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 Post subject: Also waiting...
PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 9:52 pm 
Hey everybody...
I've also joined this forum because of the FZ-28... Alongside some excellent advise at dpreview, Gordan's verdict on the FZ-18/TZ-5 is the biggest reason I now am *waiting* for my fz28 to arrive!

As far as I can tell from preview movies/samples as well recommendations from some other owners, the movie mode on the fz28 is a step beyond the tz5 in that the zoom feature is much smoother & focus is well maintained (which unfortunately deteriorates as the lighting dims).

The only real complaint that people are having is the reduced size of the EVF. Although magnification & higher resolution have both been brought up, the few people I know to have managed to physically use the fz28 all share this grievance...

But don't let that fool you, add a fully articulating screen, a hotshoe flash & stereo sound to this & you have what is arguably the very definition of a "perfect nonDSLR". As such, unless the S5 successor or the G10 are announced with unbelievably great specs, Panasonic has won over the non DSLR market with the fz28, the fabulous lx3 & the ever-versatile tz5! And this mind you, before they launch what is being rumored to be the first micro four thirds gem (this september).

I personally couldn't be happier with the fz28 and while I understand the hesitation people who already own an fz18 or the sony h50 or the oly 570uz etc... are showing, I for one have no working camera & therefore couldn't ask for anything better! (unless someone is willing to sell me an oly e-420 with a similar lens range for $400) :p

I can't wait till Gordan gets his hands on one. I have a feeling it'll be crowned the best of the superzooms for 2008.

Jacen


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 Post subject: FZ-28 vs S2000-HD
PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 10:15 pm 
bentn wrote:
Interesting thread, I'm wondering if I should buy the FZ28 myself, but today I saw this http://www.dpreview.com/news/0808/08081 ... 2000hd.asp
And now I'm not so sure, what do you guys think of the FinePix S2000, could that change your mind about the FZ28?

Take care
bentn


Let's compare the two on paper for a second, shall we?

While the Fuji has an advantage in it's video recording format (avi instead of the memory hungry QT), it doesn't allow zoom during movies... Given the ease of format-conversion & the potential of a 15/18x zoom... I personally consider the fz28 to be the better HD video recording device.

The Panny uses LiIon batteries while the Fuji runs on 4xAA batteries & while the advantage to having either format is open to debate, I personally again consider the LiIon to be a better bet.

They both have similar pixel density (~36MP/sq cm) . Their ISO range, LCD (size/resolution) & EVF (size/resolution) are almost identical so I'm not counting those as factors... For the rest, of all the available information I could find on the S2000HD, here's how they stand -

S2000 -
Range: 27.6mm - 414mm (35mm equiv) (15x Optical)
Aperture: 3.5 (wide) 5.4 (tele)
Shutter: 4" - 1000
Continuous: 13.5fps (3mp or lower)

FZ-28 -
Range: 27mm - 486mm (35mm equiv) (18x Optical)
Aperture: 2.8 (wide) 4.4 (tele)
Shutter: 60" - 2000
Continuous: 13fps (3mp)

By virtue of the lens range, aperture range or the shutter speed, Panasonic is superior. The only advantage the s2000 has is of 0.5fps in high-speed continuous shooting mode but frankly, if the Panasonic AF-tracking delivers, then the advantage would have to go to the fz28.

So for me, it's no contest. I wanted to wait to see what the s5 successor or the G10 would have looked like, but I couldn't resist anymore so I took the plunge & ordered the fz28. The Nikon (P-6000 & P-80) Olympus (SP-570 UZ) & Sony (H50) alternatives just weren't up to the mark & Panasonic was undeniably superior! And even Fuji hasn't launched a product as versatile, fast or expressive as the fz28 so I have no regrets on choosing the Panny without reading a single review on it.


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 Post subject: Reply to jacen110091
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 12:54 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2008 10:19 pm
Posts: 135
Location: Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA
Hi Jacen,

It's always nice to meet another person who appreciates the Panasonic camera line! I was browsing some camera magazines in the supermarket the other day, and some buying guides don't even mention Panasonic, which is a shame. Perhaps it's not the first name to come to mind in world of digital cameras, but Panasonic's use of Leica lenses alone makes them worthy of serious consideration by anyone -- just one of many reasons.

You mentioned the TZ5, which was the first Panasonic on my list of cameras to drool over. :) I read numerous owner reviews of the TZ5 on Amazon.com, and practically everybody there absolutely loves it. I also read Gordon's excellent professional review, which gives it a Highly Recommended rating. If I wanted a more compact camera and wasn't interested in the possibilities offered by manual control, I would get the TZ5.

