital Rebel anymore.

Collapse -
Re: Best Camera with High Optical Zoom?
by mrobzo / October 27, 2004 7:40 AM PDT

This guy already knows the answer to his question. He listed every viable alternative. What kind of game is this?

Collapse -
Re: Best Camera with High Optical Zoom?
by tacos / October 27, 2004 2:35 PM PDT

No game bozo, just seeing what people think of each camera and if they prefer one over the others.

For the record though, I bought a Panasonic FZ20.

Collapse -
Re: Best Camera with High Optical Zoom?
by maineman / November 7, 2004 12:56 AM PST

Hi,
Glad you settled on a camera. It's funny, I too am interested in exactly the same features as you. For me, my camera choices boiled down to the Dimage Z3 or the Panasonic that you purchased. So? How do you like the Panasonic FZ20? Does it meet with all your expectations? Let me know, I'm going to Europe next week and am out to buy the camera in the next few days.

Collapse -
Re: Best Camera with High Optical Zoom?
by tacos / November 7, 2004 2:57 PM PST

So far so good. I haven't used it much yet, but everything is great, although there is still a bunch to learn. The 12x zoom is incredible, but holding steady is harder than you might you think. First tip, use the viewfinder instead of the screen and use your head as a tripod. Battery life does not seem to be that great, so be sure to get an extra battery (or 2) before you leave.

Collapse -
Re: Best Camera with High Optical Zoom?
by balata / November 15, 2004 6:43 AM PST

Years ago, I bought an Olympus 2100uz 2.1 megapixel camera with a 10x optical zoom WITH stabilization. As was mentioned in another posting, Olympus no longer offers this option in a 10x zoom. If I had it to do all over again, I would buy this camera again, today. The 2.1 megapixel camera produces fine photos up to 8x10. The only problem is trying to find one of these cameras. If you can, you should not pay more than $500 and you will be pleased.

Collapse -
Re: Best Camera with High Optical Zoom?
by littlebrit / November 21, 2004 7:54 AM PST

I'm joining this forum late, sorry. I bought the Panasonic DMC-FZ10 a few months ago and it is fantastic! 12x optical zoom, 4 Megapixels and image stabilization. I've had almost no trouble with the image shaking at 12x if I use the viewfinder and stand really firmly. It appears that the originator of this forum made the same choice and this camera is now available for well under $500 with lots of after-market add-ons. A great camera!

Collapse -
Re: Best Camera with High Optical Zoom?
by seenah / November 22, 2004 1:42 PM PST

balata, is there really no modern peer for the oly2100? mine suddenly died which is the main complaint about this camera, and i'm debating having it repaired or buying another camera. one would think that in five years there would be an equivalent.....

Collapse -
Re: Best Camera with High Optical Zoom?
by liv2trip / November 24, 2004 10:09 AM PST

I like the Canon S1 IS its a bit more than the 500.00 you want to spend but is more than worth the extra money. Its 10x optical zoom and image stabalization features are a real plus. Canon even has it on there website as an advanced digital camera , I highly recommend it .. good luck

Collapse -
Re: Best Camera with High Optical Zoom?
by rgfitz / November 24, 2004 10:42 AM PST
Collapse -
Panasonic FZ20.
by Aidanmj / November 24, 2004 12:16 PM PST

I have a panasonic FZ20 and the camera is FANTANSTIC!! The Zoom is is great and the 5mp is a perfect balance between quality and file size.
You will be happy with this camera.
p.s. all except the electronic view finder in low light (but the photos are still excellent!)

Popular Forums
icon
Computer Help 47,885 discussions
icon
Computer Newbies 10,322 discussions
icon
iPhones, iPods, & iPads 3,188 discussions
icon
Security 30,333 discussions
icon
TVs & Home Theaters 20,177 discussions
icon
HDTV Picture Setting 1,932 discussions
icon
Phones 15,713 discussions
icon
Windows 7 6,210 discussions
icon
Networking & Wireless 14,510 discussions

Tech Tip

Know how to save a wet phone?

It's not with a dryer and it's not with rice. CNET shows you the secret to saving your phone.