SX40 successor - SX50: wider sensor, better IQ?

Started Jun 4, 2012 | Discussions
jv0guano
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SX40 successor - SX50: wider sensor, better IQ?
Jun 4, 2012

I recently bought a SX40 and I'm quite please with it; indeed I still need to master it, as I 'm not even close in getting such amazing shots that I see around here.

One thing that for sure surprise me is the "image quality"..I don't know if I'm too picky or expecting too much, but even in very well sun-lit condition, widest aperture, ISO 100 and not hand-held camera, the noise is rather perceivable at zoom 100%.

Is it something expectable and absolutely unavoidable, not even on a 1D-X?
Because else, if it is just a matter of bigger sensor, my question is:

Do any of you have some insights whether the SX50 will carry a bigger sensor?

I know that the zoom is going to be impressively longer, but 35x is honesly already a lot. And, if the noise stays the same, I think that pictures in 50x are going to be pretty ruined at 100% zoom.

Many thanks for your opinions!

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Jean217
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Re: SX40 successor - SX50: wider sensor, better IQ?
In reply to jv0guano, Jun 4, 2012

I have the same problem with my SX40. I think the IQ is awful. Even shots that I crop to 50% show a lot of noise, even when shot in ideal lighting and low ISO. I'm thinking there are some lemons out there. I know this camera is capable of outstanding IQ, because of the photos posted on this site and others. I've also see a lot of example photos that have the same issues that we do. I'm thinking of exchanging mine for another, to see if I get a better copy. The one I have now sucks. Maybe I'll upload some examples later. Would love to get other users opinions on this problem.

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james s. kennedy
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Re: SX40 successor - SX50: wider sensor, better IQ?
In reply to Jean217, Jun 5, 2012

no problem with my SX40.
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raywes
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Re: SX40 successor - SX50: wider sensor, better IQ?
In reply to Jean217, Jun 5, 2012

I think the SX40 is very little or only slightly better utilizing noise and noise reduction than most other superzoom out there in this price range, so it is what it is. It is still a pretty remarkable camera and probably my favorite of all time. But I think it's the best it's going to get for a 35x optical zoom, p/s small sensor cam right now for under $400, which is still pretty ridiculously cheap. Your not going to get that type of detail in such a small sensor CMOS cam and obtain noise free results for under 400 bucks lets face it. I notice using my SX40, that the longer the focal (zoom) length, the more noise I get even at low ISO's and good light, and at wider angles in good light I get pretty noise free results, once again a product of long zoom, small sensors CMOS cams. Let me know if you do exchange your camera and get better results. I am curious to see if that could be the case but I think not.

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jv0guano
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Re: SX40 successor - SX50: wider sensor, better IQ?
In reply to raywes, Jun 5, 2012

yep, I know that you cannot expect much from such a 'cheap' P&S.
But on the other hand, as Jean217 pointed out

Even shots that I crop to 50% show a lot of noise, even when shot in ideal lighting and low ISO. I'm thinking there are some lemons out there. I know this camera is capable of outstanding IQ, because of the photos posted on this site and others.

I noticed the same and I'm wondering the same.

I just ordered another SX40 (for my girlfriend) and I will be happy to compare them side by side, though 2 units don't constitute a sample large enough to draw some conclusions.

I just made four shots, all in P (Iso 100, default settings) and I cropped out some parts

a shot at widest aperture, focused on the Sky; I see quite some noise

a shot at widest aperture, focused on the Sky; I see quite some noise, especially on table and bricks

a shot at full zoom (out of focus),the noise is much perceptible, but ok

again a full zoom on leaves, especially in the shallowed area, the noise is much present

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jv0guano
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Re: SX40 successor - SX50: wider sensor, better IQ?
In reply to jv0guano, Jun 5, 2012

and to conclude

here some SX40 pictures with much much noises (tho beautiful)
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1010&thread=41704360

and here a thread with stunning, noise-free SX40 pictures
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1010&thread=41687799

