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Thread: Canon sx50 hs and Panasonic fz200 for birding

  1. #1

    Default Canon sx50 hs and Panasonic fz200 for birding

    Hi all, I have been thinking of getting a super zoom compact for easy and leisure birding just for fun (without the need to carry huge tripods or large lenses) and recently the above two superzooms announced caught my attention. However each of them seem to have their own merits and it doesn't seem an easy decision for me.

    Strength of sx50hs : up to 1200mm
    Weakness of sx50hs: tele end has slow aperture of f6.5

    Strength of fz200: f2.8 throughout up to 600mm
    Weakness: only up to 600mm

    I am an occassional birder and I agree with the quote " focal length doesn't seem enough ". However having f2.8 would mean I can achieve faster shutter speeds without boasting ISO (especially on small sensors) to maintain IQ.

    How about you all share your views on the choice? Especially experienced birders. Is it more important to achieve faster shutter speed and just crop the photo (or use digital zoom) to get "the reach" or reach is more important and it is worth "struggling" to have lesser hit rates due to movement but at least no major cropping is needed. I compared FOV of 600mm and 1200mm from samples online and the increased reach seems significant to me.

    Please advice just based on reach vs aperture because it seems sx50 isn't released in many places for proper reviews to be done. (e.g. af speed, noise, etc)

    "please don't tell me buy a dslr and a super tele big prime".

    Thanks
    Last edited by gundamseed84; 25th September 2012 at 12:53 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Canon sx50 hs and Panasonic fz200 for birding

    It depends on the birding you want to do as some birds appear only certain times of the day. My money would be on the SX50 as it has Raw function.

    Between cropping and increasing iso, i will choose the up iso option anytime. It also has a hotshoe so if you know the bird location very well, can do remote shooting with a external flash near where the bird is likely to land to make up for the small aperture at the range.
    You wont see me much less remember me but i am the guy who makes you look good.

  3. #3

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    haha thanks for input... general birding as in no specific birds just visit parks and look for a different types.

    never thought of remote operation too...cool.

    This is a different opinion from some other forums whereby they question abt the 'usefulness' of extra reach and seem to more favourable to fz200.

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Reportage
    It depends on the birding you want to do as some birds appear only certain times of the day. My money would be on the SX50 as it has Raw function.

    Between cropping and increasing iso, i will choose the up iso option anytime. It also has a hotshoe so if you know the bird location very well, can do remote shooting with a external flash near where the bird is likely to land to make up for the small aperture at the range.
    The FZ200 doesn't have raw?

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by gundamseed84
    haha thanks for input... general birding as in no specific birds just visit parks and look for a different types.

    never thought of remote operation too...cool.

    This is a different opinion from some other forums whereby they question abt the 'usefulness' of extra reach and seem to more favourable to fz200.
    Unless you are doing deliberate birding (with tripod and camping and all), I would think the fz200 might be a better choice.

    What ppl say about usefulness of the extra reach is really valid. Numbers don't mean a thing if you don't put it in perspective. The best advice is to get hands on n c if u really need the 1200mm offered by the canon. I personally find 300mm on apsc I.e. 450mm eq quite long already.

    The 'Leica' lens of the Panasonic should theoretically perform much better than the canon at the same focal length, given that more compromise had to be made to develop the new 50x lens on canon.

    If you are just the walkabout kind, 600mm would do u fine. You'll also appreciate the faster shutter speed provided by the f/2.8 lens.
    hi

  6. #6

    Default Re: Canon sx50 hs and Panasonic fz200 for birding

    At 600mm and 1200mm, movements of the body is very apparent.
    Your viewfinder will be bobbing up and down, esp so at 1200mm.
    So in the end, you may still need a tripod or brace/support yourself somewhere.

    Its also an equivalent FL and not actual FL.
    Yes, it will likely be better than an APS-C camera cropped to the same FOV. (that depends on your super-zoom camera lens as well)
    But you seldom can go 100% crop and get very good quality as its at so fine a pixel density that either the lens cannot resolve (esp. at wide open) and/or any movement/focus is very apparent since you are 'diving in' so deeply into the image.
    In the case that the camera is steady, focus is spot, yes, you can get good 100% crops, but that will not the norm.
    So these are the technical/practical implications imo.

