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Old Aug 27, 2006, 12:10 AM   #21
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Maybe just pointing out, the reason why the noise levels are lower on this DSLR rather than Panasonic's other offerings in the FZ series is simply because the 4/3 sensor forces them to make a larger sensor. Usually Panasonic goes skimpy on the sensors trying to cram 10 megapixels in a 1/1.25" sensor.
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Old Aug 28, 2006, 8:06 AM   #22
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Renegade_R wrote:
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Maybe just pointing out, the reason why the noise levels are lower on this DSLR rather than Panasonic's other offerings in the FZ series is simply because the 4/3 sensor forces them to make a larger sensor. Usually Panasonic goes skimpy on the sensors trying to cram 10 megapixels in a 1/1.25" sensor.
Of course, that is true of all DSLRs and Panasonic is no exception. That is why on most DSLRs anything above 6MP is a bit of a compromise. Yougain resolution but you also increase noise. I would have prefered that a lot of the new models being introduced had not gone above 8MP but it looks like they want to sell by numbers rather then performance. Of course, a couple of the Canons feature a full frame sensor which can push the MPs a bit but I sure even they will push the limits.


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Old Sep 3, 2006, 11:11 AM   #23
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Hi HarjTT...

Just read the lukewarm review from Luminous landscapes. Very surprising. Dim viewfinder? Buffer issues? Need to have power-on for manual focus? Wow. What were they thinking? But I think this camera will compete:

1. It seems like there is an outstanding lens on this camera. Really a heck of a lens, it seems, and it comes with the camera.

2. The lens alone is worth the price of admission.

3. The street price of this camera will be a lot lower than I expected. I think Panasonic already has a solid built-in market - a good portion of Lumix users, ready to step-up to a DSLR will want it, plus this is for all intents and purposes a "Leica" and a lot of Leicaphiles will want that glass. Also, sitting on the shelf next to other clunky looking DSLRs this is one sexy looking camera.

Brings me to my other point. And I'll shut up about it. Over and over again I read about digitals having drawbacks that one just takes for granted with film cameras, which when purchased used, are a fraction of a fraction of the cost and provide as good/better quality than digitals. Taken for granted:

- manual focus
- bright viewfinder
- High ISO speeds (digicam limitation)
- operational simplicity - a few simple settings...
- always ready to shoot, always "on" no boot up time
- low light capability with fast lenses that don't cost a fortune.
- Outstanding build quality relative to digitals
- No battery issues what-so-ever. Many are fully functional without them at all.

You concentrate on shooting, not what setting to use and what submenu it's under in the 50,000 drop-down menus. No worries about Raw standards, software, flash memory cards... Plunk a roll of film in the camera, shoot, drop it off at the lab, pay like $6.00, get 24 prints in about an hour and be done with it.

Someone here mentioned the Konica Hexar AF, and yes, the Lumix DSLR looks a lot like it. However, they sacrificed functionality to get that sexy "Hexar" rangefinder look (see dim finder). The Hexar is a brilliant camera that I was considering. But I went with an even earlier model for my latest camera purchase - A Konica Auto S3 rangefinder. Fast 38/1.8 lens with 82-60 lpm center resolution across all apertures. Pretty compelling spec. It also has an innovative flash system that balances natural light and flash. The camera is very compact - fits in the palm of your hand.

Can it do everything this $1200 lumix can do? No. Of course not. First and foremost, it's a fixed lens camera, like the Hexar AF someone mentioned. But there's a lot it can do just as well, and a good deal it can do better. It has none of the vices described in the article about the Panasonic DSLR, and requires very little thought to operate. The lens - I'll bet, has every bit of resolving power as the Leica, plus it's much faster. I can put 800 speed film, Fuji Superia 800 if just fine, and with a 1.8 lens on a rangefinder body I can shoot at 1/15 handheld. Great for the lost art of candid photography... lost to the digital revolution where you're blinding people with flashes and AF assit lights, losing the moment while the autofocus hunts... The cost of this little wonder? Fully serviced and refurbed with a six month warranty - $90 shipped from an eBay seller. (I was patient and got a good deal. Max price for this one is about $125 for a good used one... Price I paid was about average but I got a serviced camera with a warranty.)

