Panasonic FZ200 or Canon SX50?

Started Mar 24, 2013 | Discussions thread
cainn24
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Re: Panasonic FZ200 or Canon SX50?
In reply to beano78, Mar 24, 2013

beano78 wrote:

But now, I have to make a decision.....the SX50 or the FZ200!!!! I'm obviously familiar with Canons, and many reviews point to the IQ of the SX50 being superior to that of the FZ200, as well as having the 1200mm zoom. On the other side is the FZ200, with the constant f2.8. As many safaris take place at dawn and dusk, this f2.8 would be extremely useful. But then, some research seems to imply that the IQ is not as good as that of the SX50.

I don't think many people would disagree that the Canon has the slightly better sensor, or at least that it's engine is capable of getting slightly better results out of it.  But it's far from a huge difference.  There is, however, a huge difference between an image shot at ISO 100 on the FZ200, and one shot at ISO 400 on the SX50.  In other words, the fast lens on the Panasonic allows it to shoot better quality images in a range of shooting conditions.  It's excellent burst modes can make a big difference as well.  Having said all that, though, obviously the SX50 is capable of taking superior images beyond 600mm (35mm equiv.), because the FZ200 has to use some form of digital zoom to keep up.

To put it another way, IQ is not just about sensor performance.  It's just as much about the lens, and other camera features, and is a situational consideration.  So this inferiority complex about FZ200 IQ that seems to be floating around is entirely unfounded.

The question of choosing between these two cameras though is something only you can answer for yourself, and in my opinion turns on whether or not you really need the extra reach that the SX50 offers, and are happy to work around the limitations of it's slower lens.

I ended up choosing the FZ200 myself.  However I recently purchased a teleconverter because I wanted more reach.  Even so, there's no way I'd swap my FZ200 for an SX50, because there's just no chance at all I'd want to give up the constant F2.8.  It's not a trivial feature.  It's a killer feature, and is perfect for someone like me who wants to avoid ramping up small sensor ISO at all costs.

Then again, on Safari, with plenty of sunshine, the SX50 might not seem very slow at all, most of the time.

Enjoy your continued head-scratching

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