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Old Feb 10, 2006, 8:06 AM   #1
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It's not sure if the successor to FZ30 will be available before or after next Summer.

If I had no UZ, I would have already bought FZ30, for it is a huge improvement over the predecessors, both for hardware amelioration and for a better IQ (higher res, better colors) with relatively more or less thesame noise amount as FZ20.

If I already had a FZ (I bought my 20 in December 2004) I'd wait for the FZ40.
Even considering that I have money to waste.
It is ethically uncorrect IMO to but a new cam each year, though I know DC technologies are running fast these years.

Considering the past trends, FZ30 and FZ7 specifications, concurring products (Samsung, Fuji, Sony,Nikon - Canon is out forthey fear that a Prosumer level hypothetical"S3IS / Pro" could concur with XT + expensive optics) the 2006 Lumix DMCFZ40 should have at least some of the following specs:

- More WA, in a larger body and slightly larger CCD than FZ30 (same body shape as 30), thus:


29(/33mm) to 400/420mm, thus about 13-14x Opt. zoom, with perhaps a bit slower lens at tele (I hope not too slower).

- ISO 80-1600 (which could mean a usable ISO 400)

- narrower min. aperture (F13-16?) good for DOF in macros

- direct ISO, AFand metering modes selection via buttons

- (8-) 9 MP (I hope not 10, in order to keep noise lower)

- better colors and WB (FZ30 seems already a good improvement in this over 20 and predecessors, maybe except for FZ1 which had fine colors and very few casts)

-a slightly more powerful battery (probably it is going to be the same as FZ30), stil lfaster AF and other minor/minimal improvements



Now I am sure that a WA (esp. if 28-29mm eq) and HIGH ISO alone (especially if ISO 400 is not going to be worse than actual FZ30 @ ISO 200, but that would be alreadygreat) would lead even some fresh FZ30 owners to sell their new toy to buy a FZ40, whether the above hypothesized expectations will be realized in the facts.
Giventhat the improvements I have postulated above are very likely to be included in the new model, the latter is certainly not going to be a minor improvement like some of us had thought (thinking that FZ40 would have improved over the FZ30 as little as FZ20 did over FZ10), but nearly as important an upgrade as the one FZ20 -> FZ30.

FZ10-20 (and other 1-3 years old UZ cameras) owners, you are advised...

Narmer
http://digilander.libero.it/peribsen/indice.htm





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Old Feb 10, 2006, 9:21 AM   #2
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interesting predictions, Narmer. Time will tell. the ones i'm most hoping for, as i've mentioned here in the past, are lower pixeldensity/noise - however that's achieved - and some further improvements in the EVF technology to reduce or eliminate blackout when the shutter is pressed, along with an indication, as on film SLRs, showing focus distance.

whetheri look to theFZ40 as an upgrade from my '20 will depend in large measure on what Panasonic does with their 4/3 DSLR which is currently in development. if they bring that out at a price only slightly higher than the FZ40, and if lenses can be had covering the focal range of the FZ's for a reasonable price, they my money will go for that model, rather than a tweaked FZ. if the DSLR is too pricey, or the lens options and prices don't measure up, then the '40 may be my choice. or, i may choose something else entirely - the Canon 10D, though no longer made, still produces about the best image quality i've ever seen, and i may look on the used camera market for one of those. meanwhile, i'm still able to shoot very good images with my FZ20, so i'm not in a huge hurry to jump on the upgrade bandwagon just to get "the latest thing". after all, even the now "obsolete" FZ20 produces better images and has more capability that even DSLR's could match just 5 years ago...


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Old Feb 10, 2006, 12:49 PM   #3
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Hopefully Panasonic reads these posts. Then hoping for even more, they will act on them. Way high on my list is a better evf resolution. I like all of the remarks you've touched on, but for me, tho the manual focus is a step in the right direction, it still is too loose, and leaves too much to your best guess. The image quality and blanking evf when you shoot are secondary to the focus for my wish list, but if they did all three, I'd sing like a canary as I shelled out to buy one. Optical zoom WA range would be my last wishes but I'd hate to see them subtract anything from what we have already to boost anything else. (Musing about an FZ 40).

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Old Feb 11, 2006, 1:17 PM   #4
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* Just some opinions from an FZ10 owner:


- Wider angle wouln't hurt, and if it's due only to a bigger chip, that would mean LESS NOISE, which is an important point I think.

- The FZ40 should recover the FZ10's f2.8 through the whole range, and if it can get to 2.0 that would be so much better. Yes, if it can get to higher f-stops also, that would be a(nother) plus.

- LESS NOISE would also be achieved if they do not put more Mp in a sensor that now would be bigger. As some other users here, I think the FZ30 should have been 6.3 Mp's, but Panasonic went along with the "bigger is better" tendance, which is a shame. So I really doubt they will make a new camera with less resolution, but I hope it does not have more either.

- a flaw in the FZ10 design is that the supplied lens hood causes a shadow when used with the camera flash. It's kinda silly, I don't know if other FZ's did already solve this problem but it shouldn't be that hard to fix, I guess... also, about design, perhaps the battery and SD card could both be made accesible without having to dismount the camera from the tripod (I know one of them already is)



Narmer wrote:
Quote:
- More WA, in a larger body and slightly larger CCD than FZ30 (same body shape as 30), thus: 29(/33mm) to 400/420mm, thus about 13-14x Opt. zoom, with perhaps a bit slower lens at tele (I hope not too slower).