I'm resigned to the fact that someday I might be forced to by a DSLR if I want to keep photography as a hobby though this won't be for a while. If I was willing to part with the dollars, I would buy a used Hexar RF (same as the AF but has interchangable lenses) and a couple lenses absolutely any day before I buy any of the DSLRs on the market. The Hexar RF has been out of production for several years, that one with a couple outstanding Konica lenses - used, probably costs as much as this Lumix DSLR.
Interesting that many top of the line film camera, like the Hexar RF, maintains its value while most of the digitals depreciate like a rock, and quickly.

As I walk in the camera store, and look at those $1200 DSLR kits sitting next to the last of the Mohican $200-300 brand spankin' full retail priced new Nikon or Canon film SLRs, I really wonder if this is progress...

My take is on the digital revolution is... If you're a casual shooter who wants to take snaps and post pics on the web? By all means, get yourself a nice point and shooter...a little digital you can keep in your pocket. Still like and use my 2.1 megapixel FZ-1 (though that doesn't fit in a pocket, it's small enough).

Are you an advanced amature who wants interchangeable lenses? Use any of the amazing film SLRs or rangefinders. Way better ergonomics, cost a fraction of digitals, last decades, no batteries... and have absolutely none of the vices the "digital revolution" have introduced. Film? Never a vice to me. I like fooling around with different film stocks. It's part of the fun! With the $1000 bucks you save buying a film SLR over a DSLR - with all of the frustrating vices they have that are not present in a film camera...

... take a nice all inclusive trip or a cruise or put it in your kid's college tuition fund.

Ergonomics and simplicty combinded with uncompromised quality means everything. DSLRs are too frilly, imo. Why do Leicas - even used, command such high prices for even decades old cameras? Why such a fierce loyalty. Yes, prestige plays a factor, but that brand loyalty was earned. Their cameras are simple, inobtrusive, ergonmomic joys to use, and of course fast lenses. They're everything digital SLRs are NOT!

Are you a high volume commercial photographer who shoots a ton of film for a living every day... where film and film processing and touch up is a big expense of your business? Get the biggest bestest pro-level digicam you can buy, so that you can equal the quality of film, and so "Uncle Mort" who has a more modern DSLR than you doesn't embarrass you at that wedding reception.

Rant off : )
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Old Sep 4, 2006, 1:50 PM   #24
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Nick I think you make some interesting points about L1, and they are difficult to fault. I think a lot of people have been watching/waiting the arrival of L1, and I see some side stepping and committing elsewhere for another camera. And actually thats the case for me too.

What I find interesting to think of is this, there is still no sign of the Leica counterpart as there was with LC1 and the D Lux2. That to me suggests maybe there are some problems, and Im hoping that people are working on it to engineer out the bugs and fine tune the product. Then Im hoping that the results filter down into other 8 to 10 Mp cameras from number of manufacturers in this strange alliance.

I hope that the marketing guys from Leica/Pana and others visit places like this and get a sense of the interest and disatisfactions in some of these cameras. I for one like the look of the 'thing', and hanker to get back to twisting barrels and turning knobs, instead of endlessly plugging thru menus till I forget what the hell I was looking for.

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Old Sep 4, 2006, 11:31 PM   #25
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Priley said, '' Ifor one like the look of the 'thing', and hanker to get back to twisting barrels and turning knobs, instead of endlessly plugging thru menus till I forget what the heck I was looking for.''

This is interesting because until several months back I didn't even realize one had to dig into a menu just to get at some silly old shutter speed and aperture. And this was after I had been reading, casually, about digital cameras for over a year. However Meanstreak says you can display both aperture and shutter speed as a matter of operation once the camera is set up properly. Since I had been reading that this digital camera or that one had fully manual controls I just assumed aperture and shutter speed was there, right up front, nothing to search for. (Yes, I admit I'm from the old school...but willing to change.)

My main area of contention was the post processing stuff since I'm only a casual shooter. (I've since had this explained to me in more detail by Brent Gair.)

Initially this area was my reluctance to understand why there was a need to do anything at all to a photo if the camera iscapable of producing results the user could be proud of once the controls of the camera were understood. And this comment is made knowing full well that some film users manipulate their pictures tooin their quest for a keeper.So in this sense there is no difference,hence the post-production.

My problem was that I had placed digital photography on a pedestal and refused to see limitations in it. All I had been hearing the past two years from friends is ''You don't have a digital camera yet!'' So in the totalcontext aboveI quietly came to grips with the benefits of digitaland, sometime after Photokina later this month, will take the plunge particularly in light of some DSLRpictures I've seen right out of the camera. This alone makes it very appealing to me.

