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Old Oct 10, 2008, 12:48 AM   #11
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Here are some JPEG's produced from RAW files I shot this evening.

The includedSilkypix program isn't necessarily the easiest RAW conversion programI've ever worked with, as there are several sliders where I had little idea what they were going to do, especially in the noise reduction filter, until I enlarged the image to get a closer look at what was happening as I adjusted the values. Even at that, I still didn't get some images to look they way I wanted, but it worked OK enough, at least for now.

Obviously, the higher ISO images are the ones that give the most trouble, and I erred on the side of retaining as muchdetail as possibleat ISO 400, atthe expense of putting up with a little grain/noise, which at normal viewing sizes works very well.







These last two were shot at ISO 125 using the Auto ISO setting and weremuch easier files to work with..




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Old Oct 10, 2008, 7:13 PM   #12
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Hi Greg,

Now you've confused me too. The shot of the buildings behind the banners is a little out of focus, and as you say, that can be accounted for because of their relative distance, but that doesn't explain why the buildings on the right, which are obviously behind the ones on the left, are again in focus. They should be further out of focus then the ones on the left, shouldn't they? In fact, that's what I thought you were focusing on in the first place, the larger building to the right. Is it possible that the camera actually did focus on that? It seems to be the most "in focus" thing in the picture. I think the banners are not as sharp as they should be, maybe even more out than the building behind it. If so, it would all make sense, except that the camera focused on the wrong thing.
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Old Oct 10, 2008, 8:46 PM   #13
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Sometimes it can be hard to see because the sensors on these cameras are so darn small the depth of field is huge, even at longer focal lengths.

I did focus on the banners, as I was using the spot focus point dead center and placed it over the banner when I focussed, then re-composed and shot. The bannersare fairly dark so it's hard to see. Both buildings are several blocks beyond the banners, there's even a sunken8 lane highway in between,and well beyond the focus distance. Had I only been a few feet away from the banners when I shot the picture, the degree of out-of-focus the background would have been would have been much higher, but I was several yards away from them too.
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Old Oct 15, 2008, 1:47 AM   #14
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Here are a couple of additional RAW files, shot at ISO 400 and processed in Silkypix.

After messing with these two off and on for a few days, I finally figured there needed to be a tone curve adjustment in addition to tweeking the noise filter settings. The two used together (tone curves and noise filters) do a decent job with these higher ISO images...




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Old Oct 19, 2008, 12:21 PM   #15
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Greg, I am puzzled by something in the second set of shots posted - the raw conversions. In the close ups there is a strange "pixelated outline" around the leaves in ther first pic and then again the middle of the second pic. Is this noise? would this be apparent if printed?

I've currently got an fz20 but am looking to get either the fz28 or canon sx10(poss even sx1) and this might make a difference. However, excellent shots eirtherway, which certainly shows off the extent of the wide to tele lens!

woody
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Old Oct 19, 2008, 10:52 PM   #16
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ukwoody wrote:
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Greg, I am puzzled by something in the second set of shots posted - the raw conversions. In the close ups there is a strange "pixelated outline" around the leaves in ther first pic and then again the middle of the second pic. Is this noise? would this be apparent if printed?
Is this one of the the ones you are talking about?



Zoomed to 100% there's definite noise, but also a lot of sharp detail. I played with loweringthe noisemore, but preferred to keep the detail retained by keeping the noise that's there. For me, the image size has to be raised to 100% for it to become objectionalble. The X3 size on Smugmuglooks good and is probably bigger than I'd ever print it. I would figure printing as large as letter-size to 11x14 should be fine, especially if viewed from a proper distance.

I do see some halos that have to do with objects beyond the leaves that the lens could not completely blur out. I was several feet away from these branches and could not get closer. These smaller sensored cameras make it hard to create that creamy, blurry, out of focuslook you can get with a DSLR and long focus lensunless you can get pretty close to the subject.
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Old Oct 20, 2008, 3:19 AM   #17
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Hi Greg, yes that was the shot, but I'm even more puzzled now as the "fault" seems to have disapeared:?. I don't know if it was my monitor last night or what, very strange. I will have to look at them on my laptop later. There is as you say some very minor noise and halos, but nothing to write home about.

I forgot to say they are great pics, that show of it's capabilities, many thanks for posting them. Are you pleased with it?

woody
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Old Oct 20, 2008, 9:23 AM   #18
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ukwoody wrote:
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I forgot to say they are great pics, that show of it's capabilities, many thanks for posting them. Are you pleased with it?

woody
Thank you Woody.

Yes, very pleased. I really like the size combined with all the manual options. I've mentioned it at least one other place, but there are many things ergonomically, even with the electronic motor zoom mechanism, that I prefer in this camera over my DSLR, the obvious one being the weight difference, andthe joystick makes doing so many things easy and one-handed.
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Old Oct 21, 2008, 7:15 PM   #19
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Hi Greg,

I just left your Smugmug site. I'm about 85% convinced that the FZ28 is for me, but some things are puzzling. Sometimes it seems that the camera knocks one out of the park with say, your architectural photos and the trolley car shot, but these were taken in broad daylight. It looks to me like the dimmer things get the sharpness decreases, and I'm not talking about higher ISO shots with the inherent noise of it's small sensor, that's to be expected. But the overall sharpness seems less.

