Looking for compact superzoom with fast autofocus

Started 5 months ago | Discussions
Kade1301 New Member • Posts: 6
Looking for compact superzoom with fast autofocus

2 years ago I bought a Canon EOS 90D. Brilliant camera, but I almost never use it because I find it too heavy. 12 years ago I bought a Panasonic DMC-TZ25 which I have used for video, but for photos of quickly moving animals (like a dog) its autofocus is much too slow. And last time I wanted to use it the lens wouldn't move.

I figure it's time for a new compact, but now the market seems to disappear DP Review's buying guides don't even mention true, low-cost compacts as far as I can see, so I hope somebody here can help me.

I am looking for a camera to take with me when I walk the dog because right now I'm missing countless wonderful opportunities. Basically a point-and-shoot model, with the following features:

First and foremost compact (not a bridge, no matter how much better the pictures supposedly are), with fast autofocus (for running sighthounds) and a big optical zoom range, especially at the long end (no need for very wide angle). Decent video capability - zooming while filming, working autofocus - are also a must.

I would like to have an electronic viewfinder (with the Panasonic I was working blind if there was any sun). A price under $ 500 would be lovely. I wouldn't be opposed to water-resistance, but I figure that's contradictory with the big zoom range.

Things that do not matter: Sound quality, because generally I put music over the videos. 4K because I can neither process huge files nor upload them to YouTube.

My main problem is that I can't find any information on how fast the autofocus works in the various Panasonic Lumix and Sony Cybershot models. Does anybody either have experience or can point me to reviews that consider this problem?

(BTW, a smartphone is NOT an option for me!)

User1303423862 Senior Member • Posts: 1,070
Re: Looking for compact superzoom with fast autofocus

Kade1301 wrote:

2 years ago I bought a Canon EOS 90D. Brilliant camera, but I almost never use it because I find it too heavy. 12 years ago I bought a Panasonic DMC-TZ25 which I have used for video, but for photos of quickly moving animals (like a dog) its autofocus is much too slow. And last time I wanted to use it the lens wouldn't move.

I figure it's time for a new compact, but now the market seems to disappear DP Review's buying guides don't even mention true, low-cost compacts as far as I can see, so I hope somebody here can help me.

I am looking for a camera to take with me when I walk the dog because right now I'm missing countless wonderful opportunities. Basically a point-and-shoot model, with the following features:

First and foremost compact (not a bridge, no matter how much better the pictures supposedly are), with fast autofocus (for running sighthounds) and a big optical zoom range, especially at the long end (no need for very wide angle). Decent video capability - zooming while filming, working autofocus - are also a must.

I would like to have an electronic viewfinder (with the Panasonic I was working blind if there was any sun). A price under $ 500 would be lovely. I wouldn't be opposed to water-resistance, but I figure that's contradictory with the big zoom range.

Things that do not matter: Sound quality, because generally I put music over the videos. 4K because I can neither process huge files nor upload them to YouTube.

My main problem is that I can't find any information on how fast the autofocus works in the various Panasonic Lumix and Sony Cybershot models. Does anybody either have experience or can point me to reviews that consider this problem?

(BTW, a smartphone is NOT an option for me!)

My wife is very happy with her Panasonic Lumix ZS80. She says it will track pets in sports mode really well, and it has a viewfinder and 30X zoom. We paid around $400.

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OpticsEngineer Veteran Member • Posts: 7,728
Re: Looking for compact superzoom with fast autofocus

I think the Sony HX99 meets all your needs.

I find the autofocus on mine quick and reliable.

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InkedMarie
InkedMarie Senior Member • Posts: 2,303
Re: Looking for compact superzoom with fast autofocus

You had me at sighthounds! What do you have?

Marie

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Bob A L Veteran Member • Posts: 6,670
Re: Looking for compact superzoom with fast autofocus

Several Panasonic models in the range. And if you would consider used, one of the quickest focusing compacts I have is my Olympus Stylus 1. It also has a viewfinder much larger than most compacts, being the same as used in some MFT Oly models. And lens is f2.8 all the way to 300mm efl.

