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Thread: long zoom alternative, canon powershot sx50 hs?

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    evan47's Avatar
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    long zoom alternative, canon powershot sx50 hs?

    a decent zoom over 300mm is a heck of a lot of cash for something i would only use for about three or four months of the year. as an alternative i was thinking of one of the better rated bridge cameras such as the canon powershot sx50 hs. i will stick with my d90/d7000 and set of lenses up to 300mm for my usual subjects, using the canon sx50 hs for longer shots.
    from past experience i feel that even 500mm could be a little on the short side! (small birds at medium distance, larger birds on lakes). i would likely use it on bright winter days in the uk.
    i am familiar with the adage, you get what you pay for, but a decent zoom like the nikon 200-400vr, or a 500mm prime is well out of my price range.
    would the canon be worth the bother or should i have a rethink and take up crochet in the winter months? if the image quality would be similar to my 70-300 vr i would be more than happy.

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    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: long zoom alternative, canon powershot sx50 hs?

    Hi Evan, that was my thinking earlier this year when the Canon SX40 became available. That logic has worked very well for me and several others (Nikon p510 and Canon SX50 users) that post regularly here. A better adage may be 'use the best tool for the job'. Part of selecting the best tool for you may include what is best for your budget.

    To compare shots from my DSLR and the Canon SX40, link to my SmugMug account below. Every image there identifies what camera was used.

    I am likely going to sell my SX40, which has outperformed my wildest dreams for something in this price range, and upgrade to the SX50 for both the longer range and the ability to shoot RAW.

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    evan47's Avatar
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    Re: long zoom alternative, canon powershot sx50 hs?

    thanks frankmi. i will most certainly consider the canon. it seems to be good bang for the buck!

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: long zoom alternative, canon powershot sx50 hs?

    Hi Evan,

    I went through the same thing earlier this year.

    You may find this post in my P52 thread useful - it compares the Nikon P510 with my trusty Nikon 70-300mm

    FWIW I am also considering the Canon SX50HS, both for the RAW capability and the hope the AF and V/F will be better than the P510.

    If you are considering the P510;
    Good points;
    the 1000mm FFE lens
    the rear LCD being 910k dots and tiltable
    in camera jpg correction of lens defects, etc.
    16MP sensor
    Bad points;
    AF performance
    the EVF is really naff; impossible to judge if focus or exposure are even in the ball park
    no RAW

    In good light, with a static subject, the 1000mm beats the 450mm FFE of the 70-300mm on a Nikon crop bodies like ours.

    I will be publishing some further comparison shots soon in that thread.

    Cheers,
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 17th October 2012 at 10:57 PM.

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    Re: long zoom alternative, canon powershot sx50 hs?

    Panasonic also has a superzoom that also shoots RAW. I have the FZ100 whose main drawback is a noisy sensor, but apparently that issue has been fixed in the 150 and 200

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    Re: long zoom alternative, canon powershot sx50 hs?

    From what I read about PowerShot SX50 HS it looks to be a great little camera. That 50x optical zoom lens it has gose from a wide-angle 24mm to 1200mm (35mm equivalent) That's getting on out there in my book.
    Last edited by Melkus; 18th October 2012 at 03:27 AM.

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    Re: long zoom alternative, canon powershot sx50 hs?

    I think I am going to get one of these... I have been watching and reading info about them... just gotta sell my wide angle lens then I can do it lol

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    Re: long zoom alternative, canon powershot sx50 hs?

