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Old Mar 15, 2010, 8:55 AM   #11
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Hi Paul,

The choice was made last week, and I placed the order with the same online dealer that I used 5 years back for my Fuji Finepix S5100:
www.wholesaledigital.co.za
(Anton van Huyssteen from Nelspruit, whom I had the privilege of meeting in person shortly after purchasing that Fuji - he's an extremely helpful dealer who takes the time to answer each query, technical e-mail, etc.)

When he gets the FZ35 into his shop, with its huge lens hood, he'll evaluate which of his camera bags is most suitable for it (and also for my needs), then make up the final package and send it. I expect it by end of the week or sometime next week. *can't wait*

@ Jo: by October, I'm sure my new camera will have had numerous work-outs, but I hope you enjoy your trip either way.

Thanks for all the kind responses and your interest - I'll keep you posted!

Mark
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Old Mar 15, 2010, 11:01 AM   #12
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Congratulations, Mark-

You have the camera on the way to its final destination, and your hands. I hope that it is sooner rather than later.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Mar 29, 2010, 8:09 AM   #13
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Dear friends,

The camera arrived on Friday, and during what time I could spare over the rather busy weekend, I gave it a thorough work-out.

Here are some of my impressions:

POSITIVE points:
1) The lens is sharp indeed, and the image stabiliser is simply amazing. In fact, sometimes my fingers get an almost "dead" feeling from the camera because the picture is so stable in spite of the light-weight body. The camera is (obviously!) not following my natural movements. (Remember that I previously operated a Fuji S5100 with 10x optical zoom and no stabiliser, and took the time to master techniques that I could shoot at 370 mm with 1/100 sec mostly blur-free.) Sometimes I'm actually tempted to put the FZ35 stabiliser into mode 2, which only works while half-pressing the shutter release.
2) The zoom can do much, MUCH more than my Finepix could ever do. It's a joy, and certainly an upgrade that will be useful for our hikes and nature photography.
3) I didn't realise how small the battery charger and batteries are.
4) There is chromatic abberation, but only under extreme conditions. I've read that Panasonic suppresses it electronically. Their algorithm seems to work reasonably well. My old Fuji was much more prone to purple fringing.
5) For a Fuji S5100 ex-owner, the large display is a welcome change. The EVF is a different matter...
6) The two zoom speeds, depending on how far one pushes the lever, are great.
7) The function selector on top of the camera has very clear but smooth clicks. The Fuji was a bit "sticky" here.

NOT-SO-POSITIVE (yet) points:
1) I'm still confused by the miriad of settings, e.g. what size pictures and videos to record. To shoot pictures of my kid for a blog in 12 MP, is obviously total overkill. And I'm not sure what the video modes "QVGA", "VGA", "W VGA" and "HD" mean - but I haven't worked through the manual yet. This will take some time.
2) It also seems that every mode (P, A, S, M, video, etc.) must have its own adjustments made. And then there's still a separate menu for playback.
3) The body of the camera gives me a somewhat "plastic" feeling, in terms of finish, low weight, and even the hollow sound it makes. The old Fuji really felt more solid.
4) Some menu points are accessible via the joystick, but others only via the menu button. It's confusing to figure out which one to use when.
5) The EVF feels like it sits "at the far end of a tunnel". I'd rather have a larger and grainier picture than a small and clear one.
6) The configuration of "Off'Playback/Record" and "Zoom" buttons is exactly the other way round as on the Finepix S5100. On the Fuji, the lever around the shutter release was for "Off/Playback/Record", while the zoom buttons sat at the top inside corner of the camera. It'll take a while to get this into my fingers. Also, I don't find the FZ35 so easy to switch on and off with only one hand.

So much for now.

I haven't obtained any photos that are good or significant enough to post here, but I'll post some as they come in. (Overcast weather in Pretoria is dampening most opportunities as well.)

Regards,
Mark
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Old Mar 29, 2010, 8:30 AM   #14
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Mark, great to hear that its finally arrived - Just in time for the Easter Long weekend too!
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Old Mar 29, 2010, 9:11 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark R. View Post
Dear friends,

NOT-SO-POSITIVE (yet) points:
1) I'm still confused by the miriad of settings, e.g. what size pictures and videos to record. To shoot pictures of my kid for a blog in 12 MP, is obviously total overkill. And I'm not sure what the video modes "QVGA", "VGA", "W VGA" and "HD" mean - but I haven't worked through the manual yet. This will take some time.
2) It also seems that every mode (P, A, S, M, video, etc.) must have its own adjustments made. And then there's still a separate menu for playback.
3) The body of the camera gives me a somewhat "plastic" feeling, in terms of finish, low weight, and even the hollow sound it makes. The old Fuji really felt more solid.
4) Some menu points are accessible via the joystick, but others only via the menu button. It's confusing to figure out which one to use when.
5) The EVF feels like it sits "at the far end of a tunnel". I'd rather have a larger and grainier picture than a small and clear one.
6) The configuration of "Off'Playback/Record" and "Zoom" buttons is exactly the other way round as on the Finepix S5100. On the Fuji, the lever around the shutter release was for "Off/Playback/Record", while the zoom buttons sat at the top inside corner of the camera. It'll take a while to get this into my fingers. Also, I don't find the FZ35 so easy to switch on and off with only one hand.

