Which One of these Bridge Cameras Would You Take or You Think is the BEST?

Started Sep 28, 2012 | Discussions
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Nalajr Junior Member • Posts: 33
Which One of these Bridge Cameras Would You Take or You Think is the BEST?

Hey all,

I am wanting to get back into photography. Been out of it for 15+ years.

I think the best setup for me are the Bridge type cameras. They offer the best set of features and flexibility for the least amount of up front cost. They are light and can be taken virtually everywhere you go and allow you to take pics anytime you see something you want to preserve. Sure I'd love to have a full frame DSLR, but I am not knowledgeable to utilize one right now, and I can't afford one.

That being said, the 3 choices I have narrowed it down to are the Nikon P510, the Panasonic FZ200 and the new Canon 50X zoom.

Would you mind giving me some thoughts on these cameras and what you like and don't like about them? I have read a lot of stuff about them, well except for the Canon, and sometimes I get lost in the technical talk that you all use. I am not very tuned into the terminology to follow very much of what is being said. I need to learn more so I can know what I am reading and what it means. All that will come in time, I hope.

Which one of those 3 cameras would you take and use every day if you were given the choice and the camera was free? Would you mind telling why?

Thank you all for your time and any help or advice you care to give.

BD

Nikon Coolpix P510 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200
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canuck dave
canuck dave Senior Member • Posts: 2,888
Re: Which One of these Bridge Cameras Would You Take or You Think is the BEST?

Read this before you go further:

http://www.2cameraguys.com/best-superzoom-cameras-2012.htm

No, it does not include the latest Canon, the SX50. I have had five of the Lumix FZ cameras and they are very good, and the latest, the FZ200 is excellent, with its Leica f2.8 lens.

My DSLRs are Canon, but I choose based upon the product, not the brand!

jcmarfilph Veteran Member • Posts: 7,592
Re: Which One of these Bridge Cameras Would You Take or You Think is the BEST?

I would not trust that site for failing to do proper testing.

canuck dave wrote:

Read this before you go further:

http://www.2cameraguys.com/best-superzoom-cameras-2012.htm

No, it does not include the latest Canon, the SX50. I have had five of the Lumix FZ cameras and they are very good, and the latest, the FZ200 is excellent, with its Leica f2.8 lens.

My DSLRs are Canon, but I choose based upon the product, not the brand!

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Sunflower6 Regular Member • Posts: 359
I'd pick the SX50.

Disclaimer: I'm a very happy SX40 owner. So I trust Canon more than a brand I have no experience with.

I won't ever buy another camera without an articulated LCD. If you've never used one, you might not know what you're missing. But that would completely rule out the Nikon, for me. The Nikon also doesn't shoot RAW, or higher ISO.

The Panasonic doesn't have enough zoom for me. Again, if you don't know what you're missing, you might be happy with it.

RDCollins Contributing Member • Posts: 936
Re: Which One of these Bridge Cameras Would You Take or You Think is the BEST?

All I can tell you is that I have a SX40, but buddy has an FS150. We both take good photos (although I think mine are better from an aesthetic standpoint). To my mind, his camera seems relatively chintzy, less solid and well laid out than mine, and he's always complaint about the controls -- not as logical, not as well arranged, etc. SO, my advice is to try both and buy the one that seems to you to be the better of the two. Again, both take good photos, but always remember that it's the photographer, not the camera, that makes the most difference.
--
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SantaFeBill Senior Member • Posts: 2,364
Re: For me the FZ200

Because of the constant f/2.8. Since I like to shoot wildlife, f/2.8 at 600mm equivalent would be the deal-maker. I also believe it shoots RAW, which is important to me.

But I would urge you to try, if you can, to think about what kind of photography you were doing/want to do now, and spend a good bit of time looking at reviews, user opinions, and camera specs and features to try to align what camera might work best for you now.

There may well be other good options than the three you name.