    I've been interested interested in this sort of things for some time. I have a sigma 170-500mm zoom and a canon 75-300mm. The 300mm isn't to bad but the 500 is a pain to carry around. Having an off period at the moment but I often go on walks usually in the 6 to 8 mile range so weight is important as is the range range of lenses I can carry around with me. After looking at bridge and various super zoom semi compacts etc I concluded that from what I know about wide range zooms I probably wouldn't be happy with them. From using compacts of various makes I also have an idea what to expect from small sensors. So I looked at csc cameras as some call them. Compact system cameras. There are 3 with decent sized sensors. The Sony Nex aps and 2 micro 4/3 the Olympus Pen and the Panasonic. The Nex is definitely aimed at the compact step up market but watching my son use his it's probably a better camera. It would be a case of downloading the manual and checking what it can do. Also as it's aps the lenses aren't that small. The body is tiny. Of the other 2 Panasonic may have made a better job of getting round electronic view problems but the lenses have stability built in which makes them bigger or seems to. All of the olympus lenses are small and light and the stability is built into the body. The olympus cameras are extensively programmable where as the right sort of button options only seem to be in the higher priced Panasonic cameras. I went for an Olympus for the inbuilt stabilisation but was rather surprised that it only worked when the shot was taken. That aspect is a problem in 2 areas. There are adapters available to fit just about any lens to a m 4/3 camera and manual focusing of olympus lenses. The problem is that the electronic view has less pixels than the sensor so can't show if a lens is focused unless the view is magnified. There is too little info in the display and it can look crisp but be a fair way out. Actually some of the detail in scene may even not be shown. The e-pl1 provides a magnified view of 7x which with a rather expensive 1.4mp clip on viewfinder just about reveals what the 12mp sensor is actually seeing. The E-P3 offers 5x,7x and 10x. There is also a 2x digital zoom on that one. Taking the standard pen 14-42mm zoom as an example with a 7x view it is like using a 98-294mm lens on it. That can be doubled for 35mm equivalent. It's rather difficult to hold it sufficiently steady to allow accurate manual focusing. The next size zoom up is the 40-150mm and there is also one that goes to 300mm. Forget manual focusing with those unless the view happens to be waving about over a fairly flat surface. It would even be a problem on a monopod. To get round this people use panasonic lenses. Optically these often aren't as good and more corrections are done in camera CA for instance. No problem for photoshop type users as lens files are available but even jpg's may need it. I correct it when manually when needed. I stick with the 14-42mm which is an unusually good lens and also use a panasonic 45-200mm. This is the sort of results it gives at 200mm. It should open up to a full frame full res view. If not follow the link.

    long zoom alternative, canon powershot sx50 hs?

    As you can see it should be possible to crop to a 400mm (800mm in 35 terms) view and still have a reasonably sized shot left and the AF has got it right on this one - easy job. The built in IS does allow reasonable manual focusing. They also make a 100-300mm but it's over twice the cost as no one really discounts it. It should be possible to get to 1200mm in 35mm terms with crops using that one. The shot shows the sensor problems. Fringing round the ducks head that has been mostly taken out and loss of shadow detail without adjustment. Being fair the duck is back lit. There generally a lot of detail that can be bought out of even jpg's and maybe it's best for the camera to make a decent job of the highlights. I've seen 2 stops buried in a shot of a black dog in raw mode. Highlight pass as at the moment I expose for them.

    The camera has all of the usual dslr type settings but unfortunately iso is buried in a menu. I treat it like a film camera more or less in that respect. The E-PL1 has only compact style controls and is crippled in places against the E-P3 which has 2 rotary controls. The uncrippling is partly to justify the price difference. Some Panasonics have a magnified view in the entire view which I have found easier to use on earlier canon compacts that offer manual focusing. Some have one rotary control and easy access to iso. I was drawn to the Pen for it's inbody IS and also reviews indicating it had the best available jpg noise reduction engine built in.

    What I would wonder about the SX-50HS is if it really has a usable 12mp sensor. Compacts have been pixel crazy for years now. It seems to have a sensor with about a 1/4 inch diagonal. It would be interesting to consider F number and diffraction against pixel size even in rgb blocks bearing in mind that the lenses will be nothing like diffraction limited. Canon do make a few, the DO range but they are rather costly and wont have a 50x zoom range. Raw hacks have been available for a number of Powershots for some time now that don't even have to be installed within the camera. Some reckon it's better to let the camera do it as the software in the camera has many if's and buts in it.

    I'm curious so maybe some one can oblige. Anyone can upload any size of image to this site and link to it providing they are not using it to sell something - http://www.23hq.com - I've used it for some time without any problems due to registering. They have a pay option for those that want to upload lots. Maybe some one could upload some full camera jpg's of various things along with some from raw. I have a number on there from a Pen it would be interesting to compare. It's an interesting area. Pixel size etc has even caused Sony to release a large sensor shirt pocket compact. I suspect ever increasing pixel counts has come to the end of the line now.

    Hope the post isn't so long that nobody bothers to read it.
    -

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    Re: long zoom alternative, canon powershot sx50 hs?

    JOHN .... Presumably you HAVE to manual focus becuase you choose the PEN, as I did. But after comparing the usability of the PEN v. my Panasonics ... I had both the G3 and GH2 until I gave the G3 to my son ...I think the PEN and manual lenses is hopeless even though I have less reach with my Lumix 014140. Manual focusing is only rarely needed and AF, particularly with a fast working lens like the 014140, meets most situations. Though it can lead me astray in a hurried situation having the small target area of the G3 is great for accurate focusing very similar to how one selects a small point/area to be the focus point with MF.
    Sadly the GH2 being an older camera doesn't have the ability to select a small target area ... maybe the GH3 does? Nobody has confirmed this for me.

