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Old Jul 3, 2011, 10:45 PM   #1
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Default Want a SuperZoom Bridge Camera, Pls Help

thought that I had narrowed down to 3: Nikon P500; Canon SX30 IS and Fuji HS 20, but then read August, '11 Consumer Report, and Digital Camera's web site and both said they were great, EXCEPT their picture quality was pretty mediocre!! So I hope that you all can help me. My criteria are:

o zoom = 20+
o easy to use;
o very reliable and well supported by MFG
o Very easy to use in "auto", but has some capability for Manual shooting
o takes very good pix in Outdoors (bright to low light) AND Indoors
o fairly minimal time from shot #1 to shot #2, etc
o LCD is very readable in both bright and low lighting
o swivel LCD would be very nice
o good to very good battery life
o pretty good vibration reduction system
I will be using the camera on a land-sea trip to Alaska, as well at home, parks, gardens, portraits, bright light and low light.

Hope you can help me narrow-down the possible choices.

TIA, Robbie

Last edited by Robbie43; Jul 3, 2011 at 10:48 PM. Reason: typos; forgot some important info
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Old Jul 3, 2011, 11:45 PM   #2
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AFAIK, most people consider panasonic Fz40/45 is the BEST BALANCED (zoom + IQ) superzoom camera as compared to Fz100, Cannon SX30 IS, Nikon P500, Fuji HS20, etc ....

And its now available for around $300 USD at NewEgg. But I would also like to hear from EXPERTS @ SD, if they can suggest you other BEST balanced superzoom camera.
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Old Jul 4, 2011, 2:29 AM   #3
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With more detailed research, what many (apparently) knowledgeable reviewers, rave about the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX100V. They say that it stands head and shoulders above the Panasonic, Canon, Fuji and Nikon super zooms, particularly with respect to quality of still, video, and panoramic shots, also in dim lighting. Also, they say that the LCD has the highest pixel count and brightest of the competitors.

Right now, because of the disaster in Japan, they are a little hard to buy at a reasonable price.

Anyone here have experience with this super zoom "bridge" camera?
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Old Jul 4, 2011, 4:38 AM   #4
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Panasonic FZ40 trounces the HX100 in terms of still quality and I'd challenge anyone to post a pro review that says otherwise. Panasonic FZ35 (if you don't mind paying a premium) has even slightly better IQ.

The bottomline though, is that no one buys a bridge camera for the image quality, but rather they buy it for the versatility in a compact package.

p.s. Don't use Consumer Reports to research cameras. It's fine when shopping for a vacuum or coffeemaker, but the people who review the cams have no idea what they're talking about, nor do they understand the difference between one sensor and another, etc.
Disclaimer: I take photos of life rather than live to take photos and my opinions of cameras are reflected accordingly.
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Old Jul 4, 2011, 5:17 PM   #5
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Default Thanks CrazyTechie and FiveO, Follow-up Q's

Q1) What your backgrounds re: cams? I have used Auto 99% of the time so far, but since I retired I hope to begin using the manual features more.

Q1) are you basing your opinion on actual experience or on other's evals & comments?

Q3) which additional websites do you recommend for quality evals & opinions?

Thanks again for your input.

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Old Jul 6, 2011, 5:18 AM   #6
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i don't know anyone who would consider the sony to stand above panasonic or canon. i'm a huge fan of panasonic at this level as they have great controls, good pics, very good image stabilization and intuitive menus and controls.
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Old Jul 6, 2011, 8:42 AM   #7
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They haven`t nor do they make a superzoom, with the qualifications you asked for. All superzooms are limited because of small sensors, in their low light preformance. At present, correctly the Panasonic FZ40/45 would be my choice. But you will have some noise above ISO 200, and by the time you get into low light ISO speeds; a lot.

Panasonic is an innovative company, and produces some great cameras. If they would break down and buy some other make of sensors, and not use their own.
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Cameras: Canon G12, and A1200. Sony DSC-H90. Fuji HS35EXR.
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Old Jul 7, 2011, 4:39 PM   #8
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Default Thanks for Your Input; Wish Someone Would do a Scientific Comparison

Thanks pcake and Steve40. I hope both that I receive a few more useful comments, and that someone performs an independent evaluation of the Sony, the Panasonic and the Canon super zoom bridge cameras.
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Old Jul 10, 2011, 11:25 AM   #9
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I have to agree with FiveO regarding IQ. For the past several weeks I've been looking around for a long-zoom camera to replace my HS10 and have read tons of reviews.

Incidentally the best website for detailed reviews has to be Imaging-Resource because they upload photos of the same subject taken with different cameras at different ISOs so one can readily compare their quality. It is almost impossible to compare the IQ of different cameras by looking at outdoor photos of different subjects, as the environment and other conditions would be totally different.

At any rate, after comparing the photos (especially those of still life), I found that the Nikon P500 is better than the Fujifilm HS10, Canon XS30IS, Olympus SP800, Panasonic FZ100 and Pentax X90.

I checked them all out individually by downloading the sample photos, enlarging them to 200-250% (using Paintshop) and comparing them cm by cm, checking detail, contrast, chromatic fringes, etc. Unfortunately I haven't been able to compare the P500 with the Sony HX100 or the Fujifilm HS20 since Imaging-Resource haven't done a proper review of these two cameras yet.

I must admit to overlooking the Panasonic FZ35 because i had reasoned it must simply be an older version of the FZ100 with a shorter zoom but same IQ. Following FiveO's post I did look up the camera on my favourite website and the photos are indeed better (marginally but significantly) than those of the P500. Of course you sacrifice zoom length and maybe other features, while the price is more or less the same but, if still IQ is your first priority, the FZ35 is superior to the P500.

For some reason the FZ40 is cheaper than the FZ35, although it has a longer zoom, so there must be some other difference between them. I haven't been able to check them out yet - maybe someone here could offer some advice regarding this.
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Old Jul 10, 2011, 1:50 PM   #10
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The FZ40 is cheaper than the FZ35 because the FZ35 is out of production and the number of available units is dwindling. The old supply vs demand thing. This often happens when a camera is replaced by a new model. Initially, the price goes down because it is no longer the "latest and greatest." But then, unless the older camera was a particularly problematic product, the price begins the trend upward.
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