Panasonic FZ-50

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JerArdra

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11/1/2006

All,

Panasonic FZ-50

I?ve been looking? at the new Panasonic FZ-50.  So far I have read every review I could find plus I just found a new forum on Yahoo Groups specifically for the FZ-30 and FZ-50 cameras combined.  It?s called Panasonic_FZ.

Noise is a tiny bit less than the FZ-30 but nothing to write home about.  The ISO speeds now go up through 800, 1600, and even 3200 which until today I thought would be useless.  On the new Yahoo forum one person was at a graduation ceremony with low lighting and he had to use full telephoto (no flash) which is a very bad situation for noise.  He posted his comments and photos as follows:

Take a look at these images. I had been to the convocation ceremony
of a friend graduating out of B-School. As I sat in the audience far
away from the stage in this dark auditorium, I couldn't walk up close
to the stage to take snaps. So I shot from where I sat, often at FULL
zoom. Many heads came in the way (as is visible).

And the fully rotating LCD of the FZ50 helped get above
them... Something that would never have been possible with a dSLR!

So here are the pics: Hand held in low light. I struggled with Auto
ISO in Program mode until I finally switched to High Sensitivity mode!
The pics are of Don Betz, Chancellor, University of Wisconsin River
Falls. Take a look (sorry you?ll have to cut and paste these into
your browser)

First Try:

First Attempt: http://i10.tinypic.com/4bogrvr.jpg ISO 200 Handshake

Second Attempt: http://i10.tinypic.com/2qi2puo.jpg ISO 200 Subject Move

Third Attempt: http://i9.tinypic.com/2hi80ah.jpg ISO 400

Final Attempt: http://i10.tinypic.com/4cwpzzp.jpg ISO 3200 "High Sensitive"


Second Try:

First Attempt: http://i10.tinypic.com/3zqhqty.jpg ISO 200

Second Attempt: http://i10.tinypic.com/2yltz79.jpg ISO 200 again

Final Attempt: http://i10.tinypic.com/30m7m0k.jpg ISO 3200 "High Sensitive"

In this case ISO 3200 is MUCH better then NO usable photo at all.  Noise can be reduced with software but no software can fix blur.

BTW, ISO 3200 is a special case in the FZ-50, the lowest ISO is 100 and the highest (normal) is 1600.  1600 is the highest ISO you can set (allowing full control on the camera). The ISO 3200 comes only in the special Scene Mode called "High Sensitive". This is reachable by switching the camera to the Scene mode on the dial so it's VERY quick to cahnge to.

There is also this new feature in the FZ50 called the Intelligent ISO (I-ISO).  When using this, the camera detects subject movement and bumps up the ISO a notch. So, while the stabilization compensates for hand-shake, the I-ISO increases ISO thus allowing faster shutter speed?thus reducing blur.  This might be good  option to use for full telephoto pics on a bright sunny day where noise is not a great problem but you do NOT want blur.  You could even use it indoors in low light where a flash cannot be used but you probably would have to post process some of the noise out if you print for anything larger than 4 by 6 prints.

It?s a 10 Mpix camera but I only use 5 Mpix so at 5 Mpix the telephoto is now 598 mm while my FZ-30 is 535 mm tele so its tele is a tiny bit more.

Anyhow I?m still looking.  No decision yet.  To you folks with an FZ-30 I say keep it for now.  The added features of the FZ-50 are not revolutionary.  The FZ-30 is still a GREAT camera.

JerryF
 

Tom

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Thanks for sharing that Jerry. I'm still learning how to use my FZ7, so I doubt I'll be buying the FZ50 any time soon  ;D
 

Jeff

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Jerry, I read a review that claimed the FZ-50 noise would be worse because of the 10mp resolution. Found an FZ-30 for $339.00 and ordered it today.
 

JerArdra

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Joined
Mar 3, 2005
Posts
1,814
Jeff,

Good decision, you'll love your FZ-30.  I still love mine.  It's a great camera.

I have read it both ways with regard to noise, i.e., the FZ-30 is worse and/or the FZ-50 is worse.  One point regarding noise, along with the reviewers comments you MUST see low light pictures in order to judge the amount of noise you can see.  In either camera you really cannot see noise until you get to an 8 x 10 print size.  Also, for any pics you send over the internet noise is NOT an issue.

