Beginner experienced but new to digital.

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#1
Hi all

I used to do alot of SLR photography (before family and digital arrived), mainly landscapes while climbing in different parts of the world.

I am going on safari (first time) and am using it as an excuse to enter the digial era, but don't have the money for a full set of DSLR and long lenses so am looking at bridge cameras.

I don't see myself printing results larger than A4 (so how important is the sensor size), but clearly want the best combination of sensor size and zoom. In my head I had a budget of £500 but can be persuaded up or down. Im after your thoughts on pro/cons of aperature/sensor/zoom balance.

Panasonic Lumix FZ2000 - 1"sensor, 480zoom, F4.5 at full zoom £780 but no weather sealing.
Sony Cyber-shot RX10 III - 1"sensor, 600zoom, F4 at full zoom £870
Canon PowerShot SX70 HS - 1/2.3 sensor, 1360zoom,f6.5 at full zoom, £450


but then my thoughts of a best compromise
Panasonic Lumix FZ330 - 1/2.3 sensor, 600zoom,constant f2.8 £400


after the safari I will be using it as a travel camera for wildlife/landscape as I still do alot of walking.

any advice/recommendations welcome






 
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Name
Terry
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#2
I'd choose micro 4/3 and get a couple of lenses for the prices you're looking at.

Bigger sensors than those bridge cameras.

As you've some experience in film photography I'm not sure you'd be impressed with the output from a bridge camera.

Have a look here:
https://www.hdewcameras.co.uk/olympus-om-d-e-m5-mk-ii-12-40-silver-6582-p.asp

This is what I use at the moment and it's superb.

A cheaper alternative is this kit:
https://www.hdewcameras.co.uk/olympus-e-m10-ii-twin-kit-14-42-ez40-150-black-6511-p.asp
 

Nod

Krispy and Kremey
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Nod (NOT Ethel!!!)
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#3
What system SLR did you/do you have? If it was an AF set up, you could possibly use the lenses on a DSLR body.
 
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Mike
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#5
£500 would just about get you through the door of digital with an entry level APS-C and kit 18-55; 2nd hand, you would probably be able to stretch that budget to cover an entry level or slightly higher end APS-C sensor SLR, with kit 18-55mm lens and something a bit longer, maybe a 'kit' grade 55-200 or 55-300 longer reach zoom, or perhaps a 'better' 70-300, most likely intended for a full-frame SLR... up your budget as far as nearest and dearest and bank-manager will allow.....

Similar situation making the digi-plung about 5 years ago' it's a road to barmy... sorry bankruptcy, trying to match the range of lens lengths I had for film, in all electric picture making.... and its always ooh-ah, just a little bit, please just a little bit more.....

Personally? I would probably chuck as little of suggested budget as I could at something to take pictures pool side; use the rest to ensure my sun-downer glass never went dry, some pocket change to buy post cards at the hotel kiosk! Sit back, chill out and enjoy my holiday, and NOT get nagged to put that bloomin' camera down! .. and the manual.... and the lap-top.....lol.

Seriously, how do you want to spend your holiday? And do you REALLY want to spend a big chunk of it trying to figure out how to clear down your SD card and back up the pictures you took today, when the battery goes flat on the lappy, and you are trying to fathom what type of mains plugs the hotel have, and why you keep getting blocked on their 'free' wi-fi?
 
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mellie_man
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#7
Chris2jz ARRGGHH!
now ou've opened my eyes to a whole section of cameras I hadn't even considered.

Teflon
thats why I was considering a Bridge. less money (once you included lenses), less headache in chosing.
Maybe leave going full in until I have the money to do it justice.
 
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Alan
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#8
Used Sony A6000's crop up regularly at reasonable prices. If you're happy with the RF style layout with the EVF to the left you could also have a look at the Panasonic GX80 which is a Micro Four Thirds camera (the A6000 is APS-C) which also crops up used at reasonable prices, as do the lenses. Most of my MFT lenses were bought used at reasonable prices :D

Matching those superzoom focal lengths is going to be difficult and expensive with an interchangeable lens camera though.
 
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Al
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#9
An alternative might be to buy 2nd hand. You could get an older body and maybe hire a lens from somewhere like lenses for hire. If you are not generally going to be using a telephoto (which I imagine you will want for safari but maybe not when you get back for walks) that might make sense as they are pricey. Or you could risk buying everything second hand and trying to sell again once you get back probably for little loss (unless kit gets damaged on safari of course).

You can hire through http://www.lensesforhire.co.uk/index.html - not sure if they let you take the lenses out of the country. The owner Stewart used to be on here, not sure if he still is.

Buying second hand in the classifieds here, or with some warranty I have used ffordes before and mpb.