I have a Panasonic ZS100 that I just recently bought for $340 used that is fairly quick focusing, but not nearly as good of a viewfinder as the Oly.

OP Kade1301 New Member • Posts: 6
Re: Looking for compact superzoom with fast autofocus

Thanks a lot to all of you, I'll have a look at the models you've mentioned. Gotta check out what I can get hold of in France.

I have a female borzoi, now 2 years old. She is the sweetest and most beautiful dog I can imagine (just gotta convince the conformation judges of the latter), pretty successful in lure coursing and a really great model.

Maxmolly7
Maxmolly7 Senior Member • Posts: 1,365
Re: Looking for compact superzoom with fast autofocus

The Sony RX100VII has a range of 24-200 mm with very fast AF.

The Lumix TZ200 is slightly behind, has a larger range 24-360mm, is cheaper but doesn't have a flip screen which I want to have as mandatory.

Both have a 1" sensor.

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InkedMarie
InkedMarie Senior Member • Posts: 2,303
Re: Looking for compact superzoom with fast autofocus

Kade1301 wrote:

I have a female borzoi, now 2 years old. She is the sweetest and most beautiful dog I can imagine (just gotta convince the conformation judges of the latter), pretty successful in lure coursing and a really great model.

Borzoi are gorgeous! Care to share a photo?

Marie

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InkedMarie
InkedMarie Senior Member • Posts: 2,303
Re: Looking for compact superzoom with fast autofocus

I was looking through my FB memories & look at this Borzoi from 1911!

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OP Kade1301 New Member • Posts: 6
Re: Looking for compact superzoom with fast autofocus
1

I would love to share photos, but I can't figure out how to upload pictures...

One of the things I love about the breed is that many of them still look like a100 years ago (unlike say German Shepherds or Labrador Retrievers...)

Here are my videos on YouTube https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLRdi4zviQvOVsqZvO_rIgI5BReEMvWSIz (hope that is allowed)

InkedMarie
InkedMarie Senior Member • Posts: 2,303
Re: Looking for compact superzoom with fast autofocus

Kade1301 wrote:

I would love to share photos, but I can't figure out how to upload pictures...

One of the things I love about the breed is that many of them still look like a100 years ago (unlike say German Shepherds or Labrador Retrievers...)

Here are my videos on YouTube https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLRdi4zviQvOVsqZvO_rIgI5BReEMvWSIz (hope that is allowed)

Click on that to share from whatever device you’re using. There aren’t too many breeds that look the same now. Did you see the picture I shared earlier from 1911?

Marie

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OP Kade1301 New Member • Posts: 6
Re: Looking for compact superzoom with fast autofocus
1

InkedMarie wrote:

... Did you see the picture I shared earlier from 1911?

Marie

Yes, that's why I mentioned that quite a few borzois still look the same. Not necessarily the ones that win exhibitions, but in lure coursing there are still light-weight hounds with relatively little hair.

Here's some recent pictures. The castle is not mine, we were visiting one in the Loire valley where dogs are welcome (only in the outbuildings, the house is inhabited).

InkedMarie
InkedMarie Senior Member • Posts: 2,303
Re: Looking for compact superzoom with fast autofocus

Kade1301 wrote:

InkedMarie wrote:

... Did you see the picture I shared earlier from 1911?

Marie

Yes, that's why I mentioned that quite a few borzois still look the same. Not necessarily the ones that win exhibitions, but in lure coursing there are still light-weight hounds with relatively little hair.

Here's some recent pictures. The castle is not mine, we were visiting one in the Loire valley where dogs are welcome (only in the outbuildings, the house is inhabited).

Beautiful! I have a windsprite aka longhaired whippet. I love hounds whether sight or scent.

Marie

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