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Jeff Keller
09-25-2004, 12:36 AM
Just thinking out loud here: I've seen more and more threads started by people trying to choose between two cameras. More often than not it's a compact 3X zoom camera versus a 10X ultra zoom camera. That seems like quite a difference to me, especially in terms in size (though the Panasonic FZ3 that I received today is quite compact). I could see picking an ultra zoom camera from that group, or the Canon A95 versus Fuji E550, but the A95 or FZ20 is a big difference! :p

judge9847
09-25-2004, 03:36 AM
Just thinking out loud here: I've seen more and more threads started by people trying to choose between two cameras. More often than not it's a compact 3X zoom camera versus a 10X ultra zoom camera. That seems like quite a difference to me, especially in terms in size (though the Panasonic FZ3 that I received today is quite compact). I could see picking an ultra zoom camera from that group, or the Canon A95 versus Fuji E550, but the A95 or FZ20 is a big difference! :p
Indeed that is right Jeff. And without doing the research, it strikes me that more often than not it's maybe a "newbie" to the world of digital cameras.

I have a feeling that most people, even perhaps those who may have had a compact digital before, don't actually appreciate the step change and significant impact there is on images when moving from 3x zoom to 4x and 5x and all the way up to 12x or beyond. It is, as you'll know, quite a dramatic change.

I've had these examples for a while now and they were taken with my Panasonic FZ10, perched on a monopod, image stabilized.

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/r.patterson4/FZ10%20Zoom/01.jpg
This is a shot from one of the hides at Dungeness Nature Reserve in Kent in the UK, looking towards the two nuclear power stations. To the left of the stations is a locally quite famous lighthouse which I've arrowed.
There is no zoom at all.

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/r.patterson4/FZ10%20Zoom/02.jpg
This is the same shot from exactly the same postion but now using the full 12x zoom of the Panasonic. I believe that many don't realise just what a significant difference the ultrazoom makes.

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/r.patterson4/FZ10%20Zoom/03.jpg
Again, the same shot but this time with the full monty. 12x optical zoom and 3x digital zoom.

I think they clearly illustrate the difference from one end of the zoom range to another. No way will a 3x zoom achieve that. For what it's worth, I've got some more but using a 2.2 Raynox converter throughout the range. I'll happily post those if anyone should want.

I hope it helps those who are thinking about a compact versus an ultra zoom and who might want to see what the difference is when the zoom(s) are used.

D70FAN
09-25-2004, 07:22 AM
Indeed that is right Jeff. And without doing the research, it strikes me that more often than not it's maybe a "newbie" to the world of digital cameras.

I have a feeling that most people, even perhaps those who may have had a compact digital before, don't actually appreciate the step change and significant impact there is on images when moving from 3x zoom to 4x and 5x and all the way up to 12x or beyond. It is, as you'll know, quite a dramatic change.

I've had these examples for a while now and they were taken with my Panasonic FZ10, perched on a monopod, image stabilized.

This is a shot from one of the hides at Dungeness Nature Reserve in Kent in the UK, looking towards the two nuclear power stations. To the left of the stations is a locally quite famous lighthouse which I've arrowed.
There is no zoom at all.

This is the same shot from exactly the same postion but now using the full 12x zoom of the Panasonic. I believe that many don't realise just what a significant difference the ultrazoom makes.

Again, the same shot but this time with the full monty. 12x optical zoom and 3x digital zoom.

I think they clearly illustrate the difference from one end of the zoom range to another. No way will a 3x zoom achieve that. For what it's worth, I've got some more but using a 2.2 Raynox converter throughout the range. I'll happily post those if anyone should want.

I hope it helps those who are thinking about a compact versus an ultra zoom and who might want to see what the difference is when the zoom(s) are used.

A picture (or a few) is worth at least a thousand words. Well done.

Rhys
09-25-2004, 10:11 AM
Just thinking out loud here: I've seen more and more threads started by people trying to choose between two cameras. More often than not it's a compact 3X zoom camera versus a 10X ultra zoom camera. That seems like quite a difference to me, especially in terms in size (though the Panasonic FZ3 that I received today is quite compact). I could see picking an ultra zoom camera from that group, or the Canon A95 versus Fuji E550, but the A95 or FZ20 is a big difference! :p

I'm not so sure. It could well be that the user wants the facilities offered by a 35mm slr without buying a dSLR. It could also be that the user normally only uses the 35-70 range but is tempted by the 35 - 400 range.

I have a 35-70 compact for pocketability and a 35 - 400 all-in-one for slr equivalance.

Treasuredude
09-26-2004, 06:05 PM
I have a feeling that most people, even perhaps those who may have had a compact digital before, don't actually appreciate the step change and significant impact there is on images when moving from 3x zoom to 4x and 5x and all the way up to 12x or beyond. It is, as you'll know, quite a dramatic change.

