Considering upgrading from Finepix S700 to F660EXR.

Started Nov 20, 2012 | Questions thread
DS21 Senior Member • Posts: 2,085
Re: More comps.

Billx08 wrote:

DS21 wrote:

gardengal4 wrote:

DS21 wrote:

. Max shutter speed is the ability of camera to take fast action pictures, to freeze the motion. On P&S cameras with slow lenses, it will be very rarely needed, if ever.

Which spec is better 1/3200 or 1/2000? the smaller? Sometimes I try to take pics of backyard birds and the darn things decide to fly off before I snap, so fast action might be useful.

I am reading lots of good things about the SX260. Best Buy has the black one on sale for 199 on black friday. Maybe I can buy online. I hate shopping that day.

1/3200 is a better spec, but it has nothing to do with catching a bird before it flies away, you are looking at the focusing speed and shutter lag performance. Check this specs in reviews (I don't know off-hand which camera is faster, they are all generally too slow for that type of shooting, you need DSLR for that), for AF speed (focus and shoot in one press), and pre-focus shutter lag (camera focused already with half-press of the shutter button, how much time to actually shoot after you press it fully). SX260 for $199 is a good deal for what you get.

I got out the old S700 to compare with the F600EXR and it demonstrated what you previously said about the older S700 having the more powerful flash. In fairly dim indoor lighting the F600 needed to use one to two stops higher ISO to get the same exposure. Image quality was about the same though, due to the older camera's smaller sensor and poorer high ISO performance. The F600 had two advantages though. It's larger LCD was impressively sharper, helping to boost confidence that the camera's focus was accurate, and it focused very quickly, with the entire scene in relatively good focus while it focused. Even when the S700 focused properly, it was hard to tell looking at the result on its poorer LCD, and it focused much more slowly, with lots of hunting while the scene went so far in and out focus that at times the scene was a total blur. This morning I tried it with outdoor scenes and the S700's focusing improved tremendously, but it was still noticeably slower than the F600. The detail in the S700's 7mp photos was pretty good, only very slightly less than what the F600 produced, but the F600 was set to shoot using its 8mp M size resolution. All things considered, shooting with the F600 is a much more pleasant experience, and the S700 really suffers at long focal lengths due to its lack of stabilization, but all of the other cameras being considered should also have stabilization.

I don't have any experience with Canon's newer SX2xx cameras but I have an old SX230 SX so I tested that one too. I was amazed that it's images were significantly worse than the F600's, particularly in its lack of detail. This went completely against what I remembered so I checked the EXIF and found that even though it was using Auto ISO which should have selected a low ISO for shooting in daylight, it inexplicably chose ISO 800. I took a few more shots using ISO 100 and this time the SX230 totally thrashed the EXR camera with detail that the F600 can't hope to approach, even using its 16mp L size, so sanity returns to the universe.

I am generally disappointed in all current compact super-zooms, none have the all-around ability to be like the one camera you have with you all the time. Sony smears detail too much, it's complicated, slow and too many MP. Fuji F600 has flare problems which make me cringe to use it after dark in the city (or around any bright lights), and not so great IS performance when zoomed. Also, WB is much worse then F70 indoors (but is very good in daylight). Low light video awful. Canon SX230 has great IS and good video, but strange color casts in many occasions, the color seems off compared to Fuji. Lens is not the greatest at wide angle either, lots of CA and has low contrast at full zoom. Also flares easily, but not so bad as Fuji. I played with the Nikon offerings, mostly bad too, color in daylight even worse. Panasonic - weird WB in most cases, noisy sensors, don't like the interface. Compared to them all, I am more fond of the old F70, not worth it to upgrade from it in my opinion. F600 would be the best of the rest, but the flares, weak flash and poor indoor AWB make it a strictly daylight camera for me.

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