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Old Dec 22, 2005, 11:16 AM   #1
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I'll be taking pics for indoor soccer about 2 or 3 months, the rest will be outdoors.

Would the 2.8 FZ20 be better suited than the FZ30?
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Old Dec 22, 2005, 12:07 PM   #2
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I think the FZ20 is the better camera for indoor sports. It is almost an f-stop faster at full zoom and is less noisy at higher ISO.

I find a manual zoom handy for sports and the FZ20 has electric. The EVF isn't as high a quality so it is harder to manually focus. Raw is a useable mode in the FZ30 because of decent cycle times and the FZ20 has no raw mode. But overall I think the FZ20 would still be better for indoor sports. I would prefer the FZ30 for outdoor sports in good light though.


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Old Dec 22, 2005, 12:28 PM   #3
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I think that for indoor sports, the Fuji S9000 may be a better camera. It handles noise better at higher ISO settings so that in poor lighting you can use faster shutter speeds than you could with the FZ cameras. In just about any other circumstance though I'd prefer an FZ, so if shooting indoors will not be the most important thing, I'd go with one of those.
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Old Dec 22, 2005, 12:34 PM   #4
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Neither one is a good camera for indoor sports. The limited ISO range and the lack of an optical viewfinder make it very difficult to get shots in that kind of setting. However, I am working my way around those shortcomings in two ways:

1. I am using an external flash (the Sunpak 422, same as 383) at 1/250th exposure.

2. I am attaching a red dot sight, designed for guns, to be able to follow moving targets without being limitedby the screen freeze and delays of the EVF.

To answer your question: Other than the slightly smaller aperture at 12x zoom, I'd still recommend the FZ30 over the FZ20 because of its better EVF, swivel screen and generally improved handling. I also don't find that the noise levels are higher at high ISO's. They actually seem to be only worse than the FZ20 at ISO 80 and 100 settings, in my opinion.

But as I said before, neither one of these cameras are great for indoor sports shooting. If that is an important setting for you, I would not recommend them, but go with a DSLR if you can afford it.
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Old Dec 22, 2005, 1:07 PM   #5
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As a user of the FZ20 and an unofficial soccer team photographer.... if you really want bright images that freeze the action, especially indoors.... get a DSLR.

My FZ20 is challenged at times even when shooting outdoors on cloudy days unless I go to iso400 and then I have to spend too much time post processing for noise. I usually prefocus and use Manual exposure mode along with High Speed Burst capture.

I guess you have to look at the $$$ comparison between FZ20/30 and a long zoom DSLR and consider what ratio of shots are keepers.

For what I do... if 10% are keepers I'm quite happy.

Here's a sample taken on a very wet day, heavy overcast at times, iso200, f5.2 using Aperture Priority resulting in a shutter of 1/320. Post processing included levels, USM for haze & sharpening, brightness and cropping. I can't recall if I used noise reduction software - from looking at the originals, probably not.



1024x768 here... http://newsy.smugmug.com/photos/49249681-O.jpg

You can see the muddy water squishing out from under the shoe on the left and the girl on the right has her swinging hair frozen. Some blur in the feet of the middle player which is ok by me to show some action.

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Old Dec 22, 2005, 1:46 PM   #6
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IMHO

I also believe the FZ30 is a better choice as the focusing is much better and the noise is basicly the same...I know here we go again but I have both and the FZ30 would be my choice, you will never notice the F2.8 to 3.7as somehow the FZ30 seems to make up for that, and I just feel the FZ30 handles tough situations better.

And there have been lots of great indoor sport shots posted from both cameras but its dependant on the light, if you can not use a flash.

Most college and pro lighting is very good while most HighSchools are not.

Now I did not say a dslr would not be better but of the two FZ's I think the FZ30 is better.
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Old Dec 22, 2005, 5:42 PM   #7
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Rduve, I see in your post your going to attach a Red Dot sight on your camera. Just wanted to let you know I recently installed one on my FZ30 and it works great ! I haven't tried it with birds or sports events yet but it works great with aircraft ! Sure takes care of the problem with the EVF and LCD blacking out. Actually it's much easier to use than the EVF. Jim
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Old Dec 22, 2005, 5:47 PM   #8
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Yeah, I received the red dot sight (BSA 30) last week, but the hotshoe adapter from photosolve was on backorder. I should receive it any day now and I'll try out the set up. Do you know if one can adjust the red dot so it targets the exact center of what you are actually shooting? I figure it's a little off since it sits 5+" above the lens.
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Old Dec 22, 2005, 6:03 PM   #9
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Rainer, most red-dots are adjustable. the best way to do it would be to put the cam on a tripod, aim it at a specific target at the "zero distance" you want, then look through the red-dot sight and adjust it till the dot falls where you want it to be. bear in mind, though, that these sights are intended for use with firearms with a range far less than what your camera can see, so if you "zero" the sight for, say, 50 meters, the dot will be well below the center of your intended image at a 3 or 4 hundred meters. also, the higher above the bore line (in this case, the axis of the lens), the greater the angle of incidence must be for a short-range "zero". for photography, it may not matter, and certainly for things as large as cars, aircraft, etc., it's not a big problem, but for something like birds at200 meters, it could make a difference.i would recommend setting the sight so the red dot isjust above your intended point of aim at 200m.if you happen to be aiming at something farther away than that, it will likelybe fairly large, and if you're closer, the worst case will be the dot will be a few inches high.that shouldn'tbe a big factor, especially since all you're trying to do is keep the "target" in the viewfinder, not place a bullet right where the dot is...

bear in mind too, that these sights are not lasers; they do not project a spot on the subject itself. the dot exists only within the optics of the sight, and will subtend (obscure) a larger portion of the target area the farther away you are,so if you're trying to track a smallish object at, say, 100m, an 8MOA dot may cover the "target" altogether. 1 MOA = 1 inch at 100 yards, so if your sight offers adjustable dot sizes, use the smallest MOA setting that will let you see it easily.
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Old Dec 22, 2005, 6:04 PM   #10
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You can zero it in the directions should be included with the sight.

And set the camera on spot focus on a tripod and aim at something far away 100 ft or so and adjust the dot on the sight so its at the same spot as the + on the camera.
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