Print Images Super Zoom Locked

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JumpinJack New Member • Posts: 22
Print Images Super Zoom


My wife and I have recently become interested in photography and would like to get your thoughts on what camera would be most appropriate for our needs. We live in rural Canada with much of our property covered in bush with a few small bodies of water distributed throughout. There is a lot of diversity in terms of wildlife, birds and many species of wild flowers.

We initially looked at cameras with changeable lenses and soon discovered that with the required telephoto lenses these get very expensive. We would like to keep the cost under $1000. One objective of mine is to learn how to shoot in manual mode and ideally I want a camera that has this option. I know I have a long way to go to lean about exposure but I will enjoy the journey.

Given the expense of SLRs our attention turned to super zoom bridge cameras as the most likely alternative. I believe all of these have manual mode which will allow me to play with exposure. Our research found there are two choices when it comes to bridge cameras, cameras with a 1/2.3” sensor and ones with a 1” sensor (I hope I have this right)? Now for our dilemma.

We have three priorities.

  • The first is we need an adequate zoom to be able to capture skittish wildlife and birds at a distance. We have a pair of binoculars, 10 x 50, and often find them inadequate to determine bird species and view wildlife that are hidden in the bush. I believe a camera with a 50x or 60X zoom will fit the bill. I believe any bigger and we lose a lot of image resolution which is relevant to our second priority?
  • The second priority is to be able to enlarge the photos and hang the pictures on our walls (maybe 20” x 30”). We understand that optimal resolution is 300 PPI to enlarge pictures but apparently gurus with Photoshop are able to massage lesser images and make them acceptable quality for the wall. At maximum zoom (50x or 60x) is there a camera that will produce quality images that can be enlarged to 20” x 30”?
  • Currently we do not want to exceed $1000 (CAD) for the camera. Hopefully we can find a camera that will fill our needs in this price range? Possibly we have to compromise on the size of the printed picture, I hope not?

It seems large sensor super zoom cameras have excellent image quality but short zoom ranges. The 20MP Panasonic FZ1000, for example, is rated quite high for image however is only 16x optical zoom. I downloaded the FZ1000 user manual and it indicates there are ways to dramatically extend the zoom. I don’t understand everything I read about extending the zoom but would figure it out if it works for what we need. We reviewed some of the large zoomed pictures in Flickr and they look awesome (everything in Flickr looks awesome). I’m don’t know what size (megapixels) these photos are and don’t know if at maximum zoom they can be printed out in 20” x 30” quality? Can anyone tell me please? If they can, this is probably the camera we will buy. If we were to add a tele-converter to this or any camera would this give us the reach and quality we need to produce large prints?

We also researched small sensor super zoom cameras. The Nikon B700 seems very capable (60x zoom) although some reviews were less than flattering (slow processor). Others like the Canon SX60 and Panasonic's FZ80 also have the zoom range but I believe their image resolution degrades dramatically as the zoom increases. It appears the B700 retains image quality even at maximum zoom? I concede I am not sure I have all my facts straight, there is conflicting and sparse data in some of the reviews and I am unfamiliar with some of the terminology?

We would greatly appreciate any input from the forum. Which camera is a better choice for zooming in and creating enlarged photos, the Panasonic FZ1000 or the Nikon B700? Given our budget are these the optimum choices?

Canon PowerShot SX60 HS Nikon Coolpix B700 Panasonic FZ1000 Panasonic FZ80/FZ82
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