New system, decent zoom, good price

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Ozzie SD Regular Member • Posts: 447
New system, decent zoom, good price

Hi all,

As I already wrote in an earlier thread in the 'open talk' section I am looking to buy a new camera to start a new hobby. Currently I own a compact camera (Sony HX99) which I mainly use on holiday. It has a zoom range of 24-720 mm. It is a nice camera. Only 'problem' is the image quality. It is "okay", but I am looking for a serious improvement/upgrade in my new camera. Based on your earlier replies I think I need to focus on M4/3 and APS-C.

I would mainly like to photograph landscapes and cities (buildings, street photography). I don't want the gear to be (too) heavy/bulky, and I want a 'decent' zoom range. I want to start with 1 lens and preferably I would like some wide angle and tele. I understand that I can't get my current 24-720 mm range. But what would be a good option for me?

Some important things to consider:

- I want a serious upgrade in image quality compared to my current camera. This means the sensor of the new camera should be bigger than the 1/2.3 inch sensor of my current camera. I think M4/3 or APS-C is the way to go, since FF will be too expensive and heavy. (Also M4/3 and APS-C will get me some more tele zoom I think??)

- I would like to buy 1 lens with (if possible) wide angle and some decent tele, so for example I can zoom in on a building or the top of a church.

- I want my gear to be relatively light. Carrying around heavy stuff for me would defeat the purpose of practicing a hobby. It has to be fun!

- My budget is limited. For the body and lens I would like to spend no more than let's say somewhere between 2.000 to 2.300 euros. That should be the max. Could be cheaper of course.

- I will only buy new gear, no used parts. For the body I would prefer the newest available model. This does not have to be (and considering my limited budget can not be) the most expensive top model of the product line. No, what I mean is for example if there is a body XYZ mark III then I want that one, and not the mark II.

My question is which brand could offer me the best combination of a body and lens, considering my wishes? For example I could buy a 2.000 euro body and a 300 euro lens, but I don't think that would be a wise choice. I think a severe amount of money has to go to the lens. As I already said I would like to have a decent amount of zoom. To get nice bokeh and light in darker situations, I would think of F 2.8. However these lenses are heavy and expensive. Do I need F 2.8 or will F 3.5 or F 4 do the job as well?

Those of you with some more experience than me, are there brands and combinations of body/lens coming to your mind that would meet my needs/wishes?

What I also find difficult, is to understand the practical differences between lenses. Which one would I need? For example ... Fuji (but could be any other brand) has a 16-80 mm lens. This I would say is quite all round. It has wide angle, but maybe not enough tele. Then there is a 55-200mm F 3.5-4.8 lens. I think the tele is good, but it does not have wide angle. Then there is a 18-120mm f/4 lens. This seems like an option to consider. Do you agree? It would have wide angle and decent tele. Would this suit my needs? Then there is another one, the 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6. Now this confuses me. Those last 2 lenses (to me) seem quite similar. The latter has a bit more tele, but the F-number is not constant. What would that mean in practical use? And what would the extra 15 mm benefit me in daily use? Can someone give an example?

As you may notice I have quite some questions. Hopefully some of you can give me some good advice. To sum things up: I am looking for a camera body and lens, M4/3 or APS-C. I want to use 1 lens (for now) with some wide angle and decent tele. Should not be too heavy/bulky. Max. budget 2.000 - 2.300 euros. Any thoughts/ideas are very welcome! Many thanks!

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