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Would love feedback on bridge camera replacement
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Apr 15, 2019 09:18:20   #
Robg
 
This forum was recommended to me by a friend, and it looks to me to be quite interesting and useful.

By way of introduction, my principal interest in photography is for travel, and especially nature photography. I started with a simple Brownie flash camera as a teenager, including making my own contact prints. My high school graduation present was a fixed lens 35mm Minolta and later in my twenties I set up a small darkroom and got my first SLR. Shifting to an SLR turns out to have been a mistake as I wasn't ready to deal with all of the lens swapping, the associated costs, nor the heavy equipment bag I had to lug around and my interest in photography waned. Contributing factors were that my career and bringing up three children ate up most of my time.

Six years ago I started to gradually retire after a long career in IT. With partial retirement came the opportunity to travel, an African safari motivated me to find a good camera and so was delighted to see that there were now so-called super zoom bridge cameras that eliminated many of the negatives (to me) of the SLR. Also, not having paid much attention to photography for several decades, I was amazed with many of the technological advancements such as AF, anti-shake, automatic HDR, automatic bracketing, burst shooting, having video capabilities in a still camera and the ability to simultaneously take stills while filming video. So I purchased a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200. What differentiated the FZ200 from the rest of the pack was the constant aperture of f2.8 throughout the entire 25-600mm range. Back in my SLR days having that kind of aperture at 600mm was unimaginable, and now I had it in a zoom!

For nature photography, the zoom, aperture and built-in anti-shake features enabled me to take some great wildlife photos on that African trip. There was no need for a tri-pod even at 600mm because the large aperture enabled fast shutter speeds and any remaining issues were usually compensated for by the anti-shake.

After 6 years I need to repair or replace the FZ200. The zoom lever that surrounds the shutter has stopped functioning, although I can use an alternate zoom lever/button on the lens barrel. However, I would prefer to use the one near the shutter. Also, I have the feeling that the AF is not working as well as when the camera was new. Maybe there is dust on the sensor or elsewhere inside the camera body?

So, I've narrowed it down to three choices - get the FZ200 repaired, purchase an FZ300, or purchase the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 IV. I recognize that the Sony is far, far more expensive than the other two options, but for now let's ignore that.

Given that the FZ300 market price is around $400, I'm not sure that repair, which I would expect to probably cost in the $100-200 range, is worth pursuing. Particularly because there are new features in the FZ300 (WiFi, improved AF, dust/water resistance) that have value to me. From specs and reviews, the Sony has a much larger sensor, 70% more pixels, and a wider range of video options. Negatives for the Sony are that it weighs 14 oz. more, and at 600mm it stops down to F4 (vs remaining at F2.8 for the FZ300). Clearly the biggest advantage in the Sony is in the sensor and the biggest disadvantage is probably the weight as I'll be wearing it around my neck for up to 10 hours a day.

I'd love to hear some opinions!

Here are some of my photos and feedback would be most welcome.

-Rob





















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Apr 15, 2019 09:39:41   #
Earnest Botello (a regular here)
 
Welcome to the Forum, Rob, you posted some great photos, enjoy. I am a Nikon user, so I can't help you with choice of cameras.

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Apr 15, 2019 10:42:58   #
PixelStan77 (a regular here)
 
Robg wrote:
This forum was recommended to me by a friend, and it looks to me to be quite interesting and useful.

By way of introduction, my principal interest in photography is for travel, and especially nature photography. I started with a simple Brownie flash camera as a teenager, including making my own contact prints. My high school graduation present was a fixed lens 35mm Minolta and later in my twenties I set up a small darkroom and got my first SLR. Shifting to an SLR turns out to have been a mistake as I wasn't ready to deal with all of the lens swapping, the associated costs, nor the heavy equipment bag I had to lug around and my interest in photography waned. Contributing factors were that my career and bringing up three children ate up most of my time.

