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03-02-2021, 09:37 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
Loads of choices. Here's a relatively recent article on the subject from not my favorite site:
Best enthusiast long zoom cameras: Digital Photography Review

For more rational cheaper options with good discussion of why to pick what:
The Best Superzoom Camera | Reviews by Wirecutter
You had me thirsty for a Sony there for a second, but none of the cameras in the NYT article handle enough low light for me. Thanks all the same--reading through that has made me a little more literate one what the right specs look like.

03-02-2021, 09:49 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Barbara Fu Quote
You had me thirsty for a Sony there for a second, but none of the cameras in the NYT article handle enough low light for me. Thanks all the same--reading through that has made me a little more literate one what the right specs look like.
I figured reading all those would help.
03-02-2021, 09:59 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Papa_Joe Quote
I would suggest one of the Sony RX100 models. 1 inch sensor and you can pick the model that suits your needs best. The RX 100 II seems to meet your requirements quite well.
A smartphone is no alternative for me. My 20 year old Fuji F20 has way better ergonomics and a 35-70 mm. In my opinion you also can not compare the price of a smartphone and of a compact camera. Usually you can use a compact for about 10 years. A smartphone will normally last 5 years until the battery is done or the OS ist so out of date that you need a new phone.

EDIT: Women have a complete different view on the subject. My wife has no room to carry around an additonal compact and she has a smartphone anyway. The pictures she takes look great on her phone (to be true they look very good on a screen as well and that was a just a Galaxy S6). Only thing she was missing was a telephoto lens, but she made a big leap forward with her new phone, which provides one (50 mm equivalent).
Looking at the Sony site, I'm not finding the balance between ISO/sensor (10,000 or better, but can go slightly lower) and zoom (20x or better, firm) in a hand-sized camera. Is it impossible? The Cyber-shot you recommended doesn't seem to have the zoom.

---------- Post added 03-02-21 at 10:06 PM ----------

Looking at the Ricoh GRiii GR III - Ricoh and yes, it's out of price range. I can't figure out what its zoom is--Pentax help!! It has a separate battery, meaning I can shoot all day but that it will eventually go obsolete like the Optio when the batteries get hard to get.
Does anyone know this camera?

---------- Post added 03-02-21 at 10:11 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Gopersuel Quote
The Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II and is a very good candidate, it is not very big and has a very good image quality and is cheaper than its successor the MKIII. Good luck in your search.
Beautiful ISO, right price range, not enough zoom.
QuoteOriginally posted by roberrl Quote
We have had a series of Panasonic P'n'S cameras and have been very pleased with them.
The latest, a DC-TZ90, is remarkably capable and has a viewfinder for those times when the sun is bright on the back screen.
Among the many features I haven't tried yet is automated in-camera focus stacking.
Of course all these consumer items have a life and we have just got this camera to replace an earlier one which became unreliable.
Gorgeous zoom, but is 1/2.3 enough sensor for walking around at night?

QuoteOriginally posted by jumbleview Quote
Did you try modern smartphones? Like google pixel 4a?
In addition to worrying about battery power, I work abroad. Any time I change countries I have to change phones, meaning money put in any one phone is wasted. Effectively it becomes just a camera after I get on the plane.

Last edited by Barbara Fu; 03-02-2021 at 10:16 PM.
03-02-2021, 10:37 PM - 1 Like   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Barbara Fu Quote
You had me thirsty for a Sony there for a second, but none of the cameras in the NYT article handle enough low light for me. Thanks all the same--reading through that has made me a little more literate one what the right specs look like.
The DP Review article is more accurate than the NYT article if image quality and zoom are important to you. Also consider the Panasonic FZ1000 (not the mark ii). Youíre not going to get a small rectangular handheld shaped camera with a good image quality (1Ē sensor minimum) and that is super zoom. So either you will have to trade off with a smaller sensor if you want that smaller shape camera or go with something shaped like the Panasonic FZ 1000 or the Sony RX 10 mark iii or mark iv.
(Also the Ricoh GRiii has no zoom but a large sensor. - hereís a link to the product page for that camera: https://us.ricoh-imaging.com/product/gr-iii/ )


