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View Full Version : Help needed from FZ3/FZ20 owners [updated!]



Jeff Keller
09-29-2004, 01:12 AM
I just got back from shooting the night shots with a bunch of cameras. Both the FZ3 and FZ20 gave me a strange result at ISO 80 -- they all seemed soft and overprocessed. As soon as you jump to ISO 100 the softness is gone. Photos were shot on a tripod using the self-timer so I seriously doubt camera shake was involved. The exact same thing happened on both cameras.

Here are samples from the FZ20:

ISO 80 (http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/panasonic/dmc_fz20-review/old%20nightshots/nightshot.jpg)
ISO 100 (http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/panasonic/dmc_fz20-review/old%20nightshots/nightshot100.jpg)

If anyone can try a long exposure with their FZ3 or FZ20 and report back it would be a great help. I'm trying to get the FZ20 review out the door this week due to the demand.

Thanks,
Jeff

Jayde
09-29-2004, 04:08 AM
Jeff
umm that looks bad..can we see the FZ3 images plz ?
surprised nobody noticed this before.
why did they alter iso to 80, my FZ10 is crisp @ 50
thnx for review regardless

btw i sent you a PM

xsopena
09-29-2004, 04:51 AM
Hey Jaide,

is possible send the sames pictures of San Francisco in the night with your camera (FZ10) ?
The difference with the noises levels is big? :confused:

Thanks

Xavier

judge9847
09-29-2004, 05:13 AM
I just got back from shooting the night shots with a bunch of cameras. Both the FZ3 and FZ20 gave me a strange result at ISO 80 -- they all seemed soft and overprocessed. As soon as you jump to ISO 100 the softness is gone. Photos were shot on a tripod using the self-timer so I seriously doubt camera shake was involved. The exact same thing happened on both cameras.
Can't help directly because I'm an FZ10 owner but looking in some detail at the two images that you've posted I have to say that it looks like there are even considerable differences between the two.

At ISO100 there is, as could almost be expected, a higher level of noise but at the same time, there is also a marked increase in sharpening. The image is definitely that much sharper everywhere you look to the point that if it was anyone else posting them I'd say there was some sort of camera movement on the first.

Based on experiences from using the FZ10, I have to ask if the images were shot using only the (maximum?) optical zoom, no digital and no converter lens. The reason is that I've certainly seen any number of examples of what the ISO80 photo is demonstrating but that is almost always down to using even a tiny amount of digital zoom - or shake.

I expect I know what the answer is to this next question but here goes anyway! Were the settings exactly the same on the FZ20 other than the change in ISO?

Finally, do you have the EXIF data available for each image that you took? Maybe a clue in there somewhere?

Very interesting ...

brad nichol
09-29-2004, 05:30 AM
I feel it does look like camera movement, which seems highly unlikely.

Was the image stabilization turned on, I am wondering if there is a point at which if the shutter speed is low enough the stabilizer is actually able to introduce some movement rahter than cancel it out.

If such a threshold exists then it may account for the difference between the 80 and 100 iso shots, because the 80 iso shots would likely be at a lesser shutter speed. Both cameras would exhit the same problem because the exposures would most likely be identical.

I am probably way off beam here as I don't own an FZ camera but It really does look like movement in a slightly semi circular direction.

As I understand it the cameras also have different stabilizing modes and the one that is used to stabilize the shot prior to shooting and then during shooting is slightly less efficient than the other method that works only when the shot is taken.... could this have some bearing?

Brad Nichol

Jayde
09-29-2004, 06:22 AM
sorry Xavier
Im in the UK.. but here is same FZ10 pics from the review the zoom range is less but its sharp @ 50

http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/panasonic/dmc_fz10-review/index.shtml

Jeff, was it windy for FZ20 tests ?

MikeCamp
09-29-2004, 06:45 AM
Was the image stabilization turned on, I am wondering if there is a point at which if the shutter speed is low enough the stabilizer is actually able to introduce some movement rahter than cancel it out.

My thoughts exactly... did you test the camera with IS turned off Jeff? I haven't taken any city shots at night on a pod yet so I have no images to compare to yours. I might be able to take a ISO 80 night shot of downtown Chicago this weekend.

Here are my questions:

1) What mode did you have the camera in when shooting those shots?

2) What was the aperture setting with those shots?

3) Did you turn off IS at any point?

genece
09-29-2004, 07:53 AM
My guess is you are using Mode 1 as I never saw that using OIS mode 2
I hope you don't mind but here is a discussion about that.
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1033&message=10481217

wmussatto
09-29-2004, 09:33 AM
Note: I don't have a camera so I'm carring info from other forumns in the hope it helps.
From a discussion on the dpreview forums:
- Unless the camera has a sensor to tell its on a tripod the IS may hunt if its on a tripod. Note, Mode 2 is supposed to be much more effective than mode 1, but neither should be used on a tripod.

- Mode 1 causes real problems on a tripod by mode 2 does not with FZ-10.

- Panasonic manual says IS should be turned off when camera is used on a tripod.

Hope this helps.

BTW: on another review (KM Z3): interested to see if different metering (multi spot vs. spot) affect exposure problems shown in initial shoot out?

AhNgau
09-29-2004, 09:36 AM
Jeff,

How many shots have you tried at ISO80 with each camera? If you have multiple shots, do they all exhibit the same behaviour?

