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Old Jun 30, 2007, 4:05 PM   #1
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Hi. I'm trying to decide whether to buy the Pana Lumix FZ50 or the Fuji S9600/S9100 as a replacement for my old Canon G5. Will be using the new camera for daylight sports shots, some macro and nature work, and photographing performers at folk/rock gigs (daytime and night-time; indoor and open-air).

After reading a lot of reviews here and elsewhere I think I'm up to speed with the main strengths and weaknesses of both cameras. Steve's Digicams hasn't reviewed the FZ50 yet, but the review of the FZ30 (same lens) was useful. Most reviewers seem to like/rave aboutthe Pana's Leica lens. So I was surprised to find that some of the sample photos in the S9100 review seemed much sharper than the corresponding ones in the FZ30 review. For example, see the green plastic "shutters" on the play house (even allowing for the different focal lengths used).

Links:
FZ30 at
http://www.steves-digicams.com/2005_...s/p1000027.jpg;
S9100 at
http://www.steves-digicams.com/2007_...s/DSCF0225.JPG.

With its extra couple of megapixels (over the FZ30), does the FZ50 match the S9100 for sharpness? Would be grateful for advice on this (or anything else) from FZ50 and S9100 owners.

Thanks.



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Old Jun 30, 2007, 4:34 PM   #2
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I'll let someone with the Fuji post some links to images taken with it. Here are some files from an FZ50...

http://gmchappell.smugmug.com/gallery/2770372#147468576

These were JPEG's converted from RAW files...

http://gmchappell.smugmug.com/gallery/2753108#146443687

Here are some lower light JPEGs processed from RAW files and also run through Neat Image noise reduction..

http://gmchappell.smugmug.com/gallery/2994903#162663052

This next set was taken at the Dallas Arboretum..

http://gmchappell.smugmug.com/gallery/2805463#149803494

And I took this last set at a Major League Baseball game at night..

http://gmchappell.smugmug.com/gallery/2978788#161229222

Can't tell you which is "sharper". Given equal proficiency, I think you would take equallysharp pictures with either and equally bad with either if you don't know what you're doing, but this gives an idea of some of what's possible with an FZ50. If you want examples of bird/macro type shots, go to the Panasonic Forum at DPReview. There's lots of FZ50 users over there who post some pretty outstanding shots of those subjects.
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Old Jun 30, 2007, 6:17 PM   #3
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dedge wrote:
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... So I was surprised to find that some of the sample photos in the S9100 review seemed much sharper than the corresponding ones in the FZ30 review. ...
Remember that the S9100 creates images that are 3,488 x 2,616, while the FZ30 creates images that are 3248 x 2160. The difference in sharpnes you're seeing might be a result of the resolution of the image, not the sharpness of the lens.

Also, while Leica makes some outstanding lenses, Fuji has a well deserved reputation for quality images from it's in-camera processing. You may be trying to split hairs.
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Old Jun 30, 2007, 9:03 PM   #4
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Thanks for such a comprehensive collection of evidence, Greg ! Some really nice photos and the architectural shots, especially, show that the FZ50 can produce stunningly sharp results. That's set my mind at rest on the sharpness question, anyway.

Now I guess I'm going to have to make up my mind about the attractions of 28mm at the bottom end vs 420mm at the top end! And a few other things. But I'm leaning towards the FZ50.

Dedge
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Old Jun 30, 2007, 9:13 PM   #5
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Thanks for the input, TCav, and those two very valid points. The links I gave weren't comparing apples with apples. Even so, it seemed to me that the S9100 gave some very sharp results. After looking at Greg's examples, I'd guess that the two cameras were probably about on a par, sharpness-wise.

Dedge


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Old Jul 3, 2007, 12:46 PM   #6
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dedge wrote:
Quote:
Hi. I'm trying to decide whether to buy the Pana Lumix FZ50 or the Fuji S9600/S9100 as a replacement for my old Canon G5. Will be using the new camera for daylight sports shots, some macro and nature work, and photographing performers at folk/rock gigs (daytime and night-time; indoor and open-air).

After reading a lot of reviews here and elsewhere I think I'm up to speed with the main strengths and weaknesses of both cameras. Steve's Digicams hasn't reviewed the FZ50 yet, but the review of the FZ30 (same lens) was useful. Most reviewers seem to like/rave aboutthe Pana's Leica lens. So I was surprised to find that some of the sample photos in the S9100 review seemed much sharper than the corresponding ones in the FZ30 review. For example, see the green plastic "shutters" on the play house (even allowing for the different focal lengths used).

Links:
FZ30 at
http://www.steves-digicams.com/2005_...s/p1000027.jpg;
S9100 at
http://www.steves-digicams.com/2007_...s/DSCF0225.JPG.

With its extra couple of megapixels (over the FZ30), does the FZ50 match the S9100 for sharpness? Would be grateful for advice on this (or anything else) from FZ50 and S9100 owners.

Thanks.


The panasonicsperform well except in low light. I had an FZ30 and returned it in less than 2 weeks.
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Old Jul 5, 2007, 6:51 PM   #7
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Thanks for the tip, meanstreak! After spending/wasting a load of time comparing reviews, comments, specs, sample photos, etc, I finally decidedto order the FS9600 (FS9100). Reasons: the 28mm WA,possibly better low-light performance, and price. Really looking forward to gettingthe cameratomorrow and starting to use it.

It was a tough decision though, and I still like the idea of that big Leica-designed lens on the FZ50. Maybe Panasonic will lick the noise suppression problem with an FZ50 replacement . . . . In the meantime, got to learn to love the Fuji !

Dedge
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