Panasonic Lumix FZ30 V Fuji Finepix S9500 (S9000)

Discussion in 'Panasonic Lumix' started by Graham Archer, Sep 4, 2005.

  1. Hi,
    I have been, for a long while, considering a non interchangable lens
    (because of dust on the sensor when lens changing)
    beast of a camera that I can carry around in my daysack.
    When I heard that the new Lumix FZ30 was being produced, I thought that my
    dream was being answered.
    With 8 mega pixels and a Leica non extending lens with 12x magnification
    coupled with image stabilisation it seemed all that I wanted.
    Then I read the first review:

    The photos it produces have too much noise !!!!!!!!!

    So now I wait for the Fuji Finepix S9500 ( or the S9000 as they are calling
    it in America ).
    See the preview at : shouldn't be long now, so they say!It has 9 mega pixels and a Fuji 10x optical zoom ( I wish it were Leica), itcopes with noise at high iso settings ( I wish it had image stabilization) .I can't help thinking that if the Lumix FZ30 had the Super CCD sensor of theFuji, which would help to reduce the noise, it might have been the perfectcamera (for me anyway).Or if only the Fuji Finepix had image stabilization !Perhaps I will have to wait for the next generation.
    Graham Archer, Sep 4, 2005
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  2. Graham Archer wrote:
    For an ideal camera, you also want to throw in an EVF as good as or better
    than the Minolta A2 which, although only VGA resolution (640 x 480)
    pixels, was by far the best EVF I have ever used. Oh, and a better tilt
    and swivel LCD (that on both the FZ30 and the Fuji looks clumsy and
    fragile compared to the Nikon 8400/8800 finders).

    By the way, the Fuji is about twice the weight of the Panasonic FZ5, and
    it lacks Image Stabilisation. I do like the wider-angle minimum zoom
    (28mm) and the manual zoom (twist ring on the lens barrel), but I don't
    like the small aperture at maximum zoom (only f/4.9 compared to, for
    example, the Panasonic FZ20 with f/2.8).

    Going to interesting to see a full review, though. How well will that
    lens cope?

    David J Taylor, Sep 4, 2005
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  3. "David J Taylor" wrote
    I think the weight is more in line with the FZ30 (which is heavier if memory
    serves than its predicessor the FZ20), and the FZ30 is more in line with the
    features of the proposed Fuji S9500.

    The lack of image stabilization may not be correct. From what I get from the
    press release and the preview is that the S9000/S95000 is using a
    non-optical anti-shake method that they are calling "Anti Blur" mode.
    Whether it will work is anyone's guess right now, though those few reviewers
    who have had their hands on the preproduction models don't seem to be
    harping about the lack of IS. That could mean the absence is not such a big
    deal with AS in place instead, or it could mean the reviewers use tripods a
    lot and didn't notice ;-)

    Take care,
    Linda Nieuwenstein, Sep 4, 2005
  4. Graham Archer

    l e o Guest

    Don't be fooled by marketing terms

    SLR-like = high end P&S, basically any cameras that are bigger than a
    deck of cards.
    Anti-Blur = autommatic high ISO
    l e o, Sep 4, 2005
  5. Linda Nieuwenstein wrote:

    I saw this "anti-blur" as well, but I'll wait and see what it really is.
    For me, now having used image stabilisation, there's no way I would want
    to go back. To keep noise low on these small sensor cameras generally
    requires working at ISO 50 - 100, and many cameras have an aperture at
    maximum zoom of f/5. Therefore, in the lower light levels of
    higher-latitude winters you find you are shooting at 1/15 or 1/8, but with
    the IS it's more like 1/150 or 1/80.

    No, I don't carry a tripod!

    David J Taylor, Sep 4, 2005
  6. Graham Archer

    ASAAR Guest

    Have you missed the reviews and all of the comments about the Fuji
    F10? If so, its sensor is unlike those in all previous P&S cameras,
    and allows for *much* higher usable ISOs. That allows the use of
    1/150 or 1/80 which can be better than IS, since it not only reduces
    blur caused by jittery hands, but blur caused by subject motion as
    well. I don't know if the "anti-blur" is real or a figment of an ad
    agency's imagination, but even without it, the S9000/S9500 has the
    potential to be just as effective at higher shutter speeds as other
    cameras using IS at lower shutter speeds. A camera having both IS
    and a better sensor would be ideal, and that's probably less than a
    year away, whether from Fuji or from some other company.
    ASAAR, Sep 4, 2005
  7. ASAAR wrote:
    Yes, I've seen some of the comments about the F10, but I doubt that even
    Fuji could get a 10:1 gain in sensitivity. 10:1 is what you can get with
    IS. 10:1 would be an amazing advancement (and possibly one which
    contradicts the laws of physics). Some tens of percent I might accept as
    a single step forward, possibly even 2:1. The larger size of the sensor
    and reduced numbers of pixels compared to similar cameras will produce
    further apparent gains in ISO, of course.

