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Old Jul 23, 2005, 8:17 AM   #1
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I use my Panasonic FZ20 mainly for birds photography. My only problem with the FZ20 is that it does not do well while hand held in low light. I take pictures in the tropical forest where the lights are usually dim.

I am thinking of upgrade to Canon Rebel XT with Canon 400mm f:5.6L lens. With the new Panasonic FZ30 coming to the market. I wonder will it be worth the extra weight and money choosing the Rebel XT instead of the FZ30?
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Old Jul 23, 2005, 10:44 AM   #2
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If you are a really dedicated bird shooter you want to be using an SLR with a lens like the 400/5.6L. It costs more money and you'll have to do a little work in post editing, as JPEGS right out of the XT won't be as heavily processed as what you are seeing right now with what you are using, but the first time you see a finished imaged from the XT using that lens you'll wonder why you were ever using a digicam with a pinky-sized sensor to shoot birds, especially when you get in a low light situation and have to resort to ISO 400 or even 800. There will be no hunting with the XT/400 unless you point it at a totally black object with no detail.

Is it worth the money to you? If you have the money and are willing to carry the outfit (the Rebel XT weighs nothing, it's the lens, and the 400/5.6 is one of the lighter "L" primes) then yes it's worth it. The one thing that can be difficult about the 400/5.6 is it has no image stabilization. If you get to where you are shooting at ISO 800 and cannot get a faster shutter speed than, say 1/125 second you really are starting to get into the danger area where camera shake will kill your images. You'll need a monopod with a decent ballhead to help in those situations.
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Old Jul 23, 2005, 12:18 PM   #3
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I have the 400mm f5.6 along with 100-400L IS. use it my 10D. Started with FZ1 and have the FZ5 but as far as picture quality is concerned, there is no comparison. But then you are going to be paying around $2000 vs. $500 of FZ20.

400mm f5.6 doesn't have IS but it isa very light lens (compartively speaking). It is one the best lenses for birds in flight shots. I usually hand hold it for ss greater than 1/1000sec. Even 100-400IS, I can only go to 1/125sec. I have some shots at 1/90 with that lens. Don't know how Greg manages 1/125 on 400mm f5.6, hand holding.

But you should get a CF tripod and nice ball head for slow ss situations. I routenly use 1.4xTC with 400mm f5.6 and it works very nice, much better than using TC on my 100-400L.

If you don't want to get tripod/head, then look at 100-400L. It is quite versatile lens. You can use it at sports, events, zoo and where every you feel like.A bit heavier but has IS.
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Old Jul 23, 2005, 3:31 PM   #4
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It can be done! This is at 1/100 sec, zoomed to 365mm


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Old Jul 23, 2005, 3:34 PM   #5
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and here's 1/125 sec, zoomed to 400mm wide open at f5.6 at pretty much the closestfocus distance.





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Old Jul 23, 2005, 3:51 PM   #6
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Of course, I use this lens plenty with a monopod as well, like the day I took it to the Arboretum. No way I'm hauling that lens for 3-4 hours without something to help hold it up!


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Old Jul 23, 2005, 7:23 PM   #7
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Thanks for all your replies. I am not new to photography. I am retired and now 75 years old. I used to be a Nikon man in the old film SLR era.

I enjoy taking birds photograph as a hobby. I knew the quality of the Canon 400L. I fell in love with the FZ20 because of it's superb Leica 36-420 mm lens, it's light weight and the image stabilizer.

Your comments are very useful for my dicision. Money is not my concern. I can not take them to heaven with me anyway. I do not think the ideal camera for me have to be the most expensive one. I want to know wether the new bigger sensor of the FZ30 will give me good noise free pictures in low light conditions.

The differences between dSLR and mega zoom digital are less and less every day now. Look at the D50 and the FZ30.

Here are facts about the new FZ30 that stopped me from buying the RebelXT/400L, at least for a while.:-)

http://panasonic.co.jp/pavc/global/l...z30/index.html
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Old Jul 23, 2005, 10:28 PM   #8
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Hi ruchai,

I can't quite understand why you narrowed down your choice betweenthe FZ30and the XT. The XT is a much more capable camera, and is a part of an SLR system with interchangeable lenses. For example, the Lumix is only capable of ISO 400, which at times can be extremely limiting., while the XTgoes to ISO 1600 (ISO 3200 for the 20D). The XT has a huge variety of lenses to choose from to suit different situations from macro to super telephoto giving outstanding results across the board ... while the Lumix is limited totwo conversion lensesthat are available to adjust focal length.

It sounds like you are looking for ahigh quality point and shoot style camera, especially if you were intending to only one lens to do everything. If this is the case maybeyou should be making your choice between the Lumix F30and a Canon Pro-1 or a Nikon Coolpix 8800.

I know nothing about the Pro-1 or Coolpix 8800, so can't say whethereither is better or worse than the F30 ... but I'm sure there are some reviews out there that can help you with your choice. I'm sure they are all really nice cameras though ...

Just my $0.02.



Regards,



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Old Jul 23, 2005, 10:59 PM   #9
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Here is the baseic spec:? comparison of the two cameras,
I think the biggest one that actually has a bearing on the cameras imaging capabilities is the first one, the sensor size, the Rebel-XT sensor is 9 times the size of the FZ30, and they are both trying to pack the same number of photosites into their respective sensors areas.

Fz30 has a 1/1.8 sized sensor, that is packing 8mp into a 7.2mm * 5.3mm sensor area.
Rebel-XT has a aps-c sized sensor, that is packing 8mp into a 22.2mm x 14.8mm sensor area.

FZ30's Lens Real size: 7.4 - 88.8 and in 35 mm Equiv.: 35 - 420 mm : F2.8/F3.7 - F11
Rebel-XT Lens: Any canon EF lens

FZ30's shutter: 8 - 1/2,000
Rebel-XT Shutter: 30 - 1/4000 sec & Bulb

FZ30's ISO: 80 / 100 / 200 / 400
Rebel-XT ISO: 100 / 200 / 400 / 800 / 1600

FZ30's Battery life: 280 pictures (CIPA Standard***) / 300 pictures (with EVF****)
Rebel-XT battery life: 600 shots w/o flash; 400 shots w/50% flash

And of course the Rebel is bigger and more trouble to carry around.:roll:

Peter.
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Old Jul 23, 2005, 11:06 PM   #10
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Peter,

I couldn't find any info stating one way or the other, but does the FZ30 use a Foveon sensor? If it does, then it wouldn't have close to the resolution of a typical 8.3 MP camera (maybe closer to 4-5 MP).



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