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wax
07-10-2004, 11:08 PM
I need some help in choosing one from these three cameras.
Canon S1 IS,Olympus C-770 and Panasonic FZ10.
Can some people help me figure out all the disadvantages between them and which one is the best deal? i have a hard time choosing because each camera have its own major sideback. for example, C770 doesn;t have a image stabiliazle.

aldon
07-11-2004, 02:32 AM
Well, I've just been making pretty much the identical decision to you except that I decided that the Olympus C770 didn't offer enough extra over the C765 to justify an extra $100, so my choice was between the Olympus C765, Panasonic FZ10 and Canon S1-1S. I also considered the Minolta Z2 but ruled it out.

I decided against the Canon because of a number of reasons:


Here in the UK, it's the most expensive of them all
It's only 3 mega-pixel
Magazine reviews have generally not been as glowing for the Canon as for the C765 and FZ10
Customer reviews have complained of problems of focusing and some poor picture quality, even in good daylight conditions
In common with all the others, low-light photography is not great
No real macro mode


The FZ10 - well I came ever so close to plumping for this one. It seems to be the one that people are falling in love with, can take some fabulous pics, superb lens with that big f2.8 throughout the entire focal range. However, in the end, I decided against it.

In the UK, it's again quite pricey (best prices I could find had it costing 50% more than the C765)
Finding a backup battery in the UK was damn hard and when I finally found a couple of places that stocked them, they cost 40-60 (about $75-$100).....for a battery!!
Not great in low-light - same as all the others
The image-stablising - well, I read an interesting thread in the forum at Steve's Digicams where a Panasonic rep conceded that he still carries his monopod everywhere. The image-stabilising is handy but no guarantee of sharp shots. I'm not the steadiest hand anyway so will probably need be using a tripod for a lot of my shots no matter which camera I buy, so this feature became less important to me.
The FZ10 is big - it's nearly as big as my old film SLR, not something which I can just slip in my pocket and take everywhere
Much as I'd love to have an FZ10, I just know that in a year or so, there will be a successor that will have improved upon it, so I'll be wishing I had it so will have to sell the FZ10


The C765 - well...

it suffers the same low-light problems that the others do
no image stabilising, but as mentioned, I'll probably be needing a mono/tri-pod no matter which camera I get
fabulous, sharp pictures
nice and small - even if I decide to buy the FZ10's successor, I'll want a nice, small "take anywhere in my pocket" camera, so I'll keep the C765 for years to come
and this little "take anywhere in my pocket" camera still has that big 10x lens, a great macro mode, full manual controls, decent built-in flash
it's by far the cheapest of the 3 (UK prices)


None of the camera's are perfect - they seem to just lack that one or two features which are pretty sure to arrive in next year's models. So, I'll spend less money now and get a great little camera and then maybe spend again in a year or two and get me a nice big camera with all the new technological advancements, but still have my little Oly.

Sorry, it's quite a long thread but as I've just been making the same decision as you, it's all at the forefront of my mind.

btw, I haven't actually received my Oly yet so it may turn out to be a pile of junk ;).

Jake Conner
07-11-2004, 11:26 AM
IS may not guarantee sharp shots, but it improves hand-holdability by 3 stops... so if you could hand-hold an unstabilized 400mm at 1/200 of a sec, you could hand-hold a stabilized one at 1/25!

Jake

John_Reed
07-11-2004, 11:08 PM
IS may not guarantee sharp shots, but it improves hand-holdability by 3 stops... so if you could hand-hold an unstabilized 400mm at 1/200 of a sec, you could hand-hold a stabilized one at 1/25!

Jake
IS, like Jake says, is great at allowing hand-holding of long telephoto shots. I've found that it's also great for short focal-length shots as well. On a recent trip, I was shooting indoor museum shots with my FZ10 routinely at 1/4, 1/5, 1/6 of a second, with sharp results. One 10X+ shot of a glassblower's work was sharp at 1/13 of a second! It's really kind of hard to believe how good IS is unless you experience the benefits yourself.

wax
07-12-2004, 06:56 AM
Regarding the IS, does 3.2 and 4 really make any differance? because i had some experiance when i took some photos with and 3.2 olyupms and a 2.0 canon. when the pictures came out, for some reasons, the canon actually seems to be clearer despite the same picture! And also, if price doesn't matter, which one would you really reccommend? And lastly, the only reason why i hesistated in choosing oly770 is due to the lack of image stabilization, so is this feature really useful?, cos it does sounds quite tempting to have.

aldon
07-12-2004, 02:27 PM
From reading around the internet, opinion seems to vary from the FZ10's image stabilisation feature being next to useless to offering 3 or 4 stops. It's probably somewhere in the middle - around 2 stops. And don't forget it also has f2.8 at full-telephoto which means faster shutter speed possibilities.