    Birds can often be in the shade, and that can mean higher ISO, so thats a hit on IQ for the super-zoom compact.
    I'm not a birder, so I can't comment much on how often higher ISO is needed.
    Remember that for such a small sensor compact, you probably don't want to go over ISO400 to retain fine details.

    Make sure that the lens on the super-zoom compact is really sharp at f2.8 or f4.
    Above that, most likely you loose some IQ thru diffraction or shutter speed/ light gathering ability gets a hit.

    Use within its limits, it has the potential to do very well.

    I'm using a Pentax Q with SLR lenses for a 5.5x crop factor.
    It works on the same theory as your suggested super-zoom compact, except that the lenses can be changed and the lenses used can be very high quality SLR ones.
    Here's a link to what is possible with such a camera. (shot at 1100mm equivalent)
    http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/world...portraits.html

  7. #7

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    thanks for input....

    personally i do use super tele for casual birding but it is a manual lens 500mm f4.5 + 1.4x teleconvertor on apsc. So total equivalent FL is near 1200mm and aperture of near 6.5.

    Sometimes i wish i have longer reach still especially on tiny birds. On dslr i will usually up my iso till 800 especially when they are in shades and may still struggle to get fast shutter speed.

    So i roughly knows what will happen if i choose sx50 just that i am wondering if the magical f2.8 is worth reducing half the FL.

    I am ok with monopod or tripod just that i am looking for a light alternative esp if i am doing recee at somewhere new since i will have to keep walking about and without having heavy full battle order.

    Thought of pentax Q but then i want af for small birds jumping abt... i can still shoot with my manual lens but its really difficult and even more so without auto metering. Or pentax Q with my 500mm prime... hmmm lol.

  8. #8

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    so i guess its down to seeing high iso real life samples and also tele end samples of sx50 see is it decent or not.

  9. #9
    Senior Member shierwin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Canon sx50 hs and Panasonic fz200 for birding

    Quote Originally Posted by ageha View Post
    The FZ200 doesn't have raw?
    Bro FZ200 can shoot in RAW...

    Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200: Digital Photography Review

  10. #10

    Default Re: Canon sx50 hs and Panasonic fz200 for birding

    Quote Originally Posted by gundamseed84 View Post
    thanks for input....

    personally i do use super tele for casual birding but it is a manual lens 500mm f4.5 + 1.4x teleconvertor on apsc. So total equivalent FL is near 1200mm and aperture of near 6.5.

    Sometimes i wish i have longer reach still especially on tiny birds. On dslr i will usually up my iso till 800 especially when they are in shades and may still struggle to get fast shutter speed.

    So i roughly knows what will happen if i choose sx50 just that i am wondering if the magical f2.8 is worth reducing half the FL.

    I am ok with monopod or tripod just that i am looking for a light alternative esp if i am doing recee at somewhere new since i will have to keep walking about and without having heavy full battle order.

    Thought of pentax Q but then i want af for small birds jumping abt... i can still shoot with my manual lens but its really difficult and even more so without autosx metering. Or pentax Q with my 500mm prime... hmmm lol.


    Metering is auto, in AV mode, but the manual focus is the tough part for birds that keep moving about.

    Yeah, I think it boils down to how good that f2.8 really is on the sx50

  11. #11

    Default Re: Canon sx50 hs and Panasonic fz200 for birding

    Quote Originally Posted by shierwin View Post
    That's why I asked. Someone here wrote it wouldn't do raw.

    Quote Originally Posted by pinholecam View Post
    Metering is auto, in AV mode, but the manual focus is the tough part for birds that keep moving about.

    Yeah, I think it boils down to how good that f2.8 really is on the sx50
    You mean FZ200?
    Last edited by ageha; 26th September 2012 at 08:10 PM.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Canon sx50 hs and Panasonic fz200 for birding

    Quote Originally Posted by ageha View Post
    That's why I asked. Someone here wrote it wouldn't do raw.


    You mean FZ200?

    Yeah... fz200, I knew panny came out with such a camera, but don't re all the model number.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Canon sx50 hs and Panasonic fz200 for birding

    Panasonic FZ200 vs Canon SX50 HS Comparison

    A nice comparison between the two models...now just waiting for more sample images of sx50 to be released.

    Canon USA Consumer Products - EF Lenses 101 - Focal Length Comparison
    A test on the field of vision at 600mm and 1200mm.

    Just a question, does the difference seem significant to you (especially for small birds) or do you think you can still get good images by cropping from 600mm to get "1200mm" image if shot in raw?

