Would like to hear feedback, pro or con, on this camera. Main subjects would be outdoors, birds, butterflies, flowers, with emphasis on birds and wildlife. I have been reading on-line reviews and, so far, of cameras in my budget range, this camera is the one that seems to do what I want but would like to hear from anyone who actually has experience with it.
I would hope that you strongly consider some other camera models other than this one. In all my experience with studying reviews,
I have never read a review that was as negative as is the one linked here:
I do NOT own this camera nor have I used one. I do own digitals by Sony, Olympus and digital SLR's by Canon.
In the price range, you might consider the Sony DSC HX100V at 810mm, the Canon Powershot SX30 IS
at 840mm and the Nikon P500 at 810mm. A couple of these are not available until April but PREVIEWS are
available on the internet.
With your "laundry-list" of subject matter, you will need a zoom with at least 600mm reach (birds)...you are not going to achieve maximum
results unless you use a sturdy tripod so you need to consider buying one when you buy the camera...this will be in the $200 range AS A
MINIMUM. The image stabilization capabilities of the camera should be explored in a "hands-on" review by you!
I hope this might give at least a little help to you. Remember, that the greater the telephoto capabilities the greater the potential for
one to become disillusioned trying to learn to use it!
The attached photo of a rose was shot with a Sony DSC H5.
I have the FZ40, which is $100 less, a super-zoom point and shoot with DSLR-like manual operation. I love it. But I hear that the FZ100 is inferior to the FZ40 and its predecessors, and that its low light capabilities are abysmal. I've had great luck with my FZ40 in lower light situations and I'm quite happy with it.
KaylyRed wrote:Here's a shot I took with the FZ40 this morning at maximum zoom (24X) using a tripod.
Great shot. That's the kind of photos we would like to take on a regular basis of the multitude of birds on our place. Thanks for telling me about that model. I had not taken that one into consideration at all because I had thought the latest model was the best but looks like it isn't.
Well, the FZ40 is actually the latest model in that particular line. The FZ100 is supposed to be a step up from there, but most reviews that I've read say that it isn't. The FZ100 has a more expensive CMOS sensor, but the reviewers seem to agree that it's not quite up to par.
I am by no means an expert, but I did do a LOT of research before I chose the Lumix FZ40 as my camera of choice. As I understand it, the FZ35 (the slightly older model that the FZ40 upgrades) is also a very solid choice, and in some situations offers better image quality than the FZ30 at about $50 less. It has fewer megapixels, but that really only matters if you're going to be blowing up your images to very large prints. Either one of those cameras should give you very crisp, detailed 8X10s without a problem.
I really don't have a guess as to how far away I was from the cardinal, sorry. It was a fair distance, though. My son's car was parked in front of the tree, so...judging by that I was a good 2-3 car lengths away, if that helps. Plus the tree is roughly 10' tall and the bird was near the top.
We did get my camera from Amazon.com, and yes their price was the best at the time. If you search for the FZ40 in Google and click the shopping link you can run a price comparison, but Amazon often comes out the cheapest on cameras as far as I've seen.
I've had it since Christmas, Lew--no problems so far. In fact, it's impressed me more often than not.
The camera is as complicated as you want to make it, really. It has automatic settings (Intelligent Auto mode) and you really could take nearly all of your photos in that mode and have them turn out wonderfully. The birds were moving fast when I took the cardinal shots, so I used auto mode. (I'm not proficient enough to change settings quickly on the fly. Still learning.) As you can see, they turned out nicely. The FZ40 is considered a "bridge" camera or a "prosumer," for people who aren't satisfied with what they a point-and-shoot and want a little more oomph, or want to experiment with settings. You don't have to mess with all the extra stuff to take nice shots, but it's there, and you do pay for it, of course.
The owner's manual for this camera should be available online at the Panasonic site, so you can look it up in advance to have some idea of what you're getting into. I'd say if you can work a basic point-and-shoot digital camera you can operate this one, or any camera, but...if you want to get into the more advanced settings the owner's manual seems a little lacking to me. At least, I found it confusing. It's going to take me a while to really explore the capabilities of my camera.
Now I am remembering back to when Kayly was searching for a camera and got one for Christmas and I thought Lew had gotten a new Canon now I am confused did you get a Canon Lew or just looking for another one ??? I still think that anyone wanting to do Birds needs a SLR,for several years after I had switched to Digital I still use an old manual Mamiya-Sekor for all of my birds did not put it away until I had bought the Nikon DSLR,shutter lag is a killer on all of the point and shoots I have used with the exception of the Lumix ..That being said I need to add that have used less than a dozen P&S