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Old Jun 21, 2007, 10:44 AM   #1
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I am interested in purchasing this camera. The reviews I have read seem good. I was just wondering if anyone has this camera and if so, how do you like it? Do you have any sample pics I can see?

Thanks!
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Old Jun 21, 2007, 12:31 PM   #2
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mgrogan wrote:
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I am interested in purchasing this camera. The reviews I have read seem good. I was just wondering if anyone has this camera and if so, how do you like it? Do you have any sample pics I can see?

Thanks!
I have one, and it's been wonderful to shoot.

Up to the last few months I had been shooting soley withDSLR's for the last 3+ years and have just decided to substantially lower the weight of my outfit and have divested myself of much of my DSLR outfit and have picked up two Panasonic cameras, first the FZ50, another wonderful body that I use with my Olympus FL50 flash, and more recently the TZ3, which I've owned for probably 4 weeks or so now. I have been posting images from the TZ3 in a folder on my website here:

http://gmchappell.smugmug.com/gallery/2900447#156043664

These are not "protected" images, so feel free to download as many as you want and give them a good look. They are all thefull-sized JPEGfiles, not thumbnails.

I also participate in the Panasonic forum over on DPReview and have posted quite a bit about this camera. Here are a few you can scan through..

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...ssage=23465655

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...ssage=23423840

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...ssage=23396906

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...ssage=23385080
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Old Jun 21, 2007, 12:51 PM   #3
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Greg,

Thanks so much for sharing! Your pictures were excellent! I will be upgrading from another Lumix model - the FZ5 (which I got tired of carrying around in a bag). I am hoping that I have the same image quality or better in half the size!
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Old Jun 21, 2007, 3:09 PM   #4
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I think you would be pleasantly suprised with the TZ3.

You definitely do not have access to all the manual controls a camera like the FZ5 has, and I'm certainly not used to a "point & shoot" only, but these digicams are much more than just the point & shoots of the old film days where there really were no controls other than justthe zoom mechanism and shutter release. There's plently of options to still be in control of the final results and the lens is fantastic. About the only missing feature I wish were there was the ability to lock exposure and focus separately. You actually can sort-of do that in one of the automaticmodes (underwater) but it really isn't a good mode for general shooting as there are issues, like white balance,imposed by the camera because it "thinks" you are shooting underwater.

I've been perfectly happy with results up to ISO 400 in any capture, and I like the look of ISO 800 and 1250 files when converted toblack & white images.

This is the first camera I have used with no finder that allowed you to hold it at eye level and I won't window dress the fact getting used to shooting without one is not easy if you've not done it before. The hardest part for me has been getting the composition exactly the wayI want, especially when you're zooming towards that 280mm tele end. The finder can really start jumping around if you have the OIS set to mode 2, which in my experience so far has been the best of the two options in keeping the camera still enough at the moment of exposure.
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Old Jun 21, 2007, 3:26 PM   #5
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Aside from some of the Fuiji models (which only happen to be 3x zoom) - I'm doubtful that the TZ3 would perform any differently in low-light settings compared to any other compact point-and-shoot cameras. I'm used to taking pictures with the FZ5 using the LCD so not having a viewfinder will not be a problem for me. Also, as far as having no manual controls - I definitely don't mind this either as that for me is the reason for purchasing a point and shoot to begin with -quick and easy.

The only hesitation I have with the TZ3 from what I read is the aggressive noise reduction engine. However, like you - I always pp my pictures so I am hoping unsharpen mask will take care of this. Your pictures looked great!
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Old Jun 21, 2007, 3:50 PM   #6
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Yes, these files sharpen upgreat. I use the Smart Sharpen filter in Photoshop CS2 to do my sharpening. It's a wonderful filter.

There are three primaryperameter settings, Natural, Standard and Vivid. I've shot 99% of the images on my webpage in the Standard setting, which is an equivalent of normal sharpening..enough sharpening to makefiles look good on the camerasLCD, but if you then finishthem on the computer the files are much nicer looking. The Natural setting uses low sharpening and really requires the user to do more post processing than either of the other two perameters. Vivid is, in my opinion, over the top in it's colors and uses hard sharpening. It's basically for people who are looking to do little or no post processing, but the colors to me are too vivid.

I forgot to mention above, it is nice after using this camera not having to clean my glasses, so there are advantages for some of usto shooting without an eyelevel finder!
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Old Jun 21, 2007, 4:08 PM   #7
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interesting...

I will definitely have to look into that sharpening filter in CS2. Up to this point, I have always used Photoshop Elements 4 to do my post-processing. I got a chance to play around with the camera at Best Buy and it really looks and feels great. I have large hands and anything smaller would make it difficult for me to operate. It is small enough that I can put it in my pocket though. I think it is the perfect size. And as for that huge LCD screen... who needs a computer? I'll just use that to showcase my pics!
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Old Jun 21, 2007, 5:05 PM   #8
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mgrogan wrote:
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interesting...

I will definitely have to look into that sharpening filter in CS2.
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It's great, the next generation of Unsharp Mask..

http://www.earthboundlight.com/photo...-and-more.html
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Old Jun 21, 2007, 5:38 PM   #9
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Thanks!!
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