- ISO 80-1600 (which could mean a usable ISO 400)

- narrower min. aperture (F13-16?) good for DOF in macros

- direct ISO, AFand metering modes selection via buttons

- (8-) 9 MP (I hope not 10, in order to keep noise lower)

- better colors and WB (FZ30 seems already a good improvement in this over 20 and predecessors, maybe except for FZ1 which had fine colors and very few casts)

-a slightly more powerful battery (probably it is going to be the same as FZ30), stil lfaster AF and other minor/minimal improvements
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Old Feb 11, 2006, 1:23 PM   #5
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I would also like that colors on LCD where really the same as you see on the monitor (on LCD they look a bit more saturated and with some differences in hues).

- I'd like a more serious WB FINE TUNE, something like on EOS 350D, where you can vary it in a cartesian area (not only towards red and blue).
Doing it in PP, even with RAW, is not actually the same as varying the WB on the spot.

- also more accurate IMAGE SETTINGS (satur, sharp, contr, NR) on 5 or 7levels rather than 3 would be fine.


PS
I agree Jose': a shorter (metal) hood would be fine, and also less MP (but the latter is pure utopia).
Like I fear F2.0 is too: this would probably mean more CA and surely far larger lens size. Also F2.8 on the whole range is something Ifear FZ40 (and successors) won't have anymore
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Old Feb 11, 2006, 3:19 PM   #6
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I havea FZ20,and being something of a super-zoom freak,enjoy the 12x zoom a lot. In general I'm very satisfied with my camera, but am quite puzzled how Panasonic could produce a camera with the following serious design flaw: A protruding LCD screen, extremely vulnerable to scratches or even worse. I solved my problem by adding a popup screen shade. But I still think that they badly goofed on this issue.

Question: Has this design flaw been fixed on the FZ30?

A rhetorical question: When will digicam manufacturers wake up and start equipping the precious LCD screens of their cameras with a proprietary popup shade?All cameras come equipped with a lens hood to protect the lens, so why not with a LCD screen protector too?

Dear Panasonic design people, you've got your work cut out for you when you start designing the new generation FZ cameras!
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Old Feb 11, 2006, 6:39 PM   #7
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in many respects they try to keep prices "LOW" using poor or however not very good materials in the secondary parts of the cameras...

The rubber/plastic antislip part on the right hand of my FZ20 back would not stay in place: if you remove it you can see the inner board with circuits, and dust may enter and reach the CCD (and it'd be impossible to clean it without sending it to the Pana). So I put black tape on the anti slip part.


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Old Feb 11, 2006, 6:52 PM   #8
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As I have often said, If I had to judge the FZ20, after a year of more than 20.000p pics I would say that...

I have been obviously amazed by its pros (coming from nearly 2 years with a no zoom Canon A300). I mean 12x is just what I was waiting for.

However, image-wise, Canon pics often provide better colors (I don't mean more saturated, but more true, with less cast) and less noise.

Therefore I haven't been able to fully love this camera 100%.

I mean I thought it would completely blow away a cheap P&S pics, not only for the zoom power, but indeed it's not like that.

The reason is that Panasonic DMC FZ20 would have been a better camera if it was a 3Mp one (less noise and color casts caused by the too close CCD cells).

There are also other minor issues which make me think they don't bother to actually USE the new models (too long Hood: if filters are threaded they often flare in counterlight shots).

Therefore it has been a combination of great WOW and real rage for the issues.

Also the fact that picsnormally need much more PP than average (although I like to PP) to correct contrasts, colors and improve sharpnes and more...

Many people don't see the lacks in the pics, but after a few year one starts to notice them...
yet also Entry level dSLR have some faults, and it's sad we have to pay really much if we want to go to another level....
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Old Feb 12, 2006, 4:35 PM   #9
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It also happened in my FZ10!!! Well, not as to see the circuits, but I guess now dust could get in there.

Narmer wrote:
Quote:
The rubber/plastic antislip part on the right hand of my FZ20 back would not stay in place: if you remove it you can see the inner board with circuits, and dust may enter and reach the CCD (and it'd be impossible to clean it without sending it to the Pana). So I put black tape on the anti slip part.
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Old Feb 12, 2006, 4:36 PM   #10
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Narmer

Interesting post and thanks for starting it. Personally, I would like to see an even faster lens f2.0 to say 3.3 at the tele end even if it meant it was larger - heck I've been asking for a bigger lens diameter for ages!

A larger sensor would be good - a 1" CMOS or CCD would be pretty unique @ say 7-8MP would produce less noise and give better shallow DOF. We'd loose the 12x optical but I'd bee happy witha 8x zoom esp with a noise free ISO400 and pretty good ISO800. As far as I'm aware nobody manufactures a 1" sensor, so that could be the next stage for the prosumers but Sony's R1 may have changed things for good.

I'm with squirrl on the Panasonic 4/3rds bit - if the cam's specs are as the rumours say it will be - 4/3 CMOS sensor, EVF (High res 0.5MP - 1MP) and will come with 3 Leica designed lenses I will be seriously looking at picking one fo those up come May 2006 when they go on sale. Obviously the lenses are not going to be top quality lecia glass ( no that would scare any prospective buyer) but they will be better than your kit canon, Nikon and perhaps even the Oly Zukio lenses. As Panas' going for an EVF we may have a smaller DSLR and smaller sized lenses.

There's more but I've been at work for 12hours and my brains fried and its time to go home.

Cheers

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