GeraldW Veteran Member • Posts: 6,950
Re: Which One of these Bridge Cameras Would You Take or You Think is the BEST?

I currently own the Panasonic FZ150 and FZ200. Before those, I had the Panasonic FZ28 and FZ35, although I preferred the FZ28. And before the Panasonics I had the Canon S3IS, the S5IS, and the SX10IS. I still have several Canons (G11, SX230HS, S90, A710IS, and a 60D) So it's not a brand bias.

I'm not into serious birding, so 600 mm equivalent was enough for my use. If that's your "thing" then the longer focal lengths of the SX40HS and the SX50HS might be valuable to you. On my FZ150 or FZ200, I can use my Olympus TCON 17 tele extender to get 1020 mm equivalent.

But lets get back to the basics. The Panasonic FZ200 has a far, far better EVF than any of the others. The FZ150 and FZ200 have fast AF - it rivals my 60D and beats the SX40HS.

Color used to be an issue with Panasonic, as compared to Canon. Some models still have issues, but the FZ150 and FZ200 are very Canon-like.

Ok, we're down to the lenses. Both the FZ150 and FZ200 are considerably faster than the either Canon. It's the trade off for the very long focal lengths of the Canons. It makes the FZ's much better for general purpose use. Further, the Canon lenses both go to small apertures very quickly as you zoom and are at f/5 or f/5.6 as soon as 100 mm. In contrast, the FZ150 is f/4 at 300 mm. The FZ200, of course, is f/2.8 over the whole range.

This last weekend, I took my FZ200 to a college hockey game. The FZ200 is quick enough to catch the peak of the action. And the f/2.8 lens allowed me to use ISO 400. If I tried that with an SX50HS, I'd be shooting most of the game at ISO 1600.
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Monicakm
Monicakm Senior Member • Posts: 2,352
Re: Which One of these Bridge Cameras Would You Take or You Think is the BEST?

What about the reported noise when shooting jpegs?
Some have said it's too bad to even consider.

GeraldW wrote:

I currently own the Panasonic FZ150 and FZ200. Before those, I had the Panasonic FZ28 and FZ35, although I preferred the FZ28. And before the Panasonics I had the Canon S3IS, the S5IS, and the SX10IS. I still have several Canons (G11, SX230HS, S90, A710IS, and a 60D) So it's not a brand bias.

I'm not into serious birding, so 600 mm equivalent was enough for my use. If that's your "thing" then the longer focal lengths of the SX40HS and the SX50HS might be valuable to you. On my FZ150 or FZ200, I can use my Olympus TCON 17 tele extender to get 1020 mm equivalent.

But lets get back to the basics. The Panasonic FZ200 has a far, far better EVF than any of the others. The FZ150 and FZ200 have fast AF - it rivals my 60D and beats the SX40HS.

Color used to be an issue with Panasonic, as compared to Canon. Some models still have issues, but the FZ150 and FZ200 are very Canon-like.

Ok, we're down to the lenses. Both the FZ150 and FZ200 are considerably faster than the either Canon. It's the trade off for the very long focal lengths of the Canons. It makes the FZ's much better for general purpose use. Further, the Canon lenses both go to small apertures very quickly as you zoom and are at f/5 or f/5.6 as soon as 100 mm. In contrast, the FZ150 is f/4 at 300 mm. The FZ200, of course, is f/2.8 over the whole range.

This last weekend, I took my FZ200 to a college hockey game. The FZ200 is quick enough to catch the peak of the action. And the f/2.8 lens allowed me to use ISO 400. If I tried that with an SX50HS, I'd be shooting most of the game at ISO 1600.
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canuck dave
canuck dave Senior Member • Posts: 2,888
Re: Which One of these Bridge Cameras Would You Take or You Think is the BEST?

"What about the reported noise when shooting jpegs?
Some have said it's too bad to even consider. "..........

'Some' will report just about anything without really knowing what they are talking about. It would be almost impossible to find a camera costing over about $300 to produce poor images. Those Bridge cameras in question are all good, some are better in some areas than others.

