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Old Sep 12, 2008, 7:16 PM   #1
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I can't beleive with as many people salivating about the FZ28 (including me), that no one has posted a review or sample photos. You know it's going to be a while before Steve gets around to it, but the camera is available now, and personally I want to know if I'm dumping my Canon S3 IS (a disappointment from day 1) for the 28 or if I should start looking for an FZ50. As good as the FZ50 is, I know that only 35mm wide-angle would drive me crazy. I'm looking for one camera to do it all, and as much as I would love to have DSLR quality pictures, I refuse to lug all of that stuff around. I like to have fun WHILE I'm taking pictures, whether it's kayaking, climbing, biking or whatever. Change lenses?...forget it.

I realize there is a photo-posting section to the forums, but it's too time consuming to go through them to find out who used a FZ28. So, those of you who already bit the bullet, please let the rest of us know what you think, especially of you own both cameras mentioned above.

Thanks,
Scrench
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Old Sep 13, 2008, 8:26 AM   #2
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Scrench,

You will find many personal reviews of the FZ28 over on the Panasonic Talk Forum on DPReview.com http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/forum.asp?forum=1033 .

Just enter 'FZ28 review' into the search box and you'll get 8 pages of links.

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Old Sep 13, 2008, 7:17 PM   #3
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rschofield,

Thank you for your reply.

Yes, dpreview does have some info on this subject, but I was hoping some dedicated STEVES'S reader might provide a little more, especially better and more test photos, and better yet, a direct comparison with the FZ50. Apparently news of the G1 as a possible replacement for the FZ50 is stealing all the limelight at the moment, and very soon I expect it will be the Canon SX1 IS.

Scrench
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Old Sep 16, 2008, 4:15 AM   #4
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Howdy Scrench! I think I'm your guy. Please don't take that the wrong way! I just got my FZ28 delivered from Vanns. When I wanted it, B&H were out of stock on the black ones, and I can't see buying a silver camera, personally. Unfortunately, at no fault of Vanns, UPS screwed up the delivery (I paid for overnight, cause I wanted to test out the camera on a little projectthat I am heading up in the Catskills). They did get me the camera on their next business day, Monday, but by then I was away. I also own the FZ50. Love the camera, but like all of the Panasonics that I previously owned (the FZ20 & 30) I wasn't crazy about the camera in low light. And being a former professional photographer, who still does some jobs on the side, when I have the time (which is almost never, but I squeeze in a few during the year!). So, I do have the Canon EOS 20D & 40D, but I am gettin' old and who wants to schlep all that equip around! I am treating myself to a few weeks in PR this winter, and when I saw the FZ28 release, I decided to get it, why? B/c now my camera bag consists of my FZ50, a 40D (or 20D) with a couple of lenses and my canon HV20 (Hi-Def camcorder). When I heard that the FZ28 does HD video, I was sold. I knew the audio would be terrible, but unless I am videotaping a band, crappy audio is more than fine for vacation footage.

So now I will just take the FZ28 on vacay, nothing else, maybe some cards. Let me tell you, I have a 32mb SDHC card, and you only get 8 min. of HD video! For regular video, you get about an hour, but I literally just got the cam. So, I will be playing around with it this week, and will bring it to the Catskills to see how it handles a (semi) pro job, video included.

One of the first things I noticed, which I am not happy about, which was also a big problem I had with the FZ20, was the color of skin tones. Right off the bat, in program mode, I squeezed off a few shots, and I wasn't too happy with the skin tones. Now I haven't played around with the camera, so I am sure I can get it to my liking, but I usually like when things work correctly out of the box, without compensating. I also noticed that it didn't do such a great job in flourescent lighting, but that is more of a white balancing thang. Ok, I will post the pic that I now have as my avatar. You can see the promotional tag still hanging from the camera. And you can see my B&W filter that I put on there. The camera is nice and small and fairly light. BTW, if you want me to compare certain situations btw the FZ50 and the FZ28, let me know. Here's an actual pic, just taken with the FZ28, set on Auto (after the fact I noticed that it sot it at ISO400, so I did a little "despeckling")
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Old Sep 16, 2008, 8:25 AM   #5
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Hi Scrench, and Hi again, Hanks

I think , notwithstyanding their problems, Lumix are still leader in the UZ market.

Agree with Hanks, FZ20 had in Auto WB too magenta skin tones.
Always had to desaturate (and "hotten") red hues.
Better witha Manual WB and low contrast and low saturation!

FZ28 has Kelvin WB and more in cam saturation (and other parameters) levels (and RAW if one wants it)....

Scrench:
FZ50 and FZ18-28 are different cams:

Apart from swivel LCD, hot shoe and F11, (all useful or necessary for macro) and a bigger Sensor, there is nothing in the FZ50 better than their little cousins.
FZ50 if I well remember, still has only 3 levels of picture adjustment (NR: -1, 0. +1) which forces you to shoot RAWS if you don't want small fine details erased by strong NR even at low ISO on jpgs.