So much for now.

I haven't obtained any photos that are good or significant enough to post here, but I'll post some as they come in. (Overcast weather in Pretoria is dampening most opportunities as well.)

Regards,
Mark
Mark,

I had to chuckle at your not so positive comments on the FZ35,......the key word is "Yet" as you say. I had almost the same impressions when I got my FZ28 but by the time I got the FZ35, "Yet" had happened and most of my not so positives have turned very positive and are actually strong points of the FZ cameras. The menu system is a tad complicated because there are so many features. They need to be layered and hidden in corners.

You will come to love the light weight and quick handling. About the one handed operation, that was a main requirement for me and I've found it simple to turn on, zoom in and out, turn off etc with only one hand. As you say, the rock solid IS is always there to help.

This camera will really grow on you. Believe me,...

Jack
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Old Mar 29, 2010, 10:58 AM   #16
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Mark-

I guess by default, that makes me the Pacific Ocean representative. Here is a Pacific Ocean sunset for you. It was taken from the back of our house, on the back deck.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Mar 30, 2010, 8:52 PM   #17
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Congrats Mark on getting your FZ35, all your non positive point will be positive once you get to take your new toy for a ride. It does grows on you, mine is with me everyday. lolThe plastic feel and light weight is to your advantage = good grip and and dream to carry unlike other camera's, bulky and heavy.Video in HD is your best pick, but get the right software to play it & convert it to a more common format eg; AVI.Cheers & happy shooting.
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Old Mar 30, 2010, 9:55 PM   #18
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Hi Mark

I'll just put my 2c worth in for a couple of points below:

NOT-SO-POSITIVE (yet) points:

1) I'm still confused by the miriad of settings, e.g. what size pictures and videos to record. To shoot pictures of my kid for a blog in 12 MP, is obviously total overkill. And I'm not sure what the video modes "QVGA", "VGA", "W VGA" and "HD" mean - but I haven't worked through the manual yet. This will take some time.

Mark please don't use the camera at anything below the maximum resolution of 12MP. No offense, but that is logic applying to 5 years ago, when storage was small and expensive, and 2MP looked great on the printers and 15" CRT monitors of the day. With modern LCD monitors/flatscreen TV's and high dpi printers the norm, you will see a big drop in quality, and be getting much less than you paid for if you use low resolution settings.

Unless you want to be continually disappointed with blurry images (a common complaint from people that insist on using lower MP settings), then use the camera to it's fullest potential. The Leica lens and Venus HD have been designed to make the most of the tiny sensor, and while the EZ Zoom, High-Speed Burst and High Sensitivity modes uses less MP for a specific purpose, for everything else you want to have the full resolution.

There is a built-in image reduction feature in the FZ-35, so you can make your own smaller copies of the pics you want to email or post on the forum without even using the PC!.

Most importantly in my opinion, is that with good light, the 12MP sensor can give almost DSLR results. You then have the full 12MP to play with and crop later - this is very flexible when you couldn't get the exact framing you were after, which is often the case with action shots. If you try cropping down a 5 or 8MP image, you will be losing significant amounts of detail.


3) The body of the camera gives me a somewhat "plastic" feeling, in terms of finish, low weight, and even the hollow sound it makes. The old Fuji really felt more solid.

I wouldn't worry about that at all. The construction of the FZ range has been the same since the original FZ18 (and maybe back to the FZ1, I'm not sure). The light weight is by design, and I can assure you the high-density plastic Panasonic uses is very tough. Some of the internal chassis is metal, notably around the metal lens mount and tripod mount (which are often plastic on competitors models). I have been an owner and fan of the FZ range for a long time, my sister owns an old FZ5, and I can't recall once reading on any forum or review of a single issue relating to the FZ's construction. So rest assured, unless you plan on dropping it a lot, or throwing it at a wall, it will be reliable for a very long time!


Best Regards
Greg

Last edited by chillgreg; Mar 30, 2010 at 9:59 PM.
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