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Old Dec 6, 2005, 8:29 AM   #1
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Hi all,

I have been using the FZ1 for a couple of years now and still am quite pleased with it. Dropped my first one a while back, got another one and conveniently had the extra battery pack. dropped the second one somewhat recently, still works but has a crack in the body (No, I don't think I am that clumsy....we just took it all over the place :-))

Anyhow, I think I want to upgrade to the FZ5 and have a couple of questions, I hope you can answer for me.
  1. Does the battery from the FZ1 fit into the FZ5? [/*]
  2. The main limitation of the FZ1 was shooting in low light conditions. How much improvment (if any) has been made with the FZ5? [/*]
  3. Has the movie mode improved on the FZ5? No big deal really, just curious. [/*]
  4. Lastly, I read quite a few posts in regard to add on lenses. Which combination seems to work best for you? (looking for wide & 2x tele)[/*]
Thank you very much for your feedback.

Wolf




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Old Dec 6, 2005, 9:06 AM   #2
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coedfun wrote:
Quote:
Hi all,

I have been using the FZ1 for a couple of years now and still am quite pleased with it. Dropped my first one a while back, got another one and conveniently had the extra battery pack. dropped the second one somewhat recently, still works but has a crack in the body (No, I don't think I am that clumsy....we just took it all over the place :-))

Anyhow, I think I want to upgrade to the FZ5 and have a couple of questions, I hope you can answer for me.
  1. Does the battery from the FZ1 fit into the FZ5?... YES
Quote:
[/*]
  1. The main limitation of the FZ1 was shooting in low light conditions. How much improvment (if any) has been made with the FZ5?
[/*]
Not very much .


  1. Has the movie mode improved on the FZ5? No big deal really, just curious.
[/*]
No
  1. Lastly, I read quite a few posts in regard to add on lenses. Which combination seems to work best for you? (looking for wide & 2x tele)
Quote:
Thank you very much for your feedback.

Wolf



[/*]


A 1.7 lens either a Sony VCL-DH1758or the TCon 17 and there is a small modification that should be made to the adapter to use a WA lens and the HD 6600-55 from RAynox seems to work well.
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Old Dec 6, 2005, 9:45 AM   #3
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I think that the low light shooting of the FZ5 should be better in certain ways than the FZ1 but still lacking in other. I don't have an FZ5 but do have an FZ1 and recently sold my FZ3. So, I'll make these judgements based on the FZ3 and assume that the FZ5 is at least as good as that.



The FZ3 has a focus assist lamp that seems to aid tremendously for low light focusing over the FZ1. The lamp works very well in some extremely low light situations up to 12-15 feet depending on what it's trying to focus on. Even with the focus lamp off it does marginally better than the FZ1. The FZ3 would focus on the first try in situations where the FZ1 would never find focus. The flash is also stronger on the FZ3 which helps is you are trying to take flash shots. I assume that the FZ5 is at least as strong as the FZ3.



The bad; low light high ISO performance is poor with all FZ's. The FZ5 will not take better action shots in low light than the FZ1, at least not so much of an improvement to make it worth using those shots. The lcd or evf will not gain up in low light, just like the FZ1 won't.



That said the FZ's are still some of the best digi cams for low light shots availiable for the price IMO. The f2.8 lens combined with OIS goes a long way to get decent shots as long as your subject isn't moving.
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Old Dec 6, 2005, 11:10 AM   #4
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I upgraded from the fz1 (still have 2 for infrared and haven't dropped either) to the fz5 last April. I'm very happy with the fz5.

Battery is the same. The fz5 has focus assist which helps with low light focus up to about 6ft. The fz5 flash is stronger and its intensity can be adjusted. Good to about 10-12ft. The fz5 is somewhat better than the fz1 in low light but not a whole lot. Movie was not functionally improved though I suppose it to is somewhat better.

Whereas the fz1 had a screw on plastic adapter and yoshida made a nice metal adapter, the fz5 IMO has a very poorly designed plastic affair (same 55mm add-on receiving threads) thatattaches tothe camera body with a bayonet type fitting which precludes the economically feasible production of a 3rd party adapter. I modified mine as shown at http://www.ishots.net/fz5/modified_fz5_adapter.htm That modification gives the adapter 52mm metal threads. The raynox dcr6600pro .66x wa lens works beautifully with it. Examples at http://www.ishots.net/fz5/wildwoodb&w/ I have a number of tele converters that work nicley with the fz5 as they do with the fz1; oly tcon17 1.7x, minolta act100 1.5x, and ricoh tc200m 1.5x are favorites. You will not find a 2x tele that works very well. The oly c210 1.9x is fairly goodin the center. I've seen some on ebay recently of an amazing $13 delivered.
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Old Dec 6, 2005, 12:30 PM   #5
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Thank you so much for your feedback so far. I did read through a ton of reviews prior to asking my questions (of course), but actual user feedback is so much more personal and quite often more insightful than the one of "professional" reviewers.

I am especially faszinated with some of you "handy" people out there, that have the gutts and knowledge to go through these often fancy modifications. I don't posses either skillI am afraid, but love the point and shootfeatures of the FZs. The FZ30 seems to be a fine piece of workmanship as well, but for our frequent traveling and space limitations, the smaller FZ5 is just so much more convenient.

If only they could built the5 within a metal casing....

Thanks again for all your help.

Wolf
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Old Dec 6, 2005, 10:10 PM   #6
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I have been frustrated with the fz5 in low light conditions, whether I'm moving or the subject (maybe it can be improved by changing the ISO settings, but I never think about that until it's too late). Anyway, when the camera is still, and the exposure time is sufficient, the results are, in my opinion, quite pleasing. This photo was taken during a thunderstorm, with the hope to capture lightning, which obviously didn't happen. But the interesting thing is, the sky was almost completely dark, yet the 8 second exposure made it look like daytime.
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Old Dec 7, 2005, 6:19 PM   #7
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As far as the low light goes, the fz5 is not too bad. I picked one up last fall and took lots of Friday night high school football with it without a flash. Attached is a sample. Usually shot at ISO 400, F2.8 (or 3.3 depending on zoom), and 1/80 shutter speed. The lights at the old high school stadiums are not very good. Slower shutter speeds would produce great still shots, but motion would blur. 1/80 was a stretch and fast action would still blur. I would think that most other cameras would have the same issue at these speeds.

I did pick up a pretty powerful slave flash that should allow me to crank up the speed and brighten the shots next year. But this past year has been a blast and when I crop to 4x6 and brighten with software, they look good when printed.

FZ5 does not have a hot shoe for an externalflash, but I didn't want to drop a couple hundred dollars more to move up to the fz30. So far the slave flash seems to work pretty well.


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Old Dec 7, 2005, 8:20 PM   #8
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dblbrl - That's an impressive shotfor 6x zoom, iso400, and 1/80s. Among other things, the CENTRAL letters on the fans areso clear.Is this straight from the camera -resized only? It looks like little if any noise reduction was used. What was the picture adjustment set to? Real nice capture.
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Old Dec 8, 2005, 9:27 AM   #9
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Thanks fmoore. It isstraight from the camerajust resized so the file size dropped below the 250k limit for posting. No other adjustments.

One thing I didn't note, but you may see in the exif properties. I changed the white balance to "tungsten". Sometimes I would just take a white piece of paper to set the white balance on the FZ5. Either way seemed to work fine for high school stadiums.
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