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tiger98 Sep 8, 2006 10:37 PM

Well after testing and comparing the FZ50 with my FZ30 for a week I can honestly say that the FZ50 is a nice camera, neat features...but the picture quality doesn't compare to that of the 30! (IMO). I really wanted it to be better and tried everything to make it so but it wasn't to be! I tried every setting and combination of settings to improve the pictures but it wasn't happening. I found that if you took the pictures from the camera without enlarging them the pictures looked fine, but if you zoomed into the picture to 100% or beyond everything began to smear badly! I can go to 300% with a FZ30 picture and with a little NR it looks ok! (not great but 100% improvement over the 50). I'm sure it's nothing that Panasonic can't improve with the next FZ, especially if they go to a larger sensor. Bottom line if you just want to print up to 8x10" with little to no PP or NR then the 50 will work for you. If you want the best image quality and the ability to enlarge beyond 8x10 with no major degrading of the picture then stick with the FZ30! (IMO) Jim

It should be noted that the "tests" I conducted with the FZ50 were primarily real life field tests, taking pictures under different conditions as I have done in the past with my FZ30. They were in no way scientific, and the conclusions I came to were based on what I could see on the monitor comparing similar pictures from both cameras.

Macnite Sep 8, 2006 10:49 PM

Hi Jim,

That's a nasty surprize! I was waiting to upgradeto the 50 but from what I here I'll remain with the 30 until Panasonic goes with a bigger sensor.


tcook Sep 8, 2006 11:45 PM

Did you try it with the NR set to low Jim? That's not nice to hear since I like to shoot birds and crop 100%. Maybe I will hold off a little longer.

Rriley Sep 9, 2006 5:14 AM

many thanks for your honest perspective


genece Sep 9, 2006 6:08 AM

Now I am still not sold on the FZ50 but zoom in to 100 to 300 %....whats the point?

The photos from a FZ camera will never stand up to that even my beloved FZ30.

IMHO...If that is your need you need to reconsider how you take photos..... a printed 8 X 10 or at most a 12 X 16 or full screen on your monitor is the best you should hope for, again in my opinion.

Rriley Sep 9, 2006 6:30 AM

its such a pitty
the camera has some great features
and quite probably much of the time the images are good, in instances of good light were noise would in any event be low.

If only Panasonic kept with the idea that you could engage full manual control, which if I have it right is their claim. Yes there would still be noise but I think many users would be happier. Especially given that, i engaging this forum, it is pretty clear that the Pana FZ series users pursue a wide variety of photographic subjects and techniques, and are much more the shutterbugs of days gone by rather than P&S proponents.

Where in some ways this well featured camera is probably in the right place at the right time, the noise issue and its consequences (Venus) seem incongruent to that path.


tiger98 Sep 9, 2006 9:11 AM

Hi Ted, Yes I tried it evrywhich way you can think of and still had the same results. I even tried reducing the MP to 8 and 5 and the pictures still did not have the crispness of the 30. I noticed in the first pictures that I took that the image edges appeared strange but thought it was just the settings but I now feel it's the way the pictures are processed by the cameras software. Believe me I wanted to keep the camera in the worst way but couldn't justify getting it when the picture quality was less than the 30. Jim

tiger98 Sep 9, 2006 9:19 AM

Hi Gene, The reason I stated zooming in to 100 or 300% is for me it was a way to see if I was imagining the poor image quality or it really wasn't there. Also on birds, insects and other small creatures I always do a 100 % crop! I frequently zoom into a picture in Photoshop to see how the picture holds up. To me it's a good test of the image quality. ( IMO). I tested and retested to see if I could live with the reduced quality but in the end thought it would be dumb to keep a camera that could not give equal or better quality than my 30! Again these are only my opinions and in no way are meant to discourage anyone whom buying the camera. They are only meant to give one person opinion of what I found when comparing it to the FZ30. Jim

tiger98 Sep 9, 2006 9:21 AM

Riley, I couldn't agree with you more regarding the cameras great features! If only the image quality would have been close to that of the 30 I would have kept it. Maybe I'm too critical??? Jim

Andrew Waters Sep 9, 2006 9:33 AM

Thanks Jim.

