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Panasonic DMC FZ10

Discussion in 'Photography Forums' started by matiano, Apr 15, 2004.

  1. matiano

    matiano
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    I recently received some camera vouchers and this is the camera I am most keen on. The main drawback in my opinion is the relatively low pixel count in relation to the price. But the argument is if i bought a 5mp camera would I ever print large enough to warrant it, something I have to decide on.
    I have had a play around with the camera at work and have found the leica lens, zoom, and manual focus ring all very appealing. Just wondered if anyone knew of any problems, or a good equivalent I should consider?

    the panasonic is here

    Another possibilty was the Fuji S5000, the downsides being the inferior lens quality, zoom and the 3.2 true mp but it is considerable less pricey.
     
  2. Peakoverload

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    Hi Matiano,

    Well I have to be honest and say that I havent used or even held the Panasonic but I personally would not buy it. The reason for this decision is in part the Panasonic name. Panasonic don't have that high a reputation in the camera market at least not compared to other manufacturers in the same price bracket. Also the features of the Panasonic are IMHO not as good as others on the market, again in the same price bracket.

    The Panasonic costs £449.90 from Jessops and has the following spec:

    f/2.8 Leica DC Vario-Elmarit Lens
    4.2 Megapixel CCD
    12x Optical Zoom
    Mega Optical Image Stabilizer
    Manual Modes
    Mega Burst Shoot (4 fps)
    2.0" Monitor with 130k Pixel Resolution
    SD Memory Card included
    Motion Pictures in JPEG
    Histogram Display

    However for just £30 more you could buy the Fuji Finepix S7000 at £479.90 which has the following spec:
    6.3 Megapixels
    6x Zoom equivalent to 35-210mm on a 35mm camera
    RAW file format
    Manual zoom ring control
    Dual card format: xD-Picture Card and Microdrive, for added flexibility
    Full manual control
    High sensitivity settings (up to ISO 800) to allow photography in a wide range of situations, including low light without flash
    Manual (threaded) cable release socket
    Storage: xD-Picture Card & Microdrive

    Okay the Fuji 'only' has a 6x zoom compared to the Panasonics 12x but I would be interested in seeing what the light fall off is of the Panasonic at maximum zoom and how much chromatic abberations, distortions and vignetting is introduced. I'm not saying that there will be any, just that I would be interested to see if any are introduced.

    The Image Stabilizer of the Panny is only needed because of the longer focal length and so wont be missed on the Fuji.

    Lenses of Fuji cameras do tend to be very good in general so it's well worth doing some tests with both cameras to see which you like optically.

    The Burst mode of the Panny is good depending on how this actually works. That 4fps will be at optimum performance and won't be something that you will be able to achieve all the time in the field. On average I would say that this would be more like 2.5-3fps. I don't know if the Fuji has a burst mode or not so can't comment on that. Burst modes are useful things to have but only if they are actually fast enough and when the buffer is full allow you to take more pictures as soon as the first picture has been written to the card and not make you wait until the entire buffer is empty.

    Pound for Pound I honestly think that the Fuji is a much better camera than the Panasonic but you should really try both of them out, as well as any others you like, before you part with any cash.
     
  3. matiano

    matiano
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    Thanks for the point of view, I did play with the burst mode on the Panasonic and it doesnt go any less that 4 fps even at tip top quality. Having said that, it is not a feature that will altar my decision greatly.
    I did consider the Fuji, and I must be honest Im not really sure what has put me off it, the zoom is a factor but not a serious one. I think it is almost a bit too extreme at 6mp, I dont think I would ever require that quality (or even look at the 12mp boost!).
    I had not considered that the lack of an image stabiliser on the Fuji will not really make any difference anyway, I must confess when I played with the Panasonic the image was so smooth I was instantly drawn to it, but the S7000 is plenty smooth indeed. I will be honest and say the main factor that still puts the Panasonic ahead in my book is the price. Fortunately I work in Jessops so get a pleasant discount but even with the discount I am stretched to afford the Panasonic so I didnt even bother finding out the staff price of the S7000! I may well do though and if it isnt too far off it could be a contender.
    You made a good point about the light when the Panasonic is zoomed in, but I have feeling it remains at F2.8 constantly which is very nice.
    Initially, I think it was the newness of the Panasonic that made me look at it over the Fuji so it may have been an unfair dismissal of the Fuji.
    I think you are essentially spot on, the Fuji has the option of better quality prints, its unlikely I would ever use RAW but I may regret not having the extra mp or 2 to play with. I will certainly have another play before any decision is made but thanks a lot for the input, anything else would be greatly appreciated.