Last edited by Deesquared; 03-02-2021 at 10:46 PM.
03-02-2021, 10:51 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Deesquared Quote
The DP Review article is more accurate than the NYT article if image quality and zoom are important to you. Also consider the Panasonic FZ1000 (not the mark ii). You’re not going to get a handheld shaped camera with a good image quality (1” sensor minimum) and that is super zoom. So either you will have to trade off with a smaller sensor if you want that smaller shape camera or go with something shaped like the Panasonic FZ 1000 or the Sony RX 10 mark iii or mark iv.
(Also the Ricoh GRiii has no zoom but a large sensor. - here’s a link to the product page for that camera: GR III - Ricoh )
So--and this is for anyone--what would you consider the minimum sensor size for walking around at night? I realize that's a bit vague... Here's a shot from the camera phone, fairly typical for what I do with sunsets. Shared album - Barbara Fuentes - Google Photos and here's night itself, also from the phone. Shared album - Barbara Fuentes - Google Photos The night shot is a little noisier than I like, the sunset is tolerable.
03-03-2021, 07:34 AM - 1 Like   #21
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Iíve shot my Panasonic lx-7 inside dark dark dark places. Hereís a shot made inside Notre Dame there was so little light that I could not see that there was writing on the subject.

P1200682 by -vanya_42nd-

The point isnít to sell you on this camera. Itís a shorter zoom range than what you say you want. But the sensor is small. The lens is fast f1.4-2.3 I think. Sensor is 1/1.7Ē.
03-03-2021, 11:42 AM - 1 Like   #22
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Newer cameras don't have the 1/1.7" sensors or anything similar anymore. They go from 1/2.3" straight to 1" now, for the most part (save from some Fuji models but those don't have the reach you're looking for).

However since BSI sensors came out, low light has again gotten better, so you should still see an improvement in low light ability in something like a Panasonic ZS80 - despite the fact that it's a 1/2.3" sensor. You should see a good improvement over the VS20. And the 30x zoom should make you happy.

So if you want even better low light, I'd go for the ZS200 which will have a little less reach than your VS20, but still a good reach (the VS20 has 33% more reach than the ZS200 but from what I've seen, at the end of its range the image quality is quite bad!). And if you want 50% more reach than your VS20 - with good quality - and still get better low light, I'd go for the ZS80.
03-04-2021, 10:09 AM - 1 Like   #23
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Iíve been torn between the ZS70/80 and the ZS100/200.

The older models are still readily available, and they donít seem much different, so they may be worth the trade offs.

And the ZS100 is about the same price as the ZS80 where I live, so the small sensor isnít a foregone conclusion.

I may have a trip abroad in October, so Iíve got some time to think about it...

-Eric

03-04-2021, 06:50 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by TwoUptons Quote
Iíve been torn between the ZS70/80 and the ZS100/200.

The older models are still readily available, and they donít seem much different, so they may be worth the trade offs.

And the ZS100 is about the same price as the ZS80 where I live, so the small sensor isnít a foregone conclusion.

I may have a trip abroad in October, so Iíve got some time to think about it...

-Eric
Taking that advice, the Panasonic LUMIX DC-ZS70K looks really good, but is its sensor/software combination really good enough for the night shots I favor? Or do I hold out for a bigger sensor?
03-05-2021, 04:28 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Barbara Fu Quote
Taking that advice, the Panasonic LUMIX DC-ZS70K looks really good, but is its sensor/software combination really good enough for the night shots I favor? Or do I hold out for a bigger sensor?
I had its predecessor (until the lens stopped extending), and it wasnít great in low light. The stabilization helped for night shots, though.

