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Old Jul 22, 2005, 7:05 PM   #1
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The FZ30 has a ring for zoom and focus too, whearas the FZ1/...20... all use for zoom the trigger lever and shutter 1/2 press for focus, you can steady the camera against your face using the EVF and gripping the lens barrel adaptor with the left hand, your right index finger now in ONE place controls ....Zoom / Focus / Capture / very ergonomic very fast.

With the FZ30 and this to me is cumbersome viz you need to steady the camera and adjust zoom with the ring.... the ring is very narrow and not optimaly placed, it would seem to me you would have to try this camera and be happy with the controls (oddly quite a few in DPR forum) have preordered this camera unsited or even hand held

Certainly lots of improvements Flip LCD, NON extending lens, RAW etc... this is pretty cool. plus dials for Aperture / Shutter.
Also the 55mm front thread is going to need carefull use with addon lenses .... if you cross thread its going to be expensive repair job, this is a fine thread and will be aluminium.

EZ zoom "extended zoom", my understanding is its true optical zoom for the 5MP / 3MP settings because physically part of the sensor is being used hence the greater magnification viz 5mp / 15.3 3mp /19.1 there is no digital function, but the bottom end the WA end is curtailed pro rata.


John
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Old Jul 22, 2005, 8:43 PM   #2
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John,

as i u nderstand it from reading the manual, the "extended optical zoom" is still just a matter of manipulating pixels within the sensor. the lens itself is 12 x, period. that's the only "optical" zoom available. the extended functions merely reduce the availablepixel count and spreads the same image over the middle 5MP, or 3, on the sensor, depending on the settings. it does this with (relatively) minimal image degradation because instead of taking an 8MP image and cropping to 3 or 5MP then enlarging internally (as digital zoom does), it records the full image usingjust the3 or 5MP in the first place. when you view the image, it APPEARS larger, but you still have only a 3 or 5MP image, and the optical zoom/magnification of the lens doesn't change. Panny is playing games with this one, advertising it as "optical", when in fact the lens zoom ratio is unchanged.
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Old Jul 22, 2005, 10:15 PM   #3
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The only thing that would tempt me as a user would be an improvement in the CCD technology resulting in less noise. The camera will at best match the noise levels of the FZ20. I got a feeling that there is a problem with the lens design. There are veiled mentions of vignetting. Maybe 58mm filter and hood accessaries are the way to go.
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Old Jul 22, 2005, 10:38 PM   #4
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squirl033 wrote:
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John,

as i u nderstand it from reading the manual, the "extended optical zoom" is still just a matter of manipulating pixels within the sensor. the lens itself is 12 x, period. that's the only "optical" zoom available. the extended functions merely reduce the availablepixel count and spreads the same image over the middle 5MP, or 3, on the sensor, depending on the settings. it does this with (relatively) minimal image degradation because instead of taking an 8MP image and cropping to 3 or 5MP then enlarging internally (as digital zoom does), it records the full image usingjust the3 or 5MP in the first place. when you view the image, it APPEARS larger, but you still have only a 3 or 5MP image, and the optical zoom/magnification of the lens doesn't change. Panny is playing games with this one, advertising it as "optical", when in fact the lens zoom ratio is unchanged.
Ok thanks for explanation, they can in the electronics activate a smaller area of the sensor I suppose, ie the 5mp / 3mp area relative to the 8mp area, perhaps it is a bit of a gimmick, depends on the image quality certainly image file size would be smaller and you get more on a SD card.

They tend to infer that its NOT digital zoom and has minimal degredation. (Marketing Speak)





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Old Jul 22, 2005, 11:16 PM   #5
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yeah, it;s kinda underhanded, making users think they're getting more optical zoom than they are. but if the zoom were truly "optical" (i.e, inthe lens itself) it would be available at all image sizes and all you'd have to do would be to twist the ring. Panny is playing marketing games hoping to lure the uninformed and those who don't take the time to understand how the camera works before plunking down their $700...
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Old Jul 22, 2005, 11:21 PM   #6
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My questions about this camera is, why haven't they done this 3 years ago?

