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Old Jun 22, 2006, 2:00 AM   #1
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Hello, I'm a new member here and this is my first posting! Although I have read some reviews on this camera, I'd like to get some opinions from themembers on this forum, regarding their experiences with the FZ30? I have the following questions regarding the Panasonic FZ30 digital camera:

1)How reliable have these FZ30 cameras been overall? Do they have any common(Or otherwise, serious?)reliability problems? If so, what? Please clarify your answers for this newbie(As this would be my first digital camera!)? Lastly, how reliable is the FZ30 compared to the other(Non-digital SLR)major Brands ofdigital cameras in the same price range?

2)Is the rediculously short(90 day)Panasonic warranty, less than what is offered from Sony, Cannon, Fuji(And, the other Brands of similarly priced digital cameras?)? Is it wise to go with an expensive extended warranty(Or, is this just a waste of money-as sometimes can be the case with warranties?)?

3)Since I don't plan on making very many pictures much larger than 5" x 7" am I assuming correctly, that the(So called?)noise issue shouldn't be any cause for concern? I'm not a photographer and my pictures will mostly be for posting pictures on ebay and on other forums and for home use.

4)Will the FZ30 do OK for shooting in fairly low incandescent home lighting for making fairly good ebay and other forum posting pictures(Like for gun forums etc.?)?

5)What are the general opinions of the FZ30 digital camera(Not compared to a digital SLR!)but in terms of it's competitiveness with it's various competetors in the same price range? Thanks to all in advance!
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Old Jun 22, 2006, 10:42 AM   #2
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Surely, there must be enough FZ30 owners on this forum, to enable them to answer my above questions? I'm surprised that nobody has responded to my first post here? I had read on another Digicam forum that this was a forum, where one could definately count on getting responses to their questions? I certainly will appreciate your help in clearly answering my above questions? Thank you!
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Old Jun 22, 2006, 10:59 AM   #3
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koolshot wrote:
Quote:
Hello, I'm a new member here and this is my first posting! Although I have read some reviews on this camera, I'd like to get some opinions from themembers on this forum, regarding their experiences with the FZ30? I have the following questions regarding the Panasonic FZ30 digital camera:
Welcome!

Quote:
How reliable have these FZ30 cameras been overall? Do they have any common(Or otherwise, serious?)reliability problems? If so, what?
[/quote]

By and large, there have been very few postings since last November thatI've seen about issues with the FZ30. I've had mine for ~3-weeks and am totally satisfied.

Quote:
Please clarify your answers for this newbie(As this would be my first digital camera!)? Lastly, how reliable is the FZ30 compared to the other(Non-digital SLR)major Brands ofdigital cameras in the same price range?
[/quote]

Again, no personal knowledge but, by and large, it would appear that the FZ30 has had minimal issues; can't speak to other manufacturers' models

Quote:
2)Is the rediculously short(90 day)Panasonic warranty, less than what is offered from Sony, Cannon, Fuji(And, the other Brands of similarly priced digital cameras?)? Is it wise to go with an expensive extended warranty(Or, is this just a waste of money-as sometimes can be the case with warranties?)?
[/quote][/quote]

[/quote]It should be noted that the Pany warranty is 90-days parts; 12-months labor. Personally, I've purchased Mack 5-year warranties that cover labor & parts. I just bought a 5-year Mack warranty for my FZ30 (<$500) at Beach for $40 --- not so much for the anticipation of issues but also for possible resale assurances if I choose to sell in the future. I've also purchased a Mack 5-Year for my FZ5

[/quote]
Quote:
3)Since I don't plan on making very many pictures much larger than 5" x 7" am I assuming correctly, that the(So called?)noise issue shouldn't be any cause for concern? I'm not a photographer and my pictures will mostly be for posting pictures on ebay and on other forums and for home use.
[/quote]Correct in your assumption by all accounts

[/quote]
Quote:
4)Will the FZ30 do OK for shooting in fairly low incandescent home lighting for making fairly good ebay and other forum posting pictures(Like for gun forums etc.?)?
[/quote]Easily done using either a light box and/or the unit's flash. Will have to determine the optimum flash settings but will take great images for web posts et al

Quote:
5)What are the general opinions of the FZ30 digital camera(Not compared to a digital SLR!)but in terms of it's competitiveness with it's various competetors in the same price range? Thanks to all in advance!
[/quote]In my mind and, thus far with my images,in the hands of an experienced operator, its images will compare very favorablein certain circumstances to a dSLR (see Genece's recent images of a big horn sheep w/ a Nikon D50 and his FZ30). Compared to its like counterparts of Super Zooms, the FZ30 it has proven itself.
[/quote]


Of course, others may have their own opinions... and usually do...

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Old Jun 22, 2006, 11:14 AM   #4
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I believe most of the people who post regularly in this forum live in the U.S. and have jobs, so most of the acitivity goes on in the afternoon/evening hours. I'm able to respond now because I happened to call in sick today.

I can't personally attest to the overall reliability of these cameras as I only have one of them, but I believe there have been a few people who posted about some problems they had. I'd recommend you look for those and see how they fared. I did have one problem with my camera, where the plastic latch the holds the battery in place snapped off. It did not however affect the functioning of the camera, and the battery never pops out on its own so I'm not terribly concerned.

For the warranty, I didn't even pay attention to warranties when camera shopping so I can't say whether there's a difference.

On the noise issue, my opinion is that noise is a serious issue with this camera, but one that I don't mind dealing with. For outdoor photography in the daytime, just shoot at ISO 80 and you probably won't notice it much. For indoor shooting in low light however, noise can be very serious.

