SX50...not "the" camera?

Started Feb 27, 2013 | Discussions
dzyg Forum Member • Posts: 50
SX50...not "the" camera?

So I got the SX50 the end of last year and I guess I was hoping for more. I was using a Canon S3IS before this. My shots mainly consisit of birds, running dogs and landscapes. I had a 1.7x teleconverter on the S3IS and wanted something not so big (long) that I could put in my fanny pack for taking pics on walks and something that would work good for all my shots. While I do like the SX50 I don't think it is an all around camera. Unless I am doing something wrong and someone can show me differently. I love it for the bird shots where I can lean up against something so I am stable enough for a crisp shot. I don't care that much for tripods as I move around too much. Here is a bird shot I got with the SX50 through my bathroom window...which is why I do like the camera but..

...my favorite thing to do in Winter months is to take the dogs out in the snow and get pics of them running in the snow or throwing balls for them and taking pics of them running back to me. The SX50 fails greatly at this even in good lighting. Images come back very soft I think due to my movement. I throw the ball/s with my right hand and then get the camera in position focus on the dogs and try to get good shots of them. With all the movment even with my S3IS it wasn't easy but I always managed to get some nice shots. I have stopped taking the SX50 outside cause I would come back with nothing. I took it out Saturday for a bit but ended up going back in and getting my S3IS and going back out and ended up with some nice shots even though it was cloudy out. I shoot mainly in P mode or Shutter Priority but usually for the dog shots P mode always worked best for this type of shooting. Most of my shots I have on ISO 80, very rarely will I increase the ISO cause on the older models it increased the grain greatly. Here is a shot I got with my S3IS...

Is the SX50 capable of getting decent shot like the above shot? I know it isn't perfect but I like the shot and wanted something that could do better. I am thinking I am going to need a DSLR if I want something better than my S3IS...

Panasonic Lumix DMC-S3
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Jay7h Regular Member • Posts: 211
Re: SX50...not "the" camera?

The Cardinal picture is nice considering you took it through a window.  The dog pictures may be  just a matter of increasing the shutter speed.  Try a higher speed and a raise the ISO if that is necessary to maintain a proper exposure.

OP dzyg Forum Member • Posts: 50
Re: SX50...not "the" camera?

Jay7h wrote:

The Cardinal picture is nice considering you took it through a window. The dog pictures may be just a matter of increasing the shutter speed. Try a higher speed and a raise the ISO if that is necessary to maintain a proper exposure.

Even if the dogs are standing still they don't seem to be sharp though and it has been picking higher shutter speeds when out in sunlight. I haven't tried uping the ISO though but in bright sunlight I shouldn't have to, should I? I am thinking the IS of this camera is not like the S3IS, I know the zoom is greater on the 50 but I haven't been fully zoomed when out with the dogs. I did read dpreviews review of the SX50 and they pretty much said a tripod is a must. I am just worried that I am going to be missing shots when I am out and about this summer because maybe I am not steady enough. I do like it for the bird shots though and like the zoom but I guess it won't be worth it if I can't get any good shots with it.

ralph m Contributing Member • Posts: 898
Re: SX50...not "the" camera?

The SX50,40,30 are great for those sitting bird shots.  When you get to the running dogs, kids, birds that are flying, etc..  they simply don't focus fast enough for you (or anyone else IMO) to get consistent shots.  So, for these kinds of situations you may get lucky once in awhile but for more consistent results most folks would recommend a DSLR.  They will even track the running dogs re-focusing as they go.  So, I would recommend that you keep the SX50 for those bird shots and get a DSLR.. even a low end one and a kit lens will do the job for the dogs.  (Cute dogs by the way).  And, consider that the new mirrorless cameras have the same slow focus problems  (for example..read some of the reviews of the new EOS-M)   So, a traditional DSLR is probably the best now.

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OP dzyg Forum Member • Posts: 50
Re: SX50...not "the" camera?

Thanks, that is what I was thinking. I was hoping since it was supposed to be faster focusing that it would at least do as good as the S3IS would for the dog shots but that doesn't seem to be the case. I am hoping it does ok in all the other situations that come up in the Summer when I really get out and use the camera. The old S2, S3's did a great job but I do like the wider view of the new ones...

(unknown member) Veteran Member • Posts: 3,073
Re: SX50...not "the" camera?