Six years ago I started to gradually retire after a long career in IT. With partial retirement came the opportunity to travel, an African safari motivated me to find a good camera and so was delighted to see that there were now so-called super zoom bridge cameras that eliminated many of the negatives (to me) of the SLR. Also, not having paid much attention to photography for several decades, I was amazed with many of the technological advancements such as AF, anti-shake, automatic HDR, automatic bracketing, burst shooting, having video capabilities in a still camera and the ability to simultaneously take stills while filming video. So I purchased a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200. What differentiated the FZ200 from the rest of the pack was the constant aperture of f2.8 throughout the entire 25-600mm range. Back in my SLR days having that kind of aperture at 600mm was unimaginable, and now I had it in a zoom!

For nature photography, the zoom, aperture and built-in anti-shake features enabled me to take some great wildlife photos on that African trip. There was no need for a tri-pod even at 600mm because the large aperture enabled fast shutter speeds and any remaining issues were usually compensated for by the anti-shake.

After 6 years I need to repair or replace the FZ200. The zoom lever that surrounds the shutter has stopped functioning, although I can use an alternate zoom lever/button on the lens barrel. However, I would prefer to use the one near the shutter. Also, I have the feeling that the AF is not working as well as when the camera was new. Maybe there is dust on the sensor or elsewhere inside the camera body?

So, I've narrowed it down to three choices - get the FZ200 repaired, purchase an FZ300, or purchase the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 IV. I recognize that the Sony is far, far more expensive than the other two options, but for now let's ignore that.

Given that the FZ300 market price is around $400, I'm not sure that repair, which I would expect to probably cost in the $100-200 range, is worth pursuing. Particularly because there are new features in the FZ300 (WiFi, improved AF, dust/water resistance) that have value to me. From specs and reviews, the Sony has a much larger sensor, 70% more pixels, and a wider range of video options. Negatives for the Sony are that it weighs 14 oz. more, and at 600mm it stops down to F4 (vs remaining at F2.8 for the FZ300). Clearly the biggest advantage in the Sony is in the sensor and the biggest disadvantage is probably the weight as I'll be wearing it around my neck for up to 10 hours a day.

I'd love to hear some opinions!

Here are some of my photos and feedback would be most welcome.

-Rob
This forum was recommended to me by a friend, and ... (show quote)
Welcome to the forum. Great images with your FZ200. Looks like you had fun. My suggestion is based on the KISS principle. Keep It simple Stan. So, with that said, you know the FZ 200 operation, so the learning curve to the FZ300 should be easy. I would stick with panasonic and get the new FZ300.
Create great images whatever you decide.

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Apr 15, 2019 11:23:13   #
Robg
 
Yep, the KISS principle is certainly germane here. Particularly because the user interface to digital camera software is so extensive, I don't want to riak losing shots because I'm still trying to set up my camera.

Thank you for the reminder. I saw some of your posts, and was impressed by your large cat shots - very nice.

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Apr 15, 2019 11:32:02   #
cascoly
 
i've previously used a sony cybershot and sony a77ii, but recently shifted to lumix fz1000 and results have been fantastic - i have a slight tremor, and had trouble getting sharp images with the a77 even with a monopod that i brace in the camera bag -- the results with the fz1000 are amazing - most shots are sharp at full 20MP and i can reliably take 5 bracketed shots to create HDR; and it has multiple programmable keys. it's also about 1/2 the weight of the sony

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Apr 15, 2019 11:36:14   #
PixelStan77 (a regular here)
 
Robg wrote:
Yep, the KISS principle is certainly germane here. Particularly because the user interface to digital camera software is so extensive, I don't want to riak losing shots because I'm still trying to set up my camera.

Thank you for the reminder. I saw some of your posts, and was impressed by your large cat shots - very nice.


Good decision. You saved yourself a load of anticipation, learning and possible goof ups.
Thanks for looking at my Out Of Africa images.

Your Zebra image and sunset one with the birds silouetted in the tree are my favorites.

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Apr 15, 2019 11:39:40   #
Johnnyt
 
Hi! You seem to be the same age as I am. Old! I started out with the same type of gear. I had the Panasonic fz1000. (after having a nikon dslr, too heavy for travel). I did not like it. I had little control over the exposure. So I finally ended up with the Sony RX10M3. This was before the model4 came out. It was expensive but worth it. It takes great pictures. It gave me control over everything. The lens is great!
Go for it! Model 3 or 4. They are great!
Sorry about the “old” reference in the beginning. I was only kidding.

