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Old Apr 8, 2005, 4:33 AM   #1
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Hi Guys... I'm back..... still without a camera.

Thought I'd ask you Panasonic junkies as I've decided on a Pana but not which one. I'd decided on the Panasonic FZ-20. But then I saw the FZ-5....

From my understanding and the few reviews around, the FZ-5 has a smaller LCD, no hot-shoe & no manual focus when compared to the FZ-20. So why isthe FZ-5£100 / $160 cheaper than the FZ-20? (I don't need a hot-shoe, I use the EVF most, I haven't used manual focus since before my Minolta 7000).

What's the Low-Light focusing like? I've tried an FZ-20 in a shops dark corner and it was soooooosuperior to the Z3. Is the FZ-5 comparable? Is the zoom lense "really" THAT NOISY? The FZ-20 zoom noise was fine. But if I can save £100 the wife will let me buy it this side of the new millenium.

PLEEEEASE HELP!!!!!

If you know please tell me in the most convincing terms as I'll use the answer to convince my wife.

Many thanks

Simon (aka YorkshireTaff)

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Old Apr 8, 2005, 6:22 AM   #2
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YorkshireTaff wrote:
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Hi Guys... I'm back..... still without a camera.

(I don't need a hot-shoe, I use the EVF most, I haven't used manual focus since before my Minolta 7000).
This is just a personal observation, take it for what it's worth.. [FZ20] You may say you don't need these things until you want them.. Honestly speaking, the best indoor people shots I have were taken with an external flash. I figured too that I would use the EVF most when I bought the camera back in January but find myself using the LCD 99% of the time.. The only time I really use the EVF is when the light is too bright to give me a good image on the LCD. With respect to manual focus, there are some albeit few situations, where the camera (all digicams have this problem) autofocusing due to lack of a defining characteristic. Something with a large field of a single color for instance.. Those are reasons why you may want the features you say you don't need.

Quote:
What's the Low-Light focusing like? I've tried an FZ-20 in a shops dark corner and it was soooooo superior to the Z3. Is the FZ-5 comparable? Is the zoom lense "really" THAT NOISY? The FZ-20 zoom noise was fine. But if I can save £100 the wife will let me buy it this side of the new millenium.
Only someone who's actually tried both cameras will be able to give you a legitimate comparison. I can't.. I'm only going to say that people are WAY too hung up on the idea of Zoom Lens Noise.. Unless it's a loud grinding noise.. Then something else is wrong. Motors operating meshing gears moving that much glass are going to make some noise. Some more than others? Sure. Any completely silent?? I bet not. Remember, especially using the EVF where the camera is.. Within inches of your ears.

Quote:

PLEEEEASE HELP!!!!!

If you know please tell me in the most convincing terms as I'll use the answer to convince my wife.

Many thanks

Simon (aka YorkshireTaff)
Tell your wife you need the camera to better capture her beauty..

Jeff
:G
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Old Apr 8, 2005, 7:50 AM   #3
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lol thats a good answer :G
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Old Apr 8, 2005, 9:47 AM   #4
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for my two half-pennies worth, I have the FZ 20, I didnt think I would really need the manuel focus...it comes in real handy at times, if money is not an issue go for the 20
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Old Apr 8, 2005, 12:38 PM   #5
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YorkshireTaff wrote:
Quote:
If you know please tell me in the most convincing terms as I'll use the answer to convince my wife.
Simon, you could also add that it would be wrong to choose a lower spec item now as:
1) It will cost more in the long run when you think of the cost of upgrading
2) You choose the best when you chose her

Ian

PS wish there was a "tongue in cheek" emoticon.
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Old Apr 8, 2005, 12:47 PM   #6
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Thanks for the info, and certainly the comments for the wife :-).

I'd appreciate it if anyones actually got some "hands-on" experience of using both camera's. Does having a party mode mean good low-light focus? Is manual focus available because low-light focus is a problem? It's the actual user experience and when problem do occur I'm trying to get a grip on.

Cheers

Simon
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Old Apr 8, 2005, 1:42 PM   #7
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YorkshireTaff wrote:
Quote:
Thanks for the info, and certainly the comments for the wife :-).

I'd appreciate it if anyones actually got some "hands-on" experience of using both camera's. Does having a party mode mean good low-light focus? Is manual focus available because low-light focus is a problem? It's the actual user experience and when problem do occur I'm trying to get a grip on.

Cheers

Simon
These are 2 very low light action shots, well, one is anyway.. There was a porch light behind me and the rest of the light is the on camera flash.. Both were taken using the af assist lamp to aim the camera and the camera did the rest. I don't think you can get much more extreme in low light than 2 black dogs. The top photo is resized only, no crop, and has had an autolevel adjustment in photoshop.





The only problem you are likely to have with low light focus, is no light. That's been my experience anyway.. I Will say that in the case of the top photo, the only real difficulty was seeing what I was aiming the camera at. However, with the AF assist aimed at one of the dogs, I managed to get about 30 shots in about 5 minutes (it was too cold to stay out any longer).

I use the manual focus mostly when there is a detail that I want to make sure is In focus of a particular photo.. such as..



Taken at midnight. With the flag blowing in the wind the camera wanted to hunt for a focal point.. Both manual focus as well as switching to spot auto focus solved the problem. Several shots were taken, some better than others, this is just one of them.


Jeff
:G

Edit: Almost forgot.. The scene modes (such as party) don't change the capabilities of the cameras. They are simply presets of options already available to you.. Personally, I rarely bother with them.
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Old Apr 8, 2005, 2:01 PM   #8
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Thanks for the piccies Jeff. They certainly give good examples... and I love black labs!

How did you find the LCD & EVF in these conditions? Was there a lot of guessing where the subjects were? I ask becuse some reviews mention the problem in them not gaining up.

Thanks again for the help

Simon
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Old Apr 8, 2005, 3:51 PM   #9
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YorkshireTaff wrote:
Quote:
Thanks for the piccies Jeff. They certainly give good examples... and I love black labs!

How did you find the LCD & EVF in these conditions? Was there a lot of guessing where the subjects were? I ask becuse some reviews mention the problem in them not gaining up.

Thanks again for the help

Simon
That is correct.. They don't gain up.. In the case of the dogs, I pretty much relied on the AF assist lamp, some knowlage of how far away they were, and yes, a little bit of luck. That in addition to viewing previous frames helped me to frame the next ones.. That is, aim the AF light at the dogs back rather than head for example. The flag has some pretty bright spotlights on it so focusing on it wasn't a problem as far as seeing it.

The EVF will go nearly nearly dark and leave you with little more than shadows. You can adjust the brightness of the LCD to help some but the gain up feature is an example of where I think the movie mode (or the scene modes for that matter) space could have been better used. On the other hand, I've never had the feature so I don't miss it. Those who have used a gain up feature will probably miss it. For my money, a viewfinder would have been just as useful, if not more so, than a gain up feature. I'm guessing, though not positive, the FZ5 is the same.

Jeff


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