I’m comparing the Canon SX50 HS to my Sony HX-100v. The lens specifications for each camera are:
||4800mm (4x, 200x)
||[I can’t find it, but apparently higher than 1200mm but much less than 4800mm]
Numbers only say so much. (These numbers were provided by Snapsort, which I recommend.) In each of the following groups, the photos on the left are from the Canon; those on the right are from the Sony. The default image format is wider on the Canon. Though the two cameras can be set to similar dimensions, I left the defaults to make it easier for me to tell images apart — dimensions should not be considered in this comparison. You can select any of these photos to see it full-sized.
Wide Angle vs Optical Zoom
There’s a stop sign in the middle of each photo above.
To be fair, the Canon has a long optical zoom. In that regard, a fairer comparison might be to the Sony HX300, another 50x zoom.
Similarly, digital zoom boosts optical, so this Sony (and the HX-200v) can’t compete. However, note the “OL RD NE” in the two road signs. Sony is obviously much rougher/blurrier.
In fact, note that the Sony digital zoom leapfrogs the Canon’s optical zoom. I’ll dupe the 3rd and 8th photos and place them side-by-side.
Many experts reject digital zoom, but I think you should try it on your own camera and decide for yourself.
It’s this last pairing that makes it harder to decide whether to stay with Sony or with Canon. I’m willing to use digital zoom on the Sony, which beats optical zoom on the Canon. But, then, the “OL RD NE” examples may seal the deal. In direct comparison of settings, Canon beats Sony magnification and image quality. Moreover, the Canon zooms very quickly, much more so than the Sony. And, the Canon has a magic button on the lens barrel that zooms out for orientation then returns to zoom on release. Very handy.
This doesn’t tell the whole story. Continue to Part 2.