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Old Sep 9, 2006, 7:43 AM   #1
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If I should take a second UZ after my FZ20, it'd probably be a FZ30, which is a great step forward from 20 and now much rebating price-wise.

In FZ50 I like the better WB fine tuning, some more controls and possibility to have decent 800x600 ISO 800 images (Cf dpreview's sample).
I also like the cleaner ISO 100-200 images (no need to PP the full MP pics to have clean skies in 100% images).

However the higher NR algorythm worries me, for I already experience too much NR in low light ISO 100-200 shots from my FZ20, and it's gonna be worse with 50.

I know everyone can do what he wants with his bucks, but until there are persons buying each new model that appears on the shelves, Pana developers will continue the race for more MP instead of trying to provide better images (resolution and color-wise, broader Dynamic range ...).

I agree with DPREVIEW's review, except for the vote: I would have given it a "RECOMMENDED" (and a "HIGHLY RECOMMENDED" to the FZ30, a real improvement over the predecessor).

I also cannot really understand why didn't they provide a dam_ more detailed scale for image parameters like Sharpening, Saturation, contrast and NR, with something like "no" (= RAW, noVIII editing), "very low", "low", "medium-low" , then "default/ 0" and "medium-high", "high" , "very high", "maximum", thus 9 steps (from -4 t o +4) of image param. adjustments....

Maybe they preserved that for the next model.... as with some more manual controls (on the body) for faster options changes.

However the results we get with this heavily NR pics depend on the lamentations for noise about the past models.

UZ with small ccds simply cannot do just anything a good dSLR can, but for most of the users a honest 5-6 Mp , 1/1,8" CCD would be a better option than a "druged" 10Mp.

I have spent great efforts to resist to the temptation to upgrade my FZ20 when FZ30 appeared, just to see how its successor would have been.
I am not very disappointed by the results I have seen from the FZ50, but IMO I would not even distantly think about it if I had a FZ30 (neither If I could easily sell it for a good amount).
Buying the latestcamera (or PC model, or car, or game else) won't make you a better photographer and you'll struggle with yourself not to admit you quite wasted your money***.
Until the demand is high, the quality of the new models (images, new functions, body) will only improve very slowly, notwithstanding concurrence.

So before making a new donation to Pana, ask yourself if you really need those few features more, and ask yourself if that will be sufficient to give you the same quality of the shots (letting apart personal skill and artistic inclinations) like those of Tchuanye,Seemolfor others who still use 'old' FZ10/FZ5 with limited res. and features vs. FZ 30-50.


*** PS an exception is Tiger98 contemporary post, which demonstrates that FZ50 pics are not superior (and maybe inferior) to FZ30 ones.
I already noticed that FZ30 pics at 100% looked softer than 5Mp FZ20 images, although, when both resized, the 8 Mp really show up the difference in better res (or better possibility to crop images like no add lens macros at12x zoom and 1,5-2m distance from subject).
NOw Tiger98 may be wrong with his "test" (the results of which are not shown,and the response/opinion on picsis waya subjective fact -though noise and IQ evaluation are rather are objective and only can depend on your eyes quality) in which case FZ50 images are maybe as good/bad as FZ30 ones, but hardly better.... andhe says he really wished FZ50 was
BETTER than 30 ! And I'd bet he surely would have (and anyone of us FZ owners would too).

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Old Sep 11, 2006, 3:25 AM   #2
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thanks Francesco,

I like your thoughts!

>Maybe they preserved that for the next model....

Panasonic always preserves some badly needed and important features.....

This policy prevents me from buying a new (updated) camera.P. sets the focus on new customers. We all do a perfect advertising with our old stuff though. ;-)

But if they don't help old customers (firmware development and providingreally needed models: FZ6/FZ40,6 MPixel) they will have problems on the long run. Many of us have started with dSLRs and will not update the FZs. The new FZ50was bought by inexperienced users first, their samples were as bad as Panasonics "samples". -Many thanks to an expert like Tiger/Jim for hispersonal view and comparison!

This couldhave beenmy next camera:

- size and weight close to the FZ7

- expert version: 6MP, focus on resolution and sharpness

(christmas versions with 30 Mpixel for all the others....)

- no venus III, venus II compatibilitymode

- new sensor, with higher contrast range!

-flash plug (or hot shoe)

- metal thread

- configurable user interface: buttons

- design allowing constant firmware developments (eg. SD capacity)

- remote control

- USB functions like a canon powershot

- no hotpixels during the first two years (or built-in hotpixel editor)

- service with 2 weeks return or replace policy

nice to have:

- raw

- simple mode avoiding clipped highlights

- zoom preview for sharpness

- lcd twistable 3''

- long exposures - around 60 sec. or more

- less postprocessing (these will be the cameras of our children soon!)

- HDR capabilities

- TTL flash

just a dream:

- better development with an update cycle around 2 years, based on new developments like sensor type.

Hey it's a LEICA lens, built for eternity!

- SDK software developer kid.

- a sensor with analogue characteristics (non clipping)


Knowing that these needs will never be fulfilled, I will have to search formuch heavier cameras. Seeing the "improvements"of the FZ50 helps me to search for a dSLR with prime lenses next year.

A cheap FZ10/20 (30) would be a nice addition in the meantime.


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Old Sep 11, 2006, 4:13 AM   #3
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I agree Sven and I am also starting to think about a FZ30, although my 20 still performs well (for the first time in nearly 2 years it fell from my hands yesterday on a stone: no damage).

To your list I d also add an useable ISO 800 (also like FZ50 one, though a bit less NReduced).

I also agree with the general comments about the lack of firmware upds.
There could be very simple things addable through them.
One for all:
the 2nd Manual WB options for FZ10-15-20-5.
Last august I hit what I think is a nearly perfect Manual WB (setting it maybe around 9x zoom on a white-grey cloud and also including a small/medium percentage of blue sky). The result is that I am using this Manual WB for all (99%) of the daylight and twilight shots instead of Auto (too bluish and blue cast in shadows and clouds) or Daylight WB (too yellowish) but now I cannot set new Manual WB in other situations (indoor or else) for I fear it'll be hard to recatch a similarly good one...


PS posted some new shots in a week ago post:

and also thanks for that link to a bouncing /diffusing flash page which you sent me as a private message (I only found a few days ago that I had some 10-15 ones from the last year)

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Old Sep 12, 2006, 12:30 AM   #4
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I did not mention the ISO because all tests of the higher ISOs helped Panasonic to degrade the quality of their pictures. We should not compare these cams with dSLRs.

I did not use ISO 400 films in my SLRs because they were too grainy. This is just the same with "low" budged digitals. ISO 50-80 has to be enough without dSLRs.

I am missing adjustable buttons for favorite settings (eg. WB) too!


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