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Apr 15, 2019 12:21:45   #
robertjerl (a regular here)
 
Welcome.
Nice pictures

The newer Panasonic would be my choice if I were you and hang on to the old one for a backup, it works even if sort of funky. Easier learning curve etc. and it is a fairly well rated camera. If you decide to fix the 200 the repair is likely to be more than you expect between labor and getting a part for an older camera.

About the only thing your choice can't do really well is macro and you don't seem to be into that.
I am into all sorts of things (birds, bees, butterflies, flowers, trains and macro) so I have three different Canon dslr bodies, tripods and other gear plus an an assortment of lens but I also have an older bridge/super zoom camera (Fujifilm HS10) and a little pocket size Panasonic ZS6 (I buy 2 pocket shirts and carry it every time I leave the house.)

In addition I have access to my wife's cameras, 1 Canon dslr, a Canon SX50 bridge/super zoom and a Panasonic videocam.

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Apr 15, 2019 13:02:41   #
Robg
 
Thank you for your comment!

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Apr 15, 2019 13:11:41   #
Robg
 
cascoly wrote:
i've previously used a sony cybershot and sony a77ii, but recently shifted to lumix fz1000 and results have been fantastic - i have a slight tremor, and had trouble getting sharp images with the a77 even with a monopod that i brace in the camera bag -- the results with the fz1000 are amazing - most shots are sharp at full 20MP and i can reliably take 5 bracketed shots to create HDR; and it has multiple programmable keys. it's also about 1/2 the weight of the sony


Thanks for the sony/lumix comparison. For traveling I don't want to carry a tripod or even a monpod, but have found a technique that works really well for steadying the camera when fully zoomed or in low light, which is to leave the camera strap around my neck, but hold the camera at almost arms length so that the strap becomes very tight around the back of my neck. Creating that tension, pulling slightly back on my head, while pulling the camera forward, greatly steadies the camera. While you obviously have to go without the viewfinder in that approach, I rarely use the viewfinder because I am both nearsighted and have astigmatism, and have never been very happy using a viewfinder.

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Apr 15, 2019 13:14:02   #
Robg
 
robertjerl wrote:
Welcome.
Nice pictures

The newer Panasonic would be my choice if I were you and hang on to the old one for a backup, it works even if sort of funky. Easier learning curve etc. and it is a fairly well rated camera. If you decide to fix the 200 the repair is likely to be more than you expect between labor and getting a part for an older camera.

About the only thing your choice can't do really well is macro and you don't seem to be into that.
I am into all sorts of things (birds, bees, butterflies, flowers, trains and macro) so I have three different Canon dslr bodies, tripods and other gear plus an an assortment of lens but I also have an older bridge/super zoom camera (Fujifilm HS10) and a little pocket size Panasonic ZS6 (I buy 2 pocket shirts and carry it every time I leave the house.)

In addition I have access to my wife's cameras, 1 Canon dslr, a Canon SX50 bridge/super zoom and a Panasonic videocam.
Welcome. br Nice pictures br br The newer Panason... (show quote)


Having a backup is a good idea, that hadn't really occurred to me.

Yes, you're right, macro photography, at least so far, has not been my thing.

Thanks for your comment.

| Reply
Apr 15, 2019 13:15:51   #
Robg
 
Johnnyt wrote:
Hi! You seem to be the same age as I am. Old! I started out with the same type of gear. I had the Panasonic fz1000. (after having a nikon dslr, too heavy for travel). I did not like it. I had little control over the exposure. So I finally ended up with the Sony RX10M3. This was before the model4 came out. It was expensive but worth it. It takes great pictures. It gave me control over everything. The lens is great!
Go for it! Model 3 or 4. They are great!
Sorry about the “old” reference in the beginning. I was only kidding.
Hi! You seem to be the same age as I am. Old! I st... (show quote)


The "old" doesn't bother me since it's true. I may not feel that way, but the calendar tells a different story!

Sounds like you are OK with the weight of the RX10M3?

