Superzoom Comparisons

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by MG, Nov 14, 2011.

  1. MG

    MG Guest

    I am thinking of getting a superzoom, but I am having difficulty evaluating
    them. I can't find good reviews or comparisons.

    Cameras I have been looking at are:
    Canon SX40
    Nikon P500
    Panasonic FZ150
    Panasonic FZ47/48
    Sony HX100V
    Fuji S4000
    Fuji HS20EXR

    The only 2 worthwhile reviews/comparisons I have found are:
    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sonydschx100v/
    and
    http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Panasonic_Lumix_DMC_FZ150/index.shtml

    The rest fall into the user review category. (The user has usually just
    purchased a camera and is very happy with it)

    Comparisons I would like to see are:

    1) Manual Focus
    How good is the EVF for manual focus. The EVFs all seem to fall into the
    201,000 to 230,000 pixel bracket. ie all very similar. Is this good enough
    for manual focus? I have an 8 year old Olympus with 180,000 pixels and it is
    useless for manual focus. Hopefully newer cameras have a better
    implementation. Do any of the cameras have graduated scale for manual focus?
    ie estimate the subject to be at 8m, set the manual focus 8m, it gives a
    well focused image.

    2) Noise
    Noise at various ISOs. 400, 800, 1600.

    3) Auto Focus
    How quick and accurate is the auto focus? Especially at the long end of the
    zoom and in low light.

    4) Effectiveness of IS
    How many stops. 1 stop? 4 stops?

    5) Auto Focus Assist Lamp
    Which cameras have this. Specs and reviews tend to overlook this.


    10 or 12 MP is enough for me.
    Video is not important to me. I will be happy with second best video
    quality.



    My first impressions after a few hours of googling are as follows:

    Canon SX40: Nice camera, very good IS, screen is very low resolution.

    Nikon P500: Battery charger is an optional extra!, not the best image
    quality.

    Panasonic FZ150: Nice camera, but expensive.

    Panasonic FZ47/48: Very few comments on this one, other than it is a cheaper
    alternative to the FZ150. Good value for money.

    Sony HX100V: Sluggish behaviour. Screen says "accessing". (Should have said
    "Please Be Patient".)

    Fuji S4000: A cheap disappointment

    Fuji HS20EXR: An expensive disappointment. A step backwards from the HS10.

    --
    MG
     
    MG, Nov 14, 2011
    #1
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  2. MG

    RichA Guest

    On Nov 14, 1:42 pm, "MG" <> wrote:
    > I am thinking of getting a superzoom, but I am having difficulty evaluating
    > them. I can't find good reviews or comparisons.
    >
    > Cameras I have been looking at are:
    > Canon SX40
    > Nikon P500
    > Panasonic FZ150
    > Panasonic FZ47/48
    > Sony HX100V
    > Fuji S4000
    > Fuji HS20EXR
    >
    > The only 2 worthwhile reviews/comparisons I have found are:http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sonydschx100v/
    > andhttp://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Panasonic_Lumix_DMC_FZ150/index.shtml
    >
    > The rest fall into the user review category. (The user has usually just
    > purchased a camera and is very happy with it)
    >
    > Comparisons I would like to see are:
    >
    > 1) Manual Focus
    > How good is the EVF for manual focus.


    Virtually worthless.

    > 2) Noise
    > Noise at various ISOs. 400, 800, 1600.


    Unbearable. So awful the images are unsable at 8x10".

    > 3) Auto Focus
    > How quick and accurate is the auto focus? Especially at the long end of the
    > zoom and in low light.


    Speed is glacial. I've never seen a good one and I've seen lots of
    frustrated owners trying to shoot even slow-moving objects.

    >
    > 4) Effectiveness of IS
    > How many stops. 1 stop? 4 stops?


    Generally, about 2 stops. Forget 4. But since you are restricted by
    image quality to about 200 ISO (max) you definitely need I.S. at
    longer focal lengths.

    >
    > 5) Auto Focus Assist Lamp
    > Which cameras have this. Specs and reviews tend to overlook this.


    Read the specs from the manufacturer's website.
     
