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Old Sep 17, 2006, 2:33 AM   #11
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Thanks alot for the comments guys! Its nice to read the professional reviews, but I find that getting feedback peers sometimes can give you greater insight. Of course, there is no secret formula to purchasing a camera, you ultimately have to decide how much you are willing to spend and what you are willing to comprimise on.

BTW, As far as image clarity overalland sensitivity at night time, the FZ30 should, by all means, outperform my Canon A520, correct?
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Old Sep 17, 2006, 7:40 AM   #12
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Hi Contriver!

I´m still pretty new to taking Pictures. Started last year with a Panasonic LZ2, after thinking about buying a digital cam for a long time. Now I have an FZ30, and _for me_ the Limits of this camera go way beyond my limits. However, there are some thoughts I think I should share first and come to _my_ conclusion later.

The FZ30 has some severe Disadvatages to my LZ2, that is the reason why I will put the LZ2 through a bit of polishing up and will carry it with me again.

The FZ30 is a lot bulkier, heavier and more complex to use than the LZ2 point and shoot (which is not far from your current Canon). It is simply not possible to lug my full gear around with me all the time. The worst pictures possible are the ones You don`t get. I have to unpack the FZ30, take the lenshood stored the wrong way on the cam off and put it on again. Then I´ll take the Lens protector off. Then I´ll gain a little time compared to the LZ2 when I power up (this is really fast) and set the Magnification. And then I would be ready to shoot. BUT-then there are numerous settings you have to consider, the Camera was in the wrong mode etc. So effectively I´ll get a better picture if I know what settings to use, and it will take _me_ half a minute or such until I have evrything set up properly. The Flash is very good, btw. But this differs as a process a lot from grabbing a point and shoot and just fireing -my dad has a Canon A85 (the first Gift for Christmas he really uses-and we have been trying for 40 Years!) and this cam makes amazing pics. He has gotten some stuff I didn`t right away, because he was ready to fire off some shots before I and my FZ30 were (of course I came back to the spot and tried again until I got my shot ;-). Of course-if I have my cam with me and if I have the time to shoot-I´ll blow his Pics out of the water resolution and zoom wise. I can select my magnfication in a much wider range. I can screw on Wide angle lenses (I found out that I would need a wider angle on the cam the first day I took pictures with the LZ2 in the deutsche Museum Schleißheim (Flugwerft) in Munich). I can use a tele converter (there are some Pics from Gran can I put on this board yesterday, so you can see for yourself). But I would have never known what I needed would it not have been for the LZ2. I got a pic of a Fighter plane, with a black bird decal glued to the Windowpane of the Museum to stop birds flying into together with a true blackbird sitting outside-because of the tele range of the FZ2. On my first "session" with that Camera. That made me deduce a lot of things.
A) I needed a front thrad-use of Tele/wide angel converters.
B) Having a fast Ultra zoom comes in d*mn handy! Need it, want it!
C) I needed a lot more settings (white Balance, focus etc)
D) I need an polarizer, the cam mus be black so as not to beeing to obvious in pics where there is reflection on a Glass Surface.

So I bought the FZ30.
I found out even more of what I need. But at the Moment, I am not at the limit of the capability envelope of the FZ30.

I need a bigger Sensor to reduce depth of field, but not now.
I need a Camera with much better low light capabilities-but not now(didn`t get a beautifull Picture of the singer of the Hotels Band on my vacation in Gran canaria. There were al sorts of Mirrors with stunning effects (Hotel costa canaria, if soemone is going to try) and the beautifull ucrainian singer was reflected several times while she sung spanish love songs with all her might, while the Germans did not dance to the Music and watched her with polite interest-the pained look in her eyes reflected several times by the Mirrors and disco attire in the 70ies style would have been _IT_! But I failed horribly, light to low. There I would have given a months payment to get a decent low light capability. But honestly, you would have to pay at least two months salarys to buy it!)

So, and that is the biggest BUT, you should try the FZ30!
It is a beautifully made and very capable camera, BUT
don`t expect it to satisfy your camera lust for more than some time. There are cameras and lenses that are superior on the extreme parts of the usage envelope. BUT (next big but, if you excuse the bun ahem, pun) you have to vastly invest more money, you have to lug around a vastly bigger assortment of stuff.

So, baseline: keep your old point and shoot with you all the times, I flinch when I think of all the good pics I missed, because I did not!

If you think you are going to do heavy shooting, pack your FZ30.
Some acceories. This is still a very compact bag.
If you expect realy adverse shooting conditions, add some stuff (UV Filter, Tele converter, polarizer, Wide angle converter, 2.nd Battery, additional Memory cards, brush and cloth against dust, maybe a small tripod or a bigger one, if you don`t have to lug it around to far), that is my normal pack. This is not too much intimidating or draws too much attention, but for me it`s at the brink of it. Everything beyond that is _in my opinion_ not feasible to lug around. That is why I don`t have a DSLR right now-does not afford me big advantages under normal conditions. However, there will be shots you don´t get, but fewer, as with a DSLR where you don`t pack three times its Body Price in added Lenses (that is what I thinkl now. Nobody can prevent me from beeing smarter tomorrow ;-).

So baseline: if you invest a lot of time, post your pics regularily for review, practice regularily and get your settings correct, add some post processing and are willing to lug around about four times the weight of your current cam: You will get pics that blow away the old cams pics on a rate of about 70-90%. Add the pics you dn`t get at all with the old cam, and you are happy. Stand close to a _real_ pro with your old cam, and you will be left weeping. You see, it´s the one that pulls the trigger, for good or for bad. You will improve and learn how to make better pics with your old cam, the FZ30 is easy on you in that respect. You will not be a vastly better photographer over night. But you´ll have a lot more headroom to grow.

`nuff said, and probabaly a lot too much.

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Old Sep 17, 2006, 8:23 AM   #13
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Hi! and Welcome

I also have the FZ30, and feel that RealMash gave a pretty fair commentary of the pros and cons of the camera. I am still in the basic learning stages, and the camera is capable of far more than I am at this point.

However, I have also purchased a point and shoot camera, the FX01, to carry with me most of the time for all the reasons given by RealMash.

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Old Sep 17, 2006, 2:18 PM   #14
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I have been using and owning a fz30 for about 8 months. All i used before were two decent and one point and shot analog cameras and a very basic digital. The FZ30 feels like taking photos again - I have an analog feeling with it that brings me back to using the analog ones, had to stop for years because the prints were too expensive and been using the bad digital one.
So from this very low point of comparsion the Fz30 is great but I can´t help thinking any damn coolpix would be better. I don´t print, I want great pixel quality (http://orangestuff.deviantart.com/) and I get a lot of purple fringing and only 100iso is useable, from 200 on it was a waste to pull the heavy machine out of the sac.
So no, I am not really happy but I have no comparsion. I´ll buy a very small coolpix when I hit an occasion because for everyday use the fz30 is very heavy - if I want anything not daylight I need a tripod, which means yet another schlepp.
I don´t think that the noise issue is being exaggerated, I thought so when I was reading reviews before buying. For a person that gets photo-graphic when the sun goes down that was pretty stupid. :angry:
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Old Sep 18, 2006, 12:05 PM   #15
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Thanks alot RealMash for the very detailed posting! I appreciate your time spent putting all that info together! Thanks to everyone else too! I ask alot of questions on this site and I am very thankful for all the feedback you guys provide!
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