I am not talking about the 8 MP sensor, I am taking about real manual zoom in a non SLR camera. It isn't exactly rocket science. Personally, if I was a company wanting to get a share of the compact camera market, the first thing I would do is make a camera that takes all the good stuff as possible from a DSLR (manual zoom, focus, etc). I could understand a company that makes both DSLRs and compacts to not choose to make such a great feature on a compact (as that would certianly cut in a little into DSLR profits), but there are plenty of camera makers out there that don't do DSLRs.

I have been wanting this feature since I got into digital photography (well, actualy photography in general). Nothing like taking the best of the DSLR world (manual control) and putting it in with the best of the compact world (all in one solution, no need to change lenses, smaller, etc) with only sacrificing the image quality of the huge sensor in the DSLR.

The technology for having a manual zoom has been around longer than a electronic one, so...

end rant:


Anyway, I am really looking forward to the FZ30, might get one, depends on what the image quality really turns out to be like (if it is as good as my FZ10, I will be happy enough). Hopefully we will start to see some real innovation in the digital sensor market, because that is almost the only thing that is holding the compacts back...
The future is bright
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Old Jul 23, 2005, 12:44 AM   #7
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Sounds like what my wife needs to get me for Christmas this year, by then the price will be around $500 online. I sure like to make her shopping easier for her...
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Old Jul 23, 2005, 12:48 AM   #8
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yeah, the manual zoom control is kinda nice, reminds me of some of the old film SLR lenses. i never cared much for the two-ring design, though... i preferred the ones with one ring that turned to focus and slid forward or back to zoom. easier and faster to zoom while refocusing...


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Old Jul 23, 2005, 1:10 AM   #9
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squirl033 wrote:
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yeah, the manual zoom control is kinda nice, reminds me of some of the old film SLR lenses. i never cared much for the two-ring design, though... i preferred the ones with one ring that turned to focus and slid forward or back to zoom. easier and faster to zoom while refocusing...

Yes the one broad ring for focus / zoom (Tamron 80-200mm f3.5)
my GF still uses her Pentax K1000 K mount with 80-200 Tamron (Heavy) YEP sweet camera tho'
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Old Jul 23, 2005, 5:00 AM   #10
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blinblue wrote:
Quote:
My questions about this camera is, why haven't they done this 3 years ago?

I am not talking about the 8 MP sensor, I am taking about real manual zoom in a non SLR camera. It isn't exactly rocket science. Personally, if I was a company wanting to get a share of the compact camera market, the first thing I would do is make a camera that takes all the good stuff as possible from a DSLR (manual zoom, focus, etc). I could understand a company that makes both DSLRs and compacts to not choose to make such a great feature on a compact (as that would certianly cut in a little into DSLR profits), but there are plenty of camera makers out there that don't do DSLRs.

I have been wanting this feature since I got into digital photography (well, actualy photography in general). Nothing like taking the best of the DSLR world (manual control) and putting it in with the best of the compact world (all in one solution, no need to change lenses, smaller, etc) with only sacrificing the image quality of the huge sensor in the DSLR.

The technology for having a manual zoom has been around longer than a electronic one, so...

end rant:


Anyway, I am really looking forward to the FZ30, might get one, depends on what the image quality really turns out to be like (if it is as good as my FZ10, I will be happy enough). Hopefully we will start to see some real innovation in the digital sensor market, because that is almost the only thing that is holding the compacts back...
The future is bright
Bin

Many of the changes that they put into the FZ30 were already there 2 years ago - in the LC1 - manual mechanical zoom, focus and aperture rings, SD card slot to the side of the cam, in line tripod mount, high res 256k EVF/LCD, RAW format (no real buffer support though), etc.

At the moment, I am going to wait for the FZ30 but in the mean time I may get the Oly 8080 although again its only ISO 400 max and they use YX cards but picture quality is supposed to be excellent and I think it would compliment the FZ10 quiet well. They're also dirt cheap now $400-500USD and going for £200 GBP on ebay. I'm stilll seriously hankering for an LC1 !

Harj




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