I'm really looking forward to seeing what the FZ10's successor offers. If they can make big advancements on low-light, then my wallet will be more than half-way open.

If you're not in a big hurry to get your camera, you could wait too see how the recently announced Minolta Z3 turns out. It's also a 4 megapixel, 12x optical zoom with image stabilising. I'm not sure if they've announced a release date yet though, or price.

John_Reed
07-12-2004, 06:08 PM
Regarding the IS, does 3.2 and 4 really make any differance? because i had some experiance when i took some photos with and 3.2 olyupms and a 2.0 canon. when the pictures came out, for some reasons, the canon actually seems to be clearer despite the same picture! And also, if price doesn't matter, which one would you really reccommend? And lastly, the only reason why i hesistated in choosing oly770 is due to the lack of image stabilization, so is this feature really useful?, cos it does sounds quite tempting to have.
IS is very useful, based on my experience. I'm a shaky-handed guy, and yet with both the Panasonic FZ1 and FZ10, I've been able to get sharp shots at shutter speeds way lower than would have otherwise been possible. Here's a shot, for example, I took with my FZ10 at the Corning Glass museum in NY a couple of weeks ago of a glass-blowing demonstration, handheld at a little over 10X zoom, 1/15th of a second:
http://john-reed.smugmug.com/photos/5798519-M.jpg
How many stops below 1/focal length is that? I lost count.

Rhys
07-12-2004, 07:51 PM
Well, I looked at the:

Panasonic FZ10, Nikon 5700 and Canon S1.

The FZ10 loses because it's got a proprietry battery and Secure Digital memory while everything else I use has AA or ENEL1/2CR5 and Compact Flash.

I have grave doubts about the build quality of the S1.
I understand that the 5700 can damage itself if it gets switched on in the bag, accidentally.

Featurewise, the S1 is head and shoulders above the 5700
Build-quality, the 5700 is better.

7dayshop are (at the moment) doing the S1 for 278. I emailed customs to ask whether they charged anything for importing it from a British Channel Island and got no sense from them.

It's neck and neck between the two at the moment.

aldon
07-13-2004, 12:42 AM
Rhys,

What did customs say about import duty from Channel Islands?

This site http://www.worldtravelguide.net/data/wal/wal060.asp seems to suggest that only certain items are duty free. I've seen the exact same list elsewhere. It does suggest that most goods will incur import duty, and I think that might mean VAT on top of that.

I've ordered from 7dayshop before but luckily it was for smaller items. It didn't really cross my mind that import duty might apply from the Channel Islands, so thanks for the warning :).

btw John, nice photo.

wax
07-13-2004, 01:25 AM
What about the 3cm marco which the olyppums can take? is it useful? and also, the canon IS SI has only 3.2 while the other two have 4.0. but i noticed the canon has quite alot of things which i am satisfied with. so should i sacrifice the pixels and just get the 3.2?

Rhys
07-13-2004, 05:41 AM
Rhys,

What did customs say about import duty from Channel Islands?

This site http://www.worldtravelguide.net/data/wal/wal060.asp seems to suggest that only certain items are duty free. I've seen the exact same list elsewhere. It does suggest that most goods will incur import duty, and I think that might mean VAT on top of that.

I've ordered from 7dayshop before but luckily it was for smaller items. It didn't really cross my mind that import duty might apply from the Channel Islands, so thanks for the warning :).

btw John, nice photo.