And the reviewer on DPRVIEW said essentially the same thing regarding the FZ50: recommended but with reservations on the picture quality in some areas.

However, as noted here the point and shooter will not care for anything other than a normal size picture. That said, the camera obviously appeals to a more sophisticated groupthan that.

Guess I'll just go with my original intent: DSLR.

tiger98 Sep 9, 2006 1:06 PM

Macnite, I also was VERY disappointed as I certainly liked the new features and higer ISO. Now I, like you will wait to see what their next FZ model will bring and continue to use my FZ30. Jim

bayourebel Sep 9, 2006 1:12 PM

Jim, were you able to return the FZ50 or did you sell it already? Just curious. I think I will keep learning with the FZ30 as it is more than I know how to use.

tiger98 Sep 9, 2006 3:35 PM

Jerry, Yes I was still within my 30 day return period so shipped it off today. Then took a hike thru some wetlands this morning and got some shots with my FZ30 just to let it know I hadn't forgotten it ! :-) Got really lucky this morning with some Dragonfly shots, had to shoot them in flight as they wouldn't land and sit still for me! Check them out at: Jim;forum_id=23

tcook Sep 9, 2006 4:52 PM

Thanks Jim, I am disappointed as my FZ30 was stolen and I was waiting for the FZ50 to replace it. Where did you purchase yours with the 30 day return policy and is there any problem returning it?

tiger98 Sep 9, 2006 4:56 PM

Hi Ted. Sorry to hear your 30 was stolen. I've purchased my last three cameras from Amazon. You pay a few dollars more but their service is great. I've never had a problem returning a product or having a defective one replaced. I hope you have better luck than I did with the 50 than I did... if you get it. Jim

tiger98 Sep 9, 2006 4:59 PM

Andrew. Just read the review you referred to. Sounds like he also found some of the same problems I did. Jim

vIZnquest Sep 9, 2006 5:07 PM

Thanks foryour results in comparing the two cameras. I find your opinion to be of great value for Pana members here and it is sad that a newer camera is put out to perform with less than pleasing results.

This is by far better information than a pixel peeper report and the band wagon billy effect of what one has read in post somwhere else rather than a head to head comparison by a forum member who actually had the cameras to compare.

Many Thanks,


tiger98 Sep 9, 2006 5:53 PM

Your welcome Tom! I kept hoping it was something I was doing wrong but wasn't to be! I hope Panasonic keeps the great new features of the camera and incorporates them into the next model....along with a larger sensor! Thanks again for the comments Tom. Jim