Tha said, mycontentment has always been with an interchangeable lensestype camera and even though those prosumer types are really interesting I will undoubedly buy a DSLR... yup, even for casual shooting.
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Old Sep 5, 2006, 1:48 AM   #26
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well 'display' is probably right
changing can be a different experience
the pana/leica's are the only ones I know of that you can preset speed/aperture/focus before you turn the thing on, and I think thats an underated experience and a lot of the appeal to L1-LC1.

I guess there are two ways to look at it
the joy of photography, you're not in a hurry, you manually check out the settings, then compose.
or the duty of photography......this is the shot I need, ok camera make it happen
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Old Sep 5, 2006, 10:47 AM   #27
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NickTrop_redux wrote:
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Brings me to my other point. And I'll shut up about it. Over and over again I read about digitals having drawbacks that one just takes for granted with film cameras, which when purchased used, are a fraction of a fraction of the cost and provide as good/better quality than digitals. Taken for granted:

- manual focus
- bright viewfinder
- High ISO speeds (digicam limitation)
- operational simplicity - a few simple settings...
- always ready to shoot, always "on" no boot up time
- low light capability with fast lenses that don't cost a fortune.
- Outstanding build quality relative to digitals
- No battery issues what-so-ever. Many are fully functional without them at all.

I probably have one of the biggest investments in film cameras of anyone around here. I think I still own seven different brands of SLRs (including a Medium format Bronica) I have two enlargers. I'm 48 years old and started doing my own darkroom work when I was 12. Having invested tens of thousands of dollars and most of my adult life in film, I have no predisposition of denigrating the format.

But digital is still better.

Let me address a few of the points mentioned here (using my Olympus E-500 as the baseline because that's what I own):

Manual Focus: You lose manual focus when the camera is turned off. This just isn't an issue for me. If I want to manual focus, I turn it on. Truth of the matter is that the autofocus is much better than my manual focussing has ever been.

Bright Viewfinder: I recently mentioned this in another post. I never noticed that my DSLR viewfinder wasn't bright. Is it dim? Never noticed. I've got a Nikon F3...does that have a brighter viewfinder? Again, I just never even noticed this as a problem. It only became an issue when I read about it on the 'net. If DSLR viewfinders are dim, why didn't I ever notice even after 35 years of using a film SLR?

High ISO Speeds: The supposed superiority of film is, in my experience, a TOTAL myth. I always found the grain in high speed film to be much more annoying than the noise in a high ISO setting on a DSLR. In fact, I think you would find very few people who think filmis superior at high ISO.

Operation Simplicity: Are you kidding me? A DSLR is as simple or complicated as you want. I can put mine on "Program" mode and shoot 500 pictures by doing nothing more than pushing the shutter release. If I WANT to adjust every parameter, I can. If I don't want to, I don't.

No Boot Up Time: See my previous comment. Yeah that EXTRA SECOND it takes to boot up is a real annoyance. Of course, it takes about 3 extra seconds when I'm trying to lug my 4lb. motor driven Nikon F3 out of the camera bag.

Low Light/Fast Lenses: That is a legitmate point. I have a 50mm F2 macro and there is no question that it's an expensive lens. Having said that, the autofocus capabilites are so outstanding that the digital macros faster focus in poor light than I can manually. But I accept your point.

Build Quality: This is another issue I've addressed recently. And I simply don't buy it. People take it at face value that film cameras are built better. The Nikon F3 is obviously better built than an Olympus E-500...isn't it? But is it? Is metal better than plastic? The windshield of an F-15 and Neil Armstong's helmet are polycarbonate plastic. That's good enough for me. I've never had a camera, digital or film, fail during operation.

No Battery Issues whatsoever: Huh? Very few 35mm film cameras are fully functional without batteries. Many will retain a REDUCED functionality. The Nikon F3 was really one of the last of the fully manual pro cameras. If the batteries failed, you had ONE shutter speed...the camera could manually trip the shutter at 1/80 of second ONLY. Fact is that the overwhelming majority of 35mm cameras today are as dependent on batteries as digital.
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Old Sep 7, 2006, 12:50 AM   #28
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Interesting points Brent, - and I'm not trying to be a "troll". Just one man's opinion. I also develop my own, have an enlarger, a bunch of cameras... and I DO like my digital, the first Panny FZ.

