Nov 18, 2009

[Cameras] Mega Zoom Options

:en:Nikkon 28-200 mm :en:zoom lens, extended t...Image via Wikipedia

I've always had a pretty liberal approach to cameras and photography. I hate twiddling with too many settings and I have no ambitions of lugging around variable lenses and the like. I feel you just need a decent camera with a good amount of optical zoom and good photo editing skills.

I used to have a Sony CyberShot DSC-H50, which was an awesome camera for both still photography and the occasional video. But this got stolen and I've been hurting ever since. Not I'm thinking of getting a camera again and here are the main options I'm considering. I could just get the H50 again, although it's still retailing for at least Php 23k. Yikes.

The next logical choice would be to get the upgraded version of the H50, the Sony CyberShot DSC-HX1. It's another great camera with new options like panoramic shots and now a full 20x optical zoom. However it's retailing for up to Php 38k, which is definitely beyond my budget, even though I'm planning to pay for it on installment using my credit card.

So that got me thinking about scaling things down a bit and just going for a more compact mega zoom camera since (1) I'm just after increased optical zoom for close-up / macro shots and (2) both the H50 and the HX1 are pretty bulky cameras and I do appreciate a more compact option.

Now there's the Sony CyberShot DSC-H20, which is a more compact mega zoom with 10x optical zoom and HD video capability. It's still pretty costly when purchased at retail prices. It has gotten pretty good reviews though except for its rather narrow lens, which makes wider shots or photos involving larger groups more challenging. It's currently retailing for Php 25k, which is actually more than what the H50 is going for, which certainly gives me pause.

Now the last option that I came across was the Panasonic Lumix ZS3. My former boyfriend had gotten himself the upper range Lumix and I certainly appreciated the workmanship and features, so I feel comfy exploring this line. The ZS3 is being positioned as a hybrid camera - both still photography and HD video, and it seems it does both decently well. It has little in the way of manual controls (which I stated I wasn't interested in) but it does have 12x optical zoom (better than the H20) and the reviews indicate the preset modes work rather well. I'm not sure how much this retails for in terms of credit card installment options, but I've seen online offers for as low as Php 18k, which isn't bad at all.

So what do you think? Am I thinking along the right lines by looking for the Lumix camera? Do you still think I should stick to the Sony options? Are you a Canon / Nikon fan boy who wants to convince me they have a bridge camera that fulfills my camera specifications? Feel free to leave your questions (and perhaps offers?) in the comments!

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