Well, I'm still awaiting a sensible reply from them. My last email to them was:


Please just answer the question. If that's too difficult for you, I shall
have to forward your replies thus far to my MP.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Enquiries {Wales}" <enquiries.wales@hmce.gsi.gov.uk>
To:
Sent: Monday, July 12, 2004 9:41 AM
Subject: RE: customs duties on cameras etc


> Dear Sir or Madam,
>
> Thank you for your E-Mail dated 9 July 2004
>
> Before we can proceed with your enquiry, we need some details of who the
> enquiry relates to. This is because all of our enquiries, whether they be
by
> telephone, letter, fax or E-Mail, have to be recorded.
>
> If you are vat registered please supply your VAT Registration Number. If
you
> are not vat registered please provide us with your full address and
> postcode. If you are acting on behalf of a client then we require the VAT
> registration number (where applicable) or the post code of the
> person/business that you are representing.
>
> Could we also please request that you forward us a contact telephone
number
> in case of any complications in responding to your enquiry.
>
> Once this information is received your enquiry will be forwarded to the
> appropriate officer.
>
> B P Cole
> National Advice Service
> Cardiff
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Rhys
> Sent: 09 July 2004 17:42
> To: enquiries.wales@hmce.gsi.gov.uk
> Subject: customs duties on cameras etc
>
>
> If I buy a camera from www.7dayshop.com would I have to pay any tax on it?
I
> believe 7dayshop is in Gurnsey.
>
> Yours,
>
> Rhys



Obviously I'm talking to a monkey or a computer there. It doesn't matter which but if I don't get a sensible reply I shall be taking the matter up with my MP.

I checked on the 7dayshop website and found the S1 goes for about 275 and the 5700 for about 400.

It's interesting that UK prices are nearly double US prices. I did consider importing from the US but it became apparent that Customs and Excise wanted to charge so much duty and vat that it'd be cheaper to buy here. This doesn't apply though if I went over there and physically bought the stuff and brought in back in my bag. Crazy!

aldon
07-13-2004, 06:12 AM
Rhys,

Perhaps you could try contacting 7dayshop and ask if they know about import duty and VAT for goods shipped to the UK mainland. I imagine they have a lot of custom here so may know. They surely can't give a more meaningless response than HMCE.

I also got very excited when I started browsing a few USA websites looking for cameras (well actually, looking for cheap batteries for the FZ10). The cameras and batteries are indeed substantially (outrageously) cheaper...until I remembered about tax.

I still find it absurd that when I want to make a private transaction to buy a camera between myself and a legitimate trader in the USA, the UK government decide that they are entitled to lots of my money.

wax
07-13-2004, 06:33 AM
And also, out of these three cams, which one has a speaker?(not the beeping sounds but sounds recorded from videos)

Rhys
07-13-2004, 06:48 AM
Rhys,

Perhaps you could try contacting 7dayshop and ask if they know about import duty and VAT for goods shipped to the UK mainland. I imagine they have a lot of custom here so may know. They surely can't give a more meaningless response than HMCE.

I also got very excited when I started browsing a few USA websites looking for cameras (well actually, looking for cheap batteries for the FZ10). The cameras and batteries are indeed substantially (outrageously) cheaper...until I remembered about tax.

I still find it absurd that when I want to make a private transaction to buy a camera between myself and a legitimate trader in the USA, the UK government decide that they are entitled to lots of my money.

If all goes to plan then one of my friends might bring me an S1 from America and I hand over some cash :)

Having considered the S1 versus the 5700, I came down on the side of the worthless piece of plastic junk (the Canon S1).

Why choose the S1 over the 5700 over the D70?

Well, I decided that as digital cameras seem to have a shortish lifespan before they become redundant that even if the S1 does fall apart then I should get at least the warranty period out of it. The features on the S1 are so much better than those on the 5700.

I weighed up the more megapixels versus longer zoom and while more megapixels would be lovely, they only equate to larger filesizes. The majority of 35mm photos get printed to a maximum of 10x8 so there's really not much call for more. However, in a few years when the standard is probably 12 megapixels then maybe I'll upgrade. For the moment I'd like to make the most from 3 megapixels.

One of the draws for me is the video capabilities of the S1. I know the general opinion of video is low but I find it quite nice to email video clips and my friends like it too.

The other draw is that manual focussing ring. I have to fiddle to get the 995 to focus in the dark. I tried the measurement system they have and it never seems to work for me. Actually, if and when I get a D70 or later then I'll use my MF lenses, if they're compatible.