    For me and I would like a small camera one day for quality snaps that would easilly fit in my pocket I think the GH2 and 014140 lens is a reasonable step up from my FZ50 and the size and weight is more or less what "I want" with a camera ... similar to a small DSLR but with the advantages of M4/3.
    Last edited by jcuknz; 18th October 2012 at 07:57 PM.

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    Re: long zoom alternative, canon powershot sx50 hs?

    thanks all.
    i am still very interested in the sx50 hs. i think i will wait until the start of next year until getting one though. in the meantime i will keep an eye its user groups, seeing if any issues arise and have a look at the quality of real world pics in the user groups photo pools.
    what i have seen so far seems to at least equal or outdo most of the affordable dslr lens offerings. i will still keep my dslrs for normal use, using the sx50 hs for long shots and when i need to travel light.

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    Melkus's Avatar
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    Re: long zoom alternative, canon powershot sx50 hs?

    Could do like I did buy a Nikon V1 and then later I might get the FT-1 mount adapter so I can use the F-mount lens from my D90. Great little camera
    long zoom alternative, canon powershot sx50 hs?

    Nikon V1 with 10-30mm and 30-110mm lens

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    Re: long zoom alternative, canon powershot sx50 hs?

    Quote Originally Posted by jcuknz View Post
    JOHN .... Presumably you HAVE to manual focus becuase you choose the PEN, as I did. But after comparing the usability of the PEN v. my Panasonics ... I had both the G3 and GH2 until I gave the G3 to my son ...I think the PEN and manual lenses is hopeless even though I have less reach with my Lumix 014140. Manual focusing is only rarely needed and AF, particularly with a fast working lens like the 014140, meets most situations. Though it can lead me astray in a hurried situation having the small target area of the G3 is great for accurate focusing very similar to how one selects a small point/area to be the focus point with MF.
    Sadly the GH2 being an older camera doesn't have the ability to select a small target area ... maybe the GH3 does? Nobody has confirmed this for me.

    For me and I would like a small camera one day for quality snaps that would easilly fit in my pocket I think the GH2 and 014140 lens is a reasonable step up from my FZ50 and the size and weight is more or less what "I want" with a camera ... similar to a small DSLR but with the advantages of M4/3.
    No for most shots the AF on a Pen works well. Unfortunately it works most reliably on the E-P3. They may have upgraded others but I doubt it. The E-P3 lower light focusing performance is better too.. There are AF area options including the small target area which from memory also exists in the E-PL1. Most of the differences are down to firmware. The only problem with them really is that past the 14-42mm it's best to use Panasonic lenses as in use telephoto lenses are far more likely to need manual focus more often and as you have said contrast is needed also light well past the level the camera is capable of dealing with. Weird really as the Pen IS will work continuously in video mode. The camera does use IS while it's focusing. Part of the problem with both makes of camera is that reviews insist on fast focus rather than accurate focus which is far more important.. Seems Sony have done something about that called focus peaking. I'd guess that is slow it down and get it right even in low light. Sony seem to be the only company that really seem to be trying to do something about semi serious cameras with an electronic view. Some how I suspect they will bring out something to compete with m 4/3 at some point as using aps was probably a mistake.

    Of the 2 makes I prefer the E-P3 for several reasons but if some of the firmware orientated E-PL1 cripples were removed I would probably be happy with that. The only Panasonic that might interest me is the one with the viewfinder but currently for what it is it's well over priced. As is the E-P3 really but I can carry rather a lot around in a small shoulder bag Good job the bag is water proof. That is why I bought it. I wouldn't recommend either make to a beginner as they would be far better off buying one of the lower priced entry level dslr's. They will generally find it a lot easier to get what might be called photographers pictures. On the other hand if Olympus had more sense the E-PL1 would be on every bodies wish list. Not in it's current form though and don't just mean firmware. Instead they bring out the new OM which in my view is way to expensive in comparison with a number of conventional dslr's. Must stop. I can go on a bit on this sort of subject as my profession is design and development aimed at selling more and more of what ever I am working on.

    -
    PS I will add I use a recent sony dsc-t shirt pocket type for snaps

    -

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    Re: long zoom alternative, canon powershot sx50 hs?

    Hi Evan,
    I have a Sony DSC HX100V with 30x zoom. In my opinion it is no alternative for a DX format sensor with a 300mm lens. Rather get a 2x converter for the 300mm. The quality will be better than a bridge camera’s quality.
    These “super zoom” cameras are really only “super zoom” when in digital zoom. Cropping a DX format image is better than cropping an image from the tiny sensor of a bridge camera. (Cropping the image is all a super zoom does when in "digital zoom")

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    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: long zoom alternative, canon powershot sx50 hs?

