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Old Nov 29, 2004, 12:18 PM   #11
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If you don't intend getting a flash unit the FZ10 has a weak flash compared to the FZ20. You get much better flash pictures with an external unit – especially indoors using bounce flash. I got a Vivitar flash unit for mine with a fairly strong zoom flash. I can get good flash shots out to over 50 feet with it. The downside is that it is bulky and inconvenient compared to an internal flash, and the FZ10 flash isn't sufficient IMO.

Another downside of the FZ10 is that it doesn't have an assist light. Manual focus distance doesn't read in the LCD and the LCD doesn't gain up in low light, so manual focus doesn't help much in low light focus.

I bought the FZ10 primarily for outdoor nature type photography. I haven't been disappointed, but I don't think it would recommend it as an "only" camera. The FZ20 is a much better choice IMO.

Noise is a mixed bag. You get more noise because of the higher density in the CCD. If you view both images at the same size it isn't that big a difference. At 100% you are effectively blowing up the larger image so the noise increase is more apparent. The upside is that you have the pixels if you need them. I think the demo version of Neat Image doesn't expire, and it will take the noise out nicely without degrading the quality if you have to make a large print. I would personally prefer the higher pixels of the FZ20. I have a large format photo printer and the FZ10 doesn't cut it for 13 X 19 prints. 5Mp is still marginal but acceptable if I don't have to crop. At normal viewing size I don't think the ISO80 noise is bad at all.

If you compare apples to apples and consider only fast memory, SD isn't that much pricier than CF. I saw a Sandisk Ultra high speed 512Mb SD card from a reliable online seller for $80 delivered. You don't beat that much with CF. SD has become standard for small devices, so you can use them in Palm type devices, MP3 players etc. Not that big a deal IMO, even though I would prefer CF.

I have a dozen high capacity NiMH AA batteries and two chargers. Even so, I doubt I will buy another camera that uses AA. Besides weight and bulk disadvantages they are a pain unless you use a single camera almost every day. NiMH batteries lose about 5% of their charge daily where lithium batteries lose 5% the first day and then about 2%/month. People on the Panasonic board recommended lithium batteries from Eagle Imports as being decent. I bought a $20 spare for my FZ10 and it seems as competent as the original Panasonic battery. At that price it isn't worth messing with NiMH.

The batteries aren't interchangeable between the FZ10 and FZ20 BTW. They look the same, but I was visiting friends with an FZ20 and tried to charge my battery in their charger – didn't fit. I brought my spare so I didn't really need their charger, but I was curious whether it would work.


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Old Nov 29, 2004, 2:28 PM   #12
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Wow! Slipe, siva,FZ10_user and other gents(may be some ladies too, who can tell by the handle), thanks a lot.

I had called my brother to get me a FZ10, now I think I will again have to call him to make it FZ20. BTWHow is FZ20 for indoors? I will be using it a lot indoors too. And is there a facility to connect AC adapter in case of 'Battery Gone' case?

And just for form's sake, somebody please recount as to what are the reasons not to go for CanonS1IS( It haunts me , I was almost sold onto that camera, till I read that it gives soft results and is almost unusable indoors)

Thanks.
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Old Nov 29, 2004, 8:12 PM   #13
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BTWHow is FZ20 for indoors? I will be using it a lot indoors too.
Ultra-zooms are not really good indoors, regardless of what camera you look at. The low-zoom general cameras will beat the ultra-zooms (eg. Canon G6/Sony V3 will beat Panasonic FZ20 indoors/short-range)...

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And just for form's sake, somebody please recount as to what are the reasons not to go for CanonS1IS( It haunts me , I was almost sold onto that camera, till I read that it gives soft results and is almost unusable indoors)
Depends what you are comparing to... against the FZ20, it loses big time (eg. 2" LCD vs 1.5" (although swivel-out); 5 megapixels vs 3MP; flash hot-shoe vs no external flash hot-shoe; etc).

Compared to the FZ3, it is close but FZ3 is better if you care about picture quality.

When it comes to pic quality, the FZ3 will beat the S1 IS, with the following key differences:

* FZ3 can keep its aperature at F2.8 throughout full zoom, while S1 IS goes up to 3.1 @ 10x zoom (or something like that)
* FZ3 is 12x zoom vs 10x
* S1 IS has purple fringing issues (FZ3 has some reddish fringing issue but that's very minor)
* S1 IS pics are soft, which means the pics have to be sharpened in-camera or afterwards
* FZ3 can resolve more detail by a little bit more (this isn't THAT big of a deal though)
* FZ3 has better low-light performance than S1 IS by a long shot (the low-light performance is a key negative of the S1 IS). One of the key things is that the S1 IS does NOT have an AF-assist lamp and this really kills it in low-light (eg. indoors)
* Supposedly the S1 IS has focusing problems, especially in low-light or with moving objects (this is very apparent on the higher-end Canon Powershot Pro1, which is the older brother of the S1 IS). I'm not really sure how bad the focusing on the S1 IS is compared to other cameras but it definitely needs a faster processor (hopefully Canon's DIGIC II will fix this focusing latency on the next version)...

