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Old Feb 6, 2004, 5:52 PM   #1
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Default FZ10 or Nikon 5700 one more time!

Decisions.... decisions....

I was about to order the FZ10 at $499 only to find the now 'old' Nikon 5700 significantly reduced to $499 at
http://www.expresscameras.com/cart/p...05&start=1
although I have not seen it this low price elsewhere yet.

My main photography will be family indoor/outdoor, with some Motorsport. Image sharpness and low noise is my main priority, so if prices are equal now, which would be the better overall camera?

Is the Panasonic or Nikon better at higher ISO if I am chasing shutterspeed as light falls?

I like the idea of the OIS but the Nikon has the best shot selector feature which sounds feasible. Is it as good as the OIS in practice?

I'm sure FZ10 owners will have made these decisions... but maybe price came into it. As a Canon T70 (film!) owner the Nikon name appeals, but I'm trying to make a rational judgement based on performance. Thanks for your comments/judgement at equal prices!
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Old Feb 6, 2004, 6:31 PM   #2
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G'day Bruce, it might be rather difficult getting an unbiased opinion in a camera-specific forum. I badly wanted the 5700 myself because I've owned Nikon cameras and have been very happy with them. The price always held me back from buying it. At $500, it's still tempting for me. You may want to look at some of the test shots and see what is an acceptable level of noise and CA to you. There are thousands of examples on some of the photo sites like Image Station and Smugmug. I personally feel that the FZ10 is a bargain camera because of the 12x OSI Leica lens plus the ability to add inexpensive add-on lenses. The pictures it produces are not the best and not the worst of what's available in a 4MP camera. I think the reason most people buy the FZ10 is not for the Panasonic name, it's for the lens. There simply isn't another camera on the market that competes It's all in what you want in a camera.
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Old Feb 7, 2004, 3:01 AM   #3
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Thanks for your comments. I didn't post this question on the Nikon forum because I know what answer I would get there from the diehards...I expect the FZ10 owners to be far more objective!

In Sydney the FZ10 is soon to be released, but I cant buy a camera and return it, so I guessed those of you on this forum from other countries with this facility would maybe have had some close looks and back to back comparisons to the 5700 at home. Ive only had a short look in a store at the Nikon, it felt great, but didn't focus lock too well inside the store. However I'm not sure how it was set and the sales guy had no idea either! The photos look good but I have a slow net connection here, so my downloads are limited as they take forever.(I'm waiting for wireless... its close I hear).

I have seen the FZ1 here, only instore attached to the charger( yes its so hard to have the batteries charged isn't it Mr Retravision?), but I was quite impressed at the focus lock and minimal shutter lag. Without having seen an FZ10, I'm expecting it will be as good or hopefully even better. Not to mention 4MP and all the new features. This forum has really made me want the FZ10... especially since reviewing the Panasonic gallery http://panasonic.jp/dc/gallery/fz10.html

I considered and almost bought a Kodak 6490 Zoom a few months ago, but luckily the store let me take a few test shots out front of the traffic etc. The camera felt good, nice Zoom, screen and menus, but I was surprised to see such 'flat' pictures colourwise on the computer back in the store. My nephews' Canon S30 shots of race cars were sharp and punchy by comparison, so I left the 6490 camera and the store very disappointed. And this was Kodak? Going out of film into digital cameras?...But it had a Schneider lens?! I expected at least equal quality to a superceded 'pocket' Canon! So all digital cameras aren't the same I discovered. :?

So this is where I'm at. The question remains, is the FZ10 picture quality/sharpness/noise equal or better overall than the 5700... now also at $499?
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Old Feb 7, 2004, 7:30 AM   #4
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I am new to this forum and by no means an expert. I do love my FZ10 but I think that for indoor shots I would go with the NIKON (especially at that price). My FZ10 really blossoms in outdoor photography and the zoom of course sets it in a league of itīs own.
I have had better experience with the 5700 for indoor shots however. I agree that you need to see a lot of sample photos before choosing.
I take photos of symphony orchestras in concert halls with very difficult lighting and energetic fast moving musicians with NO possibility of flash. For these shots, the 5700 has outdone the FZ10.
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Old Feb 7, 2004, 8:03 AM   #5
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Hi Callas, that surprises me actually, I would have expected the FZ10 to be better due to the f2.8 and OIS. If you need to zoom in on the orchestra from xx metres back in the seating, wouldn't you need a tripod with the Nikon 5700 without OIS & flash? Or are you saying the Nikon image quality is better at these exposures?