I used only a Cosina-build all manual SLR for a decade. Then it jammed - once, in 2003 after not using it for over a year. Got caught up in the hype, bought the FZ-1 - loved it, for a while. Then as I got more used to it, I began to realize its limitations. I missed not having that creamy bokeh, no control over DOF because everything is in focus. I missed to film look, and got tired of putzing around in Photoshop, and buying expensive inks (I like prints). Wanted a wide angle lens - bought a good one that got me down to 24mm, a Raynox converter lens. Now I have this one pound hunk of glass hanging off my 2 ounce digicam... Nah. Sold it. Got tired of the flash always wanting to pop-up and having a 2.8 lens when I was used to a 1.4.

Kay, so that's only a point and shoot - and a great one even if it only has a couple megapixels. Meanwhile, I gave my trusty K-mart special SLR a good thwack and it unjammed and has been working like a charm ever since...

So, I outgrew my point-n-shooter digital. Do I buy a DSLR?

So, I looked a few in the camera store. And a friend let me shoot with her D70 ... regarded pretty much universally as a top-knotch DSLR. Man I hated the damned thing... I hated the size of it, the feel of it, the business of it. Just not "me" - ya know? I also realized then I was sick of software, Photoshop, plug-ins, file formats, USB cords, needing a computer for photograhy, inks always running out, printer problems, hard drive crashes, charging batteries, changing batteries... So instead of a DSLR, I amassed a bunch of film cameras. Old rangefinders, still use the SLR, MF folders, and an MF Kiev 60 with a full range of lenses. Never looked back, enjoy photography more than I ever have... Have absolutey NO desire for a DSLR. Frankly you can keep them. Blech.

With my film cameras, I just pick it up and shoot. No worries, no fuss. Both technologies take fine pics. But film cameras are just easier. You focus on the subject - not the technology.

To your other points about my points:

1. Dim finder - mentioned in the review of the Panasonic, which started this thread.
2. "Boot up time" - sometimes a second matters
3. Fuji Superia 1600 I find to be fine for a high-speed film, as is Kodak Tri-X in Diafine. Guess it depends on your tolerance for grain. DSLRs are good, perhaps a little better at this ISO. Rarely use it. But I do use 800 speed, and it's fine for high-speed.
4. No such thing as "buffer" delay with a film cam. Unacceptable - especially if I'm paying $1200 for the latest and greatest state of the art in 2006.
5. Focus speed... Depends on lighting conditions and the focal length, and class of camera you're using. One thing I know is I can always focus regardless. A good auto system is usually very good, probably faster than my manual SLR, depending on the lens but not by much, probably a tie with a rangefinder. Autofocus can still be fooled, I can't. I want to be in control of the focus... not some alogrithym.

Also, depends on the kind of photography you do... I like taking candids, family snaps. For this I use cheap japanese rangefinders. People don't know I took their pic half the time... sorry, you just can't do that when you're jabbing a big ole DSLR with a big heavy zoom in their face... firing the auto focus assist, and blinding them with a flash.

Again, I look at cost vs. value. I don't think DSLRs are worth the money. They're not that much better than a film camera, and in my opinion they're not really better at all.

I just for the life of me don't get it.


PS Not sure what cameras you have but at least 1/2 of the film cameras I own are fully functional - all shutter speeds and apertures, with no batteries. The only thing that goes is the meter. This includes two medium format cameras, several old rangefinders, and my 135 SLR.

PS PS... When I shot with the DSLR, I felt like the camera was in control of me, too much computer making the decisions, too little of me... that I was just pointing at stuff, and some chip had all the creative control. Esoteric though it may sound, the thing seemed possessed - like it had a life of its own, and I was just holding the damned thing, and it had a mind of its own. And in a real sense it does. This in addition to them being too clunky, busy, obtrusive to human subjects, over engineered, too much technology, and - franky, way too expensive for what it does, take pictures.

The camera does everything... what fun is that? They're computers that take pictures. I enjoy photography because I like taking pictures. Why should I let some computer chip in my camera have all the fun?

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Old Sep 7, 2006, 1:19 AM   #29
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Oh, and one last comment about build quality. My favorite 35 that I use all the time - a Fujica Compact Deluxe (price - $20 shipped and a Q-tip and $1.89 for a bottle of white vinegar to clean the battery contact), rolled off the assembly line in 1967. It has a razor sharp 45/1.8 lens. It's never been serviced. Doesn't look new but functions and takes pictures as good now as the first roll of film that passed through the gate. Most of the cameras I use were made in the 60s and 70s and one from the 50s. My "newer" ones are from the late 80s, early 90s.

Do you really think that the electronics and tiny motors and chips and memory will hold up for 40 years? I think you're lucky if you get 5 years out of the damned things for your 1200 dollars, personally. Course, most of those who use digitals will have their eyes on the next digital - maybe that next Panasonic that fixed the vices of the first one - with a brighter finder, better buffer, another megapixel crammed into the same sensor, and the "Venus MX engine" (whatever that is, and what that is is the thing that's "really" in control of the camera instead of the user) long before then.
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Old Sep 7, 2006, 9:59 AM   #30
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NickTrop_redux wrote:
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Oh, and one last comment about build quality. My favorite 35 that I use all the time - a Fujica Compact Deluxe (price - $20 shipped and a Q-tip and $1.89 for a bottle of white vinegar to clean the battery contact), rolled off the assembly line in 1967. It has a razor sharp 45/1.8 lens. It's never been serviced. Doesn't look new but functions and takes pictures as good now as the first roll of film that passed through the gate. Most of the cameras I use were made in the 60s and 70s and one from the 50s. My "newer" ones are from the late 80s, early 90s.

Do you really think that the electronics and tiny motors and chips and memory will hold up for 40 years? I think you're lucky if you get 5 years out of the damned things for your 1200 dollars, personally. Course, most of those who use digitals will have their eyes on the next digital - maybe that next Panasonic that fixed the vices of the first one - with a brighter finder, better buffer, another megapixel crammed into the same sensor, and the "Venus MX engine" (whatever that is, and what that is is the thing that's "really" in control of the camera instead of the user) long before then.
The comment about people who use digital cameras having their eyes out for the next oneis what makes Canon all their money- they've created the expectations and people seem to be like the mice and Canon is the Pied Piper calling them out,and theyfollowthem rightinto the river. People in those forums talk about the next camera before or shortly aftera new one hits the shelves...they feed off it, they EXPECT it. It's quite an amusingtrip to watch the comments people make, like here:

http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...mp;forum_id=37

I shot my last roll of film in 2003. My take on digital SLR's is this. I bought my E-1 11 months ago when they were still selling at $999 and bought my E-300 for $350 as a refurb from Olympus 6 months ago and use them in tandem.

I never processed my own film, with the exception of the 1-2 rolls of black & white I shot from time to time. There were two options when it came to processing of print film- I rarely shot slides- the cheap route via Walmart with it's associated quality costs from time to time. They are capableof very nice work and also of really lousy work. The other was to use the local pro lab, which was not cheap. The last time I had vacation pictures (14-15 rolls) processed through the pro lab it cost more than what I paid for the E-300. The last time I paid Walmart to process vacation pictures it was so bad I went back to the pro-lab and had the better images re-printed.

If you shoot film today and are happy with the results there's no reason to have to do anything else. Film's still for sale. Knock yourself out and be happy, but you'll convince few people on these boards today to do the same..all those arguements you use are as old as the cameras you own. I've used my share of Nikon F2's, Rolleiflexes and Leica's....that'sin the past for me and is never happening again. Yes, allthose film cameras I used "rolled off the assembly lines" 30 years or more ago too, but I hadn't owned them that long, and I was always experimenting, buying and selling bodies, 35mm and medium format. Iknow I spent more over time on film bodies, backs and accessoriesthan I everhave on digital bodies I use today.

Digital SLR's are mature enough today that you don't need to have the latest and greatest. The past generation of equipment is good enough if pictures and not equipment collectingis your main goal, and they are quite a bit cheaper when they are not the current "top of the line" models.

I'm not sure which digital SLR's you used, but mine all have aperture priority, shutter priority and full manual, as well as centerweighted and spot metering. The E-300 hasall those "dummy modes", but I've never once even played with one of those.If your camera controlled you, you weren't using it like you do your film cameras, and that's not the camera's fault.

On a proportional basis I print fewer images today, just the ones I really like, and that saves aton of money. I have a website I pay $99 a year to maintain and it allows me to upload as much as I want and send them to friends around the country orworld- more people see my stuff today then when I was shooting film, and without having to scan and dust spot every image first, a huge savings in time, and the time I do spend on the computer gives me better images consistently than when I was shooting film and having to make a decision about which lab I was going to give my money to, and it's fun, which is the bottom line here. In the end, whether you see this or not, digital cameras are a GOOD THING for your sake. Film cameras today are cheaper than ever, and you can thank thedigital era for that. Fewer and fewer people want a film camera today. Other than Leica's it seems, it's a buyer's market. Cameras like the Hasselblad, which I once only dreamed about owning, are now relatively affordable. The thing is,I'm now no longer interested.





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