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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 9:16 pm 
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Hi Gordon! First, let me tell you that I love your website and thoughtful real world reviews. And what really sets you apart are your marvelous videos. It's one thing to read a review and see some pictures but watching the videos and seeing you handling the cameras adds another dimension that others are sorely missing. Keep up the great work.

Now on to my problem. I went to B&H Photo in NYC yesterday and ordered a Lumix FZ50. I fell in love with the feel and function of the camera but after reading many (maybe too many) reviews, including yours, I'm really worried about the much talked about noise problem in Panasonic cameras. I'm taking a trip to Alaska in August and I'm wondering if I made a wise choice. I love the long reach of the FZ50's zoom but having some extra ISO latitude would be comforting. How bad is the noise problem? The camera is arriving tomorrow so I could still bring it back without any penalty. Maybe a DSLR would be better?

Thanks!

Prompter Bob
New Jersey


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 9:29 pm 
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Hi prompterbob, welcome to the Cameralabs forums!

The FZ50 is a great superzoom, but yes, it does have noise and noise reduction issues above 100 ISO. But then so do ALL current non-DSLRs. If you like making big prints or zooming into pictures on your computer at 100%, then you may be disappointed.

If you want low noise at higher ISOs, then go for a DSLR, but if you're shooting any wildlife in Alaska, you'll want a nice long lens as well - and that's where it can start getting expensive.

The beauty of a superzoom is the long reach in a compact and affordable body, but the high ISO performance ain't great. And a DSLR will also be quicker to repsond, which again is great for action of wildlife.

So that's what you gotta weigh up!

Gordon

PS - I'm very envious of your trip to Alaska - I've always wanted to visit. Will you be able to see the bears catching the salmon in August? That's a photo opportunity I've always wanted to capture!


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 9:32 pm 
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Hi Bob!

Unless you want to invest double the money, don't send your FZ-50 back.
You'll make great photos and the built in image stabilization helps keep the ISO low...

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 9:42 pm 
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Gordon Laing wrote:
The FZ50 is a great superzoom, but yes, it does have noise and noise reduction issues above 100 ISO. But then so do ALL current non-DSLRs. If you like making big prints or zooming into pictures on your computer at 100%, then you may be disappointed.

PS - I'm very envious of your trip to Alaska - I've always wanted to visit. Will you be able to see the bears catching the salmon in August? That's a photo opportunity I've always wanted to capture!


I seldom make any prints from my photos so big prints are not a problem for me - I'll be viewing them almost exclusively on my computer screen.

Does it help the noise problem if you shoot at less than the full 10mp?

As for Alaska, we're cruising round trip from Vancouver for 7 days through the Inner Passage and up to the glaciers. We'll also be able to leave the ship for excursions. I hope to see some of the famed wildlife and hopefully get it on film.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 9:46 pm 
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tombomba2 wrote:
Hi Bob!

Unless you want to invest double the money, don't send your FZ-50 back.
You'll make great photos and the built in image stabilization helps keep the ISO low...


I'm not opposed to getting a DSLR and spending more money. When I saw the FZ50 in the store and handled it I was very impressed. It seemed like a great camera for traveling without a lot of fuss and extra lenses. I hope shooting at ISO 100 won't be too limiting.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 9:52 pm 
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Well as Thomas says, the lens stabilisation means you'll be able to shoot at 100 ISO and maintain good quality. BUT under dimmer conditions it may mean using slower shutter speeds which are fine for landscapes, but not moving subjects like wildlife.

If you're mostly shooting static subjects and aren't making big prints or examining the pictures 100% on-sceeen, then you'll probably be fine with the FZ50.

If you're serious about wildlife or higher ISO work though, then I'd get a DSLR, but I wouldn't bother unless you can also get an additional lens around the 70-300mm range otherwise you'll find it too short for the beasties...

So ultimately a DSLR with 2 lenses (or a Nikon with an 18-200mm!) will be quicker, more flexible and deliver better quality, BUT it will be bigger, heavier and MUCH more expensive.

Gordon


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 5:28 pm 
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Well I got my FZ50 in the mail the other day but after playing with it while reading the manual I found that I really didn't like the ergonomics or the menus. I also didn't care for the EVF and the tiny LCD screen. So I went back to B&H this morning - always a lot of fun going there - and swapped it for a Pentax K100D kit and a 50-200mm lens. Now it's time to stop talking and take some pictures.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2007 1:15 am 
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Congrats on your new K100D - looking forward to some pictures!

Darrin

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2007 1:27 am 
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Sounds like a very wise decision :D

You're in a different league now. Have fun.

Zorro

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 Post subject: Thanks!
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2007 11:54 am 
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Thanks to all in the forum for helping me wade through this decision. I'm much happier with a DSLR and the Pentax K100D is a good fit for me. See you around the forum.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 2:50 am 
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Hi prompterbob, do let us know what you think of it when you get to grips with the camera...

Gordon


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