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Old Sep 15, 2006, 2:08 PM   #1
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I currently have a Canon A520, I like it as a point and shoot, but as far as taking creative shots, although it has a pretty intuitive manual mode, it just doesn't cut it for what I want. I think of myself as a photography hobbyist. I want more out of my photography experience then just snapping photos, but, after researching DSLR cameras for the past few months, I have decided that I am not yet ready to invest the money into an inventory of lenses nor do I wish to carry all of the extra equipment around with me. Thus I find myself again looking into the prosumers. I am thinking about picking up the FZ30. I understand many complain about the noise issue, yet others claimthat the severity of this issue isblown way out of proportion. I have seen alot of great pictures taken with this camera; most of which look way better then what I have achieved with the A520. Are you all satisfied with this camera for the price?
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Old Sep 15, 2006, 4:41 PM   #2
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Now I am about as big a fan of the FZ cameras as there is.....but if you have no need for an ultrazoom camera.......I believe you should look at a different type camera.....

The Ultra zoom cameras IMHO need to comprimise on some things to accomplish others......I actually can not imagine being without a Ultrazoom but I just wanted you to be aware that there are trade-offs.

Now since I have no need for a camera with a small zoom, I do not keep up with them so I am no help in suggesting one.

I would decide what type photos you will mainly be taking and then try to find a camera that suits your needs. Ifyou decide onan ultrazoom I do not believe there is a better one made.

But to answer your question ...I really am satisfied with the FZ30.
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Old Sep 15, 2006, 4:44 PM   #3
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Let me precede this by saying that this is all just my own opinion, but I read, evaluate and compare samples as much as anyone else, so I'd be comfortable in saying I know a lot more than the average consumer about digital cameras.........

I am not even a hobbyist, because I rarely get time to go out and actually take pictures. But I got into photography when my daughter was born, and I am an enthusiast. I read this board every day, but seldom post, and rarely post photos, although I really should if I want to get better.

There is simply no better prosumer camera than the FZ30. It has limitations. Noise is sometimes an issue to some, rarely for me. I've seem some ISO 200-400 shots with very decent results if you don't mind using the flash or otherwise have good light. If you want to take indoor low light photos without flash, then you want to buy a dSLR. It's as simple as that. Small sensor cameras just cannot physically handle that end of the spectrum yet (but I think Fuji is getting really close with the F30, a small compact model). Otherwise, the FZ30 excels at most everything else. For under $500 (even less maybe)you get a camera with results that will in many cases rival dSLR quality, with a much more versatile lens that would cost thousands for similar equipment on a dSLR. The FZ30 feels and handles like an SLR, but is more compact and very easy to carry with ALL your accessories in a medium size bag.

The MAJOR trade offs? Less dynamic range, which even I will admit I sometimes wish I had. And noise, but no more noise than you see on any other camera in this class. Actually, instead of saying noise it would be more accurate to say the trade off is excellent quality at an ISO range of 400-1600. Many dSLRs will give you that. Please read this for what it is...an opinion, but I think factual and accurate.

John
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Old Sep 15, 2006, 4:46 PM   #4
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Until they fix the image quality of the FZ50 the FZ30 is one super camera! Jim
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Old Sep 15, 2006, 8:50 PM   #5
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Thanks alot for the feedback guys. I think I am going to go with the FZ30. Its funny how I have come full circle with my pick on which camera to buy.

genece - What types of situations do you find yourself taking advantage of the zoom the most? I'm just curoius.
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Old Sep 15, 2006, 9:03 PM   #6
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Most of my photos are wildlife and/or birds....Its not that I do not take many lanadscape photos and some people photos , but wildlife is my main attraction.

Most of these were taken by my wife and she is a 100% point and shooter.

http://imageevent.com/grc6/fz30
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Old Sep 15, 2006, 9:06 PM   #7
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Here a two examples of the FZ30 at work. I copied the text below from my web site so you will understand the photos.


We have developed a new style of Wildlife photos which we call "Stalking Wildlife Photos".
You will find numerous photos that have an insert of a close up of the animal or bird we want to photograph.
The large photo or background photo is where we found the animal and the insert is after we have stalked in closer to get the close up shot.





I hope this helps you see how the FZ30 can do a lot of things.

TOTALLY WACKY roger
FZ 30, Nikon TCE17, QuikAim Max RDS, Zeiss Digiscope/Sony W7
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Old Sep 16, 2006, 2:46 PM   #8
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Hi contriver!

I have an FZ30 and am loving it. However, I would not be honest if I didn't tell you that it wasn't easy for me at first. I come from a point and shoot background. To better explain my position, I have editeda reply I made in another thread about the FZ30helping mestretch my knowlege of cameras and inspiring me to be a better photographer. Here it is.

