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Old Sep 2, 2004, 11:00 PM   #1
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For those who had questions about the detail rendering of the FZ20 on my previous comparisons with Canon 1DS/10D.

As I said in the earlier post, the lighting was extremely difficult. Today I did a re-shoot which shows the same essential shot (Clark's Nutcracker) with the FZ20 and good lighting conditions. Sharpness, Contrast, Saturation high, noise reduction low. Click on link for full sized original uncompressed jpg.

Lin

http://www.lin-evans.com/fz20/nutcracker.jpg

Last edited by Lin Evans; Feb 1, 2015 at 2:54 PM.
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Old Sep 2, 2004, 11:29 PM   #2
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Lin,

Perhaps off-topic a bit, but in reference to your prior thread, could you answer a couple questions for me? First, a little context . . . I am very new to cameras in general; I've had a P&S camera for a year or so. I would like a decent camera for wildlife shots and your elk photos caught my eye. I understand that an entry-level DSLR probably would best fit the bill, but to keep costs down and avoid carrying too much into the field I'd rather stick with a fixed-lens camera. On to my questions:

1. Do you remember how close to (and which side of) sundown you took those elk shots?

2. I know noise will be an issue at some level of darkness with any camera, but in your opinion (or best guess) is the FZ-20 or FZ-10 "as good as it gets" for its price range - or close to it - in terms of high-zoom shots at low light outdoors (excluding DSLRs)?

I bought & returned an FZ-10 last winterafter testing it near dusk, but after several months of reading more about digital camera limitations, it appears that I could wait years before seeing any quantum leaps that would help with my narrow use, and I'll miss a lot of shots in the meantime.

Any thoughts you care to share would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Stan
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Old Sep 3, 2004, 1:04 AM   #3
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Hi Stan,

I can't say exactly about sundown because the sun was already down behind 14,000 foot peaks, but the actual time of day in Colorado was right about 7:00 pm. It was dark enough that with my Canon 10D and 70-200L F2.8 was having grave difficulties with focus lock. My 1DS and 100-400L wouldn't lock at all at F5.6.

Noise is just going to be something we have to deal with post capture when shooting in really low light with these focal lengths. The great thing about the FZ10 and FZ20 is that they hold F2.8 throughout the full 36mm-432mm zoom range.

If there is a better low light camera at these extremes than the FZ10/FZ20 I've not seen it. It's measurably better than my Olympus C2100UZ (2 megapixel) and Olympus E-100RS (1.5 megapixel) each with 10X optical stabilized lens.

Of the two, the FZ10 has lower noise - but the FZ20 has a great deal less chromatic aberration at full zoom (almost none). The noise, though something we would like to not see on screen, is really a non issue in prints I've made with the FZ20.

It's difficult to say, but today I shot the FZ20 along side my 1DS, 10D, Fuji S7000Z and Sony DSC-F828. Again it held it's own with all - gave me greater focal lengths than I can get with the others and handled low light better than the Fuji and Sony when out of the range of the Sony's great holographic laser focus aid which is better by a considerable margin than "anything" else out there.

Best regards,

Lin
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Old Sep 3, 2004, 4:57 AM   #4
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Lin Evans wrote:
[quote]For those who had questions about the detail rendering of the FZ20 on my previous comparisons with Canon 1DS/10D.

As I said in the earlier post, the lighting was extremely difficult. Today I did a re-shoot which shows the same essential shot (Clark's Nutcracker) with the FZ20 and good lighting conditions. Sharpness, Contrast, Saturation high, noise reduction low. Click on link for full sized original uncompressed jpg.

Lin
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Old Sep 3, 2004, 5:01 AM   #5
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Hi Lin,

So sorry for the blunder...anyway, I just want to tell you that your photo is VERY encouraging for the FZ20. Well done!!!

Calv
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Old Sep 3, 2004, 8:45 AM   #6
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Hi Lin!

