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Thread: Super Zoom Cameras 50 x Zooms

  1. #1
    victor's Avatar
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    Super Zoom Cameras 50 x Zooms

    I am interested in purchasing one of the super zoom bridge cameras for wild life photography.

    Has any CIC member have any experience of the following:

    Fujifilm HS50, Nikon P520, Sony HX300 and Canon Powershot SX50.

    I am interested in performance/image quality at the far zoom ranges 400-1200mm.

    I am currently lugging around a 7d, 80-400 sigma zoom and Sigma 1.4 and 2 x converters.

    I am also considering trading in the 80-400 for the Canon 100-400mm zoom and would appreciate any advice re the path to take .....

    Thanks

    Regards

    Victor

  2. #2

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    Re: Super Zoom Cameras 50 x Zooms

    I have 950 reach with my older bridge camera with its telephoto adaptor and have cropped it to give myself around 2000 reach. OIS enables this to be done handheld with care at the shutter speed my old camera selects when working at 100 ISO. I believe one could use higher ISO with these newer cameras but my main comment is that while the numbers read impressively the actual reach is less so and 1200 is just a quarter crop of 600 as you find with say the FZ200. With both my rig and the Fz200 there is the question of the aperture at the end of the zoom ...I have 950 reach at f/4.5 and the FZ200 is 600 at f/2.8.
    In other situation not that much difference but when restricting oneself to 100 ISO for best IQ it is a factor to be considered I think.
    As a bridge/MFT user the idea of a DSLR rig is mildly horrific as I am well into retirement

    My bridge camera is the FZ50 with a Raynox 2020. The MFT is a better solution if for instance you get the 100-300 lens which is giving you 600mm reach with DSLR results for most purposes. I have the 14-140 as a walk-around GP lens along with a Olympus TCON x1.7 for 500mm reach.
    I am sure the Canon and Nikon cameras you mention are excellent within the limitations of their small sensors, my Coolpix 5700 is still great ten years down the track, but believe there are other ways such as MFT. My GH2, and the GH3 is more so, feels like a DSLR but without the weight of the heavy DSLR size glass so you should feel comfortable using it.
    But as with all these questions it does depend on what you look for in a camera ... we are all different.

  3. #3
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    Re: Super Zoom Cameras 50 x Zooms

    My son-in-law uses the Canon SX50. The problem is that the aperture at full zoom is rather small needing a high shutter speed which, in turn, can need a high ISO. A disadvantage is also an advantage... The zoom range is so long that my son-in-law seems always tempted to zoom all the way out when shooting. This often results in less than sharp images despite the Image Stabilization...

    One advantage of the SX50 is that it can shoot in RAW format. I don't know about the other bridge cameras. I know that the SX40 could not capture RAW images unless with a fix to its software...

    I know that except for the f/2.8 vs. f/3.4 aperture at the wide end, the SX50 seems to be a more capable camera...

    A tripod is really helpful when using this camera but, few people who opt for a bridge camera are willing to lug around a tripod. OTOH, a small lightweight tripod might be just the ticker for a camera the size of the SX50...

    The image quality is quite good from my son-in-laws SX50 but, IMO, not in the category of a DSLR with a good lens. However, the quality seems just fine for posting on facebook and attaching to emails..
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 28th May 2013 at 11:04 PM.

  4. #4
    Panama Hat & Camera's Avatar
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    Re: Super Zoom Cameras 50 x Zooms

    David,
    I had a Nikon P510 (that I gave to my daughter) and I have a Canon SX50. Both are good cameras, but the SX50 is better.
    Another good camera is the Panasonic FZ200. The SX50 and FZ200 are equivalent: the FZ200 lens is faster than SX 50 lens, but the FZ200 sensor is noisier than SX50 sensor.

    In the following links, you can find good reviews about SX50 and FZ200:
    http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Ca...rShot_SX50_HS/
    http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Pa...mix_DMC_FZ200/

    In the following links, you can find a good review with a comparison about Panasonic FZ200 vs Canon SX50 HS Noise JPEG:
    http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Pa...00/noise.shtml

    Quote Originally Posted by victor View Post
    I am currently lugging around a 7d, 80-400 sigma zoom and Sigma 1.4 and 2 x converters.

    I am also considering trading in the 80-400 for the Canon 100-400mm zoom and would appreciate any advice re the path to take .....
    Victor
    Finally, I like very much superzoom cameras, but DSLR (and MFT) are much better for photographing moving subjects and for low light conditions.

    I hope it helps you.

    Antonio.

  5. #5
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    Re: Super Zoom Cameras 50 x Zooms

    There are 2 review sites that have various raw and jpg examples that can be downloaded. One is Dpreview but they tend towards higher end cameras. The other is more general but I seem to have lost the link. A search for some of the cameras mentioned should bring it up. I took a look at these and concluded that as some reviews state in photographer terms they are ok for photo galleries. Processing the raw files was an interesting experience and more revealing in terms of problems due to sensor size. Some one bought me the Fuji one but I sold it rather quickly.