I've noticed this in a lot of macro shots as well. Flowers especially just don't seem to have a crisp, sharpness to them. So I guess the first thing to ask is how you shoot your shots. I know some people don't like to over-sharpen pictures, or go for a "filmy" look. Is that the way you shoot? Do you think there is any more sharpness to be gotten out of the 28, or is it purely a matter of the more light, the better the shot? Or is it me just expecting too much out of the camera? After all, who wouldn't want a $300 camera that's as sharp as a dslr? Have you tried seeing if manuel focus is any more accurate than auto?

Also, one other thing, I have yet to see anyone post a video with the supposed horrible audio, so I've never heard the camera. Think you could oblige?

Thanks for putting out a lot of info on the camera not available anywhere else. Your diligence is much appreciated by many of us sitting on the fence.

Scrench









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Old Oct 22, 2008, 12:39 AM   #20
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Scrench wrote:
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Hi Greg,

I just left your Smugmug site. I'm about 85% convinced that the FZ28 is for me, but some things are puzzling. Sometimes it seems that the camera knocks one out of the park with say, your architectural photos and the trolley car shot, but these were taken in broad daylight. It looks to me like the dimmer things get the sharpness decreases, and I'm not talking about higher ISO shots with the inherent noise of it's small sensor, that's to be expected. But the overall sharpness seems less.
Quote:
There could bemore than one reason for what you are seeing as a decrease in sharpness, from increased noise reduction in JPEG's due to lower light, meaning higher ISO's in usetodifferences in sharpening being applied to RAW conversions.One might apply more (sharpening)than another, orapply more or less noise reduction, which will also affect the final result.Lower light also means slower shutter speeds and more chances of getting less than optimum sharpness due to not being able to hold the camera still enough.
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Diffraction could even start having an effect if the aperture used is too small. Many think they have to use the smallest aperture available, which is f8,to get good depth of field, but at normal distances, depth of field is huge at most apertures with this camera. if I am paying attention, I rarely go smaller than f5.6.
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Once you get up really close...close enough to create a blurry background with a small sensored camera like the FZ28, depth of field can start getting very thin at 400-489mm and an aperture faster than f5.6,so there's probably just aportion of the imagethat's reallyin sharp focus...

I've noticed this in a lot of macro shots as well. Flowers especially just don't seem to have a crisp, sharpness to them. So I guess the first thing to ask is how you shoot your shots. I know some people don't like to over-sharpen pictures, or go for a "filmy" look. Is that the way you shoot? Do you think there is any more sharpness to be gotten out of the 28, or is it purely a matter of the more light, the better the shot? Or is it me just expecting too much out of the camera? After all, who wouldn't want a $300 camera that's as sharp as a dslr? Have you tried seeing if manuel focus is any more accurate than auto?
Quote:
Many folks apply additional sharpening after loading images to their computer and before uploading to a website, which would give a sharper look. I don't. I do, in many cases, have +1 set to in-camera sharpening with FZ28 files I've been posting, with either -1 or -0- for noise reduction. With RAW files, I apply a fairly conservative amount of sharpening in the converter and do no additional post processing after conversion.
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Smugmug does apply a default amount od sharpening that I can either keep or disable, but I've never messed with it. Anyone wanting to could definitely get a sharper-looking image from the FZ28 than I amby applying more in-camera sharpening or afterwards in post processing.
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With most digicams, no doubt the FZ28 included, your statement of "the more the light, the better the shot" is very appropriate.
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I have been using manual focus, but possibly not in a way you are thinking. The macro AF button doubles in manual focus mode as a "focus" button, so you can set the camerato manual focus and focus on demand using the focus button instead of the shutter release. If you lock exposure by using the AE lock and focus using the focus button in manual focus mode, when you press the shutterrelease, there's no delay in the taking of a picture.

Also, one other thing, I have yet to see anyone post a video with the supposed horrible audio, so I've never heard the camera. Think you could oblige?
Quote:
Sure. I believe Smugmug now allows for the posting of movies. I'll get one up there over the next day or two. I've not shot a seconds' worth of video with it yet. I'm not really a movie shooter. Other than a miscellaneous movie or two back when my daughter was in band in high school, I've just never shotmany movies with a digicam.
Quote:
*Edit*, I just checked and yes, I can upload HD movies of up to 5 minutes on to my Smugmug account, so let me find something worth shooting(!) that'll give you a sense of both the video and audio and I'll post one.

Thanks for putting out a lot of info on the camera not available anywhere else. Your diligence is much appreciated by many of us sitting on the fence.

Scrench








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