bear740 Sep 10, 2006 12:00 AM

I can understand your hesitation with the FZ50, I have said since I started seeing the pictures from FZ50 owners that they looked soft, which is what I expected with the same size sensor with 2 more MP and a Venus III engine trying to smear the noise out of the pics. At ISO 200 and below, the pics are fine but still not as sharp as my FZ30. I still think the FZ50 is a great camera, just not much of a upgrade at all to the FZ30 and in some areas a downgrade, specially in picture quality. You said you would go to a DSLR, well that means a lot more money, to get a good DSLR you will have to purchase the most expensive thing about DSLR's, lenses. The Kit lens that come with almost all the DSLR's are not very good, and no where near the Leica lens on the FZ30/50. To get a Zoom at the same quality of the FZ30/50's Leica lens, you will be able to purchase 2 FZ50's. I am a professional Photographer, but I have retired and now it is just a hobby to me, I was a professional with Film, but It was not my main job, I had a job that I retired from and did professional photography on the side, but made a lot of money at it. I have waited for Digitals to come to the level of Film and they are now pretty close, I did not want to go back into a ton of expensive lens that you have to drag around with you. Zooms of the quality of the Leica on the FZ30/50 are extremely expensive and are no different now. If you are looking for better low light high ISO low noise pics then you better go with a medium range DSLR. The Sony Alpha does not do a very good job on noise at low light High ISO nor does the new Pentax K1000, I think that is the name of it, but I read the reviews it is decent but not as good as the Canon's. Canons have another problem, they do not have Image Stablization except in some of the lenses. The low range Rebels are not very well made cameras, they feel very cheap and I hate Canon's menu system. I chose the FZ30 because Noise is not that much of a issue to me, I can correct for noise with software. Still as far as sharp, clean pics at ISO 80 to 200, I am very satisfied and even at ISO 400, I have had very good success with the so called noise issue I heard so much about. If you want to go DSLR, look close and what it will cost you to get a system that will equal the FZ30/50. There is no doubt that noise will be much better at low light High ISO, but if you not shooting that much of those kinds of pics, then I would truly look at maybe picking up a FZ30, there are still some out there, but only the silver models, but the FZ50 is still a great camera too. I have looked at most of my work and the few times that I needed low light High ISO or in the film days 400 ASA film was rare and I could not make a decision to sink in that much money to get low light pics that I rarely shoot. Your decision but if money is no object then go for the DSLR. Another thing you will have to worry about that FZ owners do not, that is dust, they kill sensors and so far the shaking sensors on some of the DSLR cause more problems then they knock off any dust. Just some food for thought.

tiger98 Sep 10, 2006 12:31 AM

Bear, That wasn't me that said I would go with a DSLR ! I am SUPER happy with my FZ30, even more so now that I found the 50 to be seriously lacking in picture quality. I'll be sticking with the 30 until Panasonic comes out with something better and I can see and prove it's better ! I agree with your comments! Jim

geotlyrae Sep 10, 2006 4:14 PM

Hi Jim...

I was ready to buy an FZ30, until the noise issue. So, I waited for the FZ50. Now, I'm not sure whether to to look again for the FZ30 or the 50???. Very confusing...


geotlyrae Sep 10, 2006 4:14 PM

Hi Jim...

I was ready to buy an FZ30, until the noise issue. So, I waited for the FZ50. Now, I'm not sure whether to to look again for the FZ30 or the 50???. Very confusing...


tiger98 Sep 10, 2006 4:46 PM

George, I too hesitated in buying the 30 one year ago, because of the noise issue, but after taking 20 thousand pictures with it I'm extremely happy I bought it. The only reason I bought the 50 is that I thought the picture quality would be as good or better than the 30 and it has some new features. The new features were great but the picture quality wasn't even as good as the FZ20 ! (IMO) I would buy the 30 ! Jim

geotlyrae Sep 10, 2006 5:24 PM

Thanks Jim..

I'll be looking for the 30, but it will be more difficult now (specially the black),since they've discontinued it. I'm sure I'll find one..


tiger98 Sep 10, 2006 5:59 PM

George, Try this link. It's and they have the FZ30 in stock. Jim

geotlyrae Sep 10, 2006 7:09 PM

Hi Jim..

Amazon is out of stock.. I found a few stores that had the black one, and will check tomorrow for the best price, and also the reliability of these stores. I was also waiting to see the reviews on thenew Fuji S9100. It looks pretty good.


tiger98 Sep 10, 2006 7:10 PM

Good luck which ever one you decide on! Jim

Rriley Sep 10, 2006 10:46 PM

FZ30 are still around on ebay, I doubt that situation will continue for long.


gregg Sep 11, 2006 12:29 AM

1 Attachment(s)

help.......please! (especially Jim)

It seemed like after reading the DPreview of the was the camera for I'm having doubts

I was looking at the Canon IS3 and the sony H5...I wasn't 100% convinced with the pics I've seen online...althought the sony seemed to have a far better image both in general quality and in the 100-200 iso race IMO(ok, then I saw some samples of the sony with horrible purple fringing problems and highlight clipping)...the fz50, besides what seemed to blow away the above two in image also works well up to 200, has a hot shoe, and that great lens.

