General discussion

battle of megazooms

which megazoom(30x or more) has the better picture quality,low light performance,quick autofocus. Best value for the $$$.canon sx 40,sony dsc-hx200 or,nikon p-510.Panasonic came up with the new lumix dmc-fz200,too bad they did not increase the optical zoom of 24x,why?Any idea when canon is going to come with the replacement for the sx40? sx50 maybe?

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Why

The Panasonic FZ200 has "only" a 24x zoom because the manufacturer decided that a constant aperture lens is a better selling feature than more zoom. They could make it with both a longer zoom and and a constant aperture, but the camera would have to be even larger and more expensive. If more zoom is required, the FZ200 can accept a telephoto conversion lens, which would increase the equivalent longest focal length from 600mm to 1020mm. The adapter and conversion lens would cost approximately $250.

If you are after better image quality in a very long zoom camera, you should budget for a tripod; it is not a good idea to shoot very long telephoto images hand-held. The FZ200 may not have the longest zoom, but it would easily win in the category of low light performance because of its constant aperture lens. It also has the best autofocus performance compared to the competition.

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megazooms

Would the picture quality be affected if a telephoto conversion lens is used with the fz 200?

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Reviews

I do not own either the FZ200 (which has just been released) or the DMW-LT55 tele conversion lens, so I cannot provide personal experience. But Amazon reviews show users are quite happy with the conversion lens compared to the cheap alternatives that are sold.

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Canon SX40 replacement

Canon is very good at keeping secrets about new release dates, but the rumor mill is favoring a September release.
That would be the end of September of course.
You may want to hold off until then because your other two options (Sony and Nikon) do not meet your requirements for picture quality and low light performance.
The Nikon P510 uses the Sony 16MP sensor which exhibits lots of noise. Nikon has to use too much noise reduction firmware to cut down on the noise. That results in loss of detail (smudging).
The Sony HX200 is using their new 18MP sensor which produces even more noise than their 16MP sensor.
Sony uses the same sensor in the HX20 and one reviewer of the HX20 said "Lots of detail smudging, even at ISO 100".

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