dmc-fz30, fz50 video out

Discussion in 'Digital Cameras' started by Graham Evans, May 29, 2007.

  1. Graham Evans

    Graham Evans Guest

    I am contemplating purchase of a panasonic lumix dmc-fz30 or dmc-fz50.
    If I can get one I would prefer the fz-30.

    I need to know whether the video-out port on these cameras supports a
    live feed and if so, what sort of live feed. Does the video-out image
    include the camera settings superimposed?

    To clarify - I need a video-out signal in record or picture-taking mode.

    I have read that there is an undocumented function in the fz50:
    if you hold down delete key for 5 seconds in record mode then you get an
    ntsc live video feed.

    Unfortunately I don't know whether this video feed will continue until
    the camera is turned off or whether it needs to be reset at every
    photograph (which would be useless for me).

    Also I have no information whether the fz30 has the same function.

    - any info from panasonic fz30 or fz50 users would be appreciated.

    Graham E.
     
    Graham Evans, May 29, 2007
    #1
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  2. Graham Evans

    Graham Evans Guest

    The manual for the fz50 (available online) includes a (very) passing
    reference to support for an AV feed in record mode - in ntsc only. It
    doesn't give any details how to access this but I am optimistic it will
    hold the setting until the device is turned off at the very least...

    Now if I can find the fz30 manual online...
     
    Graham Evans, May 29, 2007
    #2
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  3. Graham Evans

    Graham Evans Guest

    The reference to the AV feed in record mode does not occur in the FZ30
    manual. The manual contains large amounts of text which are word-for-
    word the same as the fz50 manual. Therefore I have to conclude that the
    live video feed was not supported on the fz30 model...

    I didn't want those extra megapixels but it looks like I will have to put
    up with them.

    any more info on this appreciated.

    Graham E.
     
    Graham Evans, May 29, 2007
    #3
  4. Graham Evans

    cgiorgio Guest

    Re: FZ-30

    To activate live preview function, press and hold delete key during Power
    On. Once activated the fuction seems to remain active until record
    parameters are reset. External display shows same information on external
    screen as is selected for internal display.

    I have no way to determine if it is PAL or NTSC (only multi standard TV's
    available) but probably the video mode previously selected is used.
     
    cgiorgio, May 29, 2007
    #4
  5. Graham Evans

    Graham Evans Guest

    To activate live preview function, press and hold delete key during
    I really appreciate that info - it's exactly what I needed to know.
    Thanks! It seems to be available nowhere else on the internet or in the
    Panasonic literature. And none of the reviews or sales sites distinguish
    what the AV output can actually do...

    Just to be extra clear before I spend $800 AUD can you confirm this is
    working for you on the FZ30 not the FZ50 or FZ10 right?

    Other info I am trying to clarify on the FZ30:

    A definitive time-measurement shot-to-shot for taking RAW photographs. I
    am planning to use this camera in a studio to produce stop-motion
    animation of HDV quality. RAW is important to the process because it
    means I can eliminate automatic brightness adjustments made during
    digital 'processing' into JPEGS and TIFFS.

    I would be taking say three or four shots and then, perhaps ten seconds
    break, then another three or four shots. Will the FZ30 buffer cope with
    these RAW shots?

    So far I have found on the internet very different estimates of shot to
    shot RAW performance for this camera:

    3.6s
    6.3s
    3s (wikipedia)

    - this for storing a 14MB RAW file to the card along with a small JPG
    which the camera insists on creating...

    A 3.3second variance could mean big difference in whether the animation
    workflow can flow - if you see what I mean. So is it closer to 3 seconds
    or 6 seconds?

    Graham E.
     
    Graham Evans, May 29, 2007
    #5
  6. Graham Evans

    cgiorgio Guest

    Other info I am trying to clarify on the FZ30:
    Unfortunately the FZ - 30' s internal RAM buffer seems to be quite small and
    does allow only to shoot single shots in .RAW, no bursts. Depending on
    contents the time to prepare the .jpg file seems to vary, so there is not
    really a fixed shot to shot delay time, but between 3 and 4 seconds with a
    current SD - card sounds reasonable. The FZ 30 only supports the FAT file
    system, thus there is a memory card capacity limit of 2 GBytes. Really old
    and slow memory cards (hard to obtain now) may slow down the write process,
    that might be the cause for the controversial data you found.
     
    cgiorgio, May 29, 2007
    #6
  7. Graham Evans

    Graham Evans Guest

    ahh.. perhaps I will need to go for the FZ50 instead. I'll do some more
    reading on the buffers, timings etc on this model. The trade off is I
    will end up with significantly larger RAW files which I don't need and
    which my computer will spend longer crunching down...

    great info. Thank you.

    Graham E.
     
