Compact Superzoom?

Djarum

All-Pro
Location
Huntsville, AL
Real Name
Jason
IMO, on most of the travel zooms, having aperture priority control is nearly useless. There is tons of DOF to begin with. So DOF control is minimal at best. More importantly, the lenses in these cameras are typically so slow that one has to shoot the lens wide open no matter what. Otherwise, the ISO gets way too high for these small sensor cameras. Even with the X10, which has a sensor that is just a little bit bigger than the typical travel zoom, I pretty much leave the aperture at its brightest setting. Exception is super bright days which then forces me to stop down the F2 as the X10 has a limited max shutter speed.

My first camera was a Panasonic FZ3. F2.8 all the way to 420mm equivalent. Even though sensors have improved technology since then, no one is really making a camera like that. If they did, I'd pick one up.(and maybe get rid of mFT...nah...). Most of the larger superzooms are rediculously long. Sure, some birders might appreciate it, but anything over 500mm I think on these little cameras get's really useless because they are slow and sharpness is really sacrificed. The travel zooms were around 10 and 12x, but now they are pushing 18x with some of them with really slow aperature. I think a camera like the s95 is inherently much more useful to most people even if sacrifciing the zoom. With a 1/2.3 inch sensor, I don't see why a 12x f2.8 through the entire range would be that difficult to make. Or better yet, an 8x zoom on a 1/1.7 inch sensor.
 

kyteflyer

~@¿@~
Location
Newcastle, Australia
Real Name
Sue
... With a 1/2.3 inch sensor, I don't see why a 12x f2.8 through the entire range would be that difficult to make. Or better yet, an 8x zoom on a 1/1.7 inch sensor.

I agree! I don't know about others but I find that the long lens on a bridge camera is nearly useless for shooting birds. Better off spending the money on a DSLR and a long zoom which works a lot better. Even my old Tamron 70-300 (cheap as chips and grossly underrated) was better than the FZ00 or P100 for getting decent bird shots. Anything good off the panny has been an accident. I'm finding I rarely zoom right in with the 15x on the Fuji F550. 4-8x is a really useful range...
 

Biro

Hall of Famer
Location
Jersey Shore
Real Name
Steve
I checked out the Nikon S9100 and I am tempted to try it... but I just realized it only offers 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratios... no 3:2. That's just dumb. Yes, I can crop... but why should I have to?

Anyone have any experience with the Ricoh CX series? The reviews give it fair-to-good marks but it seems to have a very loyal and enthusiastic following.
 

Lili

Hall of Famer
Location
Dallas, TX
Real Name
Lili
I have the fujifilm F550EXR (now superceded by the F600EXR and I have NO idea what, if any differences, exist). Its not bad for what it is. Its very small, and is pocketable, even in a top pocket as I did recently. It also comes with GPS if thats your thing, its not mine so I have it switched off. The screen is very good, though there are issues if you happen to wear polarising sunglasses, they cancel out or something because all you get is a black screen. I think the most recent firmware update is supposed to have fixed that but I havent noticed any difference. Its a 15x zoom, not as long as some, but the more zoom you get, the bigger the camera becomes, and I think Fuji has made a champion effort to keep the unit so small. for size comparison of all of them, its probably worth doing a side by side at dpreview.com, they always include the dimensions as well as everything else.

[edit] forgot to mention that the sensor is larger than the usual compact at 1/2, and the camera has manual settings for aperture, shutter speed and ISO if you so desire.

I'll include a couple of shots from mine.

This first is a 100% crop from an attempt at a closeup on a bougainvillea flower just out of reach
5695206222_601eb05ce9_z.jpg

Bougainvillea: cropped. by kyte50, on Flickr

A sundown on the Lake shot. If you go to flickr, you'll see that on its largest size, the usual Fuji jpg smearing exists but this was shot jpg, and the F550 does do RAW. Your own processing would improve things
5695206028_79029493ac_z.jpg

Sundown on the Lake by kyte50, on Flickr

A street shot at full zoom from across a street, then processed to B&W
5874866509_00f45bc0c5_z.jpg

busstop by kyte50, on Flickr

I don't think the F550 is as bad as people make out, and really, how good you need it to be depends largely on what you want to do in the end. For me, its posting on the web, sending by email etc. I rarely print these days and if I do, its only going to be from the DSLR in most cases.

Others worth a look are: Panasonic TZ20/ZS10 (16x), Samsung WB750 (18x), Sony HX9V (16x), Olympus SZ30MR (24x)

Sue, I fell to temptation and just ordered a F600EXR. There ARE times it is nice to have such a camera!

Nice Shots, LOVE the B&W!
 

Biro

Hall of Famer
Location
Jersey Shore
Real Name
Steve
Sue, I fell to temptation and just ordered a F600EXR. There ARE times it is nice to have such a camera!

Nice Shots, LOVE the B&W!

Lilli... be sure to let us know how the F600EXR works out. I'd love to know not only how it does at high ISOs but also how responsive and fast it is in terms of zoom action, auto focus and shutter response. There were apparently an issue with lens decentering on some F550EXR examples that ruined image quality, especially at wide angle. I hope that's in the past now. Good luck!
 

