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Old Apr 8, 2005, 2:40 PM   #1
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Ok this is a wee bit old, but its well worth reading esp for those pioneers with the FZ1.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv...per/030807.htm

Harj


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Old Apr 8, 2005, 2:56 PM   #2
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Hi Harry...

This is the article that "sold me" on the FZ-1. (I actually had my heart set on a Nikon Coolpix 5700.) Upgrading to the v2 firmware solves a lot of the drawbacks. Adding an external digital slave flash, a diffuser, and a wide angle adapter really turns this into a nice kit for indoors as well. I have no complaints what-so-ever. Regardless of the low megapixel count, it produces really nice prints up to 8x10. Alls I know - or care about, is what I see, and the prints look just fine regardless of 2 megapixels. If they didn't, this camera would be up on eBay. I really like that it's an ir cam, too. I would really, reall miss that capability in a newer model, and I don't think I take enough pics to "get my money's worth" out of two cameras.

The funny thing is when I bought this camera - and it arrived July 2, 2004 (I remember because I waited for it to arrive before going on "holiday"), it was less than a year ago, and the only other option was the FZ-10.

That was a short 9 months ago... now this is "old" technology! In about half-a-year, Panasonic introduced the FZ-20, the FZ-3, and now the FZ-4 and FZ-5.

That's pretty crazy, even by technology standards!

Nick

PS Given that kind of release cycle, I can understand why "Panasonic Bob" hasn't been around.
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Old Apr 8, 2005, 3:56 PM   #3
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Hi Nick.

I bought an FZ1 on eBay last week and am just awaiting its arrival at the moment. It was mostly due to your recommendations and thoseof several other posters here that I was willing to take a step backward to a 2 MP camera. I originally had the FZ20 in mind, but due to other financial obligations was unable tobuy that just yet.

What would you consider the most necessary add-ons to the FZ1? Also, in another thread you mentioned a program of some sort that enabled the pixels to be increased. Could you or anyone elsepass on that info and anything else that would be helpful to a new FZ1 owner.

Thanks.
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Old Apr 8, 2005, 4:59 PM   #4
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wighter1 wrote:
Quote:
Hi Nick.

I bought an FZ1 on eBay last week and am just awaiting its arrival at the moment. It was mostly due to your recommendations and those¬*of several other posters here that I was willing to take a step backward to a 2 MP camera. I originally had the FZ20 in mind, but due to other financial obligations was unable to¬*buy that just yet.

What would you consider the most necessary add-ons to the FZ1? Also, in another thread you mentioned a program of some sort that enabled the pixels to be increased. Could you or anyone else¬*pass on that info and anything else that would be helpful to a new FZ1 owner.

Thanks.
Hi...

Well, I really like the camera (obviously...) I hope it lives up to its billing. You should do the firmware upgrade. Read the FZ-1 FAQ here. In fact, read it twice. I basically followed it to the letter, acquiring stuff as I went along...

Essentials...
1. Upgrade SD card... (250 meg is fine for me. Figure $50?)
2. Hack firmware to make 1v2 (free...)
3. Xtra battery ($20)
4. UV filter ($20 to protect the lens...)

Indoor Photography...
1. Vivitar DF200 digital slave flash ($60)
2. L-bracket (any photo store, $15-20)
3. Diffuser... (Lumiquest Promax System, $40. It's a lot for a diffuser but this really, really, made a big difference in indoor shots, imo. Very versitile.)
4. CameraBright... (LED attachment, acts as an autofocus assist... $30. I don't use this that much. I've gotten pretty decent at using spot focus techniques but it's good to have if it's really, really dark...)

Fun...
1. Hoya R72 IR filter... (gotta have an IR filter if you have the FZ-1) $30-ish
2. Macro's - Nikon 4t, 6t, or Raynox DCR 250 (most powerful but very shallow dof). $40-ish?

Converter Lenses...
(You will need a 55-52 mm step down ring for all of the teleconverters... $15)

Wide Angle...
1.Raynox DCR 720 - $50. (Terrible barrel distortion of -1.45 but that's a quick fix in Photoshop. Using a free plug-in called "panotools". Some editors have a bd "corrector" built-in...) Increases field of view by 38%. What's good about this is that you can zoom through and it doesn't detriorate image quality (to my eye...). It stays sharp in the corners. Good for indoors. Also good for natural light candids, as at full wide you can really get down to about 1/6 second hand-held with OIS.

2. Raynox DCR 6600, $100.
Probably the best teleconverter for the money. Increases field of view by 50% (which is huge, and the widest of them all...). Stays sharp in the corners but vignettes very slightly on the FZ-1 using the stock adapter. You can't however, zoom past 1X or the corners blur badly. I had this and sold it, as I didn't think I would make use of two WA's, and I opted for the zoom-through of the 720. This is an EXCELLENT "pure" WA converter lens, though.

