I am looking for a bit of advice on getting a new camera.

I take quite a lot of photos. I’ve owned three digital cameras over the years. Since I’ve had an iPhone I am mostly happy with that. I do like to have a camera with a good zoom as well. I mostly take photos outdoors, plant, birds and animals, and a zoom helps.

I don’t really put much effort into the craft of taking photos and don’t have any real technical knowledge. I can’t see me learning any at this stage. I’ve occasionally started or some kind soul has tried to teach me but it doesn’t really stick.

I do really enjoy having a visual notebook of things I’ve seen, walks I’ve gone on and interesting flora and fauna.

For a while I had a PowerShot SX10 IS which I really liked, it stopped being reliable, failed to take photos often and slowly faded away. I then go a Panasonic DMC-TZ80. I liked the zoom on this, but the photos didn’t seem much clearer than my iPhone 6. It also didn’t take being stuffed in a rucksack or pocked very well, the wee dial on the back fell off and later it just stopped working altogether.

This year I’ve just had my iPhone. I do really like it but I’ve taken a few photos of distant dots where I can’t get close enough, typically of birds. I’d like a new camera with a zoom.

The problem is camera reviews don’t seem to help much. The TZ80 had good reviews but the pictures weren’t all that good and it was not robust enough. I bought it mainly because it has a view finder. I was going to replace the canon with anther canon, but at my price range they don’t have one.

Here is what I think I need:

  • A ~50x zoom
  • A view finder
  • < £300 preferably nearer 200
  • Not too flimsy

I don’t need the latest, there seems a lot of previous models on amazon that look ok. I probably want things that help automatic, stabilisation perhaps. Easy time lapse and long exposure would be nice.

I don’t really want to have to learn much, I’ll use auto 99% of the time, dip into to random settings and go back to auto. I don’t care about “creative” modes, filters etc.

There seems to be plenty of choice, I just don’t know what to pick.

The Panasonic DMC-FZ72 is the sort of thing I’ve been looking at, but the last one I had was a Panasonic and did not last. I’ve also though about giving up the viewfinder and getting the older Canon SX530

Any thoughts or opinions gratefully received.

A bit over a week ago I got a tweet from Athole

The premise is simple enough, for 7 days you take a B&W image, tweet it and ask someone else to join in.

I did:

Day 7 is the featured image of this post.

What is interesting about this project is that there is no hashtag. You get mentions from the folk you invite, if they take the invite up and perhaps from some of their invitees.

An enjoyable experience, I though a bit about photography (or at least my phone snapping) and enjoyed seeing other folks images. It felt a little more relaxed than hashtag type collaborations. More meandering perhaps…

Thanks to Athole and the folk who I pestered to join in.