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Old Dec 18, 2003, 11:54 AM   #1
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Default Which camera?? LC33, Z1 or A70

Hello all,
I need some input. I'm looking at Minolta Z1, Panasonic LC 33 and possibly Canon A70.
Can anyone tell me the pros and cons. I quite confuse, I have read a lot of reviews. Like for Z1 there is problems with low light and "purple eye" problem. Somthing about some pictures turning purple on you. But big plus is the zoom.
LC33, limited light problem and unable to add filters and very limited accessories. lack of manual features.
A70, hmm... just about it size and almost none other about it cons.

I'm looking for a camera, that are good with taking senery shots, and would be good if the auto would be able to capture what i see, I have seen some camera that's hmm... the color don't really reflect what i see, this is very evident in Sony digicam, esp taking photos of the sky with the afternoon son.
In summary, which camera is with the following

- senery pictures like the sky with strong sunlight
- night shots like the sea with almost no light, maybe with moonlight
- taking photo of the city during the night.

Which of the camera above is the best? Value for money.

Thanks in advance
Steven
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Old Dec 18, 2003, 11:42 PM   #2
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Default The best, in my estimation, would be the Canon.

I have a Panasonic FZ10 and a Canon G5 which has essentially the same ingredients as any Powershot Canon. If you are looking for excellent photographs and you have no set priority to zoom then stay far away from the Panasonic and focus dynamically on the Canon Powershot. The A70 has a pile of manual features that I will guarantee to you are going to be pleasing. Night photography will be possible because shutter speed is manual. I'm unfamiliar with the Minolta so I can't comment on that choice. You won't go wrong with that Canon camera, though.
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Old Dec 19, 2003, 2:18 AM   #3
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Best value? Well no matter what, get yourself a tripod if you want to maximize the picture quality of your camera on long shutter speeds (nighttime landscapes).

The Minolta A1 that is available for $690 USD is a great deal. The Canon G series is excellent, the A series is cheap and still has excellent features and quality as Norm says.
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Old Dec 19, 2003, 11:06 PM   #4
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I directly compared the Panasonic FZ1 to the Minolta DiMage Z1, and the Panasonic won out hands down. The Minolta Z1's automatic mode doesn't seem to be the most intelligent thing going at figuring out what the settings should be for ambient conditions. The Panasonic FZ1 (which is pretty much an auto-only camera unless you upgrade the firmware) took much better pictures when compared side by side, taken within seconds of each other, and same room, same subject, same time of day, etc.

The Z1 also has big-time lens rattle and a very noisey lens motor (seems like you're grinding something). The much touted VGA/30fps video mode is worthless because the audio is always out of sync with the video, and I found this to be true at any resolution as long as you used 30fps instead of 15fps.

About the only thing I liked about the Z1 over the FZ1 is ergonomics and more manual features. However, you'll need the manual features in order to tweak the pictures to look anywhere near as good as the Panasonic's.

I can't recommend the Z1.
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Old Dec 23, 2003, 11:22 PM   #5
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I looked also at the Panasonic FZ1 and found numerous problems. I also looked at a few reviews online.

http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/pa...ew/index.shtml (had some interesting comments about the FZ1):

"Enthusiasts might be turned off by its 2 Megapixel CCD and lack of manual controls"

"There aren't a whole lot of accessories available for the FZ1"

"The FZ1's manual is much like the one included with your DVD player - detailed, but confusing, with lots of "notes" in small type on each page"

"as the shutter speed gets slower, it becomes less effective"

"The FZ1 doesn't support an external flash"

"There's no AF illuminator on this camera"

"you cannot change the memory card while the camera is on a tripod,"

"There is no TIFF or RAW image format on the FZ1."

"The only manual control on the FZ1 is white balance. There's no control over shutter speed, aperture, or focus."

"The picture adjustment feature is a little confusing. The manual describes it as a sharpness adjustment, while in reality it appears to adjust the color saturation"

"With no manual controls, your night shooting abilities are somewhat limited on the FZ1"

"I was surprised at the amount of redeye in my test shot, especially given the FZ1's pop-up flash that is well away from the lens. You can remove it pretty well using software, of course, but it would be nice to skip that step!"

"Downsides include the aforementioned vignetting (which was infrequent), higher-than-I'd-like noise levels, and some purple fringing. The purple fringing is to be expected with a huge lens like this, and to be honest, it wasn't that horrible."

"The FZ1 doesn't show a whole lot of information about your photos. The basic stats are there -- just don't expect a histogram"

"are no manual controls (besides white balance), the EVF becomes useless in low light, some images suffer from vignetting, noise and purple fringing, and the resolution is only 2 Megapixel. Redeye seems to be a problem as well."

"In terms of manual features and photo quality, Olympus' two Ultra Zoom models are superior."

"What I didn't care for:

No manual controls, except for white balance
Vignetting, noise, purple fringing in some images
Poor low light focusing
Redeye
EVF impossible to see in low light
Only 2 Megapixel "

Makes me think twice, or three times about considering the FZ1.

