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Advice please.
I sought advice earlier when I was considering digiscoping but I have decided not to do that. So please help me with some suggestions for a new camera. I am looking for a travel camera that will be used for typical tourist shots and video clips so size is important. Something that can fit into a shirt pocket is preferred. But we are birders and some trips will be to birding destinations and so optical zoom is also important, certainly more that the 3-4x found on many compacts. Also I would like fairly short time between turning on the camera and the first picture.

From what I've seen the cost of compacts will not be a major issue but the easier to learn and use the better. Thanks folks...

Comments (7)

I don't think that you're going to find anything that will fit into a shirt pocket with more than 3-4x zoom. I think that Sony has a 5X pocket P&S, but if you want something for birding, I would think that 10x would be a minimal requirement...

Comment #1

If very small sensors don't bother you, the Panasonic TZ5 is a decent hyperzoom camera (10x). Its quite compact..

RollingT wrote:.

I sought advice earlier when I was considering digiscoping but I havedecided not to do that. So please help me with some suggestions fora new camera. I am looking for a travel camera that will be usedfor typical tourist shots and video clips so size is important.Something that can fit into a shirt pocket is preferred. But we arebirders and some trips will be to birding destinations and so opticalzoom is also important, certainly more that the 3-4x found on manycompacts. Also I would like fairly short time between turning on thecamera and the first picture. A view finder would be nice but lackof one is not a deal breaker.

Thanks folks...

Comment #2

The Panasonic TZ5 seems to meet most of your criteria. It probably would not fit comfortably in a shirt pocket, but it would fit nicely in a jacket pocket. I prefer to carry mine (actually, the TZ3) on a small pouch on my belt. I hardly notice it's there. Generally, keeping a camera in your pocket is not the cleanest/safest place for it..

The TZ5 is a great travel camera with a 28-280mm Leica zoom lens..

However, I would not recommend it, or any other compact size camera, for birding. Panasonic makes a small (but not compact) FZ18 with an incredibly sharp 28-504mm Leica lens that would work well for birding shots. The FZ18 looks like a "small DSLR" with a number of advanced features, but it also has a simple point & shoot mode, if you don't want to learn/use the advanced features. The camera weighs less than a pound..

Good luck ....

- Simon.

Http://scpics.smugmug.com/..

Comment #3

Unless you're not concerned about image quality or you can get within 5 feet of a bird... anything less than a DSLR and a 400mm lens will make birding difficult and frustrating..

RollingT wrote:.

I sought advice earlier when I was considering digiscoping but I havedecided not to do that. So please help me with some suggestions fora new camera. I am looking for a travel camera that will be usedfor typical tourist shots and video clips so size is important.Something that can fit into a shirt pocket is preferred. But we arebirders and some trips will be to birding destinations and so opticalzoom is also important, certainly more that the 3-4x found on manycompacts. Also I would like fairly short time between turning on thecamera and the first picture. A view finder would be nice but lackof one is not a deal breaker.

Thanks folks..

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Even if you can't donate, please help spread the word...

Comment #4

I agree with the previous posters check out the smaller Panasonics. Don't go with the FZ line as they're a bit big for anything except maybe a jacket pocket. But there are several other Panasonic cameras that are fairly small and thin except for their slight lens bulge, and the bulge is for good reason since it houses a 10x zoom with optical image stabilization (essential for getting the good bird shots)..

I disagree that you need a DSLR with a 400mm lens to get good bird shots. Check out all the photos in the DPReview Panasonic Talk forum there are plenty of bird shots there, even BIFs (Birds In Flight)..

ChrisEffzeeone now has a Effzeefifty!(Gear in profile)..

Comment #5

Chris -.

I think we both agree that many of the original posters needs would be met by the TZ5. I have a TZ3 and I think it's a great travel camera..

However, I don't think the TZ series is suited for birding. I wasn't sure if you were recommending TZ5 for birding or just saying that one does not need a DSLR to get good birding shots..

There are a lot of great birding shots taken with the FZ series on the Panasonic forum. There might even be a few good birding shots taken with the TZ series, but I think it's much more difficult to get a good birding shot (flying or not flying) with the TZs..

- Simon.

Http://scpics.smugmug.com/..

Comment #6

Scphoto wrote:.

However, I don't think the TZ series is suited for birding....

...a few good birding shots taken with the TZ series, but I think it's much more difficult to get a good birding shot (flying or not flying) with the TZs..

I have to agree. Birding is a very specialized need, that is best suited to big cameras with viewfinders, and if possible a manual mechanical zoom..

However, if it's not your primary need, the TZ5 can do an okay job (if you know what you're doing)..

I tried it this past weekend, and started a post:http://forums.dpreview.com/...forums/read.asp?forum=1033&message=28834664.

-M1.

Here's a sample from my TZ5. Minor PP..

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window..

Comment #7

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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