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Old Jun 12, 2005, 5:42 PM   #1
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I've been looking at digital camera's for some time and I thought that I had resolved on the Z5. Then when I was researching in depth to make sure it was perfect, i found many forums saying that it's images were below average and the noice levels were high. I'm just wondering if someone could tell me just 'how bad' these problems really are.

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Old Jun 14, 2005, 5:40 PM   #2
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Hi willox

Owning a Z2 that it wrorks fine, reading some reviews it seems that the Z3 and Z5 went ahead on some remarkable areas (anti shake, Z3 a little faster, 5 MP on the Z5...) but loosing some good details on the way.

I find the Z3 good enough for me, but I was disppointed with the Z5 (in fact, with its reviews conclusions). 5 MP against 4 doesn't seem too much, and if that implies high noise levels (and also a poor 4 seconds as maximum exposure time), some-weak flash, and being not as fast as the Z3 was, it seems that the Z5 isn't a real evolution.

Enough of my point of view about the saga.

Actually it seems that the Panasonic FZ5 is a better option than the Z5 is, if price it's the same on both. The Pana hasn't manual focus (but this is corrected with the focus lock option), the screen looks worse in low light, and video is just 320x240 instead of 640x480. But I think that as a photographic camera the Panasonic FZ5 works much better than the KM Z5 does.

Look also for the new Canon S2. Perhaps a little more expensive, but it seems quite good.

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Old Jun 15, 2005, 4:04 PM   #3
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Thanks alot for the reply.

Those are the two cameras that I'm torn between ( K-M Z5 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ5) And I have to make up my mind before this Sunday. I thought i was going to go with the Z5 but now I'm not too sure.


There isn't many differences, only 0.2 LCD difference, manual focus is only on the Z5 and the max shutter speed is 4 to 8. The main reason i chose the Minolta was because it has the hot-shoe. Question: are litium batteries better or more convienient than normal AA rechargables?

I think i might go with the Panasonic because it's sample pictures seem better though my opinion is still shaky. Any more information, advice or sugestions are greatly appreciated.



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Old Jun 23, 2005, 9:18 AM   #4
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n_willox wrote:
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Thanks alot for the reply.

Those are the two cameras that I'm torn between ( K-M Z5 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ5) And I have to make up my mind before this Sunday. I thought i was going to go with the Z5 but now I'm not too sure.


There isn't many differences, only 0.2 LCD difference, manual focus is only on the Z5 and the max shutter speed is 4 to 8. The main reason i chose the Minolta was because it has the hot-shoe. Question: are litium batteries better or more convienient than normal AA rechargables?

I think i might go with the Panasonic because it's sample pictures seem better though my opinion is still shaky. Any more information, advice or sugestions are greatly appreciated.


There is of course the Panasonic FZ20 too (which I own) but it is likely to be more expensive and is certainly a larger, heavier camera than the FZ5. It's harder to call with the Z5 because whilst the Z5 is technically smaller than the FZ20, its more irregular shape means it can sometimes "act" almost as large in certain dimensions.The FZ5 is somewhat smaller than the Z5, and will be a lot lighteronce batteries are loaded. The FZ20 of course does offer a hot shoe, manual focus ability and a more powerful internal flash than the FZ5, and the same size LCD as the Z5.

Regarding AA's and lithiums, AA batteries are more convenient because you can pop in alkalines and get by with them, though you will get best performance from NiMH rechargeables, which these days are not too dear to buy with a decently-fast charger. The Panasonic lithium ion battery on the other hand is very expensive (but you can buy cheap, decent "clones") and you don't need to buy a charger as it comes with the camera. I tend to find that NiMH AA's outlast lithium ion batteries between charges, but take longer to charge (really you should recharge NiMH only when they really need it - i.e. when the camera gives a low battery warning) whereas lithium ions positively thrive on "topping up" or full recharges. Even for a full recharge, Li-ion tends to befaster - typically 90 minutes or less versus 180 mins with my particular charger, though there are now some VERY fast AA chargers if you don't mind paying a bit more and don't mind getting very hot batteries outof the charger! Li-ion also seems to recharge a built-in flash much more quickly and weighs a LOT less - to the extent that once the batteries are in, a Z5's weight is really very close to that of an FZ20, despite the big difference when they're "empty". As a trivial aside, it's a lot easier to reload a camera with an Li-ion battery than 4 AA's - much less wrestling with the battery lid, and the battery is held in place by a catch so disaster does not strike if you inadvertently turn the camera upright with the battery lid open!

I do not own a Z5 so cannot criticise or praise it, to be fair. However, I do have a Z10 and if the performance of this baby of the Z family is any indication, the Z5 should be pretty good! Similarly, I really like my Panasonic FZ20, so if the FZ5 is as good, that's a recommendation too!

Regarding noise, which always gets a lot of coverage in forums - in my book, noise is unavoidable to some extent in low light or at high ISO settings with non-SLR digitals because of their small CCDs. If it is random and reminds me of film grain (showing my age!) it doesn't bother me - remember, we often look at noise and shake our heads when viewing an image on screen at magnifications which mean, if we could see the whole of the image, it would be a couple of feet across! And remember, quite a few cameras out there remove noise by filtering it out - along with the fine detail (not all cameras with low noise do this of course, but quite a lot do). Wouldn't you rather make the choice over that yourself, in an image editing program?

I hope that helps, and doesn't just hinder you by introducing another choice. Try to buy from somewhere that allows returns of "unused" cameras if they prove unsuitable.
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