Sounds like the Olympus cameras would be a better bet.
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Old Dec 24, 2003, 10:33 AM   #6
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Just joined the forum on 12/23/03, and yet you're posting such a long and critical message of the Panasonic FZ1? This smells strongly of a second or "coward" account of an existing longer-term member, probably one from the other "bash the Panasonic FZ1" threads here. I would personally disregard everything this person says in the future, at least until he comes out from behind his newly created "coward" account and tells us who he really is. "Coincidentally," there are two other accounts in addition to "Iwantmydigicam2" -- "Adwulf" and "Patrickspix" -- who also both joined the forums on 12/23/03 and have each only posted one message as well. Yup, you guessed it -- both messages were responses to messages critical of the Minolta Z1. Am I by the beach at low tide, or does something just smell fishy here to other folks as well? :roll:

Quote:
Originally Posted by iwantmydigicam2
I looked also at the Panasonic FZ1 and found numerous problems. I also looked at a few reviews online.

http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/pa...ew/index.shtml (had some interesting comments about the FZ1):
Since this is Steve's Digicam Forums, why not post quotes from Steve's review? Did Steve not back your unwarranted dislike of the Panasonic FZ1 enough? Have you ever held the FZ1 in your hands (difficult to do -- it's only infrequently stocked in one chain store) or actually owned one and tried it out? If not, you're putting an awful lot of faith in one reviewer's opinion when trying to decide what digicam to buy. You're missing out on some good cameras.

Quote:
"Enthusiasts might be turned off by its 2 Megapixel CCD and lack of manual controls"
Very true. It's a consumer level point-and-shoot with an incredible stabilized 12x optical zoom lens made by Leica, and doesn't claim to be anything else. As for it only being 2mp -- unless you're planning on printing lots of billboards or posters, you don't need anything more than 2.0mp to get very crisp 8x10s, especially with the nice optics in the Leica lens. If you choose a camera with the typical lousey 3x optical zoom, then you probably will want to get higher megapixels to allow cropping. Otherwise, you're just paying more for megapixels that you're just not using (and taking up extra memory space on your pricey memory card). It's the same gimmick salesmen use to get folks to by a 3.0ghz processor computer to check email and browse the internet over a dial-up connection. You just don't need that much power for such simple internet stuff, and the same thing applies to megapixels and digicams.

Quote:
"There aren't a whole lot of accessories available for the FZ1"
Like what? It comes with a neck strap, battery charger and AC adapter, lens barrel adapter for adding standard 55mm threaded filters and add-on lenses, and it even comes with a lens hood. What else is there? A custom case? That would be nice, but it probably wouldn't be designed the way everyone wants it to be, so you're better off finding your own, and it will probably be cheaper. I don't understand what accessories are missing. This camera is well-equipped right out of the box.

Quote:
"The FZ1's manual is much like the one included with your DVD player - detailed, but confusing, with lots of "notes" in small type on each page"
Very true. All of my Japanese electronics have these types of manuals, but at least they included a printed manual -- something not every camera manufacturer does.

Quote:
"as the shutter speed gets slower, it becomes less effective"
Showing my amateur level here I guess...but... what? This must be quoted out of context, because by itself it just doesn't really make sense. Less effective compared to...what?

Quote:
"The FZ1 doesn't support an external flash"
Very true, but very few consumer point-and-shoots do.

Quote:
"There's no AF illuminator on this camera"
Very true, but that's why the camera is $360 instead of $1,000 -- because it doesn't come with a laser assisted hologram GPS microwave ultrasonic focus assist. The autofocus works fine for me, in all light that's appropriate for taking pictures. I admittedly do not take pictures in the dark because I haven't found the need.

Quote:
"you cannot change the memory card while the camera is on a tripod,"
Depends on your tripod head, I guess. I can't change the memory card or battery if I use my tripod that has a big square head mount on it, but I can if I use my smaller ball-head mount (which is the one I more often use for versatility). I don't like the way the tripod mount is off-centered from the lens -- it makes you have to overlap panoramic shots more to account for it. It can also make it more difficult to level the camera on a tripod (perspective thing).

Quote:
"There is no TIFF or RAW image format on the FZ1."
Again, consumer level point-and shoot. Also, with memory cards pretty much being limited to 512mb, why would you want to shoot in a format that will allow you to only take one or two pictures because the files are so huge? And you can forget about it at all if you opt for the high megapixel cameras. You'll need a microdrive or some off-camera storage if you want to take all your pictures in RAW or TIFF mode with a higher megapixel camera. This is a professional requirement, and shouldn't be mentioned in a review for a consumer level digicam.

Quote:
"The only manual control on the FZ1 is white balance. There's no control over shutter speed, aperture, or focus."
Well, out of the box, that's true. However, there is a firmware upgrade available now that gives the FZ1 shutter priority, aperature priority, and fine tuning in white balance. It also offers several other overall improvements in picture quality, LCD/EVF performance, etc. Again, though, this camera is only offered as a point-and-shoot, so it being full automatic (and doing that so well), isn't such a bad thing.

