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  1. #1

    Question Superzoom buying advice

    Hi all,
    I am looking into buying a superzoom camera, I would really like a DSLR but cant afford one so I guess its going to have to be a superzoom unless someones got a DSLR they can sell me for 180 ;-)

    So, what I want to know is: What superzoom should i get?
    My price range is from 0 - 180, but, a lot of cameras fit that range so I really am stuck as to what to get...

    I've been looking at a few Fujifilm ones, like the S2000hd but, well, there's probably better ones out their. I've just got to find them.

    So, have you got any ideas?

    My rough list of criteria is:
    • Good sensor
      Good lens
      Good image quality
      Reasonable zoom, say at lease 12x
      Just overall good

    UPDATE: I might be getting a 100 amazon gift card, so if i get the camera of amazon then my budget can probably be pushed to about 300. Is this enough for a reasonable DSLR?
    Sorry if that list seems a bit broad, Im sure you'll think of something though. :-)
    Oh, by the way, lots of megapixels isnt important to me at all as, and I'm sure you all already know, their not everything.

    Thanks in advance,
    Last edited by Toby; 30-11-09 at 08:27 AM.

  2. #2


    Are you looking for a bridge style camera, or something more compact. To clarify, bridge cameras look a bit like miniaturised DSLRs, and have electronic viewfinders (EVFs). Some of these are better than others but I've never been a huge fan myself. I don;t like EVFs as I find using them a bit like watching at small TV at the end of a corridor.
    That said, lots of people love them. They do vary in quality and sadly the better ones tend to be a lot more than your budget (eg the Sony HX1, Canon SX1, Panasonic FZ38).

    We've always highly rated the Panasonic TZ series (as have most other reviewers). They're tradional compact style but with decent long zoom lenses. They're outstanding and hugely popular cameras. The current flagship, the TZ7 is above your budget at about 225, but the slightly lower spec TZ6 is well within it. Despite its pocketable size it has the 12x zoom you seek.

  3. #3


    Hi Nigel, mainly I'm looking at bridge cameras, although I will consider something more compact if its really good.

    Personally I'm not a huge fan of EVFs either, I would much prefer an SLR where I can look directly down the lens... but I cant have everything with my price range! Having said that, (unless the suns to bright) I nearly always use the live view on the back, especially seeing as my current compact doesn't have a viewfinder!

    To be honest, what I really want is a DSLR, so I can upgrade lenses when I have enough money but still stay with the body I've got to know... but I cant afford the body in the 1st place!

    I'm willing to buy a second hand camera/haggle with sellers/shop around so dont stop recommending those more expensive cameras, I will look into them! ;-)

    How about I pose a new question altogether, as you seem to know a lot about every camera out there:

    What camera would you recommend to someone with 225 TOPS to spend, that produces stunning images as well as having a good zoom lens and plenty of controls to play around with?

    P.S Whats your opinion on filters? Because I've seen that many bridge cameras can use filters, but many more cant... so is it worth adding that fact to my criteria?


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2009


    The TZ7 is probably still your best option at that price, as DSLRs are just out of your price range - especially as you would need to take into account a long lens. If buying second hand is an option then you could pick up something like the Fuji S9600 for around 200, and there are some stores selling it through the amazon market place.

  5. #5


    Hi Matt,

    Talking of amazon - I now have a 100 gift card, so you could say my budget is now 325... I have seen a DSLR (namely the Sony A100) on amazon which comes with a kit lens and fits in that price range.... whats your opinion?

    I have looked at the TZ7, but, thinking about it, maybe a longer zoom would be better. Im really not sure. I guess the problem is I really want a DSLR but just cant afford one...

    I have spoken to someone who does own a DSLR, and he says I can borrow it for a few days. If I like it a lot I might look at expanding my budget... if i can!


  6. #6


    Nooooo! Don't buy the Alpha 100. It was a good camera in its day but it's quite old now and I'm sure you can do better with 325.

    I've got to pop out now but I'll have a mooch online later on and see what I can see. Off the top of my head though I'd be surprised if you couldn't get a Nikon D3000 or even a new Sony Alpha 230 for close to that.

  7. #7


    Hmm, this time last year you could buy a DSLR for under 250, but not now. Amazon is selling the Nikon D3000 for 369, and the Sony a230 for 367. But since you originally wanted a telephoto lens, the best deal seems to be their Olympus E420 twin lens kit with the 14-42mm and 40-150mm lenses for 399, if you can stretch to it. Argos are also selling it for that price, or the E420 and 14-42 alone for 299 (on sale).
    Warehouse Express has the Olympus E520 with 14-42mm lens for 349.

    Alternatively take a look at Canon UK's eBay outlet, at where they sell off cameras to the highest bidder. As I write there's a Canon EOS 400D with kit lens going for 241 with 12 hours to go.

    Of course none of the DSLRs will have, for that price, the 10x zoom range or more than you'd get with the TZ or a bridge camera.

  8. #8


    Hi, I looked at the canon outlet store you said about. It seems like a good place to get a dslr - a refurbished 1000d went for about 250, so Im really considering that....

    I am borrowing a Pentax *ist D which seems to be a very good camera. I dont have a CF card reader on my computer though so cant look at my photos

    I would quite like to look into buying new lenses for a DSLR, so I can reach the higher zoom levels which other cameras can. I understand you can buy old lenses and use them on new DSLRs (as long as they have the same connector)... whats your opinion on this?


  9. #9


    You can indeed use old lenses on new DSLRs of the same mount. The quality varies from lens to lens. Some perform well, others don't. Some of the influencing factorsa are the angle at which light rays exit the rear element and hit the sensor (the more straight-on the better) and the coatings used on the internal and exernal elements.
    Also, not all of them provide full functionality. With some old lenses you'll lose the auto aperture stop-down and perhaps even the TTL metering.

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