Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ5

Discussion in 'Panasonic Lumix' started by Eric Babula, Apr 8, 2005.

  1. Eric Babula

    Nostrobino Guest

    [ . . . ]
    Why "uses less power"? The in-body AS has to move a frame carrying the CCD
    *and* its connections. The in-lens IS has to move a very tiny, compact group
    of elements. I don't see any advantage to the in-body system there. I *can*
    see an obvious advantage to Minolta's approach in the case of a digital SLR
    with interchangeable lenses, but not for a non-interchangeable-lens camera.

    I read somewhere that the relative anti-shake effectiveness of one system
    over the other depends on the mode used, but on balance Minolta's and
    Panasonic's methods are about equal, a slight edge perhaps going to
    Panasonic. Unfortunately I can't now recall that source.

    The comparison between the Minolta Z5 and Panasonic FZ5 here
    shows a clear advantage in image quality for the Panasonic, especially in
    terms of noise and sharpness.

    Sort of meaningless. Subject distance always has been properly measured *to
    the film plane*, which obviously is not the case when you're saying it's "1
    cm"--which would put the subject somewhere inside the lens if it were.
    Distance from the front surface of the lens means little. Indeed, there are
    zoom lenses which will focus on an object placed on the surface of the lens,
    which really tells you nothing about the degree of magnification.

    I am a long-time Minolta enthusiast. I've used Minolta SLRs for about thirty
    years, and most of my digital cameras are Minoltas. But in the case of these
    superzooms, it seems to me Panasonic's cameras are the better ones. I had a
    Minolta Z1 very briefly when they first came out (I returned it for various
    problems, the first and only Minolta camera I've ever returned). No doubt
    the Z5 is a great improvement over that, but for my first and only
    stabilized superzoom I had no hesitation in deciding to go Panasonic--an
    FZ15K in my case, and I love it.

    Nostrobino, Apr 11, 2005
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  2. If you wish to discuss this further with me, you will need to quote
    figures. I actually have the Panasonic FZ5, and I know what a splendid
    performer it is.

    David J Taylor, Apr 11, 2005
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  3. Stephen Henning wrote:
    How can you hope to draw comparitive conclusions from people who have only
    tested one camera?

    David J Taylor, Apr 11, 2005
  4. Heh.

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  5. measekite wrote:
    You are quite right - there are the obvious published differences (mainly
    size, hot-shoe and weight) but under normal taking I have yet to see
    significant difference in the results, but I have not done a full
    comparison. Were I to compare, I would be inclined to compare with the
    lens wide open at full tele and full wide. Perhaps in macro mode as well.
    The tele-macro setting (FZ5 only) gives you some excellent macro
    opportunities with a very long working distance (about 1 - 2m).

    David J Taylor, Apr 12, 2005
  6. Eric Babula

    Bruce Graham Guest

    yes, I would be interested in a f2.8 long range tele comparison. The
    only comparisons I have noticed on dpreview are at f 5.6 and short range.
    Maybe the extra bit of ED glass would make a difference under these
    Bruce Graham, Apr 12, 2005
  7. David J Taylor, Apr 12, 2005
  8. Eric Babula

    Bruce Graham Guest

    Thanks David. To my eyes (looking at 200% in PS) the FZ5 is softer on
    the right hand side and about the same or a little sharper on the left
    hand side, but that might just be me or sample variation. The chromatic
    ab of the FZ20 is a little bit smaller but with a reddish tinge that
    sometimes makes it more noticeable than the deep blue CA of the FZ5. We
    don't know what tricks happen inside the camera to correct this stuff and
    maybe the newer FZ5 software is doing more to compensate for the lack of
    the Ed element or maybe the difference between f2.8 and f3.3 explains the

    I don't think the FZ20 focussed behind the main subject as the slightly
    foreground rubbish bin lid is sharper in the FZ20 shot and the roof
    detail is fading faster on the FZ20.

    Does the FZ20 clean up at all when you stop it down to f3.3 to make a
    direct comparison to the FZ5?

    Also, it would be interesting to know roughly what distance these shots
    were taken at.

    Thanks again.

    Bruce G
    Bruce Graham, Apr 13, 2005
  9. Bruce Graham wrote:
    You're welcome, Bruce.

    I deliberately chose white on black to show up the chromatic effects, as
    it is the most obvious defect with this lens range. As you say, we don't
    know what's happening in the camera - I only present the out-of-the-box
    results. I haven't the time to test the FZ20 at f/3.3, I'm afraid. I
    imagine it would be pretty similar to f/2.8. Distance - I would estimate
    30 - 35m (with a moderate degree of error).

    David J Taylor, Apr 13, 2005
  10. I think that's a fair summary - but no flash hot-shoe on the FZ5. I don't
    think that even at a bigger print size you'd see any significant

    David J Taylor, Apr 13, 2005
  11. Eric Babula

    Bruce Graham Guest

    I think that is the way I see it too. I posted my detailed comments so
    that somebody could correct me if I'm missing something basic.

