Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 26

Thread: Super Zoom Cameras

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    New Jersey, USA
    Posts
    10
    Real Name
    Barry Black

    Super Zoom Cameras

    Hi...

    I've been using the Nikon P500 super zoom camera for almost two years and I really like the camera's versatility, but like I was warned, the photos tend to be soft and the colors not particularly vivid in spite of the settings. Now there appears to be a flurry of super zoom cameras on the market and even Leica has joined the ranks! Is there a super zoom camera out there that can take really sharp pictures with vivid color? I know that nothing can beat a prime lens, but perhaps now with advanced optics and software perhaps there is one super zoom camera that stands out. Thanks for any advice.

  2. #2
    rpcrowe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Southern California, USA
    Posts
    12,438
    Real Name
    Richard

    Re: Super Zoom Cameras

    Having a "super-zoom" is a two edged sword... It does allow you to zoom in on distant objects really close but, the long zoom requires a very solid camera hold. Using a super-zoom at full extension makes it very difficult to hand hold. Even with an Image Stabilization (whatever the manufacturer calls theirs) it is fairly difficult to hold hold the camera. A great addition to a super-zoom would be a tripod. However, many people like the super-zoom cameras because they are small in size and light in weight. Using a tripod sort of defeats the purpose for which the camera was purchased.

    Another problem with using any long very focal length lens is that the atmospheric haze often makes the image look flat and OOF. This, of course, is different for each shot!

    My son-in-law has purchased a Canon SX-50 and has been producing some quite nice images at maximum focal lengths. However, he realizes the problem hand holding the lens and will attempt to brace the camera on something solid whenever he shoots at maximum FL.

    My recommendation wold be to stay away from the maximum focal length unless you have the camera solidly supported. A small bean bag is another way to support a small camera like this. A lightweight monopod might be a decent compromise between a tripod and hand-holding.

    One advantage of the SX-50 is that it can capture RAW images. Shooting in RAW with the capability of sharpening in stages as well as adjusting contrast and exposure; plus the ability to adjust clarity and vibrance could very well improve the imagery from ANY camera.
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 9th October 2013 at 04:42 PM.

  3. #3
    Shadowman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    WNY
    Posts
    29,187
    Real Name
    John

    Re: Super Zoom Cameras

    Check the specs on the lens also. I have the Nikon P90 with aperture of 2.8-5.0 so achieving deep focus image is limited.

  4. #4
    rpcrowe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Southern California, USA
    Posts
    12,438
    Real Name
    Richard

    Re: Super Zoom Cameras

    As mentioned by John, the maximum aperture of most if not all super-zoom lenses is reduced as the lens is zoomed out to maximum. The problem with that is when your lens is at its longest focal length, you will need the fastest shutter speed to ensure sharp images.

    My son-in-law's Canon SX-50 has a variable zoom range from 24-1,200 mm (35mm comparative) it is f/3.4 at the shortest focal length (not fast at all) and f/6.5 at the longest focal length (really pretty slow).

    The Panasonic FZ200 has a 25-600mm (35mm comparative) focal length but, has a constant f/2.8 aperture throughout the range. It is in the area of from $75 to $125 U.S. Dollars more expensive than the SX-50. I would opt for the shorter focal range with the greater constant aperture.

    The older Canon SX-40 has a shorter focal range but a faster set of apertures. As offered, it had not RAW capability but there is a tweak to the firmware which allows RAW capture.

    IMO, the two MUST-HAVE capabilities for any camera I use are:
    1. RAW capability
    2. Eye level viewing

    All three of the above cameras (after the firmware tweak on the SX-40) have the above capabilities.

    I don't think that a photographer can expect DSLR performance from a super-zoom bridge camera but, they do a nice job for the weight and the cost...

