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New Panasonic Lumix FZ18

 
 
aniramca@gmail.com
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      07-26-2007
A new Panasonic digital camera just came out. It has an 18x optical
zoom, similar to Olympus SP-550UZ. I wonder how do they prize it in
comparison to the smaller FZ8 and the larger FZ50? Will FZ8 be slowly
pull out, or is this camera a new series?
I can't help wondering whether there will be a more close association
between Matsushita (creator of Panasonic) and Olympus. Panasonic has
LC-1 DSLR and Olympus has E-volt 330, which looks similar and share
the four third lens system (Leica lens for Panasonic and Zuikor lens
for Olympus). Is FZ18 and SP550UZ a competition, or do they end up as
a partner?
Is pushing optical zoom 18x a little too far, e specially using a
small P&S sensor size? FZ8 is 7 MP, FZ50 is 10MP and FZ18 will be 8
MP. I am looking forward to hear some news about this camera as it
goes into the market. I also wonder if Panasonic will enter an entry
level DSLR soon.

 
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Paul Furman
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      07-26-2007
http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed) wrote:

> Is pushing optical zoom 18x a little too far



Yes.


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Andrew MacPherson
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      07-26-2007
(E-Mail Removed) (Paul Furman) wrote:

> Yes.


I'm actually pretty impressed by the SP-550's image quality across the
range. However its lag (mainly down to slow focusing speed) makes it an
annoying tool at times.

I'll be interested in seeing how Panasonic's offering compares, because
the combination of 28mm wide end and long zoom is a very attractive
package in a fairly pocketable camera. Having said that, the important
range is the 28-300ish part and I'd happily lose the extra length for a
higher quality lense design.

Andrew McP

 
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Michael J Davis
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      07-26-2007
Paul Furman <(E-Mail Removed)> observed
>(E-Mail Removed) wrote:
>
>> Is pushing optical zoom 18x a little too far

>
>Yes.


I've only read the PR, but the difficult bit (cf the FZ is at the 28mm
equiv. end - the long end is not a lot different from the excellent lens
on the FZ5 that I have. The real problem (without seeing any
reviews[1]) is likely to be a further increase in the pixel count,
although RAW will give a work around.

[1] And the reviews are not very helpful in general, as they
tend to use factory settings. On my FZ5 & FZ50 I have always
used minimum interference from the Venus II & III engines and
done sharpening, and noise adjustments on the computer.

Mike
[The reply-to address is valid for 30 days from this posting]
--
Michael J Davis
<><
Some newsgroup contributors appear to have confused
the meaning of "discussion" with "digression".
<><
 
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Tony Polson
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      07-26-2007
(E-Mail Removed) wrote:

>A new Panasonic digital camera just came out. It has an 18x optical
>zoom, similar to Olympus SP-550UZ. I wonder how do they prize it in
>comparison to the smaller FZ8 and the larger FZ50? Will FZ8 be slowly
>pull out, or is this camera a new series?
>I can't help wondering whether there will be a more close association
>between Matsushita (creator of Panasonic) and Olympus. Panasonic has
>LC-1 DSLR and Olympus has E-volt 330, which looks similar and share
>the four third lens system (Leica lens for Panasonic and Zuikor lens
>for Olympus). Is FZ18 and SP550UZ a competition, or do they end up as
>a partner?


All current Olympus Four Thirds DSLRs use Panasonic sensors. The
Panasonic LC-1, Leica Digilux 3 and Olympus E-330 all use the same
Panasonic 7.5 MP sensor and Olympus viewfinder.

>Is pushing optical zoom 18x a little too far, e specially using a
>small P&S sensor size?


Oh yes it is!

> I also wonder if Panasonic will enter an entry
>level DSLR soon.


The Panasonic DMC LC-1 is an entry level DSLR camera, but with a very
expensive price tag of 999. You can pay another 800 for the Leica
version which is virtually identical at a whopping 1799 !!!

The Olympus E-330 is now discontinued, but is probably still available
at rather less than half the price of the Panasonic DSLR. Of course
the Panasonic has the excellent Leica zoom lens with built-in
anti-shake, as does the ridiculously expensive Leica Digilux 3.


 
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Stan Beck
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      07-26-2007
I have the DMC FZ10 - 5 mp - (besides my D200) and it delivers good photos.
I would be less concerned with the 18x zoom than the size of the sensor. I
think 6 or 7 mp is plenty - 8mp, and certainly 10 mp, on a chip that size
will produce a lot of noise.

As for the lens - you will probably have pincushion/barrel distortion, but
that is usually at both ends of the zoom range.

--
The smaller the fine print, the less you will like what it says.

Stan Beck > From New Orleans to Brandon MS
To reply, remove 101 from address.
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<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed) ups.com...
>A new Panasonic digital camera just came out. It has an 18x optical
> zoom, similar to Olympus SP-550UZ. I wonder how do they prize it in
> comparison to the smaller FZ8 and the larger FZ50? Will FZ8 be slowly
> pull out, or is this camera a new series?
> I can't help wondering whether there will be a more close association
> between Matsushita (creator of Panasonic) and Olympus. Panasonic has
> LC-1 DSLR and Olympus has E-volt 330, which looks similar and share
> the four third lens system (Leica lens for Panasonic and Zuikor lens
> for Olympus). Is FZ18 and SP550UZ a competition, or do they end up as
> a partner?
> Is pushing optical zoom 18x a little too far, e specially using a
> small P&S sensor size? FZ8 is 7 MP, FZ50 is 10MP and FZ18 will be 8
> MP. I am looking forward to hear some news about this camera as it
> goes into the market. I also wonder if Panasonic will enter an entry
> level DSLR soon.
>



 
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sconnet@gmail.com
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      07-26-2007
[removed cross-posting]

On Jul 25, 7:59 pm, (E-Mail Removed) wrote:
> A new Panasonic digital camera just came out. It has an 18x optical
> zoom


The FZ8 has 12x optical zoom at 7 MP, and 18x optical zoom at 3 MP.
The 18x zoom appears very good and the photos I've taken are great at
18x.

