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Old Apr 10, 2010, 9:50 AM   #1
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Default Sony a550 or Fujifilm Finepix HS10?

I am looking to buy a Sony a550 with a few lenses (ex. 18-250mm and maybe 70-200mm f/2.8) I have also been looking and reading about this new amazing camera from Fujifilm the HS10 which has a 30x optical zoom (eq. 28-720mm). I usually print no larger then 8x10. I take pics of weddings, bday parties which are considered indoor events. I also take pics of wildlife, buildings, etc.. which is outdoor stuff.

The price difference between the two packages Sony SLR w lenses or Fujifilm Finepix is pretty big is it really worth it.

What do you recommend? Any thoughts?
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Old Apr 10, 2010, 10:38 AM   #2
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I've moved your post from the Sony/KM dSLR forum to the What Camera Should I Buy? Forum so you'll get more responses.

There are pros and cons to both camera types. I haven't seen any reviews of the Fuji yet. But, one limitation you may find with it in lower light is that it's lens loses light as you zoom in more (down to f/5.6 on it's longer end). Without careful testing, I don't know how fast I'd expect it to get dimmer. But, note that f/2.8 is 4 times as bright as f/5.6, so you could use shutter speeds 4 times as fast for a given lighting and ISO speed with an f/2.8 lens versus a lens that only has f/5.6 available. With a dSLR, you can always buy a different lens to meet your needs later. With a non-DSLR model, you're stuck with the lens that comes attached to it.

Another issue with a model like that Fuji is lack of a dedicated flash system. With a model like the Sony A550, you could use a flash like the Sony HVL-F42AM or HVL-F58AM with it and the flash would be aware of your camera settings. With the Fuji, you'd need to use a non dedicated external flash, using manual exposure and setting your camera and flash to match for ISO speed and aperture (since the Fuji non-DSLR models don't have any provisions for passing camera settings information to an external flash, you'd need to set a flash to match the settings on your camera to get reasonable exposure accuracy).

Yet another issue would be the difficulty in isolating your subject from distracting backgrounds if you're shooting larger subjects, since you'll have a *lot* more depth of field for a given subject distance, framing and aperture with a model like the Fuji (due to it's very tiny sensor size in comparison to a dSLR model like the A550 you're looking at, the actual versus 35mm equivalent focal length for a given angle of view is much shorter, meaning a lot more depth of field). For example, the actual focal range of that Fuji's lens is only 4.2-126mm. Now, that can be a good thing if you want more depth of field. But, it can be a bad thing if you want a shallower depth of field. Of course, you could always use an editor to help out in that area, and the Fuji might have features built in that help it to simulate a shallow depth of field like you'd get with a model using a larger sensor (but, I'm not sure if it gets what Fuji refers to as Pro Focus mode or not, like some newer Fuji camera have to simulate a larger camera's images).

The other issue may be focus speed/accuracy/ability in lower light levels, as it's going to use a Contrast Detect AF system versus a fast phase detect AF system like you'd find in a model like the Sony A550. But, without reviews of it, it's difficult to say how it stacks up in that area. Ditto for areas like Dynamic Range (ability to capture a greater range of dark to bright without losing detail) and Noise Levels. The Sony A550 has class leading Dynamic Range with it's JPEG files (around 9.4 stops at ISO 200, still able to produce 8.9 stops at ISO 1600), and you could get even more Dynamic Range with it shooting in raw. It's very unlikely the Fuji is going to do anywhere near that well in harsher lighting given it's much smaller sensor and smaller photosites for each pixel. But, again, we'll have to wait on in depth reviews to get a better idea of how it compares in that area (as it might surprise us).
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Old Apr 10, 2010, 10:55 AM   #3
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I appreciate your feedback and thanks for moving my thread. I should have known better and posted it in this area from the start.

It's a tough decision I will keeping reading up on both cameras.

Thanks again!
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Old Apr 10, 2010, 11:04 AM   #4
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The 550 is the better camera with way more options. But it can get quite expensive with lenses. It will give you better low light, image quality, and all the things that you can not get form a point and shoot megazoom and bridge camera. These are just body advantages. When you add in the lens advantages. It increase the effects of the bodies advantages in image quality and low light shooting.

The HS10 has a booming zoom with the crop factor. You will not get that kinda of reach from a dslr lens without paying 2x the price of the fuji.

Jim pretty much covered everything else.
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Old Apr 10, 2010, 11:06 AM   #5
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conradcjc-

Each of us must approach a major decision in the manner that works best for us individually. However, the choice you pose is, at least for me, is rather simple. Consider the Fuji HS-10 carefully. I just finished doing that myself. I decided that the number of times that I would be using the full 720mm of zoom would be rather rare. After some analysis, I also determined that really good high ISO capability was more desirable for my style of shooting. I already had a Tamron 18-250mm all in one lens that I use on my A-700 and my A-230, so I really did not need the expense of the Fuji HS-10.

I already have the A-700. However, if I did not have the A-700, my clear and certain choice would be the A-550.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Apr 10, 2010, 12:46 PM   #6
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Thank you for the input Mr. Mtclimber.
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Old Apr 10, 2010, 1:02 PM   #7
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conradcjc-

With the name: Sarah Joyce, I guess you will have to make that Mrs. MtClimber, as my husband and I have had 8 children and I was not gifted with the correct plumbing.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Apr 10, 2010, 1:26 PM   #8
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Sorry. I didn't look at the name. Thank you for the input Mrs. MtClimber
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Old Apr 10, 2010, 2:17 PM   #9
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I have another question to Mrs. MtClimber or anyone else that would like to chime in.

Let just talk zoom range and compare the two (HS10 / a550)

The HS10 has the following: 35mm equivalent of an astonishing 24-720mm zoom range

The a550 with 18-250mm lens has the following: 35mm equivalent of an astonishing 27-375mm zoom range (because of the APS-C crop factor)

The a550 has a built in 2x teleconverter making the 18-250mm = 54-750mm

Do this make sense? Did I do the math right?

If so then just comparing zoom/reach the a550 should reach out more then the HS10 if tested side by side.

I do realize that the built in 2x teleconverter is just cropping into the megapixels on the a550 which is not a big thing for me since I print no larger then 8x10.

Thanks again

Last edited by conradcjc; Apr 10, 2010 at 2:26 PM.
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Old Apr 10, 2010, 2:56 PM   #10
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conradcjc-

As I understand it, the A-550 does not have a real 2X TC, rather it indulges in a bit of digital zoom like you find in P+S cameras.

To me the numbers are not critical at all. I find that when using the Tamron 18-250mm lens that I have all the zoom I need. In addition the A-550 is going to provide much better basic image quality because the imager on the A-550 is 15X to 20X physically larger in size than the imager on the Fuji HS-10. That is really the pivotal point when comparing these two cameras.

Sarah Joyce
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