How are you focusing?  I keep continous AF ON and use face Detect even though there is usually not a face so I get a single center green frame.  You can slao try Tracking AF for moving objects.  If you want to let camera do all the work you can try the Sports mode.  Just a few things to try before you give up and spend more $$$ :0)

SX50 focusing options are covered pretty well from page 130-140 in the Camera Users Guide PDF that can be down loaded here: 
http://gdlp01.c-wss.com/gds/0/0300008700/01/pssx50hs-cug-en.pdf

Murry

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OP dzyg Forum Member • Posts: 50
Re: SX50...not "the" camera?

MurryG wrote:

How are you focusing? I keep continous AF ON and use face Detect even though there is usually not a face so I get a single center green frame. You can slao try Tracking AF for moving objects. If you want to let camera do all the work you can try the Sports mode. Just a few things to try before you give up and spend more $$$ :0)

SX50 focusing options are covered pretty well from page 130-140 in the Camera Users Guide PDF that can be down loaded here:
http://gdlp01.c-wss.com/gds/0/0300008700/01/pssx50hs-cug-en.pdf

Murry

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Thanks Murry...I don't have AF on cause it seemed to take longer to focus this way but maybe I need that. I do have a single center green frame but don't use face detect. Could try the tracking AF, thought I did once but not sure. Sports mode is a no as I know it selects a higher ISO and I don't want that. Supposed to be nice and sunny this weekend so I will go out and try your suggestions and see what happens. So far everything I have taken inside is great...its when I go outside that I start to have problems...and I don't want to have issues this summer when I stumble upon a fawn or something like last summer...

lkk324
lkk324 Regular Member • Posts: 364
Re: SX50...not "the" camera?

dzyg wrote:

MurryG wrote:

How are you focusing? I keep continous AF ON and use face Detect even though there is usually not a face so I get a single center green frame. You can slao try Tracking AF for moving objects. If you want to let camera do all the work you can try the Sports mode. Just a few things to try before you give up and spend more $$$ :0)

SX50 focusing options are covered pretty well from page 130-140 in the Camera Users Guide PDF that can be down loaded here:
http://gdlp01.c-wss.com/gds/0/0300008700/01/pssx50hs-cug-en.pdf

Murry

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Thanks Murry...I don't have AF on cause it seemed to take longer to focus this way but maybe I need that. I do have a single center green frame but don't use face detect. Could try the tracking AF, thought I did once but not sure. Sports mode is a no as I know it selects a higher ISO and I don't want that. Supposed to be nice and sunny this weekend so I will go out and try your suggestions and see what happens. So far everything I have taken inside is great...its when I go outside that I start to have problems...and I don't want to have issues this summer when I stumble upon a fawn or something like last summer...

Question for you....Have you taken inside shots in the evening of the dogs or anything with the sx50? What about any outside evening pics?? Im thinking of getting it for another camera. I already have the dslr.

Lisa

 lkk324's gear list:lkk324's gear list
Canon PowerShot SX50 HS Canon EOS 600D Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II
VisionLight
VisionLight Veteran Member • Posts: 4,589
Re: SX50...not "the" camera?
2

dzyg wrote:

...and I don't want to have issues this summer when I stumble upon a fawn or something like last summer...

I stumbled upon this young buck and tracked him through the deep shadows of the woods as he kept avoiding me. As he broke from under the tree line into the brightly lit field, he was trotting and so was I as my SX50 captured this single shot image:



As he came to the next tree line, he stopped to graze in the dappled sunlight, so it was much easier to capture this image, even though he was so far away that I needed the 1.5TC (1800mm equiv.) to frame the handheld image:

The SX50 is a camera that takes practice and good technique to get the best results. If you're interested, I've shared some of my thoughts on using the camera here:

Techniques for sharp pictures with the SX50

and my full review of the camera here:

SX50 Mini-Reviews Christmas Special - Did you find your new camera under the tree?

Hope you find them useful,

Vision



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OP dzyg Forum Member • Posts: 50
Re: SX50...not "the" camera?

lkk324 wrote:

Question for you....Have you taken inside shots in the evening of the dogs or anything with the sx50? What about any outside evening pics?? Im thinking of getting it for another camera. I already have the dslr.

Lisa

It is Winter here so I haven't gotten outside in the evening at all. I have taken inside pics at night in the house and they were fine.