    My answer as I walk a lot is an OM-D with 3 lenses 2 from Olympus and the 100-300mm from Panasonic. I will probably change the long zoom to the Olympus one at some point. Total weight in a Troop London Heritage thick canvas bag is just under 2kg. I have 2 of those one small and a larger one. I try to keep the bags dry even though they are waterproof. I'm more of a summer time photographer so haven't used this kit much since I bought it but my impression is that the 100-300mm will probably crop to super zoom focal lengths. There are plenty of Pen shots on the link in my signature. Good or bad. Most are via an E-PL1. I changed that to an E-P3 which is superior in a number of ways and will be keeping that as a back up camera. I feel that these are an alternative as well but wont be to everybody's tastes. One aspect is that they bury a lot of detail in the dark end that can be bought out and don't seem to take over exposure kindly. I mostly process from camera jpg's and just use raw when needed which means hardly at all.

    John
    -

  6. #6

    Re: Super Zoom Cameras 50 x Zooms

    I purchased a Fuji HS50 for birding. It is an amazing camera. I have gotten shots I never would have thought possible greatly helping with bird id. The camera is able to handle back lighting when shooting up into trees or phone wires. I have 5 other cameras but this one is the most fun and the 1000m lens is great. Go for it, you will have great fun and get some great photos as well

    sb

  7. #7
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    Re: Super Zoom Cameras 50 x Zooms

    Victor,

    I'm purely an amateur - no pretensions to going commercial - and my main interests are land and sea-scapes.

    I have recently bought a Fuji HS50 to replace a Panasonic 18 zoom and am really still getting to grips with it. the hardest thing I'm finding to get used to is the zoom ring as opposed to the lever of the Panasonic, that said, I'm actually beginning to prefer it.

    There are plenty of choices of pre-sets (including an easy HDR) and the usual opportunities for manual control - I've found image quality to be perfectly acceptable for viewing either full screen on my calibrated 1920X1200 IPS monitor or for creating prints up to A4 - I rarely print larger than that.

    Just to add to the fun, Panasonic have now announced the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ70 - which gives 60X zoom.

  8. #8

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    Re: Super Zoom Cameras 50 x Zooms

    As a quite long standing Panasonic user I find it interesting how series of cameras develop with the new model taking a step forward with one thing while a step backwards with another. The FZ70 from a reach point of view starts its x60 zoom from 20mm AoV like the FZ200 from 25 AoV. It has a fixed LCD instead of the very useful when it is needed fully articulated screen. It cannot use an external flash though has quite a respectable internal one at 13m.
    I suppose it boils down to 'market research' and reducing costs by dispensing with features people don't want that much

    There is the point mentioned above that with a larger sensor one can crop for the narrower AoV and my experience with reach is that while it is nice to bandy around the numbers the biggest improvement came from when the standard lens became a x2 zoom.

  9. #9
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    Re: Super Zoom Cameras 50 x Zooms

    Quote Originally Posted by jcuknz View Post
    As a quite long standing Panasonic user I find it interesting how series of cameras develop with the new model taking a step forward with one thing while a step backwards with another.
    Indeed. Another step back occurs with the DMC-GH1&2 having aspect ratio options done cleverly with an oversize sensor which disappeared on the GH3.

    The FZ70 from a reach point of view starts its x60 zoom from 20mm AoV like the FZ200 from 25 AoV.
    A bit puzzled with AoV (angle of view, I assume) being expressed in mm not degrees, e.g. 20mm AoV. Is the '20mm' the lens nominal focal length?

  10. #10

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    Re: Super Zoom Cameras 50 x Zooms

    Quote Originally Posted by xpatUSA View Post
    A bit puzzled with AoV (angle of view, I assume) being expressed in mm not degrees, e.g. 20mm AoV. Is the '20mm' the lens nominal focal length?
    Sorry about that but I have never taken to degrees in connection with lenses and talk of equivalent lens on a 35mm camera. It appears to be a digital 'thing' and found at many sources. I guess you can call it nominal focal length as well, sounds right to me. Neither mean much to me in practical photography but are simply terms to describe the lens when writing.

    I had a funny thing happen to me the last photograph I took. A CU of my right hand to send to my doctor to show progress in a treatment. Camera on tripod and LCD swung out to view things and the image kept on dissapearing ... battery flat? replaced it. I wanted to see the green focus confirmation dot. Finally it tumbled ... the EVF has a proximity sensor which cuts the LCD as your eye gets close .... and my left hand reaching over to work the trigger URRRRGH!
    Next time I will use my cable release

    Reminds me of guy at dpreview who picking a high shutter speed was annoyed the camera still used f/6.3 when he was after minimum depth of field ....I checked the specs and discovered it was an f/4-f/6.3 lens and I guiessed he was using the long end of his zoom for tight framing ... he was ... Poor camera getting the blame for something it could do nothing different

  11. #11

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    Re: Super Zoom Cameras 50 x Zooms

    I forgot to mention my feeling after getting the tele-adaptor and going from 430 up to 950 that the little birdies saw this and moved further away.

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