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 Post subject: New Panasonic DMC-FZ28
PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 6:08 am 
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Hi everyone, today Panasonic announced the successor to the popular FZ18 superzoom, called the FZ28.

Panasonic FZ28 at Panasonic UK.

The other big news is the Lumix LX3, covered in Chinamark's thread.

Please keep this thread about the FZ28 and any comments on the LX3 at Chinamark's - thanks!

Gordon


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 10:38 pm 
Looks like a good camera, but a hefty price tag...The 2.7" LCD is nice though....hopefully I'll find a decent Amazon(CL affiliate link, XD) price for Thanksgiving sales!


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 12:23 am 
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Hello everyone! This is my first post on the Camera Labs forums, and I have a story to tell about how I learned of Panasonic's new FZ28.

I've spent the past three days doing extensive research on the web to select a digital camera. I read lots and lots of customer reviews for many different cameras on Amazon.com, but I couldn't sort out the conflict between the many rave reviews and the handful of extremely negative reviews by apparently knowledgeable customers. I hoped the professional reviews on other websites would clarify matters, but I found so many of them to be excessively negative and so hypercritical that it was truly demoralizing to read.

I finally stumbled upon the Camera Labs website and read many of Gordon's superb reviews, which are a refreshing change of pace. Gordon is very systematic and thorough, but most of all, he is extremely fair in all his criticisms. For example, he never unfairly criticizes a mid-range consumer camera for failing to uphold the standards of a high-end professional camera -- something which I've seen all too often elsewhere. I was so grateful for Gordon's unique approach that I felt compelled to send him email to express appreciation for his work.

When I mentioned that I had decided to buy the Panasonic FZ18, he wrote back and told me that it was an excellent choice, but that it was about to be replaced with the FZ28. I learned this the night before I was about to place my order! After reading about all the terrific features of the FZ28 and some significant improvements over the FZ18, I am very grateful that I got news of the FZ28 in time. Thank you so much, Gordon!

I read all the FZ28 specs on the Panasonic UK website, and I think the FZ28 will be well worth the wait. Here are some of the reasons why:
  • a new auto focus tracking mode for better action shots of sports, children, pets, and wildlife
  • the ability to zoom while recording video (you can't do that with the FZ18)
  • an even wider angle lens (but slightly less zoom magnification)
  • a bigger LCD display (which is supposedly visible in all light conditions)
  • 10 megapixel resolution (not the most important thing, but still nice to have).
When I have my very own FZ28, I promise to post a review to let you know if it lives up to my expectations.

Best regards to all,

Fred

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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


Last edited by fwchapman on Tue Sep 22, 2009 5:08 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 8:56 am 
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Hi Fred,

May I wish you a warm welcome to the CameraLabs forums.

A great first post so thanks for sharing. Looking forward to your feedback on the FZ28. Welcome aboard. 8)

Bob.

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Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8.
Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


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 Post subject: Reply to Bob
PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 4:01 pm 
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Hi Bob,

Thanks for the warm welcome! I'm really glad to be part of this community.

From your signature I see that you have some serious photographic gear. When did you first realize that you wanted/needed a DSLR? I figure I'll start with something simpler (and much less expensive) like the FZ28 -- something with good automatic settings and the option of full manual control -- and then see if I eventually outgrow it. I'm assuming that a DSLR is more camera than most beginners actually need or could handle properly. Do you think that's a good approach for newcomers to digital photography?

Fred

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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


Last edited by fwchapman on Mon Sep 21, 2009 11:21 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 5:20 pm 
Bah...

As a current owner of a Panasonic FZ18, I cannot help but be sceptical...

From my POV, judging on what Panasonic and other sites have published so far, the FZ28 does not have enough improvements over the FZ18 to justify the $300+ brand new price tag.

Yes it has only been a year since the FZ18 was released but the the FZ28 looks only to be a small, if but correct, step in the right direction.

This is why:

1. Although the sensor size has increased, it is not the size of a DSLR sensor and 2 extra megabytes have been crammed in, so noise will still be an issue.
2. Yes zooming is now possible during video recording but this is a nice to have based on Panasonic listening to user feedback on the fz18.
3. You've lost a 3rd C3 custom setting on the FZ28. On the FZ18, there were 3 and I use all of them to switch between Digital Zoom, RAW shooting and fully manual. In fact I wish there were extra custom mode save slots for other shooting modes + situations.
4. Personal preference, Panasonic has copied the common (or should I say Canon) interface and added a separate Recording vs. Playback switch on the right thumb grip. Personally I prefer this on the mode dial where traditionally the playback option has always been.
5. Yes Wow!! 13 fps drive mode capable but oh no, only 3 Mega-pixels resolution, a harsh tradeoff of quality for the speed. The normal drive mode speed has dropped from 3 fps down to 2.5, not an improvement.

