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Super-zoom camera comparison for 2013

January 1 2013 at 6:48 PM

BobKy  (Premier Login bob2aa)

Some of you may be thinking of getting a new super-zoom camera for the upcoming hummer season. These cameras have amazing optical zoom capabilities. The shortest telephoto zoom camera in this bunch features a 580mm (35mm equivalent) lens, and the longest zoom camera extents to an unbelievable 1200mm.

Camera reviews in no special order:

***Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 ***

24x optical zoom - 25-600mm equivalent lens with F2.8 across the zoom range


*** Canon PowerShot SX50 HS ***

50x optical zoom (35mm equivalent of 24-1200 mm)- aperture range of f/3.4-6.5


*** Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX200V ***

30x optical lens - equivalent 27mm wide angle to 810mm telephoto -f/2.8 at wide angle to f/5.6 telephoto


*** Nikon Coolpix P510 ***

42x optical zoom - 24 to 1000mm (equivalent). f/3.3 to 5.9


*** Pentax X-5 ***

26x, 22.3-580mm lens - Aperture: F3.1 - F5.9


*** Olympus SP-820UZ iHS ***

40X optical - 22.4mm - 896mm - F3.4 - F5.7


I'm sure I've missed some of the new super-zoom cameras;so,please feel free to add to the list.

USDA Zone 6b

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(Login howlinggood)
Hummingbirder 2012

Re: Super-zoom camera comparison for 2013

January 2 2013, 3:47 PM 

Wow! Thanks for the info, wish I had this info before I bought my new camera. :(

Long Island, NY
Zone 7(a)?

Kevin Morgan
(Login CowboyinBRLA)
Bird Lover

Re: Super-zoom camera comparison for 2013

January 2 2013, 10:30 PM 


Don't feel bad. Although compact super-zoom cameras have come a long way and can take some amazing pictures, if you really want to explore photography, a digital SLR was still the way to go.

I've thought periodically about getting a super-zoom to use, but I like the feel of a larger body and lens in my hand. Zooming by hand, instead of pushing a button, gives me greater control over finding the bird first and zooming in on him, and having the ability to shift to manual focus easily (when the camera won't focus on the bird or feeder accurately) is invaluable.

That's not to some of these aren't tempting nonetheless. But - when they're superseded by the next model with a brighter flash or a slightly longer lens or whatever, the whole thing has to be replaced to upgrade. A DSLR allows you keep your investment in your existing gear and add better lenses (or camera bodies) and interchange them as suits your needs. My last trip, for instance, I kept the big zoom lens on one body and the more normal range lens on the other body, so I could take pictures immediately without having to change lenses - and the old body still does pretty well even though it's got a much lower level of pixels than the newer one.

Kevin Morgan
Baton Rouge, Louisiana


(Login Celtguy)
Bird Lover

Re: Super-zoom camera comparison for 2013

January 2 2013, 11:03 PM 

Here's a comparison of 7 bridge (super zoom) cameras, including the Fujifilm FinePix HS30 EXR that I reported earlier I am trialing. The authors scored the FinePix low on focus and said it has excessive digital noise. I find they're right & I will probably move on to a different camera. I do really like some of this cameras features - maybe just because it has 10 years worth of advancements over my old Olympus!


The Panasonic they scored the highest super zoom is not the newest model.

A friend gave me this link for a good site to compare features of cameras that you choose (even outdated models, so you can compare your old camera to a new one if you wish):


USDA Zone 8b
Heat Zone 3
Sunset Zone 5
SeaTac, WA...one cool place
[linked image]

Bob & Bernie
(Login BobnBernieWWa)
Birder 2011

Re: Super-zoom camera comparison for 2013

January 3 2013, 3:48 AM 

Pat, the article states the second place camera is the SX 40. We have one. A friend, we bird with, takes pictures every day and sends them in an e-mail has one. He just upgraded to the SX50 and says it is a much better camera.

He is a retired optical engineer who took up digiscoping as a hobby. Photographing birds became his main endeavor. We have known him for about 8 years. We started with a Panasonic FZ10 with a 1.7 teleconverter. It was about 700 mm.

He was digiscoping with a minimum of 2000 mm for perching birds. He held the same camera behind his 7 X binoculars, about 700 mm, for flying birds. After seeing the pictures he was taking, we baught a scope and he helped us learn to digiscope.

We bought several Panasonic over the years. Mike had a couple along with other manufactures' super-zoom cameras. He had a FZ28 before he bought a SX 30, the SX 40 and now the SX50.

Mike takes pictures rain or shine. We live near Seattle. This time of year we are really light challenged as you know. Image quality is his main concern but focusing in low light is a close second. He says that is much better with the SX50.

Mike has a web site that he updates every Saturday with that week's pictures. This is not a best of, it is the best of the variety of birds from each day. You can view this week here;http://www.mikehamilton.biz/

At the top of the page he explains his equipment. Sometimes he will tell which camera he is using for each shot. This week he has not. Most of the pictures of Eagles and hawks are more than likely through the scope because of distance. All flying birds and landscapes will be with the SX50. Small birds could be either way.

We usually meet him weekly at Black River. The heron and most of the waterfowl are more than likely digiscoped because they are on the far shore.

Hope this is of help, BnB

20 miles ESE of Seattle Sunset Zone 4

Canon SX40HS

Canon S100 & Swarovski HD 80 20-60X Digiscope

Indy Steve
(Login Stevenindy)
Butterfly Lover

Re: Super-zoom camera comparison for 2013

January 3 2013, 10:42 AM 

Some of these super zooms are ok and I have the canon sx30 in addition to the canon t2i . And I agree with Kevin that the super zoom at times will not focus correctly on said object compared to the dslr[which is maddening to me] which has the simple and quick manual focus by just adjusting by rotation of the column. The sx30 has a manual focus option but it is not as quick and easy nor as effective. But the sx30 superzoom has its advantages provided the object is not mixed in with other objects such as tree brush or flowers as it has trouble on which object to focus on. Just my two cents.

Martinsville, In
Heat zone 6
Sunset zone 35

[linked image]

(Select Login sarahbn)
Feathered Friends Moderator 2005

Re: Super-zoom camera comparison for 2013

January 4 2013, 9:06 PM 

A friend of mine bought the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS she loves it! That Panasonic is getting great reviews on the DPreview website. It must be nice it shoots raw

sarah merion station, Pennsylvania zone 6B


(Login Celtguy)
Bird Lover

Re: Super-zoom camera comparison for 2013

January 5 2013, 2:41 AM 

Some of the other super zooms also shoot raw (the Fujifilm I'm trialing does). That's definitely a positive, but other factors are important too. Complex decisions!

USDA Zone 8b
Heat Zone 3
Sunset Zone 5
SeaTac, WA...one cool place
[linked image]

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