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Old Oct 17, 2006, 10:27 AM   #1
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I currently have the FZ-20 and wish to upgrade. My first choice was the FZ-50, for obviose improvements over the 20, minus the 2.8 aperature. My concern with the 50 was that it would not give me the pic quality of the 20 but I think that issue can be put to rest after seeing many excellent posts from the 50. Now the crunch. For the price of the 50 I can come close to getting a pentax K100 and since it is an DSLR it has to be better-correct? I understand that for low light there is no comparison but for the rest I have looked at many posts from the Pentax and feel that in fair light the FZ-20 takes a superior photo when the dslr uses kit lens glass. Not even taking in the telephoto abilities of the panny and the noise issue has never affected my style of shooting. I never print over 8x10 so I ask you-am I just an easy person to please or would the Pentax be a waste of money for me? The high ISO would be nice but the tele reach to me is more important. PS - Does it sound like I am answering my own question?
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Old Oct 17, 2006, 10:38 AM   #2
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All I can say to anyone thinking of going to a DSLR is EASE OF USE! I shoot a lot of birds and wildlife. I'm not as good as some on this forum but if I am out shooting and see something a 100 yards away, all I have to do is ZOOM! If I had a DSLR I would need to change lenses and the subject isn't going to wait around for me to do that. I think the FZ50 is as perfect a camera as you will find for all around shooting. I call it the "Fun Factor" of photography.

Not to mention the fact that it would cost several thousand dollars to get the quality of lenses and the reachthat the FZ50 already has.

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Old Oct 17, 2006, 11:03 AM   #3
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I own both the FZ50 and the Nikon D50, but I am retired and I like to play with cameras. I would recommend the FZ50/30 for you unless you want to spend a lot of time and money trying to get better picture quality (excluding noise) from a DSLR. A DSLR and FZ50/30 both have advantages the other does not but for most people the FZ50/30 is by far the best choice.
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Old Oct 17, 2006, 12:26 PM   #4
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d-sr and tcook. Thanks for your replies, especially coming from two members that have opinions that I look up to. I believe the cap is finally on the bottle.
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Old Oct 17, 2006, 1:11 PM   #5
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First of all I should say that I've only owned an FZ10 and I'm trying to upgrade to an FZ20. That said, I think you should wonder what the actual advantages of the FZ30 or 50 would be:

Do you really need 8 or 10 MPixels? With 4of themI've printed at as much as an A3 format. Besides, keep in mind that (although, those who actually *own* the new Lumixes can think differently after their own experiences and will probably say so) the image quality suffers by havingsomanypixelstogetherinasmallsensor, so you either have noise (I've seenit in an FZ30 at ISO 200) or someloss of image qualitydue to the noise reduction. Check dpreview.com's review of both cameras, they go deeper in the subject of image quality and noise, comparing them with other models. There are also some critiques to the RAW mode.

Yes, we can always want more pixels, but perhaps you can think of a 10 MP camera as something more professional and aimed to LARGE prints which could *somehow* make you more money, so in that case you can aim directly to a DSLR. Of course, if then you want a 35-420 lens... but perhaps you could keep the FZ20 as a backup camera for a while.

Then there are minor features which can become important in their own way, like an AE Lock button, two dials for exposure, MANUAL ZOOM RINGand the rotating LCD screen, and I think the EVF issue was corrected (was it still present in the FZ20?). Hmmm. But you've also lost the f2.8, which Ithinkis part of the point of having a super-zoom camera, more than getting to f11.

Well, as I said I'm looking for an FZ20 to replace an FZ10, and after giving it some thought (mostly, what's written above) I put it over the FZ30 and 50. Yes, in my case price was also a factor. But perhaps your needs are different.

I hope I said something helpful after all.
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Old Oct 17, 2006, 1:50 PM   #6
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I own a FZ-30 (O.I.S.) and Konica Minolta Dynax 5D (with anti-shake).

For the everyday use, between KM-5D w/ kit lens 18-70mm and the FZ-30, Panasonic is the winner due to the 35-420mm lens.

However, I shoot a lot of events in low ligth (theater, weddings at nigth, etc), and there I use the KM-5D + Tamron 70-210 f2.8 lens. No way to campare with FZ-30.

Tamron has announced a new lens: 18-250mm (equiv 27-375 mm) 13.8 X Zoom !!!

With this compact lens I think I won't need the panasonic anymore. But the lens will cost me the same than my FZ-30.

