SX40/50 comparison gallery and notes

Started Oct 13, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Stephen Ingraham
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SX40/50 comparison gallery and notes
Oct 13, 2012

I am finally home after 9 days of travel, and had a chance today to do some side by side comparison shots with the SX40HS and the SX50HS. You will find the gallery at

http://weiw.lightshedder.com/Other/SXTest/

These are straight out of the camera, full resolution images. You can view the exif data using the "i" icon on the panel that appears if you hover over the right edge of large image on the index page.

Clicking the image itself will open it to as large as your monitor will allow in the Lightbox view. If you click Show Details above the image a panel will open on the right. Clicking the Info tab will display complete exif data beside the image.

To view the images at larger resolutions than the width of your monitor will allow, right up to 1 to 1 pixel peeping size, close the Details panel if you have it open, and you will see a set of Size letters above the image. "O" is full resolution. Full resolution takes a while to display. You can scroll the window to different parts of the image using the standard scroll bars on the bottom and right.

Aster40 and Aster50 and Dragon40 and Dragon50 compare equivalent long focal lengths...which require increased Digital Tel-converter settings on the 40 to compensate for the 50s longer optical zoom.

The rest were taken to explore a range of typical images I take.

I will leave you to your own conclusions, but I can tell you what I was looking for.

1) differences in corner and edge sharpness at wide angle
2) any significant differences in exposure due to the slower lens on the 50...I was looking for increase ISO, or decreased shutter speed for equivalent scenes.
3) any differences in overall image quality (40 was in Fine and 50 was in Superfine...you can see that the 50 images are nearly twice the size of the 40.)
4) noticeable differences in Chromatic Aberration or Purple Fringing under real world conditions.  
5) and I am still trying to learn the difference in image scale that the extra 360mm yields.

Things which are notable that you can not see in the images.

1) focus on the 50 is significantly faster and more positive than on the 40. I used to wait for the 40 (on continuous focus) to find some kind of focus before half pressing the shutter release to focus all the way...if I did not, the focus would seek and seek, and often fail. On the 50, continuous focus is no faster...but if you half press the shutter release anytime, the focus snaps to whatever is in the focus square, with any noticalbe seek at all. Impressive.
2) The shutter lag as been significantly reduced...and it was already pretty fast.
3) The eye level finder on the 50 has considerably more contrast and is more pleasant to use.

I actually like the slightly pebbled feel of the 50's plastic exterior, but that is a matter of taste.

I will try for some cooperative birds tomorrow.

 Stephen Ingraham's gear list:Stephen Ingraham's gear list
Canon PowerShot SX50 HS Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX400V Sony Alpha NEX-3N NEX5R Olympus OM-D E-M10 +2 more
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