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Old 04-05-2017, 11:20 AM   #1
popup_menace
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Default Best budget camera for newbie/hobbyist

I'm just fishing around for ideas on a decent camera for getting pics of birds and other wildlife at feeders. I figure it'd be a fun way to pass time in the stand or even at home. Budget would be $300 or below. I would like a good enough zoom to get decent detail at 20 yards. What camera/lens combo would y'all recommend?
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Old 04-05-2017, 11:24 AM   #2
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Got my wife a Nikon D3300 she's very happy with it. Basic model is about $350 but used you can get well under $300
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Old 04-05-2017, 12:20 PM   #3
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DSLR doesn't sound like a fit for your goals. The Panasonic Lumix line is top notch and has been for some time. Here are a couple of links to a couple of different models. Honestly though I use DSLR equipment, I'd have one for kicking around if they shot RAW. I don't know that they don't shoot RAW but normally these types of cameras don't.

https://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-DMC...=lumix+cameras

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/con...=REG&A=details
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Old 04-05-2017, 01:06 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill M View Post
DSLR doesn't sound like a fit for your goals. The Panasonic Lumix line is top notch and has been for some time. Here are a couple of links to a couple of different models. Honestly though I use DSLR equipment, I'd have one for kicking around if they shot RAW. I don't know that they don't shoot RAW but normally these types of cameras don't.

https://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-DMC...=lumix+cameras

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/con...=REG&A=details
X2, just lens for a DSLR are going to eat through your budget alone. I would also suggest a Panasonic, particularly the FZ line. I still use my FZ-50 at my tripod bow stands even though I have DSLR equipment.

Bill, I don't know about their newer cameras, but my FZ-50 shoots raw. It's also virtually silent since it has a manual zoom ring. Some of the new bridge cameras even have a 1" sensor for high ISO performance but cost as much as a high end APSC DSLR body.
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Old 04-05-2017, 02:44 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill M View Post
DSLR doesn't sound like a fit for your goals. The Panasonic Lumix line is top notch and has been for some time. Here are a couple of links to a couple of different models. Honestly though I use DSLR equipment, I'd have one for kicking around if they shot RAW. I don't know that they don't shoot RAW but normally these types of cameras don't.

https://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-DMC...=lumix+cameras

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/con...=REG&A=details
I agree. I think that you will find mirror-less camera more advantageous.
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Old 11-23-2017, 08:08 AM   #6
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Panasonic
Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ70 16.1 MP Digital Camera with 60x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 3-Inch LCD (Black)

This looks like a good camera for my use I think.

I want decent quality pictures, point and shoot and some ability to zoom.
Will this fill the bill?
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Old 11-23-2017, 08:32 AM   #7
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I bought a Canon SX60HS last spring and like it a lot. I use it more than my DSLR now. A little more than your budget though.
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Old 11-23-2017, 09:11 AM   #8
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I can fit that in my budget, looks like a quality camera.
I will be watching black Friday deals.

Great photo you took.
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Old 11-23-2017, 09:24 AM   #9
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Roll over image to zoom in
Panasonic
Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ70 16.1 MP Digital Camera with 60x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 3-Inch LCD (Black)

This looks like a good camera for my use I think.

I want decent quality pictures, point and shoot and some ability to zoom.
Will this fill the bill?
Quote:
Originally Posted by wsteffen View Post
I bought a Canon SX60HS last spring and like it a lot. I use it more than my DSLR now. A little more than your budget though.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neuse View Post
I can fit that in my budget, looks like a quality camera.
I will be watching black Friday deals.

Great photo you took.
Looks like that Lumix model can only be bought used now? I'm sure there are other good models.

I've been looking hard at the SX60HS to keep in the vehicle all the time. Have you shot any RAW files with it yet or will you?

