18x Superzoom cameras - best buy?

Started Oct 28, 2007 | Discussions thread
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Beefy_SAFC Regular Member • Posts: 443
18x Superzoom cameras - best buy?

Fujifilm S8000fd, Panasonic DMC-FZ18 or Olympus SP560UZ?

First seems to give better colour, be able to resolve details well when there are contrasting light and dark areas, and has better low light performance. However, there is a little lens distortion. No option for conversion lenses (though with the zoom range, this is not a major issue). Concerned that an accident when the lens is elongated could seriously damage the camera, as there is no adaptor option which doubled on past cameras to protect it. Image stabilisation seems to work well.

Second has no lens distortion with good general functionality but slightly poorer colour rendition and slightly poorer ability to resolve detail when there are contrasting light and dark areas than the Fuji. Able to take conversion lenses on the rare occasion the 18x zoom needs to be supplemented. Image stabilisation again works well.

Third (SP560UZ) is an unknown quantity, with it replacing the SP550UZ, which was criticised for it's poor low light performance and distortion / softening at wide and telephoto ends of it's zoom range. Unfortunately takes xD cards only, meaning replacing current sD cards. Able to take conversion lenses on rare occasion they are needed via additional adaptor.

First and third have Super-macro, however, second is good enough in close-up without extra mode.

I'm possibly considering moving to one of the three at some point, but don;t know which one. I've experience of Fuji Superzooms in the past (S7000 and S5600/ S5200) and am currently in possession of a Panasonic DMC-FZ8. One of the reasons for considering the move is the ability to go to wide and tele-photo without the need for lenses, which I find at times useful, but more often than not a nuisance. Offloading them would not be an issue.

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