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Best Superzoom?
Panasonic LZ150 50%  50%  [ 4 ]
Canon SX40 25%  25%  [ 2 ]
Fujifilm HS20 13%  13%  [ 1 ]
Nikon P500 13%  13%  [ 1 ]
Sony HS200 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Total votes : 8
Author Message
PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 3:49 pm 
I'm looking to buy a bridge/super zoom camera for learning to shoot wildlife.

Main Requirements:
Zoom range
Shutter lag
Low light performance (without flash)
Autofocus speed
Continuous shooting

Panasonic FZ150
Canon SX40
Fujifilm HS20 (Maybe HS30 soon)

The zoom reach on the Canon is appealing but I've read the Panasonic is faster and its ability to shoot at 5.6 frames per second is also appealing as I'd thought its the sort of thing that would be used all the time

At 528g the Panasonic is smaller and lighter than the Canon's 687g, which got me thinking for a total weight of 853g I could get the Panasonic and a Raynox 2.2x teleconvertor and 50g adaptor. Its an extra bit to carry around, but its the sort of camera I would tend to keep in a bag rather than pocket anyway it seems this combination would give me the advantages of the Panasonic's speed with the extra zoom when I needed it. Is this a bad idea?

From the reviews, the Fujifilm HS20EXR seems to lag behind the other two and, apart from the zoom-ring I'm struggling to see reasons to chose it. The upoming HS30EXR might be better but is a bit of an unknown.

Does anyone have a link to test data for shutter-lag and autofocus speed for the cameras?

Finally, are there new models that will be released in the UK before April that I should hang-on for? (I discounted the Nikon P500 because of the lack of stabilisation so would be very interested to see if they plan on sorting this out soon)

Many thanks,


 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 12:27 am 
SamW - I have had a Fuji HS10 for over a year - and while the Fujinon lens is very good - other aspects of it are not.

The twist-zoom is instant, excellent for stills - woefully "Jerk-O-Matic" for video. The HS20 uses the same lens setup - same twist-zoom, and the same "no settings" for video - exposure, focus, etc.

Both have only a "plastic" tripod-mount - dreadful for a long-zoom camera - and said mount is 5mm from the battery door, and can 'crack through', though I've been very gentle with my HS10, which hasn't yet.

Fuji says they have a plastic tripod mount because HS10/20 are "only meant for occasional tripod use".... Heh!

From what we're seeing in Previews - the HS30 is physically very little different from the HS20 - with 16Mpix crammed onto a 1/2.0" EXR CMOS sensor. (The HS10 has 10Mpix on 1/2.3" BSI CMOS.)

The "big new change" for the HS30 is that it drops the very good 4 x AAs power for a little Li-Ion power pack. When that runs out on a trip - try buying one, charged, for the price of a set of 4 AA-Alkalines, at a local general store...

However - you might take a look at Fuji's new-idea "Premium" bridge-zoom - using the X-series 6.6mm x 8.8mm sensor - but retaining 26x zoom, which is at least interesting. The tripod mount is METAL (wow - my Canon SX10 had that years ago...) - and the twist-zoom is supposedly alleged to be "very smooth for video" - which I shall believe when I actually try it...

All for a mere tiny US$800.00 US-release price - so, likely waaay over AUD$1,000.00 here in Sydney....

Actually - I can think of things rather more worth a Grand or even less... Such as a Pentax K-R runout with extended warranty - 3 years and 2 kit lenses - still under AUD$1,000.00...

Regards, Dave.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 5:11 pm 
Thanks Dave,

The Fujifilm HS20 is not looking the best choice anyway due to its slower autofocus and apparently lower quality images in terms of resolution and noise. This might be better on the HS30, but experience like yours doesn't bode too well. I've had a look at Fujifilm's X-S1, but I think its a bit pricey but then again, maybe the bigger sensor is worth a lot...

While I am still open to the Fujifilm HS30, The Canon SX4 and Panasonic LZ150 are currently the front-runners for me.

