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Canon PowerShot SX50 HS Ken McMahon, Dec 2012
 
 

Canon SX50 HS vs Panasonic FZ200 quality

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To compare real-life performance I shot this scene with the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS and the Panasonic Lumix FZ200, within a few moments of each other using their best quality JPEG settings.

The SX50 HS was zoomed in slightly to produce an equivalent field of view to the FZ200 at its 25mm maximum wide angle.

Image stabilisation was disabled for this tripod-mounted test and all other settings were left on the defaults.

  Canon PowerShot SX50 HS results
1 Canon SX50 Quality JPEG
2 Canon SX50 Quality RAW
3 Canon SX50 Noise JPEG
4 Canon SX50 Noise RAW
5 Canon SX50 Sample images

The image above was taken with the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS. The camera was set to Aperture priority mode with the aperture set to f4 and the sensitivity to 80 ISO. The camera metered an exposure of 1/400. The Panasonic Lumix FZ200 metered an exposure of 1/640 at f4 at its base 100 ISO sensitivity.

The test scene on the day that I took these shots was particularly demanding with bright sunshine presenting a very wide brightness range. The PowerShot SX50 HS has made a reasonably good job of the exposure, but nonetheless there's a good deal of highlight clipping in the image, particularly the white walls of the buildings which are reflecting the bright sunlight. The histogram reaches both ends of the chart, so had the SX50 HS chosen a faster shutter speed it would have clipped the shadows rather than the highlights.

Moving on to the crops, the Canon SX50 HS lens and sensor deliver very good quality overall. The level of detail is good and remains reasonably consistent across the frame. At the wide angle setting at least, the SX50's 50x zoom performs very well. The detail in the chapel and the grassy foreground in he first crop is a tiny bit soft, but you can still make out the smaller details in the chapel quite well.

In the second crop the lighthouse is a clear and distinct white rectangle and, despite the atmospheric haze you can also make out some detail in the cliffs. Again, the detail in the windows and roofs in the foreground of this clip is a tiny bit soft, but the edges are distinct.

In the third crop from close to the edge of the frame the softness increases marginally, but the edge detail is still distinct and there's only the slightest hint of chromatic aberration. Finally the fourth crop from close to the middle of the frame has lost some highlight detail, but generally the level of sharpness here is consistent with the other crops.

Compared with the Panasonic Lumix FZ200 there's very difference in the quality of these crops. Certainly crops one and two are very close with a similar level of detail. At the edge of the frame, shown in the third crop the 25x zoom lens of the Lumix FZ200 dosn't do as good a job at maintaining consistent image quality as the PowerShot SX50. The detail here looks a little smeared and distorted and there's also a significant amount of colour fringing in the Lumix FZ200 crop. Back at the centre of things in the final crop, again, there very little in it, they've even blown the highlights by a similar degree. So, on quality at least, there's little to choose between these two models.

To compare results with the lens zoomed in I repeated this test, this time with both lenses zoomed in to a little under 400mm. I used the scale on the SX500's lens to estimate the focal length zoming it as close as I could to 400mm equivalent which, as it turned out, was 65.4mm or 365mm equivalent. I zoomed the Lumix FZ200 to match the framing at a focal length of 65.8mm - 366mm equivalent. Both cameras were set to f5.6 in aperture priority mode at their base ISO sensitivity setting. You can see these results if you scroll beyond the first table of results below; as always, the 100 percent crops are taken from the areas indicated in red.

These crops don't reveal any lens shortcoming that weren't apparent at the wide angle setting. The quality of both lenses at this focal length is good and also very consistent. Crops two and four from close to the frame edge look as sharp as one and three from near the middle. They do however, exaggerate the difference between the two sensors with the clumpier, grainier appearance of the Lumix FZ200 now much more apparent.

Check out my Canon SX50 HS RAW quality results on the next page or see how these models compare at higher sensitivities in my Canon SX50 HS Noise results.

 
 
 

Canon PowerShot SX50 HS
 
Panasonic Lumix FZ200
f4, 80 ISO
f4, 100 ISO
f4, 80 ISO
f4, 100 ISO
f4, 80 ISO
f4, 100 ISO
f4, 80 ISO
f4, 100 ISO



Canon SX50 HS vs Panasonic FZ200 quality at 365mm equivalent


Canon PowerShot SX50 HS
 
Panasonic Lumix FZ200
4.3-215mm at 65.4mm (365mm equiv) f5.6, 80 ISO
25-600mm at 65.8mm (366mm equiv) f5.6, 100 ISO
4.3-215mm at 65.4mm (365mm equiv) f5.6, 80 ISO
25-600mm at 65.8mm (366mm equiv) f5.6, 100 ISO
4.3-215mm at 65.4mm (365mm equiv) f5.6, 80 ISO
25-600mm at 65.8mm (366mm equiv) f5.6, 100 ISO
4.3-215mm at 65.4mm (365mm equiv) f5.6, 80 ISO
25-600mm at 65.8mm (366mm equiv) f5.6, 100 ISO


Canon PowerShot SX50 HS
results : Quality / RAW quality / Noise / RAW Noise


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