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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 5:56 pm 
The camera is so easy to use. It is solid and feels and looks quality in every detail.

The audio is poor, grainy, noisy and the mic faces upward,
which is just plain wrong for catching most sounds to best effect.

The macro functionality is relatively superb, *ahem*,
considering my coming from a Casio Exilim EX-770, which had nearly no macro ability.

The O.I.S. works great! O.I.S. example, hand-held "f3.3, 1/200 sec, ISO 100"

Hand held for all three: a crop of the wide angle shot, then 10X optical cropped, then all of the digital zoom for 40X:
These shrunken images are not quality; they only aim to show the image stabilization.
ImageImage
The third shot is not cropped, only shrunken.
Image
O.I.S rocks. Or rather, it doesn't! :lol:


Last edited by Reid Welch on Sun Jun 08, 2008 7:42 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 6:09 pm 
O.I.S. again. Camera ten feet away, 10X zoom,
not great lighting, and my hands are not all that steady.

Image
Gadwin Print Screen screenshot at 75% jpeg quality
resized to 640x480 by imageshack


Last edited by Reid Welch on Thu Jun 05, 2008 6:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Audio
PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 6:14 pm 
The main problem with the audio is fingers. If you keep them away from the mic, it sounds a lot better.


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 Post subject: Re: Audio
PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 6:17 pm 
dalethorn wrote:
The main problem with the audio is fingers. If you keep them away from the mic, it sounds a lot better.
Hi Dale. You have to hear the TZ5 audio quality to have empathy for this shortcoming of the design.
It features a high noise-to-signal :lol: ratio. It hisses. Still, I'm very happy,
delighted really, with the camera. So easy easy easy to use. I love the superzoom.
This is my first 'real' camera, even though it's not pretending to be pro gear.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 6:21 pm 
I believe dalethorn does actually have a range of Panasonic cameras - including the TZ5. :wink:

Mark


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 6:28 pm 
Markh wrote:
I believe dalethorn does actually have a range of Panasonic cameras - including the TZ5. :wink:

Mark
For directionality purposes I'm going to try to fit an earlobe to TZ5.
It will be a bionic camera then.
Any donors here? :twisted:
If not, I'll make do with putty or silicone rubber for a trial.


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 Post subject: Noise
PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 8:19 pm 
Since I also have the FZ50, and have had several Casios plus the Nikon 8800 and 8700, here's what I'm guessing: The small cameras like the TZ5 that *also* have true optical image stabilizers on all the time will get the most noise in videos. The FZ50 has much less, but a much bigger body, so I'm guessing they isolated the mic better. One other thing they need to do is have better wind resistance for the mic.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 10:49 pm 
This camera has a severe audio distortion problem aside from a relatively loud, steady-state white noise,
noise extant at all times, not related to gyros or lens extension motors.

I've just made two short videos, presently in upload to YouTube.
One with the TZ5 and the other with Casio EX-770 set to its widescreen "HQ" mode.
The Casio sound is like hi-fi in comparison to the TZ5 sounding like a mouth full of marbles.

The sound is absurdly bad. I spoke clearly. The camera turnths it to audio mush;
or rather, you'd swear that the speaker has a severe case of limp wrist lisp, it's that bad.
That said, I'm still in like with the camera. It takes good pictures, which it what I bought it for.
If only these cameras would accept an external microphone...


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 Post subject: Mic
PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 11:35 pm 
I tested my TZ5 mic, speaking in a normal voice about 3 ft. away, lens pointed at me and mic facing ceiling. Sound was clear and natural, although the obvious background noise. It's hard to believe they have different mics or poor quality control - BTW look at the bottom of the camera - I assume Made in Japan?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 1:25 am 
Edit: it's conceivable that the audio suffers because the card in present use is a slow, standard SD card.
Will have a proper card very soon. Will repeat the tests then.

_____________


Gosh, Dale, I sure hope that mine is just a defective example.
Yah, it's made in Japan too.
When you hear what the TZ5 makes me sound like you might swear that I was talking that way. I wasn't.

Here's my voice, recorded at the computer a while ago
http://img227.imageshack.us/my.php?imag ... 281uh8.swf

TZ5 defective audio
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZz9bvSkLjM
Thith ith a tetht... (I did not speak like that at all)

Casio EX-770 for comparison, made right after
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jQs3X60rIU


Last edited by Reid Welch on Sun Jun 08, 2008 7:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Funny
PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 3:57 am 
Funny you should mention the slow card. My card is an extreme III so records OK, but, when I play the videos as-is on my laptops (1.2 ghz Toshibas), they skip a lot, so I convert them to iPod format and then they play OK, although they don't look quite as good. The 190 mb per minute rate of the TZ5 is ridiculous. If the quality were a lot better, maybe, but I've seen much better video at much lower bitrates.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 6:52 am 
Coming is an Extreme III 8gb card. I don't really expect it will improve the sound of course.

Regarding playback: Have Quicktime in this HP computer
Image
and so far, no problem playing the .MOV HD video either in-camera from a standard 2G SD, nor from the files copied from the card into the computer.
Have not tried playing movies directly from the card put into the computer,
nor have I tried the TZ5's USB transfer cable.

