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Old Oct 9, 2004, 9:30 AM   #11
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JimInVA wrote:
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Given that the zoom might not yield the quality of picture that would be hoped for... and considering that zoomed action shots areunlikely at best (particularly in lesser lighting)... do I still go with the FZ3 and shoot it for all its worth...or should I disavow zoomed pictures for the moment and consider something else? The obvious question... what would that something else be?
Jim:

There is no one right answer. Each user is going to have different things that they will like or dislike about any given model, andthat's usually pretty hard to predict in advance.

Chances are, one of the models using a little larger sensor may give better photos in some conditions. But, if you like to use optical zoom a lot, then the ultra zoom models can help you get photos that you can't get without it. You'll need to read the reviews and decide.

BTW, Steve just posted his review of the DMC-FZ3:

http://www.steves-digicams.com/2004_reviews/fz3.html


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Old Oct 9, 2004, 3:42 PM   #12
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I am now the proud owner of a new Panasonic DMC-FZ3 Lumix Digital Camera! As we've shared thepre-purchase process together, I thought I'd share the purchase with you, too.

After a bit of web searching, I noted the Circuit City (CC) had the FZ3 at $40 off their normal $399.99 price for "web orders". Considering that I could purchase it online and pick it up at the nearest CC location, I completed all of the online order except for credit card information. I printed out the sales sheet and the sheet showing availability at my local store.

Knowing that I'd also need additional memory, I did some quick research and determined that the SanDisk 512MB Ultra II SD was available at CC for $89.99 (less a $15 mail-in rebate) or at Costco for $65.99.

Armed with this information, I drove to my local CC. I found the FZ3 and marveled at its diminutive size versus its big brother the FZ20.I began to reconsider and picked upthe FZ20... fortunately I could feel Jim C standing over my shoulder shaking his head in consternation... and I as quickly put it back down. Nope... I would not pay $150 more for bigger, heavier, slower, more PF, greater distortion, etc. I could feel Jim C smiling again and knew that I was back on track.

Counter pricing for the FZ3 was shown at $399.99 but when I queried the sales person, it was suggested that I speak with Customer Service. At the CS counter I presented my papers showing the camera's cost if I'd purchased it online but had elected to pick it up at the store. I explained that I'd wanted to pay cash and was hopeful that I could do so at the "web" price. She said, "I can make that happen"... and did.

I then explained that I needed the SD card but that their price was higher than the local Costco down the street and suggested that I'd really prefer to spend my money all in one place. Unfortunately, I'd not printed the Costco price. Again she stated that it was not a problem and looked it up online. She then asked if there'd be anything else and I said "no" (I hadn't researched spare batteries yet... so that would just have to wait).

She rang up the camera - $359.99. She then rang up the SD card - $63.59 (apparently she took 10% of the difference of $89.99 & $65.99 and subtracted that from Costco's price - Circuit City's 10% of the difference price guarantee). GRAND TOTAL - $423.58 + sales tax. NOT BAD AT ALL!

But this story is not done yet. Out of the register came these long register and rebate sheets. Rebate #1 - $15 mail-in rebate for SanDisk 512MB SD (wow... it's now $48.94 after postage)... and... Rebate #2 - Free Camera Bag and Battery, $100 value, mail-in rebate from Panasonic. Needless to say, there was a particularly noticeable bounce to my step as I exited the store.

My purchase still sits in the bag, unopened. It seemed more proper that I first share this experience with each of you before yielding to the excitement that I'm feeling and the desire to pull everything out of its packaging.

Again... thanks to each of you. And a special thank you to Jim C... especially for looking over my shoulder while I was in the store!

Jim
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Old Oct 9, 2004, 4:04 PM   #13
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JimInVA wrote:
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Armed with this information, I drove to my local CC. I found the FZ3 and marveled at its diminutive size versus its big brother the FZ20.I began to reconsider and picked upthe FZ20... fortunately I could feel Jim C standing over my shoulder shaking his head in consternation... and I as quickly put it back down. Nope... I would not pay $150 more for bigger, heavier, slower, more PF, greater distortion, etc.
:lol:

Jim... the only reasons I didn't suggest you look at the DMC-FZ20 were that you were used to the weight of your Olympus C-4000z, and didn't want to have anything too heavy around your neck (and the DMC-FZ3 is smallerand lighter than the DMC-FZ20). You also wanted to keep the price to $500.00 or less (and the DMC-FZ20 would have put you over budget).

Actually, Panasonic has a 4MP model (DMC-FZ15) that's positioned in between these two (but, you'd be hard pressed to find one yet -- supply is too thin, and it's just as large as the DMC-FZ20). From a lens quality perspective, they are allvery good,based on reviews and samples I've looked at. I don't think you'll see very many complaints about PF, etc., out of any of these models.

Let us all know how you like it!





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Old Oct 11, 2004, 5:26 AM   #14
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On Saturday, I bought the FZ3. Yesterday, I took it with me on a family outing. The most striking characteristic of this camera is its small size. Apparently, Panasonic's use of such a quality lens system has enabled them to really keep the size down. Around my neck, the FZ3's weight was often forgotten.

My previous camera had a 4x optical zoom - I was always wanting it to reach further but had to settle for less. With the FZ3's 12x optical zoom, I continually found that I had more zoom than the day's pictures required. ZOOM TO SPARE... WHAT A TREAT!

