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Old Oct 6, 2005, 2:08 AM   #11
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While the weather here in Estonia tends to be cloudy most of the year, we've been having an exceptionally sunny and warm late summer/early fall this year, so I haven't even had the chance to take the camera out on cloudy days! And when it's been cloudy, it's also been cold and rainy, so I haven't felt like leaving indoors at all. :lol:

The best I could find as examples are a couple of pictures from a recent trip to Helsinki - again, it was generally a sunny day, not overcast, so there was still rather a lot of light, but perhaps these will give you at least some idea of the FZ5 and clouds.



(800x600 version here: http://static.flickr.com/30/49883865_1816a1369b_o.jpg )



(800x600 version here: http://static.flickr.com/28/49883864_c21eae7a16_o.jpg )

Both pics are only resized, no other processing at all. Also, keep in mind that it's still a new camera for me, so I've by no means mastered it properly.

The Fuji 5200/5600 does sound like a potentially very nice camera, so don't think I'm trying to convince you that FZ5 is the best there is. It's proving to be very suitable for me though, and I love how relatively light it is - after lugging it around for whole days around my neck, I'm quite sure this is about the heaviest for an always-carry-with-me camera I can take actually.

Edit note: I actually remembered that I might have some more overcast, rainy day or semi-cloudy day pictures from August .. in a hurry now, but I'll try to find some examples and put them up in the evening.
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Old Oct 6, 2005, 1:02 PM   #12
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Thanks yapyap. I enjoy your photos. That Panasonic lens is impressive in good light.
Ruth
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Old Oct 6, 2005, 2:02 PM   #13
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I uploaded a bunch of pics, taken at less than stellar light conditions, to flickr.com now, keeping all the pictures unresized (they were all taken at 1600x1200 as I don't plan to print them) to keep the EXIF data intact, in case anyone is interested. These are completely unprocessed, straight out of the camera, most taken with either the simple ("heart") mode or with the P mode. Only ISO has been set manually in some cases, to 400, as the automatic ISO doesn't seem to want to go that high (apart from when using zoom and flash).

Some pictures taken at an athletics event on an August evening, around 7 pm or later, when it was raining rather heavily (as "proof", there is a picture of a threatening sky too). All of the sports photos in this batch are with shutter speeds of 1/60 seconds or less, some pictures with ISO 400 (switched after starting to get speeds of 1/8 s with auto ISO .. not good for photographing athletes!).

http://www.flickr.com/photos/kribu/sets/1085480/

Another bunch taken at various non-sunny times, ranging from completely overcast (the greyish white dull kind of overcast) to mostly cloudy, with some blue sky showing. This bunch also includes a couple of pics taken indoors with tricky lighting (a wax figures exhibition, with curtains drawn and no nice ceiling lamps), one at 1/6 s.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/kribu/sets/1085509/

All pictures have been taken handheld, no flash used in any of those.
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Old Oct 6, 2005, 2:31 PM   #14
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Ruth-

I am sorry that my replies have been infrequent lately but I am doing digital camera workshops in Japan on a cruise ship. I see that you have broken the code, so as to speak about the Panasonic FZ cameras. The do fine in normal lighting conditions. However, in less than normal light they tend to produce considerable noise.

Why not wait for the reviews on the new Fuji S-5200? It has great specifications.Unless you are able to deal with camera slowness, the Kodak P-850 is not the answer.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Oct 6, 2005, 5:44 PM   #15
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Thanks for the info and pictures yapyap. I really liked the one of the clouds with the boat and crane. None of them are as cloudy as it is here a lot of the time.
Sarah, I knew that you had been on a teaching cruise and appreciate your taking the time to drop in and reply to me. I think waiting to hear about the Fuji s5200 is a good idea. I haven't been as impressed with the quality of images I've seen from the photos on the p850 and I agree that it isn't my solution. I'll just have to wait and see if the Fuji also is good on paper but not in reality.
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Old Oct 6, 2005, 8:13 PM   #16
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Ruth, I have a Panasonic FZ20 and I like it a lot. I wrestled with the noise issue for a long time before I finally decided to get it. I find it very usable in most situations. However, I also have a Fuji F10, which I carry with me for shooting indoors in poor lighting, without flash.