  5. #5

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Johannesburg South Africa
    Posts
    2,550
    Real Name
    Andre Burger

    Re: Super Zoom Cameras

    Hi Barry,

    Panasonic cameras seem to be very good in the bridge camera arena. Very good lenses and worth a serious look.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Dunedin New Zealand
    Posts
    2,697
    Real Name
    J stands for John

    Re: Super Zoom Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowman View Post
    Check the specs on the lens also. I have the Nikon P90 with aperture of 2.8-5.0 so achieving deep focus image is limited.
    Not sure what you mean by deep focus but one of the most frequently mentioned characteristic of these cameras which I used for over a decade until recent was the difficult in NOT getting a deep focus result as I understand the use of the words.
    While the lens has a maximum aperture of f/2.8 to f/5 as you go through the zoom it also closed down to depending on the camera to f/8 in older models but more recently f/11 and some have f/16 I believe. When you consider that f/8 is permitting the deep focus result of the DSLR's f/22 to f/32 they most certainly are not handicapped in this regard.

    If you expect deep focus shots at 624mm equivalent Angle of View, actual 110mm lens, you probably will have some difficulty but at wide 26 AoV 4.6mm lens even at f/2.8 Depth of field runs when focused at 4.5ft from 2.35ft to 50ft.
    You may have problems setting focus at a given distance but there are ways to ovecome this.

    if it was a slip of the fingers and you meant minimal DoF there are ways around that too.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Dunedin New Zealand
    Posts
    2,697
    Real Name
    J stands for John

    Re: Super Zoom Cameras

    Since I have been using bridge cameras, Panasonics, for some year in competition with DSLR users it depends on what you take as to if you beat them. There is also the point about even in the Panasonic range between the big and small FZs with regard to weight .... my 20/30/50 all were about the same size and weight of a small DSLR but IMO with superior overall features as working tools .... if Panasonic had developed and brought out the FZ200 instead of the FZ100 and FZ150 I probably would still be using them instead of changing to a Panasonic MFT, first a G3 and now the GH2.
    I would sugest these days unless you really need the long zoom a better option would be either a G or a GH with the 14-140 lens giving you 28-280 reach ....I have telephoto adaptors which took my FZs out to 750 and 950mm AoV but really most of the time I shot at maximum of 430mm AoV and there is not that much difference between the 430 of my bridge cameras and the 280 of my MFT ... with MFT you can crop more than with the FZs so really I am better off with cropping from 280.

    Irrespective of what camera you use post processing is an essential part to greater or lesser degree with digital and I would expect if I saw any of your soft shots I could bring them up to scratch in editing as I have been editing as long as I have been using digital to take the shots.

    Until I started shooting MFT I didn't shoot RAW and even now as I shoot raw+jpg I rarely need the raw version of the shot. Early on I had a Nikon bridge camera and shot a few NEF but it seemed such a can or worms back then I ignored it. But a lot does depend on what you shoot.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Dunedin New Zealand
    Posts
    2,697
    Real Name
    J stands for John

    Re: Super Zoom Cameras

    When talking about apertures you need to appreciate thatmost if not all bridge cameras have contrast detection focusing which is a bit slower for action photos than the phase detection of the DSLR. PD suffers from a need to have a bright image to fous well or even at all whereas I was pleased to note that irrepective of aperture PD clicks into focus smartly.
    When I put a telephoto adaptor on my 14-140 zoom to get 500 AoV I am working at f/10 with no problems whereas the usual advice with phase iDetection is it stops working around f/5.6 ... so for fast sports action where you don't know what is happening until it does you need the DSLR but for most else CD works well. When I had an older DSLR I really couldn't tell the difference with my latest CD cameras [ FZ50 and MFT ] I have read reports of CD being faster than PD recently.
    Whatever it is plenty fast enough fo most purposes.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Dunedin New Zealand
    Posts
    2,697
    Real Name
    J stands for John

    Re: Super Zoom Cameras

    It would be interesting to know where you can get an FZ200 for USD75-125 ... unless it had fallen off the back of a truck.
    Amazon prices are pretty good and tonight the cheapest 2/h is $488 and new $549 ... even the FZ70 is around $350 ... that is the model with the x60 zoom.

  10. #10
    Shadowman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    WNY
    Posts
    29,187
    Real Name
    John

    Re: Super Zoom Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by jcuknz View Post
    Not sure what you mean by deep focus but one of the most frequently mentioned characteristic of these cameras which I used for over a decade until recent was the difficult in NOT getting a deep focus result as I understand the use of the words.

