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rduve Sep 21, 2005 11:33 PM

For almost a year now I have been the proud owner of my Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ20. It is by far the best camera I ever owned including my previous Canon Powershot G5 and previous SLR film cameras. Naturally I got spoiled by the 12x zoom and don't want to move back to anything less or the burden of carrying an array of lenses. Panasonic addressed many of the shortcomings the FZ20 presented in their new FZ30: Faster startup, flip down (if not quite swivel) screen, larger CCD, enhanced LCD and EVF resolution and low light response, larger resolution,further increased optical zoom for 5 and 3 MP images, and the ability to attach add on lenses and filters without having to use an adapter tube. I love all those improvements. However, the reviews on dpreviews and dcresource are both very condemning of even increased noise problems in the FZ30 vs. the FZ20, and this has been a problem with low light, non-flash indoor shots, such as inside sports in a gym. (Although there are only a very small percentage of pictures that fall into this category since most shots are taken outdoors at 80 ISO or inside witha flash, my older son is an accomplished basketball player, and there have been situations where I wished I could have taken hgh quality images at 1600 ISO.) This appears to be the only drawback on this camera. Steve has not posted his review as of yet and there are very few comments from actual FZ30 owners so far in this forum. I would like to get some reviews from owners and see some sample images under different conditions as well as some comparisons to the FZ20 in image quality. Per the above mentioned reviews the difference in image quality would not be worth the upgrade, while the upgrade in handling and features would be. Please advise. Thanks.

Nancy Gabby Sep 22, 2005 1:10 AM

I second the motion. We need more talk in this forum about the FZ30. I do think you can find a lot of samples on various sites. Which is what I had done. And without side by side comparisons it is hard to see about the noise. But from eyeballing it, it seems to me that the FZ30 is a little less noisy in bright situations, and there is a bit more noise in lower light situations. And honestly, even with my 20, if I don't have bright light, I just use my flash (or my Canon 20D - which I know a lot of people don't have the luxury of buying in conjunction with the panasonic). I am going to get the FZ30 primarily b/c of the 8mp image and the zoom range. This way I don't have to spend the $$$ for another Canon lens. And I shoot primarily outdoors, or in the studio so I will have the camera set to an ISO of 80 almost always. I want to get ther camera but there are no places around me that have it yet. But I really think we gotta get this party started on the FZ30 talk in this forum, people! Please!

KENNETHD Sep 22, 2005 1:38 AM

Check some of the FZ30 topics...I've posted quite a few replies and pics. Best regards,


Manie_de Sep 22, 2005 2:33 AM

Hi there !

I alsoconsidered to buy the FZ30, but after looking at some of their pictures (mainly at pbase) and reading somereviews (dpreview, imagingresource, etc.) I was really taken back by the amount of noise (even at ISO 80 and 100).

Noise is really an issue which everyone has to decide for himself, if it matters and how much it matters (I for example boughtme aFZ15 instead of the FZ20 because of the lesser noise level).

The handling and the features of the FZ30 are superb !

As a user of the Lumix LC1 a dream came true for me with most features of this brilliant camera added to the FZ30 (like mechanical zoom ring, better LCD and EVF, seperate card slot, full viewwhile manual focusing, more direct access to controls, etc.).

But for the prize I want a camerawith far less noise than the current FZ30 (very sad, because I wanted the FZ30 really bad).



scb Sep 22, 2005 7:32 AM

I've only owned my FZ20 since December, so I'm not inclined to spend extra money upgrading at this point. I would rather wait to see what happens with the camera that replaces the FZ30 and see if noise issues are improved by use of a larger sensor. If that doesn't happen either with Panasonic cameras or with others, then I think I will be looking at a digital SLR to supplement my FZ20.

If I were interested in the FZ30, I think I would be looking to take some shots and post process them with Neat Image and see if the noise is an issue. I do wish the FZ20 had the flipup/rotating LDC as I really enjoyed that feature on my Sony DSC s-30 (one heck of a good picture taking camera!). IF Panasonic can make a significant improvement in noise levels, the successor of the FZ30 could be as market shattering as the first Canon Digital Rebel.

armadilloshield Sep 22, 2005 9:39 AM

Another consideration although FZ30 have more features, but seem quite heavy compare to FZ20. FZ30 around 740g. :roll:

HarjTT Sep 22, 2005 11:14 AM

I had a very quick play with an FZ30 last week and posted my opinions on it in another thread. I think Genece has got an FZ30 and I think he'd be able to give a better idea on the cam itself esp with different camera settings.

From my two mins with the camera I can say the following:

i) The ergonomics are a big improvement, esp the grip and the repositioned shutter button.
2) Weight wise it felt a lot lighter than I thought it would.
3) The LCD and EVF are superior - esp the EVF when you look through it, the image looks larger and the resolution made it even better to use esp in manual focus.
4) The menu was a wee bit different from my FZ10 so I couldn;t find some of teh functions that i wanted.
5) Lens - the lens is sharp but it's physical presence did not impress me- my FZ10's lens still makes me go wow.
6) Startup and autofocus was very fast.
7) shot to shot even in TIff was good

I took a couple of shots in the store and will post them later both were taken in auto mode - I wasn't able to work out how to change the ISO/white balance/ stauration/contrast etc/NR settings to low and basically was being rshed in eth store as they were closing. Looking at the pictures already posted - I'd say in good light, esp outdoors the FZ30 has less noise than the FZ20. Indoors and in low light without flash thats not the case and if I did have an FZ30 I would be shooting in RAW or set all in cam settings to low like on my FZ10.


gellis1 Sep 23, 2005 9:31 AM

I sold my 20 to get the 30,I'm just learning how to take pictures and use PS.
I'm trying to download a picture,but i'm doing something wrong it won't let me.

rduve Sep 23, 2005 11:51 AM

Thanks for all your feedback. If anybody has direct comparison shots, please post them. I am in no hurry to upgrade, but I figure if I can sell my FZ20 and my little compact standby Minolta G500 (which I really do not like and therefore do not use anyway), I can get the FZ30 without having to spend much extra. So, why not get it for the extra features, improved handling and higher resolution. Then when the new generation with the lower noise level gets released, I can upgrade again. Fortuntately, these cameras seem to retain their resell value quite well if you look at ebay.

I had this fantasy about utilizing the 3CCD technology in still cameras as they do in high end camcorders. Would that not solve the dilemma of being restricted to a small sensor when using a high optical zoom? Does anybody know if the 3CCD technology is based on the same principle as the Fovean chip?

rduve Sep 23, 2005 12:21 PM

gellis1 wrote:

I sold my 20 to get the 30,I'm just learning how to take pictures and use PS.
I'm trying to download a picture,but i'm doing something wrong it won't let me.

Gellis1: No offense, but what did you do with your FZ20 if you are just now learning how to take pictures and can't figure out how to download a picture?

Do you have trouble downloading pictures from your camera onto your hard drive or do you encounter a problem attaching a picture to your postings here?

If it's the latter, just attach it below. It is pretty intuitive. Just make sure the file size is small enough.

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