OP dzyg Forum Member • Posts: 50
Re: SX50...not "the" camera?

Thanks for sharing your pics...that trotting pic is awesome! I know every camera has a learning curve but I was really dissapointed with the outside dog action shots from this camera. Hopefully my summer shots are better once it gets warm out here and the snow melts.

Do you have your af frame on tracking?

lkk324
lkk324 Regular Member • Posts: 364
Re: SX50...not "the" camera?

VisionLight wrote:

dzyg wrote:

...and I don't want to have issues this summer when I stumble upon a fawn or something like last summer...

I stumbled upon this young buck and tracked him through the deep shadows of the woods as he kept avoiding me. As he broke from under the tree line into the brightly lit field, he was trotting and so was I as my SX50 captured this single shot image:



As he came to the next tree line, he stopped to graze in the dappled sunlight, so it was much easier to capture this image, even though he was so far away that I needed the 1.5TC (1800mm equiv.) to frame the handheld image:

The SX50 is a camera that takes practice and good technique to get the best results. If you're interested, I've shared some of my thoughts on using the camera here:

Techniques for sharp pictures with the SX50

and my full review of the camera here:

SX50 Mini-Reviews Christmas Special - Did you find your new camera under the tree?

Hope you find them useful,

Vision



I am reading your reviews right now!!! I have a question. Is there a reason you didn't opt for the fz200? was it the zoom or since you are use to Canons. I have the canon dslr and want a superzoom for ease of use and trying to figure out which to get cuz I would still like to be able to get those action shots if needed. I see I wont have trouble at night so thats a bonus!

 lkk324's gear list:lkk324's gear list
Canon PowerShot SX50 HS Canon EOS 600D Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II
OP dzyg Forum Member • Posts: 50
Re: SX50...not "the" camera?

I take that back, I did have AF on...but when I looked at my S3IS, I have it on shoot only. Hmmm, maybe I should switch that on the SX50. It is either continuous or off on the SX50 whereas the S3IS had continuous or shoot only. I now recall reading something way back when about that which is why I had it on shoot only on the S3.

I might try the tracking this weekend though and see if that helps, if not just having the AF off might help too.

Thanks for your feedback...

VisionLight
VisionLight Veteran Member • Posts: 4,589
Re: SX50...not "the" camera?

dzyg wrote:

Thanks for sharing your pics...that trotting pic is awesome! I know every camera has a learning curve but I was really dissapointed with the outside dog action shots from this camera. Hopefully my summer shots are better once it gets warm out here and the snow melts.

Do you have your af frame on tracking?

I have used tracking focus with some success, but my SOP is center focus with re-compose. The trotting buck was captured this way as I remember focusing on his nose and moving the camera left to compose before pressing the shutter button the rest of the way. I was lucky that there was a small clear flat space in front of me so that I didn't have to worry about tripping as I was trotting forward myself.

The tracking focus I've used for 100' to 200' open air birds in flight only and it works pretty well for me. I haven't really tried it much for moving subjects close at hand, as follow focus is my preferred technique in these cases. The SX50 is of course not as good as a dSLR for this technique, but it is better than the SX40 and, with practice can produce good results.

Vision

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VisionLight
VisionLight Veteran Member • Posts: 4,589
Re: SX50...not "the" camera?
1

lkk324 wrote:



I am reading your reviews right now!!! I have a question. Is there a reason you didn't opt for the fz200? was it the zoom or since you are use to Canons. I have the canon dslr and want a superzoom for ease of use and trying to figure out which to get cuz I would still like to be able to get those action shots if needed. I see I wont have trouble at night so thats a bonus!

The fz200 is a fine camera and there have been many times that I could have used its f2.8 lens. The SX50 however has that really big zoom that I bought it for and an IS that always amazes me when combined with good telephoto handling technique. In a recent thread, I asked if anybody would be interested in a slightly larger version of the SX_0 with a faster although slightly shorter (maybe 1000mm) lens, but everyone basically favored the status quo. Since I am used to carrying a dSLR with a 100-400L zoom, I wouldn't mind a larger, faster one piece  SX_0 kit. In another thread I stated that I would probably be happy doing a direct comparison of the SX50 and fz200, if Panasonic wanted to send me one. That would be an interesting task but I'm not holding my breath waiting for a fz200.

