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Old Sep 29, 2011, 11:30 AM   #1
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Default Superzoom cam

I would like your help to choose my new superzoom cam.
I am not a professional, and I want a camera to take photos of my family, in travels, in many different situations.
I love the macro option and zoom also.
I would like to know if it is necessary to have a tripod to shoot using the zoom in its maximum capacity.
I would like a good cam to take night images also.
I am in doubt about Fujifilm HS20, Nikon P500 or some from Panasonic.
Looking foward for the tips!
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Old Sep 29, 2011, 1:58 PM   #2
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I have the Panasonic FZ100 and love it. The successor to it has been released (FZ150, I believe). I wanted it mainly for the zoom (24x) and FPS (it can do 11fps @ 14 mpx for 15 frames). I wish it had an intervalometer function, but i can do that via the remote jack.
It also has some pretty good shutter speed selection, and you can force it anywhere from 1/2000 of a sec to 60 sec. It takes ok night photos, but will get some noise (I will post some if you need test images). I looked at both the Fuji and Nikon before I bought it, but eventually the FPS and megapixels got me. Plus, I couldnt afford the HS20 at the time
Macro is good, and since it has a filter mount you can get some macro filters too. I have taken 23,000 pictures with mine thus far, and have not had any problems with it yet..
Good luck!
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Old Sep 29, 2011, 3:13 PM   #3
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Thanks for your answer!
Do you know if using the maximum zoom it is necessary to use a tripod to have good pics? Without a tripod the picture will be blured?
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Old Sep 30, 2011, 11:15 AM   #4
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Depends how much Light you have, and how steady you are. I took these 2 shots yesterday in bright sunlight through a window


The first picture is at full optical zoom (plus the 8x digital that panasonic says doesn't change image quality)
Loos like there is a bit of heat haze in those pictures...

The second pic is at full optical + digital zoom (says 127x on camera)

Both taken by hand in bright sunlight, through a window

I'd say anything after maybe 6pm with the panasonic at full zoom you'd probably want a tripod
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Last edited by photonerd; Sep 30, 2011 at 12:20 PM.
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Old Sep 30, 2011, 7:34 PM   #5
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G'day shibuya

Welcome to Steve's :-)
Any of the current choice of superzoom cameras will provide the things that you list - it will come down to what fits into your hand and eye

As to a tripod, from experience I have found that "above about 15x zoom, I get better pictures via using the tripod" - it is all of me & my breathing, the wind, the weight of the camera, and lots of other things in between.

Hope this helps for starters - please come back with more Qs as they arise
Regards, Phil
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Old Oct 1, 2011, 10:30 PM   #6
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Thanks for all answers.
In my first post I didn't ask about Canon SX30IS.
I am really in doubt, because all those cams are similiar (zoom, megapixels, continous shooting mode, etc), but reading the reviews, some say that the image quality of one of those cams are not very good. And the review from another site, say the opposite.
In snapsort website Nikon P500 is ranked as the first superzoom cam. In one forum one guy was in doubt between this Nikon and Fuji HS20 and people who have answered him were strongly recommending Fuji against Nikon.
For example, in a commom situation, like a child birthday, low ligth, but not at night, without using zoom nor a tripod, my camera (Canon A620), the image quality is better than the image from others compact cameras newer than mine, from Sony, with more megapixel than mine.
So I am really in doubt.
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Old Oct 1, 2011, 10:39 PM   #7
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One more: about the ISO range. Fuji HS20 offers an ISO range from 100 to 12800, it is the best ragne between the cams Ia am thinking about. I thought it would be great, perfect for shooting night images, but the review in protographyblog shows awful night pics from this camera. A person commenting the review wrote the problem was the choice of taking the picture with the wrong features. Who should I believe?
There's a movie in youtube from a guy showing this H20, he says wonderful and terible things about the camera...
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Old Oct 2, 2011, 5:54 AM   #8
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Shibuya- you share a similar problem with so many others- trying to choose from the current crop of superzooms...! Conflicting opinions from various reviews and users etc..
Each one seemingly better in one area than the other and vice versa... it's difficult!!
I think in truth,however,there isn't a great deal to choose between them- all offering huge image stabilised zooms,most now opting for the faster backlit/cmos sensors,most with vari-angle screens etc...
For what it's worth,in my opinion,the Panasonic's always feel the best with regards build quality and for some time now have had the best glass on board- they're a very swift operator too,focusing very fast at all focal lengths. I have owned an Fuji HS10- but found focusing at the zoom end erratic,as was the image stabiliser- maybe the HS20's better..? The Canon SX30 would be too slow for me- offering no effective burst mode at all- though the new SX40 with cmos sensor will boost that massively.
As for usable,hand-held zoom range- I guess that comes down to the effectiveness of the image stabiliser on board- and Panasonic and Canon have never given me a problem at any focal length- always hugely impressive in this regard.
I think though,if possible,try as many out as you can,see which one feels right for you- take a memory card with you and rattle off a couple of shots and scrutinise the images at home. Try not to expect too much of an improvement on image quality(if any!) over your older A620 compact- the 7mp sensor/nice lens and processor in that camera struck a perfect balance between smoothness and resolution- and probably hasn't been surpassed to this day- only being outdone by "modern" features and the next so-called "must have" gimmicks..!
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Old Oct 2, 2011, 6:03 AM   #9
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Oh- and another thing... ignore all the galactic ISO figures on all the latest bridge camera's- they're all pretty much the same past ISO800- offering very suspect image quality at best beyond this point.
Remember- superzooms are a "jack of all trades" camera,and to be fair,does a pretty good job of it- cramming an awful lot into one package. In most cases and for all but the very fussy,any superzoom today will please their owners greatly....
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Old Oct 2, 2011, 5:16 PM   #10
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G'day again Shibuya

I take note of your last 2 posts & Simon's replies
Welcome to the club where many things seem the same and a few things are different

Please do not think me rude here ~ but all the cameras you talk about are very, very similar
I would equate it all to buying a new, small car for round-the-town use ... there are lots of 4cyl x 2Litre auto with Aircon + CD players etc etc etc and the only major difference is the colour
However, with a new car, your bum [butt for US readers] will determine which car you will buy - and if your bum is not happy in the driver's seat, your brain will not be happy either

So it is with shoes too ... and cameras

I suggest that you go out to your local camera shop and sit down with 3 of the "finalists" and play with them
Have a look & feel of each ~how does each fit into your fingers? ~how do the menus work to your way of logic? ~does the zoom controls work freely & how you want it to? ~do the short-cut buttons make it easier? ~if it has a rotary control knob on the back face, is that control knob easy to use [or does it flop all over the place]

Then choose what suits you best and work it onto the ground over then next couple of years

Hope this helps :-)
Regards, Phil
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