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Old Feb 6, 2007, 11:21 AM   #1
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I have been circling around a purchase of the fz50 for quite some time, balancing it against the Pentax K100D and the Nikon D40. I am a long-time film user, but age has affected my ability to see sharply -- thus auto focus is critical. I have fooled around with digital for a few years, and am basically satisfied with results from my Fuji s7000. Fundamentally, I'm looking for a carry-around camera, and the Panasonic would seem to fill the bill. However, whenever I compare its recorded output with that of the lower resolution dSLRs, I hesitate. I can deal with noise, but the obvious processing "smearing" and softness at ISO over 200 is off-putting. I now see that Panasonic has released the fz8, and is touting the improved processing algorithms in that camera. Does anyone have any information about whether the fz50 will be updated? A larger LCD screen would be nice, as would an upgrade to hi speed USB2, and an improved burst rate. If not that, a Venus III software upgrade would work. The camera seems ideal except for the processing issues.
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Old Feb 6, 2007, 11:59 AM   #2
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This picture of my wife was taken with my FZ50 at 400 ISO and with the venus 3 set at low. Ive never had a problem smearing of my pics. It scared mealso about hearing that problem but in the end decided to check out the camera myself and have found better results for me personallywith this camera over the D50 I tried out for a week.

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Old Feb 6, 2007, 12:07 PM   #3
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we dont know yet is the answer
I hesitate to say, I dont expect a great improvement
but I did read them touting a new version of Venus III
so prudence suggests one should wait for a review with the new engine

Im of the same mind as to what you say
while you are window shopping, be aware that the D40 can only use AF-S lenses for AF
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Old Feb 6, 2007, 12:35 PM   #4
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I'm not shure what you really ask but i'll give you my point of view.

Image quality:
It all depends on what you are going to do with the pictures. If you plan to take photos without cropping and just resizing them there wont be any reason not to consider the fz50. The problems you see with the image quality are only seen if you start viewing images at 100%.
On the other hand if you are going to do a lot of post processing of your shots and viewing them at 100% you might run into this problem.

Now the difference between the fz50 and the k100d, nikon d40:
I was planning an upgrade from my fz5 to maybe the fz50 but found the difference between them in the end not big enough, so the next step was the k100D, and I would have bought it if I didn't had someone sponsoring me a bit so that I ended up with the Pentax K10D.
The difference between the pana en de pentax, the quality and all that is there but again it depends on what you are going to do with the camera and how you feel about using it. Don't look at the quality first, go to a shop and let them explain you the camera, get it in your hands and see how you like it.
I'm not really thrilled with the Nicon D40 in comparison with the pentax. The anti shake in the Pentax makes the pentax imho the winner.

A larger lcd screen:
always remember you can only take shots with the viewfinder when using a dslr.

The future:
I haven't seen any real upgrades in the pana range since the fz30, I've seen the quality slowly (real slowly) going down and don't believe that it will get better. More pixels sells (even in dslr's).

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Old Feb 6, 2007, 1:18 PM   #5
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You got my point. I, too, like the in-body stabilization of the Pentax over the Nikon. I currently have 6 film dSLRs, so am familiar with that type of camera. The k10D seems like much more camera than the k100D. I am inclined to defer the dSLR for a while and try my hand with the Panasonic -- once I'm satisfied with the direction they are taking with image processing. While I have no problem shooting and processing RAW, I am not quite willing to compromise too much with JPEG quality. If it is offered it should be useable. So, while I am not obsessive about 100% viewing quality, I believe I can see the difference between processed and smoothed output, and the more crisp output of the processed JPEGs from either of the Pentaxes.
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