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Old Nov 1, 2004, 11:57 AM   #41
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Hi HBillSmith:

Great article... recommended reading. Thanks!!! This is why I suggest that folks who want a big zoom should take a look at the FZ-1 - now going for around $180, and just upgrade the firmware to an FZ-2.

It's great to have a compact superzoom with IS. Apart from the FZ-3, the rest of the line took that away marvelous compactness, for marketing purposes - mainly, and I think it's a shame.

The link within the article you provided, http://www.photo.net/equipment/digital/sensorsize/ is also excellent. Great for a technical understanding in greater depth than what is presented here. I would bet that the Leica-branded lens has a high MTF curve, which along with the Venus processor's ability to boost diagonal resolution, accounts for the excellent image quality of these cameras - esp the FZ-1. The comments below this article were also very good. As the author stated in reply to the comments:

"It's not to say more pixels aren't better, but that there are pixles and then there are pixels. Not all pixels are equal and there may be good reasons to chose a camera with less pixels and a larger sensor* than a camera with more pixles and a smaller sensor - all else being equal. The fact that you CAN get pretty good images out of a tiny sensor is great, since it means you can make really tiny cameras, just realize those tiny cameras have their limitations, especially in terms of DOF, aperture restrictions and ultimate image quality - and they still would even if they were 25 megapixels!"

(* I would argue, "... megapixels counts that correspond to the design/size of the sensor") The FZ-1v2 was balanced. Pana went out to make a compact superzoom with image stabilization where the lens, the number of megapixels, and the CCD size were optimized to work together within their interrelating constraints. Everything that has come after, has been a concession to market demands. >In my opinion< As for the constraints of the camera, there are viable work-arounds:

1. Weak flash - get yourself a Vivitar DF200 and an L-bracket. I don't leave home - when shooting indoors, without it

2. 2 MP. Not an issue for Web or 6X4 prints. Up the resolution with Genuine Fractals (100 uses free trial) for 8X10's or use Fred Miranda's "Staired Interpolation" PS action ($15) to boost it to 300 ppi. I get terrific results with GF and an PS sharpening action. (Betchya can't tell if my 8X10's were taken with a 2 or 6 MP cam.) Several Fugi cameras use interpolation in-camera to boast "6 MP resolution" from a 3 MP sensor. Guess what? If they (Fugi) didn't specify that they use interpolation, no one would know, and in any case the Fugi's are known to have excellent image quality where there is 100% gain in pixels using interpolation. I can do the same thing, with excellent results on larger prints using the FZ-1. You don't gain detail using interpolation - and that's not the point, what it does is preserves existing detail while increasing pixel density for larger prints.

3. No autofocus assist. Indoors in low light look for a vertical line to set focus. In >very< dark scenarios, use spot focus if you can or get yourself a small laser pointer. (I find those things annoying anyway. Poor subject - autofocus, pre-flash white balance, red-eye reduction flash, main flash. No wonder getting folks to take a pic is sometimes like pulling teeth...)

Thanks again for this great read. Also, I hear many folks are switching over to Jasc. Seems like it's more geared to digital photography and is more user friendly.


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Old Nov 1, 2004, 12:26 PM   #42
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I read this somewhere, and would like to know if it's true that the human eye see's at ove 200 megapixels?

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Old Nov 2, 2004, 10:21 AM   #43
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All you ever wanted to know about sensors, noise, pixels, depth of field, brand comparison, etc. can be found at Photozone. Absord all this and you can sign up to teach classes. :lol:
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