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Old Jan 15, 2009, 11:23 AM   #1
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Areview of 7 superzoom cameras has been posted at dpreview, and the Panasonic FZ28 comes out on top! It is the joint winner with the Canon SX10 IS, both rated as "highly recommended". However the review says, of the two, the FZ28..."is the one we'd pick up when going for a walk and didn't fancy carrying an SLR."

I've been waiting anxiously for this review to come out, to confirm (I hoped), all the research I'd done before purchasing my FZ28. Glad to read that what I'm experiencing is validated by a more objective source.
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Old Jan 15, 2009, 1:05 PM   #2
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Having used one now for a little while, I certainly cannot argue with any points they make and have been very happy with mine. The ISO 400 and 800 ability especially,is leaps and bounds better than it was on the two-generations earlier FZ8. Exposure metering with the intelligent exposure option turned does a great job with high dynamic range scenes. As long as one is careful to turn on and thenobserve the histogram as you shoot, making the sometimes needed exposure compensation adjustment to keep extreme highlights under control, makes this an awesome camera to get great results with.
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Old Jan 17, 2009, 10:58 AM   #3
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Paste what I wrote on that Forum:

FZ20 - 30 - 50 are another class than those small UZ new cams !

I have used a FZ20 for nearly 4 years before it broke.
Had great results from its lens (despite the sensor size weakness).
I think FZ30 and 50 are the best UZ in the market.

Having moved to dSLR (40D) and needing a UZ as a backup, I substituted the late FZ20 with a FZ28 (although had a lot of doubts to take it over the 50!!!).
When I had the 20, I also was moving to the 50, but the aggressive low iso NR made me choose the newer FZ28.
Its raw CAN output some more fine detail than the JPG (with -2 NR option in camera), but I generally use JPG.
I have few doubts that FZ50 would have been a better cam for me If I hadn't moved to dSLR: I mean, FZ50 can take better macros with the Twistable LCD, flash Hotshoe, F11, larger lens, and larger CCD...

But I intend to use the FZ28 only occasionally, when I cannot bring dSLR and bag with me... so its compact size and Wide Angle is welcome... as the K WB (FZ50 doewsn't have) and some great new features...

But I m quite sure FZ50 is better than 28 in IQ... (as GENECE suggested me)

In real life I also think the noisier FZ30 might be slightly better than 50 (although the 2 more MP make the FZ50 better in studio comparison resolution charts).
IN REAL LIFE, after some months of (indeed not much intensive) use, I still have to wash out all my doubts about the FZ28 capabilities:
I know it would capture much more details in a studio test than a 5MP, but
I AM STILL NOT SO SURE that its clean 10MP (ISO 100-JPG) is even only slightly better than the noisier but more detailed 5MP ISO 80 of the old FZ20 !!!
Full Tele 5MP EZ SEEMS not more detailed than FZ20 + 2x Digital Zoom...
But I cannot take direct comparisons, and have to wait for the sunny days to be sure about that...
Especially in non ideal light conditions (FZ28 is more prone to HL clipping, and has slower AF at tele, than FZ20) which make NR artifacts more evident.... (pity FZ20 had not the RAW but only that USELESS tif).

I mus tsay that FZ28 has a great LCD, and color reproduction is perhaps on par or even slightly better than ANY PICTRE STyLE of my EOS 40D, when both are used with Kelvin WB...
Still a great Cam, although of lower class than the FZ30-50 (and perhaps on par with the old FZ20 overall)
For sure, I can say that FZ28 ISO 200 is much closer to ISO 100 capability that FZ20 ISO 80-200... And FZ28 iso 400 is far more useable than FZ20 ISO 400...

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Old Jan 20, 2009, 10:20 AM   #4
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Made some "proofs" with FZ28 RAWS.

Certainly it's boring that one cannot have the MUCH REQUESTED "NO NOISE REDUCTION" JPG Option, as was prayed for in the FZ50 petition.

Shooting Raw turns the FZ28, from a great toy, to a very useful serious tool (if one uses to pixel peep).

Indeed, especially in non ideal light (amount) the smearing of the details on JPGs (even at -2 NR in Camera setting) seriously compromises fine details also at ISO 100.
RAW + Silky Pix (then setting the two main NR parameters in it to 0 and eventually reducing noise in Photoshop + 3rd parties plugins, only in the parts where NR is needed) gives a lot more detail.
Generally on small CCDs there is not the wide difference as in dSLR from JPGs to RAWs, but considering the amount of NR applied on JPG this turns to be a very nice escape-way...

The minor problem is that one has to also correct CA in Silky Pix (which the Lumixes' Venus Engine has always done greatly on JPGS)...

The BIG problem, is that one cannot use RAW with JOGS...

So if you shoot a bird, you must either do a few shots, where you know you can bring out more detail, provided the AF gets the subject....
OR you can attempt more quick burst series, more certain that you ll be able to grab focus and interesting poses in one or more of the shots in the burst series, but also certain that there will be far more fine details lost in the JPGs, even with -2 NR.

Very sad that PANASONIC engineers are great Technics, but apparently amateurish (at best) photographers !!!

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