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Old Oct 17, 2006, 2:28 PM   #11
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Jose, I have the FZ20. While it is a very fun camera, it has also made me tear my hair out at times. I'd consider the FZ30 if $$$ are an issue or the FZ50 if you are looking for a longer term relationship with the camera.

While the FZ20 has served me well, I'm getting tired of dealing with the following issues:
  • Pink/Red tinge on skin
    [/*]
  • Red fringing at large f-stops (2.8 to 5.6) when shooting high contrast subjects like birds in trees or the moon.[/*]
  • Noise at iso80 that shows up as the camera gets warmer during extended shoots at for example - airshows (78°F ambient), the smooth blue sky gets very textured
    [/*]
  • White balance issues[/*]
  • Difficult to use manual focus with EVF
    [/*]
The FZ30 appealed to me because:
  • much better layout on camera back of buttons & controls[/*]
  • better EVF allowing manual focus to work much better
    [/*]
  • better in camera processing reducing or eliminating the red fringing[/*]
  • the extended zooms up to 19x for a 3MP image[/*]
  • movable LCD on back for shooting with camera above my head or at ground level[/*]
  • RAW file format[/*]
  • faster focusing[/*]
  • more pixels for ease of cropping[/*]
  • lense is enclosed and does not require adapter
    [/*]
  • same burst modes as FZ20
    [/*]
  • loss of f2.8 at long zoom not a deal breaker
    [/*]
The FZ50 appeals to me because:
  • it has all of the FZ30 improvements and...
    [/*]
  • better white balance than FZ30
    [/*]
  • control of noise at iso80[/*]
  • better RAW handling[/*]
  • TTL Flash[/*]
  • even faster focus, maybe?
    [/*]
but the FZ50 lost some of the fps burst speed which I use quite a bit.


I know I would really enjoy using the FZ30/FZ50 with the new controls layout. Much faster in the field to adjust aperture or shutter speed on the fly. And I can't say enough about wanting to have that extra bit of zoom for some of the birds I've seen. But probably the biggest thing for me would be the FZ50's better handling of exposure and white balance. Much less post processing and it might even be fun again for me to take shots of my kids and other people.


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Old Oct 18, 2006, 10:31 AM   #12
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NewsyL, thanks a lot for your post.

Well... I was almost decided to get the FZ20 until I read it. Now I'm kinda wondering.

I should note that it is the first time I've read about the Pink/Red tinge on skin, the Red fringing at large f-stops and the White balance issues you mention... are they present in some specific kind of light situations, or just in general?

Would you explain a little bit on how does the TTL Flash work?

Thanks.





Also, I would like to know if someone here has owned both the FZ10 and 20 and can tell for sure if the batteries and the chargers are entirely compatible (that means, can I use my FZ10 charger / AC as an AC power source for the FZ20, since the FZ20 charger does not work as an AC?)

Thank you for your time and patience.
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Old Oct 18, 2006, 12:52 PM   #13
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Skin issues - this was much discussed a way way way back when the FZ20 was new. Panasonic even had a blurb on their web site that indicated that the camera's processing algorithm's were tweaked to highlight skin tones. It's too bad that DPreview has their search function disabled as there were dozens of posts there. There should be some here though.

Here is an OLD example of pink skin. Note that I have a different post processing workflow now and it is much more natural. The point is that with ALL shots of people I find that skin tone is not acceptable. Pink on the Left and after (quick & not so good) post processing on the Right. This was shot under natural light coming through a wall of floor to ceiling windows on an overcast day. I can't recall the camera settings offhand but I can tell you I see this effect to varying degrees with different settings. I can tell you as well that I have tried setting a custom white balance using gray and/or white cards with limited success.







The red fringing is present anytime you have a high contrast subject like a bird on a branch with overcast sky in the background. This is a real typical situation for shots of birds in the wild. On days like this you need to use a large aperture to capture the limited light but large apertures will give you a distinct dark red fringe similar to a chromatic aberation on the topside of the branch and sometimes a green fringe on the bottom side. I also see it on overcast days shooting buildings. It is only an issue when you have to crop an image such as with birds and are therefore looking at the image at close to 100% of actual size. Hardly noticeable in full frame 4x6 prints but definitely noticeable with cropped out subjects on 4x6's. I use Aperture mode to deal with it, forcing the camera to small apertures F6.5 to f8.0, using iso200, and hoping the subject will sit still.

The FZ30's in camera processing eliminated most of this fringing in addition to what most people refer to as chromatic aberations (the purpilish fringe).