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Jean217
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Re: SX40 successor - SX50: wider sensor, better IQ?
In reply to jv0guano, Jun 5, 2012

Those examples are exactly what I am talking about. I spent a lot of time in the camera manual last night, trying to see if any settings could be tweaked or if I had inadvertantly had something set way out of wack, but I couldn't come up with anything. Again, I think there are some lemons out there. I would love to see the exif data on Kenn's photos. They are absolutly stunning with the SX40. He either has an excellent copy of the camera, is a pro at post processing, or a little of both. I may head over to that thread and see if he is will to post the exif data, just to compare and see if I can figure out some kind of difference in what he is doing with what I am doing.

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barb_s
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Re: SX40 successor - SX50: wider sensor, better IQ?
In reply to Jean217, Jun 5, 2012

I have not opened the manual because I am close to bringing mine back. I seem to be getting good close up photos but more than 15 or 20 feet away, and I can't get anything worthwhile. I bought it hoping to get some out door walk-in-the-woods wildlife but everything is just complete noise at the distances thought the lens was made for.

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VisionLight
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Re: SX40 successor - SX50: wider sensor, better IQ?
In reply to barb_s, Jun 5, 2012

barb_s wrote:

I have not opened the manual because I am close to bringing mine back. I seem to be getting good close up photos but more than 15 or 20 feet away, and I can't get anything worthwhile. I bought it hoping to get some out door walk-in-the-woods wildlife but everything is just complete noise at the distances thought the lens was made for.

Someone else started a thread asking for help in getting good results out of the SX40. Since I'm pretty happy with mine, I gave the following reply for shots in the 20-30 foot range in walk-in-the-woods situations.

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1010&message=41698627

Hope you find some help.

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Jean217
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Re: SX40 successor - SX50: wider sensor, better IQ?
In reply to barb_s, Jun 5, 2012

Barb... That is exactly why I bought mine and why I too am disappointed. I wanted this camera to be my solution when I don't want to lug around my DSLR and lenses. What good is the long reach of this camera if the results are crap?

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Jean217
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Re: SX40 successor - SX50: wider sensor, better IQ?
In reply to VisionLight, Jun 5, 2012

Visonlight... What program are you using to do your post processing and is it requiring a significant amount of time? I'm not sure the SX40 is worth it if you have to spend a large amount of time on post.

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VisionLight
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Re: SX40 successor - SX50: wider sensor, better IQ?
In reply to Jean217, Jun 5, 2012

Jean217 wrote:

Visonlight... What program are you using to do your post processing and is it requiring a significant amount of time? I'm not sure the SX40 is worth it if you have to spend a large amount of time on post.

I use Photoshop CS5. Since I'm pretty experienced with its tools, the post on these 4 images probably averaged about 7-10 minutes, the chipmunk being about 3-4 minutes, the cardinal about 14-15 minutes. Although I get excellent out of camera results from the majority of well lit images, tough lit situations always require some amount of post no matter which the camera, SX40 or my full frames.

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Jean217
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Here is one of my examples
In reply to jv0guano, Jun 5, 2012

We pulled the car up close to this hawk that was perched on the top of a telephone pole. We were no further than 15 feet from the pole. Focus was spot on the eye. This is the result I got and what it looks like at the 100% crop.

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barb_s
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Re: Here is one of my examples
In reply to Jean217, Jun 5, 2012

Jean, that is very similar to what I have been getting hand held at a long distance.
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Hangman
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SX40 and grainy images
In reply to Jean217, Jun 5, 2012

I have an SX30 and initially I was not at all happy with the images produced. Then I found a message somewhere on these forums that said to adjust the contrast and sharpness. I did this and was much happier with the results.

In the SX40 manual go to My Colors on pages 81-82 of the manual, it will tell you how to get to the right place in the camera menus. Choose "Custom Color" then adjust the Contrast to -1 and the Sharpness to -2.