Thanks for the comment.

| Reply
Apr 15, 2019 17:43:09   #
hpucker99
 
My first bridge camera was also the Panasonic FZ200, had it for about 4 years. I didn't like the manual focussing control on the FZ200; it was difficult in my hands, otherwise a great camera.

Last summer, I rented the Sony RX10III for 10 days and enjoyed the camera very much. I sold the FZ200 and bought the newer RX10IV when it came out. When going on long day trips, I just take that camera. I also found that this camera was great when shooting lunar and solar eclipses. One thing I haven't tried with the camera is birding, so I haven't had experience on how it tracks.

If in doubt, just rent the camera from Borrowlenses or Lensrental.

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Apr 15, 2019 17:45:20   #
gtilford
 
I used the FZ300 for the better part of a year and enjoyed it very much and got some great photos out of it as long as I had good light. Also the FZ300 does have a macro function that works very well if you decide to try your hand a macro. I upgraded to the Panasonic g85 just because it and the FZ300 are almost identical for menus and setup so it was an easy learning curve and it gave me a bigger sensor but I would not hesitate to shoot with the FZ300 again.

| Reply
Apr 15, 2019 17:50:13   #
gtilford
 
Robg wrote:
This forum was recommended to me by a friend, and it looks to me to be quite interesting and useful.

By way of introduction, my principal interest in photography is for travel, and especially nature photography. I started with a simple Brownie flash camera as a teenager, including making my own contact prints. My high school graduation present was a fixed lens 35mm Minolta and later in my twenties I set up a small darkroom and got my first SLR. Shifting to an SLR turns out to have been a mistake as I wasn't ready to deal with all of the lens swapping, the associated costs, nor the heavy equipment bag I had to lug around and my interest in photography waned. Contributing factors were that my career and bringing up three children ate up most of my time.

Six years ago I started to gradually retire after a long career in IT. With partial retirement came the opportunity to travel, an African safari motivated me to find a good camera and so was delighted to see that there were now so-called super zoom bridge cameras that eliminated many of the negatives (to me) of the SLR. Also, not having paid much attention to photography for several decades, I was amazed with many of the technological advancements such as AF, anti-shake, automatic HDR, automatic bracketing, burst shooting, having video capabilities in a still camera and the ability to simultaneously take stills while filming video. So I purchased a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200. What differentiated the FZ200 from the rest of the pack was the constant aperture of f2.8 throughout the entire 25-600mm range. Back in my SLR days having that kind of aperture at 600mm was unimaginable, and now I had it in a zoom!

For nature photography, the zoom, aperture and built-in anti-shake features enabled me to take some great wildlife photos on that African trip. There was no need for a tri-pod even at 600mm because the large aperture enabled fast shutter speeds and any remaining issues were usually compensated for by the anti-shake.

After 6 years I need to repair or replace the FZ200. The zoom lever that surrounds the shutter has stopped functioning, although I can use an alternate zoom lever/button on the lens barrel. However, I would prefer to use the one near the shutter. Also, I have the feeling that the AF is not working as well as when the camera was new. Maybe there is dust on the sensor or elsewhere inside the camera body?

So, I've narrowed it down to three choices - get the FZ200 repaired, purchase an FZ300, or purchase the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 IV. I recognize that the Sony is far, far more expensive than the other two options, but for now let's ignore that.

Given that the FZ300 market price is around $400, I'm not sure that repair, which I would expect to probably cost in the $100-200 range, is worth pursuing. Particularly because there are new features in the FZ300 (WiFi, improved AF, dust/water resistance) that have value to me. From specs and reviews, the Sony has a much larger sensor, 70% more pixels, and a wider range of video options. Negatives for the Sony are that it weighs 14 oz. more, and at 600mm it stops down to F4 (vs remaining at F2.8 for the FZ300). Clearly the biggest advantage in the Sony is in the sensor and the biggest disadvantage is probably the weight as I'll be wearing it around my neck for up to 10 hours a day.

I'd love to hear some opinions!

Here are some of my photos and feedback would be most welcome.

-Rob
This forum was recommended to me by a friend, and ... (show quote)


This was taken on the FZ300 see my previous comment


(Download)

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