Gliderask21
07-13-2004, 02:19 PM
Regarding import duty and VAT, if the goods are supplied and transported between EU member states then no duty is applicable, however the dreaded VAT is applied!!!! (so my reading of TARIC regs says).

Yes you can bring it in from the US but don't get caught, fines are usually VAT, Duty then total value again. Can't win here! Also, following a talk to CAnon Uk on the subject the warranty is national so you HAVE to return the faulty goods to country of sale.

D70FAN
07-13-2004, 02:46 PM
Actually, if and when I get a D70 or later then I'll use my MF lenses, if they're compatible.

Video from a still camera? And I thought you were about to escape from the dark side...

John_Reed
07-13-2004, 03:02 PM
The other draw is that manual focussing ring. I have to fiddle to get the 995 to focus in the dark. I tried the measurement system they have and it never seems to work for me. Actually, if and when I get a D70 or later then I'll use my MF lenses, if they're compatible.
I think the one with the manual focusing ring was the FZ10, Rhys. The S1 was the one where "while holding down on one button, you adjust the focus with the 4-way switch," or something of the like. It's the FZ10 that has the big, metal, mechanical (well, pseudo-mechanical) focusing ring on the front.

Rhys
07-13-2004, 03:09 PM
Video from a still camera? And I thought you were about to escape from the dark side...

The dark side is strong, Obi-Wan.

Rhys
07-13-2004, 03:40 PM
I think the one with the manual focusing ring was the FZ10, Rhys. The S1 was the one where "while holding down on one button, you adjust the focus with the 4-way switch," or something of the like. It's the FZ10 that has the big, metal, mechanical (well, pseudo-mechanical) focusing ring on the front.

You're right! I've looked at so many superzoom cameras recently that they're all blurring into one.

This bears further investigation. I am rather taken by long zooms. Having said that, I did notice when using 35mm that I tended to use mainly 35 - 210 focal lengths. That brings me towards the Fuji S602, which is a well-built camera. But as the zoom is a paltry 6 times (twice more than on my 3100), it's not that great. The VGA movie mode is useful though.

John_Reed
07-13-2004, 05:05 PM
I did notice when using 35mm that I tended to use mainly 35 - 210 focal lengths. That brings me towards the Fuji S602, which is a well-built camera. But as the zoom is a paltry 6 times (twice more than on my 3100), it's not that great. The VGA movie mode is useful though.
You never used a stabilized zoom before, Rhys. When you find that you can comfortably shoot things way out at the end of the telephoto at any reasonable light level, you'll find yourself using it more, I'll guarantee it.

Rhys
07-13-2004, 05:25 PM
You never used a stabilized zoom before, Rhys. When you find that you can comfortably shoot things way out at the end of the telephoto at any reasonable light level, you'll find yourself using it more, I'll guarantee it.

Yes. I'm leaning toward the Canon S1 again.

I'm not oversold on the idea that more megapixels is good, given that 99% of prints if not more are only ever done to A4 and that even less are ever actually printed.

3 megapixels seems fine, as far as I'm concerned. The advantage seems to be excellent video plus 10x zoom plus compact flash. What more can a chap want?

Nick
07-13-2004, 05:45 PM
3 megapixels seems fine, as far as I'm concerned. The advantage seems to be excellent video plus 10x zoom plus compact flash. What more can a chap want?

A micro-cell nuclear reactor inside the camera which will power the S1 while it zooms back and forth for a thousand years or so ;)

John_Reed
07-13-2004, 06:02 PM
Yes. I'm leaning toward the Canon S1 again.

I'm not oversold on the idea that more megapixels is good, given that 99% of prints if not more are only ever done to A4 and that even less are ever actually printed.

3 megapixels seems fine, as far as I'm concerned. The advantage seems to be excellent video plus 10x zoom plus compact flash. What more can a chap want?
I've seen this process before, Rhys. First you called your Nikon camera (is it a 3200?) a "piece of junk," and then you finally came around, and the camera metamorphed into a great camera that you've been advocating ever since. So maybe you'll become one of Canon's greatest S1 advocates too? It's just a matter of time...

D70FAN
07-13-2004, 09:22 PM
Doh! Never wake a sleepwalker... :eek:

Rhys
07-14-2004, 10:01 AM
The D70 needs electronic contacts on the lens with which to communicate and meter. Manual lenses (at least 99.9% of them)do not have these contacts and therefore the camera would be unable to communicate with such lenses. You would therefore be able to use the camera in manual mode only and would have to use an external light meter to ascertain the correct exposure. YOu would obviously also not get TTL flash exposure.


