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Panasonic DMC FZ10 digital camera owners?

Discussion in 'Photography' started by Chris PC, Jul 29, 2004.

  1. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    I'm looking at getting this camera. It looks really good. Anybody have experience with it? I know the new FZ 15 and FZ 20 are coming out, but I just don't have the patience to wait another 3 or 4 months or longer before they become available, or even affordable. The only options to the FZ10 are the Canon S1 IS and I'm shying away because of feedback I've heard and the 3.2 MP. Anyone with a Panasonic FZ10 out there who can share their experience with this camera?
     
  2. Christ Reynolds

    Christ Reynolds Producer

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    you'll probably get a better response in the the photography section here.

    CJ
     
  3. Keith Plucker

    Keith Plucker Premium
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    Hi Chris,

    After a lot of research I purchased an FZ10 a few weeks ago. I have never owned any type of camera before, other than a few disposible film cameras. So these comments are coming from a photography newbie.

    So far I really like the camera. The included manual isn't the best but I have been able to find my way around easy enough. I don't use the LCD much. In bright sun light it can be tough to use. Most of the time I use the EVF. I find the image quality to be pretty good. One thing to watch for is blown out highlights. At the default exposure setting the FZ10 has a tendency to blow out highlights, however turning down the exposure a bit solves that problem.

    I purchased a monopod with a quick release head. The head blocks the battery compartment door so I have to unscrew it to change a battery or memory card. A little annoying but pretty common to many digital cameras. I have found battery life to be great. I did buy an extra battery from batterybarn.com.

    I bought a cheap SD card in addition to the supplied Panasonic card. Unfortunately it is noticibly slower than the Panasonic card. Doing it again, I would spend the extra money on a better quality card.

    You can few my photo album here. You will probably seem some good examples of the blown out highlights I mention. If you have any questions feel free to post them here or email me.

    Also, check out the Panasonic forum at dpreview.com.

    -Keith
     
  4. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    Cool. I didn't realize there was a photography section here at HTF. I just found a place on the internet that sells a part for my Nikon FE SLR body so I'm happy. As far as the camera goes, I really want it, but its expensive for me. Not sure what I'll do. Its a really good unit though. I may give it a try. Thanx for the feedback. I'll check out your pictures.
     
  5. John Chow

    John Chow Second Unit

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    I have a FZ10 as well and love it. Personally, there's not another camera on the market I'd purchase instead considering the price point.

    Strengths:
    12x Image Stabilized Lens (looks like IS is a big factor for you)
    Aperture of 2.8-8.0 over the full range of the lens
    Full Manual controls (maybe not as easy to access as other cameras, but definitely usable)
    Manual Focus ring
    Supports filters and add on lenses

    Weaknesses:
    Noise at higher ISOs
    Questionable low light performance
    Larger than most other cameras
    Non AA batteries


    The new models do appear aimed to improve on some of the aspects that have seen complaints. I've seen complaints about low light focusing, but it works reasonably well for me. They've added a focus assist beam on some or all of the new models, and also a TIFF mode I think.

    Check out the Panasonic forums on the www.dpreview.com website for tons more info and sample pics.

    I've found SD card speeds matters most when doing burst mode pics. A fast card will let you do a 5 shot high quality burst every ~2 seconds or so. A slow card can take up to 16+ seconds.
     
  6. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    I'm not too concerned about higher ISO's. I've never used higher ISO's on my SLR and since the lens is so fast on the FZ10 I would just stick with 80 or 100 ISO and whatever that would give me. Low light performance would be a concern, but I haven't heard that its horrible.
     
  7. John Chow

    John Chow Second Unit

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    I'd say go find a Ritz/Wolf Camera and check out the camera in person. One thing I really like about the camera is after the picture is focused, the actual picture taking/writing is very fast.

    btw, there is a new Minolta camera (z3 i think), that is coming out sometime with IS as well. Personally I don't like how they look, more like toys than a real camera, but it might be one to consider.

    Selectable ISO modes are 50,100,200,and 400, but I don't normally use more than 100 if possible.
     
  8. JasonMC

    JasonMC Stunt Coordinator

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    Has anybody who owns this camera tried out the Canon S1 IS? I'm torn between the two.

    Thanks,
    Jason
     
  9. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    Search this forum -- I seem to recall people having some issues with the S1 IS, but I can't remember them for sure. I haven't heard any complaints about the Panasonic, but very few people have commented on it.

    I hope the FZ20 comes out soon! [​IMG]
     
  10. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    Just an FYI for those interested. . .the FZ20 is now up on Panasonic's website, but I called them and they don't know when it will actually be available. It looks great, and the MSRP is only $599. I was expecting it to be more. Stay tuned. . .
     
  11. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    I have a question. I'm not sure how useful a digital camera is going to be for me now. I was taking shots with my Nikon FE using an F-1.8 50mm and another F-2.8 28mm lens and I was getting down to some really low light. I was trying to hand hold 1/60 sec shots. Those are often hit and miss for me. I even tried some 1/30 sec shots and I know they probably won't work out too great. It was a sunset and I had no tri-pod. I was also shooting close to the surface of the water so the light was simply too low for faster shutter speeds. I am not a photographer per se or a camera expert. I match the needles with my FE and sometimes bracket shots, trying a slightly higher aperture and lower aperture and seeing how they work, though I can never remember which was used on which shot. Anyways, am I expecting too much from camera's? I was hoping to not need a tripod for low light shots, but if I'm having trouble with an SLR using F1.8 to F2.8 lens', then how much better will my flexibility be with an IS camera? Anybody with low light experience? Yeah I know the film SLR will outperform the Canon S1 IS and Panasonic FZ10/15/20 etc for many shots, but before I even compare that quality aspect, I'm curious about whether there is anything to gain in low light. I thought digital camera's did better in low light, without being too grainy (noisy vs grainy in terms of ISO).

    thanx for any feedback [​IMG]
     
  12. John Chow

    John Chow Second Unit

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    Well, check this link to an article in Popular photography discussing IS

    http://www.popphoto.com/article.asp?...&page_number=1

    At the end of the article is a link comparing the different IS cameras and some lenses. Not really sure how accurate Popular Photography's testing is, but they claim that the IS allows them to take pictures at 1/4s shutter speed at 35mm and even 1/25s at 420mm for the Panasonic FZ10.
     
  13. Jay Taylor

    Jay Taylor Supporting Actor

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    Most digital SLRs do exceptionally well in low light while most point & shoot digital cameras don’t.

    Low light & low noise performance is generally a function of the size of the sensor or more accurately the size of each cell as well as the type of sensor (CMOS vs. CCD vs. JFET, etc.).

    Most SLRs have a large sensor and most point & shoot digital cameras have a small sensor. So a typical point & shoot digital camera with a small CCD sensor may only have a maximum ISO of 200-400 while an SLR such as the Canon 10D with a large CMOS sensor has a maximum ISO of 3200.

    I’ve taken photos with a Canon 10D inside dimly lit Italian museums and the Vatican where they don’t allow a flash to be used. The results with the ISO set at ISO 3200 were amazing. With the instant feedback of a digital camera I was surprised to have images of dimly lit frescos & tapestries that showed more detail & beauty than I could see with my own eyes while standing in front of the tapestry!
     
  14. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    Interesting, seems to reinforce the idea that I can't get what I need in a Panasonic FZ10/15 or 20.

    Do the Canon SLR's have IS?
     
  15. Thomas Newton

    Thomas Newton Screenwriter

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    I don't believe that Canon (or Nikon) build IS into their SLR bodies. There are a few Canon lenses (and maybe some Nikon lenses) that have IS built into the lens.

    Minolta is coming out with a digital SLR that will have IS in the body. I don't know offhand how much it will cost.
     
  16. Jay Taylor

    Jay Taylor Supporting Actor

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    Thomas is right that IS is not built into Canon & Nikon SLR bodies but is incorporated into some of their lenses.

