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Opinions on Panasonic FZ30K?

 
 
Scott Speck
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      10-29-2005, 10:47 AM
Hello Everyone,

Does anyone have thoughts about the Panasonic Lumix FZ30K? I had considered
buying the FZ20 a ways back, but now that the 30 is here, I'm thinking of
going with this particular model. It has a super-zoom, a leica lens,
anti-shake, 8MP, and is rather heavy, which I require, since my wife has
trouble using cameras that are so light that merely pushing the shutter
release causes camera wiggle. Also, I don't have the money to sink into a
digital SLR with lenses, and, with the FZ30K, I can go from macro to 12X
optical zoom, all in one package. My only concern is about low-light
performance. I know that the Canon 20D DSLR has good low-light performance,
but I don't have the money required to invest in such a system. Why are
point-and-shoot cameras typically noisier, detector-wise? One would think
that one could fit a low-noise detector into a P&S just as easily as one
could fit a high-noise detector. Also, if anyone has any thoughts on other
P&S digitals that meet the following criteria, please send along your
opinions:

1) high-zoom capability
2) anti-shake
3) at least 6 MP
4) good optical quality
5) fast on/off and shutter response
6) < $900 in price
7) NOT small in size or super-lightweight

Thanks for any thoughts,
Scott Speck


 
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David J Taylor
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      10-29-2005, 11:17 AM
Scott Speck wrote:
[]
> 1) high-zoom capability
> 2) anti-shake
> 3) at least 6 MP
> 4) good optical quality
> 5) fast on/off and shutter response
> 6) < $900 in price
> 7) NOT small in size or super-lightweight
>
> Thanks for any thoughts,
> Scott Speck


Scott, it sounds as if the FZ20 or FZ30 would meet your needs.
(Personally, I have gone for the lightweight FZ5!). P&S cameras have more
noise at high ISO settings because the detectors are smaller, and so can
capture less total photons at a given light level. Of course, the smaller
detector means a smaller lens and a smaller package for the same field of
view etc. You could use the same size sensor from a DSLR (this is what
Sony have done), but then everything scales up - including the cost!

http://www.dpreview.com/articles/sonydscr1/

For a fast shutter response, learn to keep the shutter release
half-pressed.

David


 
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David J Taylor
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      10-29-2005, 11:37 AM
Scott, in case you didn't know, there is a newsgroup focussing on such
cameras here:

rec.photo.digital.zlr

David


 
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Scott Speck
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      10-29-2005, 06:14 PM
David, thanks very much for all the info. At this point, I've nearly
totally NIXED the FZ30, after I heard that it's biggest downfall is its
image quality and noise levels (which to me are of major importance). When
I read about the Sony dsc-r1, it sounds pretty nice. With the larger CMOS
detector, noise is lower, and it has a large-aperture Zeiss lens, so this
should be good for low-light levels. It has no anti-shake, but does it have
good macro capability, for closeups of things like flowers and insects? It
also has a heavy look and feel, a swiveling monitor, etc. It has less zoom
and no anti-shake compared to the FZ30, but I have a super-light tripod that
I can carry around with ease when it comes to anti-shake, and I think I
could do much better evening/city photography with the Sony.

Thanks for any info,
Scott

----- Original Message -----
From: "David J Taylor"
<(E-Mail Removed)-this-bit.nor-this-part.uk.invalid>
Newsgroups: rec.photo.digital
Sent: Saturday, October 29, 2005 7:37 AM
Subject: Re: Opinions on Panasonic FZ30K?


