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Old Dec 9, 2005, 12:44 PM   #11
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mtngal - as you use your fz more, I'd really like to hear your impressions of it vs your 717. I have a 707 and I'm seriously considering getting a fz-30. The main things I want from the upgrade are:

1. a longer reach
2. IS
3. to get rid of the haze on most of my pics
4. added capacity (707 can only use 128mb sticks)
5. increased viewfinder speed

Concerning #2, I get a lot of blurry pics. I've always figured it was me not holding the camera still, but as I read more I think I'm going to try playing with ISO and shutter speed.

#5 is my biggest "dumb" gripe. When I go to review pics or show someone what I have, the Sony always takes a second to "focus" the review pic. Not a big deal, but it bothers me.

I've found your threads in the pany forum and hope to read ans see more soon!

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Old Dec 9, 2005, 1:30 PM   #12
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Dissonance wrote:
3. to get rid of the haze on most of my pics
Bumping up your contrast settings will help that part (but that causes a loss of detail). That's one reason you're seeing more shadow detail from your camera (it's probalby not trying to overprocess the images).

The best solution (with the least loss of detail) is to use Unsharp Mask (USM) for this purpose using a large radius and low threshold. When performed this way, it's known as "Local Contrast Enhancement" (a.k.a. defogging).

Here is a section of a FAQ for Minolta owners that discusses it:


A number of image editors have the ability to use Unsharp Mask (Paint Shop Pro, Adobe Photoshop, or even some free editors like GIMP).

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Old Dec 9, 2005, 2:53 PM   #13
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TK - Here's my opinion on your points:

1. The longer zoom is very nice, and I've already used it. It's taking a bit of getting used to because I wasn't always that careful with the Sony (used a fast shutter speed so often). It's one of the Panasonic's best attributes, compared with the Sony.

2. IS - I didn't miss it with the Sony at all. Granted, I did have photos with camera shake, especially when I first got it because a really light camera is harder for me to hold still than a heavy one like my old Pentax 35mm. Once I got used to it, I only occasionally found myself with blurry photos. However, with all that extra zoom it's a very nice feature to have. It won't correct everything, as I found out trying to take an indoor, not well lit, no-flash photo, ISO80 which caused the shutter speed to be about 1/4 sec.

3. I always found the F717 to be a bit low on contrast. I always used Photoshop levels to adjust the light and dark and it made a huge difference in the clarity. In fact, one time I took a picture of wildflowers in the fog and wanted the foggy effect. The camera washed out too much of the flower color, so I adjusted the levels and could get it to the point where I had no fog effect at all. If this is a main concern I'd buy Photoshop or a similar good photo manipulation program, that might work out cheaper than buying a new camera.

4. Card capacity - I used a 128 memory stick in my F717 for a long time, even though it can use the Memory Stick Pro cards. Eventually I got one and was delighted that I could store more than 50 some-odd pictures on it. I got a 1GB SD card when I bought the FZ30, but find that I'm still limited to about 50 some-odd pictures because the FX30 is an 8 mp camera and (in my opinion)the raw format is so superior to the jpg format that I'll almost always use raw, and those files are huge! Your gain isn't as great as you might think.

5. The F717 did that, too! It would instantly bring up a fuzzy picture (oh dear, I gotta reshoot that!) and then finish loading the file. When you go to the review mode the FZ30 says "please wait..." and then loads the photo, so there is a delay.But it transitions better between photos once it starts the review and doesn't have that intermediate step the Sonys have.

My stupid gripe with the Panasonic is that the lens cap doesn't have a tether - I got very used to the Sony's and the first day I kept dropping the cap, then I put the camera away with the cap in my pocket. Yesterday I went over to a camera shop and spent $3.00 on a tether because it was driving me up a wall!
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