Dagnabit! It happened again. FZ200 vs. Canon T5

Discussion in 'The Watering Hole' started by Jock Elliott, Sep 10, 2014.

  1. Jock Elliott

    Jock Elliott SC All-Pro

    Jan 3, 2012
    Troy, NY
    I grabbed a Canon T5 plus 18-55 and 75-300 combo package and brought it home for head-to-head testing against the FZ200.

    The T5 focuses like a lightning bolt -- super quick, noticeably quicker than the FZ200 (and I already reckoned the FZ200 to be decently fast).

    But 80% of the time across a couple of dozen comparison shots, the T5 is not as sharp as the FZ200.

    FZ200

    <a href="http://s136.photobucket.com/user/JockElliott/media/FZ200test2006Medium.jpg.html" target="_blank">http://i136.photobucket.com/albums/q166/JockElliott/FZ200test2006Medium.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo FZ200test2006Medium.jpg"/></a>

    T5

    <a href="http://s136.photobucket.com/user/JockElliott/media/T5test2006Medium.jpg.html" target="_blank">[img]http://i136.photobucket.com/albums/q166/JockElliott/T5test2006Medium.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo T5test2006Medium.jpg"/></a>

    The same frames, cropped:

    FZ200

    <a href="http://s136.photobucket.com/user/JockElliott/media/FZ200test2006Medium-001Medium.jpg.html" target="_blank">[img]http://i136.photobucket.com/albums/q166/JockElliott/FZ200test2006Medium-001Medium.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo FZ200test2006Medium-001Medium.jpg"/></a>

    T5

    <a href="http://s136.photobucket.com/user/JockElliott/media/T5test2006-001Medium.jpg.html" target="_blank">[img]http://i136.photobucket.com/albums/q166/JockElliott/T5test2006-001Medium.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo T5test2006-001Medium.jpg"/></a>

    If you zoom in, you'll see that the T5 simply isn't as sharp, and that has proven to be the case whether it is grass across the field or the neighbor's wood pile.

    Comments and suggestions are welcome. (Besides very quick autofocus, the T5 has less tendency to blow highlights than the FZ200).

    Cheers, Jock
     
  2. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    the long end the Canon 70-300 (or any other bundled telephoto lens for that matter) will always be soft. Unfortunately for the Canon, the long end is just about the only aspect that Jock is interested in so there is no way for it to win.

    If you repeat the test somewhere in the middle of the focal range, The Canon may have a fighting chance.

    The problem you will likely find when comparing a superzoom to any ILC camera with the kit lenses is that your Panasonic has the best lens available for the system permanently attached to it. What you are seeing with the Canon is the best lens that they are wiling to give you at a certain price point. It's likely good enough to help them sell a few cameras, but lacking enough so as to also help them sell lenses.

    And then you are back to the point of needing to buy an excellent telephoto lens which is by it's nature, big and heavy. The problem isn't the T5. In fact, I just did a quick Google to see if I could find some bird shots with a T5 and ran across this thread ( http://www.whatbird.com/forum/index.php?/topic/122492-new-lens-shots-critique/ ) where an enthusiastic birder wanted to hear how people felt about his shots with his new lens (a Canon 400mm f5.6.....it's a big one......and around $1,300). But the thing to note is that he is using it on an OLDER body the T3i. So with ILCs, the glass is much more important than the body.
     
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  3. Jock Elliott

    Jock Elliott SC All-Pro

    Jan 3, 2012
    Troy, NY
    Luke,

    Thanks for your words of wisdom.

    Cheers, Jock
     
  4. serhan

    serhan SC All-Pro

    May 7, 2011
    NYC
    75-300 is not one of the best zooms out there and usu long end is the weakest side of these as Luke said... You can get a used Canon/Tamron 70-300 IS and it is better then 75-300... 400mm L is nice but a very long lens. I bought and sold it without using much. Usually BIF shooters prefers it. You can check the lens reviews at photozone.de or lenstip.com...

    Also dslr photos are not sharpened much compared to more consumer oriented P&S's... You have to sharpen them while processing.
     
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  5. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    If I have some time, I'll shoot some different (but similar) comparison shots for you to digest
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Kin Lau

    Kin Lau SC Regular

    57
    Oct 23, 2012
    Most of the bundled 70-300's are of the lower quality variety, but stopping down to at least f8 helps. As already mentioned, the default sharpening on a dslr is set very low compared to any p&s.

    Also doesn't hurt that the deeper dof of the fz200 makes up for focusing errors, and built in IS/OS doesn't hurt.