From another thread Neuse. ..."The Canon (SX60HS) mentioned is one that just came on my radar along with the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX400 which was mentioned in another thread. I have known of the Nikon P900 for sometime and have held it out in the field. Super zoom on it. These are three good high end P&S choices..."
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Old 11-23-2017, 09:31 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill M View Post
Looks like that Lumix model can only be bought used now? I'm sure there are other good models.

I've been looking hard at the SX60HS to keep in the vehicle all the time. Have you shot any RAW files with it yet or will you?

From another thread Neuse. ..."The Canon (SX60HS) mentioned is one that just came on my radar along with the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX400 which was mentioned in another thread. I have known of the Nikon P900 for sometime and have held it out in the field. Super zoom on it. These are three good high end P&S choices..."
Yes I almost always shoot RAW. It's not available in auto mode though, which didn't bother me. I very seldom use auto. This camera was recommended to me by Humble camera. He uses one.
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Old 11-23-2017, 09:45 AM   #11
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Thanks, good to know. I shoot manual exclusively so that wouldn't matter to me. Being a Canon DSLR shooter this would be great for what I want to use it for. Have you shot the zoom at max to check it out?
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Old 11-23-2017, 10:26 AM   #12
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Thanks, good to know. I shoot manual exclusively so that wouldn't matter to me. Being a Canon DSLR shooter this would be great for what I want to use it for. Have you shot the zoom at max to check it out?
I have, but not with a tripod, so hard to judge the clarity of the image at full zoom. I have not used the digital zoom at all.
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Old 11-23-2017, 11:22 AM   #13
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I have, but not with a tripod, so hard to judge the clarity of the image at full zoom. I have not used the digital zoom at all.
I would imagine high shutter speed would be required for reaching out and definitely a tripod wouldn't hurt. Personally I never bothered with digital zoom on any of the cams I ever had with it.
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Old 11-23-2017, 11:51 AM   #14
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I just bought a Canon G7X Mk2 for vlogging/videos with my son

I like it a lot and got it for under $700. I hear the G5X is better for stills
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Old 11-23-2017, 02:22 PM   #15
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Pretty good deal at Best Buy right now:

https://www.bestbuy.com/site/canon-p...?skuId=2761156
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Old 11-23-2017, 02:30 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by FriscoAg View Post
Pretty good deal at Best Buy right now:

https://www.bestbuy.com/site/canon-p...?skuId=2761156
Basically the same as the SX60 except a 50x optical zoom instead of the 65x. It won't record images as RAW or connect to your phone for remote viewing and shooting. For the money, a good deal if you don't need those features. The SX60 is $200 more.
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Old 11-24-2017, 07:56 AM   #17
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What is RAW?
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Old 11-24-2017, 08:33 AM   #18
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What is RAW?
It allows more latitude when post processing photos. It's the RAW data of the image.

From wiki
A camera raw image file contains minimally processed data from the image sensor of a digital camera.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raw_image_format
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Old 11-24-2017, 09:06 AM   #19
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What is RAW?
RAW files let you adjust the color tones and intensity. Tones being the actually colors that you see in the finished image. Intensity being the amount of color, anything from no color, just gray tones to coloration that in unreal. Without working with a RAW file, it is hard to explain. If you want try it before you decide, PM me your email and I could send you a file and the link to the Canon software. File size is very large, around 25 meg.

I bought the SX60 because it will record in RAW.
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Old 11-24-2017, 10:17 AM   #20
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Ok, I understand RAW well enough for now, learn more later.

Opinions please:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XSJFTRS...detail_0?psc=1
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Old 11-24-2017, 10:47 AM   #21
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Ok, I understand RAW well enough for now, learn more later.

Opinions please:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XSJFTRS...detail_0?psc=1
Looks fine but make sure you read the reviews. I looked at it on B&H website. If you want to compare different makes/models, you can do that at B&H's website. It will list them side by side for good comparison of features and also there are many reviews to read there also.

Good luck.
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Old 11-24-2017, 11:05 AM   #22
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I don't know much about Panasonic cameras, but it does have some good reviews on BH

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...al_camera.html
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