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Old Aug 7, 2006, 10:30 AM   #1
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i have the FZ7, and i dont like pushing the ISO further than 100, it becomes nosy after that in dark conditions, exactly when you need it to be clean. but the Anti shake in the lens allows you to take photos for a step or two longer. what im wondering is is it better to have a dslr with no anti shake , but allows a very high ISO, for dark or indoor work, or have the anti shake in the FZ7, or the ability to use high ISO values ( i think id rather high ISO values).
the main reason i have the FZ7 is that it has a great big zoom, which would cost quite a lot in a dslr, but i think it might be worth it.
was at the zoo today, and in the reptile house or the monkey house, photos couldnt be taken as the camera needed to be still for 1 - 2 secs for decent exposure at ISO 100, which is not possible when dealing with animals! i tried a few with high ISO ( 200 and 400) and they are compeltely noise ridden. tried turning on the noise reduction in the camera but that didnt help anything. think i might look for a dslr, and maby save for a good zoom lens. Nikon D50 is looking good.
any opinions on this?
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Old Aug 7, 2006, 11:32 AM   #2
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Did you try using the flash? All cameras have limitations, even SLR cameras. If the area you were shooting in was that dark then you would probably have needed a flash even if you had been using a SLR! Jim
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Old Aug 7, 2006, 3:00 PM   #3
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If your picture taking took 1 or 2 seconds, then on a DSLR with say clean ISO upto 1600, you could typically shoot (200 / 400 / 800/ 1600) 3 stops higher as a D50 starts at ISO 200.

Now 3 stops, would not drastically help you out here, because your starting position is so low (1 - 2 seconds)

Then you would have the problem that the Nikon lens was not stabilised (unless you were thinking of buying expensive glass), so handheld is right out of the question, meaning you would have to use a tripod (which you could for your FZ5) - of course if the subject is moving, you have no chance at those sort of light levels unless, as suggested, you use flash.

So yes, a DSLR will mostly out perform your FZ5 but even a DSLR has limits and I think your example crosses those limits.
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Old Aug 7, 2006, 3:27 PM   #4
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couldnt use a flash in that suituation, the animals were behind glass. with regard to the OIS, is it really all that? id be way happier with high ISO values than the image stabilization.
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Old Aug 7, 2006, 3:39 PM   #5
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Why not choose a DSLR with stabilized sensor (KonicaMinolta / Sony, Pentax), or stabilized lense (Canon, Nikon, Panasonic)?

The stabilizationcorrects your own movements , the high iso rate fixes the subject movements problems + your own, take both to be sure!


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Old Aug 7, 2006, 6:22 PM   #6
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really considering that. theres no chance il get a lens for a dslr though that starts off around 36mm ( or whatever the equivilent is in a dslr) and gives me loads of zoom ( i dont have megabucks for lenses).

think im stuck with this compromise for a while longer
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Old Aug 7, 2006, 8:34 PM   #7
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It is not that you can not get a better photo with a dslr......but lets look at it this way.

If you want to try and cover the range of the FZ7 with one lens you would need a 28mm to 300mm lens.....to get one of half way good quality thats $400.00 and the aperture is 6.3, so you are close to losing 2 stops over the FZ7 lens.

And if you believe ISO 200 is too noisey on the FZ7 you will feel the same about ISO1600....( I neither believe ISO200 on the FZs or 1600 on a DSLR is too noisey but you do.)

If you limit yourself to ISO 800 on the DSLR you are only gaining 3 stops on the ISO and loosing 2 on the lens for a gain of 1 stop.....which will cut your shutter time in 1/2 or in the case you mention to 1 second..... You need to reconsider what you are trying to do.

Now you can buy lenses that you will not lose anything but you will need a couple of those (perhaps 18 to 70 2.8and100 to 300 F4)and the price for that combo would be about $2500.00.

Everything is a trade off.
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Old Aug 7, 2006, 8:54 PM   #8
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Schmintan, you said the animals were behind glass. Couldn't you have shot the preferred method: at an angle to the animals with the flash? Then again, if your flash was built-in and the animals were too far away then your built-in flashmay not have been enough even if you tried that.
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Old Aug 7, 2006, 10:16 PM   #9
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4 things saved me, effectively keeping me a happy camper after buying the FZ7.

First, I tried all the noise reduction apps, and then chose NoiseNinja. That app is downright astounding, esp since there's a freebie FZ7 profile package available. Second, I spent some serious time at assorted website tutorials, addressing issues such as low/night lighting, shooting thru glass and other tricky matters. Third is a combo: I got a tripod, became friends with the FZ7's timer feature, and invested in a a couple of how-to digital zoom books. Finally, I purchased the LT55 teleconverter lens, as I like to take pics of birds (that lens = best bang for the buck to date!).

Bottom-line: while I do not rush to use ISO 400 and above, I no longer fear them. When necessary I use 'em, knowing my arsenal can handle the predictable-- and curable-- resulting noise factor. I also spend quality time, several sessions a week, just shooting pics for the heck of it, under all sorts of conditions. That way, when I really, really want a particular shot under difficult conditions, I've already handled the scenario and figured out the work-around, so I know what to do.

It's a trade-off indeed, like most things, but I no longer feel short-changed. To the contrary, I find myself lovin' this FZ7 baby more and more every day.
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Old Aug 7, 2006, 10:51 PM   #10
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If you're going to shoot higher iso, make sure you do not underexpose. If you do, and process boosting the exposure the noise will be worse. If possible, try to overexpose a little shooting at higher iso, or try to get the exposure correct, and then back off the exposure when processing, and you'll get cleaner images. I've done this shooting at iso 3200 on a dslr, and it definitely works. Use your histogram and try this. It will work....cheers.......Don.
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