I can care less about 8 or 10 mp...5 or6 is fine

Now...what about that noise in lower* light?is that only when pushing the sensor to it's 10mp limit?what if I shoot at 5mp at 100iso?

Here is my wish list:

longzoom (tired of conversion lenses), hot shoe, works in lower light* (at wide..not 430mm...LOL)and the hazy/bright florida sunshine (gotta use that polarizing filter!), raw would be a plus as this would be new for me...and lots of image parameters to fiddle with...oh and an swing out LCD would be nice

I aman owner of 2 Olympus cameras the c-3040 and c-5000. There is NO camera that offers as many features for what I spent on the second...$180 on ebay...Can anyone name a camera under $400 that has a hot shoe?(ok, you could probaly get an older canon g6 on ebay) also takes great photos...if you turn off the full auto modeAND set the ISO to 50 or 80 AND use an FL-20 olympus flash on the hot shoe (+ the internal flash) AND shoot in the shutter preferred atleast 1/60AND the lowest compression auto the camera defaults to 1/30 and then drops between iso160-320 indoors with truly awful results...I prefer using the camera in everything but auto, anyway.

ok...I also have a dumb question..

One of the knocks on olympus is that their self timers reset after using them. Does that mean on other cameras including the FZ30/50 when youuse the self timer and hit the shutter it will automatically snap every 10 sec (or so) until the card is full? just wondering.

__________________________________________________ __________

*Ok, what is low light anyway?...I'm not searching for Osama in a cave....but does a living room, say about 12x20ft with 3 lamps (75 watt bulbs)...count as low? the reviews said my camera (no AF illuminator) wasat best -fairin lower light. while it does sometimes hunt and will focus...I have to believe that the panasonic withstabilization and an AF illuminatoreven at 100iso has to be vastly superior than my compact C-5000 and work well by my standards in low or room light

FYI...Here is a link to PBASE where someone posted some (IMO), very good animal photos with the fz50...check out the squirrel (unfortunately though, they are resized)

thanks in advance for any thoughts on your part


gregg Sep 11, 2006 12:34 AM

hey, check this out....I don't know if it will do any good...someone is trying to send a petition to panasonic for a firmware update to turn off the NR in the fz50

tiger98 Sep 11, 2006 3:16 PM

Gregg. Can't help you much regarding the other brand of cameras but I can HIGHLY recommend the Panasonic FZ30. It has been one of the most relible, rugged, versatile cameras I've ever owned. I've had Pentax, Nikon, Canon and Sony experience and still feel, (IMO) the FZ30 to be tops. Regarding the FZ50 it wasn't a problem with noise, it was a problem with the internal software degrading the picture quality. I found the problem exsisted even if you dropped the MP's to 5 ! Regarding the low light, your going to get some noise even with a SLR. I always use a flash in the low light situation and avoid a noise problem. Hope this helps! Jim

gregg Sep 11, 2006 7:23 PM

thanks Jim

so there is no difference in performance?...shot to shot speed, shutter lag, and ability to focus in a variety of situations.....between the FZ30 or the 50?

if I don't care about the higher there any advantage you can think of (reading my original wants in a camera) with the 50 over the 30?

one question again (forgive me)...One of the knocks on olympus is that their self timers reset after using them. Does that mean if youuse the self timer on the FZ30/50 and hit the shutter once it will automatically keep snapping every 10 sec (or so) until the card is full or you stop it? just wondering.

thanks again,


tiger98 Sep 11, 2006 7:35 PM

Gregg, In my opinion the 30 will do everything you could want ! The burst speed/ frames are actually less in the 50 than the 30. The resolution of the LCD is less in the 50 than the 30s. There are some new features in the 50 which I liked , such as more range in the movable LCD. There is a function button which allows you to make some settings changes without going into the menu. There is no 80 ISO in the 50 as in the 30 but there are some iso settings which are usable, (but grainy). But for all the new features it still didn't make up for a picture with less quality than the 30 or the 20! If it wasn't for the lousy picture quality it would be a great camera! (IMO) If they get the quality of the picture equal to that of the 30 I'll buy it again! Jim

Regarding the self timer, as I recall you have to reset it after each shot, which was never a problem. The focus etc is about the same on both cameras.