If you are specifically referring to the Lumix FZ series, come over and have a look at my gallery of 16x20 prints from five versions of FZ cameras!

When you view images on these forums from any of the mentioned Bridge cameras, there will be superb images as well as basically crap. The real variable is the person (talent) using the camera.

peter drake Forum Member • Posts: 92
Re: Which One of these Bridge Cameras Would You Take or You Think is the BEST?

I know this is a Canon forum, but how about the Fuji XS-1?

It's got manual zoom and a larger sensor and some over on the Fuji forum get very good results with it.
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PaulRivers Veteran Member • Posts: 7,419
Re: Which One of these Bridge Cameras Would You Take or You Think is the BEST?

Nalajr wrote:

Hey all,

I am wanting to get back into photography. Been out of it for 15+ years.

I think the best setup for me are the Bridge type cameras. They offer the best set of features and flexibility for the least amount of up front cost. They are light and can be taken virtually everywhere you go and allow you to take pics anytime you see something you want to preserve. Sure I'd love to have a full frame DSLR, but I am not knowledgeable to utilize one right now, and I can't afford one.

When someone says they want a superzoom, they usually want a superzoom. But when someone says they want a "bridge" camera, a lot of times they don't quite seem to realize that -
1. A bridge camera is just a superzoom
2. It's image quality is slightly worse than you'll get with non superzooms.
3. They're still kind of huge compared to other compacts

4. Again - their image quality is, if anything, slightly worse than other compacts because of their zoom range
5. They don't perform as well in low light as the better low light compacts

It depends which you want more - extra optical zoom, or better low light performance? And do you want something more portable?

If you're interested in shooting in indoor lighting, all cameras struggle with it, but the Canon s100 and Sony rx100 are the best out right now - and are definitely better than a superzoom for that stuff, plus a tiny bit better in regular light shooting. The s100 is a little smaller - I carry mine in my jeans pocket 24/7. The rx100 is a little thicker, and it's more expensive, but it's better at low light with a bigger sensor.

Both these cameras have auto modes, full manual modes, shoot raw, and are generally respected as giving you the top image quality you can get for anything near their size.

Just wanted to point this out. It depends where your priorities are - more optical zoom, or better low light performance in a smaller camera.

Dale Buhanan MOD Veteran Member • Posts: 3,996
Re: Which One of these Bridge Cameras Would You Take or You Think is the BEST?

I've been reading some of the reports over in the Fui forum as I was interested in this camera as well. Plenty of reports of bad copies and Fuji being very slow to fix. One guy who compared the Fuji to the FZ200 said that the Fuji really struggled to focus in low light while the Pana focused instantly and easily. Many have reported that camera output is very soft. Others reported orb problems All in all, it doesn't look like Fuji quite got their act together for this one. I decided to pass and crossed it off my list....

peter drake wrote:

I know this is a Canon forum, but how about the Fuji XS-1?

It's got manual zoom and a larger sensor and some over on the Fuji forum get very good results with it.
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Monicakm
Monicakm Senior Member • Posts: 2,352
Re: Which One of these Bridge Cameras Would You Take or You Think is the BEST?

What I consider a "bridge" camera is a camera that fills the gap between your average p&s and a dSLR..."bridging" the gap between the two.
PaulRivers wrote:
1. A bridge camera is just a superzoom

Draek
Draek Senior Member • Posts: 2,028
Re: Which One of these Bridge Cameras Would You Take or You Think is the BEST?

FZ200, no contest. RAW, constant f/2.8 lens and superb movie capabilities, all in one shiny little package. Really, I don't even see why you're considering the other two.

About the only other option I'd consider to the FZ200 is one of the Fujis, but their video capabilities tend to be quite lackluster, and Fuji has a thing where they give absolutely superb results to people who know what they're doing yet give increasingly mediocre results the more you let the camera handle for you, so I don't know if I'd suggest one to anyone else.
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