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PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2011 6:55 pm 
I am checking out several reviews to find a good compact superzoom that can shoot in burst mode without stalling the camera after shooting the pictures. Any tips you have would be very welcome. I just bought a camera with good zoom and resolution, but in burst mode it drops to poor quality. I prefer that it works a certain fps (e.g. 5) and continuously or at least that you can restart it very fast. I see a lot of cameras with very large fps rates, but they need a long time to write a certain amount of pictures to the memory card and that will not work for me. I look forward to your comments.

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PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2011 9:10 pm 
sieBie88 - The terms "compact" and "superzoom" are mutually exclusive - if you mean by "compact" a camera that will fit in a shirt-pocket, like, say, a Canon S95 - and by "superzoom", over 24x zoom.

If you also mean the ability to shoot bursts repeatedly without noticeable delays as each burst-set is written to the card before the next burst can be fired - that's more likely a DSLR ability than a P&S ability.

The Panasonic and Sony superzooms seem to have the least delay between bursts, but are slower on RAW / RAW+JPEG than on JPEGs-only.

The Canon SX30 has a burst speed of 1.3fps, and without the CHDK on a card, doesn't do RAW, so doesn't do what you need.

The new Fuji HS20 has JPEG-only bursts "up to" 30 images, but there are already "complaints" about the save-time between bursts. It's rather slower on RAW or RAW+JPEG. It does its fastest burst speed in EXR mode, in which it uses 8Mpix - half of the 16Mpix full resolution, 11fps on JPEGs. At full resolution, 16Mpix, it does 8fps JPEG, and slower saves. You can download the HS20 Manual to check the modes and speeds.

The HS10 (which I have) that the HS20 has just replaced has better standard burst modes - 12fps JPEG for 7 frames saved, at the full 10Mpix resolution. That's at the same image quality as ordinary stills. At 7 or 5fps the number of frames can be shutter-button controlled - the 12fps+ is too fast for that. It also does 3fps JPEG to 'spread' duration. Delay to save after a burst of 7 JPEGs is 9-10 seconds.

It does RAW and RAW+JPEG at the same shooting rates - but saves 6 RAW-only or 5 RAW+JPEG. On 6 x 15MB RAWs, the save delay is about 18 seconds.

So that's not really doing repeated bursts with nil or minimal delay between them. If there are actual Superzooms that do repeated fast bursts without delays between - maybe some kind person can tell us about them - I'd like to know, too...!


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PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2011 7:27 am 
Thanks for your extensive reply. That delay that you talk about is the problem with most of these Superzoom's. However I just checked out the review of the Panasonic TZ-20 and that appears to work pretty well. Only thing I do not know if it's possible to shoot less frames, for example 4, and then 2 seconds later shoot another 4 frames...

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PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2011 2:27 pm 

Joined: Mon May 02, 2011 2:01 am
Posts: 6
Sorry about the description of "superzoom." From what I've seen this term generally applies to non-DSLRs. That's what I'm looking at, all above 24x. There are a bunch of them with viewfinders, and others without. I'm after the former.

Re burst rates, I guess it does matter what rate you use. The FZ100 by Panasonic goes from 2fps to 60, with a drop in resolution (at some point I'd think it would be better to do video; the FZ100 can do 220fps in QVGA). Here's what the review here had to say:

"To test the FZ100 we fitted a Class 4 SanDisk Ultra 2GB SD card and set the 5fps burst mode without enabling AF. The FZ100 fired off the first 18 frames in 4 seconds, a rate of 4.5fps, but then the rate fell dramatically to around 2fps. The 100 shot limit was reached at 55 seconds, giving an overall rate 1.8fps. Switched to the 11fps mode, we fired-off the 15-shot burst in 1.6 seconds, corresponding to a rate of just over 9fps. This was with the camera set to 100 ISO though, and increasing the sensitivity to 200 ISO saw the rate fall to just under 5fps."

In another review, I saw the shot-to-shot delay (JPEG) was .98 seconds.

But shutter lag isn't the only thing to consider; as a practical matter you have to factor in autofocus, if you're using that, and other processes the camera may be using (there are SO many now). I'm trying to find more real world examples out there.

With CMOS sensors the P&S cameras are able to achieve some things they couldn't do before; I haven't been in the market in a while and I'm amazed.

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