So for me, the SX50 won out, also in part that even though I own cameras and lenses by three manufacturers, I find the Canon ergonomics and way of doing things the most to my liking.

Vision

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(unknown member) Veteran Member • Posts: 3,073
Re: SX50...not "the" camera?

I think if you turn AF Continuous off you will be getting AF shoot only by default.

Murry

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lkk324
lkk324 Regular Member • Posts: 364
Re: SX50...not "the" camera?

VisionLight wrote:

lkk324 wrote:



I am reading your reviews right now!!! I have a question. Is there a reason you didn't opt for the fz200? was it the zoom or since you are use to Canons. I have the canon dslr and want a superzoom for ease of use and trying to figure out which to get cuz I would still like to be able to get those action shots if needed. I see I wont have trouble at night so thats a bonus!

The fz200 is a fine camera and there have been many times that I could have used its f2.8 lens. The SX50 however has that really big zoom that I bought it for and an IS that always amazes me when combined with good telephoto handling technique. In a recent thread, I asked if anybody would be interested in a slightly larger version of the SX_0 with a faster although slightly shorter (maybe 1000mm) lens, but everyone basically favored the status quo. Since I am used to carrying a dSLR with a 100-400L zoom, I wouldn't mind a larger, faster one piece SX_0 kit. In another thread I stated that I would probably be happy doing a direct comparison of the SX50 and fz200, if Panasonic wanted to send me one. That would be an interesting task but I'm not holding my breath waiting for a fz200.

So for me, the SX50 won out, also in part that even though I own cameras and lenses by three manufacturers, I find the Canon ergonomics and way of doing things the most to my liking.

Vision

Thanks so much for your detailed reply. I would TOTALLY go for a little larger sx... with a bit bigger sensor to have a smaller aperture. I just wanted an all in one ya know and I cant afford to buy all the huge lenses at this point in life for my dslr. I would be quite happy with a 1000mm reach. That is where I am having the difficulty. I don't think I necessarily need the 1200 on the canon (although ya never know) but to drop to 600 on the Panasonic is a lot. But then to have a more multi purpose camera that can get the better action shots (better not dslr type lol) wouldn't I be better served with the lower constant aperture? I mean honestly I think I really only need the lower aperture for some of the sports shots possible up to 300 mm at best...not at full zoom. Where does the canons aperture change from the 3. up? At what distance?

I have to tell you.........the little kodak z950 I have had prior to the dslr has the same aperture size as the canon on the low end. It use to catch action shots pretty darn well. Now I couldn't blow them up or anything but for a normal size pic they were pretty good. I should be able to expect the same out of the sx50 right?

I keep heading back to the canon cuz that is what I have been working on learning the past 21/2 months. I just don't want to not be able to get a fun shot outside with the kids and dog if I have that camera instead of the dslr (now they don't always come out either with the dslr haha)

I have read somewhere ( i have no idea where now since I have been researching everything I can find on sites about these 2 cameras) that Panasonic isn't supported by elements or something like that? Is this true?

I am sure everyone is tired of me asking questions...I know Im tired of not making a decision. I just dont want to blow $400 for something and not like it. If I could go out and buy a panasonic as easily as the canons I would go get both and see which I liked.

Any fabulous tips to help me with this before I go insane? Have you taken any more action shots with it to see how it does?

Also........I would LOVe to see a real head to head with these two cameras. A real side by side comparison in the pics SOOC.

Thanks Vision!

 lkk324's gear list:lkk324's gear list
Canon PowerShot SX50 HS Canon EOS 600D Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II
VisionLight
VisionLight Veteran Member • Posts: 4,589
Re: SX50...not "the" camera?

lkk324 wrote:

Thanks so much for your detailed reply. I would TOTALLY go for a little larger sx... with a bit bigger sensor to have a smaller aperture. I just wanted an all in one ya know and I cant afford to buy all the huge lenses at this point in life for my dslr. I would be quite happy with a 1000mm reach. That is where I am having the difficulty. I don't think I necessarily need the 1200 on the canon (although ya never know) but to drop to 600 on the Panasonic is a lot. But then to have a more multi purpose camera that can get the better action shots (better not dslr type lol) wouldn't I be better served with the lower constant aperture? I mean honestly I think I really only need the lower aperture for some of the sports shots possible up to 300 mm at best...not at full zoom. Where does the canons aperture change from the 3. up? At what distance?