It seems that the D70 is like something that falls from a cornflake packet when introduced to a normal lens. I think Nikon could have done a lot better there. No custom from me. If I go for a dSLR then I might look more favourably on the Canon series on the grounds that they're a lot cheaper. For the moment, I'm pretty sure I'm going for the S1.

John_Reed
07-14-2004, 12:04 PM
It seems that the D70 is like something that falls from a cornflake packet when introduced to a normal lens. I think Nikon could have done a lot better there. No custom from me. If I go for a dSLR then I might look more favourably on the Canon series on the grounds that they're a lot cheaper. For the moment, I'm pretty sure I'm going for the S1.
I don't think I understand what you mean by "something that falls from a cornflake packet when introduced to a normal lens", but before you buy the S1, just for drill, you should put your hands on an FZ10 somewhere, if you can. The S1 is smaller than the FZ10, but it's still not shirt-pocket sized. You may find that the gripping is easier with the larger FZ10 camera body. And, though you don't need the extra pixels for a single image, you'll get more cropping room with the larger image than the S1 will give you. 'Nuff said.

D70FAN
07-14-2004, 12:49 PM
It seems that the D70 is like something that falls from a cornflake packet when introduced to a normal lens. I think Nikon could have done a lot better there. No custom from me. If I go for a dSLR then I might look more favourably on the Canon series on the grounds that they're a lot cheaper. For the moment, I'm pretty sure I'm going for the S1.

...so ponder this for a moment:

If a "normal" lens is manual only, then why can't I buy a, brand new, non-AF, or Nikkor IX? Your definition of "normal" may be a bit (10 years?) dated.

If you are currently using manual lenses, why would you expect them to function in a modern AF-CPU based camera?

Wait a minute! Your collection of lenses are all IX! Are they not?

Sorry bout' that. My condolences. Have fun with the S1 IS.

Rhys
07-14-2004, 12:53 PM
I don't think I understand what you mean by "something that falls from a cornflake packet when introduced to a normal lens", but before you buy the S1, just for drill, you should put your hands on an FZ10 somewhere, if you can. The S1 is smaller than the FZ10, but it's still not shirt-pocket sized. You may find that the gripping is easier with the larger FZ10 camera body. And, though you don't need the extra pixels for a single image, you'll get more cropping room with the larger image than the S1 will give you. 'Nuff said.

Ah. The D70 and D100 will not function with a MF lens. Not even the meter will function. They're like cornflake packet toys in that respect and if I have to buy new lenses to go with a new camera then it will have to be Canon as Canon is cheaper.

I have hefted an FZ10 and I liked it a lot.

I felt that the extra zoom length was not a justification for buying a camera incompatible with my existing CF cards and which was incompatible with my AA batteries.

wax
07-15-2004, 01:08 AM
A new camera Konica Minolta Dimgae Z3 just came out, and i noticed that it has features more than what FZ10 has. But it is too new, so does anybody know what is its approx. price?

aldon
07-15-2004, 03:16 AM
I don't think the price or release date of the Z3 have been announced yet.

Also, Panasonic are just about to announce the successor to the FZ10. There's an FZ15 and an FZ20 - press release is to be on July 20th, apparently :D

wax
07-15-2004, 04:25 AM
I don't think the price or release date of the Z3 have been announced yet.

Also, Panasonic are just about to announce the successor to the FZ10. There's an FZ15 and an FZ20 - press release is to be on July 20th, apparently :D


wow. that's a lot to figure out. but which one would you reccommend? i noticed all are very closey the same.

D70FAN
07-15-2004, 07:04 AM
I don't think the price or release date of the Z3 have been announced yet.

Also, Panasonic are just about to announce the successor to the FZ10. There's an FZ15 and an FZ20 - press release is to be on July 20th, apparently :D

Excellent! I wonder if they have figured out a way to pair down the size, but keep that elegant lens.

HEY! PANASONIC! How about a 12X f2.8 stabilized Lumix lens with a Nikon mount? For say...$500? 18-216 would work for me.

