Digital cameras forum: Long Zoom Point/Shoot with Viewfinder?

by: cvdell April 27, 2014 7:36 PM PDT

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Long Zoom Point/Shoot with Viewfinder?

by cvdell - 4/27/14 7:36 PM

I'm ready to upgrade a Kodak Z612 that has served me well for ~7 years; kind of a "bridge camera" circa 2007 (12x zoom, 6 mb). The new camera will be mostly an outdoor vacation camera. Zoom needed for wildlife (e.g. going to Denali NP this summer). But I want it to function reasonably well indoor and for landscape pics also. 99% of pictures will be viewed on a screen; rarely printed (will not be printing posters). Here is my criteria:

• 30x or greater zoom
• Viewfinder (I don't see how you can frame a shoot and hold the camera steady without a view finder
• Smaller the better (not considering a DSLR/2 lens combo)
• Good image quality throughout the zoom range.
• Reasonably fast to focus and to complete shot (be ready for next shot)

Nice to have:
• Wifi - not sure I'd use it, but could be useful occasionally. Same with GPS
• 50 - 60x zoom. I'll be very impressed with a good quality 30x zoom. More would be better, but not if something else is sacrificed.
• Rotating display. Nice, but a good viewfinder and compactness are more important.
• HD video


I've looked at the Cannon SX50 HS and Nikon P600. Very similar in size and feel (I've held both at Best Buy. The Nikon has better "specs" and is relatively new, but I don't know if the better specs translate to better pictures. The Cannon has been out a year or two (If I buy this one, I just know a SX60 would be announced the next day). The Cannon seems to be well liked by it's owners . Both of these are a little larger than my current Kodak, but they will fit in a fanny pack for a day hike.

I just saw a post recommending the Panasonic TZ60; a 30x pocketable camera with a view finder. That alone makes it very interesting to me. The reviews I've seen say the view finder doesn't give a very good image, but it is good enough to let you frame a pic during a bright day. I have no idea how picture quality from the Panasonic would compare to the larger SX50 or P600.

Any suggestions among these, or other current cameras?
Thanks,

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