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Old Oct 23, 2010, 10:25 AM   #1
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Default Best Ultra-Zoom


After opening threads like this, with your helps I decided and bought a Nikon D3100 DSLR, and I am pretty happy with that.

Now I'm about to buy a birthday gift for my older brother,

So here this is my question:

Which of the current ultra-zoom cameras offers:

Largest sensor (great image quality in low light conditions with up to 1600 iso)
Less noise in pictures
At least 18x optical zoom
Sharpness, vivid colors
HD recording with stereo microphone (720p or 1080p)

Aim: Landscape, portrait, macro and HDR photography.

I have read many reviews.
But somehow I can't decide.

Here are some cameras I've checked:

Panasonic's FZ100 or FZ40/45
Canon's SX30 IS
Nikon's P100
FujiFilm's HS10.

Although Nikon's P100 has many negative reviews, it offers the best low light video quality as far as I've seen in some youtube videos.

I really can't decide about Panasonic's, which one is better fz100 or fz40 in terms of image quality. Video + burst mode + screen + features + ability of external mic and flash is superb in fz100 but the image quality; there is my main doubt about it.

Canon does not shot in RAW is what I only know about the product. I haven't got much more information about this camera.

FujiFilm, I was not satisfied from my previous S2500hd so somehow I'm negatively impressed from Fuji.

If there is any other camera in this range, please include in your comments.

Price is not the deciding act; so don't consider price differences.

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Old Oct 23, 2010, 11:15 AM   #2
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well, you are going to have to modify your needs here, particularly the low light part.

all of the superzooms use the smallest sensor (1/2.3), and they pack those small sensors with alot of pixels. so none of them will do well at 1600. so they are not cameras made for available low light photography. most of them have nice flashes that are better than the average compact flash, so with flash, you can do alright.

but if you take that need out of the equation. they do quite well for landscape, macro, wildlife in decent light conditions and are very convenient with their long zooms and in general good video quality.

if video were of any priority, i think the Panasonic FZ100 would be the best choice here, it has a cmos sensor that can do full 1080p with stereo. while there are some downsides of cmos, it does not suffer from the light streaking in high contrast areas you get with a ccd.

the canon sx30is does well for outdoor pictures and has the longest zoom here. but the video isnt up to the same as the fz100.

the fuji does well for still photos as many have shown here, but again the video isnt up to par.

the nikon, this is the weakest of the bunch.

if you decide low light is a priority over zooms, then that opens up other possibilities for high end compacts with the larger 1/1.7 sensor like the Canon G12 and Nikon P7000.
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