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Aug 19th, 2005, 04:35 PM
  #41
 
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Sorry about the typo -- there no such thing as a "worsy case" scenario. Make that "worst case."
Phil
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Aug 20th, 2005, 04:12 AM
  #42
 
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Marynus, for your info, the FZ30 was released in Canada yesterday. Henry's Camera in Toronto has it for $999 CDN. High price compared with estimated cost in USA. Looks like a good one according to the specs I've found on the internet. At 3 megpix it has a reported optical zoom of 19.1X for a spectacular 800mm - 35mm equivalent. Can also do movies at 640X480, a great improvement for the Panasonic digitals. The camera seems very sturdy. I use an FZ3 and can attest that the Leica lens is very fine indeed, even using digital magnification. Looking forward to seeing a test of the camera by the experts.
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Aug 20th, 2005, 06:55 AM
  #43
 
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Sorry, bad math. The 19.1X translates to about 670mm - 35mm equivalent.
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Aug 20th, 2005, 12:38 PM
  #44
 
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Good to hear that the FZ30 is actually being sold somewhere. It is just a matter of time until all of us can at least go look at one. That 668mm extra optical zoom at 19.1x comes with two potential problems. First, soft or blurred pictures due to extreme magnification of camera shake. Even with the wonderful image stabilization system, you will have to use a very fast shutter speed -- at least 1/500th of a second or faster, or else use it on a tripod, which is difficult on safari to avoid this problem. Secondly, when you elect to use this extra optical zoom feature at 19.1x, you will only be using three megapixels out of the 8MP on that sensor. This limits both cropping and print size.

The FZ 30's other extra optical zoom option -- shooting at 15.3x,using five of the camera's eight megapixels, is a much more realistic option. It will extend the zooms length from 420mm to 535mm, and with the camera's image stabilization system, you can use a shutter speed as slow as 1/125th of a second and still get sharp pictures. And also have plenty of pixels available for either printing or cropping.

Phil
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Aug 20th, 2005, 03:44 PM
  #45
 
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I couldn't agree with you more Phil. At the higher magnifications a tripod is a must. Regarding digital noise, here is a link to a chat where a fellow ran several shots at various ISOs in a Henry's Camera store. He felt there is no problem with noise. I'm afraid I don't agree with him. To my eye there is digital noise which can be seen in the flat colour areas and a deterioration in pic clarity/quality as one goes in steps from ISO 80/100/200/400. I certainly don't know how this compares with other camera brands. Therefore, I look forward to seeing what our expert friends say about the FZ30.

The link is http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...ssage=14702936
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Aug 20th, 2005, 07:47 PM
  #46
 
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AndrewS5,

Regarding tripods, I agree that they are important tools at higher magnifications. However they are usually impractical for use from safari vehicles. Photographers generally replace them with beanbags, clamps, etc. But another factor in camera shake is vibration from the engine. If long lenses are used, I would hope that the engine of the truck be shut down, or the vibration will cause soft pictures at large magnification.

I explained my views on digital noise a few posts earlier. I also read the report of the fellow who just tested the FZ30 in a Canadian store, and if there was noise in those photos he made and posted, it would not be a factor in smaller prints or images sized for web display.

Generally speaking, noise will be present to a degree in all images made by non DSLR cameras at ISO 200 and 400. But it only becomes a significant factor if it gets in the way of meaning. Which it very rarely does. And if it should degrade image quality to the point where meaning is affected, noise can be easily removed or reduced by a Photoshop filter such as Neat Image. Photographers who insist on making noiseless images directly from the camera at ISO 200 and up, should only use digital single lens reflex cameras.

Phil
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Aug 21st, 2005, 03:48 PM
  #47
 
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Regarding the release of the FZ30 in Canada - I know this may be a dumb question - but would it be the same as what would be released in the US? I have posted previously on this thread and won't be able to get the FZ30 in the States in time for my safari and was going to settle for the FZ20.

If we could get it from Canada (even if it costs a bit more) I'd love to do so. Are the charger, etc. the same as the US? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!!
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Aug 21st, 2005, 06:37 PM
  #48
 
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Hi, lorib1,

I am sure that the FZ30 now on sale in Canada has the same specifications that will sell in the US. If you go to Panasonic's corporate webpage on the camera, you will see the official specifications of the camera.

http://panasonic.co.jp/pavc/global/l...z30/index.html

If you read the fine print at the end, you will note that accessories might vary from country to country. The battery charger packaged with the FZ30s now on sale in Canada should be the same charger that will come with cameras sold here in the US. Why should it work differently? We share the same electrical standards.


The only significant difference between countries should be the cost.

Phil
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Aug 22nd, 2005, 06:26 AM
  #49
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For people in the same situation as me (not really a pro, but you want a nice camera) it might be a good idea to keep watching Ebay and similar sites.

I expect that many people will sell their FZ20 to get a FZ30. In the Netherlands I have seem some at a nice price.