I was all set to buy a Canon A95. That is until I saw your pics. Since then I have looked at other online samples of the Panasonic ultrazooms and now feel that I couldn't be happy without one. :)

I mainly take outdoor shots (son's football, landscapes, wildlife, etc.) but am also looking for quality indoor shots as well. This will be my one and only digital camera so I am looking for all around performance.

I usually look at the photos on my computer. I also burn them to disk to view on a DVD player. I print 4x6 with an occasional 8x10 thrown in. I currently am using a 2MP kodak I bought back in 2000. It's showing it's age and i need to upgrade.

Would the Z3 suit me or should I pop for the 20?

JohnBrowning
09-26-2004, 08:23 PM
Deciding between an ultrazoom with all its benefits (the zoom, flash size, possibly picture quality), and a compact camera with the all its benefits (size being the primary one) is difficult. You really need both.

judge9847
09-27-2004, 08:44 AM
Deciding between an ultrazoom with all its benefits (the zoom, flash size, possibly picture quality), and a compact camera with the all its benefits (size being the primary one) is difficult. You really need both.
Well, yes, but then I'd also like a camera for all occasions :) That would mean a dSLR (top end of course) complete with every lens that's ever been designed for it, a pro-sumer top end camera and the very best accessories that money could buy and a compact - or several :)

Seriously though, most people will have just the one camera and if Treasuredude wants to take photos of son's football, landscapes, wildlife, etc. then the demand for the use of a lens on something like the FZ20 is going to be very high. I also use my FZ10 as a point and shoot when the need arises and generally speaking, I haven't been disappointed with the results. OK, it's physically a bit big for that sort of thing but that's not been a problem.

Personally speaking, in the absence of unlimited funds, I'd go for what the major use of the camera is likely to be and in this case it does look like the outdoor stuff. The lens will really strut its stuff there.

D70FAN
09-27-2004, 09:49 AM
I was all set to buy a Canon A95. That is until I saw your pics. Since then I have looked at other online samples of the Panasonic ultrazooms and now feel that I couldn't be happy without one. :)

I mainly take outdoor shots (son's football, landscapes, wildlife, etc.) but am also looking for quality indoor shots as well. This will be my one and only digital camera so I am looking for all around performance.

I usually look at the photos on my computer. I also burn them to disk to view on a DVD player. I print 4x6 with an occasional 8x10 thrown in. I currently am using a 2MP kodak I bought back in 2000. It's showing it's age and i need to upgrade.

Would the Z3 suit me or should I pop for the 20?

I'm partial to the FZ3 just for size. But then I own a D70 as my primary camera, and the FZ3 would be for "really long" and macro shots. this will save me from spending about $2500 on new lenses, and will also give me a nice point-n-shoot for vacations.

BUT, for an "only" camera maybe I would pick the FZ15. I do like the larger LCD and it can use accessory lenses. Apparently the FZ3 can't use accessory lenses. The FZ20 is the FZ15 with 1 more MegaPixel, so that would be a toss-up for me.

Try the FZ1 and the FZ20 as they are essentially the older versions of the FZ3 and FZ15/20, at least it wil give you an idea of how they feel and work.

propwash
09-27-2004, 02:48 PM
Try the FZ1 and the FZ20 as they are essentially the older versions of the FZ3 and FZ15/20, at least it wil give you an idea of how they feel and work.


Did you mean to say "Try the FZ1 and the FZ10" instead of "FZ20"?

I agree with your sentiments about the FZ3 being smaller. That's the main reason I opted for that model. I think I will be much more likely to use it because of its "totability" (my new word!) You can't take very good pictures with a camera you don't have with you.

One other distinction between the FZ15 and FZ20, besides the extra megapixel, is that the FZ20, like the FZ10, has a hot shoe if you want to use an accessory flash. The FZ15 does not.

D70FAN
09-27-2004, 03:05 PM
Did you mean to say "Try the FZ1 and the FZ10" instead of "FZ20"?

Nope. I meant try the FZ1 and FZ10 to see if you like the form factors. I have yet to see the new FZ series in stores, so it would be hard to try them out.


One other distinction between the FZ15 and FZ20, besides the extra megapixel, is that the FZ20, like the FZ10, has a hot shoe if you want to use an accessory flash. The FZ15 does not.

Good point. I hadn't noticed the lack of a hot shoe on the FZ15. In that case, the FZ20 is the winner in this group. Thanks for pointing that out. It may be the first mistake Panasonic has made in this series.

Omikron77
09-28-2004, 06:49 AM
Alot of the higher end or even mid range comapct cameras....I'm thinking Canon A95 and A85 have the ability to add lenses to them. Sometimes pushing the 3x up to 6x and beyond.