White Balance - just very fussy at times. I often find myself recomposing and half pressing the shutter several times as the first or second attempt resulted in the EVF showing a colour caste over the entire image. From experience I know that taking that shot will have WB issues. Particularly, the camera seems to struggle with greens at times.

I'd google the TTL Flash info.... in short, you have an automatic flash that can sense the exposure using the camera's metering system and configures itself based on what the camera sees Through The Lense (TTL). You don't have to set anything on the back of the flash unit. This is for flash units that mount in the camera's hot shoe.


Now.... despite the above issues I have had plenty of fun with my FZ20. However, I do find myself not taking certain shots just because I know from experience I don't want to deal with the aftermath. Still, I get way more shots with this camera then I did with my Canon G1.

Newsy http://newsy.smugmug.com/

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Old Oct 18, 2006, 2:17 PM   #14
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¡¡¡Ouch!!!
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Old Oct 20, 2006, 7:54 PM   #15
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If you want to stick with Panasonic get the FZ10 fixed or buy an FZ20 the rest are junk.

You will never get results like this from the 30 or 50.


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Old Oct 20, 2006, 8:29 PM   #16
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NEWSYL

Never had that problem if you would use these settings

Exposure bias -1/3
I set manual W/B to suit the settings. The auto is not very good.

Spot mode
Picture size 2304
Quality high
Contrast STD.
Sharpness high
Saturation STD.
Aperture Priority Mode
Manual Focus using the switch on the barrel
A CRing adapter with a 62mm UV and 62mm Hama Hood.
The hood is very important use it alwasy except for flash

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Old Oct 21, 2006, 7:00 PM   #17
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I just wanted to put my 2 cents in. I have owned my FZ20 for about 2 years now, maybe more, and I still love it! I purchased an FZ7 last year, too, and am now trying to sell it because I just never use it - I thought the pictures turned out WAY better with my FZ20. I have a ton up on my website if you want to check them out: www.mkklein.smugmug.com

Good luck!
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Old Oct 21, 2006, 8:19 PM   #18
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Lovelife...

Thanks for the suggestions but I've been around the block on this issue a few times. I've tried enumerable settings and I see it to one degree or another. Maybe I just have a bad camera but there were enough reports from other users of this issue shortly after the launch of the camera that I believe it is not a bad camera. Maybe a bad batch?


Exposure bias -1/3
Usually use this or even -2/3 but it depends on the metering mode I use. For example, with sky shots and Multiple Metering mode, I find +1/3 or +2/3 is necessary to prevent underexposure of aircraft overhead.

I set manual W/B to suit the settings. The auto is not very good.
I seldom use Auto W/B, usually using Daylight or Cloudy mode with usually one tick to the Blue in WB adjustment, but even using a Gray or White card to set manual W/B does not produce an accurate skin tone. The effect is greatly reduced over auto but it is still there. I always carry a 18% Gray Lens Cleaning Cloth.

Spot mode
Spot Metering - Love using this for certain shots but not practical for moving targets. Not really relevant to skin tones unfortunately.


Picture size 2304
?? I always use the largest size which is 2560x1920.

Quality high
Always

Contrast STD.
Always

Sharpness high
No thank you... I use STD or LOW and post process using USB or High Pass Filter.

Saturation STD.
I use LOW and I find this helps a lot. I post process to bring the saturation up but only after adjusting to remove the last remnants of pink/red tinge skin.


Aperture Priority Mode
Almost always and especially with portraits.

Manual Focus using the switch on the barrel
I use AutoFocus for most shots. I really find the EVF poor for fine tuning focus and far too time consuming. Gresat to have though in low light.

A CRing adapter with a 62mm UV and 62mm Hama Hood.
Exactly my setup. Phayee in my case.

The hood is very important use it alwasy except for flash
Always use one except for with internal flash.

On the subject of flash... that used to be another WB issue that ticked me off. The camera's "Flash" WB is just wacked. I and others have found that setting the camera's WB to Daylight and then adjusting the WB three ticks to the RED side gives an almost perfect WB when using the internal flash.


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Old Oct 22, 2006, 12:36 PM   #19
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Thanks to everyone for their comments and opinions. I should let you know that I'm almost decided to buy an FZ20.

There have been some extensive responses since the last time, I'll have to check them and maybe then ask again...

Thanks again.
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Old Oct 22, 2006, 9:57 PM   #20
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I wnt from perfectly good FZ10 to 30

and still wonder why
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