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05-15-2015, 06:00 PM   #1
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Recommended Compact Zoom?

I love my MX-1. I really do. It's handsome, fully-featured, and takes amazing photos... But my K-S2 does that, too. And so does my K-30, who is headed towards retirement, but ain't dead yet.

I've lately found myself pining for more zooming capabilities, and something smaller than the MX-1.

On principal, I don't want to buy a Canon or Nikon. My prerogative. I've been looking at Fuji mostly and a little Sony, Something like the Fuji F900EXR seems just about perfect: compact, significant zooming capabilities, and RAW-capable. However, I know that I couldn't possibly have examined all options, so I want to pick your brains about what you have, or what you would get that might compare to the F900EXR.

As I've hinted at, I'd like a significant zoom (let's say 10x plus, as an arbitrary number, more is better), compact size (smaller than the MX-1), and HOPEFULLY able to shoot RAW. I'm not afraid of small sensors and I'm not a megapixel junkie. Looking to cap the cost at $300.

A little help spending my money?

05-15-2015, 06:25 PM   #2
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Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS40 (Lumix DMC-TZ60)

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05-15-2015, 08:57 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Steve.Ledger Quote
I like the specs, looks very capable. Slightly more than I was hoping to spend, though.

I am admiring the Sony WX350. Tiny. Inexpensive. I like. No RAW, though.

The Olympus SH-1 looks pretty rad, too, but it doesn't look a whole lot smaller than the MX-1.
05-15-2015, 09:25 PM   #4
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Look over in the Toy Camera thread.....I see excellent results with the Fuji X30. It shoots RAW, is loaded with features found on DSLRs and has a nice range and a super EVF.

Whatever you get...be sure to post in the Toy Camera thread!

Regards!

05-16-2015, 10:26 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rupert Quote
.I see excellent results with the Fuji X30.
It does look like a nice camera! But my first requirement is "ZOOM!" The X30 has the same range as the MX-1, and I want more.

I will go browse the Toy Camera thread and see what folks are doing, though! Thanks.
05-17-2015, 12:23 PM   #6
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I think you may need to raise the $300 max to something higher and wander over to 1" sensor land. Don't worry ... you can always lower the limit back to $300 after you're done ooo'ing and ahh'ing at the Sony RX100 line.
05-17-2015, 12:37 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by 6BQ5 Quote
I think you may need to raise the $300 max to something higher and wander over to 1" sensor land. Don't worry ... you can always lower the limit back to $300 after you're done ooo'ing and ahh'ing at the Sony RX100 line.
Ha! Believe me, I've been looking at EVERYthing. But I knew what my budget was and what my expectations were. I wanted something super compact, straightforward interface, and with a respectable zoom.

For better or worse, I went for the Sony WX350. It's not the most fully-featured, but it's tiny, inexpensive, and has the zoom I want (20x - 25-500mm equivalent). It also has wifi/NFC, which is a bonus.

I didn't want another heavy lump like the MX-1, and I didn't want a bunch of variable settings to distract myself with - "point-and-shoot" is what I was after.

My new toy should be here Tuesday or Wednesday and I'll be able to see if I made the right choice. If not, I know the spare batteries I got will fit many of the other Sony line.
06-21-2015, 06:25 AM   #8
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Hi there, I am conducting exactly the same exercise. I didn't see this thread previously.

I owned a Fuji F600EXR for a long while (purchased and resold on this forum). It was capable of wonderful results, and the DR from the EXR sensor made it very worthwhile. Average quality at wide, but very good at 350mm that it topped out at. I'm having trouble replacing it.

Generally, this is a very small market space, and it does look like the Fuji F series is dead, which is an absolute pity, IMO. Most of the new 600mm equivalent zoom are ridiculously slow at the long end (F6.9). The Fuji (F900) at 500mm is F5.3. I had a Panasonic LF1 for a while (which even had a basic viewfinder!), and that was OK, but didn't enjoy the design. The ZS50/60 is getting pretty big, and that defeats the purpose of the small camera. Similarly, I personally prefer having GPS over wireless, and don't like having to leave another two radios on (one on my phone, and one on the cam).