Teleconverter...
Oly C-210. $40.
Vignettes up to 12x... There are others but this is nice and light, doesn't cost too much. Not big into teleconverters personally, since I think 420mm is plenty. The bird shooters will beg to differ.

Other...
You might want to pick up an neutral density filter. Good for outdoors. Cuts down the amount of light. Seems to work a little better than exposure compensation (which should be -1.5 outdoors in bright sunlight!) imo. $25.

Interpolation...
Keep in mind, you don't interpolate to add detail! You do this to keep the pixel density up for printing! It's done to preserve the captured detail in prints by maintaining pixel density! It doesn't "add" detail.

1. InterpolateThis! Free photoshop action has become my favorite. It is basically the same as Fred Miranda's "Stair Interpolation" except it's free. http://www.interpolatethis.com/actions.html It increases pixel amounts in 10% increments, in a second.

6X4's... don't interpolate.
5X7... two clicks, 20%
8X10's... (haven't tried this for an 8X10 yet... 5X7's are my favorite print size...)

2. Q-Image ($40 "I think")
Played around with this recently. Does a nice job. Interpolates automatically BUT does it interpolate too much? It takes a 300k file and prints from a 10 meg(!!!) file after interpolation! Still, prints look pretty okay. Don't interpolate in Photoshop or your editor if you print with Q-Image.

3. Genuine Fractals.
Considered "the best" "professional" interpolation package, but it's overkill and has a "messy/busy/user-UNfriendly" interface, is buggy (errors-out sometimes, this is known, and there're instructions on their site to correct...), and forces you to use their proprietary "stn" file format. It really shines if you take a 5 meg pic and blow it up to obsecene sizes. This is why I prefer "InterpolateThis" for smaller, standard prints. It's just easier and there's no noticeable quality difference, imo.


Whew, what a rant! Thanks for giving me the opportunity to bloviate.

Nick

PS - READ THE FZ1 FAQ POSTED HERE!

Othere SW tools... "Nic Sharpener Pro" and "Neat Image"





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Old Apr 8, 2005, 5:11 PM   #5
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Old Apr 8, 2005, 5:12 PM   #6
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Its a good read Harry,and a great wrapup for the FZ1
Now Frank Van Riper was made aware of the FZ1 by Bruce Dale at this f64 pro meeting.
Oddly if you visit the web sites for Dale or Riper there is no mention at all of their continued use of the FZ1 or FZXX
successors.
Seems The initial novelty of OIS and and 12x zoom f2.8 thru' probably wore off.
At any rate the FZ1 is not a pro camera, just a great little shooter.

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Old Apr 8, 2005, 5:46 PM   #7
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wighter1 wrote:
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What would you consider the most necessary add-ons to the FZ1?
IMO, there are two essential add-ons lens.
1) A uv filter for lens protection. Leave the supplied tube adapter on at all times with the uv filter attached to protect the lens andthe extension housing.
2) A macro lens for close-ups. The macro functionality of the fz1 (and the entire fz series) is limited to <3x zoom. A macro lens will give you macro capabilty thoughout the zoom. See http://www.ishots.net/fz1-2faq/fz1macros.htm
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Old Apr 8, 2005, 5:50 PM   #8
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boyzo wrote:
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Oddly if you visit the web sites for Dale or Riper there is no mention at all of their continued use of the FZ1 or FZXX successors.
Riper did do a piece on the fz10 but he wasn't as impressed with it.
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Old Apr 8, 2005, 7:05 PM   #9
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I also was convinced to get the FZ1 after reading this piece. I have never been sorry! It's just a great little camera that's easy & fun to use.I have a manual 35mm film camera I have not touched in over a year. I also have another digicam, a Canon A70. It takes very good pictures and so on,but I find myself reaching for the FZ1 most of the time when I want to photograph something:G It is more versatile and I dont think it has the
issues with "noise" that the newer FZ models seem to suffer from.
Bottom line is, that darn ZOOM is just so much fun ! I also love it when I show someone an 8X10 print and see the look of disbelief on their face when I tell them it's a two megapixel camera.:?::blah: Paid $250.00 for it new!

Charley
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Old Apr 8, 2005, 7:26 PM   #10
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fmoore wrote:
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boyzo wrote:
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Oddly if you visit the web sites for Dale or Riper there is no mention at all of their continued use of the FZ1 or FZXX successors.
Riper did do a piece on the fz10 but he wasn't as impressed with it.
Yes read that.
never used an FZ10 so don't know, I think the two Modes of OIS confused him as it does others even with FZ20 users.

Mode 1 is continuous Mode 2 is at the instant the shutter is pressed.

From what I have read Mode 1 is best for most users.

The FZ1 is like Mode 1 no choice but it works.
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