There is only one thing the S1 IS is better than the FZ3--and that's video. S1 IS has one of the best videos of any digicams ([email protected] with zoom using a "somewhat-quiet" ultrasonic motor and 20Hz sound).

After dissing the S1 IS above, you might think I hate it but I actually bought an S1 IS a few weeks ago--mainly because I wanted video+pics and the Panasonic video is horrible (no 640x480)
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Old Nov 29, 2004, 8:32 PM   #14
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Sivaram Velauthapillai wrote:
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Ultra-zooms are not really good indoors, regardless of what camera you look at. The low-zoom general cameras will beat the ultra-zooms (eg. Canon G6/Sony V3 will beat Panasonic FZ20 indoors/short-range)...
hmmmm
Im pretty sure that Canon G6 beats the FZ20 because of its bright lens = 2.0 but the Sony V3 starts up at f2.8 like the Pana FZ20 and is capable of keeping this fnumber through out the all zoom range unlike the V3 that once you zoom to 39mm the aperture drops to f3.2

I think FZs are also good for indoor shots but nothing comparable to the G6.
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Old Nov 29, 2004, 8:57 PM   #15
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Ultra-zooms are not really good indoors, regardless of what camera you look at. The low-zoom general cameras will beat the ultra-zooms (eg. Canon G6/Sony V3 will beat Panasonic FZ20 indoors/short-range).
I'm not sure I agree on the "regardless of what camera you choose" part. The V3 has that great holographic laser focus and high gain in the LCD, but that is camera specific rather than just related to zoom range. The G6 has a better flash range at wide angle, but not a startling difference. I think the FZ20 might equal it at its 4X zoom – hard to tell because Canon gives an honest ISO100 range and Panasonic gives an amorphous ISO Auto range. Again that is camera specific. But to say any 3X zoom camera will take better indoor pictures is a bit overstated IMO. There are 3X cameras that don't focus as well as the FX20 in low light or have the flash range.

One thing none of them will do is allow you to handhold at 1/4 second at wider angles and get sharp pictures. I can get indoor available light shots you can't touch without a tripod or another stabilized camera. And the indoor flash shots from my friend's FZ20 were quite nice. It doesn't seem to share the FZ10's limitations.

I'm curious about what you think limits a long zoom's indoor capability in a general sense.

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Old Nov 30, 2004, 11:20 AM   #16
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slipe wrote:
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I'm curious about what you think limits a long zoom's indoor capability in a general sense.
I should definitely tone down the msg a bit (I don't think EVERY SINGLE ultra-zoom is worse than EVERY low-zoom camera)... but anyway my point still stands...

The ultra-zooms are generally worse than the low-zooms for indoor (and close-range) pics because they have some flaws due to the zoom lens. Here are two things:

* purple fringing: this seems to be a problem with ultra-zooms more so than other cameras (although I'm not too sure about this issue)
* warping at wide-angle: the ultra-zooms warp more at wide-angle than low-zoom cameras... this makes it worse for indoor pics, which is generally at wide-angle...
* vignetting at telephoto: ultra-zooms have darkened corners at telephoto while the low-zooms don't have as serious problems (this isn't an indoor issue but nevertheless is a problem of the ultra-zooms)

------

On another unrelated point (i.e. not really a result of high-zoom), the ultra-zooms have smaller sensor size than the low-zoom cameras FOR A GIVEN PRICE. For example, the Panasonic FZ20 (which is near the top of the ultra-zoom area) only has a sensor size of 1/2.5" with 5 megapixels, which is smaller than the mid-end (and much cheaper) compact, Canon A95 and its 5 MP or compacts like Sony W1 (1/1.8"). High-end low-zooms like Canon G6 and Sony V3 alos have a sensor size of 1/1.8".

Anyway, this point isn't really about ultra-zooms per se (since the high-end ultra zooms, eg. Canon Powershot Pro1/Sony F828/etc, have very large sensors (2/3"))... but it is something that makes these cameras worse for indoors and low-light if you consider price...

-----

Anyway, my main point is that ultra-zooms aren't as good for indoors because of warping at wide-angle and vignetting at telephoto.
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Old Nov 30, 2004, 11:29 AM   #17
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Sivaram Velauthapillai wrote:
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slipe wrote:
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Anyway, my main point is that ultra-zooms aren't as good for indoors because of warping at wide-angle and vignetting at telephoto.
no, no

Check out the reviews, the FZ20 has no vignetting at telephotoand the barrel distorsion at wide angle is average. - even on my FZ10 I've never noticed vignetting at full zoom.