--
me

 
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BaumBadier
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      07-26-2007
On Thu, 26 Jul 2007 09:33 +0100 (BST), (E-Mail Removed)
(Andrew MacPherson) wrote:

>(E-Mail Removed) (Paul Furman) wrote:
>
>> Yes.

>
>I'm actually pretty impressed by the SP-550's image quality across the
>range. However its lag (mainly down to slow focusing speed) makes it an
>annoying tool at times.
>
>I'll be interested in seeing how Panasonic's offering compares, because
>the combination of 28mm wide end and long zoom is a very attractive
>package in a fairly pocketable camera. Having said that, the important
>range is the 28-300ish part and I'd happily lose the extra length for a
>higher quality lense design.
>
>Andrew McP


Slow focusing at full zoom on any super-zoom P&S camera is due to user error and
user idiocy, not camera design. The image at full-zoom is moving around so much
that the camera has a hard time locking onto high-contrast edges. You can
eliminate the problem to a degree by putting IS on continuous mode (if your
camera has IS). But then you run into a problem where you can't see how much the
camera is shaking in the first place. Which, when the photo is actually taken,
creates a situation where the image may be swinging around more wildly than the
camera's IS can compensate for it causing blurred images. If you can't see your
own camera shake when IS is on continuous mode then you can't tell when you are
holding it steady enough for using full-zoom. Auto-focus will lock on faster
with IS in continuous mode but you may end up with more blurry images. Catch 22.

Try learning to hand-hold a camera properly or take all your long-zoom images on
a tripod (as was used on all cameras before the advent of IS and super-zoom P&S
cameras) then auto-focus works just as fast at long-zoom settings as it does at
wide-angle in any of these cameras.

You people should learn how to become photographers first and knowing how your
camera works so you can understand how your own inabilities will impact its
performance, instead of hoping that the camera you buy will turn you into a
photographer.

 
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Andrew MacPherson
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      07-27-2007
(E-Mail Removed) (BaumBadier) wrote:

> You people should learn how to become photographers first


Thanks for the lesson, you've been a big help.

Andrew McP

 
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BaumBadier
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      07-27-2007
On Fri, 27 Jul 2007 12:04 +0100 (BST), (E-Mail Removed)
(Andrew MacPherson) wrote:

>(E-Mail Removed) (BaumBadier) wrote:
>
>> You people should learn how to become photographers first

>
>Thanks for the lesson, you've been a big help.
>
>Andrew McP


I left out an important note on what IS setting should be used to better your
skills AND allow the camera to operate at peak performance:

Any long-zoom P&S camera should have the IS left in "Shoot Only" mode. Where it
doesn't initiate IS until you actually take the photo. This way you have instant
feedback on how steady you are holding the camera BEFORE you press the shutter.
If you can learn to compensate for camera shake this way, by actually seeing how
much it is moving and locking your muscles to dampen it, locking a taught
camera-strap under your arms and around your back for further stability, or
brace against any nearby objects, then the IS in the camera can easily
compensate for the rest of it. The converse is not true if you have IS set to
continuous mode where you can't tell how much you are shaking the camera.

BUT ... as I said, if the image is moving greatly then auto-focus can't lock on
as easily. You can circumvent this by learning to set your camera in
manual-focus to a hyperfocal distance for the subjects and f/stop that you are
using at the time. This will VASTLY increase the shutter response time, beating
even high-end DSLR response times.

People today so often want to blame the camera. They don't realize they are
holding a technological wonder, with a zoom-range far beyond what many of us had
just 15 or 20 years ago. They expect it to perform like a snap-shot camera
because they've been made as user-friendly as an old Instamatic. Realize that
these new cameras are not only pushing the limits of technology but also the
limits of the photographer's own human abilities. Putting lens focal-lengths at
your easy disposal that no photographer in his right mind would have tried to
hand-hold just a few years ago. When we grabbed a 200mm or 400mm lens to put on
our cameras we also grabbed the tripod, as a standard rule of action. If new
photographers today stop to realize this then they'll stop blaming the
performance of the camera and learn to look more at their own limitations.
Improve your own techniques and the camera will happily compensate for anything
that you can't improve on your own.

This is why today I can even take hand-held photos with a 432mm focal length at
a full 1-second shutter-speed with an IS equipped camera. Which also allows the
camera to rapidly focus in that dim of a light at that long of a zoom setting.
It's not the camera that needs to be made better, it's the photographer's own
skills that need to advance up to those of the camera. If some camera reviewer
is reporting slow focusing times in dim light or with long zooms, it's not a
review of the camera that he is reporting. He's actually reporting how rotten he
is at his own photography skills. I learned how to hold the camera steady long
ago. Anything that the new technology offers to me today just improves on what I
already learned without it.

 
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