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d-sr Nov 24, 2005 11:57 PM

I am convinced that the FZ series is by the best camera in it's class,but I wonder just how much it would have added to the cost of anF-20 or FZ-30 to have put a large enough sensor in it to do away with the noise and low light problems we have in the first place.

I am not a big fan of DSLR's because I don't want to carry all the equipment around it would take to get the variety of shots we can take with ourFZ's. The FZ is a fun camera and I did a lot of comparing before I purchased my FZ-15 and cost was only part of the equation. Iknow that the noise does not bother everyone as much as it does me but the main reason I haven't upgraded to the FZ-30 is that it sounds like it has, for the most part the same problems as what I already have.

I for one would pay a premium for a 6 or 8 MP FZ camera with a really large image sensor in it along with all the other great features it has. Hope someone from Panasonic reads this forum. It sounds like just about everybody on it thinks the same thing.


KENNETHD Nov 25, 2005 12:08 AM

ay, carambah! I'm sure Panasonic's got their high tech guys working around the clock on this one. Just remember tho, that we all love the big zoom, and compact size and if you increased the sensor size...well????? How'd we get that fab zoom/manageable size A N D larger sensor all in the same package? My guess is they will keep working on reducing the noise with as small a sensor as they can manage. These guys are brilliant. I'm convinced they know your thoughts (our thoughts) on the matter, and give us as much as they can as soon as they can. The FZ 30's successor will likely bring a tear to my eye, I'm sure. Best regards,


monkbent Nov 25, 2005 6:38 AM

d-sr, unfortunately any increase in sensor size is directly correlated to an increase in lens size. It is physically impossible to have a FZ-30 equivalent lens AND a large sensor in the same camera size.

This is due to the increased focal length. Here's my attempt to explain in layman's terms (by-the-way, I am a layman too. I've just been doing a lot of reading up on this very subject while deciding which camera to buy ... and I decided on the FZ-30). If I'm talking below you, I apologize.

Inside a lens, the light from the object basically flips, so that it hits the sensor upside down. Where it flips is the focal point (where you focus). The image basically grows smaller and smaller until it hits the focal point and then the waves cross (flipping the image) and it grows larger and larger. If you are dealing with a small sensor, like on the FZ-30, the image does not have to increase in size very much after it passes the focal point. Thus the focal point can be much closer to the sensor, and the rest of the lens assembly can correspond in size. But with a larger sensor, the distance from the focal point to the sensor must be much greater, and the rest of the lens assembly necessarily larger as well.

The best example of this is the Sony R-1. It has a large sensor, but only a 5x zoom, yet it's larger than the FZ-30.

Unfortunately there is a choice between convenience and noise. SLRs and the FZ-30 are both versatile; the former is low-noise, the latter convenient. The holy grail would be a small-sensor with low noise levels. The first company to develop just that will sell boat loads. But it's going to take something revolutionary as far as manufacturing and materials is concerned.

d-sr Nov 25, 2005 11:25 AM

It is evident that they are brilliant or they would not have come up with the FZ's.Thanks for the explanation KennethD & monkbent. With my limited knowledge I figured price was more of a contributing factor with the small sensor. I knew the camera would be larger but did not know by how much or that we would lose out big zoom.. I could not live with less than the 12X zoom either, now that I have had it. I knew if I put this out there I would get answers from some who are way more technical than I am. I'm waiting for the successor to the FZ-30 also and hope you are right KennethD.


Tazzie Nov 25, 2005 11:39 AM

Yes, to whats been said. Beyond that high quality sensors are like diamonds
based upon size and quality. The price soars.

and in particular as far as money is concerned:

squirl033 Nov 25, 2005 8:47 PM

without getting into the estoeric technicalities of lens size vs. sensor size, let me just say that the noise "problem" with the FZ's really isn't an issue. yes, they can generate some noise, but that's a problem common to ALL digital cameras, and the FZ's are no worse, and in some cases much better, than other cameras in their class. most of the time, it's not visible in a print, even though it may be at full screen/full image size on your monitor. but with a little care to shooting technique, and use of a good NR program when necessary, noise is simply inconsequential.

like you, i'd love to have a DSLR-sized sensor at, say, 6MP in my FZ. but given the physics of lens design and focal distances vs. sensor size, i'd much rather have that marvelous 12x lens than a bigger sensor. i can clean up noise fairly easily, but i couldn't compensate for the loss of half my zoom range - at least not without a LOT of expense and hassle and probably degradation of image quality.