The SX50 drops to f5 at around 100mm and then to f5.6 around 200mm and stays there till around 975mm, so the brightest part of the zoom is rather limited. That being said, the brightest part is still in the zoom range you would use most often up close with kids and pets. As a professional many years ago, I specialized in environmental portraits of children in their own elements and rarely used telephoto lenses (for that purpose). At the time, we rarely used films above ASA200, so we needed larger aperture lenses, but with today's digital tech, ISOs of up to 400 are very useful and even up to ISO800 are useful for much work. Stopping children's or pet's action is still possible in decent light at f5-f5.6, especially with good follow focus technique (as in the buck in the sunlight image I posted above.)

I have to tell you.........the little kodak z950 I have had prior to the dslr has the same aperture size as the canon on the low end. It use to catch action shots pretty darn well. Now I couldn't blow them up or anything but for a normal size pic they were pretty good. I should be able to expect the same out of the sx50 right? I keep heading back to the canon cuz that is what I have been working on learning the past 21/2 months. I just don't want to not be able to get a fun shot outside with the kids and dog if I have that camera instead of the dslr (now they don't always come out either with the dslr haha)

I sometimes hear from people "My camera can't take pictures as well as your camera can. I'm going to have to buy one of 'your camera'." So I ask to use their camera and when they see the images, I'll get something like "Wait, how did you do that?" I'll answer "A lot of practice taking pictures. The camera is just a tool that will do its best work with good shooting technique."

I have read somewhere ( i have no idea where now since I have been researching everything I can find on sites about these 2 cameras) that Panasonic isn't supported by elements or something like that? Is this true?

The Panny takes JPEG files and all versions of Elements support JPEGs. However, I don't know what version of ACR you need to support its raw files. The SX50 is only supported under ACR 7.3.

I am sure everyone is tired of me asking questions...I know Im tired of not making a decision. I just dont want to blow $400 for something and not like it. If I could go out and buy a panasonic as easily as the canons I would go get both and see which I liked.

No camera is ever going to support 100% of your needs, even when you pay thousands of $. Just look at the Canon 5D Mark III vs Nikon D800(e) discussions. With today's technology, it's more a matter of personal choice in what's most important to YOU. And there will always be times when if you have one, the grass will seem greener if you had the other. Unfortunately the question of money plays its part as well in forcing us to make the choice. For me, on both the SX40 and the SX50, the majority of my images are above 600mm, so the choice was easy. For you, well, what's most important based on what and how you usually shoot? Your current images many times predict your future needs. Study them. Load all the EXIF data into a file (EXCEL works) and sort them by focal length and then by f-stop. This will tell you how you shoot most often. Which may tell you what you really need and what you don't. I use the database program I wrote (helps to have been a software engineer at one point in my life) before I make any purchase of new equipment. This tells me if I really need it against it just being a flashy new toy. Saves me a lot of money sometimes.

Any fabulous tips to help me with this before I go insane? Have you taken any more action shots with it to see how it does?

Unfortunately, I don't have any grandkids or pets to test the SX50's capabilities at such on a regular basis. And despite people's entreaties, I don't often photograph people professionally anymore. And most times for action, I still go to my big kit. But the trotting deer shows that the SX50 can work out very well. Despite all today's focusing tech, to me follow focus while composing still gets the job done. Been doing it for a lot of years.

Also........I would LOVe to see a real head to head with these two cameras. A real side by side comparison in the pics SOOC.

Like I said, if Panny wants to send me one . . .

Thanks Vision!

Happy to try to help,

Ed

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OP dzyg Forum Member • Posts: 50
Re: SX50...not "the" camera?

MurryG wrote:

I think if you turn AF Continuous off you will be getting AF shoot only by default.

Murry

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Yep that is what I figured. I am going to try that this weekend and see if it makes a difference. I also just ordered a monopod with a ball head...just a lower end one now to see if it helps at all. I am thinking if I have some brace with going from throwing a ball to taking pics it might help. If this one works ok will use it for a bit and then maybe upgrade to a better one but was looking for one that when collapsed is very short...got a 16" one that expands to 52". I had wanted one for this Spring/Summer anyway...

Jay7h Regular Member • Posts: 211
Re: SX50...not "the" camera?

This site may be helpful as apparently most cameras have this focusing problem. Best to you.

http://digital-photography-school.com/pre-focussing-technique

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