    If you expect deep focus shots at 624mm equivalent Angle of View, actual 110mm lens, you probably will have some difficulty but at wide 26 AoV 4.6mm lens even at f/2.8 Depth of field runs when focused at 4.5ft from 2.35ft to 50ft.
    You may have problems setting focus at a given distance but there are ways to ovecome this.

    if it was a slip of the fingers and you meant minimal DoF there are ways around that too.

    That was exactly what I meant by Deep Focus, it's a technique used by photographers and cinematographers to achieve focus in the front, middle, and background of an image or scene, and can best be achieved with apertures above f/16.

  11. #11
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Windsor, Berks, UK
    Posts
    16,057
    Real Name
    Dave Humphries :)

    Re: Super Zoom Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by jcuknz View Post
    It would be interesting to know where you can get an FZ200 for USD75-125
    You can't - I think the bold bit below answers that one

    Quote Originally Posted by rpcrowe
    It is in the area of from $75 to $125 U.S. Dollars more expensive than the SX-50.
    If it were available (legally) for that price, even I'd be tempted

    Even though I can now get the 600mm FFE/AoV with a 300mm lens on a Nikon D7100 (RAW at 15MP, albeit at considerably more cost and weight)

  12. #12
    New Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Tampa, FL
    Posts
    7
    Real Name
    Kevin

    Re: Super Zoom Cameras

    I happened to notice that the shots from my Olympus P&S required less post processing than those of my Nikon D5100. Truer colors, more "richness" for lack of a better word, and just a general impression that the Olympus delivered a more accurate depiction. I don't mean to compare apples to oranges but your original post implied that you do not spend a lot of time in PP so maybe an Olympus would be worth investigating. Just my 2%

  13. #13
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    12,351
    Real Name
    Manfred Mueller

    Re: Super Zoom Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by Kemo53 View Post
    I happened to notice that the shots from my Olympus P&S required less post processing than those of my Nikon D5100. Truer colors, more "richness" for lack of a better word, and just a general impression that the Olympus delivered a more accurate depiction. I don't mean to compare apples to oranges but your original post implied that you do not spend a lot of time in PP so maybe an Olympus would be worth investigating. Just my 2%
    Crank up the contrast and saturation in your D5100, and you will get jpegs more akin to what your P&S turns out. I found the same with other brands of P&S (having owned Panasonics, Olympus, Canon, Nikon and Sony P&S cameras over the years), that they tend to tune the camera output to have a bit more "pop" than the DSLRs; they are selling to a different market segment where this is more important than colour accuracy.

  14. #14
    Shadowman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    WNY
    Posts
    29,187
    Real Name
    John

    Re: Super Zoom Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by Kemo53 View Post
    I happened to notice that the shots from my Olympus P&S required less post processing than those of my Nikon D5100. Truer colors, more "richness" for lack of a better word, and just a general impression that the Olympus delivered a more accurate depiction. I don't mean to compare apples to oranges but your original post implied that you do not spend a lot of time in PP so maybe an Olympus would be worth investigating. Just my 2%
    Do you get that same "Pop" on overcast days with the Olympus or are adjustments needed? I noticed a vast improvement in DSLR shots on overcast days just by changing the Picture Control setting to Vivid. A richness in color that I don't normally see on sunny days unless I decrease exposure compensation to increase shutter speed.

  15. #15

    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Dallas, Texas, USA
    Posts
    74
    Real Name
    Manu

    Re: Super Zoom Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowman View Post
    Check the specs on the lens also. I have the Nikon P90 with aperture of 2.8-5.0 so achieving deep focus image is limited.
    f/2.8 is a very small aperture on a 4.6mm lens (comparable to 28mm, f/16 on FF, or 18mm, f/11 on APS-c), so achieving large DoF is practically a guarantee, with background blur being practically absent.

  16. #16
    Shadowman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    WNY
    Posts
    29,187
    Real Name
    John

    Re: Super Zoom Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by RobertsMx View Post
    f/2.8 is a very small aperture on a 4.6mm lens (comparable to 28mm, f/16 on FF, or 18mm, f/11 on APS-c), so achieving large DoF is practically a guarantee, with background blur being practically absent.
    To achieve a deep focus image you need a larger f/stop (smaller aperture) of around f/16, preferably f/22 or higher. With this aperture, and assuming you want an image with good detail front, middle, and background everything is in focus. Super zoom cameras apertures usually max out at f/8.

