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Old Jun 11, 2004, 8:36 AM   #1
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Ok, I understand that they "may" be two different classes of camera. The FZ10 being geared to a all-in-one small package, and the G5 being classified as an "enthusiast" camera. I am basically a point and shoot type of person, but am not averse to learning about photography to make it more enjoyable. My wife is more into fiddling with the manual features, I think.

I've trolled through the messages, and from what I can glean, the predominant question is "What do you want to do with the camera?" We like taking general family and vacation type photos, so that will be a lot of group outdoor type of settings, as well as some indoor museum type shots. Also like to go to airshows a bit (which is why I like the FZ10). So with that said...

The big question I have, is that since they are around the same price range, what would I be gaining (besides 1 more megapixel) with the G5 (basically, the pros and cons)? Is the image quality that much better? (Oh, the other thing being we generally print from an Epson 785EPX, so no large printing unless we took the memory card to a shop) From what I understand, there would just be more manual capabilities, at the trade-off of zoom and image stabilization. Is that basically about right? (Of course with the G5, I could add lenses...and then carry them around)

My thoughts right now are:


Pros: Convenient, nice zoom, image stabilization Cons: More limited in manual features than the G5, more limited add-ons

Canon G5

Pros: Manual features, 5MP, "Better" image (?), Can use current memory (CF) Cons: Have to add on lenses to regain zoom (and carry them, not as convenient)

PS-I currently have an old Nikon Coolpix 2 MP camera, and am thinking about upgrading because it's starting to give me mechanical trouble. Originally I started looking at the Canon S1 IS, but gotuncomfortable by comments about the auto-focus problem.

Thanks for your consideration, and any advice you can give, just looking to have some fun with digital photography, and not buy something wishing I had spent the same amount of money on something different.

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Old Jun 11, 2004, 9:57 AM   #2
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As you have already learned, the primary use you will put the camera to can be very helpful as a guide here.

If your shooting style tends to keep you in the shorter focal length range, the G5 is the better choice because all things considered, it does take superior images and has a one megapixel boost in resolution over the FZ10. But if you find yourself wanting to shoot any wildlife (birds, etc.) the FZ10 far out performs the G5 and the G5's resolution advantage in no way makes up for the FZ10's extreme telephoto zoom range.

The FZ10's forte is versatility over a wide range of focal lengths. 35mm to 420 mm (aprox) is a great range, and you can easily add a tele extender to the FZ10. Both the Olympus TCON-17 1.7x and TCON 14B 1.45x (highly recommended) work very well with available telephoto adapters. This brings the usable range to over 600mm which is quite dynamic considering this is a smaller, hand-held camera.

Using the same 1.45x teleconverter with the G5 gets you only about 205mm and even with the 1 megapixel resolution advantage you still can't crop and reach anywhere near a useful 600mm equivalency.

So the choice boils down to whether you really need those longer focal lengths or not. With your Nikon (assuming CP950 or equivalent) you could use a TC-E3 (3X) tele and get out a good bit further (around 340mm) or even use something like the Eagle Eye OpticZoom 5x or CrystalVue 8x and get about the same distance as the FZ10 with a 1.45x tele. But to do this you would have had to use a bean bag or tripod support to eliminate camera shake. If you found yourself longing for more focal length with your Nikon, then the FZ10 is the camera for you. If this was never an issue, then the G5 would make the better choice.

Either will take excellent images. There is less chromatic aberration with the G5's images and they are crisper. If you do decide on the FZ10, I would suggest also investing in Picture Window Pro 3.5 software to ameliorate or remove chromatic aberration in the long zoom captures. It's not excessive, but the software will allow you to make the images really sparkle. Plan on spending a little time with post processing FZ10 images to get the best. G5 images are pretty good just as they come from the camera.

Best regards,

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Old Jun 11, 2004, 11:50 AM   #3
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The FZ10 is light for its size but quite bulky compared to the G5. The G5 has more resolution with 5Mp and a tad better quality – probably nothing you would see in an 8 X 10 print unless you crop.

I don't know of anything the G5 has that the FZ10 lacks in the way of control features. The G5 is limited in the combination of aperture and shutter you can use in manual exposure where the FZ10 isn't. And the zoom isn't continuous on the G5 where it is on the FZ10. The G5 has better physical controls. But everything is there in the FZ10 – you just have to go to the menu to access more things. The manual focus control is a lot nicer on the FZ10. And the articulated LCD on the G5 is a better feature than the larger fixed LCD on the FZ10 IMO.

The FZ10 has a weak flash, which limits its use some as a family camera. You can buy an inexpensive automatic flash unit for it. You would improve your flash pictures with an attachment for any camera, but you need it with the FZ10.

The FZ10 would blow the G5 out of the water at an airshow. It would also be better in the museum as the stabilization is worth at least 2 stops. For general family photos I think the G5 is a better camera and you might get your wife to carry it in her purse.

If you set the contrast, saturation and sharpening to taste I don't see that FZ10 images need post processing any more than anything else. I shoot with minimum sharpening and contrast in all of my cameras so everything needs post processing to look crisp, but at default settings the FZ10 images look OK to me.

The G5 is considered to have a little more CA than comparable 4X zooms and the FZ10 is considered good for a 12X zoom. Of course in absolute terms you will get more CA and purple fringing (different thing) at full tele in the FZ10, but I don't think it excessive enough to require buying separate software for it. Graham has an interesting idea that might work with any good image editor:

You might one day purchase a wide format printer and 5Mp is better than 4. I don't print my FZ10 images larger than 11 X 14 where I can get OK 13 X 19s from my two 5Mp cameras. I often have to use Neat Image to reduce noise for large prints from any camera. The only way around that is to buy a DSLR. I'm waiting to see how the Minolta DSLR tests out as I have come to really like stabilization at any focal length.

If you have use for a long zoom the FZ10 can't be beat right now. If you need something less bulky the Canon S1 is only 3Mp but a very nice camera with excellent movies. For an "only" camera I think the G5 is an excellent choice for a general purpose family camera.
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Old Jun 12, 2004, 6:49 AM   #4
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Thanks for the thoughtful replies!

I think one important thing is what Lin said about wishing for more focallength. That is exactly the kind of thing both my wife and I do not like the most with our current camera. The resolution is ok, even at just 2 MP, our untrained eyes are satisified with the results we get from our Nikon (Yes, it is a CP950).

Thank you very much again for both your inputs!

Edit: Why do I torment myself by going back to read more of Steve's Reviews? I was just clicking around, and also saw the Nikon Coolpix 5700. Any thoughts on that vs. the Panasonic? Obviously, not as wide range of focal length, and no stabilizer, vs. an extra MP, hmm...That plus it can be had for $475 after rebate, + shipping. Darn, if there aren't so many options...

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Old Jun 15, 2004, 2:46 PM   #5
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The Panasonic has what can best be described as "fuckin' ridiculous zoom."

I love it to pieces. if you have any questions, PM me.

I was supposed to play with a S1 IS and compare it to the FZ10, but I haven't had time.
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Old Jun 17, 2004, 2:52 PM   #6
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If you're happy with the resolution on your current camera (2MP), you may wantto consider the Panasonic FZ1 or FZ2. They have the same optical zoom capability as the FZ10 (12x, image stabilized), but cost much less due to the lower resolution. The FZ1 has fewer manual controls, but from what I've read (please correct me if I'm wrong) the FZ2 has a much more full suite of manual controls.
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