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Old May 5, 2005, 4:45 PM   #11
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There are other samples, for example with the Minolta Z5 and the Olympus Sport Zoom 5500, that not are using any flash.
The Panasonic sample has alot of artifacts/jaggies in all texts both on the
can and on the papers.
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Old May 5, 2005, 5:47 PM   #12
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Dark Cobra wrote:
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However, the amount of noise in pretty much all of them is disappointing.
The Fz5's default setting is "standard". It means hard sharpening and high saturation, what cause a lot amount of noise. Sample photos has taken this way.

In "natural" setting (what is more comparable to Fz20's default setting) there are less noise and artifacts (even less noise, than on Fz20), and the noise characteristic is more like "film-grain", so it more finer.
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Old May 5, 2005, 7:32 PM   #13
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I'm a little disappointed by Steve's review, it seemed a little lacklustre and it came across as if he was less than expressed. However, I now own a FZ5 and would like add my own "two cents":

Firstly I'm not just saying I like the FZ5 because I own it, if I was the least bit dissatisfied with the camera I would say so.

From the short time I've used it I've found it a real pleasure, in comparison with my old G2 I find it far more responsive and far more user friendly. The layout, buttons, and the intuitive menu system are quick simple and practical and quite frankly is a joy to use, even little touches like the quick access to the review screen, the multifunctional arrow keys, and the zooming shot review. I find myself far more willing to experiment with ISO settings or focus settings etc because the camera is just so simple to use, I hardly ever used the advanced settings on my old Canon because it just seemed too much like hard work with an uninspiring interface. This camera may not be for you if you're a "prosumer" that likes filters and lenses and external flashes and manually focussing, but it is for you if you want a camera that takes quality photos with an intuitive interface that gives you advanced options simply and logically when you need them but keeping it quick and simple when you don't. I suppose to a certain extent I'm the type of photographer Steve mentions in his review, for me I want an easy to use camera for when I'm visiting somewhere, or at a family event, or just taking pictures of my nephews!

As for picture quality I see now I own it that this whole ISO noise gets blown way out of proportion! Yes when you look at a 2560x1920 image on an average monitor at 100% you may be able to spot all it's imperfections, but in reality how often to people do this? It's pointless, when it's on screen 99% of people want to see it all at once, and at that level of zoom any slight noise becomes invisible. Likewise unless you're planning to be printing up some A3 or larger posters of your prints, noise is not going to be an issue. If you want to analyse your pictures pixel by pixels you might find some noise or maybe the odd bit of sharpening, but I for one take pictures to look at in full and enjoy...

In fact having realised that I never normally looked at pictures in such close detail I went had a look at a few ones from my G2 and they have just as much noise (more so in some cases) as the FZ5, though granted the camera is not a current model. The point is it never bothered me then so I'm certainly not going to let it bother me now. I was also interested in to spot on my Exif data that my first few photo's were on auto ISO and were at 150-200, so I shouldn't have any trouble with ISO80 shots!

The thing that has most impressed me so far though is how easy it is to take good pictures, there is no hit and miss element I used to get with my G2 where some worked out, but some didn't. Taking good pictures on the FZ5 is effortless! The colours and brightness in shots are just right, colours especially seem far more "real" on the FZ5 I find. Then you can't under estimate it's 12x zoom, the freedom it gives you is amazing, there are so many opportunities where an Ok shot becomes a fantastic shot, or indeed a nothing shot becomes a good shot. It definitely makes using it more "fun". But the thing I like the most with the lens is the superb anti-shake system, many of my pictures on my G2 came out blurred but not anymore, and all the times when I've wanted to take low light shots (there are a surprising amount of occasions) are now possible.

I also tested out the "gain up" problem with my G2, and yes it's brighter on my G2 but not be a huge amount, the way people were going on I was half expecting it to be black when it gets dusky! It still has to be very dark to be a problem, but turning the LCD brightness up does help, and you only need a glimmer of light to get your "bearings" on the LCD. Plus if you are taking something in the near distance the strong red hue from the focus assist lamp should help you see what you're doing! So to sum up unless you're taking something in the far distance at night with no light source or point of reference I wouldn't worry too much about the lack of gain up, nice to have maybe, but not the end of the world.

Make no mistake the FZ5 is a great camera and from the brief time I've had it I certainly won't be returning it, it's a joy to use and allows you to take great quality shots without too much messing, and it's so quick and response I can get the "surprise" element back in my photos, compared with my G2 it seems almost instantaneous!

I'm confident now I've tried it that I've made the right choice, and if you want a camera that is comparatively small, light and easy to use but offers more than your every day point and shoot cam you can't go far wrong with the FZ5. Oh it looks good too, I far prefer my black model to the silver one.
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Old May 5, 2005, 7:38 PM   #14
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Aewyn wrote:
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Dark Cobra wrote:
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However, the amount of noise in pretty much all of them is disappointing.
The Fz5's default setting is "standard". It means hard sharpening and high saturation, what cause a lot amount of noise. Sample photos has taken this way.

In "natural" setting (what is more comparable to Fz20's default setting) there are less noise and artifacts (even less noise, than on Fz20), and the noise characteristic is more like "film-grain", so it more finer.
Thanks for the tip, I'll give that a try...
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Old May 6, 2005, 2:38 AM   #15
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I couldn't wait for the black one, so I got the silver one. My daughter says it looks better. To each his own!

I went back andcompared Steve's shots of the school on both the FZ20 and FZ5, and for me they look as close to identical as I can see. You can even read the nos. on the trash can a little better in the FZ5 shot. I'm sure they are really close in quality.

I'm just going to enjoy mine until the S2 comes outand then of course I'll be curious about it and probably check it out.

So far if I had one major complaint it would be that the zoom seems to have only one speed - fast. But I'm getting used to it. The fast focus is awesome, and it's really lightweight. Plus, the controls are very easy to master.


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Old May 6, 2005, 7:10 AM   #16
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jneil wrote:
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I went back andcompared Steve's shots of the school on both the FZ20 and FZ5, and for me they look as close to identical as I can see. You can even read the nos. on the trash can a little better in the FZ5 shot. I'm sure they are really close in quality.

I actually compare all cameras I'm interested in to that shot. He always has it and its a great test. :-). It helped me to get the FZ10 at the time.

The other day I checked out the Nikon 8800 with that shot, hmmm, interesting camera. Yesits a totally different beast, but IMHO, is darn clean and the resolution is impressive.

Danny.


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Old May 6, 2005, 12:34 PM   #17
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Steve's FZ20 review was not enthusiastic either. From what I can remember in his final words he suggested buying FZ3 because of the price. I am FZ20 owner myself and if I had read Steve's reviews only I would have never bought Pana camera.
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Old May 6, 2005, 3:52 PM   #18
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lukkiee wrote:
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Steve's FZ20 review was not enthusiastic either. From what I can remember in his final words he suggested buying FZ3 because of the price. I am FZ20 owner myself and if I had read Steve's reviews only I would have never bought Pana camera.
That's what I don't understand, from DPReviews summary it said the FZ3 was a great camera but had a couple of big drawbacks, which is says the FZ5 fixes and then some, so if he likes the FZ3 I can't understand why he isn't glowing over the FZ5, he doesn't even compare it to the FZ3 which is a bit odd since that is what it's replacing.

Also while we're on the subject of Steve's reviews, why doesn't he have any % or out of 10 scores or even recommended/highly recommended badges? Sometimes you can't really tell what he thinks!
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