What remains to be seen is whether the improvements in the iA technology for auto-focus and noise reduction really add any practical value or whether they are just marketing gimmicks. e.g. Tracking 1 subject; nice to have but so what....

On the whole, I feel the improvements on the FZ28 do not greatly outweigh the performance on the FZ18; especially for Value for Money.

You would be better off taking advantage of the launch of the FZ28 and getting a bargain FZ18 at knock down price.

My 2p....


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 5:40 pm 
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fwchapman wrote:
...I'm assuming that a DSLR is more camera than most beginners actually need or could handle properly. Do you think that's a good approach for newcomers to digital photography?...

Modern DSLRs with auto and scene presets can be pretty easy to use. However they represent a potentially much bigger financial commitment. For a list of pros and cons I can do no better than refer you to Gordons article Should you buy a DSLR or a Compact?.

Bob.

_________________
Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8.
Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


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 Post subject: Reply to Bob
PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 8:39 pm 
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Bob Andersson wrote:
Modern DSLRs with auto and scene presets can be pretty easy to use. However they represent a potentially much bigger financial commitment. For a list of pros and cons I can do no better than refer you to Gordons article Should you buy a DSLR or a Compact?.

Bob.


Bob,

Thanks for your thoughts. I read Gordon's article, and he gives a lot of excellent advice. I was really wondering more about your own personal experiences, though. Have you always used a DSLR or did you work up to it? If the latter, what finally convinced you to get a DSLR?

As you pointed out, DSLR's are becoming easier to use due to more automatic settings. It also seems like non-DSLR's are becoming more flexible by adding greater manual control. It looks to me like the gap between the two is getting smaller and smaller. I suspect that there will be fewer and fewer reasons for the typical amateur photographer to get a DSLR as non-DSLR technology continues to improve. Do you think that's true?

Fred

P.S. When I say non-DSLR, I guess I really mean "bridge camera" (a new term to me).

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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


Last edited by fwchapman on Fri Aug 08, 2008 9:57 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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 Post subject: Reply to Mark
PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 9:14 pm 
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Hi Mark,

Thanks for your detailed and thoughtful reply to my post. Someone like you, who actually owns an FZ18, is certainly in a much better position to spot the differences between the FZ18 and the FZ28. As you pointed out, not all the changes are improvements, and some are just tradeoffs. For example, I noticed that they traded a wider angle lens for a shorter-reaching zoom. For my main business application (taking pictures of building interiors and exteriors), a wider angle is more important to me than a longer zoom. For me, that makes it a small change for the better.

If I already owned an FZ18, I would not be tempted to run out and buy an FZ28 unless one of the new features were crucially important to me. Most likely, I would live with what I already have, and might actually prefer! Video zooming could also have business applications for me, which makes it important -- to me. Taking better action shots is mostly for fun, but I might like to capture children playing or the occasional bird in flight.

In the end, I think choosing a camera is a very personal decision. It depends on each individual's needs and priorities, which may vary considerably from one person to another. That means it's entirely possible we're both right about the FZ28! :)

I wonder how much the price of the FZ18 will drop once the FZ28 hits the streets. I also wonder if anyone will offer the FZ28 below the suggested retail price in the beginning. Any wagers? ;)

Fred

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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


Last edited by fwchapman on Mon Sep 21, 2009 11:25 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 9:26 pm 
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Hi Fred, welcome aboard!

I'd also say you have to be very careful about placing too much faith in certain features before they've been tested. Zooming while filming video is a good thing, BUT it can cause issues with autofocus, not to mention the camera recording the sound of the zoom motor. So sometimes it's not much use at all!

I will of course be putting this to the test as soon as Panasonic supplies one for review!

Gordon


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 Post subject: Reply to Gordon
PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 9:38 pm 
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Hi Gordon,

Thanks for the warm welcome! You have a great online community here. I appreciate all the thoughtful comments I've been getting.

You make a great point -- what looks good on paper may not work out so well in practice. My excitement so far is based on the specs. I think the wise thing to do would be to wait until I've seen a thorough review, like yours, to find out if the new features work well enough to be worth the extra money.

Here's a question: Can a 1mm difference in the wide angle view (27mm vs. 28mm) make a noticeable difference in practice?

Glad to be aboard,

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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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 9:58 pm 
Hi guys,


Excuse me for my English because it is not really my mother tongue and the probably long thread.
I live in the Dutch part of Belgium so I normally speak Flemish or Dutch.


I also just registered because I'm interested in the Z28 and I want to follow up on this thread with you guys.

I bought a Canon G2 about 7 years ago for 1150 Euro, I still have the receipt (=$1400)
It still looks like new and takes excellent photo's but compared to the newer stuff it is slow, only 3x zoom and ... big boys new toys time.
Also with an active 3 year old kid taking a picture where he's actually on it is in an adventure due to the slowness.

