bsu747
Topic Author
Posts: 148
Joined: Sat Jul 10, 2004 10:58 pm

Super-zoom Bridge Camera Advice.

Mon Dec 10, 2012 6:43 am

Hi Guys
Wanted some opinions regarding bridge cameras with super-zoom, I already have a DSLR but as I do a lot of cycling & hill walking I wanted a super-zoom that is light & compact enough to fit in my backpack along with my other gear. I wanted a camera that would give me decent photo's of aircraft flying overhead both on approach to my local airport but also of aircraft that are contrailing much further above, I also have an interest in taking pictures of astronomy as well.
I have narrowed it down to a few cameras but have not ruled out others if they are recommended, they are
Canon SX50 50 x optical zoom
Nikon P510 42 x optical zoom
Panasonic FZ200 only 24 x zoom (but has a F2.8 lens)
Also has anybody had any experience using a teleconverter with any of these cameras, would it be a worthwhile addition?
Flying may not be all plain sailing, but the fun of it is worth the price.
 
dazbo5
Posts: 2717
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2005 8:05 am

RE: Super-zoom Bridge Camera Advice.

Mon Dec 10, 2012 3:35 pm

Quoting bsu747 (Thread starter):
I wanted a camera that would give me decent photo's of aircraft flying overhead both on approach to my local airport but also of aircraft that are contrailing much further above, I also have an interest in taking pictures of astronomy as well.

You'll probably struggle with a bridge camera if that's what you're intending on using it for. The focussing and shutter lag on all the bridge cameras I've used are too slow for this application. Image quality is also something to be desired at the longer end of the zoom ranges and noise is apparent in all but the brightest of days when you can use the lowest ISO. If you can accept those compromises, you'll be ok with most of the newer generation super-zooms but don't expect the results to be anything close to your DSLR. Bear in mind atmospheric conditions when using long zoom lenses will come in to play.

Quoting bsu747 (Thread starter):
Also has anybody had any experience using a teleconverter with any of these cameras, would it be a worthwhile addition?

Given the optics, I'd not even consider a teleconverter.

Darren
Equipment: 2x Canon EOS 50D; Sigma 10-20 EX DC HSM, 50-500 EX APO DG, Canon 24-105 f/4 L, Speedlite 430EX
 
bsu747
Topic Author
Posts: 148
Joined: Sat Jul 10, 2004 10:58 pm

RE: Super-zoom Bridge Camera Advice.

Thu Dec 13, 2012 12:27 am

Quoting dazbo5 (Reply 1):

Hi dazbo5
I have a DSLR but find that it is too big/heavy for my backpack that also has my walking/cycling gear, food etc.., just felt as the quality of the super zooms are getting better all the time that I would invest in one, I usually only go hiking in the good weather anyway so this should help when taking pictures. Also I would not want to risk breaking my DSLR should I fall or slip, the bridge compact would be better protected in the backpack being smaller & cheaper.  
Would I be able to hook a bridge camera up to a telescope like you can with a DSLR?
Flying may not be all plain sailing, but the fun of it is worth the price.
 
DL747
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Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2012 1:57 am

RE: Super-zoom Bridge Camera Advice.

Thu Dec 13, 2012 1:44 am

Not sure if you can use the telescope, but as Darren said, you will see pretty bad quality woth that much focal length on that teeny sensor.
Just like the shirt says, Boeing Builds It Better!
 
dazbo5
Posts: 2717
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2005 8:05 am

RE: Super-zoom Bridge Camera Advice.

Thu Dec 13, 2012 8:04 am

Quoting bsu747 (Reply 2):
Would I be able to hook a bridge camera up to a telescope like you can with a DSLR?

You'll have to do dome research to see if there is an available adapter for the camera model / telescope you're looking at, but don't expect much in the way of image quality without getting quality equipment (£££).

I can appreciate you wanting a more compact camera for your travels, but you mentioned 'decent photos' and you won't get that from a super-zoom if you need the longer end of the focal range. The one I have isn't too bad at the wider end of the lens, but way too soft towards the longer end and many are like that.

Darren
Equipment: 2x Canon EOS 50D; Sigma 10-20 EX DC HSM, 50-500 EX APO DG, Canon 24-105 f/4 L, Speedlite 430EX
 
ckw
Posts: 4586
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2010 12:26 am

RE: Super-zoom Bridge Camera Advice.

Thu Dec 13, 2012 9:12 am

If you're looking for something you can hook up to a telescope, consider the micro 4/3 range of cameras. These should meet your size requirement. There are a whole range of adaptors available which should allow you to attach the camera to pretty much any optic (lens or scope) ever made.

As a bonus, the better models are on a par with entry to mid range DSLRs for image quality - and there is an excellent range of lenses available.

Cheers,

Colin
Colin K. Work, Pixstel
 
mjgbtv
Posts: 877
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2008 2:18 am

RE: Super-zoom Bridge Camera Advice.

Thu Dec 13, 2012 11:11 pm

Quoting dazbo5 (Reply 4):
you mentioned 'decent photos' and you won't get that from a super-zoom if you need the longer end of the focal range.

I would say that depends on your point of reference. Maybe not 'decent' as in A.net quality aircraft shots, but my older super-zoom has taken shots that I consider very decent through the entire focal range. It might be worth noting that it is 'only' a 12x so the range is smaller, but it is also several years old so I would expect the overall quality to be lower than in current cameras.

As for micro 4/3, I have one and I love it, but for the sort of things the OP mentioned I tend to bring my super-zoom instead.

Marty
 
bsu747
Topic Author
Posts: 148
Joined: Sat Jul 10, 2004 10:58 pm

RE: Super-zoom Bridge Camera Advice.

Sat Dec 15, 2012 5:13 pm

Whilst I know having a bridge camera might not give me top notch airliners.net photos, for my needs it should do the job, it is more essential that I reduce the size & weight that I can carry on my hikes, in an ideal world I would have a Sherpa along with me carrying a shed load of gear for me! Just torn on what bridge camera to get, the SX50 for its longer zoom or the FZ200 for its constant F2.8 lens.
Flying may not be all plain sailing, but the fun of it is worth the price.
 
jfpeng1998
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Oct 03, 2010 8:48 am

RE: Super-zoom Bridge Camera Advice.

Tue Dec 25, 2012 6:34 am

I own a Canon PowerShot SX30IS (now replaced by the SX40 and SX50), and at first I wished to use it for aviation photography. It won't really work out for takeoffs and landings, since a faster shutter speed needs a higher ISO. With the sensor of a SX30, there is grain from ISO 200 upwards. It would be great for taking shots of aircraft at gates or aircraft taxiing though.

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