_____________________________

Although I've taken pictures my whole life and owned a miriad of cameras, I never owned an SLR,and it was for good reason. They scared the heck out of me! :lol: I always owned an automatic-everything type camera. Auto focus, auto advance, auto pilot...jk.

I love to take pictures, but I figured I could NEVER learn a camera so complicated as an SLR. All those levers and dials labeled with obscure numbers and letters. I heard words and phrases like aperture, f-stop, shutter speed, ISO, OIS, white balance, macro, and all those focuses - Spot, multible and center weighted. And what was depth of field? I would begin to shut down trying to make sense of it all. OH, and manual focus with my own fingers? This was all so "other worldly" to me.


Nope, I didn't think I could even come near to understanding any of these foreign concepts.

Now, here I am with my FZ30 happily learning all the above (well, almost). This camera has actually made it inviting to learn these concepts.Owning the FZ30has allowed me to learn more about manual mode and understand the featuresand verisatilecapabilitiesthey provide.But, because the FZ30 is such a "smart" and powerful camara,I enjoy exploring the manual functions, learningas slowor fastas I wish and stillexperience the great satisfaction oftaking beautiful pictures using the program mode, auto mode and scene modes.

Noise or artistic textural grain as I prefer to call it (haha), is not an issue with me. Neat Image is a free download and I find it to be great in clearing up any artistic textural grain that I'm not willing to leave alone. This is usually only needed rarely for me.

I have taken countless hundreds of pictures with my cameraover the last seven and a half months, I am now spoiled by all it has to offer including the huge megapixal availability for enlargements and/or cropping, and even more spoiled by the amazing 12x zoom capability. Not to mention the handy swing out LCD display. That has come in handy many times. I'm only scraping the surface of whatthe FZ30 can do. But in keeping with your question of whether I'm satisfied with this camera for the price, I only know that I could not settle for less than what this camera offers. As for the price, it's worth every cent.

Teree

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Old Sep 16, 2006, 3:38 PM   #9
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Well, I took the plunge! (finally:-D) I've been looking for a new digital camera for months, cruising the varius websites, reading reviews, hunting forums, pretty much making myself :whack:!I had a bunch of points on a rewards card and I decided to reward myself with a camera. I originally wanted the FZ30, I had actually gotten to the point of being one click away from placing the order... but all of those reviews! Oi, the noise, the noise, oh no, the noise...also the fear factor of having more than just an auto point and shoot was rather high so I backed off and decided maybe the time wasn't right for an ultrazoom... so I started lookingfor a decent point and shoot, leaned in on the f30 for a while (must be the lettering!) But I kept coming back to the fz30.

I'm not a pro shooter, I'm just someone that likes to take photo's. Of friends, family, views, out the window driving (shh ;p)My brother was a proshooter, I remember going along with himsometimes and being the gofer:roll: I would think... wow, all that to take a pic... I just press this lil button here and presto I Love looking back at places I've been, sharing them with friends and family, printing them out for later, playing around with settings and crops, all of it.


I started hunting the forums again, mostly here, to see what mostly regular people liked and disliked about their cameras. The FZ30 was uppermost in my mind, but I checked other forums as well, lurking about, clicking the various albums and such. I had about decided that yes! The FZ30 was once again my first choice... then thenews came out about the fz50 and total confusion set in once again!

To cut a way too long post short, the user photo's with the FZ30 and the happiness they've expressed with their camera, especially thehotel and tiger98 (totally amazing shots guys! I always look for new posts), pointed me back on course. Luckily, I've been able to find the camera (tho' not in black) and it's been ordered! So! I hope that you don't mind that I've answered your post as I am not yet an FZ30 owner I almost feel as though I am withall of the months of research on this project of mine! Iam sure it took less time to decide on my house and vehicle tho' :blah:

I hope to become a productive, photo-producing (and sharing) member of the forum soon!
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Old Sep 16, 2006, 5:06 PM   #10
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"Are you all satisfied with the FZ30?" Of course I can only speak for myself but I'd say no. However I don't regret buying it at all. I've learned a HUGE amount about photography from using the FZ30, far more than I ever did with my old FZ1 and have a much better idea of what I need from a camera now. The FZ30 can take terrific photos - under the right conditions. Unfortunately I seem to be taking a very large percentage of shots under far from ideal conditions for the FZ so for me the FZ30 hasn't been that great of a camera. If you're fully aware of it's limitations and don't have a problem working within those limits the FZ30 is a great camera.

I'll be getting a DSLR soon, but won't be getting rid of my FZ30 either. I'll use the FZ when appropriate, or when I need/want a video (probably of the kids).

John

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