Rhys
07-15-2004, 07:07 AM
Excellent! I wonder if they have figured out a way to pair down the size, but keep that elegant lens.

HEY! PANASONIC! How about a 12X f2.8 stabilized Lumix lens with a Nikon mount? For say...$500? 18-216 would work for me.

Or even better how about stripping out the trendy SD card slot, replacing it with a more normal CF card and dumping the funky battery for something practical instead.

D70FAN
07-15-2004, 07:12 AM
Ah. The D70 and D100 will not function with a MF lens. Not even the meter will function. They're like cornflake packet toys in that respect and if I have to buy new lenses to go with a new camera then it will have to be Canon as Canon is cheaper.

I have hefted an FZ10 and I liked it a lot.

I felt that the extra zoom length was not a justification for buying a camera incompatible with my existing CF cards and which was incompatible with my AA batteries.


Are you sure you're not from Scottland?

Rhys
07-15-2004, 07:33 AM
Are you sure you're not from Scottland?

No. I am Celtic but not Scottish. I'm Welsh.

aldon
07-15-2004, 12:48 PM
Watch it...I'm from Scotland.

There was a short-lived website which had some very basic info about the FZ15 and FZ20. They both seemed to be using the same 12x f2.8 stablised Leica lens but I think the overall dimensions of the cameras were ever so slightly smaller.

I think it said the FZ20 was 5 megapixel but the FZ15 was still 4 megapixel. I don't there were any other specs revealed. But that website seems to be down, so we'll have to wait until the 20th and see what the full specs are. Something to look forward too.

I'm hoping the FZ15 will be pretty much an FZ10 with a few of it's niggles sorted, so hopefully not costing much more than an FZ10.

Anyway, I just got my little Oly C765 delivered today and the battery has just this minute charged :) , so I'm off to have a play.

Rhys
07-15-2004, 02:03 PM
Watch it...I'm from Scotland.

I'm hoping the FZ15 will be pretty much an FZ10 with a few of it's niggles sorted, so hopefully not costing much more than an FZ10.

Anyway, I just got my little Oly C765 delivered today and the battery has just this minute charged :) , so I'm off to have a play.

Be proud of being Scottish.

The proudest person on the planet must be a Jewish, Scottish, Welsh banker.

My dad admires anybody who's careful with their money :)

That FZ15/20 should be interesting but I do hope they use CF and AA batteries.

John_Reed
07-15-2004, 02:25 PM
That FZ15/20 should be interesting but I do hope they use CF and AA batteries.
If that's what you're waiting for, better go get that S1. Actually, being able to get 300 shots with my FZ10 on a battery charge, I don't see that the AA thing is even an issue. If you'll be away from power sources for a week or more, maybe so, but not otherwise.

Thunderer
07-22-2004, 03:30 PM
Guys,

I'm new to digital camers, well both my brothers own Canon A70 and a G3 respectively, so i'm leaning towards the S1.

With regard to 7dayshop, i too saw the amazingly low price of 278, but beware this does NOT include VAT.

According to customs and excise, all digital cameras are exempt from import duty. Can't remember the link but do a Google search for import duties and just dig and you'll see what i mean.

Just so that you know I've been looking at buying either a Pro1 or the S1 Is for the last two weeks, and i'll probably settle for the S1. The pro 1 has a better lens, and i've actually held it in my hand and it feels great, but i'm a gadget freak and i love to tinker, so 10x zoom plus IS for me.

The cheapest i've seen the S1 for is, wait for it...304 inc VAT delivered . Guess where from??? Dixons online!!!!!!!!! Go to www.pricerunner.com and they tell you to enter a code on the dixons site to get a 30 discount and it works.

Haven't bought it just yet, as i've been busy sending emails Amazon.co.uk that this product is cheaper elsewhere. I hope they drop their price too.

Oh there's an idea, everyone check out pricerunner, then Amazon and send an email to them and let's see if we can't get the S1 under 300 :D

Last thing, remember 7dayshop do not include VAT in their prices which is scandalous, as they advertise the RRP then their sale price which gives you the impression that it has VAT in the price.

In any case, they no longer have the Pro1 or the S! for sale, I wonder why.......!!!

Thunderer

Rhys
07-22-2004, 04:36 PM
Guys,

I'm new to digital camers, well both my brothers own Canon A70 and a G3 respectively, so i'm leaning towards the S1.