Point about the large file sizes (and I know nothing about this stuff but am reading about the technology now), it's apparently "I-Frame" technology. That means every frame, 30-per-second, is fully an independent picture. That's a lot of data, 256mb per minute :shock: according to the table printed on pages 100-101 of the camera's printed manual.

"Quicktime Motion jpeg", states the camera manual...
Quote:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motion_JPEG
Motion JPEG uses intraframe coding technology that is very similar in technology to the I-frame part of video coding standards such as MPEG-1 and MPEG-2, but does not use interframe prediction. The lack of use of interframe prediction results in a loss of compression capability, but eases video editing, since simple edits can be performed at any frame when all frames are I-frames.

Quote:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I-frame
* Are pictures coded without reference to any pictures except themselves.
* May be generated by an encoder to create a random access point (to allow a decoder to start decoding properly from scratch at that picture location).
* May also be generated when differentiating image details prohibit generation of effective P or B frames.
* Typically require more bits to encode than other picture types.
Apparently this technique confers some advantages, ease of frame access for editing or isolation, I suppose. But it does not make small files in-camera.
It may (I suppose) offer the highest potential video quality, given the limited quality potential of the small CCD of the TZ5.
I don't know. I'll learn in time enough to defog my mental lenses a bit!

For now, the cause of the severe audio distortion is of greatest interest.
This TZ5 offers less audio fidelity than an old farmhouse telephone.
It doesn't do sibilants. Thomthing's wrong with this thample camera. :)

Cheers,


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 Post subject: Re: Funny
PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 8:09 am 
dalethorn wrote:
Funny you should mention the slow card. My card is an extreme III so records OK, but, when I play the videos as-is on my laptops
(1.2 ghz Toshibas), they skip a lot, so I convert them to iPod format and then they play OK, although they don't look quite as good. The 190 mb per minute rate of the TZ5 is ridiculous. If the quality were a lot better, maybe, but I've seen much better video at much lower bitrates.
:cry: See what Apple wants you to have to play 720P/30fps video such as produced by TZ5:
http://www.apple.com/quicktime/player/specs.html

Time to spend more money Quick, I pun, forgive?
That goes for me too. I guess I'd best pay for Quicktime Pro to enable editing of MPEG-4, 720P videos.
Aim of this camera purchase: a handy all-in-one that can also improve the image quality of my YouTube productions,
but too bad for me the sound is so much worse than that of the mediocre Exilim it replaces.

I still like this camera very much indeed. It's almotht perfek enough.

__________
for general readers: the what-and-why for MPEG-4, according to Apple
http://www.apple.com/quicktime/technologies/mpeg4/

screenshot

Image
inferred: high data rates inherent for the needs of this format for it to play back decently on today's big screen TVs.

Q: do any of you TZ5 owners yet have the HD component cable?
The cable is hard to get at present. I've got one on backorder from Panasonic USA
____________
___________________

addendum:

Understanding better now the reason for Panasonic's choice of Quicktime MJPEG (motion jpeg) for TZ5's high definition video
by reading a web page of 10 years ago.
Quote:
MJPEG codecs are often used as storage formats for large files that need to be archived with good quality.
It is a lossy codec, but at 100% quality, the image degradation is minimal.


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 Post subject: Quicktime
PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 11:05 pm 
I've used Quicktime for years, and now it's part of iTunes also which loads my videos onto the 160 gb iPod. I generally stay back a couple of versions on software, esp. Apple since I wouldn't trust them with a 10 year old goat, let alone anything or anyone of value to me. Apparently my 512 mb of RAM and 1.2 ghz single-core processor aren't up to playing the TZ5 videos straightaway, so I can continue to transfer to iPod format (15x compression), or if I need better quality, I'll use one of the other codecs I have. Besides, outside of video recording and JPEG editing, I do most of my work in DOS, since Windows doesn't really have true automation facilities like batch files or other OOP frameworks like DOS does. Even VB programs run a lot better when you don't bloat them with GUI stuff. But back to Panasonic - whoever approved of the sound system in the TZ5 must be the Dilbert Nightmare in the flesh - a weasel who cares nothing about integrity or quality, who probably saved the bean counters a penny and a half on each camera by second-sourcing sound chips from an old Russian radio factory that still uses the first IC's circa 1967.


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 Post subject: Re: Quicktime
PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2008 2:18 am 
dalethorn wrote:
... But back to Panasonic - whoever approved of the sound system in the TZ5 must be the Dilbert Nightmare in the flesh - a weasel who cares nothing about integrity or quality, who probably saved the bean counters a penny and a half on each camera by second-sourcing sound chips from an old Russian radio factory that still uses the first IC's circa 1967.
:lol: :lol: Hilarious! Thanks for some needed comedy relief.


Now my turn for a question again--Have gotten a Quicktime Pro and so now I can use its "movie inspector" to see the rated sound quality of a TZ5 audio recording.
Does this mean what it seems--- 8 bit mono? That would explain the awfulness, right?

screenshot Quicktime Pro player

Image

Image

Maybe this camera of mine has a defective A-D converter?
Am grasping at (soda) straws. :cry: And whiskey.


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