Thursday, 4 September 2014

Superzoom Bridge Cameras for Birders: Latest Reviews

A very useful compilation of reviews has appeared today in ePhotozine which ranks current models of superzoom bridge cameras. Now, their definition of superzoom and my definition of superzooms useful to birders (extending to the equivalent of at least 1000 mm) differ and so you first have to exclude the cameras that do not reach my definition, including their number one in the ranking.

One of their equal seconds, the Panasonic Lumix FZ72 (20-1200 mm equivalent, RAW and what seems like pretty fast focusing) looks very tempting. What's more there is available a tele-extender to take the optical zoom range from x60 to x102 (at the cost of loss of light reaching the sensor of course).

The price of these superzooms is very low for what you get and I wonder if a manufacturer will take the plunge to go for a better electronic viewfinder (more dots and faster refresh rate). Birders and wildlife watchers would probably pay twice the price for a top of the range model that did all that they really wanted. Compared with a reasonable pair of binoculars, a bridge camera at present is a drop in the financial ocean.

I suspect that all the manufacturers have been slow to catch on to the wildlife market. Feedback from the the amateur photography market (which ignored these cameras for years) is a limited source of to manufacturers who often do not realise what a large part of the market is looking for. After all, remember the axiom: cameras are designed by people who never use them to sell to amateur photographers who own but never use them.

This is the link to the ePhotozine article:
http://www.ephotozine.com/article/top-10-best-ultra-zoom-bridge-digital-cameras-2014-16928