Rriley Sep 11, 2006 10:45 PM

that timer thing on Olys is a pain, I have had cause to use it a lot
you have to chase it in the menus every time you use it
the remote trigger is the answer, its cheap and works well

tiger98 Sep 11, 2006 11:50 PM

Riley, I agree on the remote!

gregg Sep 12, 2006 10:50 AM

the wireless remote came with both olympus cameras...I don't use it that often...but it's easy to get spoiled

I guess I am just kind ofsurprised that:

1) there are no compact or zoom cameras that offer wireless remotes anymore...until you get into dslrs...the last ones tooffer a remote were the olympus c-8080, samsung pro815(?) and the nikon coolpix 8800

2) and that you have to hold down the shutter for any kind of sequential or continuous shooting...

I had just wondered what reveiwers meant by "resetting" the timer

I figured that onsome non-olympus models, you could hit the shutter button, let go...and it keeps snapping based on the timer length...I guess I was wrong

thanks for the thoughts though


JohnK Sep 12, 2006 11:22 AM

The FZ50 has a slower burst mode than the FZ30 2 or 2.5 fps vs 3 fps for the FZ30, if you do much burst shooting that's a pretty big deal. The FZ50 is slower shot to shot when shooting RAW since it has to write a much larger file, but if you're using RAW speed isn't usually as big a concern.


gregg wrote:

thanks Jim

so there is no difference in performance?...shot to shot speed, shutter lag, and ability to focus in a variety of situations.....between the FZ30 or the 50?

if I don't care about the higher there any advantage you can think of (reading my original wants in a camera) with the 50 over the 30?

one question again (forgive me)...One of the knocks on olympus is that their self timers reset after using them. Does that mean if youuse the self timer on the FZ30/50 and hit the shutter once it will automatically keep snapping every 10 sec (or so) until the card is full or you stop it? just wondering.

thanks again,


gregg Sep 12, 2006 12:36 PM

thanks John

but what I wascurious about was the timer resetting in olympus cameras that reviewers tended to talk about in a negative way...I had wondered does that in better cameras was there is a continuous mode for the self timer?

In other words if I was using the fz30 or anotherhigh quality camera and wanted to get a familygathering at the dinning room table...with my olympus I can use the remote...with other cameras I have to tell themnot to move while I get up and reset the camera...I can assure you that it was easier to organize the G7 summit than to try to getthem to sit still in one place...just a thought

:? I would have thought camera manufacturers would make some models with some sort of a "continuous timer mode" (oh...yes, some canons have remote shutter/timer down through the computer)

just my opinion


RedStickMan Sep 12, 2006 4:14 PM

"I figured that onsome non-olympus models, you could hit the shutter button, let go...and it keeps snapping based on the timer length...I guess I was wrong"

I suspect what they may be saying is that on some cameras, if you put it in timer mode, it starts the timer every time you push the shutter release.

With the FZs, each time you want to use the timer you must select either the 2 sec. or 10 sec. delay before each shot. It's a simple one (2 sec)or two (10 sec) button press. There is no way to have it continually take photos without holding the shutter release.

Rriley Sep 13, 2006 1:56 AM

on Olys what I think the reviewer meant by resetting the timer is
each time you go to use it you have to navigate thru the menus and select it
my C7070 also has 2 sec and 10 sec

Another aspect is, outside of whatever you have in the MyMode section
Olys reset themselves when turned oof
and any settings you made are lost and need to be reselected
thats a two edge sword
on the one hand you always know how its set when you start
but if you have a prefered setting thats a tad unusual you need to reapply it


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