There's a lot of potential options out there! Good luck! I went to M4/3 Olympus from Canon purely for the weight difference, which for walks etc might work for you. All systems have their advantages, you'll need to work out your priorities -everything has a compromise somewhere!
 
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Mike
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#10
Teflon
thats why I was considering a Bridge. less money (once you included lenses), less headache in chosing.
Maybe leave going full in until I have the money to do it justice.
You do it, or you dont... and a bridge?
Its a mule, a compromise solution looking for the problems it likely doesn't solve, for the most part... I really dont much like them; the idea is good... for the marketing men... but otherwise, they are, by and large, neither fish nor foul.

Cost? Old adage, by cheap, buy twice.... they 'look' like they have it all, and the big wow of big zoom, and the salesman saying 'Its all the lens you'll ever need!" seems good... but it dont bear up very often.

The f-no is the focal length of the lens divided by the diameter of the aperture; eg; you have a 50mm focal length lens, and the max aperture is 25mm diameter, the f-no is 2.

Now make the lens a 'zoom' and drag the lens element forwards and back to change the focal length; your f-no now changes as you zoom... and on a really long range zoom.... like a super-zoom bridge camera.... the f-no you get at maximum zoom can be incredibly high... like f9 or 10! This limits the amount of light the lens can let in, so for the same ambient light and the same 'exposure' begs a longer shutter speed.... only, if you have racked out the zoom.... you likely need a higher shutter speed to combat camera shake.

Old rule of thumb was to keep the shutter above one over the focal length; so if you had a 210mm 'zoom' you tried to keep the shutter above 1/250th.
Typical super-zoom bridge, has a max zoom 'equivalent' of maybe 500 or 1000mm or more... which would beg keeping the shutter above 1/500th or 1/1000th... which is pretty quick... and rather hard to do, if you are limited to f-numbers in the higher orders!

Only way to get an acceptable exposure then, is to ramp the ISO... or film-speed in old money... and yeah, wonderful, modern electric-picture makers 'might' go up to silly numbers on ISO.... I think my DSLR ramps to around ISO 6400, plus a couple of 'boost' settings, an unheard of ASA to try buy film at... but still not all that 'fast' even if you are trying to take pictures, even in good Sarf-Afrikan day-light, at f10 and 1/500th!

The Nik-Bridge bequeathed to me by O/H when she gave up and went DSLR, I think tops out at ISO1600.. and so it doesn't take long to hit the buffers, and find out where the compromises the makers made to print impressive numbers on the box, actually are. And at that point, the dang thing starts to become more trouble than its worth, NOT doing the job you want.. and all in one, not able to do anything to it or with it to help, much.. just trade up to a DSLRT, like O/H....

Try and forestall that and buy up the range a 'better' bridge, and very very quickly, you are into the buy-cheap-buy-twice trap, where the cost of a better bridge is rivalling that of a DSLR, and STILL you have these buffers to work around and still cant do anything about them but chuck it away and start again.

Great by the pool-side..... as a fancy point and press, where you aren't stretching the zoom... but then... may as well have shot with your smurf-fone... and that mega zoom, mostly provided curtecy of the 'crop-factor' which can be enormous on these things using camera-phone sized micro-sensors, means that the lens is actually only 5mm to maybe 100mm 'real' focal length, for a 20x zoom rating.

But that 5mm lens, on a bigger camera would be a fish-eye! And its shortest focus distance and the infinity focus range would be incredibly close to the camera, making the focus mechanism a lot easier to make, if not completely redundant; but its still a very very short focal length lens, and you are NOT going to be working in the 'critical focus' region very often if at all... especially with more conservative f-numbers, so you wont be able to get nice OoFed bokah backgrounds to blurr the concrete slab of a hotel behind your bathing beuty very often... ho-hum... back to them compromises....

Oh yeah.... unlike the Smuf-fone or pocket compact... its also not all that compact, or pocketable, and in a lot of cases just as dang awkward and bulky as a DSLR... so you have all the down-sides of a smuf-fone or compact, as well as the down sides of a bigger bulkier more expensive DSLR.... and Jack of all trades, master of... almost nothing!

They take pictures... can say that much for them.... BUT, they are far from a one size fits all photo-panacea; you wont save much if any money, you wont get the better photo's you hope for, and MOSTLY what you'll get is the problems associated with anything else, without the possible solutions...

Back to the start.... do you want photo's or a good holiday?