Quote:
"The picture adjustment feature is a little confusing. The manual describes it as a sharpness adjustment, while in reality it appears to adjust the color saturation"
It's picture sharpness. Trust me. I adjust it frequently and find it very effective.

Quote:
"With no manual controls, your night shooting abilities are somewhat limited on the FZ1"
Very true if you don't get the upgrade. However, I have been able to use the FZ1's night mode very effectively for moon shots (even the recent eclipse), Christmas light shots, and even infrared shots (the IR filter is very dark). With the firmware upgrade, you are not limited much if at all.

Quote:
"I was surprised at the amount of redeye in my test shot, especially given the FZ1's pop-up flash that is well away from the lens. You can remove it pretty well using software, of course, but it would be nice to skip that step!"
I've mentioned this numerous times elsewhere -- that's just a bad picture that I couldn't reproduce if I tried, and I'm quite experienced with the FZ1. I have never had redeye show up in any of my shots, and I've never even used the flash in redeye mode. Mr. Keller was doing something wrong, and to be honest with such a simple camera, I have no idea what that could be.

Quote:
"Downsides include the aforementioned vignetting (which was infrequent), higher-than-I'd-like noise levels, and some purple fringing. The purple fringing is to be expected with a huge lens like this, and to be honest, it wasn't that horrible."
Don't know what he's talking about as I have encountered none of these, but these are all a perspective/opinion thing anyway.

Quote:
"The FZ1 doesn't show a whole lot of information about your photos. The basic stats are there -- just don't expect a histogram"
"All the stats are there, just don't expect a histogram" is what he should say. Shutter, aperture, exposure compensation, flash, time, date, mode, etc. -- it's all there. Again, this is a consumer level point-and-shoot, and a histogram would be wasted on this camera for most consumers.

Quote:
"are no manual controls (besides white balance), the EVF becomes useless in low light, some images suffer from vignetting, noise and purple fringing, and the resolution is only 2 Megapixel. Redeye seems to be a problem as well."
The EVF is only useless when you're trying to take a picture when it is so dark you shouldn't be trying to take a picture. I have taken pictures in one birthday candle worth of light -- could easily see to frame the shot, autofocus worked great, picture came out great both with a flash and without. Don't know what to tell you.

Quote:
"In terms of manual features and photo quality, Olympus' two Ultra Zoom models are superior." Sounds like the Olympus cameras would be a better bet.
I think everyone should check out as many cameras as they possibly can before buying -- by all means, check out the Olympus cameras. I owned a Olympus 2100 for a little while and then sold it to a friend because I was disappointed in it. It was my very first digicam and I was comparing it to my very nice Olympus 35mm film ultrazoom (possibly not a fair comparison for such an old digicam). That same friend still has and uses the 2100, but likes the pictures from my FZ1 better.

Basically, it's whatever floats your boat! But the ridiculous bashing really needs to stop, especially when folks are now stooping so low as to use a new "coward" account to make it appear that more than just one or two people are bashing a particular camera. I use the same ID on all camera related message boards (DPReview, Steve's, Yahoo Groups, etc.) -- so you know my criticisms or recommendations are coming from the same person, even if they're repeated on multiple boards.
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Old Dec 24, 2003, 6:11 PM   #7
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Default Additional comments from DC Resource

Jeff is a tough reviewer but in his review of the FZ-10 he also added:"One of the most unique cameras of 2003 was also one of my favorites: the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1 (read our review). I loved the incredible F2.8, 12X optical zoom lens with optical image stabilization. For whatever reason, shooting with the FZ1 was always fun." As long as we're quoting Jeff's comments about the FZ-1 I thought I'd throw this one in, too.
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Old Dec 26, 2003, 12:37 PM   #8
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Default I'm on my LUMIX way

I have a FZ1 with the FZ2 upgrade.

I have manual controls
I have a BIG external slave flash
I shoot very well (for the price) in low light conditions
I put filters, conversion lenses (tele, wide and macro) to my camera
My 2 MP photos are excelent and I dont need a raw file
I have a reliable, fast, quiet camera

AND I HAVE A LOT OF FUN TAKING PHOTOS WITH IT, IT'S A REAL PLEASURE

Some people wants a canonikodak live? Good luck...

Let me on my LUMIX way.
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Old Dec 27, 2003, 10:44 PM   #9
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Very well said, Chris . I love my 9 months old FZ1 which has been upgraded making this little gem even better. 2MP not enough ? Well, my 8Rs printed out from my Epson Stylus have made many friends and colleagues surprised; and the on-line photo stores can do a much better job.

Now Let me say it once again : A 2MP IS GOOD ENOUGH FOR 8R

Obviously someone couldn't return his minolta z1 and is not happy with others thoroughly enjoying their pana FZ1.

Ken
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