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 Post subject: New Fz18 versus FZ30
PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2007 6:34 pm 
Hi

I am new to this forum and have been reading the threads on here and on other forums with great interest for a while especially concerning the new fz18.

I currently have an FZ30 which i enjoy but i do find it bulky and not the easiest to use.

One of the main attractions of the FZ18 is the smaller size and the features including the new scene detection and face detection both of which are not available with my current FZ30. Plus of course the new venus iii engine

I have seen a few reviews of the FZ8 which is of course is what the FZ18 is closer too in terms of sensor size etc. On here Gordon reviews the FZ8 and in summary compares the FZ8 to the FZ50 and actually says in terms of image quality there is little to choose between them and says 'but in practice the resolution doesn’t make a massive difference and if you can live without the hotshoe, flip-out screen and manual zoom ring, then the FZ8 represents better value'

So my main question is given this info do you think there is likely to be little difference in terms of image quality between the new fz18 and FZ30 /50 in every day use ie taking pictures in good light of family and countryside etc..

And where would i notice differences if there are going to be any?

Also if i wanted to print larger prints say 8 x 10 and above would any differences show up then or would this not make much difference etc?

Also given that the FZ18 is available online from as little as £209 i do feel this seems to be great value for money given all the features etc??

Many thanks


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2007 10:44 pm 
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Hi Neil, would you miss the hotshoe, flip-out screen and manual zoom ring of your FZ30? If not, then it could be worth considering the FZ8 / FZ18...

The FZ18 has a different lens to the FZ8, so potentially has quite different image quality. We will be reviewing it in the future, but I can't say how it compares until then.

In the meantime, if you want a similar form factor but with potentially much better image quality, you might like the forthcoming Panasonic L10 DSLR, here: http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Panas ... x_DMC-L10/

Gordon


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 Post subject: can you please advise
PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 7:37 am 
Hi Gordon,

Many thanks for your reply. One thing that you always hear in forums etc is that image quality is far superior for DSLR's.

I am relatively new to taking an interest in photography and have always had pretty basic cameras but having had the FZ30 i can see there is or can be quite a science to it.

However can i ask, what many would consider somewhat a stupid question but if you took a picture with say an entry DSLR maybe a canon 350d or Nikon D40 and say the FZ8 on a nice bright day, outdoors, of say a building like a church or a picture of my family on the beach say and i then got these pictures printed would i notice differences in the picture quality? Or if I enlarged the pics to say 8x10 again would there be a noticeable difference, where i could spot the DSLR pic over the FZ8 pic etc?

Of course i can understand that in low light DSLR's tend to come into their own but i just wondered for every day use is the image quality likely to be different and if so in what way? more intense colour perhaps or?

My main focus at the moment (excuse the pun) is on the FZ18 which has many exciting features and it is of course a self contained unit without the need to change lenses and is much smaller than my FZ30.

And finally the price!! An FZ18 can be purchased for just over £200 whereas a fully equipped DSLR with a similar lens capacity would be in excess of £1000 maybe even £2000...

Just over £200 seems incredibly good value for all the features and spec that the FZ18 offers...

I know the DSLR enthusiasts will say yes but its worth it because of what you can achieve but I assume this is more technical and low light features etc.

Any info you can provide would much much appreciated

Many thanks
Neil


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 8:52 am 
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Hi Neil, the physically bigger sensors in DSLRs allows them to capture a higher dynamic range with less noise. If you took the same shot with a DSLR and a P&S at their lowest ISOs, you may notice the P&S clipped some highlight and shadow detail. As you increased the ISO, the noise levels would also increase much quicker on the P&S.

DSLRs also have other benefits including better handling and response.

Your questions aren't stupid at all! In fact I even wrote an article pointing out the pros and cons of DSLRs and P&S's which you might find useful, here:

http://www.cameralabs.com/features/DSLR ... DSLR.shtml

You should also have a look at the following page from our Canon PowerShot G7 review, where you'll see what happens with a P&S compared to a DSLR as the sensitivity is increased.

http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/CanonG7/page4ca.shtml

I'd say if you were using the best P&S under very bright light at its lowest sensitivity, AND the scene didn't have any areas which were unusually bright or dark though, then you may get a similar result to a DSLR!

But sadly the Panasonic models we've tested have noise issues even at 100 ISO which you wouldn't get with a DSLR.

Have a look at these pages from our FZ8 and D40 reviews...

http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Panas ... oise.shtml

http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Nikon ... e4ca.shtml

As for price, sure, you'll have to pay a lot for a DSLR with a 10x zoom (or lenses to match), but do you really need a massive zoom range? The typical 3x kit lenses do cover most of the situations we find ourselves in!

Gordon


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 Post subject: dslr's versus compacts
PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 9:31 am 
Thanks again Gordon for your overview and the links.

Its certainly interesting stuff. I totally understand your point of not needing a massive zoom option for the majority of pictures but it is nice to have the option as i have found with the FZ30. I guess it maybe considered somewhat gimmicky by DSLR enthusiasts to have these large zooms but they do offer allsorts of options of pictures you wouldnt be able to take with a standard x3

In fact and maybe you can please explain why some of my favourite pictures i have taken with the FZ30 of places and of my children seem to have improved clarity etc in them when zooming in on the subject compared too not using the zoom?

Many thanks
Neil


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 9:23 pm 
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Hi Neil, I'm not sure what you mean... if you zoom-in on a subject it will occupy more of the frame and therefore have more pixels devoted to it - so that would produce a more detailed result...

Ultimately though you have to weigh up the pros and cons of DSLRs and super-zooms. The latter offer a really compelling optical range in a small form factor and at a low price, but don't kid yourself they'll match the image quality (especially at high sensitivities) or handling of a DSLR.


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 Post subject: images
PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2007 5:17 pm 
Hi Gordon,

Many thanks for the feedback...with reference to your quote on image quality can you please explain to me if you went to say a park on a nice sunny day and took 3 cameras with you, say a fz30 or fz50 a DSLR and a fz18 and you then took a picture of the same scene, then printed them out in 4x6 or 5x7, would anyone easily be able to tell which image was from which camera and if so how and why?

What if any differencies would you notice to the human eye.. Sure when zoomed in at 100% you maybe be able to spot this and that but in reality not many people are likely to want or need to do this..

Is it really the case that if you want a camera thats is capable of operating in allsorts of conditions and light you would opt for the DSLR and optional lenses but if you want a quality but with some limitations, all in one, you opt for a super zoom compact?

Many thanks


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2007 9:59 pm 
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Hi Neil, photos taken with a DSLR and super-zoom on a Sunny day at the lowest ISO and reproduced at 6x4in are likely to look pretty similar - in terms of IQ anyway.

There'll be perspective and depth of field differences due to their lenses, but at that kind of print size, you won't notice much (if any) difference in IQ...

Higher ISOs, low light and bigger prints (or zooming on-screen) is where you'll really notice the difference in IQ...

Hey, why not do a test? I'm sure you know someone with a compact and a DSLR, so the next sunny day you have, carefully line them up on the same composition - use a tripod and zoom each so their compositions are identical - then take and print both photos... let us know how you get on...


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