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Old Jun 12, 2010, 5:56 PM   #71
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I am also starting to see a few people returning their ZS7"s due to what they describe as people shots taken in low light looking like paintings,or some other none satisfaction. I have looked at all the
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ZS7/TZ10 photos on Flicker and perhaps on occasion may see what they are talking about.
I was one who returned a ZS7 due to the impressionist painting look of "some" indoor photos. I did shoot in P-mode with all kinds of different settings including all camera enhancements turned off and NR set to -2, yet that look still occured in "some" indoor photos.

In comparison, our 5 year old Canon SD550, 7.1 MP compact camera never has the impressionist painting look regardless of the lighting. With the same lighting, skin looks smooth and normal. Gradually picks up noise as light decreases, yes, but never the noise reduction impressionist painting look.

To clarify, not all indoor photos from the two compact P&S cameras that I recently bought and returned had the indoor NR watercolor look. But that look popped up just enough times to keep reminding that it was indeed there. I think of it as a kind of Russian roulette with once in a lifetime indoor events.

The ZS7 is truly a wonderful camera and I can't imagine how its daylight images can be beat by any other P&S camera including the LX3 and S90. Not to mention the 12x zoom and still tack sharp photos at full zoom and tack sharp macro images. The Leica lens on the ZS series is truly sharp. In my opinion if Panasonic made a ZS7 with 7.1 MP even on the same size sensor and gave the option to turn NR off, it would be a PERFECT compact P&S camera. If nothing else, a huge number of people who lurk on forums looking for recommendations for a compact P&S camera would receive recommendations to buy it without any compromises.

Sky

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Old Jun 12, 2010, 11:45 PM   #72
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In comparison, our 5 year old Canon SD550, 7.1 MP compact camera never has the impressionist painting look regardless of the lighting.
It doesn't make sense to compare the ZS series or any camera with a 1/2.33" sensor camera to a camera that possesses a sensor that is 30% larger - which is exactly what you have done. It doesn't matter if the camera is 1, 5 or 7 years old. The science behind cameras hasn't changed. A larger sensor will gather more light. Compare your SD550 to the Canon S90, not to any camera with a tiny 1/2.33" sensor. Cameras like the ZS7, HX5V, CX3, SX210, etc. are designed for 2 primary purposes - portability and versatility. They make compromises in other areas and one of the primary areas is almost always the sensor size.

As for the "impressionist" painting, I more than suspect that this is due to IS correction of hand shake (if you have NR set to -2 in P mode and iR off), and NOT to NR. I have owned the ZS7 for 2 months and not one single shot has ever looked like an impressionist painting - not some - none. The crappy little sensors need you to remain almost literally motionless (tripod anyone?) if you want a low-light shot with no flash. The ZS cams do indeed suck in low-light - but smearing due to NR in P mode? Nope, I haven't seen it. I have a few gripes about the ZS cam (as I do about any product) but I have seen zilch to support the "impressionist painting due to NR" claim (unless iR is being used as stated previously). Over and over again users here and on other forums try to make the point that these tiny sensors are not suited for indoor shots w/o flash yet over and over people stubbornly buy these cameras and are disappointed by the results. Then they come on the forums and rant about the problems that we tried to inform them in the first place. The answer is simple - buy a camera with a larger sensor.
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Old Jun 13, 2010, 4:21 AM   #73
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It doesn't make sense to compare the ZS series or any camera with a 1/2.33" sensor camera to a camera that possesses a sensor that is 30% larger - which is exactly what you have done. It doesn't matter if the camera is 1, 5 or 7 years old. The science behind cameras hasn't changed. A larger sensor will gather more light. Compare your SD550 to the Canon S90, not to any camera with a tiny 1/2.33" sensor. Cameras like the ZS7, HX5V, CX3, SX210, etc. are designed for 2 primary purposes - portability and versatility. They make compromises in other areas and one of the primary areas is almost always the sensor size.
Hi FiveO,

Didnít mean to offend anyone. Just letting the poster that I responded to know, the personal experience with the ZS7 that I had. Similar to you letting him know the personal experiences that youíve had. Getting all personal experiences might help him make a more comfortable decision.

