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Sony HX99 (and HX80/B) (1 Viewer)

etudiant

Registered User
Supporter
Man, I've been all over the place with this! And actually canceled an order for a Panasonic Lumix ZS50 / TZ70 this morning.

I have now simply ordered a 'Like New—Demo' Panasonic Lumix ZS70 / TZ90 from Adorama. I had been panicked at the last minute that the ZS50's autofocus might not be quite as amazing as the ZS70's is, since the ZS70 includes Depth from Defocus. And it will be nice, in any event, to have the use of a touch screen.

At $265, this is not a gigantic investment, and it seems as if the camera can actually do a lot of the things I will want it to do while birding—above all, have amazing continuous autofocus for its compact form factor. It seems as if Panasonic's compacts have the best AF this side of phase detection, and it's only gotten better since the ZS50.

I'll let you know what I think!


At that price, this camera is a steal.
It is an enormously capable little gem, but be sure to read the skimpy manual carefully and then spend some time working through the options.
As with smart phones, few buyers use even a fraction of the capacity of this camera, but it will surprise you if you give it a chance.

PS Panasonic camera JPEG images come in very muted colors. I've grown to like that, but you can easily adjust the default settings to be more vibrant.
 

Peter Audrain

Consummate Indoorsman
I find I'm pretty excited to give Post Focus a try, and grabbing 8 MP frames from 4K video! If you didn't know how Post Focus works, you would think it was honest-to-goodness magic.

I guess we all go through this cycle of reading endless reviews, then finally clicking buy—then waiting, and waiting, and waiting ….

The ZS70's ability to adjust the JPEG settings (for whatever reason, it seems the ZS50 cannot), precisely in order to pump up those colors a bit, and generally get to arrange things to my satisfaction, ended up as another reason for canceling the ZS50. New ZS50s are so wonderfully cheap now, though ($230)!

Anyway, I think I'm likely to be pleased that I got over my initial HX90v/HX80/HX99 fixation.
 

marcsantacurz

Well-known member
I find I'm pretty excited to give Post Focus a try, and grabbing 8 MP frames from 4K video! If you didn't know how Post Focus works, you would think it was honest-to-goodness magic.

I guess we all go through this cycle of reading endless reviews, then finally clicking buy—then waiting, and waiting, and waiting ….

The ZS70's ability to adjust the JPEG settings (for whatever reason, it seems the ZS50 cannot), precisely in order to pump up those colors a bit, and generally get to arrange things to my satisfaction, ended up as another reason for canceling the ZS50. New ZS50s are so wonderfully cheap now, though ($230)!

Anyway, I think I'm likely to be pleased that I got over my initial HX90v/HX80/HX99 fixation.

I was just looking at the ZS70 vs HX90/HX99. The ZS70 is quite a bit bigger than the HX99 and they are both 1/2.3" sensors with the same zoom range. The ZS70 is a handful more MPs.

I think an EVF is essential for BIF and superzooms in general. It is very hard to hold a camera at arm's length and find a subject, much less track it. it is also hard to hold the thing steady like that. With an EVF, you can have multiple points of contact and support.

I found the ZS70s EVF poor. The diopter adjustment is difficult to set while looking through the EVF and it seems to only have a limited number of adjustment points. I could never get it super sharp.

I found the HX90's EVF good. It is a hassle being a pop-out, but I found it sharp and much easier to set the diopter. The camera store did not have an HX99, which I assume is as good or better than the HX90s.

I only used the cameras in the store and shooting a few things out the shop doors across the street. But to me, the HX90 was much better than the ZS70, so I assume the HX99 would be better still (though I think the main improvement is the 4k video).

My girlfriend is specifically interested in a smaller sized camera, not a bridge, but wants EVF and superzoom, so we're leaning to the HX99.

Marc
 

etudiant

Registered User
Supporter
I was just looking at the ZS70 vs HX90/HX99. The ZS70 is quite a bit bigger than the HX99 and they are both 1/2.3" sensors with the same zoom range. The ZS70 is a handful more MPs.

My girlfriend is specifically interested in a smaller sized camera, not a bridge, but wants EVF and superzoom, so we're leaning to the HX99.

Marc

If your wallet can stand the hit, the little Sony RX100 VI might please her.
The camera turns on by releasing the excellent EVF, 1" sensor, very sharp Zeiss lens, goes to 200mm equivalent, with a crop zoom to 400mm. It produces superior image quality in my experience to the Panasonic, as it should considering the price.
Note the size is bigger than the HX99, more comparable to the Panasonic.
 

Peter Audrain

Consummate Indoorsman
The HX80/B is actually an update of the HX90V, and better than it in most ways (as well as, unaccountably, somewhat cheaper).

They're really lovely cameras, and I would almost certainly have gone ahead and gotten something in the HX80/90/99 series if they had continuous focus for still photos. With 4K video on the HX99, though (continuous focus can be switched on for video), that might not be much of a problem.
 

mskb

Well-known member
@Peter Audrain, just wondering how you are finding the compact ZS70 for birding? I am also debating between these and the related Sony HX99, Nikon A1000 models, so curious about your experience. Any thoughts you have would be useful. Thanks!
 

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