From reading a few reviews and watching a few videos (although I am more interested in stills) of the Canon SX40, it does look good. The big zoom on the Canon is still very tempting but I still can see big advantages in being able to shoot at 5.5 frames per second for longer periods with the Panasonic. I as mentioned, I will probably get a teleconvertor to add the extra reach when needed. Would I loose a lot of light by adding one?


 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 8:07 pm 
SamW - The HS30 still crams 16Mpix onto a 1/2.0 CMOS EXR sensor, like the HS20 - that's only 7% larger than the HS10's 1/2.3" sensor - which is "only" 10Mpix - 45% more receptor "crowding", which from the many images I've seen, doesn't help with noise or detail.

The HS10 has a BSI (back-side-illuminated) CMOS sensor - and was actually the first bridge-zoom to have such - though Canon ads in Australia claim that the SX40's BSI CMOS is "a first in long-zoom technology". It'd be true if they said "First in a 35x zoom camera", as the HS10 is 30x / 720mm equiv - the SX40 is 35x / 840mm equiv, though looking at "full zoom" SX30 / SX40 images, the "reach" doesn't seem much different.

The HS20 for some functions, and faster continuous, uses the EXR tech to "pair" the receptors on the sensor so it works as an 8Mpix camera - perhaps that's to do with the sensor crowding at 16Mpix....

The HS10 is rather better than the HS20 at high-ISO / low-light images - it does pretty clean JPEGs to ISO 800 - and 'fixable' at 1600 - though better to use RAW and de-noise at ISO 1600 up... It will do "usable" images in low light at ISO 3200 and 6400 - though they need some 'gentle persuasion' of the RAWs... However, I have straight from camera JPEGs at ISO 3200 and 6400, f/10 - f/11, in low light, heavy rain, 70-80 metres - that are 'usable' - if only as "I wuz there!" proofs.

Between the HS20/30 and SX40 - the Canon is easier to use in Auto and Program - the Fujis really need Priorities or Manual, and "being told what to do". The HS10/20/30 use the same lens assembly with twist-zoom - ideal for stills - dreadful for video - the Canons are very good with 2-speed video power zoom. The Canons also have exposure/brightness and MF in video - the Fujis have neither...

The FZ150 as you say has more manual functions than the SX40, and also does RAW, which the Canon doesn't.

Panasonic makes a Teleconverter for the FZ150 - 1.7x - and a few images with it on Flickr suggest it is quite functional, though extra glass will mean some loss of light. Price for the DMW-LT55 TC is about $160.00 in the US.

The SX40 has an internal integrated TC function - at 1.5x or 2x. This isn't the same as using "digital zoom" - it's integrated into the optical zoom by the camera's processor.

With the SX10 - TC 1.4x and 2.3x, the 2.3 is fuzzy-useless - the 1.4x is usable if you don't use the whole "virtual 28x" it offers - 24-25x on the indicator works fairly well, if you can't get the shot by going closer - okay for showing at reduced size - certainly not for printing!

So the lower option 1.5x in the SX40 might work similarly. In the SX10 the TC 1.4x is usable with video - rest or tripod needed.

Regards, Dave.

PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2012 3:21 pm 
Hello, i have had the latest coolpix and the fuji hs30 and particularly found the af was hopeless on zoom video , I'm now looking at either the fz150 or the sx40 , according to the cam lab review , the pana has a slightly better af function especially on video mode , now my question is this , is the canons slightly less sensitive af only apparent on extended zoom 35 compared to pane 24 , or is it throughout the range of zoom ?

Does anyone have some feedback here on sx40 autofocus in their own experience on video modes

PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 7:51 am 
I love Canon but I want to looking for cheaper one but the quality similar with canon... any idea?

PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 2:32 am 
Hi All

Has anyone done a review of the Fujifilm HS30EXR? I could not find one on the Cameral Labs site.



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