rduve Nov 26, 2005 12:02 AM

Squirl, with all due respect. But YES, noise is a problem. The shots taken by the FZ30 at ISO 400 are ridiculously bad. They look like cotton candy painted in watercolors, and in my opinion they are worse thanthe FZ20 which I own. I would love to upgrade to the FZ30 due to its added features, improved handling and versatility, but the fact that the noise issue has not been addressed makes me hold off to the next generation. If they can come up with a solution to the noise issue, I will jump at the FZ40. However, if not, I think I will add a DSLR to my collection and keep the FZ20 for ultra zoom purposes. Also see LoveLife's response to me in this thread:;forum_id=23.

squirl033 Nov 26, 2005 1:55 AM

Rduve, you may be right about noise in the FZ30... i haven't tried one. i also NEVER shoot above ISO200, and 95% of my photos are taken at ISO100 or lower. so for me, noise really isn't that big an issue. i have heard the horror stories about FZ's at ISO400, but i simply don't go there...still, the FZ's still are no worse than average for noise; from what i've read,they're about on a par with other cameras in their class, even at ISO400. which is less a recommendation for the FZ than it is a fault with all diigital cameras that overcrowd small sensors in the marketing race for pixels. perhaps if the FZ30 had come out with the same sensor size, but "only" 6MP instead of 8, the noise issue would have been vastly different. unfortunately, they chose to cater to the uninitiated, rather than to experienced photographers, and they fell into the trap of marketing based on pixel count rather than image quality.

all of which is, of course, the reason i elected to stay away from the FZ30. my '20 does everything i need a camera to do, and i'm perfectly content to continue to use it until something better comes along, whether it's the FZ40, or even some other brand.

rduve Nov 26, 2005 1:08 PM

Looks like we absolutely and totally agree, after all.


KENNETHD Nov 26, 2005 3:39 PM

We will all...always make a grumbling noise about digital noise. :lol: I believe whoever has A N Y FZ camera, with whatever built in goodies are in it, will be among the most content in our lot to shoot with what we have until consumers are finally offered a camera with the wonderful zoom/IS and other nice features of these FZ's. I have been thinking long and hard about aquiring a DSLR, as some already have, to work in conjunction with my FZ 30. But for the time being, I still haven't reached the point where I can say I have the FZ 30 mastered to it's full potential. And the posts in the Panasonic forum are definately an added bonus that comes with owning one for sure. I love seeing what everyone else is shooting with their FZ's and get some really good motivation browsing here. SPY...I shot some dowtown shots from Scotchman's hill the other night. Picked the night there was a hockey game, and all the fans were migrating up the hill as I was trying to shoot. (wanted the saddledome in the shots) It gave me some experience, but nothing worth posting. I hope to get another chance this week but will look at the hockey schedule first. Best regards,


rduve Nov 26, 2005 3:59 PM


I love seeing what everyone else is shooting with their FZ's and get some really good motivation browsing here.

Kenneth, here are some pics I just posted:;forum_id=23. Hope you like them.

KENNETHD Nov 26, 2005 4:19 PM

rduve wrote:


I love seeing what everyone else is shooting with their FZ's and get some really good motivation browsing here.

Kenneth, here are some pics I just posted:;forum_id=23. Hope you like them.
VERY nice...yes, these are shots that stretch my list of things and topics to try to shoot. Oddly enough, the more I get outside with this camera, the more I think it contributes to overall well being. Kind of like a form of digital yoga, but you get to see tangible results to match the spiritual relaxation. Maybe we could introduce it in the far east, as they introduced us to acupuncture and such...:lol: In any case, I seem to be gravitating more to outdoor shooting. Thanks for the direction to your post. Probably the last peek we'll get at leaves with any color at all for a few months. Best regards,


rduve Nov 26, 2005 8:46 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Thanks for the nice words, Kenneth. Yes, the camera makes me get outdoors a lot more, too.And it certainlyis a spiritual experience toalwayssearch for that perfect shot, that unusual angle, inspiring lighting, etc.Just took a long walk with my kids to go on a photo tour. One of the most unexpected shots turns out to be my favorite. I applied the Watercolor effect to it, and it looks like a painting. See below.

I recently had thisrealization that I found myself spending hours researching cameras, megapixels, noise, debating if I should upgrade from the FZ20 to the FZ30, etc. instead of actually being out there taking pictures and exploring the full capacity of my beloved FZ20. So, I got all that out of my mind and I am back at taking pictures.

I started to build a galleries at to save my pictures on-line. They give you 2GB of free space. I am just starting to post pics. Mine are at, but there are a lot more to come. Check in frequently if you like. Makes it easier to permanently have them stored and organized by subjects and themes.

Anyway, this is enough off-topic babble. My apologies to the originator of this thread to fall off the path here.

Have a great weekend all.

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