Today's entertainment: comments on the DPR Canon SX50 review...

Started Jan 16, 2013 | Discussions thread
quezra
Senior MemberPosts: 3,100Gear list
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Re: Actually..
In reply to harry cannoli, Jan 17, 2013

I've shot with both the SX50 (my dad's) and the FZ200 (my tele backup to my Sony NEX-5N). We bought them at around the same time and my FZ200 was $10 cheaper (I have better camera contacts than my dad!).

I haven't had the time to do any kind of side-by-side tripod testing, and the FZ200 being a backup camera was relatively under-used (or handed to my brother-in-law to use), but after 3 weeks in Africa with both of them, my opinion is this:

1) SX50 can reach far further than the FZ200.  Goes without saying.  Distant birds on an island across the lake?  No problem.  Jupiter and its 4 biggest moons?  Shot them (if blurrily).

2) It has slightly nicer SOOC JPEGs than the FZ200.  But that's where its advantages end.

In RAW, either's images to me were compromised by their small sensors.  Whatever slight advantage the SX50 had in JPEG, I didn't notice it much in RAW.  Both required work, and AFAICT (I'm still in the middle of going through some 8000+ photos I took), the end results should be indistinguishable.

The FZ200 build quality is better, the EVF is way better, the handling/manual controls (I am usually shooting in M) are much better, especially for video.  The AF felt faster, but I'm not sure whether it was the light or the actual engineering.  In fact in video I even prefer the FZ200 to my NEX-5N - the colors aren't as good perhaps, but the IS is better, and the handling is way better, the AF is better (and video MF is actually not too bad), and of course it has a single-lens solution for any range.

Overall, unless you need the 1200mm, I would pick the FZ200 any day of the week over the SX50.  The main advantage is simply that the FZ200 can shoot more standard kinds of things in more kinds of situations/lighting.  IQ-wise, they're both compact sensors and a Fuji or RX100 or Nikon 1 will blow them all away without a sweat.  The tiny difference between the two is nothing compared to going up a few notches in the sensor size department and really overblown from the Canon fanatics who are clutching for some advantage over the camera.  These small differences can often be overcome just by the 2-stop advantage of f2.8 on the FZ200 - it means lower ISO for longer, and therefore better dynamic range, faster shutter, etc.

Then there's the better handling. The FZ200 is DSLR-like, and except for the plasticky dial, the rest of it is a joy to use.  The Canon lacks a lot of useful additional manual controls and has the same plasticky dial.  Now if you compared the FZ150 and the SX50 the advantage goes Canon's way, but the FZ200 has really changed the game.

My hunch is that Panasonic does not fear crowding into the DSLR category the way Canon does. For Canon, this is because a large number of DSLR users (who got the camera because people told them to, not because they knew how to use them) would be equally fine just using bridge cameras, but this is bad for Canon who make more money off the DSLRs.  So they need to keep a clear divide in functionality between their bridge cameras and DSLRs.  However the kind of buyer who goes for Panasonic's DSLR-like cameras (GH, G series) are likely to have given the market a lot of serious thought before settling on those cameras (and therefore unlikely to see the FZ200 as a serious alternative) and so there's a lot lower risk of cannibalization across market segments for Panasonic.  Hence their all-out-efforts on the FZ200, which I'm happy to have bought to support this trend.

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