I'm leaning towards the FZ28 because the 18x zoom sounds like a lot of fun, and I like the idea of having full manual control, even if I don't use it right away. It means the FZ28 is a camera which will allow me to grow as a photographer. Unless I get into areas which push the limits of digital photography (like shooting in low light at high ISO), I'm not convinced I will ever outgrow a good bridge camera for a DSLR. I like the convenience, lower cost, ease of use that a high-end bridge camera provides.

I think today's bridge cameras strike a good balance that suits the needs of a lot of people. Time will tell if they will suit me in the long run. :)

Continuing to drool over Panasonic's camera line,

Fred

_________________
Frederick W. Chapman: Consultant & Scientist @ F.W. Chapman Solutions / Expertise in Web Design, Digital Imaging, E-Learning, Math & Comp Sci / www.fwchapman.com

Cameras: Oly E-P1; Pan G1, FZ28, LZ10 | FT Lenses: Oly 50mm f/2.0; Sig 18-50mm f/2.8, 70-200mm f/2.8 | MFT Lenses: Pan 20mm f/1.7, 14-45mm f/3.5-5.6, 45-200mm f/4-5.6


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 7:15 am 
Be sure to check the video quality of that movie file. I've played it on my TV using my mediacenter and the image is amazing.


Hi Luc,
I have just recieved the FZ28 but the DMC H2 connection doesnt seem to produce the great image i was expecting from the video, even though on the LCD screen it looks simply stunning..

Can i ask which media centre you are using to play the mov files and i assume it is connected to a HDTV via a HDMI cable?

Many thanks
Neil


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 11:10 am 
neilm16 wrote:
Be sure to check the video quality of that movie file. I've played it on my TV using my mediacenter and the image is amazing.


Hi Luc,
I have just recieved the FZ28 but the DMC H2 connection doesnt seem to produce the great image i was expecting from the video, even though on the LCD screen it looks simply stunning..

Can i ask which media centre you are using to play the mov files and i assume it is connected to a HDTV via a HDMI cable?

Many thanks
Neil


Hi Neil,


I tried a couple of movies of the TZ-5 that are floating on the net and they looked really nice on my TV (32inch) using mediacenter.
But be carefull!

1) Make sure you have a really fast SD or you might get dropped frames due to the lack of speed/compression

2) I converted the mov files to avi using a freeware tool http://mediacoder.sourceforge.net/ and converted it to Xvid (4000kbps) making it much smaller. Mediacenter is capable of playing these if you installed the right codecs

3) Make sure the mediacenter pc is fast enough because 1280 x 720 might consume some CPU power

Regards,


Luc


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 2:18 pm 
Hello!

May i say some further things about the specs and general use of the FZ line super zooms of Panasonic.

The Leica lens is not made by Leica, but designed by them and manufactured by Panasonic. Real handmade Leica lens are cost prohibitive and apply only to a very small niche of the photo market, pro creative/artist photographers only.

As for the use of the super zoom function, its great fun,its funky, but its not something essential for great photographs...my experience of the super zoom is that the function helped me to "see" things, rise my awareness of the environment like a good forensic investigator has, it became a
electronic/optical extension of the eye and helped greatly sharpening my eye reflexes on the environment details, all an all, first an educational function and secondly a great fun option.

I recommend buying an 8gb Sandisk Extreme III SDHC card, setting the camera to isomax 400, IS mode 1, NR -2, Contrast -1, camera sounds muted, select program AE with histogram display on screen and then go out preferably in good light and shoot photos without asking questions which means just empty the battery...get back home, empty the card on the computer and start viewing your photos, dont pixel peep, its pointless on this camera class, just get a sense of proper photographs vs bad ones...Learn to use and understand exposure compensation and the histogram and your skills will grow fast, when the time has come that the camera is not enough for your skills and you want better picture quality,better and faster optics then there comes the DSLR world.

All in all, sharpening your skills first in photography will make you shoot great videos also but not the reverse.

Excuse me for saying some things again from my previous post, i just wanted to clarify them.

Thanks for reading this.


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 Post subject: Re: Reply to bentn
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 3:41 pm 
fwchapman wrote:

bentn, thanks for posting this review, which I read with great interest. The author of that review also posted some pictures the day after. He apparently plans to continue reviewing the camera as he gains more experience with it, so it would be worth revisiting his website from time to time.