The Sony, which I also considered doesn't have RAW, and that is a show-stopper for me. I'm curious to see how you get along.

Now if Fuji put the X30 sensor in an F900 shell, I would be a happy man...

06-21-2015, 11:24 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clarkey Quote
Now if Fuji put the X30 sensor in an F900 shell, I would be a happy man...
Yup, that would have been a no-brainer, for sure.

After about a month with the WX350, I can say that I am satisfied.

It falls short in all the areas that you expect it would:

The lens is not particularly sharp.
There is a lot of noise and JPEG artifacts in the images.
I wish it had a faster aperture.
The LCD is pathetic.
Slim-to-none manual features.

However, the good parts are good!

The zoom performs very well.
The shake-reduction is excellent.
The files are very workable in regard to shadows and color (not so much with blown highlights).
The WiFi/NFC is really awesome - much better than I anticipated.
The "Intelligent Auto" mode is better than the auto mode on any camera I've ever used. Very impressed.
The filters are fun (but I wish they could be applied post-shot).

Yeah, a bigger sensor would improve it, and more manual settings... and RAW capabilities, but now I'm starting to get into what my "big" cameras do better anyway. I like the WX350 for what it is, and it definitely has a place as a replacement for convenient, slightly-better-than-cell-phone quality images for casual snapshots.

Check out my Flickr album with the WX350 images: CLICK HERE. I didn't get too artistic or creative with many of them, but there's an idea...
06-21-2015, 11:25 AM   #10
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Panasonic FZ200 f/2.8 at The entire zoom.
06-21-2015, 11:27 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by panzerfaustnl Quote
Panasonic FZ200 f/2.8 at The entire zoom.
That thing is huge -> does not satisfy (my) requirements.
06-21-2015, 11:30 AM   #12
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Huge?
06-21-2015, 11:43 AM   #13
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The size is large? Sorry - didn't realize that would confuse anybody.

Compare camera dimensions side by side

Compare camera dimensions side by side
06-21-2015, 11:53 AM   #14
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Ok, then a Olympus stylus 1. Or an Olympus E-PL7.
06-22-2015, 04:27 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by severalsnakes Quote
Yup, that would have been a no-brainer, for sure.

After about a month with the WX350, I can say that I am satisfied.

It falls short in all the areas that you expect it would:

The lens is not particularly sharp.
There is a lot of noise and JPEG artifacts in the images.
I wish it had a faster aperture.
The LCD is pathetic.
Slim-to-none manual features.

However, the good parts are good!

The zoom performs very well.
The shake-reduction is excellent.
The files are very workable in regard to shadows and color (not so much with blown highlights).
The WiFi/NFC is really awesome - much better than I anticipated.
The "Intelligent Auto" mode is better than the auto mode on any camera I've ever used. Very impressed.
The filters are fun (but I wish they could be applied post-shot).

Yeah, a bigger sensor would improve it, and more manual settings... and RAW capabilities, but now I'm starting to get into what my "big" cameras do better anyway. I like the WX350 for what it is, and it definitely has a place as a replacement for convenient, slightly-better-than-cell-phone quality images for casual snapshots.

Check out my Flickr album with the WX350 images: CLICK HERE. I didn't get too artistic or creative with many of them, but there's an idea...
Cheers for that - looked like a fun trip! You have some nice images in there. Pretty much exactly what I expected, and useful in terms of having a "zoom in your pocket". The other options I looked at are a Nikon 1 s1 with a 30-110mm zoom, and the Q7 with the 60-250mm equivalent, which is the same body size as your Sony, but a nice telephoto - not so much pocketable, though. I'm spoiled with having the Ricoh GR (which is a wonderful camera), the two would complement each other well.

---------- Post added 06-22-2015 at 07:28 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by panzerfaustnl Quote
Ok, then a Olympus stylus 1. Or an Olympus E-PL7.
The Stylus is a nice piece of kit, and the viewfinder is great, but a little pricey, and just coat pocketable.
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