View Full Version : Is there a good low-light Superzoom?

Fuzzy Green
06-11-10, 09:55 AM
Hello there,
I'm needing my first bridge camera. I work as a Sound Engineer and therefore live in a half-light world so need good low-light function and also the ability to shoot through the crowd to a max of 20-30ft away on average, no time to change lenses so ideally a Superzoom of at least x15 (I realise that low light on a full zoom is asking a bit much but at least it will be to well lit subjects). Otherwise it'll mainly be used for indoor ad-hoc use of close-up subjects using natural UK light, Macro etc (like a small crawling son).
Don't care about weight and size, just results. The Sony HX1 caught my eye with it's functions but doesn't seem up to par with the low light sensivity I need. I'm looking at around 400 but am open to all suggestions if it gets me what I need, even an easy DSLR perhaps and a practical lens suggestion if I'm perhaps asking for 2 extremes here. (Novice, be gentle)



06-11-10, 10:40 AM
Hi fuzzy green. A dslr will take better photos than a compact camera. However if you are taking photos at gigs where the light is low and people are jumping around [ I'm a musician to] not to mention beer getting spilt you might find it hard to set your camera up never mind change lenses. That said they do take better photos.'Here are a few bridge camera that might do the job but don,t rule out a dslr ....
nikon coolpix p100
canon powershot g12
panasonic fz45
fuji finepix hs10
pentax x90... good luck

Nigel Atherton
06-11-10, 07:34 PM
This is a tough one because the HX1 has possibly the best low light performance of any bridge camera. Its pixel density of 33MP/cm2 is one of the lowest in its class, so if that one isn't good enough for your needs then I don't think a bridge camera is for you.
You won't get a DSLR with even a 10x zoom for anywhere near 400. That will get you a body and kit lens but you'll need to add at least another 200 for an 18-200mm zoom. In fact there's only one 15x zoom lens available (The Tamron 18-270mm f3.5-6.3 Di II VC) and its 400 on its own.
You could look at compact system cameras which have DSLR sized sensors but this would cost even more. The Panasonic GH1 would be a good choice but its over 800 (http://www.warehouseexpress.com/interchangeable-lens-cameras-panasonic-gh1/b3189-m182-r2234?SortBy=0).
In short you're going to have to compromise somewhere.

Fuzzy Green
07-11-10, 12:51 AM
Thank you gents, that's a good little list.
Ok Nigel, I'm reappraising the HX1 now but I notice that it doesn't shoot RAW. Won't that compound my low light problem?
Failing that the Fuji HS10 Graham suggested might be almost too good for the money with that rather spectacular x30 zoom.
A frank opinion of either of those two would be appreciated but at the moment what I notice from comparing the ISO range of them is that the Sony is only up to 3200 and the Fuji 6400. Now if I am to use an audio analogy, it's best to use larger speakers and under-use them rather than run them at full tilt for the best results. Is that true with digital ISO or is that wrong thinking and it's just down to the pixel density? (assuming the sensors are all the same size).

Warm regards,


08-11-10, 08:09 PM
hi fuzzy g Here is a link comparing the 2 cameras.http://www.camera-catalog.com/compares/popular/fujifilm_finepix_hs10_vs_sony_cyber-shot_dsc-hx1. The reason i'm looking at these cameras is my wife goes to shows and concerts. She doesn't want the bother of a dslr and i don't want to go to cliff richard gigs. I've compared the 2 cameras and will get her the fuji. The main reason is that it shoots in raw so there is no white balance issue and they are better to edit in photoshop. The only dislike i have for this camera is AA batteries. But it will only be used 2or 3 times a year...graham

Fuzzy Green
11-11-10, 08:09 PM
Fair comment there Graham, especially about Sir Cliff. I see there is a macro set for the HS10. Know anything about it?
Btw what is the white balance issue? Is this the low light redness? Are you saying that JGP files are what compund that?



12-11-10, 06:58 PM
http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=fuji%20finepix%20hs10&w=all... This is a link that will show you some macro photos on a hs10. The thing about low light and wb is every light bulb omits a colour temperature that show up as a colour cast on your photo. If you shoot in jpeg you have to set your wb to match it i.e sodium vapour or incandescent. It sounds complex but it is easy to come to terms with it. However and this is why the wife is getting this camera [ and no cliff concerts for me] if you shoot in raw format all you do is stick the cameras white balance on auto, Once the photos are in the computers software you set the wb yourself. So if you need to change from auto to say incandesant or mercury vapour the software does it with 1 click. good luck... graham

12-11-10, 11:03 PM
Sorry didn't answer your question White balance can cause red or blue tints to your photos. Jpgs don't compound the white balance issue they just make you think about it. G