But that concern is also one reason I havenít made up my mind, either

-Eric
03-05-2021, 05:29 AM   #26
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Off on a tangent--looking at the Optio specs, it's using a CCD instead of a CMOS. Is that giving it better low-light performance? Remember, my next camera ideally works as well as the Optio but at a smaller size and weight.
I should look for a thread comparing CCD to CMOS, and hope it's written layman enough for me to understand...
https://www.photographyblog.com/reviews/pentax_optio_vs20_review/specifications
03-05-2021, 07:50 AM - 1 Like   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by Barbara Fu Quote
Off on a tangent--looking at the Optio specs, it's using a CCD instead of a CMOS. Is that giving it better low-light performance? Remember, my next camera ideally works as well as the Optio but at a smaller size and weight.
I should look for a thread comparing CCD to CMOS, and hope it's written layman enough for me to understand...
Pentax Optio VS20 Review - Specifications | Photography Blog
Any of the options that were listed, will be better than the Optio VS20.

The ZS70 and ZS80 models would be very good. Take this shot for example, even at ISO 1600 it would make a good 4x6 print: Come away with me in the night Dec 22, 2017 at 6-31 AM | Flickr

The ZS200 would be even better. I found a shot at ISO 1000 with a ton of details: Craft Beer Company - Bishopsgate - London ( High ISO) Pana? | Flickr

I would say it's a tradeoff between very good low light/great range (ZS70 or 80), or great low light/very good range (ZS200).

By the way, when comparing the ZS70 and ZS80 I see the main difference is that the ZS80 has a much better viewfinder. I personally would get the ZS80 for that alone. I think that it would be my pick (but I would be using it when I'm not using a DSLR, so in your case if it's your only camera, the ZS200 makes a compelling case).

Edit: I just saw that the options we have been discussing are larger than the VS20. I don't know that you can get better low light and the same range, in a smaller package. See https://camerasize.com/compact/#818,271,ha,f

Last edited by ChristianRock; 03-05-2021 at 07:59 AM.
03-06-2021, 01:00 PM - 1 Like   #28
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Hey Barbara... here's another suggestion.

The Sony DSC-HX80 also has a 30x zoom. The lens is slightly slower at the wide end but in practice I'm not sure it'll make that much of a difference. It has a bunch of different auto modes that are supposed to help with low light.

But it is smaller than the VS20 - see Compact Camera Meter - and I'm sure it'll be quite a bit better - anything Sony with a Zeiss T* marked on it, will have a good lens design and nice lens coatings which will give you contrasty pictures with great colors.
03-07-2021, 04:33 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChristianRock Quote
Hey Barbara... here's another suggestion.

The Sony DSC-HX80 also has a 30x zoom. The lens is slightly slower at the wide end but in practice I'm not sure it'll make that much of a difference. It has a bunch of different auto modes that are supposed to help with low light.

But it is smaller than the VS20 - see Compact Camera Meter - and I'm sure it'll be quite a bit better - anything Sony with a Zeiss T* marked on it, will have a good lens design and nice lens coatings which will give you contrasty pictures with great colors.
That camera size link is a massive help!! I'll look at the models in this thread through that 'lens'.

Tomorrow I'll post a favorite photo or two from the Optio, to show what it can do that made it such a treasure for so long. Right now I have a cat on my lap, and my portable hard drive not in reach...
03-07-2021, 11:21 PM   #30
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Okay, six shots where I pushed the limits of the Optio and got good results. The first three are from Yeongildae Hotel's grounds--an easy shoot by day but a pleasant challenge by night. I'd say about 1 in 5 of the shots I take there turn out usable (by my standards, which are probably more forgiving than yours).
The second three shots are from Muju Firefly Festival. The fireflies themselves are indistinguishable from dust on the monitor, if that, so they're not included here. I never actually expected to get them. The two night shots here are fireworks that fell from lines stretched across the river, and a hot balloon or two. I'd say I got about 1 out of 8 shots, though one or two were really, really good. The daylight shot is from my hotel parking lot, showing you what zoom can do during the day.
Really fine camera. I may just suck it up and hunt harder for batteries...
Pushing the Optio VS20 to its limits

p.s. I almost never used the manual controls, and don't believe I did so here. I was probably shooting in "Handheld Night Snap" mode.
--edit-- These are unprocessed. If I put them out as anything more than memories, I would tidy up a little.

Last edited by Barbara Fu; 03-07-2021 at 11:35 PM.
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