    I do welcome the move to lower-noise sensors (and Fuji are to be
    congratulated on their results so far) and I might be prepared to accept a
    sensor as big as 8.8 x 6.6mm in order to achieve that. However, based on
    current cameras my preference for a long-zoom camera would probably be a
    smaller sensor so that the complete camera can be smaller and lighter.

    Samples from the F10 look blurred compared with the competition. Whether
    this is the lens or an artefact of noise reduction processing I don't
    know. Perhaps the competition over-sharpen, which would increase visible
    noise. Certainly, when my Panasonic FZ5 is due for replacement, I would
    consider Fuji if they have an image stabilised camera (432mm focal length)
    producing better images than the F10.

    David J Taylor, Sep 4, 2005
  8. Graham Archer

    ASAAR Guest

    Why muddy the waters with numbers such as 2:1 and 10:1? Why not
    use the more commonly used "number of stops" of exposure, or ISO?
    All of the reviews I've seen claim 2 to 3 stops for IS, and 2 or
    more for the F10's sensor. It makes comparisons much more
    meaningful. And what you assume for the F10's sensor is probably
    based on a misunderstanding of what it's actually doing. If it only
    provided several tens of percent improvement, it would hardly have
    gotten such favorable reviews. Are you saying that the reviews are

    You're certainly free to see blurriness, but I don't see how that
    squares with the reviews that claimed better pictures from its 6mp
    sensor than several other cameras having 7mp sensors.

    You're also free to love your FZ5 to death, but you appear mighty
    defensive here. The point wasn't to say the F10 was in any way
    comparable to your FZ5. It was about what the use of a similar
    (possibly improved) sensor would be like in the S9000/S9500. And if
    you think that the improved sensor represents only one stop or less
    of improvement, I think you're painting yourself into a corner.
    ASAAR, Sep 4, 2005
  9. I'm on the same wavelength in terms of waiting to see [I rarely buy anything
    sight unseen] Yet, my earlier post was addressing the point that no optical
    IS may not be a factor at all. If the specs for the Fuji 9000/9500 come out
    as advertised/promoted than IS isn't needed. The sensor is larger, does 1600
    ISO with low noise, goes to f/11, and I think 1/4000 (this is from memory
    recall...may not be accurate). IS isn't needed if all these specs are met as
    Fuji states. Also the fact that none of the previews by major review sites
    are making a big deal of no IS. That leads me to believe that perhaps the
    specs are real and not just hype. Of course all good previewers have made it
    clear that will withhold final words until they get the full production
    model in hand.

    I'm anxiously awaiting because this model could prove to force the whole
    digital camera market into a much more consumer tasty direction.

    Take care,
    Linda Nieuwenstein, Sep 5, 2005
  10. That would be a real treat (having both) especially if the price remains
    'consumer' friendly.

    Take care,
    Linda Nieuwenstein, Sep 5, 2005
  11. Because I am talking about fundamental processes, not some measure like
    "apparent signal to noise ratio" which can be influenced by signal
    processing techniques.
    I am asking precisely what fundamental improvement in sensitivity Fuji
    have made. When the number of photos is limited, how can Fuji get one
    quarter of the noise that other sensors get? Is it better quantum
    efficiency, fill area, or what?
    It squares because "better" is subjective. A reviewer who examined and
    image at full zoom rather than normal print size might rate noise more
    objectionable that a difference in sharpness.
    Actually, it's the laws of physics which "paint you into a corner". For a
    given light level and exposure time, there are only a certain number of
    photons available in a given pixel area. Quantum efficiency turns that
    into a certain number of photo-electrons. Once you have a certain number
    of photo-electrons, the best signal-to-noise you can get is determined by
    that number, as there is an uncertainly of square-root (number) as to the
    number of photo-electrons which are there. So to improve the
    signal-to-noise you can either:

    - improve the quantum-efficiency, getting more photo-electrons per number
    of photons (improved materials, thinner chips).

    - increase the fraction of the pixel which is sensitive, collecting more
    of the available photons (better chip design)

    - provide larger pixels collecting more photons (the DSLR approach)

    - provide some image processing which masks the noise, but may have other
    effects on the image.

    Please tell me how Fuji have got a 4:1 (2 stop) improvement you claim.

    Don't get me wrong, I would welcome a better sensor with lower noise, and
    I know that present sensors are not at the theoretical limit.

