Super zoom camera wanted

Over the last 3 years or so, I've been using 3 different cameras and slowly I can feel that I have improved my knowledge and skills in photography and I'm better than I was before... Well, I never compare my self with others coz it's pointless... I believe in the theory of Initial D - the real opponents that I must beat is my self.

Anyway, in my own personal opinion, photography is like eating cheese cake or choosing the most enjoyable Kamasutra position/posture - though some basic theory applies, at the end it's all about personal taste and nothing else.

Currently, I'm using a DSLR camera, the Canon EOS 1000D and surely at this point of time I learned more things and skills - and I also learned that in the world of DSLR, the tendency to spend more money to buy better or specific lenses and other accessories or equipment is a normal part of life. When it comes to image quality, even the advance bridge/super zoom digicam cannot matched the bigger sensor of the DSLR in low light situation but then again it is wrong to do such comparison.

I like this Canon 1000D and quite happy with it but sometimes - especially during holiday trips... I do miss the long zoom capabilities of my previous Panasonic FZ28.

So after further consideration - between choosing on spending around SGD 1,000 for an affordable and decent long zoom lens "CANON EF 70-300MM F/4-5.6 IS USM" or spend much less than that amount and get the latest super zoom digicam - I finally decided to choose the latest super zoom digicam.

And after reading the review from here and there, now I stuck with 3 choices (at first my only choice is surely Panasonic);

The first candidate is none other than the trusted and brilliant Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ35 (also known as FZ38 in certain countries).

Key features of FZ35 (FZ38);
- 12.1 Megapixels (which is not important, 10MP is more than enough for me)
- 1/2.33 inch CCD Censor
- Aperture = F2.8 Wide Angle / F4.4 Telephoto
- Optical Zoom 18x (27-486mm in 35mm equiv.)
- Image Aspect Ratio Parameters = 4:3 / 3:2 / 16:9
- Li-ion Battery Pack (7.2V, 710mAh)
- Battery life (approx.) = 470 pictures (CIPA Standard)
- Bonus = The best Image Stabilization and the great Leica Lens.

My comments = use FZ28 last year, very nice and reliable.

Read the review in Trusted Review or Photographyblog

The second choice is the full featured and great looking Fujifilm Finepix HS10.

Key features of HS10;
- 10.3 megapixels
- 1/2.3-inch BSI-CMOS
- Aperture = F2.8 Wide Angle / F5.6 Telephoto
- Optical Zoom 30x (24 - 720mm in 35mm equiv.)
- Fujinon 30x optical zoom lens
- Motion Remover and Multi Motion Capture (as at today, no other camera from any other company - Canon/Nikon/Panasonic/Sony/Pentax/Kodak etc. have this features yet)
- 4x AA type batteries (Alkaline / Ni-MH rechargeable batteries)
- A good Ni-MH rechargeable batteries can reach approx. near 500 pictures
- Bonus = Manual Zoom and Focus Ring just like DSLR lens.

Below is the demo of the Motion Remover;

And this is the demo of the Multi Motion Capture;

Great isn't it? Save you the time from doing such editing in Adobe Photoshop (if you have the software and time/effort/skill to do it)

My comments = the 30x optical zoom, the manual Zoom and focus ring, the Motion Remover and Multi Motion Capture are all interesting stuff.

Read the review in Photographyblog.

And the last choice is the fun and exciting Fujifilm Finepix S200 EXR.

Key features of S200EXR;
- 10.3 megapixels
- 1/1.6-inch Super CCD EXR
- Aperture = F2.8 Wide Angle / F5.3 Telephoto
- Optical Zoom 14.3x (30.5 - 436mm in 35mm equiv.)
- Fujinon 14.3x optical zoom lens
- Pro Focus Mode and Film Simulation Bracketing
- 4x AA type batteries (Alkaline / Ni-MH rechargeable batteries)
- A good Ni-MH rechargeable batteries can reach approx. near 500 pictures
- Bonus = Manual Zoom and Focus Ring just like DSLR lens.

My comments = although the zoom slightly less (only 14.3 x) but the manual zoom and focus ring and the EXR technology stuff is really something cool to have.

Read the review in Trusted Review or Photographyblog.

Their prices are almost identical - some where near the SGD 700 +/- depend on which shop you bought.

Honestly, this time around I find it very difficult to choose between these 3 models. Although I would say that I am emotionally somehow feel attached to Panasonic but the extra features offered by Fujifilm is seriously tempting and can sway me to "switch side" plus when it comes to photography, Fujifilm is not a small potatoes while Panasonic is the new emerging good player in the industry.

Talking about sensor size, the Panasonic FZ35 (FZ38) and Fujifilm HS10 are using 1/2.3 inch sensor size while the Fujifilm S200 EXR is using the slightly bigger 1/1.6 inch sensor size... I wonder if that can also be an important factor... unfortunately, I am not that expert to discuss about this sensor thing.

Nonetheless, you can view this diagram created by the good people in and you can basically see the size differences between the sensor used in the super zoom digicam (and also by some other compact point and shoot digicam) and the one used in the DSLR camera (Canon) and those used in the old full frame film SLR camera.

All credits goes to :

From what I understand, the bigger the sensor the better the chance to produce great quality image but then again in the modern digital camera world, there is more in a camera than just a sensor (the lens, the processor, the software etc.) and everything must be working together accordingly.

Another possible final factor is that I heard the 2 models from Fujifilm is made in China while the Panasonic is made in Japan.

So the clock is ticking.... which one will it be?


  1. Well, EOS 1000D is good for people who just started on photography.

    Seems like I could only found EOS 1000D & DMC-FZ35 at SenQ though, price wise, not sure which should get...But should start saving dulu. =)

  2. if you already have a DSRL then better buy 200mm or 300mm lenses, is the same as if you buy a new superzoom camera, because of the sensors, and also if you will buy a superzoom buy the fuji, nothing can beat the 30x and the 10fps, is the only way to take 30x photos with no tripod

  3. if you go for this high zoom camera.. well.. i vote for the last choice.. the fujifilm S200 EXR.. as a high zoom camera.. noise level is the most common issue that it face and the only solution is better censor like the EXR technology.. but you do have second choice back to your DSLR such as getting those TAMRON 18-200 traveler lens which may cost less than the high zoom camera..

  4. @ Evaritus, nda payah save money bah, pakai saja itu "Pembayaran ansur-ansur"

    @ Dave, I skip on the lens, don't want to carry too many extra stuff during holiday trip. Agree on your recommendation for Fujifilm HS10. Currently the standing is FZ35=33% / HS10 = 33% / S200EXR = 33% - who ever get the 1% will be the winner.... very slim margin... but the 30x zoom and lots of buttons on that HS10 is a serious important factor for me to consider it.

    @ Seven, agree with you, the exciting sensor on S200EXR is indeed the main attraction for me and that is why it become one of the candidate... I will still keep my 1000D for normal use to avoid those "noise problem" but will get one of the superzoom for special purpose and holiday trip...

    We shall know the answer by June 2010 I guess when summer holiday and summer festival is just right around the corner....

  5. Haha...getting used to cash & carry leh.


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