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Old Sep 8, 2006, 11:37 PM   #1
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Well after testing and comparing the FZ50 with my FZ30 for a week I can honestly say that the FZ50 is a nice camera, neat features...but the picture quality doesn't compare to that of the 30! (IMO). I really wanted it to be better and tried everything to make it so but it wasn't to be! I tried every setting and combination of settings to improve the pictures but it wasn't happening. I found that if you took the pictures from the camera without enlarging them the pictures looked fine, but if you zoomed into the picture to 100% or beyond everything began to smear badly! I can go to 300% with a FZ30 picture and with a little NR it looks ok! (not great but 100% improvement over the 50). I'm sure it's nothing that Panasonic can't improve with the next FZ, especially if they go to a larger sensor. Bottom line if you just want to print up to 8x10" with little to no PP or NR then the 50 will work for you. If you want the best image quality and the ability to enlarge beyond 8x10 with no major degrading of the picture then stick with the FZ30! (IMO) Jim

It should be noted that the "tests" I conducted with the FZ50 were primarily real life field tests, taking pictures under different conditions as I have done in the past with my FZ30. They were in no way scientific, and the conclusions I came to were based on what I could see on the monitor comparing similar pictures from both cameras.
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Old Sep 8, 2006, 11:49 PM   #2
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Hi Jim,

That's a nasty surprize! I was waiting to upgradeto the 50 but from what I here I'll remain with the 30 until Panasonic goes with a bigger sensor.

Emmanuel
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Old Sep 9, 2006, 12:45 AM   #3
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Did you try it with the NR set to low Jim? That's not nice to hear since I like to shoot birds and crop 100%. Maybe I will hold off a little longer.
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Old Sep 9, 2006, 6:14 AM   #4
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Jim
many thanks for your honest perspective

Riley
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Old Sep 9, 2006, 7:08 AM   #5
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Now I am still not sold on the FZ50 but zoom in to 100 to 300 %....whats the point?

The photos from a FZ camera will never stand up to that even my beloved FZ30.

IMHO...If that is your need you need to reconsider how you take photos..... a printed 8 X 10 or at most a 12 X 16 or full screen on your monitor is the best you should hope for, again in my opinion.


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Old Sep 9, 2006, 7:30 AM   #6
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its such a pitty
the camera has some great features
and quite probably much of the time the images are good, in instances of good light were noise would in any event be low.

If only Panasonic kept with the idea that you could engage full manual control, which if I have it right is their claim. Yes there would still be noise but I think many users would be happier. Especially given that, i engaging this forum, it is pretty clear that the Pana FZ series users pursue a wide variety of photographic subjects and techniques, and are much more the shutterbugs of days gone by rather than P&S proponents.

Where in some ways this well featured camera is probably in the right place at the right time, the noise issue and its consequences (Venus) seem incongruent to that path.

Riley
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Old Sep 9, 2006, 10:11 AM   #7
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Hi Ted, Yes I tried it evrywhich way you can think of and still had the same results. I even tried reducing the MP to 8 and 5 and the pictures still did not have the crispness of the 30. I noticed in the first pictures that I took that the image edges appeared strange but thought it was just the settings but I now feel it's the way the pictures are processed by the cameras software. Believe me I wanted to keep the camera in the worst way but couldn't justify getting it when the picture quality was less than the 30. Jim
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Old Sep 9, 2006, 10:19 AM   #8
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Hi Gene, The reason I stated zooming in to 100 or 300% is for me it was a way to see if I was imagining the poor image quality or it really wasn't there. Also on birds, insects and other small creatures I always do a 100 % crop! I frequently zoom into a picture in Photoshop to see how the picture holds up. To me it's a good test of the image quality. ( IMO). I tested and retested to see if I could live with the reduced quality but in the end thought it would be dumb to keep a camera that could not give equal or better quality than my 30! Again these are only my opinions and in no way are meant to discourage anyone whom buying the camera. They are only meant to give one person opinion of what I found when comparing it to the FZ30. Jim
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Old Sep 9, 2006, 10:21 AM   #9
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Riley, I couldn't agree with you more regarding the cameras great features! If only the image quality would have been close to that of the 30 I would have kept it. Maybe I'm too critical??? Jim
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Old Sep 9, 2006, 10:33 AM   #10
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Thanks Jim.

And the reviewer on DPRVIEW said essentially the same thing regarding the FZ50: recommended but with reservations on the picture quality in some areas.

However, as noted here the point and shooter will not care for anything other than a normal size picture. That said, the camera obviously appeals to a more sophisticated groupthan that.

Guess I'll just go with my original intent: DSLR.
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