  17. #17
    Panama Hat & Camera's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rio de janeiro, Brazil
    Posts
    429
    Real Name
    Antonio

    Re: Super Zoom Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackspeare View Post
    Hi...

    I've been using the Nikon P500 super zoom camera for almost two years and I really like the camera's versatility, but like I was warned, the photos tend to be soft and the colors not particularly vivid in spite of the settings. Now there appears to be a flurry of super zoom cameras on the market and even Leica has joined the ranks! Is there a super zoom camera out there that can take really sharp pictures with vivid color? I know that nothing can beat a prime lens, but perhaps now with advanced optics and software perhaps there is one super zoom camera that stands out. Thanks for any advice.
    Barry,
    I had a Nikon P510 and I consider that is a good camera. Now I have a Canon SX50HS, that I think is better than the P510. The principal advantage of SX50HS are the RAW files. Also, the SX50HS focus faster and has a image stabilization better than P510.
    IMHO, the better superzoom cameras are Canon SX50HS, Lumix DMC FZ200 and Fujifilm HS50EXR. These three cameras have RAW files and eye level viewing.

    Some Canon SX50HS pros are 50X zoom lens, good image quality for a superzoom, less noise than the others (see http://www.photographyblog.com/revie...image_quality/).
    Some Canon SX cons are slow lens (f/3.4~f/6.5) and viewfinder with only 202 kdots.

    Some Lumix DMC FZ200 pros are f/2.8 constant max overture and a viewfinder with 1.312 kdots.
    Some Lumix DMC FZ200 cons are little zoom (24X) and a some noisy sensor (see http://www.photographyblog.com/revie...image_quality/).

    Some Fujifilm HS50EXR pros are powerful zoom (42X), good max overture (f/2.8~f/5.6), manual zoom, viewfinder with 920 kdots, autofocus with phase detection.
    Some Fujifilm HS50EXR cons are the greatest dimensions, greatest weight; medium noisy sensor (see http://www.photographyblog.com/revie...image_quality/).

    I hope this helps you.
    All the best,
    Antonio.

  18. #18

    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Dunedin New Zealand
    Posts
    2,697
    Real Name
    J stands for John

    Re: Super Zoom Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowman View Post
    That was exactly what I meant by Deep Focus, it's a technique used by photographers and cinematographers to achieve focus in the front, middle, and background of an image or scene, and can best be achieved with apertures above f/16.
    Since I quoted figures from dofmaster to show it was possible at f/2.8 let alone f/16 I really don't know why you appear to query my post

  19. #19

    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Dunedin New Zealand
    Posts
    2,697
    Real Name
    J stands for John

    Re: Super Zoom Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by Kemo53 View Post
    I happened to notice that the shots from my Olympus P&S required less post processing than those of my Nikon D5100. Truer colors, more "richness" for lack of a better word, and just a general impression that the Olympus delivered a more accurate depiction. I don't mean to compare apples to oranges but your original post implied that you do not spend a lot of time in PP so maybe an Olympus would be worth investigating. Just my 2%
    For years there have been reports that P&S cameras produced better images than DSLRs SOOC. It is generally suggested that there are more in-camera adjustments made in the P&S to achive this but when you progress or regress into a DSLR it is expected that you will want to and will achieve the results you want in PP.
    Olympus are renowned for their jpg processing being ahead of their rivals. I am consistently pleased with the results my E-PL1 gives me ... latest one just yesterday used as it was the nearest camera to hand Most peculiar lighting a incandescent bulb close overhead with large windows about three feet behind ... I find it quite a pleasing effect but others might not I'm sure
    Super Zoom Cameras

  20. #20

    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Dunedin New Zealand
    Posts
    2,697
    Real Name
    J stands for John

    Re: Super Zoom Cameras

    For Colin I would mention it is using my $50 lens or since I also got a 135mm f/2.5 thrown in perhaps it should be my $25 lens.
    Been meaning to shoot my 'model' for Colin's crit but not go around to that as yet so a different kind of model.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •