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Old Sep 8, 2006, 2:57 PM   #1
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Taken from the conclusion of Simons review at dpreview.

And so, to sum up; for the serious user the FZ50 is without doubt the best equipped, best specified and best handling 'bridge camera' on the market today, and under the right conditions it produces superb output. It is a rewarding and enjoyable photographic tool that - once you've learned its quirks - offers a compact 'all-in-one' solution to anyone wanting a huge zoom range without all that lens changing and all that bulk. Inevitably this involves a certain amount of compromise; the smearing of fine, low contrast detail that is the hallmark of the Venus III engine limits the FZ50 to low ISO settings for any serious photography unless you're happy to accept that you'll never be able to produce big enlargements. For me this is an acceptable compromise, and - though I wish Panasonic would drop the megapixel race and concentrate on picture quality - it does produce excellent printed results. If this had been a mould-breaking 5 or 6 megapixel with excellent low noise performance throughout the ISO range (and particularly up to ISO 800) it would no doubt have performed considerably better and would have been an easy choice for a Highly Recommended. As it is it just squeezes in thanks to its many other outstanding qualities - and only for those users who can live without anything over ISO 200.
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Old Sep 8, 2006, 3:18 PM   #2
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I liked the comparison to the Canon EOS Rebel XT at ISO 1600 very much. I've never laughed so hard for quite some time ... :G

At ISO 400 the "smearing" didn't look so bad - maybe a landscape shot showing tiny objects would've been a better photo op?
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Old Sep 8, 2006, 3:39 PM   #3
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Gene

I just skimmed through the review and it looks as if the FZ50 could be a keeper. I was suprised that it got Highly recommended considering last years review of the FZ30 but it looks like Pana have made more than enough improvments in the FZ50. Although from the offical sample shots I had thought the FZ30's images had higher IQ.

A quote from the review regards ISO and noise compared to the FZ30:

"The really good news is that - despite the FZ50's sensor being marginally noisier (from an examination of the raw files) than the FZ30's, at base ISO it produces images that are less noisy, yet don't suffer from any obvious noise reduction artefacts - at least not in our studio comparison shot. I was very worried indeed that the FZ50's Venus III processor would cause problems at low ISO settings, but it doesn't seem too painful (see the section on noise reduction for a more thorough examination of the effect on low contrast detail). We did, however, see evidence of noise and noise reduction in 'real world' shots taken in lower light."

I do agree with with Simon's point on MP - if they had reduced the MP to say 7MP and say fine tuned Venus III a bit more I'd buy one at the drop of a hat as I'm sure ISO400-800 may have been a lot more usuable. Its got me curious and I may just get one - depends on whether I pick up an Pro lens for my E1 and stick to a single lens on it and then upgrade the FZ10 to the 50. Decisions, decisions.

:O :?

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Old Sep 8, 2006, 3:50 PM   #4
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When Steve did the Kodak P880 review he made a few RAW shots and compared them to the JPEGs. If he could do just that with the FZ50 that would be great!
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Old Sep 8, 2006, 3:59 PM   #5
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HArjTT

I am also suprisedand it seems its just like the other FZs it takes great photos but it is not for pixel peepers....

did you notice the difference in the shutterspeed between it and the fuji at ISO 1600...it does not make sense to me.

I think I will wait a while but I most likely will get one for the next vacation.

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Old Sep 8, 2006, 4:40 PM   #6
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I think its pretty clear there is an amount of 'group think' that may have been encouraged thru the FZ30 innitiation and has grown somewhat at the arrival of the FZ50. That said it is a shame that there is this distance between the capability of the chip seems and the resolution the lens is capable of.

I cant see a camera from this sphere of manufacturing getting acceptable performance at iso 800 unless there is some sort of engineering or software breakthrough. But even approaching iso 400 would be nice.

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Old Sep 8, 2006, 4:49 PM   #7
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Well, that settles it for me. I'm sticking with my FZ30. I agree it seems verycapable of stunning images at ISO 100-200, and I am not a pixel peeper, but if I'm not going to get a significant quality boost at ISO 400 and up, than I'd rather just play with the noise myself (neatimage)than let the Venus III turn it into an impressionist painting.

I wonder if this will cause a rift. I would think, based on that review, that if you are in the market for a camera in this class, the FZ30 is probably every bit as good as the FZ50 (if we're talking about ISO200 and below). If you want high ISO, gotta jump to the next class (SLR). This should help the FZ30 hold it's value for another year at least, in case I do decide to upgrade to something else.

If Fuji's glass get's any better or closer to the Leica design on the FZ30, their new S6000fd and S9100 could really get me thinking about deserting my affinity for Panasonic. I hope the next flagship FZ model really does make some strideson the sensor issues, since I'll never be able to afford the L1.
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Old Sep 8, 2006, 5:03 PM   #8
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you know I would dearly love to see what everyone seems to have avoided.
some interior shots using the TTL flash, or even a well managed auto from the hot shoe
that for me would tell the story

Riley
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Old Sep 8, 2006, 5:11 PM   #9
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I'm happy to see a panny get a Highly Recommended from Simon. Been awhile. One wonders if he didn't cave to to all the recent flak he's gotten about some other HR conclusions. I'm still happy with my measly 5mp fz5 for long zoom and 6mp fx01 for pure take-anywhere fun. No significant leaps forward with the fz50. I have enough cameras laying around as it is. I'll wait for a high iso sensitvity sensor before I'll add to that collection. Nevertheless, it's nice to see a new FZ in the dpreview HR circle.
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