A small alternative to superzoom bridge cameras.

Started Jul 27, 2012 | Discussions
Billx08
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A small alternative to superzoom bridge cameras.
Jul 27, 2012

(but not so small if you get carried away with a big lens)

As requested in another thread :

I did in fact visit this notion at least briefly, after reading some of your earlier comments on the V1. I might reprice the V1/55-300mm rig again now. Do you perhaps know anyone using such kit for birding? I'd be very interested to see some samples or even galleries from that camera.

. . .

Maybe I'll get to the local zoo before the end of the month. Unfortunately, most of the birds and small mammals are behind glass, but at least a few can be shot outside (flamingos and peacocks).

I haven't gotten to the zoo yet but I managed to get some max. zoom test photos at moderately close and very far distances (about 50 ft. and many hundreds of feet). The V1 used lenses at 300mm (equivalent with the FT-1 to 810mm) vs the HS20's claimed 720 mm (probably 660mm). Photos were shot at all apertures with both cameras in the long distance tests and the results weren't too surprising. The HS20 was at its best wide open (f/5.6) and with each smaller aperture the IQ dropped a bit. The 55-300mm Nikkor also had a max. aperture of f/5.6 at 300mm. Wide open, it had a slight advantage over the HS20 but not by much. But unlike the HS20, the IQ continued to improve with each reduction of the aperture, and the Nikkor images reached their best at f/10 and f/11. First up are two context photos. The first is the scene shot with the HS20 at 24mm. The maximum focal length crops are from the antenna array atop the distant red brick building near the center of the frame. Next is the same scene, zoomed in to about 45mm to make the antennas more visible. They're now positioned in the exact center of the frame, and the sign used for the much closer photo crops can be seen at the very bottom of the frame, slightly to the left of center.

The next two photo crops were shot with the HS20, the first L size, the next M size, both at f/5.6.

Next we have the 55-300mm VR at f/10, followed by the 70-300mm VR at f/11. Both show much more detail than the HS20 photos. Click them once or twice if you don't see the difference.

Now we have a ringer. The 300mm f/4 (no VR) Nikkor was used, shot using f/5.6. It's much smaller and lighter than Nikon's extremely expensive f/2.8 "pro" version, but it's really too heavy to carry around all day, especially since it really needs a tripod most of the time. In bright sunlight, VR isn't needed, but still . . .

The next two photos are of the much closer No Parking sign. The V1 photo may seem similar to the HS20 photo, but enlarged with a click and the much greater detail should be very easy to see. Enlarging isn't needed to see the fly. Most of the photos were shot yesterday, but the 300mm f/4 Nikkor photos and the signs were shot today during breaks between light rain and thunderstorms. You can see some of the water beads on the bottom of the signs. Some of the 300mm f/4 photos may have been shot through a very light rain.

jcmarfilph
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Re: A small alternative to superzoom bridge cameras.
In reply to Billx08, Jul 27, 2012

Photos of the HS20 are soft and slightly OOF. Did you use a tripod( and IS OFF) or you just relied on your shaky hands?

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Billx08
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What a shock . . .
In reply to jcmarfilph, Jul 27, 2012

. . . The leopard can't change its spots.

jcmarfilph wrote:

Photos of the HS20 are soft and slightly OOF.

Slightly soft (the menu setting) to maximize detail. OOF? No, not at all. I took multiple photos at each aperture and selecting only the best, and as I mentioned, at f/5.6 there was hardly any difference between the HS20's photos (which were shot both L and M size) and the V1. As I mentioned, the HS20's resolution dropped off progressively with each reduction in the aperture used. That wouldn't have happened if the photos were randomly out of focus.

Did you use a tripod( and IS OFF)

Yes, a good CF tripod , and I used the self timer for both cameras to eliminate camera shake from pressing the shutter button.

. . . or you just relied on your shaky hands?

As I've demonstrated several times using the HS10, my hand held photos provide much more blur free photos than most people here, regularly getting sharp photos at 720mm using shutter speeds well below 1/100th sec. and a small percentage of acceptable photos at 1/30th sec. It's clear from practically everything you've written in your reply that you're unable to give up playing the dishonest, insulting troll. Your favorite camera, the HS30 would do no better than what I got with the HS20, and despite your complaint, the HS20 actually did quite well thanks to the tripod. It allowed the use of ISO 100 even with shutter speeds that were as slow as 1/70th sec. at the smallest apertures. Had I used higher ISO levels, the deck would have been stacked against the HS20, so I was trying to get the best out of it, not trying to find a way to give the V1 any advantages. You should try honesty and integrity some time.

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Shunda77
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Re: A small alternative to superzoom bridge cameras.
In reply to Billx08, Jul 27, 2012

This is quite an interesting comparison.

I've got the D5100 + 16-85 & the 2 kit lenses (18-55 + 55-200) and I also have the HS20.

I've been considering the Nikon 1 series as a tele option with the 55-200 to avoid lens changing in a 'walk around' context.

Do you think this is a valid idea?

The other lens I am thinking of getting is the Nikon 70-300 or the Tamron equivalent.

I do miss the range of the HS 20, though the 16-85 has helped alleviate that situation to some extent.

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Michael Melb AU
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Re: A small alternative to superzoom bridge cameras.
In reply to Billx08, Jul 27, 2012

I don't quite understand what we are comparing here. I would not need to look at any images to know that Nikon CX sensor http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sensor_sizes_overlaid_inside_-_updated.svg plus limited zoom optics will provide better image quality than 1/2" Fujifilm sensor with 30X zoom lens. Is Nikon 1 an alternative? Sure, as much as Finepix 10X or (even better) X100.
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Rachotilko
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Re: A small alternative to superzoom bridge cameras.
In reply to Billx08, Jul 27, 2012

A little bit of sharpening in PP would help the HS20 shots substantially.

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Billx08
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Re: A small alternative to superzoom bridge cameras.
In reply to Rachotilko, Jul 27, 2012

Rachotilko wrote:

A little bit of sharpening in PP would help the HS20 shots substantially.

Yes, and that would produce better results than if I had increased the in-camera sharpening instead. That's a valid way of presenting comparisons, but I chose to do no PP at all, other than simple crops.

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Billx08
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Re: A small alternative to superzoom bridge cameras.
In reply to Michael Melb AU, Jul 27, 2012

Michael Melb AU wrote:

I don't quite understand what we are comparing here. I would not need to look at any images to know that Nikon CX sensor http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sensor_sizes_overlaid_inside_-_updated.svg plus limited zoom optics will provide better image quality than 1/2" Fujifilm sensor with 30X zoom lens.

You're missing the point of the comparison, which was to see how the cameras compare at their maximum available focal lengths. At smaller focal lengths, the HS20 will usually do as well as the V1 as long as there's sufficient light. For other types of photography, some will favor the HS20, others the V1, but I didn't compare those.

Is Nikon 1 an alternative? Sure, as much as Finepix 10X or (even better) X100.

Ah, then you did understand at least a little bit of what I showed, which is that with the FT-1, the Nikon 1 can be an alternative. Without it, the Nikon 1 is limited to less than 1/2 the reach of the HS20 (close to 300mm), and can't compete at all with the HS20 when the longest focal lengths are needed. But even if the equivalent of 300mm is all that's ever needed, again, each camera has its own strengths and weaknesses, so you can't say that either is better than the other. But for birding, where very long focal lengths are needed, the V1 has much more potential. I've tried decent TCs on the HS10/HS20, and they don't help much at all. It might be otherwise if Fuji produced a compatible, well designed TC specifically for the HS-series cameras like Fuji once did for the S5000/S5100/S5200, but Fuji chose to not offer that option.

But I wouldn't consider any 10x Fuji to be a viable alternative, because they don't come close to the wide focal length range of the HS20 or the V1 with the FT-1 and an additional lens. If you meant "X10" instead of "10X", its fl range is much less than 10x, and of course the X100 has the most limited range of all, two fixed, wide angle focal lengths, if you add Fuji's wide angle conversion lens.

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jcmarfilph
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Re: A small alternative to superzoom bridge cameras.
In reply to Billx08, Jul 27, 2012

Billx08 wrote:

Michael Melb AU wrote:

I don't quite understand what we are comparing here. I would not need to look at any images to know that Nikon CX sensor http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sensor_sizes_overlaid_inside_-_updated.svg plus limited zoom optics will provide better image quality than 1/2" Fujifilm sensor with 30X zoom lens.

You're missing the point of the comparison, which was to see how the cameras compare at their maximum available focal lengths. At smaller focal lengths, the HS20 will usually do as well as the V1 as long as there's sufficient light. For other types of photography, some will favor the HS20, others the V1, but I didn't compare those.

Is Nikon 1 an alternative? Sure, as much as Finepix 10X or (even better) X100.

Ah, then you did understand at least a little bit of what I showed, which is that with the FT-1, the Nikon 1 can be an alternative. Without it, the Nikon 1 is limited to less than 1/2 the reach of the HS20 (close to 300mm), and can't compete at all with the HS20 when the longest focal lengths are needed. But even if the equivalent of 300mm is all that's ever needed, again, each camera has its own strengths and weaknesses, so you can't say that either is better than the other.

But for birding, where very long focal lengths are needed, the V1 has much more potential. I've tried decent TCs on the HS10/HS20, and they don't help much at all. It might be otherwise if Fuji produced a compatible, well designed TC specifically for the HS-series cameras like Fuji once did for the S5000/S5100/S5200, but Fuji chose to not offer that option.

I have never seen you produced a desirable shots from HS10 or HS20 so I think those are flawed comparisons.

If you can produce images like these using your HS10 then I will believe you...

But I wouldn't consider any 10x Fuji to be a viable alternative, because they don't come close to the wide focal length range of the HS20 or the V1 with the FT-1 and an additional lens. If you meant "X10" instead of "10X", its fl range is much less than 10x, and of course the X100 has the most limited range of all, two fixed, wide angle focal lengths, if you add Fuji's wide angle conversion lens.

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Billx08
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Re: A small alternative to superzoom bridge cameras.
In reply to Shunda77, Jul 27, 2012

Shunda77 wrote:

This is quite an interesting comparison.

I've got the D5100 + 16-85 & the 2 kit lenses (18-55 + 55-200) and I also have the HS20.

I've been considering the Nikon 1 series as a tele option with the 55-200 to avoid lens changing in a 'walk around' context.

Do you think this is a valid idea?

Not really, unless you're talking about a two camera solution to avoid changing lenses. Used with the V1 or J1, the 55-200mm lens offers a 35mm equivalent focal length range of about 148-540mm and that would be much too limiting for me. But as a two camera option to avoid lens changing, the 16-85mm on the D5100 covers about 24-129mm, which complements the 148-540mm very nicely.

The other lens I am thinking of getting is the Nikon 70-300 or the Tamron equivalent.

The 70-300mm VR Nikkor is a very nice lens, but I found (using it on the V1) that at 300mm (810mm equivalent) there's not much difference between its image quality and what you get from the smaller, less expensive 55-300mm VR lens.

I do miss the range of the HS 20, though the 16-85 has helped alleviate that situation to some extent.

It also has much greater image quality, since the HS10/HS20 tends to turn fine, low contrast detail into mush, which is what you'd get from leaves, grass and fur when shooting at wide angle focal lengths. The HS20 starts with lower resolution than the D5100, and loses much of it more easily due to diffraction blurring if you don't use the HS20 with large apertures. At the long end of its zoom range the HS20's widest aperture is f/5.6, and resolution is lost at all smaller apertures. That shouldn't usually be a big problem though, since at > 500mm, you'd want to use f/5.6 anyway to keep from needing to use a slower shutter speed.

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Michael Melb AU
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Re: A small alternative to superzoom bridge cameras.
In reply to Billx08, Jul 27, 2012

Billx08 wrote:

Michael Melb AU wrote:

I don't quite understand what we are comparing here. I would not need to look at any images to know that Nikon CX sensor http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sensor_sizes_overlaid_inside_-_updated.svg plus limited zoom optics will provide better image quality than 1/2" Fujifilm sensor with 30X zoom lens.

You're missing the point of the comparison, which was to see how the cameras compare at their maximum available focal lengths.

I got it first time , but coming to automotive analogy, I would not compare Jaguar to Camry handling at (Camry's) maximum speed. HS30 and V1 are too different TECHNICALLY to even stand at the same shelf in the shop. One is a popular bridge camera, and the other a cheaper (and worse) version of micro- 4/3 subclass mirrorless cameras. You are giving too much favor to HS30 comparing it to these, and too much advantage to V1 comparing it to superzoom bridge. Put V1 up against Olympus Pen. Because we cannot take this http://snapsort.com/compare/Fujifilm-HS30-EXR-vs-Nikon-V1 seriously too, can we?

P.S. I especially like this part from aforementioned page: "Cheaper $499.99 vs $789.94 The best price we've seen is $290 cheaper (around 40% less) "

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PAUL TILL
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Re: A small alternative to superzoom bridge cameras.
In reply to jcmarfilph, Jul 27, 2012

You forgot to mention that using the J1/V1 is like using the camera on a phone, everything is menu driven so unless you like diving into the menu all the time or shooting in Auto mode its pretty useless.

Paul.

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Bad Pic kev
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the problem with the J1/V1
In reply to Billx08, Jul 27, 2012

mount the sigma 50-500mm and try to use it hand held
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PAUL TILL
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Re: the problem with the J1/V1
In reply to Bad Pic kev, Jul 27, 2012

Bad Pic kev wrote:

mount the sigma 50-500mm and try to use it hand held

That's not easy or fun on a DSLR.

Paul.

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Nightwings
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Bill if you could please...
In reply to Billx08, Jul 28, 2012

Billx08 wrote:

If you could do the same tests with your P510/HS20... Just doing the sign would be good enough for me...but anything more you'd have to offer would be a bonus. I'd just like a validation from someone else that the glass in the P510 is sharper especially at max FL.

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lifeflow
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Re: A small alternative to superzoom bridge cameras.
In reply to jcmarfilph, Jul 28, 2012

What camera is this taken with??

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Billx08
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Re: Bill if you could please...
In reply to Nightwings, Jul 28, 2012

Nightwings wrote:

Billx08 wrote:

If you could do the same tests with your P510/HS20... Just doing the sign would be good enough for me...but anything more you'd have to offer would be a bonus. I'd just like a validation from someone else that the glass in the P510 is sharper especially at max FL.

Here are a couple of P510 photos, each followed by the HS20 photos that were shot the other day. I included both of the HS20's antenna photos even though there's hardly any difference between the L size and M size photos. A dead computer kept me off-line for a day but I'm borrowing another until I can get a new laptop and get it configured properly. So until then, I don't have access to my old photos and things. Fortunately, practically everything is stored on healthy external drives, with copies. It's clear to me from these photos that the P510's photos delivered more detail and better IQ than the other cameras I compared it with, except for when the 300mm f/4 was used on the V1.

[P510]

[HS20]

[P510]

[HS20, L size]

[HS20, M size]

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Nightwings
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Re: Bill if you could please...
In reply to Billx08, Jul 28, 2012

Billx08 wrote:

Here are a couple of P510 photos, each followed by the HS20 photos that were shot the other day. I included both of the HS20's antenna photos even though there's hardly any difference between the L size and M size photos. A dead computer kept me off-line for a day but I'm borrowing another until I can get a new laptop and get it configured properly. So until then, I don't have access to my old photos and things. Fortunately, practically everything is stored on healthy external drives, with copies. It's clear to me from these photos that the P510's photos delivered more detail and better IQ than the other cameras I compared it with, except for when the 300mm f/4 was used on the V1.

Thanks for confirming that I don't own some sort of God copy of the P510. That's pretty much on par with my comparison shots between my HS10/HS20 ... mostly people shots... and the odd chimney ;).

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jcmarfilph
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Crappy comparison...
In reply to Billx08, Jul 28, 2012

Sign comparison...

Rainy and Sunny day = lousy and crappy

Cables thingy...

It was on shade in HS20 and well lit in P510

Different weather, different light...

If you will post 10 soft shots of the HS20 of the same subject then I will believe you.

You may have done it, but did you remove filter attached to it (if any)?

Billx08 wrote:

Nightwings wrote:

Billx08 wrote:

If you could do the same tests with your P510/HS20... Just doing the sign would be good enough for me...but anything more you'd have to offer would be a bonus. I'd just like a validation from someone else that the glass in the P510 is sharper especially at max FL.

Here are a couple of P510 photos, each followed by the HS20 photos that were shot the other day. I included both of the HS20's antenna photos even though there's hardly any difference between the L size and M size photos. A dead computer kept me off-line for a day but I'm borrowing another until I can get a new laptop and get it configured properly. So until then, I don't have access to my old photos and things. Fortunately, practically everything is stored on healthy external drives, with copies. It's clear to me from these photos that the P510's photos delivered more detail and better IQ than the other cameras I compared it with, except for when the 300mm f/4 was used on the V1.

[P510]
pr: galleries/2961641711/photos/2121577

[HS20]
pr: galleries/2961641711/photos/2118299

[P510]
pr: galleries/2961641711/photos/2121576

[HS20, L size]
pr: galleries/2961641711/photos/2118297

[HS20, M size]
pr: galleries/2961641711/photos/2118298

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Michael Melb AU
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Re: Bill if you could please...
In reply to Billx08, Jul 28, 2012

Billx08 wrote:

Here are a couple of P510 photos, each followed by the HS20 photos that were shot the other day. I included both of the HS20's antenna photos even though there's hardly any difference between the L size and M size photos.

Thanks for your effort finding and publishing comparison photos. Hope your new computer comes soon.

[P510]

[HS20]

What drew my attention here- different in-camera processing of images. That has nothing to do with lens quality. P510 image is very grainy as for ISO100, HS20 quite opposite - unnaturally smooth. Looks like NR was set to normal at least.

[P510]

[HS20, L size]

[HS20, M size]

Here a lot of haze and flare in HS20 photos. This could be optics - but it did not get unnoticed that lighting was quite different, too. Have a look at red tape insulation patch on a cable. EXIF shows 2hr difference between shots. In the morning or evening that's a lot.

Truth to be said, I would expect sharper performance from P510 in good light, too. I's common knowledge that optical stabilization works better than matrix shift. But this time I am unconvinced - the comparison was too hasty and biased.
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