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Old Feb 21, 2014, 11:25 AM   #1
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Default Endless Choices and Endless Specs

I am looking to upgrade from the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ5 that I bought in 2008 to a super zoom "bridge."

I don't know much about photography or about the specs I am trying to decipher while making a decision on which camera to buy. So, I want a camera that has both auto and full manual controls. This way I can slowly transition from auto settings to full manual (as an option) while I learn on the go from experience.

Here are some of the things I keep in mind when I compare cameras:

IQ, zoom reach, versatility, auto and full manual controls, LCD/EVF quality, price, and, believe it or not, I prefer a bigger camera because of my big hands and how awkward a small camera feels to me. But, I am not silly enough to let a slight difference in size make me ignore a very good camera.

I think I am down to deciding between the Panasonic FZ200 and the Fujifilm Finepix HS50 EXR. The HS50 is bigger than the FZ200, but the FZ200 has that famous 2.8 lens. I just have to decide if I can be satisfied with the 24X Lumix over the 42X Finepix. I can always put a teleconverter on the Lumix, but I don't know if that's a good way to go.

I compared both cameras on this site and a site called 2cameraguys.com. They have a really good side-by-side function. I never heard of the site before, but my McAfee Site Advisor assured me that McAfee checked the site and it is safe.

So, are the Finepix HS50 and the Lumix FZ200 close enough in performance and quality that I can just choose the larger camera with the longer zoom, or is the FZ200 that much better than the HS50?

I really like the zoom and the physical size of the HS50, but I know that should not be the deciding factor over more important qualities.

Any thoughts?
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Old Feb 21, 2014, 3:51 PM   #2
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Much would depend on what you shoot.
Both have pretty perky AF systems,though the Panny shoots for longer in burst mode- i.e more frames- and it delivers continuous AF in 5.5fps mode- which is advantageous if you regularly shoot moving subjects.
The manual zoom of the Fuji is undoubtedly favourable for stills- but certainly less so for movies.
In my opinion,the Panasonic lens is sharper (and obviously faster) though depending on your projected output, may or may nor be an issue.

I personally think the Panasonic generally delivers better IQ- and although the EXR sensor has a few multi frame tricks up its sleeve (at 8mp output), I've never been a fan of the "exr" technology (well,not on the 1/2" sensor anyway).

If you're a "birder" the zoom reach may be the deciding factor for you- though as you say,you do have the add on option with the "FZ"... though not ideal if you want to zip out to wide angle immediately..!

Maybe consider the Canon SX50hs...
It has the big reach- and arguably the best IQ of all the small sensor superzooms...

If you fancy the Fuji way- maybe consider the new S1 with its weather sealing- could be ideal for less favourable climates/shoots..!

Last edited by SIMON40; Feb 21, 2014 at 4:00 PM.
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Old Feb 21, 2014, 6:20 PM   #3
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Default Thanks, Simon

Thanks for your response. I will shoot anything and everything, and nothing specifically. How's that for saying something by not saying anything at all?

I read so much positive feedback about the FZ200 and that lens, but I was wondering if the Fuji HS50 was up to snuff and maybe just had one or two different specs or if the FZ offers so much more plus a better shooting experience.

I understand that the longer the zoom the more inferior the IQ. In this case, I guess the shorter zoom and 2.8 constant put a check in the FZ200 box.

Really, I am wondering if it would be considered a mistake if I bought the Fuji HS50 over the FZ200. The FZ200 is really the talk of the town in terms of a super zoom and its 2.8 lens. If only the Fuji didn't have such longer reach and the larger physical size. I am an outcast in that I don't like the idea that things get smaller and smaller.
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Old Feb 21, 2014, 6:55 PM   #4
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I guess they both have their pro's and con's- and if at all possible try them both out prior to purchase. What one person prefers,another doesn't...
Many might sacrifice a touch of IQ for the manual zoom of the Fuji,never mind the better viewfinder... others wouldn't...
Try and source the net for as many reviews you can find (video's also)- and where possible,download some images taken with both- see what you think...

A Fuji test...(with images to download)
http://www.ephotozine.com/article/fu...r-review-21682

The Panny'...
http://www.ephotozine.com/article/pa...a-review-20309
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Old Feb 21, 2014, 7:23 PM   #5
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Default Many Thanks

The links you provide in your response are very informative. While I have read many reviews and watched many videos about both cameras, I will take your advice and start testing them out, or at least getting up close and personal to view and handle them.

Again, thanks for the great links.
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