> Scott, in case you didn't know, there is a newsgroup focussing on such
> cameras here:
>
> rec.photo.digital.zlr
>
> David
>


"David J Taylor"
<(E-Mail Removed)-this-bit.nor-this-part.uk.invalid> wrote in
message news:x9J8f.139978$(E-Mail Removed). uk...
> Scott, in case you didn't know, there is a newsgroup focussing on such
> cameras here:
>
> rec.photo.digital.zlr
>
> David
>



 
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David J Taylor
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      10-29-2005, 06:46 PM
Scott Speck wrote:
> David, thanks very much for all the info. At this point, I've nearly
> totally NIXED the FZ30, after I heard that it's biggest downfall is
> its image quality and noise levels (which to me are of major
> importance). When I read about the Sony dsc-r1, it sounds pretty
> nice. With the larger CMOS detector, noise is lower, and it has a
> large-aperture Zeiss lens, so this should be good for low-light
> levels. It has no anti-shake, but does it have good macro
> capability, for closeups of things like flowers and insects? It also
> has a heavy look and feel, a swiveling monitor, etc. It has less
> zoom and no anti-shake compared to the FZ30, but I have a super-light
> tripod that I can carry around with ease when it comes to anti-shake,
> and I think I could do much better evening/city photography with the
> Sony.
> Thanks for any info,
> Scott


Well, I have seen reports from satisfied FZ30 users who think that the
noise is not as much of a problem as some reviews might lead you to
believe. Don't be mislead by looking at samples at 1:1 zoom on your
monitor - it's probably the equivalent of making a print 30 inches wide!
By comparison with the Panasonic, the Sony is a monster without the 10X
zoom and image stabilisation which were so important to you - or so I
thought. Look at the size of the add-on lenses The lens on the Sony has
a smaller aperture (f/4,8) than the Leica lens on the Panasonic FZ20
(f/2.8) or FZ30 (f/3.7).

Maybe:

http://dpnow.com/2113.html
http://dpnow.com//images/news-dsc-r1d.jpg

appeals to you - but it's exactly /why/ I moved away from last century's
35mm format!

I thought there was a good evening shot with the Panasonic FZ30 as one of
the samples? Just don't use the higher ISO settings unless the grain
(noise) will add to the character of your photo.

To me, they are two different cameras aimed at different markets. Only
you can really decide which best meets your aims.

David


 
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Scott Speck
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      10-29-2005, 08:09 PM
David,

You have raised a couple points -- that add-on lens is outrageously huge on
the Sony. I suppose that I'm lamenting that I can't "have it all" with a
non-dSLR digital camera. Believe it or not, I've even thought of getting
TWO FZ20's, since they've really come down in price. My wife wants to shoot
a lot of macro pictures, but I'm wondering if the FZ30 gives you that much
more beyond the FZ20. For example, can you focus the FZ20 or the FZ30
manually? In general, I'm not a major "megapixel junkie".

One camera I've read rave reviews about, but it's hard to find and it's
internal electronics might be outdated, is a Panasonis/Leica collaboration
that Leica marketed for about $1900 and Panasonic for about $1500 that every
reviewer claimed gave awesome pictures. Of course, no high-zoom,
anti-shake, etc.

Maybe the low-light issue really isn't that much of an issue for me.

As you can see, I'm a bit confused...

-Scott


"David J Taylor"
<(E-Mail Removed)-this-bit.nor-this-part.uk.invalid> wrote in
message news:UrP8f.140197$(E-Mail Removed) .uk...
> Scott Speck wrote:
>> David, thanks very much for all the info. At this point, I've nearly
>> totally NIXED the FZ30, after I heard that it's biggest downfall is
>> its image quality and noise levels (which to me are of major
>> importance). When I read about the Sony dsc-r1, it sounds pretty
>> nice. With the larger CMOS detector, noise is lower, and it has a
>> large-aperture Zeiss lens, so this should be good for low-light
>> levels. It has no anti-shake, but does it have good macro
>> capability, for closeups of things like flowers and insects? It also
>> has a heavy look and feel, a swiveling monitor, etc. It has less
>> zoom and no anti-shake compared to the FZ30, but I have a super-light
>> tripod that I can carry around with ease when it comes to anti-shake,
>> and I think I could do much better evening/city photography with the
>> Sony.
>> Thanks for any info,
>> Scott

