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Old Mar 15, 2004, 10:24 AM   #1
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Default FZ10: Filters, Noise, Shutter Lag and f2.8

I am quite a keen amateur photographer and desperately want to upgrade from my SLR and 3 lens. I am also a keen walker and hence want to lessen the load. I am very interested in the FZ10 and have 3 main questions:

1) As alot of my photography is outdoors I very often use a circular polarizer. Can I use one of these on the FZ10? When not using a polarizer, I permanently have a skylight on my camera. Can I do this?

2) Quite a few images I have seen posted seem to have alot of noise. Is this a common problem?

3) Knowwhere does anyone seem to mention shutterlag! Any comments on this? How responsive is this camera?

4) Unless I am wrong an aperture of f2.8 means very shallow depth of field. However f2.8 also means good low ISO performance! This may sound stupid, but is this camera capable of shooting at anything apart from f2.8?

Any help/Advice would be greatly received, as I really am considering buying this camera!

thanks
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Old Mar 15, 2004, 10:51 AM   #2
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Quote:
1) As alot of my photography is outdoors I very often use a circular polarizer. Can I use one of these on the FZ10? When not using a polarizer, I permanently have a skylight on my camera. Can I do this?
The included lens hood takes filters. Works like any other camera Ė you can leave them on or not at your discretion.

Quote:
2) Quite a few images I have seen posted seem to have alot of noise. Is this a common problem?
If you are a keen amateur photographer and bothered by noise you need a DSLR. To get a reasonably sized 12X zoom lens with decent aperture you need a small sensor. Small sensors are noisy.

Quote:
3) Knowwhere does anyone seem to mention shutterlag! Any comments on this? How responsive is this camera?
You should do some research before buying any camera. That someone whose qualifications you have no idea of says it is pretty quick or sort of slow isnít something to base a buying decision on. My take is that it is pretty fast when used in pre-focus as are most digitals, and maybe a little faster than average for full shutter delay. Shot to shot times are good. In low light it can hunt a lot, and the telephoto range affects the focus time and shutter delay. Try Steveís review of the camera for something more solid.

Quote:
4) Unless I am wrong an aperture of f2.8 means very shallow depth of field. However f2.8 also means good low ISO performance! This may sound stupid, but is this camera capable of shooting at anything apart from f2.8?
It works like any other camera. Prosumer digital cameras donít have the f32 of some film SLRs and many donít go past f8. You or the camera can alter both the ISO and shutter speed to make that useable. DOF is much larger for a given f stop because of the sensor size. f2.8 on a digital with that small a sensor probably gives the DOF of f8 on a 35mm. The problem is usually blurring the background rather than getting enough DOF.
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Old Mar 15, 2004, 11:29 PM   #3
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Default Re: FZ10 shutter lag

Slipe answered most of your questions; here are the shutter lag and shot-to-shot delay timings for the FZ10:

pre-focus by half-pressing the shutter and getting focus lock: 0.15 seconds

manually pre-focus and fully press shutter without half-pressing (this may force the camera to adjust the iris): 0.35 seconds

no pre-focus, just press shutter button all the way: 1 second if camera can focus; much longer if it cannot focus. The camera uses vertical contrast difference mimimization to do its focusing.

shot-to-shot delay if "review" is turned off and a fast shutter speed is used: less than one second. Camera can take pictures at that rate until the card fills; it does not run into buffer full problems. The built-in flash recharges within 1 second also, if the battery isn't run down, so the flash doesn't increase the delay.

delay after a 5-frame burst (the burst itself takes 1.25 seconds): 2.2 seconds with a 10 MB/sec SD card (Panasonic 256MB or larger, SanDisk Ultra II, Lexar 65x, etc).

delay after a 5-frame burst when using a standard-speed SD card: up to 12 seconds. In other words, get the faster card. The faster card can also transfer 5x faster into the computer when used in a USB 2.0 card reader that is attached to a USB 2.0 port on the computer.
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Old Mar 16, 2004, 6:35 AM   #4
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Major FZ10 positives to consider -

Focus lock on the FZ10 I can tell you is much, much faster than my manual SLR! The fine DOF on my Canon T70 and 35-200mm f3.8-4.5 Tokina ATX usually results in 5-10 seconds of careful fine tuning and croping... just a thought, as a comparison if your SLR is manual focus.

Manual focus on lense - very useful function if conditions warrant.

Fast f2.8 lense helps greatly on overcast/dull days

OIS, OIS, OIS,... = two f-stops of speed or ISO.
eg ISO 50= 200, 100= 400, regarding camera shake

Noise is low on ISO 50-100. But if 'poster' printing special shots, just post process is all that is needed (how many billboards do we print per annum for private use?)

Big 2" review LCD

Burst Feature - check out these Hawk Pics !!! http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...essage=8000689

Battery Life good

Small and light, no lenses to change (unless accessories), no problem with dust spots on a DSLR's big sensors, caused through lense changing

Canon's EOS Rebel (300D) is a fantastic DSLR but requires a bag of $ lenses... and if you read the Canon forums, is not with out its concerns - slow focus lock some conditions, cheap plastic housing (eg silver paint wearing off corners on demo model I tried), small review LCD display, large hi res file sizes, reportedly 'deep' menus... OK, But I'd buy a D10 at $600, maybe next year or two...!

Unless of course there is the FZ-100 to consider....
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Old Mar 21, 2004, 1:48 AM   #5
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[quote="slipe"]
Quote:
Prosumer digital cameras donít have the f32 of some film SLRs and many donít go past f8. You or the camera can alter both the ISO and shutter speed to make that useable. DOF is much larger for a given f stop because of the sensor size. f2.8 on a digital with that small a sensor probably gives the DOF of f8 on a 35mm. The problem is usually blurring the background rather than getting enough DOF.
Thanks for the information slipe. I am rather interested in your statement that a f2.8 on the FZ10 will give a depth of field equivalent to f8 on a 35mm camera. I notice that `f2.8' on the FZ10 results in an aperture diameter which would be a lot smaller than even f3.5 on my 35mm SLR film camera.

(My understanding is that f numbers are `fractions' of the focal length of the lens, so I guess the FZ10 lens has a short focal length, which also accounts for the big zoom range).

Is depth of field related to the aperture diameter, rather than f-stop, or to something else again?

Cheerio, David.

(FZ10 rough guide --- http://www.users.bigpond.com/vkelim/photography.html)
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Old Mar 21, 2004, 8:01 AM   #6
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Default Re: FZ10: Filters, Noise, Shutter Lag and f2.8

Quote:
Originally Posted by hawkinssmythe
I am quite a keen amateur photographer and desperately want to upgrade from my SLR and 3 lens. I am also a keen walker and hence want to lessen the load. I am very interested in the FZ10 and have 3 main questions:

1) As alot of my photography is outdoors I very often use a circular polarizer. Can I use one of these on the FZ10? When not using a polarizer, I permanently have a skylight on my camera. Can I do this?

2) Quite a few images I have seen posted seem to have alot of noise. Is this a common problem?

3) Knowwhere does anyone seem to mention shutterlag! Any comments on this? How responsive is this camera?

4) Unless I am wrong an aperture of f2.8 means very shallow depth of field. However f2.8 also means good low ISO performance! This may sound stupid, but is this camera capable of shooting at anything apart from f2.8?

Any help/Advice would be greatly received, as I really am considering buying this camera!

thanks
Some of this has no doubt already been covered, but here goes...

1) I haven't tried, but have read that it isn't a problem, in fact working very well. Check out dpreview.com panasonic forum for info.

2) The FZ10 is noisy if a) shooting ISO 200/400+ b) overexposing c) underexposing. Ie: if you shoot dynamically flat shots, you'll probably see some noise.

Now, the noise is very finely textured, and once you print or prepare the shot for digital display, it looks great. Check out some shots, and decide whether the noise is okay for what you want to do. Here's a few of my own shots, some shot in quite dark conditions, and straight from the camera:

http://www.imagestation.com/album/pi...?id=4287427735

I've printed 8x12, 10x15 and just recently 18x24 and I've been very impressed. At 18x24, you're still getting great prints, but theoretically closing in on the 'straight from camera' limit. After that, you'll probably need to process/scale/clean up first or there'll likely be noise.

3) Once the metering is finished, the camera is as fast as $hit off a shovel :0) I'd say around 0.6-0.8 seconds per frame when in full manual mode....Then there's burst mode which allows for 0.4 per frame! ...that's five shots in just two seconds. Wow!

4) You can shoot from f2.8 down to f8.0. Now, that is very good DOF, when considering the small sensor you have amazing flexibility here! Again, see the shots above for an indication :0)

There's really nothing that should keep you from buying this camera. I've compared many shots to for example the Canon Rebel, and there's not much in it to tell the truth. Make sure you try out an FZ10 before deciding against it - shoot in manual mode as much as you can, and use the 'low low low' image adjustment setting for low noise - remember, just like a DSLR, you shouldn't use the images without first processing to their presentation format. Any further info required, just raise your hand :0)
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Old Mar 21, 2004, 10:43 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidFong
Thanks for the information slipe. I am rather interested in your statement that a f2.8 on the FZ10 will give a depth of field equivalent to f8 on a 35mm camera. I notice that `f2.8' on the FZ10 results in an aperture diameter which would be a lot smaller than even f3.5 on my 35mm SLR film camera.

(My understanding is that f numbers are `fractions' of the focal length of the lens, so I guess the FZ10 lens has a short focal length, which also accounts for the big zoom range).

Is depth of field related to the aperture diameter, rather than f-stop, or to something else again?
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Good question. Yes I think it is a relation of the aperture diameter and not any ratio to the sensor diagonal. Imagine you could get a tiny and very light sensitive sensor so that a pinhole would give f2.8. My take is that you would have an almost infinite DOF at f2.8 with a pinhole.

That f2.8 being equivalent to f8 on a 35mm for DOF is just a ďseems likeĒ number I pulled from a damp dark place. I havenít pulled out my old SLR and run comparisons. Most prosumer cameras donít have a DOF scale you can compare to anyway. But you will find your biggest problem is in getting your backgrounds properly blurred with a digital camera rather than having sufficient DOF.
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