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Old Jul 25, 2006, 5:47 AM   #1
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Myself, Like manyother amateur photographerswho wanted to have a digital camera that would answer most of their needs, like photo quality, long zoom with optical image stabilizer, high ISO performance for low light shooting, fast and responsive camera with good ergonomics and easy handling, wide range of manual controls,high performancefixed lens and all in a nice compact body and an affordable price.

Some may ask, is it to much to ask for, and I say that it depends mostly of why you need and what your get and for what price. All of what I mentioned above is what I generally want in my next digicam.

I saw the reviews on the Panasonic FZ30 on many web sites and really was amazed about how advanced digicams apposed to DSLR cameras can be, and for the right price I would probably get one for myself.

But, there is always a 'but', Some problems were raised by many users who really fell in love with those digicams (FZ series) and the fact that the High noise in higher ISO sensitivities couldn't be solved and worse it wasnot getting betterin every new camera. The problem will be there as long as the CCD sensor is small, but can Panasonic do anything about it, they went from 8MP to 10MP so it usually not the right path, but then they mentioned the latest Venus Engine III, and some sample photos were released (check HERE!), and I was getting really optimistic about the future of digicams, taking to consideration that an equivalent camera with the same focal range on a DSLR will costmore $$.

So here we go, new generation cameras are gonna be here soon, but lets talk about the new Panasonic FZ50 and what do you think will change according to the new specs.

Share your opinions...
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Old Jul 25, 2006, 10:23 AM   #2
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I agree in general with Idan. I am very surprized at the somewhat negative response of this forum's members to the FZ50 announcement, especially given the amazing value that Panasonic is able to deliver. I think that Panasonic are exemplary in being responsive to reviews of their products, and remarkably rapid in being able to turn around engineering changes, year to year. Hats off to the Panasonic engineering team! And I believe that if you really don't want the expense or hassle of a DSLR, then you really aren't giving up much with an FZ50 (or even an FZ30, for that matter). From my point of view, the FZ50 will marginalize (i.e. make diminishing returns of) any investment in DSLRs. But then, I'm an amateur.

I don't know if I really need an FZ50 (though I love the focus and zoom rings). I'll probably wait for the DMC-FZ8 (same as an FZ7 with the Venus III and an 8MP sensor) :-)

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Old Jul 25, 2006, 10:55 AM   #3
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I used a FZ1 for years, various Olympus P&S before that and recently started using a FZ30, and while I think the FZ50 has potential I don't think it's the holy grail of digicams or ultrazooms. From the images I've seen so far it shows less noise at higher ISO than the FZ30, but seems to lose some fine detail in the process. Some will surely think that's a fair tradeoff, but not everyone.

At first glance it appears to be a step foward, but Panasonic seems to have taken the software route to lowering noise instead of the (better) hardware route by using a better or larger sensor.

So I'm cautiously optimistic at this point and willing to wait until we have more hands on reviews of production models that really show us what the FZ50 is capable of at various ISO levels, hopefully with side by side comparisons to older FZs.


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Old Jul 25, 2006, 11:08 AM   #4
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From looking at the sample photos from the link above, it's clear that the Venus III is doing some extensive noise reduction at the expense of details. No different really than what we get running pics through Neat Image or Noice Ninja. The pictures begin to look like oil paintings.

It would be interesting to see a comparison of RAW images between the FZ-30 and FZ-50.

I'll still try to reserve judgement until they're out on the market and in capable user's hands.
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Old Jul 25, 2006, 6:48 PM   #5
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An Old Newbies point of view. (FZ50)

When the FZ30 was announced the DOOM & GLOOM opinions took over the discussion boards. The FZ30 has turned out to be a pretty good camera. I have seen beautiful photos posted on the boards and numerous photos of the day that came out of the FZ30. If the DOOM & GLOOM folks had been right this would not of happened.

I also hear wait until the reviews of the production camera are available before you decide. IMHO what is more important is wait until some non professionals show us what they can do then decide. When the reviews for the FZ30 showed up it made me interested enough to watch for regular folks posting their photos, after seeing what regular folks could do I ordered my FZ30.

Sometimes I think because I know nothing about cameras and don't understand all the camera talk I have an advantage. I am doing the same thing about the FZ50. I will see what regular folks can do then I will make a decision.

Just a Old Newbies opinion no more no less.

roger (The Old Newbie)
FZ 30, Nikon TCE17, QuikAim Max RDS, Zeiss Digiscope/Sony W7
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Old Jul 26, 2006, 1:34 AM   #6
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On my side I think that comparing bridge to DSLR is interesting, but not exactly fair...some would like to have same performances whiles price is almost half (if considering a >10x zoom).

Why not, sometime, compare also with a compact camera? I assume that would be very interesting.

The more I read on camera, The more I think that we have something for the price we pay...

I will probably buy an FZ50 (I still wait for a deep review). I have seen this slight blurry effect due to noise reduction, on the other hand, I will not print poster size often, and probably never...some will say "why having a 10MP then?" because I have no choice....everybody is doing a lot of MP now.
I like some common points between fz50 and dslr; like manual zoom and focus, lot of manual settings, but I also like the light weigth and the ultrazoom of the FZ. infact, everything depends of what you will do with it... I do a lot of trekking and don't want to bring on my back 3kg of dslr and lens on my back (and change the lens etc...).

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Old Jul 27, 2006, 7:18 PM   #7
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The new Venus Engine does look more effective than the old one, but it isn't doing much to improve the inherent quality of the images. In fact, it appears to do a sloppier job than a typical noise reduction program. I doubt this camera does much over the FZ30 to improve quality for those who want more professional looking images, or those who like to tweak in Photoshop.

However, it should be a boon for those who do not tweak images and who don't need large prints. A 4x6 print of an ISO 400 image taken directly out of the FZ50 will likely look much better than from the FZ30 to the typical user.
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