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View Full Version : Samsung Wb5000 or Panasonic FZ38



Andrew
02-12-09, 07:34 AM
Hi I was looking for some advice.

I'm after a superzoom camera to take on Safari next May and after some research have a shortlist of either the new Samsung WB5000 or the highly rated Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ38. I'm looking for quality photos, good optical zoom and HD movie ready with a budget of ~300.

When comparing stats the Samsung has the slight advantage in terms of optical zoom and LCD display size. However it seems this is Samsung's first foray into the superzoom category. Has anybody tried both and if so which one is best?

PS I also had the Canon SX1 IS in the shortlist as it has dropped into my price range but have discounted due to no HD movie no raw mode.

Thanks in advance

Andy

Mike Lowe
07-12-09, 01:08 PM
Hi I was looking for some advice.

I'm after a superzoom camera to take on Safari next May and after some research have a shortlist of either the new Samsung WB5000 or the highly rated Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ38. I'm looking for quality photos, good optical zoom and HD movie ready with a budget of ~300.

When comparing stats the Samsung has the slight advantage in terms of optical zoom and LCD display size. However it seems this is Samsung's first foray into the superzoom category. Has anybody tried both and if so which one is best?

PS I also had the Canon SX1 IS in the shortlist as it has dropped into my price range but have discounted due to no HD movie no raw mode.

Thanks in advance

Andy

Although we've (as yet) not tested the WB5000 (due for a March issue review), I'd also place the Sony HX1 (http://www.whatdigitalcamera.com/equipment/reviews/compactcameras/1052/1/sony-cyber-shot-hx1.html) alongside the Panasonic FX38 (http://www.whatdigitalcamera.com/equipment/reviews/compactcameras/27052/1/panasonic-lumix-fz38-review.html) into your list. However, not to discredit those cameras, but I'd really recommend a DSLR for safari shooting. With today's technology there're a few reasons for this:

1. You'll want a long focal length as you'll be relatively far from the (dangerous!) animals. 300mm or 400mm on a APS-C sized sensor should be just about enough, though the longer the better (though, relatively speaking, more expensive).
2. Image Stabilised lenses provide real time stabilisation that you'll actually see through the viewfinder, so images will be easier to frame due to stability. Holding 400mm steady by hand really isn't easy, and this is the sort of length you'll want to be using.
3. Optical viewfinders are currently clearer than electronic ones and, for most people, preferred. The screen on the HX1, for example, is its biggest let down, there's a lot of blur and lag to the image's display in low light that you can do without.
4. You can utilise teleconverters. A 2x converter would make a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens the same as a 140-400mm f/5.6 (you'll lose 2 stops with most converters in the extenstion process). It's a much cheaper way of 'manufacturing' a long lens that would otherwise cost a lot more.
5. Full manual control with extensive apertures and a wider depth of field: Smaller-sized sensors, as found in all the superzooms listed, won't reveal the same detail or permit as shallow a depth of field as with a larger DSLR sensor. Plus, f-stops on DSLR lenses are much truer representations to anticipated depth of field, e.g. an f/2.8 will be fast, sharp and have a very shallow depth of field way beyond a superzoom.

Go to the shops, check out the cameras you're considering buying, but also browse second hand DSLRs. You needn't get something brand new, though you may want to consider saving a little more to really get the most potential from your trip.