Ultrazoom photography: Something better than a reflex camera…

One of the most widespread false beliefs in photography, especially among those who have not yet started in this hobby, is that the best camera has to be a reflex camera. To illustrate this I will use the Canon PowerShot SX70 HS, a camera that is not an SLR, but for some people, may be better than an SLR. And if you want more options high zoom cameras here you have a list.

Bridge camera or SLR camera?

When someone asks me for advice, I usually ask them about the type of photography they would like to do. I explain to him that depending on his habits and preferences as a photographer, you will be interested in a SLR, a mirrorlessa bridge, a compact or a mobile phone.

At this point in the conversation, many stare at me with a face of not understanding anything, as if thinking “Man, you have a blog about photography, you should recommend an SLR, which are the cool ones, right?”

i love the concept reflex camera but, on countless occasions I have discouraged certain people from investing in a SLR camera. Most of those times the person has not taken it well.

The belief of those who come from outside, with practically zero knowledge in photography, is that the cool photographer is the one who wears a SLR camera around his neck. It has to be reflex, if not nothing.

When you have spent years dedicating yourself to photography, advising thousands of users and teaching photography, you know perfectly well that SLR cameras are wonderful, but that there are certain photos for which a SLR is very limited.

When the SLR is not a good idea

So, when I think that a person does not want an SLR, I usually say so. Normally, the person looks at me a little bewildered. There are times when I am tempted to lie to him and tell him “naaaa, just kidding, go ahead, get a SLR. Yes, come on, go ahead.”

I have already talked at length on the blog about why an SLR camera can be a bad idea. This is from a SLR fanatic by the way.

Today I want to address a very specific type of user, a type of photographer who should never invest in a SLR camera. I am going to explain to you why an SLR camera is the worst option for this type of photography, and I am going to present you with some alternatives that should help you get the photos you like to take.

A reflex camera is a bad idea if what you are looking for is:

  • Photograph the moon.
  • Photograph animals, especially if they live in freedom.
  • Sports photography from a long distance.

These are just a few examples, but I think you get the idea. In short, for everything that implies functionality zoom very powerful, forget about the reflex camera.

Most amateur photographers coming from compact or bridge cameras are shocked when they discover that their SLR camera offers an infinitely lower zoom level than their previous camera not reflex.

The reason is that, in a reflex camera, the zoom depends on the lens that you have attached to the camera. Most of the lenses that you will use on a daily basis have a rather wide angle (what is called the focal length).

Unlike other types of stock (non-interchangeable) lens cameras, on an SLR you can’t just press a certain button, hold it down, and watch the camera zoom in from several feet away. In an SLR it doesn’t work like that.

The closest thing to this, in an SLR, would be to buy what we call telephoto, that is, a lens with a long focal length. have them there are them. But they cost an eye of the camera. Some telephoto lenses are literally twice or triple the cost of an SLR camera, and yet they don’t even get a quarter of the zoom you can get with other kinds of cameras.

Therefore, if in photography your priority is the zoom, I would stay away from SLRs.

the alternative

If you have felt identified with any of the types of photography, that is that the zoom is something essential for you. My advice, in that case, is to value a camera with a more advanced zoom level.

There are many options on the market with more than decent zoom: there are several compact cameras that offer very interesting zoom features. Some with zoom levels of 10x, 20x, there are even some with 30x zoom.

If, in the field, a 30x zoom isn’t enough for you, then read on.

I’m a fan of DSLRs, but when it doesn’t suit a certain user, I put aside my sentimental point and recognize that for that user, a DSLR camera would not be a good idea.

In the same way, although he has always been very averse to cameras bridge (also called hybrids), because personally my needs have always been covered by SLRs, I recognize that a bridge camera can be, in certain circumstances, the ideal option for some amateur photographers.

The case that concerns us today is one of those occasions in which a bridge camera can make you a happy photographer.

the little revolution

There are many bridge cameras with a good level of zoom, infinitely higher than that of a SLR, however, most of them move in the 30x magnification range, like the compact ones I mentioned a while ago.

Canon recently released a little revolution in terms of bridge cameras: revolution because it is a camera that brings a zoom level that takes your breath away; and small because, to offer such a level of zoom, the camera maintains a very small and contained body.