>
> Well, I have seen reports from satisfied FZ30 users who think that the
> noise is not as much of a problem as some reviews might lead you to
> believe. Don't be mislead by looking at samples at 1:1 zoom on your
> monitor - it's probably the equivalent of making a print 30 inches wide!
> By comparison with the Panasonic, the Sony is a monster without the 10X
> zoom and image stabilisation which were so important to you - or so I
> thought. Look at the size of the add-on lenses The lens on the Sony has
> a smaller aperture (f/4,8) than the Leica lens on the Panasonic FZ20
> (f/2.8) or FZ30 (f/3.7).
>
> Maybe:
>
> http://dpnow.com/2113.html
> http://dpnow.com//images/news-dsc-r1d.jpg
>
> appeals to you - but it's exactly /why/ I moved away from last century's
> 35mm format!
>
> I thought there was a good evening shot with the Panasonic FZ30 as one of
> the samples? Just don't use the higher ISO settings unless the grain
> (noise) will add to the character of your photo.
>
> To me, they are two different cameras aimed at different markets. Only
> you can really decide which best meets your aims.
>
> David
>



 
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Paul Allen
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      10-30-2005, 02:30 AM
Scott Speck wrote:
>
>...but I'm wondering if the FZ30 gives you that much
> more beyond the FZ20. For example, can you focus the FZ20 or the FZ30
> manually? In general, I'm not a major "megapixel junkie".


Both the FZ20 and the FZ30 have "fly-by-wire" manual focus rings on the
lens barrel. The FZ30 adds a mechanically-linked zoom ring on the lens
barrel. I've actually used an FZ10 with that manual focus system, and
it seemed really nice to use compared to the clunky manual focus on my
old Olympus C700. (The FZ30 has higher resolution in the EVF and the
LCD, which should help with manual focus accuracy.)

The review sites have done a pretty good job of enumerating the
differences between the FZ30 and its predecessors. The consensus
seems to be that Panasonic mostly fixed things that were sore points
with the previous designs. It's just too bad that they felt they
had to take it to 9Mp. It would have been a slam dunk if they
could have increased the pixel size a bit and the pixel count a
bit at the same time. I could have lived with 6 or 7 megapixels
and less talk about noise.

Paul Allen
 
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Bob Williams
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      10-30-2005, 06:52 AM


Scott Speck wrote:

> David,
>
> You have raised a couple points -- that add-on lens is outrageously huge on
> the Sony. I suppose that I'm lamenting that I can't "have it all" with a
> non-dSLR digital camera. Believe it or not, I've even thought of getting
> TWO FZ20's, since they've really come down in price. My wife wants to shoot
> a lot of macro pictures, but I'm wondering if the FZ30 gives you that much
> more beyond the FZ20. For example, can you focus the FZ20 or the FZ30
> manually? In general, I'm not a major "megapixel junkie".
>
> One camera I've read rave reviews about, but it's hard to find and it's
> internal electronics might be outdated, is a Panasonis/Leica collaboration
> that Leica marketed for about $1900 and Panasonic for about $1500 that every
> reviewer claimed gave awesome pictures. Of course, no high-zoom,
> anti-shake, etc.
>
> Maybe the low-light issue really isn't that much of an issue for me.
>
> As you can see, I'm a bit confused...
>
> -Scott
>
>
> "David J Taylor"
> <(E-Mail Removed)-this-bit.nor-this-part.uk.invalid> wrote in
> message news:UrP8f.140197$(E-Mail Removed) .uk...
>
>>Scott Speck wrote:
>>
>>>David, thanks very much for all the info. At this point, I've nearly
>>>totally NIXED the FZ30, after I heard that it's biggest downfall is
>>>its image quality and noise levels (which to me are of major
>>>importance). When I read about the Sony dsc-r1, it sounds pretty
>>>nice. With the larger CMOS detector, noise is lower, and it has a
>>>large-aperture Zeiss lens, so this should be good for low-light
>>>levels. It has no anti-shake, but does it have good macro
>>>capability, for closeups of things like flowers and insects? It also
>>>has a heavy look and feel, a swiveling monitor, etc. It has less
>>>zoom and no anti-shake compared to the FZ30, but I have a super-light
>>>tripod that I can carry around with ease when it comes to anti-shake,
>>>and I think I could do much better evening/city photography with the
>>>Sony.
>>>Thanks for any info,
>>>Scott