We were in Colonial Williamsburg for brunch at the Williamsburg Inn. The Inn is noted for its antiques and colonial decorations. It was a photo oportunity in the making! I snapped pictures of just about anything I could... family, wall hangings, unique sconces, antique vases, fresh flowers, the Inn itself... even the dessert plate I was about to feast upon.

Upon returning home, I raced to the computer and pulled up the images. I WAS IN AWE at the result! Zoom, normal, macro... all were excellent! Crisp images, well colored and all from its simple AUTO mode. No question about it - I'm going to have a lot of fun with this camera!

Jim
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Old Oct 11, 2004, 2:06 PM   #15
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HI!

I've been following this thread all way long and now I start thinking about the fz3 too. I was really ready to get the pentax optio 750z but waiting for its price to drop...

It is going to be my first digi cam.

The main reasons for wanting that pentax camera were extremely good quality pics and 5x zoom in a compact size. The 7mp I for sure dont need as I usually print normal size to make albums.

Now I think that maybe the FZ3 would be good enough for me. I also like the strong zoom.

Did you print any pics yet? How are they?Have they also got a blueish color as I saw on some samples?

I would mainly take pics from my kids and holidays...in auto mode. Also alot of pics at home, birthdayparties, etc.. Would the fz3 do the job? My main thing is that I want extremely clear pics and maybe once or twice a bigger size print too.

I can get it for $ 200 less than the Pentax!

What do you think?

Thank you very much for any help!

Ed


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Old Oct 11, 2004, 5:10 PM   #16
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Ed,

I haven't printed anything yet and probably won't gear up to do that anytime soon. I'm having too much fun just taking pictures. As to blue tint (if such exists) and whether or not such can be "massaged" by software prior to printing, someone with more experience can likely respond.

If you'd like to send me a PM with your email, I'd be glad to send you a few first time pics to look at. I took them in TIFF but the camera also makes a JPEG at the same time. I'm too new to know if it makes any difference but was led to believe that the JPG loses something with each subsequent edit/save. Anyway... let me know what format (TIFF or JPG) and I'll shoot them too you if interested.

Jim
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Old Nov 2, 2004, 12:21 PM   #17
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Jim,

I appreciate your questions and all of the great replies. I am in the process of selecting my first Digicam and have narrowed it down to two models: the FZ3 and the Canon S1-IS. Both have similar features and the decision is tough. Now that you've had some time with the camera, are you still very pleased with it? I appreciate any comments from you or anyone willing to take the time to help me out.

Best regards,

Jed
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Old Nov 8, 2004, 6:48 PM   #18
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Hello. I'm interested in the FZ3 for travel/safari shots, but I want to be able to enlarge my prints bigger than than 5x7.



As I understand it, 3MP generally only allows enlargement up to 5x7.

And, theFZ3 is only 3MP but has excellent image quality.



So, my question is: Does theexcellent image quality of the FZ3 enable you to make enlargements bigger than 5x7, even though it's only got 3MP? Or does the 3MP still realistically limit you to 5x7 prints?


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Old Nov 9, 2004, 11:36 AM   #19
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Squizz wrote:
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So, my question is: Does theexcellent image quality of the FZ3 enable you to make enlargements bigger than 5x7, even though it's only got 3MP? Or does the 3MP still realistically limit you to 5x7 prints?

I wouldn't place too much faith in articles telling you that you need x resolution for y size print.

I've printed many an 8x10" print from a 2 Megapixel Camera (although I can see a noticeable increase in quality going to a 3 Megapixel Camera, or by interpolating a 2 Megapixel Image some).

Detail aside, what you have to look out for is pixelation. That's when a print doesn't have enough pixel density (so you begin to see the individual pixels, get "jaggies", etc.).

As a general "rule of thumb", you're fine at a pixel density of around 150 pixels per inch on most printer types (or even a little bit lower with some printers). So, for an 8x10" print, this translates to an image size of around1200 x 1500 pixels. 8 inchesx 150 pixels per inch = 1200 pixels, 10 inchesx 150 pixels per inch = 1500 pixels. 1200 x 1500 pixels = 1.8 Megapixels. So, a 2 Megapixel model can be used for this print size.

Now, you will get a little better quality going to a 3 Megapixel Model at this size.

The Panasonic DMC-FZ3 produces an image size of 2016 x 1512 pixels. After cropping for the correct Aspect Ratio (ratio of width to height) for an 8x10" print, you'd have an image size of 1890 x 1512 (~2.86 Megapixels). This works out to around 189 pixels perinch of detail -- which in my opinion is just about right for a very good quality 8x10 Print on most printer types.

At typical viewing distances, on most printers, I doubt that most users could tell the difference between a 3 Megapixel and a 5 Megapixel Camera at this print size (with everything else being equal between the cameras -- lens quality, image processing, etc.).

Also, the Panasonic's lens is a bit sharper than most other 3 Megapixel Models, too. It appears to test as good as some of the 4 Megapixel Models on resolution charts. This is where the "detail" versus "pixelation" part of the equation comes in.

You *can* print a 1 Megapixel Image at 8x10" size -- simply by using good software to interpolate it. However, interpolation doesn not add detail. It adds pixels, based on the values of adjacent pixels. So, you're not increasing the detail captured by the sensor - you're only adding pixels to reduce pixelation. Some subject types interpolate better than others.

Given the amount of detail the FZ3 captures, and the pixel density you'd have from it, I don't see where you'd have any problem getting very good quality 8x10" prints from this camera.

Also see my response in this thread (from someone asking the same question about the DMC-FZ3):

http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...mp;forum_id=87


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