    Quote Originally Posted by AB26 View Post
    These “super zoom” cameras are really only “super zoom” when in digital zoom.
    The Canon SX50 HS has 24-1200mm FFE OPTICAL zoom. The digital zoom takes it to 100X. From DP Review:

    "For photographers who want to capture detail in distant subjects, the PowerShot SX50 HS features Canon’s most powerful optical zoom in a compact camera to date. A class-leading optical construction features 13 elements, with three UD lenses included in a 10 group optical arrangement – providing exceptional performance throughout the enormous 50x optical zoom range. A newly designed Ultrasonic Motor (USM) and Voice Coil Motor (VCM) ensure fast and near-silent zooming when moving from the 24mm wide angle through to 1200mm maximum reach, while ZoomPlus digitally extends the zoom to 100x while maintaining high image quality."

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    evan47's Avatar
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    Re: long zoom alternative, canon powershot sx50 hs?

    the nikon v1 with the ft-1 adapter is said to work rather well with the 70-300mm vr with its 2.7x conversion. but, how many f-stops will i lose? and how good is the evf?

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    Re: long zoom alternative, canon powershot sx50 hs?

    Quote Originally Posted by evan47 View Post
    the nikon v1 with the ft-1 adapter is said to work rather well with the 70-300mm vr with its 2.7x conversion. but, how many f-stops will i lose? and how good is the evf?
    Check this out, Evan.

    http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2012...-of-3250mm-fun

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    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: long zoom alternative, canon powershot sx50 hs?

    Quote Originally Posted by evan47 View Post
    the nikon v1 with the ft-1 adapter is said to work rather well with the 70-300mm vr with its 2.7x conversion. but, how many f-stops will i lose? and how good is the evf?
    The rule of thumb on teleconverters is roughly related to the amount of magnification; a 2x converter will reduce the equivalence of 2 stops, a 3x is 3 stops, so with a 2.7x, you will be loosing almost 3 stops.

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: long zoom alternative, canon powershot sx50 hs?

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyDiver View Post
    The rule of thumb on teleconverters is roughly related to the amount of magnification; a 2x converter will reduce the equivalence of 2 stops, a 3x is 3 stops, so with a 2.7x, you will be loosing almost 3 stops.
    I agree that is the case when placing a teleconverter between a lens and a given format body.

    However, isn't the V1 already expecting that magnification from any lens put on it, so hasn't the iso range been 'adjusted' to take account of it?

    i.e. For a given light level, won't the exposure of 255 occur at the same iso for a set aperture and shutter speed (across formats)? (That the aperture is integral to the focal length may have some bearing)

    I am unsure of myself here, so may learn something myself

    Although, adding a TC into the mix too, will have the same effect on the V1 as it would on the format it was designed for.

    Cheers,

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    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: long zoom alternative, canon powershot sx50 hs?

    Quote Originally Posted by FrankMi View Post
    ZoomPlus digitally extends the zoom to 100x while maintaining high image quality."
    Digital zoom has got to be the biggest crock ever invented by the camera manufacturer's marketing departments. All it does is to provide a crop of the sensor. If you double the zoom using a digital, the image will simply be half the area of the sensor, so while the image may look larger, you will see no difference if you do the same crop in PP. In both examples you are throwing away pixels. With an optical zoom, you are getting true magnification.

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    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: long zoom alternative, canon powershot sx50 hs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    I agree that is the case when placing a teleconverter between a lens and a given format body.

    However, isn't the V1 already expecting that magnification from any lens put on it, so hasn't the iso range been 'adjusted' to take account of it?

    i.e. For a given light level, won't the exposure of 255 occur at the same iso for a set aperture and shutter speed (across formats)? (That the aperture is integral to the focal length may have some bearing)

    I am unsure of myself here, so may learn something myself

    Although, adding a TC into the mix too, will have the same effect on the V1 as it would on the format it was designed for.

    Cheers,
    Dave - my understanding of it is that from an optical standpoint all you are with a teleconverter is increasing the focal length of the lens. The calculation of the maximum f stop is still going to be focal length / entrance pupil diameter of the lens, so if you double the focal length, mathematically, you have halved the maximum f-stop as the entrance pupil diameter is fixed. The maximum f-stop is totally independent of the sensor size.

    Perhaps I shouldn't suggested that this is a "rule of thumb" in my original post; it is just simple math.

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