This worked for the SX30, the SX40 might need different settings.

Good luck.
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Jean217
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Re: SX40 and grainy images
In reply to Hangman, Jun 5, 2012

Thanks, Steve... will try it.

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jcmarfilph
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Re: SX40 successor - SX50: wider sensor, better IQ?
In reply to jv0guano, Jun 5, 2012

jv0guano wrote:

I recently bought a SX40 and I'm quite please with it; indeed I still need to master it, as I 'm not even close in getting such amazing shots that I see around here.

One thing that for sure surprise me is the "image quality"..I don't know if I'm too picky or expecting too much, but even in very well sun-lit condition, widest aperture, ISO 100 and not hand-held camera, the noise is rather perceivable at zoom 100%.

Is it something expectable and absolutely unavoidable, not even on a 1D-X?
Because else, if it is just a matter of bigger sensor, my question is:

Do any of you have some insights whether the SX50 will carry a bigger sensor?

I know that the zoom is going to be impressively longer, but 35x is honesly already a lot. And, if the noise stays the same, I think that pictures in 50x are going to be pretty ruined at 100% zoom.

Many thanks for your opinions!

SX40 is a good camera especially if you have a backyard or a specialized feeding station ala Kenn Thread

Most of the time, it can produce good results.

Sometimes ok, sometimes horrible...

Overall IQ is not a problem in SX40. The sluggishness in AF and STS times and the toy-like handling are the factors why I disposed it. Again for backyard birders, it's a must camera. For on-the-go birders, trust me, you don't wanna bring it unless you have the luxury in time to wait and repeat your missed shots. Same with FZ150, it is faster but shorter and you also need patience for that zoom to fully extend and retract.

-=[ Joms ]=-

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Jean217
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Re: SX40 successor - SX50: wider sensor, better IQ?
In reply to jv0guano, Jun 5, 2012

I can't wait to see how your girlfriend's SX40 compares to yours. Please post some comparison shots when you get it. Maybe that will shed some light on things.

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Jean217
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Re: SX40 successor - SX50: wider sensor, better IQ?
In reply to jcmarfilph, Jun 5, 2012

SX40 is a good camera especially if you have a backyard or a specialized feeding station ala Kenn Thread. Overall IQ is not a problem in SX40. The sluggishness in AF and STS times and the toy-like handling are the factors why I disposed it. Again for backyard birders, it's a must camera. For on-the-go birders, trust me, you don't wanna bring it unless you have the luxury in time to wait and repeat your missed shots. Same with FZ150, it is faster but shorter and you also need patience for that zoom to fully extend and retract.

-=[ Joms ]=-

Joms... so in your experience with the SX40, it's excellent IQ is lost when at the telephoto end of the zoom? (since backyard birders would have closer subjects compared to those on the go.) That was the main reason I bought this camera, because of all the hype about how great the IQ was even at great distances.

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jcmarfilph
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Re: SX40 successor - SX50: wider sensor, better IQ?
In reply to Jean217, Jun 5, 2012

Jean217 wrote:

SX40 is a good camera especially if you have a backyard or a specialized feeding station ala Kenn Thread. Overall IQ is not a problem in SX40. The sluggishness in AF and STS times and the toy-like handling are the factors why I disposed it. Again for backyard birders, it's a must camera. For on-the-go birders, trust me, you don't wanna bring it unless you have the luxury in time to wait and repeat your missed shots. Same with FZ150, it is faster but shorter and you also need patience for that zoom to fully extend and retract.

-=[ Joms ]=-

Joms... so in your experience with the SX40, it's excellent IQ is lost when at the telephoto end of the zoom? (since backyard birders would have closer subjects compared to those on the go.) That was the main reason I bought this camera, because of all the hype about how great the IQ was even at great distances.

Any bridge cam will struggle at distant birds especially when they are not in an ideal lighting. Rule of thumb in birding is to fill the frame as much as possible.

-=[ Joms ]=-

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