>>
>>Well, I have seen reports from satisfied FZ30 users who think that the
>>noise is not as much of a problem as some reviews might lead you to
>>believe. Don't be mislead by looking at samples at 1:1 zoom on your
>>monitor - it's probably the equivalent of making a print 30 inches wide!
>>By comparison with the Panasonic, the Sony is a monster without the 10X
>>zoom and image stabilisation which were so important to you - or so I
>>thought. Look at the size of the add-on lenses The lens on the Sony has
>>a smaller aperture (f/4,8) than the Leica lens on the Panasonic FZ20
>>(f/2.8) or FZ30 (f/3.7).
>>
>>Maybe:
>>
>> http://dpnow.com/2113.html
>> http://dpnow.com//images/news-dsc-r1d.jpg
>>
>>appeals to you - but it's exactly /why/ I moved away from last century's
>>35mm format!
>>
>>I thought there was a good evening shot with the Panasonic FZ30 as one of
>>the samples? Just don't use the higher ISO settings unless the grain
>>(noise) will add to the character of your photo.
>>
>>To me, they are two different cameras aimed at different markets. Only
>>you can really decide which best meets your aims.
>>
>>David


Don't be spooked by the noise mantra regarding the FZ 20/30.
Noise can be a problem for ANY small-sensor camera in low light/high ISO
situations. However the FZ15/20, for instance, have a very respectable
f2.8 aperture at ALL apertures. That means good light gathering
ability, especially at 12x Zoom. (No other camera matches it) Also,
image stabilization will let you shoot at 1/8th the speed that you would
need for a camera w/o image stabilization. That means the Image
Stabilized FZ 15/20 can collect 8X as many photons as a non-image
stabilized camera at the same f-stop and ISO setting.
I've had a FZ 15 for nearly a year and it is the most versatile digital
camera I ever owned.
Bob Williams

 
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David J Taylor
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      10-30-2005, 08:04 AM
Scott Speck wrote:
> David,
>
> You have raised a couple points -- that add-on lens is outrageously
> huge on the Sony. I suppose that I'm lamenting that I can't "have it
> all" with a non-dSLR digital camera. Believe it or not, I've even
> thought of getting TWO FZ20's, since they've really come down in
> price. My wife wants to shoot a lot of macro pictures, but I'm
> wondering if the FZ30 gives you that much more beyond the FZ20. For
> example, can you focus the FZ20 or the FZ30 manually? In general,
> I'm not a major "megapixel junkie".


Unless you regularly crop to small parts of the image 3, 4 or 5MP will
probably be enough. I've seen excellent A4 (about 11.5 x 8 inch) from my
wife's 3.2MP Nikon 990. No problem in getting more than one camera - I've
settled on the Panasonic FZ5 for general and telephoto use, and a Nikon
8400 for wide-angle use. I've given up manual focus in the FZ5, but the
auto-focus is more than adequate. My wife went for the FZ20 to complement
her Nikon 990, though, as the FZ5 wasn't available when she purchased.
The FZ5 has the ability to do macro at full zoom, so giving you a working
distance of about 1 metre.

Decision, decisions, decisions!

Best, try different cameras in the store and see which suits best.

David


 
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David J Taylor
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      10-30-2005, 08:07 AM
ecm wrote:
[]
> I'd have to say, you're talking yourself into the proverbial corner -
> you want a camera the size of a dSLR, with the low noise, high ISO
> performance of a dSLR, the lens flexibility of a dSLR, and you're
> willing to pay as much as you would for a dSLR..... but you don't want
> a dSLR? Why not? Go for it - you'll not be sorry.


Which DSLR would you recommend. The original specification included an
image-stabilised 10x zoom, and a budget of USD $700. Can't be done!
Likely the lens alone would cost that much, if there was such a beast
available (although the DSLR is catching up).

David


 
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