My first thoughts where to buy another Canon since I still like mine and it seems alot of people have one if you look around.
I wanted to buy an S5-IS for the zoom, speed and movie mode.
Since it is almost identical to an S3-IS that my friend has I took that one for a 2 week spin to see if I liked it.
My personal opinion ... avoid it like the plague.
I liked it alot to shoot foto's because it was fast and the nice 12X zoom but afterwards the photo' where an extreem dissapointment.
Purple fringment even visible if you printed it on a small piece of standard paper.
When I check the reviews for the S5-IS the lens is no better.
Why this camera sells that good is a big question mark for me.
If I start reading some forums it seems that I'm not the only one that seems dissapointed about Canon.


Now Panasonic time ;)

I bought a second hand one 2 weeks ago, the DMC-FZ7 for 110 Euro, really cheap and almost unused.
The first day I was a bit confused about the settings etc since I'm used to the Canon.
I also made the mistake to read the tests on the web and since they all mentioned the word 'noise' so I focused on that one.
Last week I went to the stables with my wife and shot allot of photo's.
After we got home I analysed the photo's. Unfortunately the camera had a red hotpixel that showed up at any iso or exposure time so I was very dissapointed at that.
I sold it to the guy that owned the stables because he liked the continous shooting mode for the same price, so no loss.
Now after analysing the pro's and con's there are alot of things that I liked about that Panasonic that I also see when reading about the other FZ models that make me want to buy a Panasonic again.

pro's: super good lens , fast, good batt, easy menu
con's: noise

I was also looking to buy an FZ18 like fwchapman but after stumbling on this website that mentioned the FZ28 it makes me itch to buy that one.
There are a couple of thoughts that I have about this.
Why more megapixels on the same size sensor and add filters to reduce the noise?
I have no urge to have more then the 4MP like on my G2. From what I can think of, everything stands or falls with the lens, sensor and jpeg compression. You can have a 30MP camera but if one of the mentioned fails you could as well have a good old 1.3MP camera.
I would rather work on the signal to noise then to raise the (unusable) extra MP which according to me is pure sales talk.

Another thing that I don't like is the movie mode 30fps.
This won't be an issue for you US NTSC guys since you use 30fps but we European guys use 25fps on our PAL system.
The issue is that if we convert the movie to a DVD standard we get choppy movies since a couple of frames are being dropped.
It should be really simple for manufacturers to add 25fps to the menu since you can also set the output on the camera to PAL.

Sorry for the long thread and I hope I didn't go offtopic

I found 1 review for the FZ28 on another forum
http://dc.watch.impress.co.jp/cda/revie ... /8957.html


Kind regards,


Luc


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 Post subject: Reply to Luc
PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 10:26 pm 
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Hi Luc,

Welcome to the forum! It's good to meet another person who is trying to decide between the FZ18 and the FZ28. If the FZ28 lives up to its specs in actual testing, I'll probably get it -- unless the price on the FZ18 drops so much that it becomes a bargain I can't resist!

I gather that packing more pixels into the same size sensor is a bad idea. It is a shame that this trend continues. What if somebody made a super-zoom "bridge camera" which has the same size size sensor as a DSLR? Would the built-in lens then become too big and heavy? (I read that smaller sensors on bridge cameras allow them to use smaller lenses as well, which is actually more convenient.) Other than price, is there any reason not to put a DSLR-sized sensor into a bridge camera?

As for the movie frame rate, if you make a case to Panasonic, they might listen to you and include 25fps in a future model. (Could they make a change like that in firmware?) As Mark pointed out, the reason the FZ28 now has video zoom is that enough people complained about the FZ18 not having video zoom.

Thanks for the FZ28 review. It's in Japanese, but I used Google to make an English translation. If you click on the sample photos, it displays the full-size versions. I'm amazed at the results!

Best wishes,

Fred

P.S. Your English is much better than my Dutch. :)

_________________
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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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 11:09 pm 
Hi Fred,


I just submitted a request on the Panasonic website, lets see if I get a reply on that.

Just checked a couple of websites and it seems that it will be available in Europe on the 21th of August (the year was not included :) )
I can pre-order it seems which is tempting.


I wonder what happens to the noise if you like set the camera to half it's max resolution.
Have you ever tried that Gordon?

Regards,

Luc


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 Post subject: Reply to Luc
PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 11:32 pm 
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luke-san wrote:
Just checked a couple of websites and it seems that it will be available in Europe on the 21th of August (the year was not included :) )
I can pre-order it seems which is tempting.

Hi Luc,

Leaving out the year gives them a loophole to crawl through in case of unexpected delays. :)

I too am tempted to pre-order, but I'm resisting the temptation -- I'm hoping to benefit from price wars between different sellers. ;)

Best,

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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