    Given the choice btwn the FZ200 and a consumer dslr + 70-300, I'd pick the FZ200.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. porchard

    porchard SC Veteran

    344
    Feb 24, 2013
    Devon, UK
    In the OP, Jock mentioned a 75-300mm lens, whereas the subsequent discussion has moved to the 70-300mm. In the Canon range, the EF 75-300mm is a relatively low-end model, while the EF 70-300mm is a very decent mid-range model. (There is also an EF 70-300mm L which is a top-range lens.)

    Just trying to assist clarity of discussion...:smile:
     
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  8. Jock Elliott

    Jock Elliott SC All-Pro

    Jan 3, 2012
    Troy, NY
    Serhan,

    I did try sharpening this AM with DXO Optics Pro 9 (which downloaded the appropriate camera and lens modules for the T5 and 75-300 lens), and sharpening did help, but the results were never as sharp as the images produced by the FZ200.
     
  9. Jock Elliott

    Jock Elliott SC All-Pro

    Jan 3, 2012
    Troy, NY
    Kin,

    I double-checked, and the lens is a 75-300, not a 70-300, and there is no IS.

    Cheers, Jock
     
  10. Jock Elliott

    Jock Elliott SC All-Pro

    Jan 3, 2012
    Troy, NY
    Thanks everyone for your input . . . very informative!

    I really wanted to like the T5 -- there was a lot to like about it, and I liked it better than the Nikon Bundle I tried a few months ago.

    The autofocus was terrific; the operating scheme is semi-familiar (since I own a Canon G12); and the camera is fairly light. I suppose one route to go would be to purchase the body alone and then add "good" lenses, but then you get into the old how-good-is-good-enough question.

    As Luke points out, with the FZ200, I already have an optimized lens (and presumably optimized associated software) permanently attached to the FZ200.

    It seems to me that, for my wildlife photography, two possibilities make sense: the FZ1000 or the Nikon 1V3 with the 70-300cx lens. The Nikon is more than twice the price of the Panasonic, and it is not clear to me that it would deliver proportionately more performance.

    For my sky photography, I am tempted by the Fuji gear . . . but as the comedian Stephen Wright says: "You can't have everything . . . where would you keep it?"

    Cheers, Jock
     
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  11. Kin Lau

    Kin Lau SC Regular

    57
    Oct 23, 2012
    75-300 or 70-300, both are still the cheap ones, not the better IS model. For it's range, the FZ200 is a bargain and hard to beat.

    I started will a DReb + 70-300 a long time ago, got great shots from it in good light but you definitely need better glass to up your game. That will not be cheap.

    For any real improvement, what ever lens you pick will have to run in the $1000- range. The sharpness will take a big jump up, but most importantly, you'll start to get shots that weren't even possible with the FZ200, like birds in flight, small song birds moving rapidly thru foliage etc.
     
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  12. kyteflyer

    kyteflyer ~@¿@~

    Jan 31, 2011
    Newcastle, Australia
    Sue
    Jock, I really must say this. There is absolutely nothing wrong with any DSLR. Its the lenses which are causing issues and if you dont have a halfway decent one (and its seeming like you didnt on either occasion) how can you possibly expect the camera to perform. You're not giving them a chance. Get a decent lens then come back and do a comparison. The Canon (Nikon/Sony?pentax/Olympus) will wipe the floor with the superzoom every time.
     
  13. Jock Elliott

    Jock Elliott SC All-Pro

    Jan 3, 2012
    Troy, NY
    Sue,

    If I was simply testing the T5, I would say that you are absolutely, 1000% correct. Further, I will posit that any DSLR will beat my superzoom with the right lenses.

    But I was testing the bundle of camera and lenses as sold to me. My objective was to see if the bundle -- particularly the T5 and the long lens -- would meet or exceed the performance of the FZ200 at full telephoto. If the image was nice and crisp and sharp, then perhaps I could crop it and the result would be a net gain in image quality and reach. But it was not to be so. Sure, I could buy a better lens, but then what would be the point of buying the bundle? I would be better off to start with the body-only and then add lenses.

    Recently at a nature photography workshop, I handled a rig that was beyond impressive: a D70 with a Tamron 150-600 lens. Would it beat the pants off my superzoom? Yessir, yessir, three bags full. But would I be willing to carry it? Probably not.

    I think, for me, there are two lessons to be drawn from my second experiment in buying camera bundles from a big box store.

    1. Don't buy camera bundles from a big box store.

    2. Figure out what lenses you really need, and then go looking for something to mount them on.

    Cheers, Jock