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Old Dec 20, 2006, 8:11 AM   #11
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I guess I can't really help you when it comes to shopping in the UK, I wouldn't know where to look and what stores are reputable. If there's such a huge price gulf, perhaps it might even be practical to ship something overseas? I don't what kinds of problems that might entail though, with shipping costs and warranty coverage.

As for the Panasonic cameras, I have an FZ30 myself and will be moving up to an SLR. It's a great all around camera and the most fun camera I've ever handled. It's quite versatile and perfect for taking outdoors pictures.

The noise is a problem though, and limits what you can do indoors. If you're not using a flash, you can use the stabilization to shoot slower shutter speeds, but that doesn't help if you're shooting people who might move.

ISO 200 is usable if you shoot raw and process it yourself, or just use something like Noise Ninja, but only when shooting in good light. If you use it to compensate for poor light the noise is usually to much to repair. ISO 400 will never produce images worth printing in my experience.

The FZ50 has worse noise than the FZ30, but it does a better job cleaning it up in the JPG processing. If you like shooting RAW, I'd suggesting trying to find an FZ30 cheaper if you can still find one.
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Old Jan 15, 2007, 10:52 AM   #12
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I'm pretty sold on the FZ50. Ihave steeredaway froma DSLR because of the extra expense and hassle of multiple lenses, plus I would really like to take some family videos of soccor games, etc. People on this forum seem to think the noise is "terrible" and the noise reduction smears too much detail. I'm planning to do some portrait -- indoors and outdoors, and candids of my family. The portraits are the only prints I will be enlarging past 8X10, so my question is....Don't most people prefer to lose a little detail in portraits (facial pores, wrinkles, fly-away hairs, etc), or is a loss of detail in portraits a bad thing? I won't be doing any nature or sports shots (besides candids of my kids). Your insights would be helpful...

Thanks,

Lisa
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Old Jan 15, 2007, 11:29 AM   #13
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If you already have a 35mm SLR at home with two lenses then maybe you should try to find a D-SLR that would use those same lense. You can always upgrade the glass at a later date.

Bill
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Old Jan 15, 2007, 11:40 AM   #14
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lisamichelle wrote:
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I'm pretty sold on the FZ50. Ihave steeredaway froma DSLR because of the extra expense and hassle of multiple lenses, plus I would really like to take some family videos of soccor games, etc. People on this forum seem to think the noise is "terrible" and the noise reduction smears too much detail. I'm planning to do some portrait -- indoors and outdoors, and candids of my family. The portraits are the only prints I will be enlarging past 8X10, so my question is....Don't most people prefer to lose a little detail in portraits (facial pores, wrinkles, fly-away hairs, etc), or is a loss of detail in portraits a bad thing? I won't be doing any nature or sports shots (besides candids of my kids). Your insights would be helpful...

Thanks,

Lisa
If you use a good noise reduction plug-in with a decent image editor you don't always have to choose between reducing noise and losing detail. You can select out the edges or just select the shadow areas before using the noise reduction.

Even if you use a shotgun approach to noise reduction the software has become pretty sophisticated in differentiating between flat areas that need reduction and edges.

I find noise reduction often helps portraits. I like to erase the noise reduction from the eyes, hair and mouth so the image doesn't look too soft. But it really helps some complexions.

Noise can get so high it starts degrading the detail. Nothing you can do go get that detail back.

It is an irritation to me that they don't at least put a sync connector on digital cameras in the class you are looking at. I don't mind using a bracket, but I need the external flash in a general purpose camera. With a good diffuser you don't have to choose as often between harsh flash and noise.

For still subjects you get lower or equivalent noise shots with stabilization compared to high ISO like the Fujis in limited light. The catch is that stabilization is useless for any subject motion and high ISO is the only way to capture it. The Fuji S6000/6500 combines very good high ISO noise with a wide angle lens, which I find very handy for general purpose photography. I wish they had put a hot shoe on it. The S9100/9600 does have a hot shoe and the 28mm wide but it isn't quite as good at high ISO. Raw shots from that sensor are so noisy that dpreview suggests using noise reduction even for ISO 80 shots from the S9000 – same sensor and optics. Fuji in-camera noise reduction is better than anyone else's and JPGs from the S9600 are evidently quite good from higher ISO.

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