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Please help me to find the right solution for my needs. I'm looking for a high quality camera, it should be modern, capable to record high-quality videos in FullHD (4K not needed at all). In the question of photography I find myself taking low light photos more often than anything else. But I need a universal lens with focal length range ~20 to ~200 (+/-) and a camera that suit this lens perfectly well. For now I consider Pentax KP and Pentax SMC DA 18 - 270 mm f/3.5 - 6.3 ED SDM, but I'm not sure it's the best what I can get under my budget (US$2500).

Priorities:

  • FullHD still video recording (natural indoor light, w/o any additional lights set)
  • Daytime photography macro - portraits - telephoto;
  • Optionally I would be happy to be able to take acceptable (or better quality) shots at evenings;

I would really appreciate your help as well as if you point out weak and strong sides of my current pick. Will I've better results if I stick with a superzoom camera, like Sony DSC-RX10M4 or Panasonic FZ2500?

It's very important to have only one lens so please do not suggest me two use 2 different lenses.

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    Are you aware that "f/6.3" and "low light photos" are pretty much mutually exclusive? – Philip Kendall Oct 30 '17 at 23:22
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    It might help if you could explain why you won't use more than one lens - but the simple answer to your question is probably "you can't do that". Also maybe explain why a superzoom camera doesn't meet your needs. – Philip Kendall Oct 30 '17 at 23:58
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    If you want quality, why restrict yourself to a single, inferior lens? Particularly when it comes to low-light photography, you need a wide aperture. You need to reconsider your criteria. – osullic Oct 31 '17 at 0:57
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    I think camera/lens rental is a thing, so why not rent those for a couple days each and see how well they work for you? Also, as a quick comment the RX10M4 seems like it won't have any benefit for you over the M3; its improvements are mostly speed-related (burst shooting and focus speed), the lens and sensor are the same. The M3 on the other hand will be cheaper and have longer battery life. – user29608 Oct 31 '17 at 5:39
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    You will have to compromise somewhere. If you insist on full-frame (and I'm not sure why), maybe you are looking for too long a focal length range - consider something like 24-120 instead. If a large focal length range is also non-negotiable, I think you will be better off looking at a bridge camera, but that will come with a smaller sensor. – osullic Oct 31 '17 at 10:10
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The solution you want does not exist in 2017.

There are no 20-200mm f/1.8 lenses for full frame sized or APS-C cameras. There are not even any 20-200mm f/2.8 lenses for FF or APS-C cameras. f/2.8 is pretty much the default minimum aperture for shooting stills in very low light.

The reason there are no such lenses are that they would be far too heavy, much too large, and way too expensive to be practical while still delivering much poorer optical image quality than much smaller, lighter, and cheaper lenses can deliver.

If you really want to go there, you can get a broadcast quality video lens such as the Canon DigiSuper 100AF that projects an image circle large enough for a 2/3" broadcast camera with a 9.3-930mm focal length. It gives an equivalent field of view on such a cameras as that of a 36-3656mm lens on a FF camera. It only weighs 60 pounds and costs a bit more than $200,000. And that is for a 9.59x5.39mm video sensor with a 3.9X crop factor.

Canon DigiSuper 100AF

  • Does it have an EOS mount? :D (asking for a friend...) – Crazy Dino Oct 31 '17 at 14:36
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    @CrazyDino It is supplied with a standard broadcast industry B4 mount. It can be adapted to EF mount, but keep in mind that the image circle is only about 11mm in diameter (roughly 1/4 the diameter needed for a FF sensor and just under half the diameter needed for an APS-C camera). To create a lens with the same general properties that could project a 43mm image circle one would need to make the front element 4X larger in diameter and focal length, it would probably weigh 16X as much, and cost about 64X as much! – Michael C Oct 31 '17 at 20:48

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