Jeff Keller
09-29-2004, 09:56 AM
Thanks for the advice here and at DP Review. I did indeed have OIS turned on (mode 1) and I'm going to reshoot everything with it turned off. I don't understand why increasing the ISO to 100 seemed to resolve the problem -- that doesn't make sense. :confused:

Allen Myers
09-29-2004, 11:23 AM
Jeff:

I recall a discussion on the subject of using Panasonic's image stabilization with time exposure pictures with FZ-10 (my camera). Someone said that the manual recommends turning off the stabilization with time exposures or it may distort the picture. While I was successful at taking fireworks pictures over the summer with time exposure and image stabilization turned on, in the future I will turn it off. I suspect that stabilization induced the blur that you are seeing and that as ISO is increased the blur will decrease. I don't know if you had the stabilization on when you took the same photos for your review of the FZ-10, but I notice the red aircraft lights on the buildings are sharper with the FZ-10 than with the FZ-20. I also notice more color saturation in the "Port of San Francisco" sign with the FZ-10 than the FZ-20. Maybe these will resolve themselves when you get a proper picture with the FZ-20.

Allen Myers

jimr
09-29-2004, 12:14 PM
Hi!
Besides turning the IS off when your camera is on a tripod, if I recall correctly, IS 2 is much more effective than IS 1 because it determines the compensation needed at the moment of exposure.
Take care!
Jim

Payne
09-29-2004, 05:47 PM
Hi Jeff, Im new on this forum I've already seen your FZ3 and FZ20 samples...but why nobody talks about the FZ15.....I guess, this DC reduces noise better than the FZ20 since both DCs use the same size sensor and the FZ15 allows to set ISO 64.
I've seen some FZ15 sample shots at smugmug.com and I have to say that what I said on the paragraph above is true. Shots taken at Iso 64 reduce noise significantly.
It would be very useful that you post some FZ15 shots in order to help us to decide wich camera is the best option (FZ3, FZ15 or FZ20)
Thanks, I know this thread is about another issue, but I hope you read it and provide us some FZ15 shots.

Thats all,

czech622
09-29-2004, 07:50 PM
From FZ20 manual -

OIS Mode 2

"The stabilizer function is in stand by and activates at the moment the shutter captures the image. This mode offers a greater degree of stabilization."

Hope this helps...

Jeff Keller
09-29-2004, 11:12 PM
Hi Jeff, Im new on this forum I've already seen your FZ3 and FZ20 samples...but why nobody talks about the FZ15.....I guess, this DC reduces noise better than the FZ20 since both DCs use the same size sensor and the FZ15 allows to set ISO 64.
I've seen some FZ15 sample shots at smugmug.com and I have to say that what I said on the paragraph above is true. Shots taken at Iso 64 reduce noise significantly.
It would be very useful that you post some FZ15 shots in order to help us to decide wich camera is the best option (FZ3, FZ15 or FZ20)
Thanks, I know this thread is about another issue, but I hope you read it and provide us some FZ15 shots.


I can't post any shots from the FZ15 because I don't have one. I probably won't review it since it's similar to the FZ10.

Jeff Keller
09-29-2004, 11:16 PM
Well, tonight I reshot my night shots and they came out like they should've in the first place -- sharp! Thanks for the advice about turning OIS to either Mode 2 or off altogether. Check out these links to see the effect of the OIS setting on the image quality:

OIS - Mode 1 (http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/panasonic/dmc_fz20-review/nightshot-mode1.jpg)

OIS - Mode 2 (http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/panasonic/dmc_fz20-review/nightshot-mode2.jpg)

OIS - Off (http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/panasonic/dmc_fz20-review/nightshot-mode0.jpg)

The ISO was 80 and like before the photos were taken on a tripod using the 2 second self-timer.

Jayde
09-30-2004, 12:16 AM
Relief.. Phew :eek:
wow they look better.. :)

xsopena
09-30-2004, 02:17 AM
I think mode 2 is more best !!!

In dark or low light (indoors) situations works at the same mode? . The pictures sould in underexposure. :confused:

Golfy
10-07-2004, 02:00 AM
Hi Jeff, Im new on this forum I've already seen your FZ3 and FZ20 samples...but why nobody talks about the FZ15.....I guess, this DC reduces noise better than the FZ20 since both DCs use the same size sensor and the FZ15 allows to set ISO 64.
I've seen some FZ15 sample shots at smugmug.com and I have to say that what I said on the paragraph above is true. Shots taken at Iso 64 reduce noise significantly.
It would be very useful that you post some FZ15 shots in order to help us to decide wich camera is the best option (FZ3, FZ15 or FZ20)
Thanks, I know this thread is about another issue, but I hope you read it and provide us some FZ15 shots.

Thats all,
Hi Payne,

I'm european and I'm very interested by the FZ15 (same CCD size but 4Mp and ISO 64 would give better results than FZ20). However, it's difficult to find anything on it because lot of testers have lot of works with others DC (FZ3, FZ20 and others brandts)
The link I've got on Smugmug is http://www.smugmug.com/gallery/230718
I lot of samples are on 400 ISO (outdoors photos) but some are great.

Have you some other links about FZ15 samples ?

For informations, Panasonic wouldn't sell DMC-FZ15 in other part than USA :(
I hope this would change before Christmas because FZ20 have a too big price for me... :rolleyes: