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Old Oct 23, 2006, 9:35 PM   #1
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I purchased a panasonic fz50 and a slew of accessories to go along with it and though it has some really nice features I have come to the realization that the camera is not meeting my needs. The zoom capabilities of the camera are great and it is a very good daylight performer. My main problem with the camera is its low light performance and it's noise levels at higher iso's. I tend to shoot a lot of photos in low light. I focus on using natural light as much as possible and rarely use a flash as in my oppinion the flash distorts the photo from it's original state... and that is how the scene appears to my naked eye.

What I am looking for is a dslr that performs well in lower light and is as noise free as possible at higher iso's. Cameras that are on my list so far are:

Olympus E500
Olympus E330
Nikon d70

What I think is going to be the best thing is to buy the camera body and then purchase a good lens to use up the rest of my budget. I will have around $1200 to spend after selling my fz50. If you have any reccomendations I would really like to hear them. So far the E500 is my first choice but i am open to suggestions.

P.S.
If you would like to purchase or know anyone who would like to purhase my FZ50 with an Olympus tcon 17 teleconverter lens, Raynox DCR-250 super macro lens, 2 batteries, 1gb sd card, and cannon camera bag with all the original paperwork and software that is less than one month old please let me know. I am asking $700 shipped anywhere in the lower 48 states. I have pictures if you need them.
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Old Oct 23, 2006, 10:06 PM   #2
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I have the FZ-30, but the same problem in low ligth. I switched to Konica Minolta 5D because of Anti-shake (similar to OIS in Panasonic) and acceptable ISO 1600 & usable ISO-3200. The trade off are Megapixeles 6 vs 10. My budget was more limited than yours.

I'm happy with my new camera. The antishake really helps, mostly on low ligth situations.

So I suggest take into consideration Sony Alpha or Pentax K10D
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Old Oct 24, 2006, 6:40 AM   #3
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I think the DSLRs you should be looking at are:

Nikon D50 or D80

Canon 350/400 or 20D

Pentax k10D???



The olympus and sony DSLRs are very poor high ISO performers. From the Nikon camp, the D50 (and possibly the new D80) are the best high ISO performers. From what I've seen in the past the D70s is worse than the D50. Although, a recent post in one of these forums would indicate it's due to reduction algorithms applied to JPEG images in the D50 and that if you shoot RAW, the quality is similar.

The Canon 20D has great ISO 3200 ability and the D80 has very good ISO 3200 ability. The Canon 350 & 400 and Nikon D50 have excellent ISO 1600 ability but no 3200.

I threw the Pentax on there but in all honesty can't say how it performs in low light - don't know if it's even out yet?

But you'll also need the right lenses. If low light is your thing then you're going to need prime lenses - f2.0 or better aperture. Depending on what you want to shoot that could mean multiple primes and some of them can get very expensive. You need to understand that going in. I don't know what your expectations are or what you shoot but a DSLR alone is not a magic box. A good DSLR with the right lens will absolutely do much better than any digicam but there are still limits.
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Old Oct 24, 2006, 7:16 AM   #4
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For great high ISO performance, the Nikon D70s, Nikon D50, Canon EOS 20D/30D, and the Canon EOS 350D all have one of the best high ISO performance IMO!

The high ISO performance of the Sony Alpha dSLR-A100 is not much worse than the Nikon D80 IMO, however, at least it maintains more image details instead of using sledge hammer N.R.. (The camera bodyis also some $200 cheaper than the Nikon D80 - body) Both are as bad in my book anyway!! (At high ISO performance)

The high ISO performance of the (much more expensive) Nikon D200 looksrather similaras the high ISO performance of the Sony A100. (In case you are interested) In fact, Phil evenstated that the A100 maintains slightly more image details. But one thing is for sure, the resolution of the A100 is higher than the D200! (See resolution charts at dpreview if you don't believe!!)

Nevertheless, nothing beats the Nikon D70s, Nikon D50, Canon EOS 20D/30D, and the Canon EOS 350D at higher ISOs IMO!! (They are the league of high ISO performing dSLRs, and they would be my 1st choice for low light photography!)




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Old Oct 24, 2006, 7:29 AM   #5
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Also remember that the ISO levelsof the Canon dSLRsare understated! That means that they are actually more sensitive in reality! For example; ISO 1600 = ISO 2000. :-)

But nonetheless, I don't find the ISO 1600 of the Canon EOS 350D better than the Nikon D70s atISO 1600. :idea: (In fact, the 70swas looking better in definition, per-pixel sharpness, and noise type!! ) And mind you'll, I'm no Nikon fan. (As some in here might already know) In fact, I am no fan of any brand. [To think that some even called me a Nikon, Canon, or Sony fan before] :P
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Old Oct 24, 2006, 7:42 AM   #6
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fallenleafs wrote:
Quote:
I purchased a panasonic fz50 and a slew of accessories to go along with it and though it has some really nice features I have come to the realization that the camera is not meeting my needs. The zoom capabilities of the camera are great and it is a very good daylight performer. My main problem with the camera is its low light performance and it's noise levels at higher iso's. I tend to shoot a lot of photos in low light. I focus on using natural light as much as possible and rarely use a flash as in my oppinion the flash distorts the photo from it's original state... and that is how the scene appears to my naked eye.

What I am looking for is a dslr that performs well in lower light and is as noise free as possible at higher iso's. Cameras that are on my list so far are:

Olympus E500
Olympus E330
Nikon d70

What I think is going to be the best thing is to buy the camera body and then purchase a good lens to use up the rest of my budget. I will have around $1200 to spend after selling my fz50. If you have any reccomendations I would really like to hear them. So far the E500 is my first choice but i am open to suggestions.

P.S.
If you would like to purchase or know anyone who would like to purhase my FZ50 with an Olympus tcon 17 teleconverter lens, Raynox DCR-250 super macro lens, 2 batteries, 1gb sd card, and cannon camera bag with all the original paperwork and software that is less than one month old please let me know. I am asking $700 shipped anywhere in the lower 48 states. I have pictures if you need them.
I wish I could talk to everyone thinking of buying a Panasonic FZ series camera. It might not do any good in some cases but those cameras are just plain horrible in any condition other than well lit. Sure they have a decent lens and I have seen some remarkable photos takenwith them but only in optimum conditions.I recommend selling it on EBay, because people there seem willing to buy almost anything for more than what it is worth. You might do better selling some of the items separately. Also, if you paid by credit card, check with the card's policy on buying merchandise. Some cards like American Express have a buyer's remorse program and will take the camera off your hands if you simply just have second thoughts about your purchase and the retailer won't take it back.

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Old Oct 24, 2006, 7:49 AM   #7
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JohnG wrote:
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I think the DSLRs you should be looking at are:

Nikon D50 or D80

Canon 350/400 or 20D

Pentax k10D???



The olympus and sony DSLRs are very poor high ISO performers. From the Nikon camp, the D50 (and possibly the new D80) are the best high ISO performers. From what I've seen in the past the D70s is worse than the D50. Although, a recent post in one of these forums would indicate it's due to reduction algorithms applied to JPEG images in the D50 and that if you shoot RAW, the quality is similar.

The Canon 20D has great ISO 3200 ability and the D80 has very good ISO 3200 ability. The Canon 350 & 400 and Nikon D50 have excellent ISO 1600 ability but no 3200.

I threw the Pentax on there but in all honesty can't say how it performs in low light - don't know if it's even out yet?

But you'll also need the right lenses. If low light is your thing then you're going to need prime lenses - f2.0 or better aperture. Depending on what you want to shoot that could mean multiple primes and some of them can get very expensive. You need to understand that going in. I don't know what your expectations are or what you shoot but a DSLR alone is not a magic box. A good DSLR with the right lens will absolutely do much better than any digicam but there are still limits.
I also recommend staying away from cheap glass especially with this camera or any camera with high MP capability. Though I'm not a huge fan of high MP cameras, because the Sony has a 10 MP sensor, it actually has some obvious advantages and in the hands of an experienced photographer it is an excellent tool.

I've seen samples of low light pictures of the Sony and it is not as bad as it is made out to be. Most of the Sony critics are existing KM owners who are trying to compare it to a 5D or 7D.

Truthfully, I also don't feel there is any camera out there great or very good 3200 ISO capability. Sure there are some that are better than others, but even the best of the best will provide mediocre 3200 results. It's no mystery that the cameras with the best high ISO performance turn out softer images. It basically translates as to whether you want a little noise with your detail or less noise, less detail. Either way you lose, so I avoid 3200 ISO at all costs and only use it when I absolutely, positively have to have the picture, can't use artificial light and I am willing to live with some noise.

It's interesting but when I look at most manufacturer sites I don't see many with samples of 3200 ISO photos and when I do they are small images which make it impossible to see all the noise. I guess they don't feel 3200 ISO is so great either.

If anyone disagrees with my take on 3200 ISO performance, please feel free to post your high quality, low noise, high detail samples of a 3200 ISO shot taken in low light.



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Old Oct 24, 2006, 8:02 AM   #8
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For me, I will take more details with more noise, than less noisewith less image details!! (Heavy handed N.R. is a no no in my book!!)
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Old Oct 24, 2006, 8:04 AM   #9
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BenjaminXYZ wrote:
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Also remember that the ISO levelsof the Canon dSLRsare understated! That means that they are actually more sensitive in reality! For example; ISO 1600 = ISO 2000. :-)

But nonetheless, I don't find the ISO 1600 of the Canon EOS 350D better than the Nikon D70s atISO 1600. :idea: (In fact, the 70swas looking better in definition, per-pixel sharpness, and noise type!! ) And mind you'll, I'm no Nikon fan. (As some in here might already know) In fact, I am no fan of any brand. [To think that some even called me a Nikon, Canon, or Sony fan before] :P
Forget high ISO or avoid it like the plague. The trick to good photos is good glass and to try and stay below ISO 1600. 3200 ISO is just no better than a cheap magician's trick.


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Old Oct 24, 2006, 8:13 AM   #10
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Quote:

Forget high ISO or avoid it like the plague. The trick to good photos is good glass and to try and stay below ISO 1600. 3200 ISO is just no better than a cheap magician's trick.

Sometimes I need the higher ISOs to prevent blurry shots in the places with dimmer lightings. (Especially indoors)

I agree that the quality of the high ISO images are never as great as the low ISO quality shots. However, they play such an essential role in our (my) photographic lifestyle(s) that I would just be looking out for the cameras with the "best" high ISO performance (quality).

Now a days, I am looking for cameras with very good ISO 1600 performance; I would rather take a camera with a better quality ISO 1600 performance,than a camera with worse ISO 1600 performance -with an ISO 3200 option. (Quality priority here)


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