If you use ISO 400 because it's the only way to get a good exposure, noise will be so bad that you would definitely see it on a 4x6 print. If you use ISO 400 in good light, the problem isn't nearly as bad, but then you shouldn't be using ISO 400 in the first place. Because of the problems I've seen with shooting at higher ISOs, I no longer shoot in anything but ISO 80. If it's dark, I lower the shutter speed and let the stabilizer do some of the work, and if that's not enough, I either use the flash or just let it underexpose. I find that underexposing a shot in ISO 80 captures the same level of detail as getting the correct exposure in ISO 400.

So, if you intend to do a lot of low light photography, you'd best get a tripod and use long exposures. You can get pretty good results that way. Also, if you practise you can get pretty long exposures by hand (I've done as long as 1 second), but that can be time consuming and impractical, especially if you need to zoom in.

The most comparable camera to the FZ30 is the Fuji S9000. The main difference is that the Fuji can use higher ISO settings without the serious noise problem, but it does not have a stabilizer. So, if you were shooting mostly action shots or candids of people indoors, I'd recommend the Fuji. For just about everything else, I think the Panasonic is a superior camera overall.
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Old Jun 22, 2006, 11:22 AM   #5
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Looks like Telecorder got in there before I finished. I disagree with him on noise, but that's a matter of opinion and how a person typically uses the camera.

On comparing the camera to a DSLR, I think that's a bit of a stretch. If you're just talking low resolution stuff, and particularly outdoor stuff, it may be a fair comparison. In fact, the FZ30 has a pretty big edge over a lot of DSLRs because of it's ease of use. However, I did take my FZ30 to work once to compare it directly to my 6mp Digital Rebel, and the Rebel was far and away more capable of capturing details like subtle gradations of light that would not be visible through the grain of the FZ30's image. These comparisons were made using the lowest possible ISO in a light box using longer exposures. I didn't compare them in outdoor settings, so perhaps the difference isn't as great in those circumstances.

Again, I make the point that these differences only matter if you need high resolution. If I printed both photos at 4x6, it's doubtful anyone would have seen a difference.
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Old Jun 22, 2006, 11:27 AM   #6
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Telecorder:

1)Thank you, for your excellent input!

2)Regarding the Mack 5 year warranty: Do you have to buy a camera from them to obtain this warranty-or, if I purchased a FZ30 camera, new from another source, could I still obtain this Mack 5 year warranty? If so, could you give me their online contact information? Thanks!

3)Although I don't have too much knowledge about digital cameras, virtually everything that I currently know, has come from this wonderful forum! I had just started reading all of Steve's digital camera reviews(Over and over again!)and had only been doing this for just a couple of days-and, the end result, has been that I had selected the Panasonic FZ30 as my choice for my first(Non-dSLR)camera! I then, went to a local camera shop and handled all of the cameras that I had picked from this forum to consider-and, I just found the FZ30 to appeal to me the most! It just appeared to have a great build quality(Especially, for it's given price range)!

4)However, since the FZ30 has only been out for a year or so, this is the reason I had decided to post my questions about the reliability of this digital camera on this very knowledgeable forum! Along with the superb reviews done here by Steve, I felt that getting input from the various members here, could lead me to ascertain, just how good or bad, that the FZ30 has proven to be, during it's very short life cycle? My objective was to obtain the true facts about these FZ30's to ensure that I wouldn't be buying a lemon of an digital camera?

5)In any case, I'll certainly be interested in obtaining some more FZ30 owner's input here, before I make my final decision on choosing this camera?
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Old Jun 22, 2006, 11:36 AM   #7
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Actually, I'd defer to Corpsy's more valid postings/observations as my comments are based on my ~3-week ownership and reading of this and other forum owners over the last 6-months or so. His points about noise is valid as I was replying to your stated use of web postings etc.

On the issue of Mack Warranties... You can purchase it from any Mack retailer; not necessarily where you purchased your camera. I bought my FZ30 off of eBay and just purchased the warranty from Beach yesterday ($40). It must be purchased within 30-days of new camera purchase. Read about it at their web site - http://www.mackcam.com/warranty.html

In all fairness, you should also read the postings on problems others have had w/Mack at http://www.photo.net/neighbor/view-o...rvice&id=1

For my part ,and given how long Mack has been in business, there's just not that many problem postings for me to negate the advantages of an extended warranty...
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Old Jun 22, 2006, 2:04 PM   #8
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where are you in the world?

Since in the UK (and i suspect europe) you can not get away with a 90 day warranty since the camera has to be fit for its purpose etc and if it breaks in under90 days it isnt so you go a replacement. I havent found the noise to be a problem, certainly wont be for ebay. If you want to take ebay shots, one option it to take them outdoors or use an externalflash and a bulb exposure in the dark. Hold the flash where ever gives good lighting and use the test button on the flash (from above and to one side)- i boughta cheap 2nd flash for about £10 including p+p from ebay

I think the fz30 is an overkill for ebay, though a very good camera.

No problems with the camera - had it for about 6 weeks and 4000 photos

Seems pretty solid and well built, i would buy aUVfilter for the lens (ive managed to scrape the coating slightly on the lens - though doesnt seem to effect anything) - Well worth £5 to protect it from a knock on a rock etc.

Edit - changed ND to UV - see next post
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Old Jun 22, 2006, 2:31 PM   #9
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iom_dave wrote:
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Seems pretty solid and well built, i would buy a ND filter for the lens (ive managed to scrape the coating slightly on the lens - though doesnt seem to effect anything) - Well worth £5 to protect it from a knock on a rock etc.


I only wanted to touch on the filter......ND is the wrong filter to use for protection....UV or daylight would be correct as they do not block light as a ND filter does.
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Old Jun 22, 2006, 2:53 PM   #10
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sorry ur right - ive got a UV filter - just checked - isa ND filter a slightly dark filter? (again i got the UV filterfrom ebay - though a new hoya one)
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