Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums >

LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Oct 4, 2010, 8:41 PM   #1
Senior Member
Jyaku's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 160
Default When is a superzoom just not enough?

I'm not looking to upgrade, but I'm curious in what cases does a superzoom that has good image quality and great zoom just not measure up to a dslr?

Is it only when making gallery prints or do a fashion shoot?

I guess I really want to know if all I want to do is take shots and make a flickr collection or put pictures on a website, will a superzoom ever meet its limit?

Would really appreciate your insight.
Jyaku is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Oct 4, 2010, 8:55 PM   #2
Senior Member
Photo 5's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Decatur, GA
Posts: 2,053

It has to do with the size of the image sensor....... the bigger sensors work better in lower light........

I have been using my Fuji HS10 to make images for a local newspaper for several months and both the newspaper and myself are happy with the results........

Photo 5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 4, 2010, 9:07 PM   #3
Senior Member
TCav's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Washington, DC, Metro Area, Maryland
Posts: 13,826

Fast autofocus, lower light performance, larger apertures, and shallower depths of field, are some big ones. There are other things that just can't be done on a superzoom, like tilt-shift/perspective control, 1:1 macro or better, and the like, but those first four are the main reasons people make the move to dSLRs.
  • The lens is the thing.
  • 'Full Frame' is the new 'Medium Format'.
  • "One good test is worth a thousand expert opinions." - Tex Johnston, Boeing 707 test pilot.
TCav is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 4, 2010, 9:12 PM   #4
JohnG's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 8,529

Well, the smaller sensor will limit the dynamic range, as well as perform not as well at higher ISO. Of course there's also the matter of optical quality - hard to measure up to the optical quality of a professional lens. Then, of course, there's the matter of shallow depth-of-field. You can get it with a superzoom if you can get far enough away to use a long focal length. But when you're in cramped quarters there's simply no comparing the results from a superzoom to say a full frame DSLR and 1.2 or 1.4 lens. Which brings us to the next point - those wide apertures. Don't think there are any 1.2 aperture lenses on a superzoom. Which brings us to another point - tracking moving subjects. Just don't have the same cabability to track moving subjects with any digicam (superzoom or not) that you have with any dslr (and then not all DSLRs perform equally in that regard). Superzooms are a convenience tool - and that convenience is not to be underestimated. But for low light, sports, portrait, wedding, and other types of photography a superzoom isn't as good. But if the situation is not technically demanding then superzooms can take some very nice photos - especially for small web display.
JohnG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 4, 2010, 10:48 PM   #5
Senior Member
deterpawson's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 393

I have owned both and panasonic superzoom and also a canon DSLR.
Right now im looking for a panasonic superzoom as an addition to my DSLR.
Sure a DSLR will give you very good pix esp. if you use good lenses and a tripod and use all the manual functions. Fast lenses 1.2-2.8 lenses will also allow you to shoot in low light with high iso's with pretty good image quality. However fast lenses and some of the accessories will push the cost factor pretty darn high, as i am finding out right now. That being said a superzoom is a low cost answer. At a pretty reasonable cost you get pretty good pix and can zoom in from pretty far off and because you dont have to change lenses you also tend to get some great spontaneous shots. I find the Pany superzooms are really good bang for your buck. So it all depends on what you shoot, time, money, etc. If your happy with your camera keep it and dont bother DSLR. Save the money , go on a vacation and take pix and enjoy the memories, after all thats what pix are for.
deterpawson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 5, 2010, 12:01 AM   #6
Senior Member
shoturtle's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Frankfurt AM
Posts: 11,348

When you need dof control, or when you shoot in low light, this where a dslr really shine. And the megazoom falls behind in. In good outdoor shooting, the megazoom does a very good job with a ton or reach. That might be cost prohibitive with the cost of equal length lenses on a dslr.
Super Frequent Flyer, no joke. Ex Patriot and loving it.
Canon Eos 60D, T1i/500D, Eos1, Eos 630, Olympus EPL-1, and a part time Pentax K-X shooter.
shoturtle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 5, 2010, 4:09 AM   #7
Senior Member
wave01's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: North West England
Posts: 1,750

From your post if all you want to do is take some pictures then a super zoom will be ok, the question is will you want to go further. I the answer to that is yes maybe I will get the bug then lok at the DSLR route. My advice is go look at both see what you think of them
wave01 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 5, 2010, 11:47 AM   #8
Senior Member
BillDrew's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Hay River Township, WI
Posts: 2,512

Of course with a super zoom you miss the joy of carrying something that weights about the same as a brick. Great for strengthening those neck muscles. And of course the bag with a couple of extra lenses, external flash, ... will do wonders for the shoulder.

A dSLR does give more control, but it is not all upside.
BillDrew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 5, 2010, 11:54 AM   #9
Senior Member
JustinThyme's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Princeton, NJ
Posts: 361

Both have their places.
I use a DSLR almost exclusively as I want better control and higher grade optics.
I still own a P&S superzoom to carry in my pocket for things like family outings at a theme park where you cant carry a DSLR on a roller coaster and certainly I am not leaving it on the platform. In this instance Im considering the output to be snapshots of memories and not so much great photos.
JustinThyme is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 5, 2010, 5:06 PM   #10
Senior Member
Jyaku's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 160

Thank you. Portraits were the main thing I was interested in because I might actually make prints of those. Vacation spots and other things can be taken with my fz35 superzoom and resized to be put on web. I don't do much macro photography, besides I think superzoom will suffice there.. I'm not competing in any competitions or looking to become a professional photographer.

So if I have zoom lens covered by means of a superzoom, what is the best lens for intimate/ family portrait photography (if your dslr will almost never leave home, front yard, hotel room)? Will a kit lens of 18-55mm suffice? or a multipurpose 18-135 or 18-250 or 50mm f1.4 will be preferable?
Jyaku is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 2:43 PM.