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Old Sep 20, 2009, 11:41 AM   #1
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Default Which superzoom reviews do you trust?

After 5+ years of happy Panasonic FZ20 ownership I'm in the market again for another superzoom.

The number of products on offer this time round is huge.

Here's my shortlist:

- Panasonic FZ35/FZ38
- Sony DSC HX1
- Nikon P90
- Pentax X70
- Casio EX-FH20

However, I'm getting mixed reviews for most cameras except the FZ35/FZ38.

For example, dcresource says the picture quality of the DSC HX1 is disappointing (although I find it odd that the dcresource gallery page shows images are anything but disappointing) whereas reghardware describes the camera's picture quality as impressive.

Which one do you trust?

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Old Sep 20, 2009, 12:59 PM   #2
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Well, ... how about the reviews that have a link at the top of this page?
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Old Sep 20, 2009, 3:09 PM   #3
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ckthegreek-

I purchased a Sony HX-1 camera and returned it due to inferior image quality. Clearly, the Panasonic IMO is the better choice. However, there is another factor to consider as well.

With the price on the super zoom cameras nearing what an entry level DSLR camera such as the Sony A-230, the Nikon D-3000, and the Canon 1000D costs, this might be a very opportune time to consider moving to a DSLR camera that would give you more/improved photo and image quality.

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Old Sep 21, 2009, 5:48 AM   #4
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Quote:
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Well, ... how about the reviews that have a link at the top of this page?
I guess you mean Steve's reviews on this site. Well, Steve has yet to review the DSC HX1.
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Old Sep 21, 2009, 11:06 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtclimber View Post
With the price on the super zoom cameras nearing what an entry level DSLR camera such as the Sony A-230, the Nikon D-3000, and the Canon 1000D costs, this might be a very opportune time to consider moving to a DSLR camera...
The start up price of these DSLR cameras may be close to a good super zoom but when you add the cost of a good zoom lens (which BTW will not give you 500mm+ of reach you get with the FZ35, SP590, etc., unless you spend tons of $$$), then the difference between the two in terms of costs become much more significant. Not to mention the fact that you'll have to invest in a more expensive camera bag, carry the weight and deal with swapping lenses is less than ideal conditions.
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Old Sep 22, 2009, 9:37 AM   #6
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Tullio is right. Plus I do not even consider myself to be a serious amateur photographer to justify the added $$$ to purchase a DSLR.

I think it's possible to get the best of both worlds: Quality pictures and lots of features at a low price.

Trouble is that my extensive research over the last few weeks shows that very few of the latest of crop of superzooms can match my 5 year old Panasonic FZ20 on outdoor image quality (over 60% of my shots).

EX-FH20 is impressive but seems to be a bit of a gimmick.

The P90 and X70 have various issues with image quality.

The SX20 IS from Casio is a step backwards in the image quality department compared to the SX10 IS.

The DSC HX1 form Sony is almost perfect but it suffers from noise at even the lowest ISO settings. It performs surprisingly well however in sports action and night modes - the other 40% of my photos.

The FZ35/FZ38 is overall the best of the bunch. It does not have any major flaws but it is not outstanding in any department either.

So as things stand I'm leaning towards the Sony for its sports and night performance but will continue to use my FZ20 for day photos.
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Old Sep 22, 2009, 10:09 AM   #7
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The DSC HX1 form Sony is almost perfect but it suffers from noise at even the lowest ISO settings. It performs surprisingly well however in sports action and night modes - the other 40% of my photos.
I'm always on the lookout for sports images from various cameras so I can make better recommendations. Can you point me to some of the photos or galleries you saw of the HX1's sports performance?

I would greatly appreciate it.
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Old Sep 22, 2009, 10:15 AM   #8
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Sure,

Assuming Steve allows me to post this link (am not 100% with the rules of this forum regarding linking to external content) here are some:

http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/So...e_images.shtml
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Old Sep 22, 2009, 10:26 AM   #9
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My advice is - I wouldn't put much stock in that test of sports shooting capability. That's not a very challenging test (large subject moving perpendicular with plenty of DOF). It's not a good judge of whether or not the camera did a good job of tracking a moving subject. It's not to say the camera is bad at it, just that this is a poor test of the camera's sports shooting capability. You want to see how the camera tracks a subject that moves across different focal planes. My guess is - if they tested any of the modern superzooms with that same shot they'd get very similar results. For example, they tested the Panasonic GH1 against a boat moving directly towards them - a much better test, and came to the conclusion the camera 'couldn't keep up'. That's a completely different test. They should test EVERY camera with the subject moving towards. Bottom line, they used a flawed test for the Sony camera.
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Old Sep 22, 2009, 11:06 AM   #10
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Although Sony makes very good digicams, I think their super zoom models have been a hit and miss (more miss than hit IMO). The early H series models were excellent (H1, H2 and H5). Then, things went south (again, this is my personal opinion. Many people really like the H9, H50 and now the HX1. I think the H50 is probably the best of the three). I had the FZ20 and really liked its lens but there were some issues primarily related to LCD/EVF inaccuracy, which drove me up the wall and made me sell it. I then had the FZ18 and now I have the FZ28. They were both excellent cameras. And yes, you do get the best of both worlds (with a little compromise, of course).
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