« $700 GH2 Beats $70,000 Movie Cameras in Shootout | Main | The Canon EOS-M: Mike's View »

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Comments

Many of my favorite family photos are from a 2003 Fuji superzoom. With the earlier models, lenses were faster on average, but didn't start at a very wide angle, and did not zoom so much either. Then for several years superzooms pushed on both ends, but lens speed suffered. Now Panasonic has introduced a quite surprising fz200, with a constant f2.8 25-600 equivalent lens. Add a macro attachment and it likely would serve many hobbyists well.

If people are buying them, they're filling a need. The customer is always right.

I needed one to shoot fun little private timelapse vids and was not going to wear out the shutter on my D-SLR for the purpose. A used $80 superzoom filled the bill nicely. At 1280/720 HD, the image is fine for what I need. Geez, I was using a Canon G3 (cropped to 16:9) for this up until last month and it was ok, except the LCD screen was so small I was going nuts just trying to get a horizon horizontal. For web-sized final display, for which no one is paying me, these things are ideal. When they die, you go to eBay and buy another one.

The thing is that manufacturers are only putting remote shutter firing and DC IN jacks in the higher end superzooms these days, so cheapskates like me are running out of choices.

Not too hard to see why this makes sense... These cameras do what phone cameras can't.

If they had web upload (do they?) they'd be even better for their intended market.

Surprised you ignored the Canon SX-40 (35X zoom). I was about to press the "buy" button when I realized, no RAW. Some might say, "so what," but I'm wedded to the highlight recovery possibilities in Lightroom 4.

The customer is always right in the long run, anyway. Sometimes they can be stampeded into jumping on a bandwagon for a little while, and after a little experience they learn better.

I suspect that more and more people are using their phone as their "carry always" camera. Which means their "carry on special occasions" camera has to be - well - special.

It's because of the Panasonic FZ5 (a 36-432mm f/2.8-3.3 5MP) that I started to have fun with digital photography. I still have a FZ8 laying around somewhere that has the same lens. It still produces great results if I keep the ISO low and shoot raw.

I have wanted to do wildlife photography for many years, but never got around to getting the huge zooms needed. A while ago I got a Canon SX30 and am amazed at the 800mm equivalent zoom lens. Here are a few snapshots:
http://www.dpreview.com/galleries/2478957894/photos/1393146/bobcat-by-ocean
http://www.dpreview.com/galleries/2478957894/photos/1393147/hummingbird
http://www.dpreview.com/galleries/2478957894/photos/1395811/fox4

THE ABOVE MENtioned Canon Sx40 is a wonderful jpeg-only camera with HD1081i that we use for making short television videos. wonderful colors, the audio is not good so we use a digital audio recorder for our pro mics. The mega zoom is great the the jpeg quality for online newsletters and web sites is very good.

I remember when my Konica-Minolta A2 was a superzoom at 7x. I'm still waiting for the upgrade to that camera. 28-200mme, f2.8 on the wide end and losing only half a stop fully zoomed! (sure, ISO 200 was barely usable and 400 was B&W only but I was coming from Kodachrome.) I loved the a-in-oneness of it. After some years with DSLRs I tried a Fuji S200 and liked what I could do with the exr modes. Ended up selling it only to become fascinated with shots I saw from the X10 but with no EVF it wouldn't work for me. I saw the X-S1 and was very dubious about a 26x zoom. It's been almost 3 months now and this camera and I seem to be working towards an understanding. Enough so that I'm selling the m4/3 gear and using just the X-S1 and a Pentax ZX-L with three lenses and tri-x in pursuit of some sort of simplification/zen thing. Still if fuji were to make an X-S1 like camera and limit the zoom to 28-200mme, oh and bump the sensor size up to 1/2' (or not), I'll be there cash in hand. :-P

I wonder if a lot of those cameras are of the more compact variety, like the Panasonic TZ series or similar? I have an old TZ-7 and while it's really only fit for snapshots it has been really handy to have a huge zoom in such a small package.

The recently announced Panasonic FZ200 with 25-600 2.8 and 720 120fps video, and 12 fps stills makes for an fun 2nd camera to have around.

On July 6, 7, and 8, I covered the Northeast Regional Field Target Championship for ShootingSportsUSA magazine. My weapon of choice was a Panasonic FZ150, chosen for its wide (25-600 equivalent) zoom range and its bright-sunlight-immune electronic viewfinder. My backup camera was a Canon G12 (never needed). The two cameras, some spare batteries, and a Toshiba ultra book went in a bag that weighed less than an SLR and a couple of lenses that would have covered less focal range.

It's a portable, nimble rig that I carried all day and didn't wear me out, and I never missed a shot because I was changing lenses.

I took around 200 photographs and a bunch of notes for three articles and several blogs. I don't pretend to be anything more than a yeoman writer who shoots some photos to illustrate my stories,but I am extremely pleased with the performance and versatility of the FZ150.

If you want to see some of the images, here's a blog I wrote on the event: http://www.airgunsofarizona.com/blog/2012/07/and-a-good-time-was-had-by-all.html

Fascinating. I bought a print, last summer, from a photographer who was using a superzoom as her digital solution. She had left film entirely at that time.

The print is mono, heavily cropped, very noisy and quite lovely.

I stil have an old Panasonic FZ20 at home and stil have some favourite pcitures in a Lightroom catalogue somewhere.

While not wanting to deny the merits many find in such cameras, I do think that the majority of sales are to those who are not particularly knowledgeable about photography.

A good many of any camera's features make little sense to the non-photographer f2.8? What's that? It seems like a very small number. But 20x zoom, 20mp are a marketing team's dream - mine's bigger than yours, so must be better - and everyone understands that.

Colin

Not all superzooms are the same. I took a Fuji S100fs (the same as Ctein owns/owned) with me to Europe in 2008, along with my Canon 40D with a Sigma 10-20mm. Both fulfilled their purpose.

The Fuji is a fantastic travel camera - 28-400mm in one lens, RAW, film simulation, bracket everything. Yes, it let me down in some things, but I have some nice shots from that trip.

The Canon let me get cathedral interiors etc. Later on the trip, I added a Sigma 18-125mm bought in London.

Travel is where the superzoom comes in for me. I may well buy a Fuji X-S1 for the same reason. But Fuji will need to do a LOT more to convince me that they've fixed the blob issue first, and they haven't done so yet, by a long chalk.

So probably too late, Fuji. I bought my E-PL2 and I'm into 4/3rds now, so too late.

I work in an area that is a major tourist destination. Based on what I see on the street, the tourist market tends to fall into three main categories: smartphone, superzoom, and CaNikon DSLR. I see a few m43 and NEX cameras, mostly used by Japanese tourists. I've got an FZ28 and would be interested in the new FZ200, myself, if I hadn't already moved into DSLRs and an Oly E-PL2, which is a great travel camera.

Paul, you can get Raw on the SX40 (and almost any modern Canon compact) with the CHDK alternative firmware.

Want to see images from the panasonic Fx200 and its 600mm f/2.8 lens.(24-600 equivalent with constant f/2.8 wide open)

I've been playing with both a Sony DSCHX200 and DSCHX20 in our store. I like that the DSC HX 20 will fit in my pocket - with a 20x zoom. On my last business trip I took some business type photos with a Samsung Galaxy SIII - recording information basically - and I wish I had a real camera with me. I missed some really nice opportunities in Portland to grab some good street shots. I like to travel light. I have a great opportunity to go to Photokina this fall and I really think a pocket camera might be the way to go. I am going to be slogging my bag down a lot of streets and a bunch of train stations so the smaller the better. The best camera is the one you have with you.

The comments to this entry are closed.