    I started this line of thinking wondering if I could gain more from a
    FZ20 than by adding a Canon 350D body to my 5 Canon lenses/film body.
    (I'm starting to think maybe I should get both a FZ5 and the 350D.)

    Bruce Graham, Apr 13, 2005
  12. Bruce Graham wrote:
    I would suggest both - they are quite complementary with the DSLR
    providing the lower noise in low-light situations (with wide-aperture
    lenses and its bigger sensor) and the FZ5 providing a carry-anywhere
    camera (with movies) which may handle the majority of your photography,
    and something you don't mind taking into less favourable situations (damp,
    dust etc.) as it's more easily protected. You need to analyse what
    facilities you need most for your particular interests or requirements.

    David J Taylor, Apr 13, 2005
  13. measekite wrote:
    Just remember that the FZ5 and FZ20 images I uploaded were with the lens
    wide-open, so the worst possible optical quality. Typical shots at more
    normal apertures will be better. With my Nikon 5700 (35 - 280mm zoom) I
    did find that a lot of my photos were at the wide-angle end of the range,
    and that's why I got the Nikon 8400 (24 - 85mm). I currently envisage
    taking both cameras round with me on major trips, with the Nikon for
    wide-angle interiors or swivel finder shots.

    You can definitely get wide-angle adapters for the FZ20 from Panasonic,
    but for the FZ5 you would need to reply on 3rd-party products, which are
    of somewhat variable quality. However, the last thing I want to carry
    round are huge chunks of adapter glass which will probably be on or off
    the camera at exactly the wrong moment!

    I do hope you will soon find something to your liking.

    David J Taylor, Apr 13, 2005
  14. I would /never/ alter the number of pixels per inch. A picture is a
    bitmap with a certain number of pixels - end of story. I would /never/
    crop and image (for the sort of test you are suggesting). I would
    (probably) use Paint Shop Pro, and get it to print out each image on a
    full-size A4 paper (noting that this would leave some borders as the image
    is 1.333 aspect ratio but the paper is 1.414 [297 x 210mm]).

    This insistence on quoting pixels per inch must be the cause of the great
    majority of "lost pixels" ever!

    If I didn't have Paint Shop Pro, I might try IrfanView (but I've never
    printed from that program), or even the Windows XP Image and FAX Viewer.
    I don't have PS, but is sounds as if by cropping you may have reduced the
    number of pixels in the image, and thereby made it less sharp when

    Forget all about DPI - use absolute numbers of pixels! In my FZ5 that's
    2560 by 1920 pixels. Just print that to the full size of the paper you
    want. If I understood what you did, 266 pixels per inch and 6 inches wide
    gives just 1596 pixels across the width. The camera has 2560 - you are
    only using 62% of the available pixels horizontally - that's about 38% of
    the pixels in area! You have thrown more than half the camera pixels

    I hope my understanding is wrong, but it sounds to me as if Photoshop's
    presentation of the image has made you throw away more than half the
    pixels. Perhaps someone who knows the program can put one of us tight!

    David J Taylor, Apr 13, 2005
  15. Eric Babula

    Eric Babula Guest

    wrote in
    Actually, I have not purchased the FZ5, yet. I was waiting for the
    prices to drop a bit, so I can afford more accessories, such as a bag.
    David Taylor has one - maybe he has a bag for it.

    Just wondering: Does have a bag specifically for the
    FZ1,2,3,4,5? I'm supposing they do, but not positive.
    Eric Babula, Apr 25, 2005
  16. Eric Babula wrote:
    On first purchasing my FZ5 I used a Nikon 5700 bag which had become spare!
    However, I am now proposing to go for a small "camera system" bag (rather
    than a snug camera-only bag) which will take the Nikon 8400 as well as the
    Panasonic FZ5, lenshood, batteries etc. I've tried carrying this new bag
    for a day as a shoulder bag and it's fine - much smaller and lighter than
    any of my 35mm "camera system" bags and their contents. The new bag cost
    just GPB 10 (about $19).

    David J Taylor, Apr 26, 2005
  17. David J Taylor, Apr 26, 2005
  18. The FZ5 does not have manual zoom or manual focus. I just had my ugly mouth
    photographed by my dentist and I think he used a Nikon. Anyway, it might
    pay to talk to other dentists about this.
    Charles Schuler, Jun 28, 2005
  19. Eric Babula

    Eric Babula Guest

    Did you mean manual focus? The FZ5 does not have manual focus - for
    that, you'll probably want the larger FZ20, if you're staying with the
    Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ series. I have to say, the FZ5 does take some
    pretty nice macro photos, though. Not sure about intra oral photos - I
    haven't tried that. ;-)

    Do you have a group of other orthodontists that you hang out with? You
    might want to have a discussion about this with them - see what others
    are doing in your practice.

    Good luck.
    Eric Babula, Jun 29, 2005
  20. Eric Babula

    mb Guest

    For facial photos, it would be fine. It can vary the flash output so you
    can get nice even exposures even if very close up. For intra-oral, you'd
    need a ring flash - look for a Kodak which is dental specific - they sell
    it as some $1200 package or something to that effect.

    mb, Jun 30, 2005
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