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As for the "impressionist" painting, I more than suspect that this is due to IS correction of hand shake (if you have NR set to -2 in P mode and iR off), and NOT to NR. I have owned the ZS7 for 2 months and not one single shot has ever looked like an impressionist painting - not some - none. The crappy little sensors need you to remain almost literally motionless (tripod anyone?) if you want a low-light shot with no flash. The ZS cams do indeed suck in low-light - but smearing due to NR in P mode? Nope, I haven't seen it. I have a few gripes about the ZS cam (as I do about any product) but I have seen zilch to support the "impressionist painting due to NR" claim (unless iR is being used as stated previously). Over and over again users here and on other forums try to make the point that these tiny sensors are not suited for indoor shots w/o flash yet over and over people stubbornly buy these cameras and are disappointed by the results. Then they come on the forums and rant about the problems that we tried to inform them in the first place. The answer is simple - buy a camera with a larger sensor.

When I spent hours researching the ZS3 and ZS7 cameras, I never read one single post that mentioned impressionist painting or watercolor looking low light images from either camera. Yes it was mentioned that the ZS7 especially is not that great in low light but I thought that meant in quite dim light. I also thought that it meant more noise pick up which Iíve seen before but never expected an excessive noise reduction look. Maybe only some ZS7ís exhibit that look in indoor images, I donít know.

I think itís unfair of you to say that we (I) were warned of something and then come on the forum to rant about the problem, but I accept your opinion. I never read anything about the impressionist painting NR look that I returned the ZS7 for. Iíve read about it from another poster ďafterĒ I bought the ZS7 but not before. So I thought it would be helpful to post the specific experience that I had, which is not widely posted. If youíre looking for info on a camera, wouldnít you want ALL users to post their personal experience good or bad? I know I would.

I tried to emphasize the positive points of the ZS7 that I had, as much as the negative point for the best balanced opinion that I have. Iím not on a crusade to bash the Panasonic ZS7. I love Panasonic cameras and have a Panasonic FZ50 that I treasure.

Best regards,
Sky
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Old Jun 13, 2010, 6:07 AM   #74
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You haven't offended anyone. However, you've made the comment multiple times but have yet to show evidence of it. Post some samples. As I said, I don't doubt that it looks like a painting, but I doubt it is the result of NR. Based on the image, many of us could tell you what caused the issue. If it was the result of NR, there would be countless users screaming over at dpreview about the ZS7 and the ZS3 as well - much like the insanely widespread complaints about NR on the HX5V. Instead we have a handful of people making the claim and not one single image to demonstrate it. Actually let's see just one fully untouched with full EXIF shot in P mode with NR set to -2.

You may have thought that low-light = "quite dim light" but it is understood in the world of cameras and camcorders that low-light means ... low light. Considering indirect sunlight offers 200-500x more light than the average family's living room, I think calling the living room "low-light" is more than generous.

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1 lux Full moon overhead at tropical latitudes[4]
3.4 lux Dark limit of civil twilight under a clear sky[5]
50 lux Family living room[6]
80 lux Hallway/toilet[7]
100 lux Very dark overcast day[2]
320–500 lux Office lighting[8][9][10]
400 lux Sunrise or sunset on a clear day.
1,000 lux Overcast day[2]; typical TV studio lighting
10,000–25,000 lux Full daylight (not direct sun)[2]
32,000–130,000 lux Direct sunlight
Here's a sample at ISO 1600. It looks terrible (as we already knew) but excessive NR? Not even a hint of it and this is without knocking it down to -2. It's noisy as heck but not smeared.




Now THIS looks like a painting. But it has nothing to do with NR. It's because the subjects are moving and the camera can't handle that in low-light. iR was on also I believe.




This isn't about defending the ZS cameras or even Panasonic. Your info isn't helpful at all if it's inaccurate. That's just fueling the rumor mill. So post the images with full EXIF and demonstrate the issue and point out WHY you think it is NR that has caused the issue.
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Old Jun 13, 2010, 7:47 AM   #75
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You haven't offended anyone. However, you've made the comment multiple times but have yet to show evidence of it. Post some samples.
Sorry, the samples I have are of friends that were taken at a dinner at a friend's home. Won't post their pictures on the internet. I can say that I never saw the impressionist painting effect on the Canon S10, SD550 and Panny FZ50 digital cameras that we own so I'm confident it was not caused by my shooting skills.