  14. #14

    Default Re: Canon sx50 hs and Panasonic fz200 for birding

    Quote Originally Posted by gundamseed84 View Post
    Panasonic FZ200 vs Canon SX50 HS Comparison

    A nice comparison between the two models...now just waiting for more sample images of sx50 to be released.

    Canon USA Consumer Products - EF Lenses 101 - Focal Length Comparison
    A test on the field of vision at 600mm and 1200mm.

    Just a question, does the difference seem significant to you (especially for small birds) or do you think you can still get good images by cropping from 600mm to get "1200mm" image if shot in raw?
    Just saw the specs from the Canon, the EVF looks rubbish (202K compared to 1312K from the Panasonic), like a cheap camcorder. Also, when you rely on AF you might be better with the 23 AF zones of the Panasonic than the 9 of the Canon. The Panasonic also has a higher shutter speed and you can make use of it coz of the brighter aperture. The 1200mm of the Canon won't help you if the photo is blurry. I rather take a sharper photo from the Panasonic and crop it.
    Last edited by ageha; 27th September 2012 at 02:10 PM.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Canon sx50 hs and Panasonic fz200 for birding

    frogwong博客: 120926Canon SX50HS - yam天空部落

    Some walkabout tests with sx50 from a chinese user.
    Last edited by gundamseed84; 30th September 2012 at 06:19 PM.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Canon sx50 hs and Panasonic fz200 for birding

    gundamseed84,

    Have you purchased the SX50 HS?

    Just to share with you, I too was contemplating these 2 models as well as Nikon CoolPix L510 and one more Olympus model SZ31MR if I recalled correctly.
    I purchased SX50 HS beginning of Feb'13 after trying out in Best Denki.

    I set all the cameras in Auto mode zoom to the max (not hitting the digital zoom mode) and took indoor shots. I did make other settings as I was not familiar with the controls.

    Conclusion was that only the Canon and the Olympus gave bright, vivid colour image. Nikon L510 & FZ200 somehow were rather subdued.

    Like you, I like to take birdie shots, I chosen SX50HS.

    This not the end of the story.

    On 10th Feb'13, remember that rainy day? I visited my uncle and brought along my camera. He has a FZ100.

    We have a comparison esp distance object, like tree leaves.

    I managed to capture the distance image larger than his. But when we zoomed during the display mode, his images were were much sharper then mine. Sharp, ie each leave was clearly defined compared to mine. While mine was cloudy as though as I shot in ISO 6400 and above.

    I did not know if he has done any setting. Mine was on Auto mode.

    The point I want to raise here. FZ200 may not reach far. But you can enlarge the shot and do cropping.

    I assume you are exposed to digicam longer than me. Maybe you like to have more comparison, do other checking before jump to conclusion.
    Another thing to take note. If you buy FZ series, you can easily buy the hood or filter accessories, diameter 52mm, if I remember correctly anywhere in Singapore or overseas. For SX50HS, you need to buy an adapter of which now is no longer available now.

    Right now I am still figuring out how to shoot a sharp image with SX50HS

    Thank You

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Canon sx50 hs and Panasonic fz200 for birding

    Gundamseed84,

    Have you purchased the Canon sx50 hs?

    If I not, I suggest take a test shot on a same subject, same distance with these 2 cameras.

    After that enlarge both of same to check the sharpness.

    The point I want to raise. FZ200 may not reach as far as SX50HS. If the image is sharp, you can always enlarge the image and crop it.

    Thank You

  18. #18

    Default Re: Canon sx50 hs and Panasonic fz200 for birding

    Quote Originally Posted by EisMann View Post
    Gundamseed84,

    Have you purchased the Canon sx50 hs?

    If I not, I suggest take a test shot on a same subject, same distance with these 2 cameras.

    After that enlarge both of same to check the sharpness.

    The point I want to raise. FZ200 may not reach as far as SX50HS. If the image is sharp, you can always enlarge the image and crop it.

    Thank You
    I think cropping is enough.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Canon sx50 hs and Panasonic fz200 for birding

    I am also curious about this two camera. Am thinking of get one of them for traveling.
    Which camera would perform better in low light? And video?

  20. #20

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by chicken chop
    I am also curious about this two camera. Am thinking of get one of them for traveling.
    Which camera would perform better in low light? And video?
    Low light? That's a really hard question...

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