I am referring to the Canon PowerShot SX70 HSone of the cameras that offers the highest level of zoom, along with features that bring it closer to the level of a true SLR camera.

Features of the Canon PowerShot SX70 HS

For starters, the camera offers a 65x optical zoom. Translated, on an SLR camera this would be the equivalent of a 1300mm focal length lens. Lenses of this focal length cost you more than 1,000 euros for the lens alone, an absurdly high amount of money compared to the price of the PowerShot SX70 HS (which is currently over 500-odd euros on Amazon).

Indisputable zoom aside, the PowerShot SX70 HS comes equipped with cutting-edge performance, as their macro mode with which you can focus on subjects at a minimum distance, almost almost touching the subject (in case you didn’t know, most cameras don’t focus on subjects that are too close).

More cool things you find in the Canon PowerShot SX70 HS: a flip screenideal for selfiefamily photos or, simply, to frame and shoot photos from angles that normally do not allow us to look at the screen, unless it is rotating.

The camera boasts a 20 megapixel sensor, although this for me is the least important because from 16 megapixels I think that one has too many megapixels. But hey, in case you care about the number of megapixels, you can’t complain here 😉

The feature that I tell you about below is essential for everyone who is interested in photography of birds, animals, fauna in general and also for those who want to do sports photography. There is a concept called fpstranslated would be something like photos per second. It refers to the number of photos that the camera is capable of capturing and processing, in sequence, one after another, in the time span of 1 second.

In most SLR cameras, almost at an advanced level, we find a level of 5 or 6 fps.

The Canon PowerShot SX70 HS hits with its 10 fps. This means that, faced with a unique scene, the kind where you have to capture the photo in a thousandth of a second no matter what happens, by pressing the shutter button and keeping it pressed, a sequence starts and the camera captures up to 10 photos in a row every second that keep the trigger pressed. can you imagine the click of the shutter sound 10 times in a row in the space of 1 second nothing more? A pass.

The result is a sequence of 10 photos (or more, if you keep the shutter button pressed for several seconds) where you have the subject photographed every tenth of a second: a bird about to take flight, a hasty squirrel climbing the tree trunk at speed of light, or the funny facial expression of your child trying to keep his balance in a fall.

A fps high always offers incredible photographic possibilities that you would not otherwise be able to capture.

The Canon SX70 HS also offers shooting modes manuals, to be able to use it in manual mode as if it were a reflex camera. It also allows you to store the photos in RAW format (I recommend shooting in RAW, especially those photos that are important to you, because that way you can process them and get even more out of them), and it offers video recording in true 4K.

This, together with the external microphone input and its zoom silent makes it an ideal choice also for video lovers.

The list of features and benefits of the PowerShot SX70 HS is still very long, with things like function Wifiimproved autofocus, among other features, but I want to close this part of the features because I simply wanted to illustrate some of the technological wonders that, as an amateur photographer, you can find in the Canon SX70 HS, and that can hardly be found together in a camera of such reduced dimensions and with a similar price.

Does it have any disadvantage?

Of course. Like all cameras, the Canon PowerShot SX70 HS also has a few drawbacks. The key is to study its pros and cons and thus be able to weigh if it is an ideal camera for you.

The Canon SX70 HS, being a camera bridgecomes with a non-interchangeable lens. One pass of the lens after all, but you don’t have the freedom to change from one lens to another, as you could with an SLR camera. Although many will see this as an advantage, because that way you do not have to carry the weight of different lenses or spend money on them.

It has a rotating non-touch screen. In my case, for example, I hate touch screens. Some of my cameras have a touch screen, but I don’t use that feature. I’m more of physical buttons, the old-fashioned way. But hey, I understand that there are people who prefer to operate the camera from the same screen. If this is what you are looking for, this camera is not for you.

Many beginning photographers who have used the PowerShot SX70 HS have complained that the camera produces very shaky photos when the zoom is extended. This is not actually a camera defect, but rather the laws of physics. All cameras, even DSLRs, suffer from camera shake the moment we try to take a picture at full zoom. This happens even in professional cut cameras. All professional photographers use a tripod or some alternative means…