The Panasonic Fz200 superzoom gets its DXO Mark badge: "It boasts a top specification but if image quality is more important the Canon SX50 HS or Nikon P7700 both rank higher in the DxOMark Sensor Scores and cost less on the high street too."

Panasonic is 'doing a Canon' here, and manages to spew out a flagship that ranks a bit lower than its predecessor, the FZ150. How on earth did they accomplish that? The sensor size is unchanged, and according to their marketing blurb the new one is better than the old, in every possible way:

"With an Overall DxOMark Sensor Score of 37 for the Lumix DMC-FZ200, compared to 40 for its predecessor the FZ150, this latest Panasonic Bridge camera maintains the good image quality of the DMC-FZ line. Despite the slightly lower score than its predecessor a difference of only 3 points equates to less than -1/3 of a Stop overall and in real world terms there’s no difference. The FZ200 also boasts some impressive specifications, the most notable of which is the fixed f/2.8 maximum aperture. If you’re after a compact style camera for sports and wildlife photography this is significant as it enables you to use lower ISO settings for better quality images when fully zoomed in. . . . read more

System Camera Production increased 34% in volume, 43% in value during 2012, compact camera production shows further decline.

A few notes: These numbers come from CIPA, Japan's Camera & Imaging Products Association, and as thus, production numbers from China and Korea are not included. However, seeing the onslaught of Chinese branded digicams in markets everywhere, my guess is that China's compact camera output has not declined at all, and since Samsung's latest earning report stated a slight volume increase too, the Cassandras predicting the imminent demise of the compact camera segment can just pack up and go home. Also, the biggest increase in volume occurred in Europe, maybe photography is a good outlet for austerity related stress :)

Chris Cheesman at Amateur Photographer reports:
Production of interchangeable-lens cameras rose 34% in 2012 and shipments of lenses broke through the 30 million unit mark, Japanese trade figures have revealed. But total digital camera shipments – including compacts – dropped 15%, according to Japan's Camera & Imaging Products Association (CIPA).

. . . read more

Canon Powershot SX50 HS Review by Jeff Keller at Digital Photography Review: If you're looking for a camera that can really cover some distance, then you should certainly be looking at the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS HS.

This review has all the hallmarks of a DC Resource Page review: There's Mickey, the night shot of the Frisco San Francisco Skyline, Melinda's Amarillo hot stuff, and Jeff's red eyes, its all there, wrapped in the hi-tech environment of DPReview:

"For photographers who just can't get enough telephoto power, there's the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS HS. This camera packs a whopping 50X, 24 - 1200mm lens, which is more than you'll find on any other super zoom on the market (at least for now). While having all that telephoto power sounds appealing, keep in mind that you'll need to either use a . . . read more

Fujifilm unveils its latest superzoom flasgship, the FinePix HS50EXR, now with Hybrid technology and focus peaking.

Avoiding the '40' because of the bad luck it brings, Fuji makes the jump from HS30EXR directly to HS50EXR, and the specs are dazzling: A super fast Hybrid AF,a new 24mm to 1000mm equivalent f/2.8 to f/5.6 lens, 11 fps continuous shooting, focus peaking, and a lot more:

Fujifilm Press release

FUJIFILM is proud to announce a new addition to its popular top-end series of FinePix Long zoom bridge cameras. The new flagship FinePix HS50EXR features a manual zoom mechanism for high precision zooming over the huge 42x focal . . . read more

Panasonic Lumix Fx200 review by Paul Nuttall at Trusted Reviews: Indeed, the overall optical capabilities of the FZ200 left us impressed, with the camera able to produce some excellent images with very few flaws.

"The headline feature of the Lumix FZ200 is undoubtedly its 'world's first' constant f/2.8 aperture that runs throughout the entire focal range from 25mm to 600mm, allowing you to use faster shutter speeds and lower ISO settings even when shooting at the furthest reaches of the 24x zoom. Indeed, the overall optical capabilities of the FZ200 left us impressed, with the camera able to produce some excellent images with very few flaws. Performance is also pretty solid across the board, with quick start-up and shot-to-shot processing times. The vari-angle LCD screen is another welcome feature that . . . read more

Canon SX50 vs Panasonic Fz200: Battle of the bridge-cameras by Franck Mée at Digital Versus.

"Photography is all about light. And when it comes to lens speed, the Panasonic Lumix FZ200 clearly leads the SX50. With its constant aperture, Panasonic's "faster" lens lets in more light, which in turn makes for a better autofocus and allows the camera to stay at reasonable shutter speeds and low ISO settings in all conditions. On the whole, it's a more reliable camera for shooting far-off subjects. On top of that, build quality is a cut above. There's no doubt about which model we'd choose. Even though it doesn't zoom as much, we think the FZ200 is worth that extra £100." . . . read more

Canon SX50 HS review at Camera Labs: The '50' part of the name stands for the zoom ratio, and that's a huge number. Everything else is nitpicking when you consider this kind of camera.

"With the PowerShot SX50 HS Canon clearly had one aim in sight - to outdo every other super-zoom manufacturer in the market with a longer zoom range. It has succeeded and then some. To put it in context the SX50 HS's 24-1200mm equivalent range gives it more scope in terms of available focal lengths than most DSLR owners have in their bulky and heavy camera bags. There's virtually no situation it doesn't equip you for.

The addition of RAW shooting is a smart, if belated move, Canon having finally woken up to the fact that its absence . . . read more

Canon PowerShot SX50 HS review at NeoCamera: A bridge camera is mostly about the zoom, and this is as zoomy as they get.