I remember when I read 3-4 detailed reviews on the FZ-30 as well as visited a couple of discusion forums on the FZ-30,  everybody but one person panned the FZ-30 because of excessive noise. But, because I read all that info during a 2-day period I stared to see different reviewers and folks in the discussion forums criticizing the noise factor using the "exact same words" as if they copied the words from someone else's review.  I have seen this before on the internet.

The difference is so trivial between the FZ-30 and the FZ-50 that it's almost impossible to see the difference.  My guess is that the FZ-50 at IS0 100 has the same noise as the FZ-30 at ISO 80 which is ALMOST zero noise for an 8 x 10 print.  Indoors, noise is usually "not an issue" because both cameras have a built in flash that will work out to about 25 feet.

The bottom line is that you were smart to get that FZ30 especially at the good price point you did.  Enjoy your new camera, you'll love it!

JerryF
 

JerArdra

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Posts
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Tom said:
Thanks for sharing that Jerry. I'm still learning how to use my FZ7, so I doubt I'll be buying the FZ50 any time soon ;D

Tom,

No no no, cameras are like MHs and boats, once you get all the bugs worked out or learn how to use it you buy a new one.

JerryF
 

Tom

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LOL Jerry. I need to get comfortable with the FZ7 first.

One thing I finally got around to doing was reading a good book on digital photography in conjunction with my Panasonic owners manual and having my FZ7 at hand. I've learned quite a bit, including how much I don't know. Some of the stuff I'd read and forgotten about early in my SLR days, whereas other stuff was new. I learned a lot about the camera, it's capabilities and shortcomings, but also learned that this is no point-and-shoot camera as some of my other DSCs have been.

I now need to be taking lots of photos, experimenting with the various settings. The tough part iis remembering to think about all the settings for virtually every shot and adjusting as necessary. This is a huge change in the way I've been taking photos for many years.
 

Jeff

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Tom said:
LOL Jerry. I need to get comfortable with the FZ7 first.

One thing I finally got around to doing was reading a good book on digital photography in conjunction with my Panasonic owners manual and having my FZ7 at hand. I've learned quite a bit, including how much I don't know. Some of the stuff I'd read and forgotten about early in my SLR days, whereas other stuff was new. I learned a lot about the camera, it's capabilities and shortcomings, but also learned that this is no point-and-shoot camera as some of my other DSCs have been.

I now need to be taking lots of photos, experimenting with the various settings. The tough part iis remembering to think about all the settings for virtually every shot and adjusting as necessary. This is a huge change in the way I've been taking photos for many years.

Tom:

I read all the info on taking good digitaql photos than go out and promptly forget 99% of it and click away. ;D ;D
 

Tom

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I have no idea if I should call this "first small success", but I snapped this shot just before dusk with some really dark clouds overhead. I bumped the ISO up to 400 and manually overrode the white balance for "cloudy" as Jerry had previously suggested. The image was downsized and re-saved as a .jpg, but no attempt was made at digital darkroom stuff. The image came out lighter than the actual scene, probably due to the ISO setting  (?)

I'd previously changed the metering to 'Mutiple' (judged on the whole screen), although most of my prior shots had metering set to 'spot' mode.

Looks like maybe I could have made some aperture adjustment, but I left the camera in Program mode and auto focused on the furthest single story house. Just didn't remember to think about aperture.

How in the heck do folks remember to make all the adjustments when trying to snap quick shots? In this case, if I'd spent too much time thinking about it, it would have been dark.
 

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Tom

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Jeff Cousins said:
.... than go out and promptly forget 99% of it and click away.

Jeff, since my FZ7 uses essentially the same engine as the FZ30, I think you might be disappointed with the results if you do that. These are definitely not point-and-shoot cameras, as Smoky previously found out.
 

Jeff

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Tom said:
Jeff, since my FZ7 uses essentially the same engine as the FZ30, I think you're going to be disappointed with the results if you do that. These are definitely not point-and-shoot cameras, as Smoky previously found out.

I understand, that's why we are not throwing out our Olympus,
 

JerArdra

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Mar 3, 2005
Posts
1,814
Tom,

I like the photo of your dock and the clouds.  It's a "mean" cloud and overcast day.

JerryF
 
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