If you want good photo's, well, in for a penny, in for a quid.... Budget is enough to get an entry level DSLR over the counter, or a possibly slightly better DSLR 2nd hand, and maybe a bit more lens to go with it. BUT... you still have the niggles; you are away how long? How will you save your pictures? What amenities can you bank on whilst away, and how patient and tolerant will be your travel companions to you waving a camera about the whole time, holding them up, every time you have to check the manual to find out how to do something, or make it stop doing something?

Batteries on my DSLR last 'maybe' four hours or so of shooting time. I have four; one in the camera and three in the bag, because on a day out, I will likely need to swap one.. away from home, I have a neat little travel charger I can plug into most 'foreign' mains sockets, or a car fag lighter....

On this one the bridge might win out, mine takes regular AA's I could buy at the concession kiosk when away... bludy expensive though.... rechargeables make more sense, but need a charger and back to the mains supply wherever I may be, starting with whether there is one! Same as if it takes a dedicated lith-pack like the DSLR...

SD cards... on my D3200, with 24Mega Pixie sensor, in JPG common format, come out about 10mb a shot. A 16Gb SD card then will hold, about 1000 pictures.... how many days you away, and how many pictures a day do you expect to take?

I will tend to take around 3-600 on a typical outing.... more if its an interesting one.... but start shooting video and them cards get vert full, very quick. SO.... whats your plan?

When I took a five week back-pack trip round India many moons ago; I bought a chunk load of film, and stuffed it all in every cook and nanny in the camera bag.... I think I budgeted about a roll a day... but all too easy with 'free' widgetal, to get a bit carried away though, and yup.. these days, 3-600 a day, not 36! Fairly easy with film, shoot till the casette full, rewind, swap and chuck the exposed film into the bag to develop when you get home, or post from holiday location to a lab back home so the pictures are sat on the door-mat with the water rates bill, and the pizza-place menus when you get home..... Can do the same thing ish with widgetal, but, you could need a lot of SD cards.!!!

So what's the plan? Clear cards down to a lap-top? If so what space do you have on lap-top hard drive? If archiving, would you back-up to a pocket drive anyway? Do you take one of them with you? What power adapters might you need? what internet access, etc etc.

And you are layering up the niggles as you drill down, looking for solutions to everything.....

And there is likely a woman in the back-ground tapping her foot, muttering "Are we going to DINNER..... or (under her breath) breakfast!"

Which suggests that the camera, is but small part of the whole deal, and the more camera you try pack, the bigger the deal will likely become.... as said, do you want to spend your trip playing cameras or having a holiday? No camera, no problem! Well... apart from that woman, who as woman do, will find SOMETHING to tap her foot and mutter about before dinner! Probably the trousers you choose to wear.. or the creases in them where you packed or something... but that's women!

So this is but a small and lip of the lettuce bit of the bigger picture.....

For me.. I have always avoided Africa, TBH, my mother was born there, and I suspect I'd have trouble leaving the place, or deciding where to go, 'cos of all the family legends.. but still, it would like India quarter century ago be a life-time trip, and I would want to make the most of it, and take LOTS of photo's...

Doing that anyway... it wouldn't be a huge leap, to grab the camera bag I have, with the entry level DSLR in it, and the spare SD cards and batteries and travel charger, and know I had most stuff covered; I'd probably shove the pocket drive for in there to clear down SD cards to, maybe even the lappy as well... and chuck in a travel adaptor for that... and I would likely do 'OK' whatever the ground-situation when I got to it, cos with a full set of charged batteries and the travel charger, I could most likely charge in any hotel I stopped at, of charge from the fag lighter ofr the Toyota Safari wagon, or ask bus driver nicely; When I found wi-fi, I could upload pics from the pocket drive to farce broke or whatever, as precaution against the pocket drive being kerbluggered, that saving clogging up the lappy's hard drive, which would let me google places to see and use memory-map to find out how to get there if needs.... BUT, that 'kit' all told, is probably best part of £5K's worth, all in, just on the electrical gizmos... not £500, and taken me a decade or more to acquire, and I have had that time to practice with it, if only on day trips and UK excursions, so wouldn't have to keep diving into the manuals the whole while......

So.... for where you are at... a one size fits all off the peg solution, is not on the shelf... whatever the salesman may say! More you chase that, more jack-of-all trades you'll likely make, and the more problems you;ll make for yourself rather than solve.....compromises have to be made, so where you prepared to make them?

And do you still have your film camera?

Cos if so.. and if you know that inside out, saves a lot of learning! And spending! Get on e-bay, get some film for it, get some more film for it; buy some new batteries, buy a couple of sets of spare batteries, and off you go... worry about the developing when you get home.

And right off the top... I can say, that for what I have spent on electric picture making in the last few years, I COULD have bought a HECK of a lot of film! and probably got a lot more photo's I actually likes for it! Film aint dead yet, you know... and it STILL has a lot going for it....