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Old Nov 30, 2004, 1:31 PM   #18
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fz10_user wrote:
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Sivaram Velauthapillai wrote:
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slipe wrote:
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Anyway, my main point is that ultra-zooms aren't as good for indoors because of warping at wide-angle and vignetting at telephoto.
no, no

Check out the reviews, the FZ20 has no vignetting at telephoto and the barrel distorsion at wide angle is average. - even on my FZ10 I've never noticed vignetting at full zoom.

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I'm not saying it is major but compare the barrel distortion on a high-end low-zoom like Canon G6 vs somewhat-high-end high-zoom like Panasonic FZ20 (scroll near the bottom):

G6:
http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/ca...ew/index.shtml

FZ20:
http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/pa...ew/index.shtml

If everything else was the same, a low-zoom would beat the high-zoom for close-up pics. Even though the warping is moderate on the FZ20, I think you will definitely notice the difference if you took pictures of buildings.

(Having said that, you get the zoom for this trade-off so I'm not necessarily saying that the high-zoom is worse per se...)
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Old Nov 30, 2004, 10:40 PM   #19
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Sivaram Velauthapillai wrote:
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If everything else was the same, a low-zoom would beat the high-zoom for close-up pics. Even though the warping is moderate on the FZ20, I think you will definitely notice the difference if you took pictures of buildings.

(Having said that, you get the zoom for this trade-off so I'm not necessarily saying that the high-zoom is worse per se...)
The Canon G6 is the top of the line among the 7MP cameras, IMHO
If you compare warping or barrel distorsion at wide angle end between the G6 and the FZ20, it's probably that the G6 overcome the FZ20, however it is not a consequence of having a long or low zoom lens - it's the outcome of a very well lens contruction - for example, as you can see on the same page "Dcresource", the vignette on the V3 is evident, despite is a low zoom camera - on the other side, high barrel distortion is noticeable above all on super wide angles = 28, 24mm - because of the high frontal curvature of the lens.....
What I mean, long and low zoom cameras share the same problems, maybe vignette, soft corners and purple fringing could be an usually long zoom cameras matter, but on the new FZs those issues simply do not exist...thats why I love the FZ line.
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Old Dec 1, 2004, 2:29 PM   #20
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fz10_user wrote:
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Sivaram Velauthapillai wrote:
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If everything else was the same, a low-zoom would beat the high-zoom for close-up pics. Even though the warping is moderate on the FZ20, I think you will definitely notice the difference if you took pictures of buildings.

(Having said that, you get the zoom for this trade-off so I'm not necessarily saying that the high-zoom is worse per se...)
The Canon G6 is the top of the line among the 7MP cameras, IMHO
If you compare warping or barrel distorsion at wide angle end between the G6 and the FZ20, it's probably that the G6 overcome the FZ20, however it is not a consequence of having a long or low zoom lens - it's the outcome of a very well lens contruction - for example, as you can see on the same page "Dcresource", the vignette on the V3 is evident, despite is a low zoom camera - on the other side, high barrel distortion is noticeable above all on super wide angles = 28, 24mm - because of the high frontal curvature of the lens.....
What I mean, long and low zoom cameras share the same problems, maybe vignette, soft corners and purple fringing could be an usually long zoom cameras matter, but on the new FZs those issues simply do not exist...thats why I love the FZ line.
The warping on the Sony V3 shouldn't be as bad as the Panasonic FZ20. Anyway, I compared the Canon G6 to the Panasonic FZ20 because they are both high-end cameras in their categories (I'm not sure if FZ20 is counted as high-end or almost-high-end (depends on if you count cameras like the Canon Pro1 as high-end ultra-zoom or not)). If you want, we can pick a low-end ultra-zoom (probably something from Kodak or something) vs a low-end low-zoom general camera (possibly a compact).

I'm not saying the Panasonic Lumix line is bad (it's actually the best line for ultra-zooms); all I'm saying is that ultra-zooms have certain weaknesses. This is the penalty you get for high-zoom. If these flaws did not exist, everyone would get ultra-zooms like Panasonic FZ20--but they don't. The Canon G6/Sony V3/etc actually sell well, mainly because people sacrifice zoom to avoid these issues. I mean, why else would someone buy a Sony V3 over Panasonic FZ20?

Somewhat related to this, the sensors on the ultra-zooms are also smaller FOR A GIVEN PRICE than the low-zooms. I pointed this out above (or maybe in another post). The FZ20 has a smaller sensor than even a compact, and the mid-end ultra-zooms like Panasonic FZ3 or Canon S1 IS have even smaller sensors. Granted, this is not a flaw of high zoom; it is more of a price/branding issue but nevertheless, this is also something to keep in mind... in other words, ultra-zooms generally also have more noise than low-zooms...
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