Penny

Veteran
Thanks Sue now you've thrown another cam: into the mix! but I do like the manual controls and the inclusion of Raw although the zoom does not extend quite as far as the Nikon or Canon I like the 24mm wide end on it.
It certainly looks compact enough for me.
How long has this model been available can't find any group on Flickr anywhere; sells on Amazon Uk for £214 thereabouts
 

Biro

Hall of Famer
Location
Jersey Shore
Real Name
Steve
Penny... the FX600 EXR was just announced in November as an update to the 550 EXR. Note: There apparently is an FX605 EXR as well. It's the same as the 600, except without GPS. That's the one I would want - but I can't seem to find it anywhere.
 

kyteflyer

~@¿@~
Location
Newcastle, Australia
Real Name
Sue
Thanks Sue now you've thrown another cam: into the mix! but I do like the manual controls and the inclusion of Raw although the zoom does not extend quite as far as the Nikon or Canon I like the 24mm wide end on it.
It certainly looks compact enough for me.
How long has this model been available can't find any group on Flickr anywhere; sells on Amazon Uk for £214 thereabouts

As Armando pointed out earlier, the manual controls (particularly with regard to Aperture and DoF) are not fabulous. They work, within the limitations of the camera and the sensor. If you keep that in mind, you won't be disappointed. You won't get the IQ you get from your S95 or your XZ-1, but the IQ isnt bad for a compact. Bear in mind most other compacts sensors are 1/2.33 or so, and this one is a bit larger at 1/2. Still not as large as the others you have. Whether this makes any real difference in terms of IQ I am not entirely certain, but I remain convinced that what I get from the F550 is much better than what I get from the Panny FZ100. YMMV.

I've had mine for... well, I cant really remember, I keep buying new cameras... eek. When I checked flickr for that sundown shot, it seems it was taken on April 21... I bought the camera earlier that same day. The cam was announced in January but I cant remember when it was released. AFAIK there arent any specific F550 groups on flickr or anywhere else. Redbubble has a Fuji group but it covers all Fuji cameras.

I've sometimes thought to sell mine (as I have with most of my other cameras) but there are times that it is exactly the camera I want to use. So, I keep it :) I have sometimes been disappointed with the output but in the end, thats been more about what I have done, than what the camera has done. I think one's expectations get to be quite high after using "good" cameras with excellent IQ.

[edit] I told a lie. There is a fuji F550 group on flickr. Not only that, apparently I joined it. Oh the pain of forgetfulness! Its Here
 

kyteflyer

~@¿@~
Location
Newcastle, Australia
Real Name
Sue
Penny... the FX600 EXR was just announced in November as an update to the 550 EXR. Note: There apparently is an FX605 EXR as well. It's the same as the 600, except without GPS. That's the one I would want - but I can't seem to find it anywhere.

Yup, I wanted the 500 (a GPSless 550, 505 in the US i think) at the time but it just wasnt on sale anywhere in Oz, that I could see.
 

Lili

Hall of Famer
Location
Dallas, TX
Real Name
Lili
I just got me F600EXR and I have to say I am impressed. Build quality, IQ and even the packaging. Finally a tiny camera that comes in box suiting it!
 

Lili

Hall of Famer
Location
Dallas, TX
Real Name
Lili
6567470465_ca8f7001c5_b.jpg

First shot from the Fuji, Backlit Black Cat
EXR handles this tough shot with aplomb.
 

Lili

Hall of Famer
Location
Dallas, TX
Real Name
Lili
That came so quick! Its a nice little camera in terms of weight and balance, I reckon. Does the flash unit pop up in the 600 too? Thats one thing I find annoying.

Thanks Sue, the flash only pops up if I hit the flash button. Heavy little thing it is.
 

Penny

Veteran
Thanks to those who replied to my postings: I've just checked the prices again of the F600 they the white one has come down to well under £200 at £189.99 to-day, I don't want the GPS either but at these prices it would be a good camera to add to my stable.:wink: I think. Lili your cat picture is lovely and I think if I have another glass of wine I will order F600EXR (tis' boxing day after all)
Cheers folks.
 

Biro

Hall of Famer
Location
Jersey Shore
Real Name
Steve
Excellent, Penny... and good luck! Both Lilli and Penny... I will be very interested in the results you get with the F600. Reviews seem very mixed, but I remain quite interested in the camera. It'll be particularly interesting to see how the EXR mode works in low light and how fast the camera's response and operation is. Enjoy!
 

Lili

Hall of Famer
Location
Dallas, TX
Real Name
Lili
Excellent, Penny... and good luck! Both Lilli and Penny... I will be very interested in the results you get with the F600. Reviews seem very mixed, but I remain quite interested in the camera. It'll be particularly interesting to see how the EXR mode works in low light and how fast the camera's response and operation is. Enjoy!

This was shot at ISO 800, 1/4 sec F3.5
6567895683_deed3be137_b.jpg
 

Lili

Hall of Famer
Location
Dallas, TX
Real Name
Lili
Thanks to those who replied to my postings: I've just checked the prices again of the F600 they the white one has come down to well under £200 at £189.99 to-day, I don't want the GPS either but at these prices it would be a good camera to add to my stable.:wink: I think. Lili your cat picture is lovely and I think if I have another glass of wine I will order F600EXR (tis' boxing day after all)
Cheers folks.


Thanks Penny! What Wine and did you order?
 

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