    Out of interest do you own an S7000, as you (understandably) seem very fond of it?
     
  4. Peakoverload

    Peakoverload
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    No I dont own a S7000 although I used to own a Fuji Finepix 4900 which I really liked, hence why I'm a bit of a fan of Fuji.

    My camera at the moment, and for the foreseable future is the Canon EOS-10D
     
  5. matiano

    matiano
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    Well with a 10D you certainly dont need a Fuji! A digital SLR is certainly not an option for me in the forseeable future as pleasant as it would be.
    Anyway thanks for all the info, greatly appreciated.
     
  6. melliott1963

    melliott1963
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    Can I just comment on your statement 'if i bought a 5mp camera would I ever print large enough to warrant it'.

    You may not ever want or need to print large photos, but I'm sure there will be many times when you'll want to crop images to get a better composition. In these cases, a higher resolution will result in sharper finished pictures as you're effectively digitally zooming in on the image.

    Another thing to consider is the quality of the images that are saved by the camera. You, quite rightly, say you'll probably never need RAW format, but you should consider the quality of JPEGs. In my honest opinion, the only thing that lets down the Fuji 7000 (in fact all Fujis), is the fact that they only have one setting for JPEG images which is highly compressed. Many other manufacturers give you the option of Low, Medium or High compression. The problem with highly compressed JPEG images is that you tend to get, particularly in the sky, 'noise' which is caused by the compression. This will become even more apparent if you zoom into the image when cropping etc. A lot of people are happy to put up with this, but I, for one, am not, especially when you consider the amount of money you're spending.

    Hope this helps.
     
  7. matiano

    matiano
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    melliott1963

    Thanks for the comment, I dont tend to do a huge amount of image editing which is why the cropping factor had not really occured to me though, it would certianly be nice to have the option to crop whilst retaining a high resolution though. I sold a Panazinc yesterday and noticed that there are 2 options on file compression in the JPEG format so on the better quality any noise that may be apparent on the Fuji will hopefully not be prestn on the Panny. I may do a test though to clarify this. I will not be buying until the end of the month (pay day!) but I am leaning towards the Panasonic, although I like the Fuji the Panasonic seems quite unique.
    Thanks for your comments anything else would be smashing.
     
  8. nsutherland

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    Matiano,

    I have an order in at the moment for an Olympus C-765, but I'm seriously considering the Panasonic. Aside from being cheaper, the advantages of the Olympus seem to be the higher resolution viewfinder (240k pixels vs 114k) and USB 2.0 but in other respects I'd prefer the Panasonic.

    Did you find the Panasonic viewfinder a problem?
     
  9. matiano

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    I opted for the Panasonic and I am thoroughly enjoying it.

    nsutherland, I have had no problem with the viewfinder at all, I wear glasses and the optic adjustment has worked nicely, the resolution does not seem low although I havent used the Olympus. The resolution seems nice and crisp even on the magnified manual focus mode, but I have actually found that even in bright conditions the LCD screen has performed surprisinlg well, with little glare. Even so I do generally opt for the viewfinder and it does the job nicely giving the same display options of the LCD screen.
    The most pleasant thing I noticed on my first day out with the camera was how simple the manual features were, once you are out of the menus the shutter speed and aperture can be changed so quickly and easily its smashing!
    I gave the burst mode a good seeing to and found it performed superbly, maintaing 5 fps on the highest resolution without having to resort to file compression, very nice.
    I would highly reccomend the Panasonic, I had a good play at work with it before I purchased and was mildly concerned it was too complex, but 30 mins of instruction skimming and its easy peasy.
     
  10. nsutherland

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    Matiano,

    Thanks for posting your comments post-purchase. I'll take a look for myself shortly.
     

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