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jad123 May 16, 2006 3:38 PM

:?, i do not understand the following

i have looked at the main zoom i.s. big zoom cameras, from sony, panny and canon in particular, why do all the reveiws give them 5* reviews and say they are the best things since sliced bread and in the next breath ruin them, because of the noise problem, i can not understand this, surely these cameras should only be given an average mark, of 3 out of 5, or am i missing something in the marking system of these cameras, i wish olympus would put i.s. on the sp500, i would buy that camera tomorrow

please help or advise over this, as i do not want to process pictures after the event, being a bit of a camera thicko, i expect pictures to come from the camera not the computer, or in this day of technology is this to much to ask?

i have considered the fz 30 and the dslr e500 and decided they are too big for my needs


tmoreau May 16, 2006 3:51 PM

Every camera on the market today is the *PERFECT* camera for someone.

A DSLR gives you practically everything you ever need as a photographer (in a camera), and lets you choose the same in what lens you buy. Some DSLR's offer better bad-weather protection, or more adaptable/confusing/expensive autofocus options...

The farther down the scale you go, the less things the camera will give you. It will restrict things like shot-to-shot time, ability to use high-iso settings, or the ability to change to your dedicated macro lens. These need not be bad things, since they are often balanced by good points like a small light kit, low cost, and ease of use.

To determine whats "better", you absolutely must look at yourself, not at the camera. Each and every one of them can make outstanding photos, but not neccasarily under the conditions of your choosing.

As far as post-processing, you'll probably be able to improve any picture in photoshop. The question your asking us is "Will I be happy with the image straight from the camera?", which we cannot answer. Once most of us see that we can further improve our pictures in photoshop, even when they come out of the camera looking good, its hard to resist. And that, my friend, is the beginning of the end...

Better lens, better camera, sturdier tripod, vacations to exotic lands.... Just how far do you think you'll go to get those pro-looking images? Its not a bad thing to think about up front, because leaving that an open ended question is akin to forgetting to turn off the drain valve of your checking account. If, for $100, you could buy a clip on component that would make each picture you take look a little more like ones you see in magazines, would you buy it? Choose your path. Resolve to be happy with your decision no matter if its to buy a used $50 P&S or spend $500 a month indefinatly buying every piece of pro equipment you can find. Chances are, your pictures wont vary all that much unless you forgot to evaluate your own personal needs up front and bought something inapropriate for your uses.

JohnG May 16, 2006 6:11 PM


Typically when a reputable source rates a camera they are rating it against the competition not against every camera out there. If that were the case, most everything would get a 1 because the pro series DSLRs are so much better. The first thing you have to do when looking at reviews is toss out any camera magazines or the like. Their survival depends on add revenue from the very manufacturers they claim to be reviewing. That's why every new item is stellar - they pump up the good points and barely mention the bad points at all. Sights like Steves and DP Review give a much more realistic review because their survival doesn't depend on money from the manufacturers so they can be more brutally honest.

tmoreau is right on the money with the rest. Which camera is right for you is dependent on what you want to use it for and what aspects you're willing to give up. If you want a camera that fits in a pocket, the best DSLR in the world is not the right camera for you.

As far as not post processing: no computer algorithms that can be put into a camera body can do the processing the human brain and eye can do. If you want great images right out of the camera, then you need to study photography and learn how to set the camera features to capture the image the way you want it to be. That means you have to make decisions - not let the camera do it for you. The tougher the lighting situation the more probability the camera's brain is going to fail when trying to decide what settings to use. Most digicams out on the market will do a very good job in excellent lighting situations where there isn't too much difficulty such as:

fast moving objects

big dynamic range (the difference between brightest and darkest parts of the image)

low light

When you start getting into those situations a camera just isn't going to do as well.

And, some situations are beyond the technical capabilities of the camera - in some cases, images can be saved by post processing.

Also, add in the fact that many people crop their photos: It takes a very skilled eye to frame the photo perfectly in-camera. So, whether or not you can accept the results ANY camera gives you depends on what your expectations are and how high your standards are.

tmoreau May 16, 2006 7:32 PM

jad123 wrote:

surely these cameras should only be given an average mark, of 3 out of 5, or am i missing something in the marking system of these cameras,
Just to elaborate a little on this point, they are graded relative to thier competition AND PRICE. That last one irks me a bit, especially with lens reviews, since a $400 sigma lens can often perform as well as a $800 OEM lens, but if it dosent they could still rate the same since the price is factored in. What if you dont care about the price, are willing to save up the difference, but like some of the features of the lower priced model? Now the ratings mean nothing to you, though you can still get good info from the reviews.

jad123 May 17, 2006 12:14 PM

thanks to both of you for your replies to my question, i could save £4.oo a month towards buying a camera and accessories, by not buying these magazines, i think i have become obssessed with the word noise, all i wanted to do was get a better camera than my 4mp 10x zoom olympus 765, (no i.s.) as since i bought this camera i have become hooked on taking pictures, in 4 month of reading reviews, my head is a total cabbege because of all these on line / magazine reviews, (only steves site questioned the noise in the panasonic fz30) that was my original path to upgrade, since then i have looked at all the big zoom digicams with absolute dismay, i fully accept i will never be a photographer, i do like my images to come through the camera, other than to crop or auto improve, if size of camerawas not a problem to me i would buy the olympus e500 (size difference between e500 and fz30 is minimal) as i like the look and feel of the camera, but i prefer the size of the fz5/7 etc. and cannot help but feel a much better camera is wasted on me, (if i buy the e500 i will have to learn how to use it) perhaps after the noise complaints i should wait for the next generation of megazooms, perhaps they will do something about it, all i want to do when i get a good picture is to take it to a4 size for framing

all i want is 6-8 m.p and image stabilization and to print (if i ever take one) a good picture that will grace my living room

again many thanks, alan

perhaps i will stick to steves reviews as i bought the 765 u.z. on the strength of his review and bin the mags

tmoreau May 17, 2006 4:06 PM

Noise at iso100 is generally not a problem in any camera. But when you want to take pictures at dusk, or indoors, without using a flash, you have to turn up the iso sensetivity... THEN it can be a problem. Really depends what your doing, though.

As I got more into photography I decided that I liked taking artistic type pictures that looked good, and that meant I couldnt use a flash. Then things got dicey, eventually I got a DSLR and an external wireless flash. Well, now I can take good pictures without a flash, but I can ALSO take really good flash pictures. So even if you run into this problem there are several ways to solve it (external slave flashes can be used with basicly any camera).

Some people never take a picture in a dimly lit place in the first place, many more never try it without thier (auto) flash on.

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