Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digicam Help > What Camera Should I Buy?

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Feb 26, 2007, 10:45 PM   #1
Member
 
stacy0w's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 53
Default

I have been watching the FZ50 for months. I thought I had decided but then I looked back at the others mentioned. I currently own a small 3 mp Kodak and while I have taken some nice shots with it I want something with a super zoom and more features (manual zoom, focus, option for filters). The things I don't like about the camera I have now are that it has a small zoom, very few manual features and it is really slow at startup and sometimes from shot to shot depending on the situation. I really like the manual focus ring on the FZ50. I'm not sure how easy the joystick type adjustment will be on the others. I also like that most people have said the FZ50 is a tough camera. Some of the others listed were referred to as feeling toy-like, butrelative to what? Are those peoplespeaking from SLR experience or are they just cheaply made cameras? They would save about $150-$200 over the FZ50 which to me is a ton of money.I have checked stores an hour away (we live in a rural area) and have yet to find any of these cameras so I am asking your advice. If you have any of these are you happy with your choice or would you choose something different. Is the 50 worth $150-$200 more and if so why? I'm so torn. I guess the more I look the more confused I get...
stacy0w is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Mar 1, 2007, 10:18 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Davenport, IA
Posts: 2,093
Default

I've had a Z612 since Christmas and am well pleased with it. It is entirely performing as expected. I paid about US$280 w/a 1GB and an extra Li rechargeable. That same camera is now available, less my extras for US$200 new from Dell or refurb from Kodak and for US$250 from almost anycamera outlet.

With that backgroundI'd like to point out the features on the FZ50 that seem photographically useful to me that are not on the Z612:

1. The zoom and focus rings on the lens itself.

2. Faster lens at max focal length.

3. The TTL hot shoe/dedicated external flash.

4. Higher ISOs (I'll leave usability up to others.)

5. Last (and least) the rotating LCD panel.

By comparison the FZ8 loses the manual focus/zoom rings, the top end of the ISOs, the TTL hot shoe and the rotating LCD. At this point the advantages over the Z612 are the faster lens at max telephoto and higher ISOs. Would any of these differences made a difference in my purchase decision? No, because the the extra investment is not worth it TO ME at this point BUT that is very much an individual judgment.

Does it bother me that my Z612 can be had less now, not particularly because I'vealready taken pictures that I wouldn't have been able to otherwise. In fact I might buy a second Z612 at the new price if my wife decides she wants one. Would I spend more, not at this point but your mileage may vary as they say.

Good Luck.


ac.smith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 2, 2007, 3:17 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 132
Default

I also use a Z612 and am also very happy with it. Value for price is very good.

I like the compant size - you can almost just put it in your pocket.

Love the zoom and the macro capability.

Image stabilization works very, very well. I have taken max zoom shots of 50X (optical plus digital zoom) without a tripod and I don't get any blur from shake.

You get over 200 shots on one charge of the battery at 6.1MP.

One pain is getting spare rechargeable KLIC-8000 batteries. Hard to find. But I finally found a source of replacements at www.bestbatt.com.


bayani is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 2, 2007, 9:09 AM   #4
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 51
Default

It's been pretty well covered but I'll add my .02

@ $199 the Z612 is a heck of a bargain but it does have limitations. One not mentioned is the lack of white balance adjustments. You only have a few presets & no manual adjustment.......but the auto WB is very good. I've tested it under everything from daylight to very strange 14,000K aquarium lighting - all gave true coloration.

The max ISO is 400 w/ full sized images & even then you can begin to see some noise. This means low light perfromance isn't by any means stellar.

No question in my mind that the FZ50 is a more advanced camera you just need to decide if you need the extra features.