    Graham Evans, May 29, 2007
    #7
  8. Graham Evans

    Graham Evans Guest

    um now it seems I am being hasty. I just timed my fuji finepix s5500 and
    it takes 3-4 seconds shot to shot to store 4MP RAW images (some 8MB
    each). And that has actually proven just fast enough for my workflow.
    So the fz30 should do what I need after all.

    These cameras are becoming scarce. Meanwhile the fz50s are being
    discounted everywhere but I REALLY don't want that extra resolution. So
    now I'm going to try and hunt one of these fz30s down...
     
    Graham Evans, May 29, 2007
    #8
  9. Graham Evans

    Graham Evans Guest

    my research on the S3 IS and S5 IS stopped when I got to this point:
    "motor driven zoom lens".

    There is a problem with these lenses for animation work. Perhaps this
    problem does not exist in this case and you can advise me.

    The reason I am shedding my Finepix S5500 is that every time the camera
    is restarted the zoom lens moves. You can set it to resume its previous
    zoom setting but I have found that this is not 100% precise. I believe
    the problem is in the slight bit of free play with these motor extending
    zoom lenses. I expect all these cameras will suffer from it to some
    degree. The apparent amount of free play in the Fuji is next to nothing
    but it creates a big headache with the animation work. Once you are in
    the compositing stage the slightest movement of the frame; lateral
    movement or a zoom variation; shows up as a judder. Correcting this in
    post is a big headache and the result is not 100% satisfactory.

    This is why I am looking at the 'Bridge' cameras which have mechanical
    linked zoom. That way nothing is messing with my zoom or pan while I am
    changing memory cards or powering down and up again for whatever reason.

    The eligible candidates are the dmc-fz30 and fz50, the Digilux2, possibly
    some of the new DSLRs with live preview, a fixed lense camera if I could
    find a suitable one (like the new RICOH Range Finder) ... At the moment
    most of these cameras are out of my league except the cheapest of these:
    fz50 and possibly if I can find one the fz30.

    I am open to investigating other camera suggestions. For instance a
    camera with a fixed lens would do the trick but none of these that I can
    find have a RAW capability except for that rottenly expensive digital
    range-finder camera that just came out.

    My needs are:
    live preview via AV port.
    RAW capability.
    3MP minimum. 5 or 6 is ideal.
    fully manual exposure, WB and other controls (if they effect the RAW)...

    preferable is:
    remote shutter capability.

    thanks for the input
    Graham E.
     
    Graham Evans, May 30, 2007
    #9
  10. Graham Evans

    ASAAR Guest

    If the S5500 was satisfactory except for the lens movement, you
    might want to consider its replacement, the S5600. It has a
    non-extending lens and only has a modest increase in resolution (4mp
    to 5mp) so it doesn't run into the noise problems that afflict some
    of the high mp cameras. It has a few other niceties, one being that
    its display is more sensitive or brighter, making it better than the
    S5500 for use in low light levels. Otherwise much the same, but it
    gets even better battery life than the S5500 which was already quite
    good.

    Oh, one more thing. Because of the new, non-extending lens
    design, if you want to add filters or any of Fuji's WA or Tele
    conversion lenses, they now mount directly on the camera. To mount
    them on the S5500 it was necessary to use an adapter ring, i.e., the
    tube that was included with the S5500.

    If this is good for your S5500, it should be for the S5600 as
    well, which is approximately the same size, shape and weight, and
    the last time I looked, fairly inexpensive. But I don't think it's
    available new anymore, apparently replaced by the 7mp S700. I don't
    know what the S700 might be called where you're from. Here (USA) I
    have the S5100, which is the same as your S5500. Comparing prices
    with the FZ-50 which you're also looking at, the S700 sells for $212
    and the 10mp Panasonic FZ-50 is $479 at B&H (bhphotovideo.com).

    I'm not really familiar with the Fuji S700, but it appears to have
    the same non-extending 10x lens as the S5200/S5600. Spec's at :


    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/492490-REG/Fujifilm_15747988_FinePix_S700_Digital_Camera.html
     
    ASAAR, May 30, 2007
    #10
  11. Graham Evans

    Graham Evans Guest

    Fujifilm_15747988_FinePix_S700_Digital_Camera.html

    This is a good tip - thanks - I will go look into this camera now. The
    only other thing missing from the s5500 is the remote shutter release but
    if it comes down to it I will just rig something up.

    One slight thing I am worried about is whether the zoom is reset every
    time the camera turns on and off even if the lens body itself is non-
    extending.

    In the S5500 you can set the zoom to 'resume' as I assume you can in the
    s5600 but the problem is that it returns to a zero point when you switch
    off and then moves back to the original position when you turn back on.
    This could easily cause some lack of precision with the moving zoom
    elements even if the body of the lens is fixed...

    While this would be theoretically unneccessary with the fixed body lens I
    am worried it might happen anyway.

    Can you advise on this?