    RichA, Nov 14, 2011
    #2
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  3. MG

    John Turco Guest

    MG wrote:
    >
    > I am thinking of getting a superzoom, but I am having difficulty evaluating
    > them. I can't find good reviews or comparisons.
    >
    > Cameras I have been looking at are:
    > Canon SX40
    > Nikon P500
    > Panasonic FZ150
    > Panasonic FZ47/48
    > Sony HX100V
    > Fuji S4000
    > Fuji HS20EXR


    Begone with those beasts! Go Kodak, my friend.

    I recommend the Kodak "Z980" (12 megapixels, 24x optical zoom) and my remarks
    below refer to this excellent item, specifically.

    > The only 2 worthwhile reviews/comparisons I have found are:
    > http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sonydschx100v/
    > and
    > http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Panasonic_Lumix_DMC_FZ150/index.shtml
    >
    > The rest fall into the user review category. (The user has usually just
    > purchased a camera and is very happy with it)
    >
    > Comparisons I would like to see are:
    >
    > 1) Manual Focus
    > How good is the EVF for manual focus. The EVFs all seem to fall into the
    > 201,000 to 230,000 pixel bracket. ie all very similar. Is this good enough
    > for manual focus? I have an 8 year old Olympus with 180,000 pixels and it is
    > useless for manual focus. Hopefully newer cameras have a better
    > implementation. Do any of the cameras have graduated scale for manual focus?
    > ie estimate the subject to be at 8m, set the manual focus 8m, it gives a
    > well focused image.


    My Z980 has manual focus. Alas, no superzoom or compact camera has an MF
    method that is truly usable.

    Mine is typical, in that the electronic viewfinder's image is magnified.
    Then, the photographer focuses on the subject, by pressing buttons.

    Personally, I've never tried the Z980's barely-documented MF. A few
    feeble attempts, with my Kodak "P850" (5 MP, 10x), were frustrating.

    > 2) Noise
    > Noise at various ISOs. 400, 800, 1600.


    It has an ISO range of 64-1600, on "Auto" (other modes allow 3200 and
    6400, but, only at 3.1 MP and lower).

    Online reviews have mentioned excessive noise, at higher ISO settings.
    Besides some experimental outdoor night shots, I haven't bothered with
    them.

    > 3) Auto Focus
    > How quick and accurate is the auto focus? Especially at the long end
    > of the zoom and in low light.


    Pretty good.

    > 4) Effectiveness of IS
    > How many stops. 1 stop? 4 stops?
    >
    > 5) Auto Focus Assist Lamp
    > Which cameras have this. Specs and reviews tend to overlook this.


    Check. A strong, red beam is projected, during low-light situations.

    > 10 or 12 MP is enough for me.
    > Video is not important to me. I will be happy with second best video
    > quality.
    >
    > My first impressions after a few hours of googling are as follows:
    >
    > Canon SX40: Nice camera, very good IS, screen is very low resolution.
    >
    > Nikon P500: Battery charger is an optional extra!, not the best image
    > quality.
    >
    > Panasonic FZ150: Nice camera, but expensive.
    >
    > Panasonic FZ47/48: Very few comments on this one, other than it is a
    > cheaper alternative to the FZ150. Good value for money.
    >
    > Sony HX100V: Sluggish behaviour. Screen says "accessing". (Should have
    > said "Please Be Patient".)
    >
    > Fuji S4000: A cheap disappointment
    >
    > Fuji HS20EXR: An expensive disappointment. A step backwards from the
    > HS10.


    I'm not sure of the others on your list, yet I know that the Nikon "P500"
    (12.1 MP, 36x) is sort of a modified "clone" of the Kodak Z980. That's
    because an "OEM" (original equipment manufacturer) produced the P500
    and Z980, instead of Nikon or Kodak themselves.

    Except for DSLR bodies, no major camera company makes digicams, anymore.
    OEM's handle the task of supplying the hardware, whereas the "big name"
    outfits (e.g., Kodak) simply provide the specifications and firmware.

    That said, firmware is the "mind" of a digicam, which determines its
    "personality" and identity. Hence, Kodak's in-camera processing results
    in a distinctive "Kodak Look" (i.e., vibrant colors).

    Conversely, a basically identical device, bearing the "Nikon" badge,
    will create pictures of dissimilar quality to the Kodak-branded one.
    (Same hardware, different firmware.)

    Good luck, and happy hunting!

    --
    Cordially,
    John Turco <>

    Marie's Musings <http://fairiesandtails.blogspot.com>
     
    John Turco, Nov 21, 2011
    #3
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