Sony Sony HX80 Superzoom Range

Biro

Hall of Famer
Aug 7, 2011
Jersey Shore
Steve
The best of these pocketable superzooms can still surprise us with what they can do. The Panasonic ZS50/TZ70 shares many of the same specifications with the Sony HX80. One big difference is Panasonic's decision to go back to a 12mp sensor for better image quality in low light. How does the Sony do in low light, Armando?
 

Covey22

Hall of Famer
Feb 3, 2012
The best of these pocketable superzooms can still surprise us with what they can do. The Panasonic ZS50/TZ70 shares many of the same specifications with the Sony HX80. One big difference is Panasonic's decision to go back to a 12mp sensor for better image quality in low light. How does the Sony do in low light, Armando?
Not as good as I'd like, but okay if I stay at the wider end where the aperture is bigger. I'm more ISO limited than anything else. 800 is about the best results I can get without resorting to NR Post.

Case in point - original color version has person on left in deep shadow as well as most of the foreground. At 1/30th, you can see camera's struggling a little - her hand is blurred just with normal conversational gestures. Look deep enough into the shadow areas, it starts to just be on the muddied side.

 
Jan 31, 2011
Newcastle, Australia
Sue
The best of these pocketable superzooms can still surprise us with what they can do. The Panasonic ZS50/TZ70 shares many of the same specifications with the Sony HX80. One big difference is Panasonic's decision to go back to a 12mp sensor for better image quality in low light. How does the Sony do in low light, Armando?
The problem with Panasonic is that they also chose NOT to have a 12Mp sensor in later cameras, and finding a TZ70 these days is like looking for hens teeth. I regularly check our local source of Panny refurbs... havent been any for months. And HX80 is also like hens teeth. Its all HX90 now.
 

Biro

Hall of Famer
Aug 7, 2011
Jersey Shore
Steve
The problem with Panasonic is that they also chose NOT to have a 12Mp sensor in later cameras, and finding a TZ70 these days is like looking for hens teeth. I regularly check our local source of Panny refurbs... havent been any for months. And HX80 is also like hens teeth. Its all HX90 now.
Too expensive to bring in from the U.S., Sue? Both B&H and Amazon have the ZS50/TZ70 for $299 American.
 
Jan 31, 2011
Newcastle, Australia
Sue
Too expensive to bring in from the U.S., Sue? Both B&H and Amazon have the ZS50/TZ70 for $299 American.
Possibly not but the dollar is up and down like a yoyo so its not really an option at the moment. That $299 gets too close to $400AU right now, and then theres shipping and the likelihood that it will drop further over the next few days as well. Cant risk it, when I'm financially challenged :)

I can make do with the cameras I have at the moment. In fact, much higher on my list of "I wish" is a waterproof/resistant compact. Probably the Oly TG-5. Sometime.
 

Tilman Paulin

Top Veteran
Nov 15, 2011
Vancouver B.C.
Tilman
Funny that the ZS50 is still available as new even 4 years after its introduction and after several successors... (Currently $229 at B&H or amazon...)
I picked up a used one for $136... I figured that's a good price for a camera that I may or may not end up using much / liking much... :D

It obviously has limitations e.g. the limited aperture driving up the ISO pretty quick.... But with today's noise reduction software some of that can be helped...
On the plus side: it fits into the same case that I used for my Panasonic CM1 phone :D

Still have to figure out the best way to set up the camera/buttons (just got it 3 days ago)… Some first snapshots:

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Biro

Hall of Famer
Aug 7, 2011
Jersey Shore
Steve
Funny that the ZS50 is still available as new even 4 years after its introduction and after several successors... (Currently $229 at B&H or amazon...)
I picked up a used one for $136... I figured that's a good price for a camera that I may or may not end up using much / liking much... :D

It obviously has limitations e.g. the limited aperture driving up the ISO pretty quick.... But with today's noise reduction software some of that can be helped...
On the plus side: it fits into the same case that I used for my Panasonic CM1 phone :D
I've got a ZS50 myself and gave one to a friend's son. It's a great camera to keep in the glovebox or under your seat. My friend's son takes his on hikes and loves the results he gets - even to this day. Sure, the specs seem all wrong but the camera remains highly useful. And it's small enough that bringing it along is not a burden. Much more flexible than a phone camera.
 

Tilman Paulin

Top Veteran
Nov 15, 2011
Vancouver B.C.
Tilman
I've got a ZS50 myself and gave one to a friend's son. It's a great camera to keep in the glovebox or under your seat. My friend's son takes his on hikes and loves the results he gets - even to this day. Sure, the specs seem all wrong but the camera remains highly useful. And it's small enough that bringing it along is not a burden. Much more flexible than a phone camera.
Totally agree on all points.
Before buying it I downloaded RAW files from the ZS50 and the current(?) ZS80. The high ISO noise of the ZS50 cleaned up nicer. On the ZS80 it cleaned up well too - but left a pattern with short stripes behind - much more digital looking than on the ZS50...

That, combined with the price, and the fact that the lens may not even resolve much more than 12MP (just an assumption on my part) led me to go for the ZS50.
It's small enough for me to take along daily in a cargo pants pocket - as a "sketchbook" camera. Happy with the first impressions so far... :)
 

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