    David J Taylor, Sep 5, 2005
  12. Linda Nieuwenstein wrote:
    Having used IS, there's no way I want to go back. It's not simply a
    matter of exposure - IS can help in movie mode, and can also help when
    framing the subject in windy conditions. If IS doesn't matter, why to the
    top camera makers provide it in their long lenses?
    Agreed, providing these claims of four times better sensitivity can be

    David J Taylor, Sep 5, 2005
  13. Graham Archer

    ASAAR Guest

    Despite all of your theoretical speculation, the review sites are
    near unanimous that Fuji's sensor offers several stops improvement
    in sensitivity. I can't explain how Fuji got the 2 stops of
    improvement, but as the reviews say that the F10 did it (not me, the
    reviews!), I'm inclined to believe it. And they're not saying that
    the greater sensitivity was at the expense of higher noise.
    Skepticism is often warranted, but so far the only source that has
    disagreed with the reviews is "l e o" and for a number of reasons
    I'm skeptical of his opinions. We'll find out soon enough how the
    S9000/S9500 performs, and if you're right I'll be disappointed. But
    that would be because the camera didn't live up to expectations, not
    because you were right!!! :)
    ASAAR, Sep 5, 2005
  14. Yes, ASAAR, I've seen the reviews as well, and it almost seems too good to
    be true. I hope that we find out just how the four times improvement in
    signal-to-noise ratio has been achieved.

    David J Taylor, Sep 5, 2005
  15. Graham Archer

    ASAAR Guest

    I don't think that when David has referred to 4 stops or 4 times
    better he's referring only to the sensor. Unless I'm mistaken it's
    2 times for the sensor and another 2 times for the IS. I say this
    mainly because I've never seen any 4x claims. At most only slightly
    better than 2x.
    ASAAR, Sep 5, 2005
  16. Well, the claims are (and there is no image stabilisation here) that
    camera A produces the same noise at ISO 800 and camera B does at ISO 200.
    That's four times the sensitivity (two stops).

    What Leonard says makes a lot of sense:

    - the sensor is a little larger
    - there are fewer pixels

    So the per-pixel sensitivity is naturally greater because of the greater
    pixel area. In addition:

    - there may be more noise reduction
    - the sensor may be better (improved quantum efficiency or fill factor)

    The noise reduction may be greater or better implemented, leaving much
    less than a factor of four improvement due to the sensor alone. I would
    add one more quite important factor to that:

    - less in camera sharpening

    which makes the noise less visible. Thus by making many of the right
    choices of sensor size, number of pixels, and less in-camera sharpening,
    Fuji have made a camera which is perhaps a better compromise than many of
    the marketing-led cameras we see today. The actual sensor improvement is
    only a part of the story, perhaps a relatively small part.

    David J Taylor, Sep 6, 2005
  17. Graham Archer

    ASAAR Guest

    Yep. I realized within seconds of clicking the <Send> button
    that the 4x was really 2 stops worth. I guess it may come from long
    practice adjusting exposures with the clicks on a shutter dial or
    aperture ring, but referring to differences in exposure by, say,
    going from 1/30th sec. up to 1/1000th sec. (5 clicks) being equaled
    by going 5 f/stops in the opposite direction from f/8 to f/1.4 seems
    slightly simpler than referring to this a 32x change. No problem
    though if one is familiar with algebra and powers of 2.

    Perhaps, and I could understand some reticence on the part of
    Canon and Nikon from making their P&S cameras a bit more competitive
    with DSLRs (slightly less with Fuji). But why would other
    manufacturers have failed to take advantage of the improvements you
    mentioned. I could understand them not getting close to an ideal
    combination 5 years ago when cameras were more primitive, but to use
    a familiar phrase, these changes "aren't rocket science", and fine
    tuning all of these could have been done years ago and would
    probably have generated a lot of sales for whichever manufacturers
    did it. That's why I think that the sensor is more of a factor than
    you do. But if you're right that would be good for those that
    prefer P&S cameras from brands other than Fuji, since those
    manufacturers should be able to quickly develop competitive cameras.
    If they want to . . .
    ASAAR, Sep 6, 2005
  18. Graham Archer

    Don Wiss Guest

    I was thinking this yesterday when I was using my brain dead Nikon 8400 to
    take parade pictures. And no, I wasn't using a tripod or monopod.
    Because right now having more pixels is what sells cameras. Like in PCs
    when it used to be a MHz race. Eventually you reach a point and you have
    enough, then people realize there are other factors to performance.

    Don <> (e-mail link at home page bottom).
    Don Wiss, Sep 6, 2005
  19. ASAAR wrote:
    Partly, as Don says, megapixels sells. Like WATTS used to sell Hi-Fi (and
    maybe still does). Partly, because if you turn down the default
    sharpness, to an casual observer the sharper picture will look "better".
    If people start going for the Fuji, other manufacturers will ask why, and
    there may be a move towards quality rather than quantity.

    I am still of the opinion that Fuji cannot have improved the sensor alone
    by a factor of four (two stops), but I do welcome the changes they have
    made in all areas.

    David J Taylor, Sep 6, 2005
  20. Graham Archer

    ASAAR Guest

    You may be right, especially if the feature sets of new cameras
    have been unduly influenced by the manufacturer's marketing-droids.
    ASAAR, Sep 6, 2005
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