I think the Panasonics perform well in full daylight, "cloudy bright" (to use an old Kodak term), and partial overcast conditions. They may be less satisfactory in heavy overcast or deep twilight. However, due to the combination of image stabilization and a bright lens at maximum zoom, the Panasonics will enable you to get some shots (with some noise) that you simply couldn't get with other ultra-zoom cameras.

Panasonic has claimed -- and there seems to be some justification for this -- that their cameras are designed to produce pleasing images when printed, not when viewed on a monitor at 100% magnification. I think you will find that, in most cases, noise is not a problem when images are printed up to 8 x 10, or when the entire image is viewed on a monitor.

However, if it's important to you to be able to print pictures without doing any post-processing, Panasonic cameras are probably not a good choice. The images often benefit from some noise reduction and other post-processing.

Here's a 100% crop of a picture I took in August, about an hour before sunset one day. The light was certainly bright enough that I would not normally have used ISO 400, but I was hoping to get some shots of hummingbirds in motion. Shutter speed was 1/160, fast enough to minimize the noise. But there's no denying that noise is present. If your browser will allow you to reduce the size of the image to about 40%, that will give you a better idea of how the noise looks, in the context of the complete image.
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Old Oct 6, 2005, 8:16 PM   #17
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...and here's the same image (100% crop) with a little noise reduction, from Paint Shot Pro 9. No other post-processing has been applied, although some level adjustment could improve it.
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Old Oct 6, 2005, 11:00 PM   #18
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Yes, the processing makes a very big difference, and the Panasonic is impressive. Cool bird! Thanks for showing it to me.
I still think, given my environment, I will wait and see how the s5200 looks, but that Leica lens does pull me. How do you feel about the Fz20's size and weight?
I suppose, if I had the budget I'd go for the Fz20 and get a fuji 10 for the low light shots, but it just isn't do-able.
Ruth

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Old Oct 7, 2005, 1:07 AM   #19
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rags wrote:
Quote:
Thanks for the info and pictures yapyap. I really liked the one of the clouds with the boat and crane. None of them are as cloudy as it is here a lot of the time.
Not even the ones of the athletics evening, with the sky rather black and fully rainy? :shock: The shutter speeds falling to 1/8 s told me it was getting quite low light for the camera anyway - and it was evening, in addition to being rainy (I was sitting under a roof fortunately, so no worry about rain getting on the camera).

I know though that the non-sports ones were still rather light, even though some of them were taken with fully overcast sky (the ones where the sky was completely white) - just that then I didn't point the camera at the sky that much, as the clouds weren't very picturesque.. But as I said, we've been having an exceptionally sunny summer and early fall, especially on the weekends when I've had time to go out with the camera.:O

I do think that waiting for the Fuji is a good idea. However, unless we're talking twilight/post-sunset low light or being in the middle of a thunderstorm, with the sky not just overcast but quite black, I don't think outdoors daylight should be a problem to the Panasonics (or any other decent non-ISO 1600 digital camera). It's amazing how much more light there seems to be, even if the human eye finds it low - during the day, fully overcast or not, there still seems to be plenty of light for the camera outdoors, compared to for example indoor situations, when it can seem light enough for the human eye but "ordinary" decent cameras struggle very hard to take proper pictures.

Of course, I might change my mind once we get to the later part of the fall or winter.:lol: You live pretty far north, so I can see where you're coming from, worrying about the low light - my hometown is on the same line with the southern part of Alaska, so outdoor darkness is not a stranger to me. I'm rather curious to see myself how well the Panasonic will perform when it's not yet all snowy but the twilight starts in the early afternoon. At least I always have the F10 to rely on.
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Old Oct 7, 2005, 1:45 AM   #20
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"Not even the ones of the athletics evening, with the sky rather black and fully rainy? :shock: The shutter speeds falling to 1/8 s told me it was getting quite low light for the camera anyway - and it was evening, in addition to being rainy (I was sitting under a roof fortunately, so no worry about rain getting on the camera)."

Yeah, it's true, that looks more like what it is like around here a good part of the time, LOL.
Ruth
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