"As the flagship Canon ultra-zoom, the Canon Powershot SX50 HS sports the longest optical zoom ever built into a digital camera. With an equivalent focal-range of 24 to 1200mm, the SX50 HS is king of zooms. Even with this 50X zoom ratio, the SX50 HS is not the biggest ultra-zoom. To make this lens so compact, Canon had to limit the maximum aperture to F/3.4 at the wide-end and F/6.5 at the long-end. This makes a tripod more necessary than with any other ultra-zoom. Compare the SX50 with other flagship ultra-zooms here. . . . read more

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ47 review at Imaging Resource

What's so special about this otherwise nondescript compact superzoom? For one, the lens range, starting at an almost superwide 25mm equivalent and reaching all the way to 600mm. And secondly, it is currently the only superzoom that provides for full manual settings in video shooting mode:

"Any megazoom is a lot of fun because it's small enough to bring along and you don't have to run around much to compose the shot. That . . . read more

Fujifilm X-S1 review at Pocket-Lint

Wow, what a coincidence, almost all major reviews of the X-S1 have been posted within the past 48 hours. Pocket-Lint's review, is as always on the rather short side, no intricate iso-trains or elaborate comparison scripts here. Sort of, the TL:DR of reviews.

  . . . read more

Fujifilm X-S1 review at Tech Radar

The current king of Superzoom/Bridge cameras gets the Royal shakedown from the Tech Radar crew:


"In other words, the Fuji X-S1 looks and almost handles like a professional camera, even if in truth its best bet in terms of finding an audience is . . . read more

Fujifilm X-S1 review at Photo Review

We're going to put this bluntly: There's only one Superzoom/Bridge camera that acts the way it looks, The X-S1:


"Little noise was visible in shots taken at ISO settings up to ISO 800 and shots taken at ISO 1600  were printable at snapshot size (15 x 10 cm). . . . read more

Fujifilm X-S1 review at Trusted Reviews

"Other physical controls and buttons are plentiful, allowing you to quickly access all sorts of regularly used settings without having to trawl through the in-camera menu. On the whole these controls are well spaced and quite easy to reach. In addition to all the pre-assigned buttons that access things like ISO, White Balance and Flash settings there are also two Function buttons that can be assigned as you see fit. . . . read more

Fujifilm X-S1 Review at Photography Blog

Spoiler: as far as image quality go, this is the best 'superzoom' or 'bridge' camera far. Fujifilm really made a coup with this one. It combines a larger than usual 2/3" sensor, DSLR like reaction/lag times and the usual bridge superzoom (24-624mm lens) capabilities packed into one big body: . . . read more

Olympus reveals the SZ-31MR iHS 'Travel Zoom' class camera.

Dual TruePuc V (!) processors and other high-end features sets this little travelzoomer apart. Availablility: Late April @ $399.99/€349/£299.99 mrsp. . . . read more

Panasonic TZ30 (ZS20) hands-on review @ Tech Radar

It may LOOK similar to the TZ20 it is replacing, but the differences under the hood are anything but subtle: Useable ISO @ 1600 despite the rising to 14 megapixels, better image stabilization, full manual controls, 20x zoom (starting at 24mm), very quick response times and more, well this baby deserves a place into both the 'superzoom' and 'prosumer' tags:

  . . . read more

Panasonic releases new Travel Zoom TZ30 / SZ20 with 20x Leica lens, usable 1600 ISO


The competition gets a lot tougher in the Travel Zoom category with this little gem. Among other treats, it promises very fast response/af times, a 20X Leica lens starting at 24mm, usable 1600 ISO (this, i really want to see), a 10 fps burst mode, and much more. Panasonic also promises the usual headache to all Panny fans out there by giving this camera (too) different names: TZ30 in Euroland and SZ20 in Am'rica. Pricing

Fujifilm X-S1 review @ Neocamera

Remember that Fujifilm superzoomer with a larger than usual 2/3" sensor? Time has come for it to meet its first reviewer, and the verdict is 'excellent':

"The Fuji X-S1 is defined by a combination of its unique mechanical lens and a larger-than-usual sensor. The optical zoom range with built-in 

. . . read more

Fujifilm X-S1 hands-on review @ DCI

"Superzooms are treated like overpowered point-and-shoots, the happy medium between pocket cameras and DSLRs in terms of price and target audience. But they don’t make everybody happy. There are photo enthusiasts (not many, to be honest) who own a nice DSLR but would fork over . . . read more

Travel Zoom Shootout @ Imaging-Resource

"Smartphones have punched a hole in many product categories, not the least of which is the simple pocket digital camera. Still, one category of pocket digital camera that's not withered is the pocket long zoom, or travel zoom, and and quite a few players have joined the category in the last few years. As ubiquitous as they are, smartphone cameras can't pretend to zoom to even 3x optically, let alone compete with the 12-18x optical zooms we've gathered for our Travel-Zoom Shootout. . . . read more

Canon PowerShot SX40 HS Review @ DCRP

24-840mm lens, 10 fps and full HD video. Is this the super zoom camera to rule them all?

"The PowerShot SX40 produced an excellent photo of our standard macro test subject. Colors are nice and saturated, even under our studio lamps, which often confuse the white balance system on cameras I review. The subject has a nice smooth appearance to it, but you'll never call it "soft". I don't see much in the line of . . . read more

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