Friday, February 4, 2011

Compact ' Super Zoom ' Group test Review

It is now more than a year since we published our last test superzoom group and despite the hype surrounding the mirrorless system cameras as Micro Four Thirds or the Sony NEX and the fact that entry level DSLR are becoming increasingly accessible, cameras are as popular superzoom with consumers, as always. It's easy to see why. The combination of a large zoom range from brief to super telephoto lens, DSLR as ergonomics and an attractive price point of guarantee that these cameras will appeal to a broad audience.

All major camera manufacturers do now at least one ' super zoom ' in their training and the task of choosing between different cameras is complicated by specifying minimum frequency and design differences between them. We want to help you find the camera that is right for you and to this end, we decided to look at nine of the the latest models and run them through our testing procedures.

Sensors on these cameras are considerably lower than you will find a DSLR or model mirrorless interchangeable lens. One of the advantages of a smaller sensor is that, compared to a SLR, you need a lens physically much smaller. As you can see from the cameras in this test, you can adapt a whopping 20 x, 24 x or even greater zoom range in a small enough to be manageable. Since 2000, Sony and Olympus had models with 10 x zoom that, although cumbersome (and expensive) compared to modern superzooms, were small and much less expensive than a digital SLR with lens covering the equivalent range. And these key advantages-price and portability-gave assurances that, despite the arrival of budget digital SLR camera and mirrorless cameras superzoom remained popular.The latest generation of superzoom cameras incorporate these ranges of large zoom, if you were to try to match them for use on a full-frame DSLR, would end up with something so big and imposing expect that need a special weapons export license. Even on these small-sensor cameras, lenses are not necessarily large enough to dominate the design of the camera. The result is that most of these superzooms look very similar to SLR-a hand-grip with a big pipe hanging in the front.The race between manufacturers to maintain a competitive advantage, has seen the average range zoom extend from 10 x to more than double that figure. The good news is that, as well as engaged in an arms race to see who can put the sticker bigger zoom ratio on the front of the camera manufacturers have also started to expand end wide lens-wide as equivalent focal length of 24 mm in the case of Fuji HS10. all templates in this group of ten offer zoom ranges of at least 18 x, coverage varies from wide angle to super telephoto lens and all the features of some form of optical image stabilization, or mechanical-essential when working with these extreme enlargements. Other common features include electronic viewfinders, complete control, HD Photo and video mode, for the most part, have a very similar facility. Some of this new generation of superzooms feature backlit CMOS sensors instead of more conventional CCDs. Advantages of CMOS on CCD also include lower noise levels and-especially-top frame capture rate is still and video. However, the photodiodes on conventional CMOS sensors are typically smaller, because of their associated circuits, which leads to lowering the efficiency of light-gathering and correspondingly higher noise. So-called "technology of the back illuminated CMOS simply means that the sensors are more efficient at collecting light, thanks to the circuit which accompanies the photodiodes to the back of light gathering area. This should lead to greater efficiency, leading to the cleanest output than the conventional CMOS, especially in low light at higher ISO settings.

Panasonic was probably the first producer of great to popularize the concept of SLRs like superzoom with the FZ10 FZ20 and back in 2003/2004. However, today virtually all major manufacturers have recognised the potential gain in this market sector and have at least a superzoom in their model line-up. We have selected nine of the most recent models for this test.

Canon Powershot SX20 ISCasio EX-FH 25Fujifilm S2500HDKodak Z981Nikon HS10Fujifilm FinePix FinePix Coolpix P100Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ 38Pentax X90Samsung WB5000Please note that we would have to include the 30 x zoom, Olympus SP-800UZ but unfortunately, Olympus was not able to provide us with a camera in time for this group test.These are sophisticated cameras feature set is large, so that bones specifications shown here won't say a great deal, but are a good starting point.

Battery life quoted in review is provided by the manufacturers, based on CIPA standardized tests. The figures, unless otherwise specified, are based on using the LCD screen. NiMH refers to 2500 mAh rechargeable cells.

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* maximum ISO settings available only at reduced resolution

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