There will not be any more posts regarding this issue from me I assure you. I'm not out to prove a point. I'm glad that you never experienced the problem and that your ZS7 is working to your satisfaction. Honestly.

I hope that I can find a demo ZS3 that I can test since it has a less dense sensor and it might be satisfactory for me. I really want to get a ZS series camera since it has the sharp Leica lens, good IS, excellent daylight images, good video and live histogram. I haven't been able to find another late model, small purse, compact P&S camera with the "well performing" features I want, that the ZS series cameras have.

Best regards,
Sky

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Old Jun 13, 2010, 2:54 PM   #76
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Sorry, the samples I have are of friends that were taken at a dinner at a friend's home. Won't post their pictures on the internet. I can say that I never saw the impressionist painting effect on the Canon S10, SD550 and Panny FZ50 digital cameras that we own so I'm confident it was not caused by my shooting skills.
Really? You didn't know that sensor-size affected low-light ability so it seems pretty obvious that you are quite inexperienced. You are also still comparing cameras with much larger sensors to the ZS7. Heck the fact that you would even mention the FZ50 shows that you have no clue what you're talking about or legitimate expectations for a pocketable superzoom. Your excuse for not posting samples is BS as well.

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There will not be any more posts regarding this issue from me I assure you. I'm not out to prove a point.
No, you're here to misinform people because you're displeased with the low-light performance of a camera you were told would perform poorly in low-light.

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I'm glad that you never experienced the problem and that your ZS7 is working to your satisfaction. Honestly.
I've never experienced it because it doesn't exist. You simply don't understand what you're looking at and are too stubborn to learn a thing. The camera is working as expected so I have nothing to gripe about. it sucks in low-light and I knew that simply by looking at the specs (tiny sensor). I bought the camera knowing that so only a fool (hmmm) would complain later.

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I hope that I can find a demo ZS3 that I can test since it has a less dense sensor and it might be satisfactory for me. I really want to get a ZS series camera since it has the sharp Leica lens, good IS, excellent daylight images, good video and live histogram. I haven't been able to find another late model, small purse, compact P&S camera with the "well performing" features I want, that the ZS series cameras have.
Same poor low-light performance. Have you learned nothing? Apparently not.
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Old Jun 15, 2010, 11:58 AM   #77
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Great thread -- I'll need to read the whole thing as I'm trying to decide between these 2 cameras. I was learning towards the Sony because I think the video seems much better, but the picasa album shows that the Panasonic has better images. The streaking in the Panasonic video seems annoying as well. Can the "red" push or warmness on the Sony pictures be controlled by a white balance setting?
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Old Jun 15, 2010, 12:28 PM   #78
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You can find sample videos that compare the 2 cameras here.

http://www.vimeo.com/10051035

I downloaded the Panasonic and Sony files and played back on the big screen - to me, Sony looked better, probably because of 1080i. The streaking with the Panasonic camera is bad.

However, the pictures taken by the Sony camera seem much better.

Bahhh. What is the Canon equivalent?
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Old Jun 15, 2010, 1:22 PM   #79
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Skylark-

The problem with the indoor photo image quality is this: the panasonic Z series cameras have a slow (small aperture) lens and a weak flash combination. That causes the Z series cameras to really increase the ISO setting indoors in an attempt to "get the photo." That also increases the NR, or noise reduction which is an attempt by the camera's firmware to combat the increased noise that is a result of the radically increased ISO setting. The result of increased ISO and Increased NR is that water color painting effect that can be seen in the finished photo.

That negative effect can be rolled back by adding more light to your indoor photos with an accessory Slave Flash. The attached photo shows an inexpensive $15 slave flash attached to a Z series camera. Here is how the Slave Flash works: when the Z-camera's built-in flash fires, a photo-electric cell on the Slave Flash tells the Slave Flash to fire. Because we are dealing with the speed of light (192,000,000mph) there is perfect synchronization between the Z-series camera and the Slave Flash.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Jun 15, 2010, 1:26 PM   #80
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Skylark-

I am sure you want to see what a photo taken with a Slave Flash looks like to determine for yourself if the water color painting effect has been reduced. So take a look at this attached photo, please.

Sarah Joyce

http://anchorse.smugmug.com/Other/Pa...49_NA7UJ-L.jpg
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