Goofing around pic from the Z612 - this is pretty much an auto exposure. Overcast & snowing - the colors are dead bang on. The truck is exactly that color as is my wife's clothing. Pretty good for a $199 camera.
Attached Images
 
Bailey59 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 2, 2007, 9:48 AM   #5
Member
 
stacy0w's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 53
Default

Thanks for everyones input. I am very impressed with the capabilities of the smaller camers. However, I think I will still want a more advanced one if I go the smaller route. So I think I'm going with the FZ50. Although as of this morning it was sold out when I went to order a few minutes ago. *sigh*
stacy0w is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 2, 2007, 12:33 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Davenport, IA
Posts: 2,093
Default

Bailey59 is correct that the max ISO at full resolution is 400 for the Z612 compared to at least 800for the FZ8 and 1600 for the FZ50 and the Z612 will show noise at 200 and 400. The trade-off is that the Panasonic's use extremely aggressive noise reduction programs which tend to soften fine detail and oversaturate colors and this effect can be observed as low as ISO 100. In truth neither the Z612snoise at upper speeds nor the Panasonic's aggressive anti-noise programs are likely to be noticed in normal use (8x10/11x14 prints and full monitor screen shots) as long as the photographers understand the photographic effects.

Noise can be considered as grain in film. In the days of film grain was often considered a photographic tool. We selected high speed films not only for their effect on shutter/aperture but for their grain which could be use to suppress the finest level of detail which could detract from the essential point of the photograph and to add a "texture" or "feel" to the photograph which resulted in a sense of immediacy to the photograph.

In one of the forums on this site a set of basketball game pictures and the submitter complained that they lacked "pop". I think what he was saying was that they failed convey the dynamics and intensity of the game. They were too "perfect", the contrast and saturation was very good and they were very, very sharp and the lighting was very good as well. At least one of the responders post processed to enhance to make exposure/contrast/saturation "perfect" but to my eye they may as well have been shot in a studio. The pictures were shot with a dSLR at a noiseless elevated ISO. His equipment was to good. To convey the dynamics of the game I think he needs to lower the ISO to get a little motion blur (at least a softness) in the hands and feet and then add some grain in post processing.

Conversely we loaded a slow film when fine detail and smooth tonality was required toevoke the intended feeling or response to the photo.

This is just a way to say that we may be obsessing a bit about noise. Photographers make photographs not cameras. Hopefully this fleshes out the framework when examining the alternatives in selecting a camera. It's a brush for the artist, not the artist or a microscope for the scientist, not the scientist.




ac.smith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 2, 2007, 12:47 PM   #7
Member
 
stacy0w's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 53
Default

I agree about the noise issues. I think that for the most part an issue is being made from a nonissue. I also think that the camera is only as good as the person using it. That is why sometimes it is hard to know what to expect from a camera. Most cameras anymore seem to pretty great. It is just a matter of choosing one that is great for me and making the most of all it has to offer.
stacy0w is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 2, 2007, 2:57 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Davenport, IA
Posts: 2,093
Default

stacy0w wrote:
Quote:
Most cameras anymore seem to pretty great. It is just a matter of choosing one that is great for me and making the most of all it has to offer.
I agree. Just goofing off I shot some pictures of silk flowers illuminated by florescent light. In the days of film this would have resulted in horrid green pictures but the auto white balance on my Z612 produced good colors anyway. The lens was set at 160mm equiv. and the shutter at 1/10 sec. Using 160mm at 1/10 sec on my film SLRs would have resulted in yellow blobs rather than flowers (specifically tulips) but IS made it a reasonable endeavor.

As you say making the most of your tools still counts just as it did in the days of film. One of my personal skill exercises in the days of film was to, after I calculated that it was theoretically feasible, was to make 16x20 prints from pictures taken on Kodachrome 25 with my Olympus PenFTs half frame 35s. Getting this done required that every element of my methods be exactly right, subject selection, lighting/contrast, optimal aperture for that lens, exposure, DOF, etc. but it was great fun showing the prints to my photography friends and letting them guess which of my medium format cameras I had used.
ac.smith is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 2:44 AM.