As I already wrote when I still had no dSLR, the latters qty (especially at big size prints and jpgs) is undeniably higher than on compacts UZ, but you have to take with you many good lenses, tripod and most of the entry level -kit lenses which are in themselves even more expensive than FZ50, are fairly put to shame by the lens and CCD of the Panasonic. You have to invest a lot (and bring a lot of expensive stuff with you) for professional top standard results (apart from each one's skills).

So that's all a mater of "WHAT" one wishes to do, from which it follows the "HOW" one wants to achieve that.

There are situations where I objectiveluy cannot bring my 40D and its big bag and lenses with me (seaside), but each sunday, I pleasantly bear the weight of that burden during my trekking, for it delivers nearly top quality...
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Old Sep 16, 2008, 8:30 AM   #6
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PS

can you post some Low ISO, good light , 100% landscapes/outdoor crops ?
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Old Sep 16, 2008, 8:31 PM   #7
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Hey Narmer, good to see you still here! Ok, this isn't exactly what you asked for, but it is my first "day" with the camera (being I got it last night). I went to one of my stores, today, in Long Beach, NY. This picture I took using one of the auto modes, which gave me a shutter of 1/250th @ f5.6, with an ISO of 160, which is fairly low. This is no great picture, by any means, but its one of the only ones I got, I took this at the lens' widest angle. Prior to this picture, I had taken a close up picture of the movie theater, and Just wanted this picture for comparison. I will be in the Catskills this weekend, so I can take plenty of scenic pics. BTW, the only thing I did was r/s it and I compressed the jpg file (so I could get it under 250kbs!) Here it is:


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Old Sep 16, 2008, 8:51 PM   #8
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Hank355 and Narmer, I can't tell you how much I appreciate you taking valuable time out of your day to help me out on this decision.

Hank355, You certainly do sound like "The Man." Interestingly enough, since posting this, one review has come out at Photography Blog on the camera. It's very favorable. But again my lack of experience with Panasonic makes me wonder.

Up 'till now I've owned a Canon G5 (loved the quality, I even loved the phony extra-saturated colors, but not enough lens), A Nikon 8800 (stolen from my son when he got mugged in a Roman train station on vacation, he's ok), then like a goofus, I bought this S3 IS without trying it, expecting the image to be as good as the other cameras. Whoops! Wrong! And of course, too little wide-angle.

I never even seriously considered a Panasonic until I started reading about all the people who rave over the FZ50, and consider it to be the "closest thing to a dslr" without actually owning one. Isn't the 50 bigger than the !8/28, more along the size of an actual dslr? That, plus only 35mm wide-angle would probably rule it out for me. But the 28 sounds like it was made for me. The only drawback I see at all is the lack of a swiveling lcd, which can be fantastically useful in the right situation. But I'm willing to work around that if everything else is "right".

Hank355, probably the best thing you could do for me is to put your 28 through the ringer, as I'm sure you will do anyway, and let me know what shakes out. I would love to see AB comparisons of the same shot with your 50 and 28, both jpeg and RAW. And since you mentioned right away that skin tones were off, not being a professional, I would be interested in what settings you find that give the best IQ.

Narmer, I suspect you're right, because looking at the sample pics on PB, I got the impression that I was looking more at FZ50 shots rather than FZ18. They report that the Venus IV processor combined with the larger sensor has improved the IQ over the FZ18, and that it's now usable up to ISO400. Perhaps Hank355 will touch on these matters. The site does include some RAW samples and an HD movie, fairly impressive. Take a look.

Thanks Guys,
Scrench


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Old Sep 16, 2008, 8:59 PM   #9
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Hank355,

That looks to me more like an FZ50 shot than a FZ18, especially since it was just a "casual" snap. Sounds like you're gonna' have a blast this weekend. What could be better; good weather, in the mountains, with a new camera!

Have Fun, and bring back some good ones!
Scrench
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Old Sep 16, 2008, 9:40 PM   #10
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Hey Scrench, to answer your question, yes the FZ50 is a bigger and heavier camera than the FZ28. And the shot above was taken with the FZ28, and without pp, with the exception of the resize. I will definitely put the camera to the test, and if I can afford the space, I'll pack the FZ50, as well to do a side by side comparison. And I am with you on the swivel screen. Why? Why couldn't they put that on the FZ28, esp. on that camera being that it is more "gadgety" than the close to DSLR FZ50. I have a feeling very soon Panasonic will anounce the FZ60 (or FZ70), and it will have greater resolution (12-14 megapixels). Have everything that the FZ28 has, and have a swivel screen. Maybe even a few other things that we are not anticipating. I really wish they would put a nice large sensor in the camera so we can shoot at high ISOs w/o NR. I will keep posting, and just chime in and let me know if you want to see anything specific, or if you want me to mail you the original image, so you can try to print it, whatever, just let me know. I am actually so happy to be back in this forum. There are some incredible guys here. And I am sure, like myself, they come in and out. Now that I am using Panasonic again, I will be here more often, esp. if they come out with a new version of the FZ50. One other interjection, if you don't mind. For what you are getting, I really think the camera is a steal! It isn't like investing in a dslr. So even if you decide to get something else in the not to distant future, this purchase wouldn't be a real "loss". But then again this is coming from the guy who owns every camera since the FZ20! Of course I am also getting paid for my shoots! Good luck to you!
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