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Old Dec 2, 2006, 3:44 PM   #1
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I have been trying to decide on a new camera for literally months now. I keep going back and forth. The FZ30 seems to have everything I want with the exception of the noise issue and lack of low sale pricing. My question is this...when is noise really an issue? Is it just in low light? Will you notice it in 4x6 shots or just in larger prints? Also on the pictures shown on this board a lot of them mention PP which I take to mean post processing. If that is correct is it done to correct noise or just to enhance the picture? I don't want to "fix" every picture I take. I have a small 3.1 MP Kodak now and relatively pleased with prints but want a lot more options (manual zoom and focus, great zoom) and a few more MPs. Until you can actually use the camera and take some pictures yourself it is so hard to tell how it meets your expectations. Not to mention I haven't been able to find a FZ30 or 50 in a store so I could try it out myself. I have also heard good things about Fujis but the lack of IS and several posts about cameras breaking has me leaning again towards Panasonics. Any insights is appreciated.


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Old Dec 2, 2006, 4:16 PM   #2
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Here are a lot of photos from the FZ30.....most are right out of the camera.....but I can not tell which ones that is except for the album that states they are not PP.

I would bet that 90% have no NR done to them as I do not see the need for it unless I get carried away trying to recoup some shadow detail..


Here is one I know has not been touched as I have not got that far yet.

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Old Dec 2, 2006, 4:51 PM   #3
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Stacy, the FZ30 has been a great camera for me. The noise issue only comes up when shooting under low light conditions and ISO over 200. Buying an external flash fixes the low light problem.

This camera is highly recomended.
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Old Dec 2, 2006, 4:56 PM   #4
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Explaining the noise problem can be a bit difficult. It's something you get to understand the more you deal with it, and while it can be a big problem for some people in some cases, for others it's no problem at all.

Here's an example photo taken in very low light. It is a 1 second exposure taken at ISO 100.

Here is a 100% crop of it (what it looks like zoomed in 100%).

At ISO 100, this is pretty much as bad as the noise gets. This has not been cleaned up, but it would look much cleaner after one pass with Noise Ninja.

There are a couple things that cause noise to appear. One is to take longer exposures, during which more static builds up on the sensor. The other is to turn up the ISO which increases the sensitivity to that static. Taking a long exposure at high ISO will get extremely bad noise.

Here's a more typical photograph. This was shot at ISO 80 at 1/100 of a second.

Here are some 100% crops.

If you look closely at the crops you can see a bit of colored blotchiness in the darker areas of the photo, but it's definitely not noticeable when not zoomed in all the way, or after the image is resized down. It would have to be blown up extremely large in order to be visible on a print, and if you were going to make a poster from this, you'd probably just run it through a noise reduction filter to clean it up.
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Old Dec 2, 2006, 5:15 PM   #5
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I will preface my remarks by saying, I love the FZ30. I have had it for about 4-5 months now and it was one of the best purchasing decisions I made.

Now to noise. Yes it is there and in some situations it is a pain. Here are a couple of indoor sports shots, where the FZ30 is really not the right camera. I am therefore giving you a worst case scenario. These were indoors, at night (so no light coming through skylights etc) at 400ISO with no flash.

The noise is obvious even after post processing with noise ninja. I am no expert with PP but I spent about 5 minutes on each picture tring to get a better result. I reckon if I did the same today I would probably do a little, but not a lot, better. The bottom line is I knew this was not the perfect gear for the job, but it was I had and I am not a pro but I got some shots of my nephew in his grand final.

Here is another where I reckon the noise adds to the quality of the photo, especially in B&W. Again 400 ISO, indoors, no flash with just some sidelighting from a window on the right.

And finally here is one where due to the high contrast there is considerable noise in the bridge pier. This is an iso 80 shot.

If you are shooting indoors, without flash you WILL see noise. The camera however will also give you some great shots.

I am a real beginner, so if you want to see what happens when a novice uses the FZ30 have a look at http://rafael.zenfolio.com/

I really hope that helps

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Old Dec 2, 2006, 10:42 PM   #6
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My advice, just but it and have fun!!!!:|:|
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Old Dec 2, 2006, 11:09 PM   #7
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I have owned an FZ 30 for 4 months now and still have the FZ15 I bought more than 2 years ago.
If you take a lot of low light pics or long exposures and don't want to bother with noise reduction than this is not the camera for you.

However under all other conditions the FZ30 is a versitile camera with an excellent lense , big zoom, IS, full manual control, and takes excellent photos. (as you can see on this forum).

For me noise is a minor (and rare) issue, easily correctable with a little PP.

I recomend the FZ30, because I care.

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Old Dec 4, 2006, 7:53 AM   #8
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I really appreciate all of the help. The pictures also help me see what the camera is capable of in good or bad light. Now if I could only find it on sale...
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Old Dec 4, 2006, 9:54 AM   #9
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Google FZ30 and you will get everybodys price on it. Be careful who you buy from but I have bought from questionable sellers before and you just have to be firm when they try to sell you a $300.00 512 SDcard or somethingelse thats way over priced. I don't make them mad , I just don't buy anything else.......................Don
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