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Old Apr 1, 2007, 4:13 PM   #1
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I had a wee play around with my brother inlaws FZ30 today - took several test shots and then came away thinking how close Panaleica are with having the best non DLSr cam out there (the Sony R1's basically been discontinued so doesn't count). I'd liked to have spent more time with the cam than I did but these are my thoughts on a replacement to the FZ50 are this:

1. Ergonomically its pretty spot on, although there are a couple of things that I did notice which could well be improved. One thing that they can definetly change is move the on/off button. It should be like a lever as on the L1 on the back of the body.
2. Lens - they can definetly make the lens bigger, length and diameter. I came away feeling that the lens barrel was a wee bit short and not wide enough either for me to hold comfortably. This would also have the added benefit of allowing it to be faster and possibly a constant f2.8 again.
3. Increase the weight of the camera body just slightly - the fZ30 felt just a tad bit light for my liking. Then again I'm using my Oly E1 a lot and my FZ10 feels very light compared to that. What the extra weight would do, combined with a slightly larger lens is to give the camera a much better balance and also improve how slow you would be able to shoot with IS. My current setup with the Oly E1+14-54ZD I 've been able to shoot at 1/3s handheld and get a sharp detailed shot - partly becuase it feels very right in your hand. The FZ would be able to do that kind of shutter speed consistently withe OIS.
4. Throw in a slightly larger sensor 1/1.7" or bigger would do or a 2/3CCD @ 8-10MP. Combined with the larger lens that should provide less noise at higher ISO's. Also to start the ISO at 50 and allow incrementals steps of 50 after that.

What do you think ?



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Old Apr 1, 2007, 5:35 PM   #2
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Me I love the size and feel of the FZ30 but like you I crave an even better version.

I'd love the LCD screen to move like the canon S3. I'd like a buffer so that shooting raw does not mean I cannot use continuous shooting modes. I'd love if RAW files were compressed somewhat and I'd love the lens to start down at 24/28mm and have f2.8 through the whole range. Almost left out the higher ISO usability.
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Old Apr 1, 2007, 6:54 PM   #3
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Like you, I really like the ergonomics of the FZ50. Any improvements I might suggest would be rather non-essential "tweaking", so I won't include them.
Like you I would have no fundamental objection to a minor increase in size & weight. There were, at one time, vague rumours that Panasonic was working on an 8MP 1/1.65 CCD. If this were to be included in the new model it might lead to better dynamic range and require less aggressive in-camera NR ... but would call for a new, larger lens design to which you and others would seem to have little objection. It would be nice if this could be made to hold a constant f2.8 throughout the focal range.
There are those who want more MP (presumably because they do a lot of heavy cropping). I would find 6 or 8MP quite enough - particularly if it led to improved IQ. This was, essentially, the finding of a survey done by dpreview when the FZ50 first came out.
I wonder if there is any chance Panasonic might come out with two variants of the new model - 8MP and 12MP; similar to Canon? That way all prefernces might be covered more effectively.
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Old Apr 1, 2007, 9:01 PM   #4
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I agree with the changes you have outlined HarjTT. I will not buy another Panny camera until they have done something about the ISO/noise problem. Well, OK maybe if they gave me a 18-620mm zoom with constant f2.8.:-)
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Old Apr 2, 2007, 7:40 PM   #5
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Im pretty happy with the camera. But a wider angle would be nice. And of course better ISO. Even though im very happy with the Venus 3 I dont like control being taken away from me and would like to see something where I could turn off noise reduction.
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Old Apr 3, 2007, 11:03 AM   #6
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I would so love to see some improvements to get me to upgrade
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Old Apr 3, 2007, 11:04 AM   #7
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Great ideas. Some wish to see the retun of f2.8 and on-off switch on the back as my FZ20 has.

Now if there was just a Red Dot:lol:

Any news of a new cycle or FZ 80? Skipped the 40 (why not?)
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