Saturday, May 17, 2008

A snapshot of top selling superzooms at Amazon (The Charts)

This is a new edition of The Charts, the independent edition, not to be confused with the on-going Amazon Top Selling Camera Charts soap-opera.

In today's episode, we take a snapshot of the top selling superzoom digital cameras at Amazon. We sift through the top selling cameras there, and "extract" the superzooms. For the purposes of this exercise, superzooms are fixed-lens digital cameras with a lens having a zoom ratio of 10X or more.

Please note this is just a snapshot, so be sure not to draw any dramatic long-term conclusions just by looking at this very instance alone. And with the technicalities out of the way, here are the top selling superzooms!

To spice things up, we will present them in reverse order! Oh the shocker! :)

Top Selling Superzooms
16. Sony H7 (15X, SuperSteady Shot)
15. Canon SX100 silver (10X, IS)
14. Fuji S700 (aka S5700) (10X, no IS)
13. Sony H50 (15X, SuperSteady Shot)
12. Olympus SP570uz (20X, sensor shift)
11. Panasonic TZ5K (10X, MegaOIS)
10. Panasonic FZ18S (12X, MegaOIS)
9. Kodak Z712-IS (12X, IS)
8. Fuji S1000fd (12X, no IS)
7. Nikon P80 (18X, VR)
6. Panasonic TZ5S (10X, MegaOIS)
5. Panasonic FZ18K (12X, MegaOIS)
4. Panasonic TZ4K (10X, MegaOIS)
3. Canon SX100 IS (10X, IS)
2. Panasonic TZ5A (10X, MegaOIS)
1. Canon S5 IS (12X, IS)

The numbers in the parenthesis are the zoom ratio of the camera, and the type (or lack of) some form of "real" image stabilization. For the purposes of this exercise, we define "real" image stabilization to be optical (lens function) or sensor shift (sensor anti-shake). Other methods, such as increasing ISO and shutter speed and other "digital" image stabilization techniques are branded as such for marketing purposes to counter the mechanical/optical stabilization which is an actual additional function of the camera, as opposed to a marketing name for adjusting shutter speed and ISO.

Obviously this is just a snapshot, so we can't jump to long term conclusions. Prices and availability are two of the major factors, for example a discounted price of $269 has catapulted the Panasonic TZ5A towards the top.

This is a healthy number of cameras in the Top 100 for superzooms, a total of 16 models, which shows that this format is indeed quite popular, despite the negatives of having small sensors. All of these cameras are using 1/2.5" or 1/2.33" sensors, and the few superzooms with larger sensors (eg FZ50, S100fd, S9600) are not in the top 100 at the moment. The lovely Casio EX F1 is not available for sale online, so we have no way of knowing how it is doing. Props to Casio for staying away from this new fad, I mean, how silly is using the internet to buy stuff! No one is ever going to fall for that silly idea!

As you can see, the bigger zoom ratio is not necessarily causing people to flock to the cameras, but the new hyper-superzoomies are relatively early in their lifecycle, and discounts usually work wonders. The new hyper-superzoomies of course being the Nikon P80 (18X), Olympus SP570uz (20X), Sony H50 (15X), and Fuji S8100fd (18X). Panasonic has yet to update the FZ18 (18X).

If you are a fan of the Charts, be sure to check our previous 58 posts, some of which are part of the Amazon Soap-Opera and others are independent snapshots like this one.

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