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Old Dec 6, 2012, 11:35 AM   #1
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Default Best Low Light Super Zoom for Indoor Concerts?

Would like to purchase a compact camera that works the best for indoor concerts when seated far away in big arenas. The Sony DSC-RX100 seems to get great reviews for low light performance because of the big sensor, but the 3.6x optical zoom is too small for taking concert pictures from afar. What is the biggest zoom and fastest lens (on a fixed lens camera) I can reasonably use to get great pictures in large arenas? Don't need the camera until February. Any suggestions for cameras on sale now or in the near future?
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Old Dec 6, 2012, 12:35 PM   #2
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fz200
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Old Dec 7, 2012, 1:09 PM   #3
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How does the fz200 compare to the following: Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS20, Canon PowerShot SX260 HS, Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX200V, Fujifilm FinePix F770EXR, Panasonic LUMIX DMC-ZS20, Olympus SZ-12, Samsung WB850F, Fujifilm FinePix S4500, Nikon Coolpix P510, Canon PowerShot SX50 HS, Olympus SZ-30MR, Fujifilm FinePix HS30EXR, Fujifilm X-S1, and Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ60. These seem to be recommended by Steve. I realize you may not have had experiences with these other models, but I am hoping others will respond to your recommendation of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200. Performance and photo quality, along with being able to capture indoor concert pictures in low light situations without being blurry are important to me. Thanks!
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Old Dec 7, 2012, 2:54 PM   #4
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In low light areas- and at distance- by point and shoot/compact/superzoom standards- the F2.8 lens on the FZ200 puts it in a class of its own.
It's just gathering so much more light than its competitors.
All else being equal,you can keep the iso lower than its competitors or use a faster shutter speed.
If any one of its competitors had blinding high iso noise control,then it might be a different story- but,alas,they don't.
Factor in the sharp lens and fast operation/focus- it's top of the pile in the concert arena.
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Old Dec 9, 2012, 7:23 PM   #5
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Seems to be many reviews about the fz200 taking pictures that aren't sharp and has noise issues. Can anyone who has used the fz200 for taking pictures indoors in low light from a long distance confirm those reviews? Any other better choices?
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Old Dec 10, 2012, 3:45 AM   #6
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Superzooms- whilst being very versatile are also inevitably compromised by design- small sensors are required to gain a big/wide zoom range- and keeping images sharp and clean with small sensors and through all that glass is quite an ask..!
I think given their compromises,they do a pretty good job.
Image noise- especially at higher iso settings- is inevitable with the usual 1/2.3" sensors used (no matter what brand)- though not a huge issue if you're not a "pixel peeper" or print/view at sizes not exceeding A4 or thereabouts.
One could suggest that Canon's SX50hs has better high iso performance- and it does- though due to the Panny's fast lens,you just don't need as high an iso setting for the same shot- so no real advantage is gained..!
This couple of pics were taken by myself with a Canon SX40hs at iso 1600 from about 30 feet away...
I think they're more than acceptable...!
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Old Dec 17, 2012, 3:01 PM   #7
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Extremely impressive for low light and ISO 1600. I have the SX40 too and like it a lot. Just recently I discovered the 'hand held night shot' mode in it and am very pleased with that mode. It takes a bunch of shots and merges them, the result though a bit soft is devoid of any noise.
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Old Dec 17, 2012, 4:41 PM   #8
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Indeed, the "hand held night shot" mode is not super sharp- though if re-sized and sharpened up, can make perfectly acceptable prints.
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