I was just wondering if you would answer a question for me...

Many times I prefer to just shoot in auto mode because there are many times I just can't "compose" the shot manually (subjects just don't stand still long enough!).

Is the FZ20 good for shooting in auto, or, since you have experience with the Sony F828, is the Sony a better choice for this?

Thanks, Lin.
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Old Sep 3, 2004, 1:41 PM   #7
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Actually either is fine in the "auto" mode. The major differences are resolution and focal length capabilities.

With the Olympus TCON-14B (1.45x) the F828 gets 290mm while the Panasonic does image stabilized 432mm native. Add the 1.45x to the Panasonic and you have 626.4mm which is much more than you can get with the Sony and any "decent" quality tele adapter.

On the other hand, the F828 produces more resolution with equal or even a bit less noise. As for lenses, the F828 and FZ20 are equivalent at full zoom while the Sony wins at wide angle. The Sony also has greater wide angle (28mm versus 36mm) so if the majority of your use is at the wide angle end, the advantage goes to the Sony.

Either will make you a great camera.

Lin
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Old Sep 3, 2004, 2:26 PM   #8
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Thanks so much! I'm "graduating" from my Sony DSC-S75...I just love the clairity of the Sony, which is really what I'm looking for. I also liked the advantage of the S75 (not sure if all Sony's have this option) to trim and resize in-camera. The Panasonic website said that the FZ20 has this feature, but I haven't read it in any other website specs.

Thanks again, Lin. and thanks for all of your postings with your beautiful pictures! There was one with a bird where another poster said it looked like the bird just came out of the mud. I printed that with my Kodak 6000 printer to see how it would look and it looked fine!

Peace!

Marilou
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Old Sep 3, 2004, 11:03 PM   #9
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Lin,

Thanks for your informative reply. Is my assumption correct that chromatic aberration will be more prevalent when more light is present than one would expect around sundown? Obviously noise will be an issue at that time of day. The reason I ask is that in contrasting the FZ-10 and the FZ-20, your comments regarding noise and chromatic aberration make me wonder if, given my primary intended use of the camera (outdoor low-light), the FZ-10 might be preferable to the FZ-20. I realize the latter was designed as an improvement to the former, but my use may argue for the superceded model.

If your elk shots were taken close to the town listed in your profile, it looks like they were shot half an hour before sundown. (With the proximity of the mountains it no doubt darkens sooner than it would if you had flat ground to your West.)

Much of the wildlife I hope to shoot appear closer to sunset. Presumably if you attempted those shots 20-30 minutes later it would have been nearly impossible with either Panasonic, right?

Thanks again,

Stan


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Old Sep 3, 2004, 11:23 PM   #10
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Hi Stan,

It's difficult to say - all my cameras used for the elk shots performed in a very similar way - and that was the top of Canon's line 1DS and the 10D, both with fast "L" glass ( F2.8 ) and with the 1DS having probably the most sophisticated autofocus capability of any current SLR type camera. The elk shots were made on the other side of the continental divide from my home - about 70 miles west as the crow flies.

Truthfully, if the light were any lower I don't think autofocus would have been usable on any camera. My guess is that if you want to shoot in really dim conditions you would be best served by a full frame SLR (film) or digital (Canon 1DS) or at least something close such as the Canon EOS-1D Mark II. My Mark II is close to my 1DS in terms of brightness of the viewfinder and the important thing is you can get multiple types of focusing screens.

When the light is really low, autofocus is just "hit and miss" so you never know when you will get accuracy. The FZ10 and FZ20, though having the same speed lens at full zoom as my Sony F828 are not as reliable for autofocus under super low lighting conditions. Of course they have greatly extended focal lengths, so that sometimes makes up a bit but my recommendation would be to think about a dSLR for really low light work because you really won't be able to see with either the EVF or LCD when it gets really bad with the fixed lens models.

Best regards,

Lin
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