    Graham
     
    Graham Evans, May 30, 2007
    #11
  12. Graham Evans

    ASAAR Guest

    The S5200/S5600 operates the same as the S5100/S5500. I played
    with the S5200 at B&H, and the front lens element never moves,
    whether zooming, powering down or powering on, and I guess that's
    why its power on time is quicker than the S5100. But I have the
    S5200's PDF manual, and it has the same Reset/Resume menu option,
    where the manual states :
    I don't know how precise it would be, but as most (or all?) of the
    P&S cameras have a fixed number of zoom steps or positions, I'd
    think that getting back to the same zoom position would be fairly
    repeatable and accurate. What I'd have less confidence in is
    whether the lens would be focused at precisely the same distance
    when it was turned on again. I just tried it with the S5100 at 6
    different zoom positions, and when focusing, turning the camera off
    and back on again, the focus appeared to be unchanged except for
    when the lens was almost completely extended towards the maximum
    zoom position. Then it needed to be refocused.

    I just thought of something though. Even if the zoom position and
    focus couldn't be returned to the exact same position and distance,
    if it's highly repeatable with good accuracy, there might be a
    useful workaround. Suppose you have everything set up where the
    camera to subject distance is exactly 10 feet, but when you power
    up, the lens focuses 6 inches closer. If you then move the subject
    6 inches closer to the camera, every time you power on the camera,
    the focus point might return to the exact same distance of 9 1/2 ft.
     
    ASAAR, May 30, 2007
    #12
  13. Graham Evans

    Graham Evans Guest

    on again.

    ahh it sounds like that while the external lens elements don't move the
    internal ones do. That's a shame as it would seem to be unneccessary in
    this case.
    It's the 'fairly accurate' that may be the problem. If one of the
    picture elements jumps be even a pixel then you have a problem in the
    animation.

    I have worried about the focus so far as the zoom problem has been #1
    culprit.

    I guess until I test a fixed-lens motor-zoom camera (like the 5200/5600)
    in my own studio setup I won't know if the variations I'm seeing with the
    S5500 are all attributable to the free play in the extending lens or
    whether the motorised zoom elements are also to blame.
    these steps I take I have to reproduce every time I switch a storage card
    in or out - which is probably 10-15 seconds of animation material per
    card.

    thanks for the help
    Graham
     
    Graham Evans, May 30, 2007
    #13
  14. Graham Evans

    Graham Evans Guest

    I have worried about the focus so far as the zoom problem has been #1
    I HAVEN'T worried about the focus so far as the zoom problem has been #1
    culprit.
     
    Graham Evans, May 30, 2007
    #14
  15. Graham Evans

    Graham Evans Guest

    After being put back on the trail of the finepix I am now looking at the
    finepix 6000fd/6500fd as the camera of choice for my animation projects...

    In Australia it is about a 40% cost saving over a dmc-fz30 or dmc-fz50
    and 40% saving the number of pixels I have to push around to process my
    raw images.

    Can any owners of this camera confirm with 100% certainty that, as with
    my finepix s5500, I will get a live preview from the A/V socket while in
    record mode?

    The literature on this point is universally weak...

    Thanks for any info

    Graham
     
    Graham Evans, May 30, 2007
    #15
  16. Graham Evans

    Graham Evans Guest

    Also this is lacking a feature I was looking for : a remote shutter
    release. Unless anyone is able to advise otherwise.

    So I will have to build my own somehow.
     
    Graham Evans, May 30, 2007
    #16
  17. Graham Evans

    Graham Evans Guest

    er... just to correct my thread subject title.
     
    Graham Evans, May 30, 2007
    #17
  18. Graham Evans

    ASAAR Guest

    Hmm, at a 30fps rate and full resolution that sounds like you're
    using a 500MB or 1GB card. If I'm not mistaken, have you tried a
    2GB card? I've used one (Olympus), and while I haven't come close
    to filling it, it has worked pretty well so far.

    You're welcome, and good luck with your project.
     
    ASAAR, May 31, 2007
    #18
  19. Graham Evans

    Graham Evans Guest

    Actually it is the use of RAW shots (to stop automatic brightness
    adjustments, black point setting etc. etc. from shot to shot). these are
    14MB-20MB in the various cameras I am looking at. (12fps * 14MB * 12
    seconds is enough to fill 2GB cards). If I buy my finepix 6500fd I'll be
    ordering two 2GB type H XD cards from Hong Kong.

    Graham
     
    Graham Evans, May 31, 2007
    #19
  20. Graham Evans

    Graham Evans Guest

    Wow that could be really handy in making stop motion zooms. okay I'll do
    some more checking on this camera.
    I use linux tools in my animation work. I wonder if anything has been
    created on this OS.

    thanks for the info
    Graham
     
    Graham Evans, May 31, 2007
    #20
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