But.... its all in the compromises, you are prepared to make, not in the catalogues; and its not 'just' a camera, its a whole picture taking plan, that is needed.

Best of British, with it.... but remember, think outside the box; there's more to photography OUTSIDE the camera, than there ever is in it... so ponder the entirety, look wide, dont zoom in on a micro-scape, and obsess about the little details, catching the penny and missing the pound and all that!
 
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Ham
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#11
If safari photography is your prime motivator, most safari photographs I've seen (though by no means all) are telephoto shots. The m4/3 has an inbuilt advantage in the focal length game by its effective focal length doubling. Combine that with the compactness and low weight and you have a compulsive set of features for a holiday camera that can do more than a bridge camera. I'm planning on a first safari holiday next year and I'm thinking that a second body is essential, changing lenses in the dusty conditions is unlikely to be optimum, m4/3 will make that possible without too much size and weight. Currently I'm thinking one with a long telephoto, one with a portrait lens or a ultra wide, and one with a 35mm equivalent (17mm pancake) for street photography. Ooops. That's three isn't it?

Do go and handle though, their compact size isn't for everyone.
 
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Toni
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#12
Interesting. I hadnt even considered mirrorless
For your specific application I'd suggest the Olympus E-M10 twin lens kit as suggested by Greeninja.

In 2013 I took a brand new Fuji HS30 bridge camera to Zimbabwe, and was thoroughly disappointed with the images (they were what convinced me to buy a proper camera and not something with a 1/2.3" sensor and a superzoom fixed lens). We have an Olympus E-M10 with 14-42 and 40-140 lenses here (wife's camera) and it works really well in the kind of conditions you'd generally find on a safari. The whole kit is also amazingly small & light, and good enough to let you grow and develop for some time.

there's more to photography OUTSIDE the camera, than there ever is in it...
And I'd generally agree with this too, but it really can help hugely to have kit that works for you, rather than against you.
 
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mellie_man
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#13
I'm leaning towards Olympus E-M10 II or III

any help on lenses not sure how low a f you can get away with on safari.

I could go for single lens to avoid swapping in the dust Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-200mm F3.5-6.3
but f is slow at tele end (and its expensive but a keeper if I upgrade body, perhaps next year when E-M5 III is out and pass E-M10 onto my son)

or 2 cheap and chearful (neither weather sealed)
Olympus M.Zuiko ED 75-300mm f4.8-6.7 II (still slow but only £280. £400 inc lens below)
Olympus M.ZUIKO ED 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 EZ


looked into hiring a long lens but its expensive and limited selection for m43
 
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Toni
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#14
Light is generally strong on safari, and you could take a monopod to keep it light, plus the IBIS will help with slower shutter speeds. 12-200 must be compromised on image quality, a bit, but that's a 'do everything' range. 75-300 would be great for safari.
 
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Jeff
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#15
There’s also the canon m series to look at , used M5 and Meike adaptor and you can use any canon lens the 55.250 can be got for circa £100 and they work well together .so camera ,adaptor and a couple of lenses are well within your budget . Likewise a Panasonic g.80 and a couple of lenses will do .always add a spare battery or two to any mirrorless set up
 
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mellie_man
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#16
Thanks for the mega response Teflon.
I've been reflecting at the mind spinning amount of choice and have 99% decided (and stop day dreaming about all the low f lenses I can't afford) to go for the following combination for now.

Olympus E-M10 II with 14-42 ez lens and an Olympus M.ZUIKO ED 75-300mm f/4.8-6.7 II lens (total £628, plus UV filter and SD cards and batteries) I'm not a tele expert but you can't learn if you dont try

thanks for all your advice
 

StewartR

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Stewart
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#17
You can hire through http://www.lensesforhire.co.uk/index.html - not sure if they let you take the lenses out of the country. The owner Stewart used to be on here, not sure if he still is.
Yes he is. Just not hanging out in the same parts of the forum as you, I guess!

We certainly don't have a problem with customers taking kit out of the country, so long as they remember to bring it back. It's all fully insured worldwide.
 
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mellie_man
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#18
Just thought I'd feed back. I now have a shiny new OlyE-M10II with 14-42 and 75-300 lenses

spent an hour in the garden and then all evening learning about raw processing (RAWTherapee). Here are some results. A whole new world to my old SLR (which was kindly removed from me by a gentleman with a knife in Bogata 19 years ago). here are some results
 

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mellie_man
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#19
I might get the additional grip, as I find I keep pressing the AF/menu arrows witht he palm of my hand. The small camera size is amazing but will take some getting used to.

Thanks for all your advice. Happy with my choice.
 

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