Julian, did you think about selling your camera to me?
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Aug 31st, 2005, 03:48 AM
  #50
 
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Just as an fyi to all those waiting for the FZ30 to hit the states - I ordered one yesterday directly from Panasonic. It should arrive tomorrow. I had called a few retailers in NYC and they were "uncertain" of the availability date as of earlier this week.
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Aug 31st, 2005, 06:04 AM
  #51
 
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Marynus, since you said "I do not know anything of taking photos" I would recommend checking out the fz5 over the fz 20, they are basically the same camera, the only major difference is that the fz 20 has a manual focus and an auto focus, while the fz 5 only has the auto focus. If you are a novice you will probabley never use the manual focus, also i will add it is difficult to use the manula focus being that you are looking at a lcd, true panasonic has a neat trick that in manual focus the center is blown up to assist in focus, but it is still hard to get a clear shot in manual, you will opt for auto focus 99 if not 100 percent of the time. Also the fz 5 is smaller, so when you finish safari you may actually use this camera for fun, the fz 20 is a bit big to wear on your belt. (the fz5 is also no micro, but you can get away with it) If you go to shopping.com and search the 2 cameras you can get the fz5 for under 350 which is a steal, or the fz20 for around 410. you may also consider the fz4 which is similar to the fz5 but is 4.2 mega pixels. If you do not crop you will still get nice enlargments. That camera is under 300. If you are 1st timer, you do want a good camera, but why pay for features you will not use. Go for the fz 5.
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Aug 31st, 2005, 12:22 PM
  #52
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@Mhron

This is exactly what I figured out.
First I went looking for a second hand FZ20, but none are available in the Netherlands and my trip is too close to risk anything (will go on Saturday).

I am now looking at a way to get the FZ-5 at a good price in the Netherlands.
I am not sure whether the internet shops will be able to deliver in time. I thought of buying it at the airport, but do not want to risk anything.

I think I will buy the FZ5 tomorrow. It has more or less the same features as the FZ20 (at least for a novice like me) and the price and size are better.

I am now googling all normal shops in the Netherlands, but it seems that the Panasonic cameras are not the most popular here (the normal shops are hard to find).
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Sep 2nd, 2005, 12:18 AM
  #53
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Yahoo! I have bought the FZ5!

unfortunately the price I paid was somewhat higher than Mhron said, but it was not possible to get the camera for a better price in the Netherlands (in a normal shop).

Now I am finally able to start playing with the camera!
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Sep 2nd, 2005, 07:55 AM
  #54
 
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Our FZ30 arrived yesterday - just in time to play with it over the long holiday weekend. The camera is much weightier than the fz20 or fz5, which we are happy about. As I indicated before - we ordered it in the US on the Panasonic website, and there is free 2-day shipping now. Had to pay sales tax, though.
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Sep 2nd, 2005, 06:04 PM
  #55
 
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Hi!

A couple of years ago I didnít want to lug my SLR to Costa Rica and bought a Canon A70, which filled the bill. My first trip to Africa will be to Tanzania in October. I could not have planned the trip without all the great information provided by this group. All of Julian and Philís wonderful advice and the web sites for digital review prepared me for stepping through the door of Henryís and depositing my kidís inheritance!

Two weeks ago I went to Henryís to see the Sony HI, Canon 2S, Panansonic FZ20 and DSLR. I came home with the FZ30 and I have been playing, so far only on Auto and 5 mg, and I feel I have had tremendous results. I shot some pictures of Toronto Island from the roof garden of a building on the Esplanade (two streets, 4 lane road, another street, land, water, island far enough out they run a ferry to it) and with the 15x you can clearly see sail boats and boat house at RCYC (without a wobble and without a tripod) and I was amazed at how it stopped a flag at Cherry Beach in a 35 km wind, no blur, no tripod.

Last weekend in Ottawa I took some amazing shots of a dress rehearsal for the changing of the guard ceremony on Parliament Hill. I was deliberately shooting to test the camera and see what I could do with it. I could not believe what I could do with zoom and the Raynox 0.3X wide angle lens. For the FZ20 people the salesman seem surprised that the FZ30 is a 58mm thread. I will be picking up on the tips and heading to the zoo this weekend. Being an old SLR amateur I am still fighting the screen and having trouble accepting EVF. After saying that the rotating screen is amazing but I am so afraid I am going to forget to park it!

Panasonic hasnít released the wide angle lens, the extra batteries or any accessories. I sure hope the extra batteries are out before I leave. But for me the bottom line was the ease of use and the intuitive programming will enhance my safari experience and I wonít have to worry about the expense of an extra zoom lens for a DSLR. I am sure most of you will be far better shots with your SLR than I will get but I know I sure couldnít have come up with better shots than the 30. Now if only my son-in-law has a contact for a discount on the Epson P-2000.

Chris
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Sep 3rd, 2005, 02:13 AM
  #56
 
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Hello Chris,

Glad to hear you like the camera -- they aren't released over here in the UK yet, but I look forward to getting my hands on one as well.

The previous FZ cameras are a 72mm thread, because you had to screw the filters onto the lens hood rather than directly onto the camera -- that's probably why the camera shop people were surprised.

Cheers,
Julian
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