Can I ask what exposures do you typically use indoor at these concerts? I have my kids' average school concert on stage in mind as one regular application, so I appreciate your comments.
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Old Feb 7, 2004, 9:59 AM   #6
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Bruce,

As a FZ-10 owner and Nikon owner (4300 and old 775), I had this decision a few months ago. A relative brought her 5700 and let me use it for awhile. I thought the quality of the photos was excellent outdoors, but no better than my 4300 indoors (all auto settings). So I went with the FZ-10 (but there was a much bigger price difference then!).

I love the OIS and find the camera well-suited to my needs. I have used the burst mode like a BSS, especially with my kids who are always moving. It isn't the greatest on auto in low light either. IMHO the LCD can trick you into thinking an indoor no-flash shot is properly exposed until you load it onto the computer and you see it has a lot of noise. When settings are appropriate, the shots are much better.

Anyway, check out this website for a lot of happy FZ-10 users and discussions on strengths and limitations:

http://www.onlinephotographers.com

I think this decision was a lot easier when the prices were a lot different...Good luck!
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Old Feb 7, 2004, 12:27 PM   #7
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Hi Bruce, I've got a suggestion for you. Why not bring a couple of memory cards into the camera shop and take some pictures with both cameras. That way you can take the pictures home with you and look at them on your computer. This may help you to decide which camera produces pictures more to your liking. Perhaps if a sales associate were to accompany you outside, you could even get some outdoor shots and get a chance to try out the zoom on the FZ10. Good luck mate. Let us know what you end up with. Who knows, maybe you'll do like me and buy them both
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Old Feb 7, 2004, 2:13 PM   #8
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Bruce
I use the FZ10 as well as the Nikon 5700 plus the Canon S30. If you want the long zoom and IS as well as good picture quality the FZ10 is the best choice. If you want mid zoom and great picture quality then the 5700 is the choice. Check out photos at my site,
http://bjames.smugmug.com
BTW, my POTD 2/6/2004, Those Lion Eyes, was taken with the FZ10 at full zoom and handheld. It can be seen at
http://www.onlinephotographers.com
Bill
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Old Feb 7, 2004, 10:39 PM   #9
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Sorry Bill, how to view your POTD "Those Lion eyes"? Can't find it!!!
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Old Feb 8, 2004, 1:34 AM   #10
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The 5700 is f4.2 at 8X (280mm eq) where the FZ10 is f2.8 throughout its range to 12X (420mm). That is a little better than an f stop, so the same long telephoto shot you would need ISO 400 on the Nikon you could take at ISO 200 on the FZ10 and still have a slightly faster shutter Ė that isnít considering the IS but just the lens speed.

IS is good for 2 f stops for handheld shots. That would take you to ISO 50 for any shot that didnít involve action like motorsport. IS doesnít help at all with subject motion Ė it just allows you to handhold at a much lower shutter speed without inducing motion blur. Best shot exposure mode on the Nikon canít compare with IS.

I find the IS fantastic for indoor shots without flash. In the case of the symphony shot mentioned I couldnít imagine either camera being able to freeze the strings or timpanist with the orchestra at full throttle indoors without a flash. But if you can catch them paused the FZ10 would do a better job.

The FZ10 is MUCH larger than the FZ1 you saw in the store. It isnít a compact camera. It is light for its size but not small. The 5700 is a more compact camera.

The Nikon is a well balanced camera as far as features. The FZ10 is a fantastic lens attached to a lower end camera that seems to have been designed for a low price point. You have to page through the menu to do anything on the FZ10 because there are no physical controls. They could have compensated for that a little by putting a decent sized mode dial with some user defined modes. Instead they put a small mode dial with no custom modes that even bunches A, S & M rather than have separate settings. Understandable on a pocket camera but not on a large one. The only file format is standard quality JPG Ė no raw, SHQ or TIFF. The Nikon has a nice lighted status window, fully articulated LCD panel, good flash (the FZ10 flash is anemic), and most of all physical controls rather than everything through the menu. Even my little pocket camera has better controls than the FZ10, which makes you go to the menu even to switch to spot or macro or change the flash mode.

The one manual control the FZ10 has that is nice is the manual focus switch Ė well designed and in the right place. Iím guessing Leica must have put that on. Despite my wishing someone like Nikon had gotten hold of that fantastic Leica lens rather than Panasonic, I would still rather have the FZ10 than the 5700. IS not only allows you to take handheld long telephoto shots in a lot more situations, the IS works throughout the zoom range and gives terrific available light capabilities at wider angles.
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