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Old Jun 6, 2006, 11:26 PM   #1
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Perhaps someone would care to give me a few pointers. Leaving both cameras in program mode, outdoor pics on my Nikon CP 995 not only have a more natural (realistic) color but many of the images, particularly the wooded area behind my house have more depth -- almost 3-dimensional in comparison to my FZ30, which looks dimensionaly flat.

While the FZ30 slightly out performs my CP 995 for fine detail, the CP 995 seems to have a better center focus. Pics taken within say 10 to 50 feet at wide angle will invariably have a slightly, but nevertheless noticeable sharper center focus.

I've tried reducing contrast, saturation, and NR. I've put the sharpening on high as well as used manual focus and changed the resolution. I've used center and spot focusing. All this I've done in various combinations, but regardless of what I do my old Nikon out performs the Panasonic in realistic color and for lack of a better phrase - three dimensional depth at wide angle.

When taking far distant pics, the Panasonic will slightly out-perform my CoolPix for clarity. I would also rate the white balance better on the Panasonic particularly in low-light situations, but the CoolPix will still focus better in the center.

I think what I find most frustrating is that , if one keeps both cameras in program mode and simply shoots, 8 times out of 10, my old Nikon's 4 x 6 prints will be preferred by others.

I've seen some absolutely outstanding photos by other FZ30 owners on this site and elsewhere; so I'm assuming the fault must be my own i.e., other settings are required that I have not yet mastered.

I have my son's wedding to go to in less than a month, and at this point, I'm not sure which camera I'm going to take. In it's day, the CooPix 995 was considered an excellent Prosumer camera with considerable features and even now it's Point and Shoot capability seems to be better than my FZ30.

If anyone has any suggestions, I am happy to listen and learn.

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Old Jun 7, 2006, 9:53 AM   #2
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Got any examples for comparison that you can post?
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Old Jun 7, 2006, 10:27 AM   #3
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Firstly welcome to the forum mate ! Although I don;t have an FZ30 myself - I'm still using the old FZ10 I would however recommend using the FZ's in A/S/M modes to get the best out of the cam. I had the same problem when I first got my FZ10 and wondered why my small 2mp Coolpix was giving me better pics than the FZ10 esp after I had seen some really stunning pics taken with the Pana. Personally, I don;t think you can use the FZ's like a P&S if you do the results are not always good therefore, I always shoot in manual mode with all of the in cam settings to low (sharpness, saturation and contrast), spot metering, iso 50 or with the 30 try and stick to 80-200 - for best quality keep it at 80-100; set the quality setting to High Quality Jpeg or if you want to RAW, NR set that to low if your shooting Jpeg theres a few other settings that some of the '30 users can tell you what to set. Auto WB and expsoure settings on the FZ30 seems to be pretty spot on from what I've seen. You should also turn of continous AF and use Mode 2 OIS. Hope that helps and do post some example shots.



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Old Jun 7, 2006, 2:03 PM   #4
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Could you give us more info about the 3D depth missing for the FZ30, like aperture, speed, etc (exif files of Nikon + pana would be great)? If your FZ30 was at A=2.8, the depth of field can be quite short, and thus the in focus parts of the subject too.

About colour, have you tried the WB fine tuning ? Filters?


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Old Jun 7, 2006, 8:11 PM   #5
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Ok, I finally have the Pics for you to compare. In my mind there is no comparison. My old CoolPix 995 took the better picture - realistic color and greater depth. I hope someone can help me. I don't think I should have to jump through photographic hoops to get my FZ30 to take a good pic.

The differences become even more apparent when printed.

Here's the link:


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Old Jun 7, 2006, 8:41 PM   #6
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Oops! Here's the correct link:


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Old Jun 7, 2006, 9:33 PM   #7
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Hi Aragorn7, I've been lurking around the forums for the past 6 months, and having decided on purchasing an fz30 I'd like to make a comment, based on what I've learned here.

I checked out your pics and comparing the nikon pic with the fz30high res (pic 2), I don't really think one pick is better than the other, just different. I noticed in the exif information on the fz30 that the contrast was set at soft and the saturation on low.I might be off the mark here but I bet if you set for more saturation youwould get an image more closely resembling the nikon shot. Just a thought :idea:.

From what I've seen here at the forums, you could get some great wedding shots with you fz30. I'm so envious. (see I'm green).

Best regards

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Old Jun 7, 2006, 10:05 PM   #8
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Thanks, Maw,

I have tried very different adjustments for the Pics including increasing the contrast and saturation.In fact, it was one of the first things I tried. The troubling thing is that others who have seen my 4x6 glossy prints quickly jump to the Nikon print without anyhesitation.It really stands out when printed.

Both the CP and FX30 use 1.8 CCD's, though the Panasonic has squeezed over twice as many pixels on the CCD. That's the reason I tried taking the pic also at close to the same resolution as the Nikon, but the results appeared no better.

I am going to try another attempt tomorrow at the same time of day and try underexposing the pic. Perhaps highlights are being obscured some how.
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Old Jun 8, 2006, 4:39 PM   #9
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Well, I tried increasing the contrast to high and under exposing slightly. That seemed to help a little. I compared my prints to the actual setting and the Panasonic comes closer to rendering the the overall colors accurately, but I still think it lacks depth in the prints and the shadow areas are not as dark.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"It also appears to me that the pictures from my Panasonic take on an overallgreen hue - even the shadow areas, where the Nikon's greens and browns are greater in range and that may be what gives it added depth in this particular scene.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"Does anyone else have any comments or ideas?

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Old Jun 8, 2006, 5:04 PM   #10
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I'll make a comment....

The Nikon image has got more contrast. Most people like that since it gives an image more "punch".

But, it can cause loss of detail (shadows areas too dark, brighter areas too bright) if it's overdone.

As others have pointed out, you had contrast and saturation dialed down from defaults in the Panasonic Image. You could increase contrast in an editor if you wanted a more contrasty image.

Lighting may have also changed between images (they were not taken at exactly the same time, and lighting can change in the blink of an eye as clouds move around in the sky).

FWIW, I think the old Sony 3 Megapixel CCD used in this Nikon is one of the better ones. It's got much larger photosites for each pixel compared to the sensor in the Panasonic. So, dynamic range will likely be better from it. That's going to impact results.

But, most of what you're seeing is just differences in the way the images are being processed by the camera, with a more contrasty image coming from the Nikon.

Edit... I only looked at the first couple of images. I see more settings were used.

You're going to have metering and image processing differences between cameras, just like you have differences between film. But, you can use settings (or an editor) to help tune them more to your liking.

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