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Old Jan 28, 2006, 1:16 PM   #1
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Not sure if the link has been posted here but saw it at OLP forums. Fairly comprehensive review that rates it pretty good. See review at:

http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Pa...30/index.shtml



I thought their test photos showed the FZ30 compared very well or better to DSLR in a lot of areas...
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Old Jan 28, 2006, 1:51 PM   #2
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Good to see that. thank you.
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Old Jan 28, 2006, 5:00 PM   #3
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i was rather surprised to see so much CA from the Canon, though the "kit" lenses that come with DSLR's are rarely the best quality glass. the FZ30 is the clear winner in that regard. the Fujijust flatblows the FZ30 away in terms of noise, as do the Canon andSony, but it seems to do so at the price of image sharpness and clarity. with Neat Image or one of the other NR programs out there, the noise isn't that big a problem, but there's no way to compensate for an over-soft image. still, if Panny could fix the noiseissue, it's clear the FZ wouldbe a world-beater! in most other regards, it seemed to at least hold its own, though i was a bit surprised at the light fall-off readings. the irregular patterns from the FZ seem to indicate the lens isn't as uniform in light transmission as the others. i guess whether that's a problem depends on what you're shooting, but i can see where it could become a concern under some conditions. still, of the cameras tested, i'd pick the Panny... it offers plenty of resolution, better image clarity than the Fuji, as well as more zoom that any of the others tested, and it's a lot cheaper than the Canon. now if Panny can only do something with the noise...
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Old Jan 28, 2006, 5:08 PM   #4
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squirl033 wrote:
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(...) though i was a bit surprised at the light fall-off readings. the irregular patterns from the FZ seem to indicate the lens isn't as uniform in light transmission as the others. i guess whether that's a problem depends on what you're shooting, but i can see where it could become a concern under some conditions.
Sorry, what's the "light fall-off readings"? How do you measure that and what does an irregular pattern mean? Under which conditions do you consider it could become a concern? :? :?


Thanks a lot.
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Old Jan 28, 2006, 5:39 PM   #5
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if you read the review, they have a section on light fall-off at the corners. this causes vignetting, or can make the corners of an image look darker, or shaded, compared to the middle. i suspect in most cases, it's not a problem, since no one here with an FZ30 has mentioned it, but it's still there. the review shows several pattern charts which clearly show that the light fall-off in the FZ30 is pretty irregular, while the others exhibit a much more uniform and predictable pattern. that tends to tell me that the optical characteristics of the FZ30's lens, at least in terms of light transmission, may not be as good as they could be.

like i said, i don't expect it would be a problem except under very critical conditions; most people probably wouldn't notice it. but it does look like the FZ30's lens might cause just a bit more shading in the corners than some of the others. you might notice it in a shot with a lot of blue sky, perhaps, where it might show up as a slight, but irregular darkening in the corners. it's not the amount of fall-off that i'd be worried about... the Canon 350D is much worse in this regard... it's that the transmissivity pattern varies so much . while the other lenses seem to show pretty concentric, circular patterns, the FZ shows a very irregular pattern which, if it were noticeable, might intrude farther in to the middle of the image on one side than on the other, or might result in some very blotchy shading effects. again, this is pretty hard stuff to see, and the reviewers used some exotic methods to do the test, but given the other qualities of the FZ's lens, i was just a little surprised to see this result.
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Old Jan 28, 2006, 6:12 PM   #6
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squirl033-
That's one of the items that was surprising to me, as well. Having had and used some high end optical telescopes in previous years (8" & 14" Celestron cassegrain), the spherical grinding of the lens, if done correctly, will give the pattern of concentric circles. The distortions of the light transmissivities, I believe, are also correlated to the issue of sharp focusing. This is extremely important in accurate focusing ofthe entire spectrum of light waves (colors) into a pinpoint focus; because of the different lengths of the light waves from blue to red.

Sincea telescope is capturing essentially point sources of a star's distant light, any abberations in the grinding of the mirror (lens) will cause the singular point of lightto be spread (oval or oblong points instead of perfect circles)along the distortions (due to non-concentric patterns bending the various light waves differently).

This one test may also point to the CA effects seen at times in the Pany photos and can account for portions of a photo not having that 'zip' of sharp edges across the entire image; especially at high zoom ratios. It is also one test that is used in the grinding of mirrors used in the making of optical telescopes.

In the end, this probably accounts for the significantly higher pricing of auxillary lenses available for DSLR cameras and for their higher degree of sharp, corner to corner, focus.

As in everything, there is a price for quality. Having said that, its still amazing what the overall quality and overall value thatcan be had for the price in the Pany FZ line...
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Old Jan 28, 2006, 7:03 PM   #7
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Thank you, guys.
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