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-   -   Panasonic DMC FZ30 vs. Fujifilm S9000 (

flashbar Mar 6, 2006 5:56 PM

I am debating between these two prosumer model cameras. I am worried, however, about the few bad experiences some people have reported in Steves forums. I do not want to buy a lemon, obviously. The FZ30 and S9000 seem to offer similar features, price, etc, but I don't know about quality. Are there any informed opinions out there?

mtclimber Mar 6, 2006 6:39 PM

I can give you an informed opinion on the Fuji S-9000, because I own one. I honestly think that it is an over hyped digital camera. My Canon S-2 IS does a much better job with any photo task over the Fuji S-9000 and it has the IS feature which the Fuji S-9000 does not have.

I do not own the Panasonic FZ-30, but I have owned both the FZ-10 and the FZ-20 and both produced more noise than I could tolerate.


flashbar Mar 6, 2006 11:37 PM

Other comparable cameras so far, according to forums, are the
Canon Powershot Pro 1
Olympus E500
and Konica Minolta A200

My biggest requirements are a manual focus ring, and low low low shutter lag, followed by macro/zoom ability, and high megapixels. All of these seem to be in the similar price range. I am concerned about the noise of the FZ30, so maybe the Canon or Olympus?

mtclimber Mar 6, 2006 11:54 PM

I owned and soldmy Canon Pro1. It was horribly slow at focusing. I do own the Olympus E-500, so I can offer first hand experiences on that camera.

As you might have seen me mention today on the forum, IMHO I would really stay away from any of KM's point and shoot cameras such as the A-200 because as of 04/01 they will become total orphans as KM goes out of all camera business except their dSLR production.


E.T Mar 7, 2006 2:13 AM

flashbar wrote:

and low low low shutter lag,
You won't find instant shot speeds, you'll need to use half press for prefocusing before moment you want to take shot, or then set focus manually.
(after that you can take shots of really fast targets)

But more importantly what do you photograph, flashbar?
Because for lanscapes, architecture and insides you'll want 28mm wide angle camera instead of unwide angle ultrazoom.
And in what conditions? (outside, or lot insise/lower light)

Olympus E-500 is DSLR, so it isn't directly comparable.
Canon "Pro" 1 doesn't have image stabilization, also it's full button zoom.
If you want that manual focusing is done using "fly-by-wire" ring instead of morse coding button tapping that drops away many of those media sexy ultrazooms with menu surfing controls and button zoom.

mtclimber wrote:

IMHO I would really stay away from any of KM's point and shoot cameras such as the A-200 because as of 04/01 they will become total orphans...
Stop spewing out crap (makers do already enough of it), Sony is taking over servicing Minolta/KonicaMinolta cameras, so actually it means (geographically) wider availability of service.
+after warranty period every maker charges such amount from most repairs that you'll almost get new camera at that price.

And same way S2 is overhyped camera. What prosumer it is when it doesn't have even manual/mechanical zoom? Also wide angle is lacking.

kenmck15 Mar 7, 2006 6:16 AM

i went through same delima

i chose fz30 in the end. i liked the lens, ois, focus ring, non extruding lens, user interface, weight, comfort and grip, and not to mention the excellent revfiews

ofcourse the pana does get reviewed as being a noisy cam. i have no issues with the noise. wit ois i can run shutter speeds down to 1/6 without to many issues. ois is great its actually something tht works.

The hi iso from the s9000/9500 i think presents excessive noise above 800 making it unuseable. im not sure if the created iso1600 because they thought "hey this is a practical idea im sure somebody can selvage some sort of detail and image from this muck of noise" or its a marketing gimmick saying look at me i can do iso 1600....

anyways definately cafter hold and playing around with both cams i found the fz30 to be a far superior cam. i have owned for arounf 4 months now and i am very pleased with it.


flashbar Mar 7, 2006 5:01 PM

As far as what I'm going to shoot, I don't want to be limited, so versatility is key. Macro and portraits will be most prevalent, but I do travel and landscapes come into play. I was frustrated with losing spur of the moment shots with my father's Canon Powershot S1, so low shutter lag relative to that. Also it lacks the focus ring, which I find is a must-option in the camera I purchase.

michael1973 Mar 8, 2006 6:53 AM

I've decided to buy the S9000, because I've seen several hundred pictures in the last weeks and the image quality is quite good if you can handle the cam. The FZ30 simply has too much noise in lower ISO. I don't want to post-process every picture with dark or unicolored areas. Another point was the wide-angle of the S9000 and the better performance in low light.

kenmck15 Mar 8, 2006 3:21 PM

flashbar wrote:

Also it lacks the focus ring, which I find is a must-option in the camera I purchase.

Fz30 has focus ring im sure s9000/9500 does not.

michael1973 Mar 8, 2006 4:45 PM

It has a focus ring...

kenmck15 wrote:

flashbar wrote:

Also it lacks the focus ring, which I find is a must-option in the camera I purchase.

Fz30 has focus ring im sure s9000/9500 does not.

kenmck15 Mar 8, 2006 5:38 PM

yip i can see it right in front of me it a digital focus ring. doesnt have direct physical connection to prompt direct lense movement but its a focus ring

algold Mar 9, 2006 2:47 PM

I had the same debate for the last month and at the end got myself Fuji 9500 two days ago.

Feature for feature both cameras are more or less the same. In my case Fuji won because of the 28mm lens (personally I need it more than 420mm tele end of the zoom), AA type batteries (IMO better and cheaper option), better macro ability and the flash sync speed that goes up to 1/1000 sec (useful for fill-in in bright day-light). Also in my hands Fuji feels better.

I don't care much about ISO 1600, which is not really usable, but it's still there if you need it.

FZ30 shoots faster at 2 frames/sec, LCD is a bit bigger and better and ergonomics may be a little bit better. But I also own Fuji 5500, so I am already familiar with Fuji's menu and it was not a problem for me. I think Fuji's autofocus is a bit faster and better than FZ30, but I can be wrong - I only played with Panasonic for about 20 min in the camera shop.

At the end it's your personal decision, play with both cameras and take the one that feels better for you. You can't go wrong with any of them, they are both fine cameras.

P.S. Don't forget, that IS doesn't help if your subject moves.

michael1973 Mar 9, 2006 3:06 PM

The 28mm wide angle and the better noise and low light performance of the S9000 (S9500) are the points which were decisive for me...

flashbar Mar 9, 2006 3:09 PM

Thanks to everyone for all the stellar advice and willingness to share your experiences!

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