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Old Nov 19, 2005, 7:49 PM   #1
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I am the owner of the Panasonic FZ20 and I am considering moving up to the FZ30. I think the added features and improved handling alone justify trading up for a couple of hundred bucks more. Now, regarding the whole noiseissue that has, I have been tossing arounda couple ofquestions in my mind on which I need clarification. Can anyone help out?
  1. When a lower resolution is chosen (let's say 5 instead of 8 MP on the FZ30), does this mean a smaller space of the 1/1.8 sensor is used or are less (and larger) pixels spanning the full CCD? And, if the latter is true,would this result in a less noisy image? [/*]
  2. How does the "extended optical zoom" feature distinguish itself from a digital zoom, doesn't the digital zoom also just crop the image down to a smaller area with less resolution?[/*]
Your input would be greatly appreciated. Oh, one more question if anyone knows: Has the 3CCD technology used in high end camcorders (and some consumer camcorders by Panasonic) been ever considered for digital still cams? Would it not closely emulate traditional film emulsion, and make a good alternative to the apparently stalled Fovean 3-layer CCD? Has anyone heard anything to that effect? Or is there a reason why that would not work?
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Old Nov 20, 2005, 4:19 AM   #2
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rduve wrote:
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Oh, one more question if anyone knows: Has the 3CCD technology used in high end camcorders (and some consumer camcorders by Panasonic) been ever considered for digital still cams? Would it not closely emulate traditional film emulsion, and make a good alternative to the apparently stalled Fovean 3-layer CCD? Has anyone heard anything to that effect? Or is there a reason why that would not work?
Reasons:

1: Cost. Even on small digicams, the image sensor is a significant percentage of the cost, but on larger cameras that use the APS sized sensor, it would push the cost of the camera out of range for most people.

2: Size. Small digicams are small because of the small size of the single sensor, but add 2 more sensors, plus the prism to split the incoming light onto 3 sensors, and you have increased the size of the camera somewhat.

Now do that on an APS sized sensor and you may have a very large prism/sensor assembly to contend with. Plus on the dSLR's it might negate the use of existing lenses due to an increased light path.

But, as you surmise, it should match the stalled (if not actually dead) foveon sensors for color quality. Actually I think it would outperfom the foveon significantly, especially in noise, color quality and high ISO performance.

Declan
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Old Nov 20, 2005, 5:14 AM   #3
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rduve wrote:
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  1. When a lower resolution is chosen (let's say 5 instead of 8 MP on the FZ30), does this mean a smaller space of the 1/1.8 sensor is used or are less (and larger) pixels spanning the full CCD? And, if the latter is true,would this result in a less noisy image? [/*]
  2. How does the "extended optical zoom" feature distinguish itself from a digital zoom, doesn't the digital zoom also just crop the image down to a smaller area with less resolution?
Your input would be greatly appreciated. Oh, one more question if anyone knows: Has the 3CCD technology used in high end camcorders (and some consumer
[/*]


1. Lower rez is down-sampled in the firmware; to get less noisy image by combining 4 pixels into one (so it uses more collection sites for one 'pixel' is called binning, and can be done by camera such as Olympus 800).

2. Extended optical zoom crops the sensor, and you have a smaller output file (resolution and size), whereas digital zoom will interpolate this upwards to the camera's megapixel rating - I'd just go with shooting the camera's resolution and crop later on (only other reason would be to save file space on camera).

check out this thread wrt to 3ccd:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...hread=15820796
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Old Nov 20, 2005, 5:51 AM   #4
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FZ30 has little bigger CCD so noise might be on quite same level.

Also using smaller resolution doesn't mean camera uses bigger pixels, those are physical properties of CCD and can't be changed by one setting in software.
But because normal noise is basically random amount of it decreases when you lower resolution because of "averaging".
Good example would be downsizing 1600x1200 photo to 800x600. One pixel in output image covers are of four pixels (2x2 pixel area) in original and resulting color values are calculated from multiple start values with random errors. (one value little too low, other little too high...)


2. is PR Bullshit and nothing more than cheat (/digital) zoom. It doesn't bring any new details.
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Old Nov 20, 2005, 2:49 PM   #5
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Thanks, guys. Seems to be some disagreement on the extended zoom feature here, eh?
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Old Nov 20, 2005, 4:10 PM   #6
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I woud suggest reading Steve's review of the camera, he might have more info about it (or maybe asked Panasonic?) It's easy to tell what the result is, but its difficult to know what actually happens inside the camera.

Digital zooms have gotten a bad rap recently (rightly so) and so there is always the fear that this is really just a renaming of that... at least, that it what I would fear.

Eric
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Old Nov 20, 2005, 10:20 PM   #7
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eric s wrote:
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I woud suggest reading Steve's review of the camera, he might have more info about it (or maybe asked Panasonic?) It's easy to tell what the result is, but its difficult to know what actually happens inside the camera.

Digital zooms have gotten a bad rap recently (rightly so) and so there is always the fear that this is really just a renaming of that... at least, that it what I would fear.

Eric

I have been anticipating the review for the FZ30, but Steve does not have it posted yet. Hopefully soon. Boyzo above is explaining the difference between the digital zoom and the extended optical zoom. I think I get it.

:?
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