Sumarrizing:

For every day use, non (low ligth)+(fast action) shoots: FZ-30 is the best

For more flexibility: I sugeest DSLR w/antishake + Tamron 18-200 or 18-250 (And you will allwayshave the option to buy new lenses for spacific purposes)



Note: FZ-30 and FZ-50 are almost the same, more pixels=more noise. It is a trade off, you decide.
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Old Oct 17, 2006, 2:17 PM   #7
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as one who has made the leap from an FZ20 to a DSLR (Canon 30D), i understand your dilemma.

first off, the reasoni chose a DSLR instead of upgrading to the FZ30 or '50 is simple... the newer Pannies do not offer any improvement in image quality over the FZ20. they offer BIGGER images, but not BETTER, and i wanted better image QUALITY, not just more pixels. after all, image quality is what it's all about for anyone serious about photography.i also knew that if i got an FZ30, it wouldn't be long before i'd want to upgrade from THAT, and i didn't want to get into an endless cycle of buying newer 'prosumer' cameras every year or two.iknew i'd wind up getting a DSLR at some point anyway, so why wait and spend more money on cameras i'd only be content with for a short time?

yes, the DSLR costs more. and good lenses - do not EVER scrimp on lenses! - cost a lot as well, but they are essential to good photos. in exchange for that higher cost, though, DSLRs offer some real advantages. they are faster, more flexible, and offer much superior image quality. lenses are readily available which are optically as good as the FZ's and offer greater zoom (my Sigma EX80-400 is every bit as clear and sharp as the lens on my FZ20, and gives me up to 640mm - 50% more thanmy FZ... it's an absolutely killer lens, but it cost me a grand all by itself!); with a simple lens change, i can get close-ups thatsurpass anything i could get with my FZ. autofocus is faster and more precise, it can track moving targets and keep the focus locked, there's no EVF blackout during burst shooting, and the viewfinder is MUCH sharper and clearer. i can shoot wellover 1000 pictures on a single battery charge, and of course, i can shoot at ISO 1600 with no more noise than my FZ20 sometimes generates at ISO 100.

so the real question is, do youNEED any of those things? if you don't shoot a lot of action shots,and if you don't print anything larger than 8x10, you probably can't justify the cost of a DSLR just on the basis ofspeed or lower noise or pixel count - the FZ20 will make stunning prints up to 11x14 without a problem, and i have the prints to prove it.if you make BIG prints, as i sometimes do (i just ordered a 30x40 print for a client, and there's no way i could have gotten a clean enough image to do that with my FZ20!), then more pixels and low noise are needed, and perhaps the FZ30 or '50 might be better for those kinds of shots.

if you're looking for ease of use, low cost, and fun to use, the FZ20 you already have is as good a camera as you need, especially given your relatively undemanding printing needs. it is compact, lightweight, and doesn't require a bagful of lenses tomaximize its potential, andif most of your shots are of static subjects, even in relatively low light, the FZ20 is capable of pretty much anything you need. if you want more pixels to make larger prints, or allow more cropping, the FZ30 is as good a choice as any. if you feel the need forthe whiz-bangs the '30 or '50 offer - most of which are nifty to have, but do not improve image quality - then by all means get one of those and save the money you'd have spent on DSLR lenses for trips to take more photos with your FZ! :G


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Old Oct 18, 2006, 5:15 AM   #8
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Thank you all for the thoughtful input. Each has good points to consider. I think it will be the FZ-50 or maybe the FZ-60, if I can wait that long. A special mention to Squirl033- I agree with your post entirely. If I were 20 years younger, or rich , I would go the dslr route as suggested. The fz series my be inferior, and is in some respects isas we all know, but after reconsidering my needs the fz will deliver what I need from a camera. Thanks again.
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Old Oct 18, 2006, 8:04 PM   #9
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I have a Nikon D-100 with five + grand in lenses including 3 of the VRs for it. Also have an older Minolta 7i - 5MP. While the Nikon is better for some things I always preferred the 7i in general.

I just bought a FZ50 a couple of days ago; ... haven't had any chance to actually use it for real, but playing around with it around the house, it looks like it may replace both cameras as the one I grab for every day use.

So far the only thing I don't like about it is the noise on some of the darker stuff, and some sort of weird pixelization & 'muddiness' I noticed on one shot on some distant dark dark green pine trees. But other than that... Right out of the box with auto settings, the Lumix takes photos as pleasing as the Minolta and better than my average photo with the D-100. I really have to work harder than I like to get a shot with the Nikon that I am pleased with.

I'm not sure what your reference is to the 2.8 aperature is though... The FZ50 has F2.8 at the wider end of of zoom.

Oh, and with the limited real use so far, it seems to me that the Lumix image stabilization system seems to be a LOT better than that provided by my Nikon VR lenses.
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Old Oct 19, 2006, 11:38 AM   #10
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Does it?

I know for sure the FZ30 loses it's 2.8 very "zoon", becoming an 3.3 and a 3.7 at the tele end of the lens. I surely hope they fixed that in the FZ50... but according to dpreview's comparison, it is the same as in the FZ30:

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/comp...0&show=all



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[...] I'm not sure what your reference is to the 2.8 aperature is though... The FZ50 has F2.8 at the wider end of of zoom [...]
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