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Old Nov 7, 2003, 10:05 PM   #1
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Default FZ 10 probably NOT a replacement for Canon Pro90 IS

I have been hoping the FZ10 might be a replacement for my Canon Pro90 IS (the P90IS is the digicam which started the long-zoom stabilized thing. Oly bought the lens assy and used it in the well known UZI). The Pro90 has 2.6 mpx to the UZI 2.0, tho...

In the "other Panasonic forum" I found a lead to why it is probalby not gonna work. All the shots available for the FZ10 show ISO over 50 with considerable noise and decreased quality (sadly, so far).

The lead is a link http://www.outbackphoto.com/dp_essen..._01/essay.html - here you find (at the bottom of the article) little pictures of the sizes of the various digicam sensors. The sizes as given are arcane and uninformative - 1/3.2 for the FZ1, 1/2.5 for the FZ10, and 1/1.8 for the Pro90 IS.

But here we have the actual physical size SHOWN. And what it shows is that the 1/2.5 sensor of the FZ10 is substantially physically SMALLER than the 1/1.8 sensor of the Pro90. The FZ10 has 4 mpx in a SMALLER sensor than the Canon Pro90 2.6 mpx.

This means the individual pixels are considerably smaller - which explains the increased noise and decreased quality in the higher ISOs.

Panasonic may be able to work around this with firmware wizardry but the samples I have seen so far do not indicate it.

I will wait (hopefully) for real reviews, but this info makes me think it just isn't gonna replace my Pro90. Oddly enough I have the 10D and several lenses but I still use the Pro90 about 1/3 the time because of its small size, light weight, and live flexible LCD which I love.

It's a cinch Canon will never replace/upgrade it, having realized their cash cow is lenses...

Anyhow, just thought I would pass this link on. It explains a lot.

By the way, IMHO it is not evil intentions on Panasonic's part - it is just a necessary tradeoff for the long, long lens...a matter of physics.
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Old Nov 10, 2003, 5:01 PM   #2
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A comparison of the Pro90 and the FZ10 can be informative.

I am sure that each camera has its strengths and weaknesses.
For example, it seems that the FZ10 will be somewhat faster.
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Old Nov 10, 2003, 7:48 PM   #3
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Default Sensor size and noise

The same thoughts occurred to me (and doubtless to many others who've looked at the explanation of sensor sizing). The larger the sensor, the larger (and heavier and more expensive) the lenses have to be, to collect the extra light; but smaller sensors have smaller pixels whose S/N ratios will be much lower.

Since there are many different manufacturers of CCD's, and the technology is improving even as we speak (write?), it is reasonable to expect that some CCD's may be more efficient photon collectors than others. It has been my hope that Panasonic, who is a leading CCD manufacturer, may have been able to place such a new, advanced sensor in the FZ10.

For now, the tradeoffs are among functionality, cost, and bulk: I want an ultra-zoom, which requires IS; 4mpx (or more, but 4 will do); and very short delays. I'm willing to pay $500-600, but not several thousand; and don't want to lug around lenses that weigh several pounds (not including the camera).

It's very likely that all of these will be non-issues in ten years. The question is whether I want to wait that long, and the answer is no. If the noise "problem" is solved next year, that's another story, but my crystal ball is a bit out-of-focus for that.

A comment on ISO (which I've made in the "other" forum also): back in the 1950's, KodaColor's ISO was around 25 or 32 (I don't remember which), and KodaChrome's ISO was 64. My Retina Reflex didn't have any zoom or interchangeable lens capability, but I was happy as a clam with those new "fast" color films. Forty-five years later, when transitioning from film to digital, I still mostly used ISO 100 film; rarely 200, and only once did I use 400 (awful).

So, if the FZ10 is low-noise at ISO 50, and pretty low at 100, as the samples seem to show, it will be just as good as any kind of film system I've ever used... not counting the 12x IS lens and all the other advantages of digital.
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Old Nov 10, 2003, 11:43 PM   #4
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Default Re: Sensor size and noise

