New Panasonic Lumix FZ18

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by aniramca@gmail.com, Jul 26, 2007.

  1. Guest

    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.
     
    , Jul 26, 2007
    #1
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  2. Paul Furman Guest

    Paul Furman, Jul 26, 2007
    #2
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  3. (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
     
    Andrew MacPherson, Jul 26, 2007
    #3
  4. Paul Furman <> observed
    > wrote:
    >
    >> Is pushing optical zoom 18x a little too far

    >
    >Yes.


    I've only read the PR, but the difficult bit (cf the FZ8) 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".
    <><
     
    Michael J Davis, Jul 26, 2007
    #4
  5. Tony Polson Guest

    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.
     
    Tony Polson, Jul 26, 2007
    #5
  6. Stan Beck Guest

    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.
    ***

    <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >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.
    >
     
    Stan Beck, Jul 26, 2007
    #6
  7. Guest

    [removed cross-posting]

    On Jul 25, 7:59 pm, 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
     
    , Jul 26, 2007
    #7
  8. BaumBadier Guest

    On Thu, 26 Jul 2007 09:33 +0100 (BST),
    (Andrew MacPherson) wrote:

    > (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.
     
    BaumBadier, Jul 26, 2007
    #8
  9. (BaumBadier) wrote:

    > You people should learn how to become photographers first


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

    Andrew McP
     
    Andrew MacPherson, Jul 27, 2007
    #9
  10. BaumBadier Guest

    On Fri, 27 Jul 2007 12:04 +0100 (BST),
    (Andrew MacPherson) wrote:

    > (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.
     
    BaumBadier, Jul 27, 2007
    #10
  11. John Turco Guest

    BaumBadier wrote:

    <heavily edited, for brevity>

    > 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.


    <edited>

    Hello, BaumBadier:

    You make a lot of sense, man! P&S digicams - even highly advanced ones -
    are so often taken for granted, despite their proven capabilities and
    obvious advantages.


    Cordially,
    John Turco <>
     
    John Turco, Jul 29, 2007
    #11
  12. Ron Hunter Guest

    John Turco wrote:
    > BaumBadier wrote:
    >
    > <heavily edited, for brevity>
    >
    >> 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.

    >
    > <edited>
    >
    > Hello, BaumBadier:
    >
    > You make a lot of sense, man! P&S digicams - even highly advanced ones -
    > are so often taken for granted, despite their proven capabilities and
    > obvious advantages.
    >
    >
    > Cordially,
    > John Turco <>


    Talking about large lenses...
    I recently visited a nearby animal reserve (Fossil Rim, Glen Rose, Tx.),
    and the car going through in front of me stopped by the Cheetah
    enclosure, and poked a lens through the open window, and rested it on
    the bottom of the window to take a picture. I would estimate the size
    of the objective lens at 6", and the length of the lens to be about 12
    inches. The Cheetah was only about 30 feet from the camera. Now I
    would LOVE to see the picture he got. As we followed this car through
    the rest of the drive, I got other glimpses of that lens, and two or
    three others they had as they took pictures. It was obvious that they
    were either professionals, or amateurs with MUCH money.
     
    Ron Hunter, Jul 29, 2007
    #12
  13. ASAAR Guest

    On Sun, 29 Jul 2007 03:52:52 -0500, Ron Hunter wrote:

    > Talking about large lenses...
    > I recently visited a nearby animal reserve (Fossil Rim, Glen Rose, Tx.),
    > and the car going through in front of me stopped by the Cheetah
    > enclosure, and poked a lens through the open window, and rested it on
    > the bottom of the window to take a picture. I would estimate the size
    > of the objective lens at 6", and the length of the lens to be about 12
    > inches. The Cheetah was only about 30 feet from the camera. Now I
    > would LOVE to see the picture he got. As we followed this car through
    > the rest of the drive, I got other glimpses of that lens, and two or
    > three others they had as they took pictures. It was obvious that they
    > were either professionals, or amateurs with MUCH money.


    But not enough money to have gone on a *real* safari. :) It
    reminds me a bit of the not very admirable hunters bagging helpless
    "big game" in Carl Hiaasen's very funny "Sick Puppy".
     
    ASAAR, Jul 29, 2007
    #13
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