    One of the most popular lenses for the Canon SLR is the 28-135mm IS zoom. I own one of these lenses.

    Another popular lens from Canon is the 70-200mm. The f2.8L version of that lens is available with or without IS. You will have to sell your first born son to pay for the 70-200mm f2.8L IS USM lens but it is considered by many people to be one of the ‘Holy Grail’ lenses. This lens is on my Wishful Thinking list.
     
  17. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    I imagine that with a fast SLR lens, you don't need IS quite as much as with the point and shoot lens'. My Sigma 70-300mm zoom is F-4.0 minimum and ok, but NOT a fast lens.
     
  18. John Chow

    John Chow Second Unit

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    For anyone interested, here are some Panorama pictures I took while visiting Hokkaido using the Panasonic FZ10. Stitching software is the Arcsoft Panorama Maker that comes with the camera. The actual resolution and size of the photos is much higher, but photobucket automatically shrinks the photos.

    http://photobucket.com/albums/v187/e...o%20Panoramas/
     
  19. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Chris,

    I would agree for the most part although it does depend on exactly what you're trying to do. Afterall, DoF is a factor when choosing your aperture. The DoF is much larger on compact digicams than both film and digital SLRs -- ~5-6x that of 35mm film and ~3-4x that of most DSLRs, so large apertures are often more usable/desirable on compacts for shooting landscapes. OTOH, the intrinsically large DoF does make it impossible in most cases to isolate subjects/objects by blurring out everything else. Also, many people do find the use of flip-out LCD live preview to be helpful for steadier shots taken from the hip or stablized on some make-shift support -- and you can also use a mini-tabletop tripod like this one (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=239957&is=REG) and not worry about mirror slap shaking the camera.

    For these reasons, compacts do make nice cameras for shooting landscapes particularly in hiking situations it seems, but not good if you want to play w/ DoF very much. Also, noise/grain level vary between different digicams (mostly due to size of photosites as Jay explained), and some digicams also seem to be more sensitive than their ISO ratings, which helps in this area -- most Canon compacts seem to be so.

    Anyway, the IS lenses for both Canon and Nikon are indeed quite popular, especially for most people who do not want to lug around a monopod or tripod all the time. From what I can tell, most IS implementations provide somewhere between 2-3 stops diff depending on the exact situation and the photog's technique. Also, fast lenses are usually much bigger/heavier, eg. all the 70-200 f/2.8 lenses are >=3lb, so you might find IS to be helpful even there. I have the Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 EX for my Nikon D70 and sure wish I could afford the Nikkor 70-200 f/2.8 VR -- Nikon's IS is labeled VR. A monopod would be a cheaper solution when you don't need as much mobility/portability.

    As for your initial thoughts, I'm a little surprised you can't get consistently good results w/ 1/60s for those focal lengths. Or did you mean the shots were underexposed? Anyway, I imagine you'll definitely benefit from the instant feedback of digital given what you've said. For one thing, you'll know exactly what you did for each shot. For another, you'll be able to make better adjustments/corrections on the spot to get a better shot if time permits. With certain cameras, you can even zoom the review display enough to check for focus and handshake blur if needed -- this is something I do miss a bit w/ my D70 that I had w/ my Canon G3.

    _Man_
     
  20. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    I just meant I wasn't sure if I could hand-hold shots at 1/60 or more importantly, 1/30 second. I know, thats slow and right on the edge of needing a tripod. I'll keep experimenting. I think for now I'll keep playing around with my SLR and see how it goes. I'm not in desparate need of a digital camera, so I can wait. The Canon S1 IS or Panasonic FZ10/15/20 are the camera's I like. If the Canon S1 IS had a better lens and 4.0 MP then it would be really interesting. As is, I still may look into it. Its the least expensive IS but still pricy and the 3.2 MP makes me twitch. You know, I understand that the difference between 4.0 MP and 3.2 MP isn't huge, but when you're spending money and you get less, its hard to justify. If the lens was better, than maybe. Oh well. I'll figure it out.
     

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