Which pocket camera can optically zoom & autofocus while video recording?

Discussion in 'Photography Forums' started by largeruk, Mar 13, 2013.

  1. largeruk

    largeruk
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    Hi to all

    So here's my conundrum...in common with many, I'd like to carry a (small as possible) camera which takes high quality pictures (especially in low light), that has a wide angle lense (for group shots), and that can shoot high quality video in full HD.

    When shooting video, I want to be able to use the optical (rather than digital) zoom and for this to work noiselessly in operation. I also want the camera to be able to autofocus while zooming in and out during video recording (rather than have its focus set only at the beginning point of a video shoot).

    Having looked around, it seems that such facilities are only available on larger sized (and more expensive!) cameras. Am I missing something..?? :confused:

    Can anyone please point me in the direction of pocket sized, lightweight cameras that do all of the above - if indeed they exist..!

    Many many thanks for any help and advice offered.

    Cheers :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2013
  2. Johnmcl7

    Johnmcl7
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    What is your budget? The Sony RX100 will do everything you've requested but it doesn't come cheap (around £400 at the moment I think) so it depends how important low light picture quality is - generally better low light performance means a bigger sensor which in turn means higher cost and/or larger size.

    Otherwise I think it should be possible to find a camera that meets your video criteria.

    John
     
  3. largeruk

    largeruk
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    Both the RX1 and RX100 seem to have their various flaws, despite their high price tag. Totally get that no perfect camera exists and that it's always a compromise/trade off between form, factor, price etc. Which leads me to what's most important (to me at least).
    • Can I live with poor low light performance? No
    • Can I live with soft/poor still image quality? No
    I've got a Samsung S3 phone and could use the camera on that if I wasn't too bothered about the above.
    • Do I want to zoom optically and noiselessly while wanting the camera to dynamically autofocus when video recording? Yes
    I have a TZ20 which is a great all-rounder. Does video and still pics pretty well. But the pics are nowhere near as sharp and natural looking as my old Fuji F11 and the video zoom and stabilisation aren't that great. They're ok but only ok.

    Hence my questions about the ability of any pocket camera to zoom optically and noiselessly while preserving autofocus.

    I wonder if it's deliberate or some kind of subliminal mesage that the link in your post points to an HX20V...;)
     
  4. Johnmcl7

    Johnmcl7
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    The RX1 is a completely different class of camera, the RX100 though has outstanding low light ability for its size, its standard image quality is very impressive (there's an immense amount of detail at base iso) plus it can zoom optically during video and continuously autofocus. No camera is perfect but for a camera small enough to fit in a trouser pocket I think the RX100 does a remarkable job, if its IQ isn't good enough then the next step up are the mirrorless cameras - Panasonic and Sony both offer powerzoom lenses for micro 4/3 and NEX plus the Sony sensor is the same as they use in their DSLRs so it offers high image quality in a small package. There's a lot of competition in this market and a variety of models so with a bit of hunting there are some good price to be had however you do lose a bit in size and there's only a few mirrorless combinations that will fit in a jacket pocket.

    John
     
  5. largeruk

    largeruk
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    Hi John

    Useful perspective - thanks very much. Yes, I've looked at the RX100, and also the Canon S110. What other cameras that fit the bill (in terms of low light, wide angle, zoon + AF during video etc) do you and others suggest I look at?

    Cheers :)
     
  6. largeruk

    largeruk
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    Bump. Any views gratefully received..
     
  7. Johnmcl7

    Johnmcl7
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    It's difficult to make suggestions when you haven't provided what sort of budget you have in mind nor what the flaws you've mentioned above are.

    John
     
  8. largeruk

    largeruk
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    Hi

    My budget is <£200. A older used model is not a problem. I may be able to go a little higher if it makes sense. Hope that helps..

    Cheers :)
     

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