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Old Feb 26, 2006, 2:43 PM   #11
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Neil.
Thats one of the best in flite bird photos I've seen, excellent.

You did the right thing. You got a fine tool that will serve you well. I saved for a year to buy each of my last cameras. During which time like you and probaby a good many of us I read and viewed everything I could. Image stabilization, overall quality value, usefulness for my invisioned needs suitability. I had $1500US. Spent a grand on a FZ20 with all the trimmings, camera $450 6t $90 an extra battery remote release case a tripod a ball head and so on. Heck, lets get beyond that grand into al the other necessities like extra drives, imaging programs disc directors and partioners back-up programs. Heck ya don't need to buy Velvia and pay for processing. I've lost track on whose paid me my rebate. We set limits on what we want and what we want to spend. Along the way we learn what works what doesn't equating to what we need. I coud have walked out of the shop with a heavy cumbersome digital SLR but the photos on this site alone sold me on the value of the FZs.

I don't own a FZ30 and I havent had a DSLR for much more than two weeks. I spent a lot less on photography this year than last, so far.
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Old Feb 26, 2006, 6:12 PM   #12
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Hi there Tony (and all others who've replied to this forum,

I KNEW that there'd be interest in it (told you so, didn't I Tony??? :G)

Anyway, I was out today and just took a few pics to show the "power" of the FZ30's zoom (with no additional converter - just as it comes "straight out of the box").

Tony, as you are, I'm still "learning" about all of this and, just in case you didn't know, as long as you're using Windows XP, you can right click on your photo, select "Properties", then the Summary tab and then "advanced" which you'll find at the bottom of that dialog box. I can't say whether it will give you as much information as "Panda" but at least it's free!!

This 1st pic was taken with no zoom - ISO 80, f6.3 and 1/400 sec. I have NOT retouched it in any way, only resized it to fit here on the forum.
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Old Feb 26, 2006, 6:16 PM   #13
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In the previous picture, please note the tall Aeria mast in the background (I think that it's the one from Crystal Palace here in London). This next one was the result of using the full optical zoom (forgot to mention that all the pictures are taken at 3Mb).
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Old Feb 26, 2006, 6:19 PM   #14
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And finally (not to recommended as it can be clearly seen from the quality of this next pic) I added the 4X digital zoom just to see how close one could really get. Please note that NONE of these 3 pictures have had anything done to them (noise reduction, saturation, etc....) - only that they've been cropped.

Well, at least for me, I have much more of a camera than I really need - at least for the moment!!

Happy snapping to all :G,

Raymond
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Old Feb 27, 2006, 4:54 AM   #15
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Hi Raymond

Hope you are well and that both your M3 and FZ30 are too. Nice illustrative pictures by the way, I take it the 4x digital one was sans tripod?

Thanks for the info regarding obtaining getting information about photos by clicking on properties - I didn't know about it.

I also posted duff info (it must have been my medication, well that's my excuse and I am sticking to it!) about getting EXIF info, the site is called OPANDA, not PANDA and you can download the application free here:

http://www.opanda.com/en/iexif/download.htm

Cheers for now

Tony
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Old Feb 27, 2006, 11:59 AM   #16
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Hi Tony,

Yes, all of the 3 pictures were taken without tripod. Personally though, I can't ever see myself using the 4x digital zoom as I'm sure there's nothing that could really improve the picture that much (I stand to be corrected!).

Anyway, hopefully there will be more posts on this forum - in my case, as far as pictures are concerned, I don't think that there'll be too much (if any) until I'm back from Disney (May time).

However, I will be checking the forum constantly and look forward to reading all comments, etc...

Happy snapping :G,

Raymond
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Old Feb 27, 2006, 10:09 PM   #17
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Tony, Tazzie, thanks, guys you're very kind. That was my third day with the FZ30. The gulls deserve the credit. They're embarrasingly easy to photograph, since in these parts, people often mean something to eat. If I didn't know better, I'd say they ham it up a bit for the camera.
I'll tell you this, without the mechanically coupled manual zoom on this camera, shots like that would be really tough.
I have the same low light gripes as the rest, but other than that, I'm pretty much loving this thing. I think it could keep me amused & teach me a few things for quite a while...

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Old Feb 28, 2006, 1:16 AM   #18
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Here are the reasons why I will one day (when I can afford it) get a DSLR
1- Dynamic range - ever notice how the sky often seems blown out and shadow detail is missing in high contrast scenes? This is due to the poor dynamic range in small sensor consumer cameras. DSLR cameras have much better dynamic range.

2- Depth of field - Since the FZ series has such a small sensor even at f2.8 the DOF is huge. This makes it very difficult to achieve the nice out of focus backgrounds. With DSLR you can use DOF to achieve more artistic and interesting photos, this is due to their larger sensor but also the possibility of useing faster lenses (ie 50mm f/1.8, 1.4).

3- Wide angle - and I mean real wide angle. One of the first lenses I would like to get is the sigma 10-20mm (16-32mm equiv on a 1.6 crop). This gives true wide/ultra wide angle and again gives more freedom when it comes to taking interesting photos.

4- Long exposures - Long exposures (>5 sec) photos on the FZ gives massive amounts of noise. Long exposures with DSLRs tend to give very clean images.

5- Useable ISO above 100 - We may not have been able to readily use high ISO on film cameras but we can now, so why not use it. I can think of many occasions where there was just not enough light and high usable ISO would have been great.

6- Little things like TTL flash, tilt-shift lenses, dedicated macro lenses, faster focus, faster start-up, faster burst modes (esp with RAW files).

Of course there are always down sides as nothing in this world is perfect. There is the cost, the extra weight, more lenses, dust on the sensor. But to me these are minor issues compared to the advantages that DSLRs offer.
DSLRs will not be for everyone but if some one offered to swap a canon 350D for my FZ I would do it in a flash.

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Old Feb 28, 2006, 1:40 AM   #19
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Treemonkey wrote:
Quote:
Here are the reasons why I will one day (when I can afford it) get a DSLR
1- Dynamic range - ever notice how the sky often seems blown out and shadow detail is missing in high contrast scenes? This is due to the poor dynamic range in small sensor consumer cameras. DSLR cameras have much better dynamic range.

2- Depth of field - Since the FZ series has such a small sensor even at f2.8 the DOF is huge. This makes it very difficult to achieve the nice out of focus backgrounds. With DSLR you can use DOF to achieve more artistic and interesting photos, this is due to their larger sensor but also the possibility of useing faster lenses (ie 50mm f/1.8, 1.4).

3- Wide angle - and I mean real wide angle. One of the first lenses I would like to get is the sigma 10-20mm (16-32mm equiv on a 1.6 crop). This gives true wide/ultra wide angle and again gives more freedom when it comes to taking interesting photos.

4- Long exposures - Long exposures (>5 sec) photos on the FZ gives massive amounts of noise. Long exposures with DSLRs tend to give very clean images.

5- Useable ISO above 100 - We may not have been able to readily use high ISO on film cameras but we can now, so why not use it. I can think of many occasions where there was just not enough light and high usable ISO would have been great.

6- Little things like TTL flash, tilt-shift lenses, dedicated macro lenses, faster focus, faster start-up, faster burst modes (esp with RAW files).

Of course there are always down sides as nothing in this world is perfect. There is the cost, the extra weight, more lenses, dust on the sensor. But to me these are minor issues compared to the advantages that DSLRs offer.
DSLRs will not be for everyone but if some one offered to swap a canon 350D for my FZ I would do it in a flash.

Treemonkey
Well, look. DSLR's are ok too. In the right hands I daresay none of what you list is a serious issue for the FZ series. Just a little practice and skill, and the bread and butter you rely on in your photos is there. Check this out. I forget what the exact time this exposure was. Somewhere between 4 and 6 seconds. Taken inan almost totally dark room. Noise? It's there but not horrific. And this is right off the card. No noise clean up at all. I concede hyperbole has it's uses. But you don't need it to defend a DSLR vs an FZ. Two very capable, tho different camera types.

Kd
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Old Feb 28, 2006, 4:10 AM   #20
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Hi all (especially to Tony who set up this (so far) very active forum),

I just have to admit that, maybe because of my age (not disclosed!), eyesight or "whatever", all this talk about noise really confuses me.

I'm not suggesting that the experts bombard me with science here but, whilst I can see "some" difference in pictures that have been taken at ISO 80 and ISO 400 (I also have a FZ30, by the way), I really don't see that much (maybe I'm lucky or less demanding). I will stress that I mainly view my pictures on the PC screen and, if printed out, they're normally never larger than A4 size.

Also, maybe to set the "cat amongst the pidgeons", I normally take pictures at 3Mb standard resolution as this enables me to get many more pictures on the memory card. People may then tell me that I've bought a Ferrari to go shopping with (!!) but I do know that whenever I need (or want) to drive at 180mph (God Forbid), I have a machine capable of doing so. What I'm trying to say is that, for the "few" important (to me) shots, there's always time to shoot at 8Mb fine, isn't there?

Or am I wrong??????

Thanks for reading this - happy snapping :G

Raymond
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