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie Howard
The same thoughts occurred to me (and doubtless to many others who've looked at the explanation of sensor sizing). The larger the sensor, the larger (and heavier and more expensive) the lenses have to be, to collect the extra light; but smaller sensors have smaller pixels whose S/N ratios will be much lower.
The same happened to Nikon Coolpix 950 and Coolpix 990. The image quality of the 950 looks cleaner than that of the 990 because the the size of each photosite of the 950 is larger. On the other hand, when we need pixel count, we have to accept smaller sensor size and, hopefully, technology can overcome this problems. In fact, many Coolpix 950 users are still using their beloved 950, myself included.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie Howard
For now, the tradeoffs are among functionality, cost, and bulk: I want an ultra-zoom, which requires IS; 4mpx (or more, but 4 will do); and very short delays. I'm willing to pay $500-600, but not several thousand; and don't want to lug around lenses that weigh several pounds (not including the camera).
I agree. A SLR/DSLR 400mm F2.8 lens costs $7,000+ and is more than 10 times more expensive than the FZ10. And, don't forget its SIZE. I used to have a Nikon MF 400mm F3.5. Carrying it around is a tough job. Of course, the Leica 35-420mm cannot compete against these 400 F2.8; however, in such a small package the FZ10 is perhaps worth the $$$ if Leica can control chromatic aberration to an acceptable degree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie Howard
A comment on ISO (which I've made in the "other" forum also): back in the 1950's, KodaColor's ISO was around 25 or 32 (I don't remember which), and KodaChrome's ISO was 64. My Retina Reflex didn't have any zoom or interchangeable lens capability, but I was happy as a clam with those new "fast" color films. Forty-five years later, when transitioning from film to digital, I still mostly used ISO 100 film; rarely 200, and only once did I use 400 (awful).
It is likely I will use F2.8 or F4 most of the time at ISO 100. If there will be noise, it would not be very significant. Even though noise may be significant, some good noise reduction software such as Neat Image can get the job done easily. So, the two important factors for me to choose the FZ10 are acceptable resolution (approximately equal to or slightly less than Nikon 5700 plus TC-E15ED 1.5X) and acceptable chromatic aberration level.

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Old Nov 11, 2003, 9:04 AM   #5
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Well I'm anxiously waiting on mine to come in. I've got about 100 mb's of photos and movies in a folder I've downloaded off of several sites and they look pretty good to me. If they're anywhere near as good as my old UZI photos are I'll be more than Happy... :roll:
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Old Nov 12, 2003, 12:41 AM   #6
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Default NOTE - see comments in ->

the above post regarding side by side photos by alexo.

If the release camera and firmware can do what these samples show it will more than replace my Pro90 !!!

That must be some fancy firmware to get these results. Good for Panasonic !
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Old Nov 12, 2003, 6:02 AM   #7
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The noise levels of the FZ10 may be a little higher, but Panasonic has done an excellent job of getting the most out of their sensor. ISO 50 is very nice. ISO 100 and 200 bring increasing noise, but it is cleaned up very well using any of various noise reduction programs or plug-ins. Even many ISO 400 shots can be improved to a usable level by a minute or two of of post processing on the computer.

I'll take the FZ10.
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Old Dec 18, 2003, 11:14 PM   #8
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Default A humble reply to Humble

Finally, an ounce of rationality as regards the FZ10. I own a Canon G5 and an FZ10 and I never respected my G5 so much before comparing the two. Now I embrace my Canon and wonder what I'm going to do with my FZ10 when it comes to anything other than zooming. Your explanation of the difference between "good" response and "poor" response is magnificent, and simple enough for some fanatics to possibly reconsider purchasing the "legendary" FZ10 unless they are buying it primarily for that great ZOOM, and it is great (perhaps one of the only cameras that became a legend "before" it was tested).

Edit - I stand by the limits of the FZ10 indoors and under certain lighting conditions. However, the more I use it anywhere else the more I find myself picking it up before the Canon.
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Old Dec 31, 2003, 5:46 PM   #9
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Default Normcar- 18 posts on FZ10; 0-other; Objective? I don't know?

The previous opinion by Normcar, along with 17 others on the FZ10 is, to all appearances, objective-- except if you consider that Norm has made 18 disparaging comments about the FZ10 and 0, that's right ZERO- on any other of Steve's forums. This, despite the fact that he continually promotes has G5 as the better camera. Wouldn't a rationally interested person post on the forum of his favored camera as well? I'd suggest that readers discount both the most laudatory, as well as the most disparaging posts, in trying to make objective buying decisions. Some posting appears to be industry sponsored, perhaps both pro and con. In Norms case, he makes 18 posts disparaging of the FZ10 (which he doesn't like very much), 0 posts on the Canon forum to praise the G5 (which he loves), but vows to keep the FZ10 only because of the zoom. Could it be that the only reason Norm keeps the FZ10 is so he can keep on disparaging it for reasons having nothing to do with the camera?
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Old Dec 31, 2003, 11:43 PM   #10
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Default How suprising to see any posts to this ancient post

of mine - from back before there was any real information about the FZ10. Surely there are enough images available now so that decisions can be made based on what you see, not what somebody says.

For my part, the difficulties the FZ10 seems to have in low light are enough to rule it out for me, regretfully. If I did a lot of outdoor shooting I would certainly buy it.

The current crop of high end high zoom Prosumer digicams all seem to have some sort of problem....the FZ10 seems to have difficulties with low light situations; the Minolta A1 seems to have a problem with image quality and noise, and (surprisingly to me at least) the Sony 828 seems also handicapped by noise - as well as the absence of stabilization.

I expect the physics problems facing the long zoom high end prosumer designer are complicated by the Canon 300D (Rebel) which is rumored to be down to the $800 street range by PMA.

Note too that the FZ10 is the only long zoom digicam that is low enough in price to undercut the Rebel...

It will be interesting to see what the PMA and Photokina bring to the show...
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