Your welcome. And yes I will keep and eye on the website too. It's an exciting time 'cus I think we will hear more about the FZ28 from people who actually got the camera.

fwchapman wrote:

It sounds like there are some tradeoffs in the FZ28 vs. the FZ18. It's hard for me to be sure about my photography style since I don't have one yet, but I imagine myself using the LCD and JPEG more than the EVF and RAW. That means the FZ18-FZ28 line is evolving in a way which matches how I expect to use my camera. I think this is the reviewer's point -- that the design changes in the FZ28 reflect a new approach to photography which takes advantage of the strengths of the new technology. Since the whole thing is new to me, I think I'll be okay with that.

Fred

I hope you find your photography style, 'cus normally you buy your camera to fit your needs. I myself are interested in wildlife but I can't afford the 400mm lenses you need for that if I would buy a DSLR camera. All though I could start out with a smaller lens and work my way up...but then again It will be hard to get close to birds e.g with a smaller lens and I'm not sure if I ever can save enough money to get a bigger lens.
However I am a bit worried hearing about both RAW and the EVF in the FZ28. So I will keep and eye on the website to see if there is more news about that after he had a chance to be a bit more familiar with the FZ28.

take care, bentn


Last edited by bentn on Wed Aug 20, 2008 5:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 3:56 pm 
Thanks, jacen110091
A very interesting read and comparison. Thanks for taking the time to reply. The Fuji S2000hd I think is also gonna be a bit more expensive here, and since FZ28 is fare more interesting I can't see why I should buy the s2000hd camera instead.- but I'm still waiting to hear more about the FZ28 as well.- It's still all just a waiting game. I do hope Gordon will get his hands on the FZ28 very soon.
take care, bentn


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 4:07 pm 
Hi guys!

Iam new here :) but Iam in the same situation as some of U. I would like to buy a new ultrazoom camera (I had a Sony DSC-H2 but it was stolen :), and now Iam waiting for the good reviews of Panasonic DMC-FZ28. I wanted to buy a Sony DSC-H50, because it has so many good features, Nightshot mode, nice colors, sharp edges, etc. etc. my only big problem with this camera is the chromatic noise, which is very significant unfortunately! >> thats way Iam waiting for the new Pana rewives. However the Sony DSC-H50 has better price, if the Pana will be so good I will chose Pana. OR do you think guys the chrome noise reduction can be improved with a new firmware update? by the way I havent found any firmware updtae for Sony DSC-H50....


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 5:31 pm 
grimpr wrote:
I recommend buying an 8gb Sandisk Extreme III SDHC card, setting the camera to isomax 400, IS mode 1, NR -2, Contrast -1, camera sounds muted, select program AE with histogram display on screen and then go out preferably in good light and shoot photos without asking questions which means just empty the battery...get back home, empty the card on the computer and start viewing your photos, dont pixel peep, its pointless on this camera class, just get a sense of proper photographs vs bad ones...Learn to use and understand exposure compensation and the histogram and your skills will grow fast...


Brilliant suggestion(s) mate, and I intend to keep the iso max at 400 for 95% of the time! I have also read a lot of other photographers recommend the contrast at -1, although this seems to have become unnecessary for the fz28 (same goes for the -2 NR) but i'm looking forward to trying out & finding my own "sweet spot".

I also am very much looking forward to the idea of understanding the histogram in its' practical use, so I'll be sure to have that superimposed on the liveview at most times!

But most importantly, I feel you have stated one of the most important facts in digital photography in that pixel-peeping on any P&S sensor based camera is an exercise in futility! There will always be noise, and depending on what you're comparing it to, you'll always be unsatisfied with the resolution or the sharpening or the vividness & saturation of the colours... all of it!

Well spoken indeed!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 6:15 pm 
CybM wrote:
Iam waiting for the good reviews of Panasonic DMC-FZ28. I wanted to buy a Sony DSC-H50, because it has so many good features... [but] my only big problem with this camera is the chromatic noise, which is very significant unfortunately! >> thats way Iam waiting for the new Pana rewives. However the Sony DSC-H50 has better price, if the Pana will be so good I will chose Pana. OR do you think guys the chrome noise reduction can be improved with a new firmware update?


Welcome to the cameralabs forums, I am fairly new here myself but allow me to answer your queries as best as I can!

First off, it probably is a smart move to wait for the pros like Gordon to officially review the fz28 so unless you feel the need to get a camera right away, I would advise you to wait.

Now then, as CA (chromatic aberration) is a significant factor for you, the fz28 should do you justice because Panny is known as one of the best CA eliminators in this segment. And while Panasonic hasn't had a similar reputation about dealing with noise in general, the Venus IV engine is supposed to have been designed with a very keen interest in ensuring that it does indeed handle noise better than its' predecessors. Also, as far as i know CA & noise reduction algorithms are hardwired into the Image Processing Engine & cannot be upgraded by Firmware upgrades.

So all that aside, here's a basic breakdown of the key differences (as I see it) as based on spec-sheets for them both.

Panny FZ28:
Better Range {Both wide & tele} (27mm-486mm > 31mm-465mm)
Higher Resolution (10.1MP > 9.1MP)
Multi Aspect-Ratio Support (4:3, 3:2, 16:9)
Marginally Better Aperture Range (f2.8-f4.4 > f2.7-f4.5)
Uncompressed Shooting (RAW support)
High-Definition Video Recording (1280x720 30fps > 640x480 30fps)
Lighter Body (417g > 547g)

Sony H-50:
Better Pixel Density (32MP/sq cm > 36MP/sq cm)
Marginally Better Shutter Speed Range (30"-4000 > 60"-2000)
Larger & Tilt-Enabled LCD (3" 230k > 2.7" 230k)

These are all based only on the camera specifications only, so while they may not represent all that the cameras have to offer, they should give you some indication of what all you feel most closely matter to your style of photography.

For me personally, just the lack of a decent wide-end would make the H-50 out of contention but again that's my opinion & I've already ordered the fz28 so I'm bound to be a bit biased.
However, I can recommend you to consider the following cameras as well (I did) before making any decisions -

Olympus SP-570UZ
Nikon P-80
Canon S5 IS (or S6/S7/S? depending on whether they decide to announce an upgrade anytime soon)

Hope that helped...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 7:14 pm 
Thanx for the welcome Jacen!

Yep, I know that the new pana has many advantages comparing to sony dsc-h50, but If i take the price into account it can change a little bit the situation...
But anyway the HD video, RAW and good CA are things make me vote for the new Pana.

I have already checked the others, but somehow I found they not so good as Sony or Pana :\

Olympus 570UZ:
-nice wide and tele, 20x optical zoom, zoomring these are very good things
- but: for my eyes Sony and Pana have better image quality, Sony has better colour dense, sharpnes of the image, nightshot mode, and 570UZ: video quality is not so good, focus speeds are slower than Sony has. Sony has some additional features I think...

Nikon Coolpix P80:
-poor colours, poor video quality (and no zoom), if the lighting condition is poor the image quality is poor :), and macro did not seem good :\
I think Nikon had to make something to have a bridge cam. but nothing special...

Canon S5 IS:
well I dont really knwo this camera (northe others :), but wide starts from 36mm..., colours and sharpnes for Sony in this game as well..

so, ok Sony wide starts from 31mm (but not as bad as I had in the past >> 36mm :)
And what will come in the future is a good question, but I will travel to France in October and I need a camera, so time is a question :)
Probably I can buy Pana in the begining of October (Hungary guys!, not USA, or UK :D ), Sony I can buy right now, Canon S5 IS, Olympus 570UZ I can buy right now but I dont know, I dont feel they are the right choice, an I still have time to wait for the Pana results.

And U have already ordered an FZ28 Jacen, so soon or later we will have some overview about this camera :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 9:05 pm 
CybM wrote:
I know that the new pana has many advantages comparing to sony dsc-h50, but If i take the price into account it can change a little bit the situation...


I'm not sure what you mean exactly here mate, as per Amazon the H-50 is costing $360 while the fz28 is $390... I for one really don't consider that to be too significant a difference in price.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 9:49 pm 
aaaaaaaa....I shoudnt have seen this! :D

well, here the price of the Sony DSC-H50 is about $455. And proxy price of the Panasonic DMC-FZ28 will be around $625. So here the difference will be nearly $170. (I can count in euro but it doesnt make any difference...). Anyway forget the price it seems I have to take into account only...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 10:13 pm 
CybM wrote:
... here the price of the Sony DSC-H50 is about $455. And proxy price of the Panasonic DMC-FZ28 will be around $625. So here the difference will be nearly $170.


:shock:

Wow that's just ridiculous!
Wouldn't it be easier to just order it off amazon (or something similar) and have it delivered to you then? I mean even with the flat International shipping they have at Vanns (for example) you'd be paying a total of $515 ($390 + $125)!

Is there any reason in particular why the camera is going to sell for over one n' half times the actual price? Even VAT is only supposed to be 12.5% or such for most of EU, right?


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