With regard to 7dayshop, i too saw the amazingly low price of 278, but beware this does NOT include VAT.

According to customs and excise, all digital cameras are exempt from import duty. Can't remember the link but do a Google search for import duties and just dig and you'll see what i mean.

Just so that you know I've been looking at buying either a Pro1 or the S1 Is for the last two weeks, and i'll probably settle for the S1. The pro 1 has a better lens, and i've actually held it in my hand and it feels great, but i'm a gadget freak and i love to tinker, so 10x zoom plus IS for me.

The cheapest i've seen the S1 for is, wait for it...304 inc VAT delivered . Guess where from??? Dixons online!!!!!!!!! Go to www.pricerunner.com and they tell you to enter a code on the dixons site to get a 30 discount and it works.

Haven't bought it just yet, as i've been busy sending emails Amazon.co.uk that this product is cheaper elsewhere. I hope they drop their price too.

Oh there's an idea, everyone check out pricerunner, then Amazon and send an email to them and let's see if we can't get the S1 under 300 :D

Last thing, remember 7dayshop do not include VAT in their prices which is scandalous, as they advertise the RRP then their sale price which gives you the impression that it has VAT in the price.

In any case, they no longer have the Pro1 or the S! for sale, I wonder why.......!!!

Thunderer

Umm... Not quite correct...

Getting information from Customs and Excise is like trying to get blood out of a stone. I tried and failed to get VAT information out of them and had to refer the matter to my MP.

It seems that VAT is not applicable on purchases under 50. Hence VAT isn't added into 7dayshop's prices. Given that 7dayshop is in a tax haven, it should be understood that wherever they export to will probably be taxed on delivery.

Beware the Post Office - they add their own cut!

Thunderer
07-22-2004, 07:17 PM
For those of you wishing to purchase cameras from 7dayshop, just read this document, pdf, from http://www.hmce.gov.uk/public/shopping/shopping.htm.

Read the file and you'll see that digital cameras carry no duty when purchased from within the EU. VAT, however is another matter and that will have to be added to purchases.

Also read here http://www.sloanefox.freeserve.co.uk/importukduty.htm and all will be clear, I hope.

Happy shopping, and happy snapping...

Now where's that cheap website.... :rolleyes:

Thunderer

judge9847
08-03-2004, 03:03 AM
Interesting thread for me on two counts: one is that I used to import soft toys and got wound up in the customs and duty and VAT issues lots of times and secondly because I'm a reasonably well contented FZ10 owner.

Beware the customs duties and VAT and the like. It's actually Parcelforce, acting on Customs behalf that decide which parcels are inspected and charged for. It was a fact that some didn't get charged and arrived here with nothing to pay. But a lot did and look out for it - it can be very expensive.

Basically, if there's an invoice on the outside of the package, Customs will go by that for calculation of duty according to a list they have. If the goods aren't on that list, they'll nip off to a reliable source, like a collectors catalogue (ouch!) or the manufacturers recommended retail price (ouch, ouch!)

So if you're buying a digital camera and the package gets opened (oh yes, they have the right to do that) and the decision is that it's worth say 400, not an unreasonable amount for a camera) their schedule might say the duty is say 15% though of course I'm guessing. That's an extra 60 already. Then there's Parcelforces charge for opening it (and 3/4 years back it was around 18 a time) so the extra bill is now 78. Total cost would be 400 + 78 = 478 and VAT would be slapped on that so another 83.65 bringing the total extra cost to 161.65, or an extra 40% plus, that you didn't budget for!

And as far as I could tell back then, there is no such thing as an automatic freebie into the country - all goods CAN be subjected to excise duty and VAT.

As for the FZ10, well, there are a few problems with it but nothing impossible and the benefits far outweigh the issues. I've found that there can be a degree of purple fringing when using the optical zoom at it's max in high contrast areas. But then I've seen that the Canon S1 really does suffer badly from it.

I don't like Panasonic's ideas about compression which is certainly overdone. I reckon that's down to the pathetically small memory card that's sent with the camera. At the highest file size too much noise is introduced into some images (overcompression without doubt) but I've found that reducing to 1600 does seem to get rid of that problem. Nontheless, it's a shame and something that Panasonic don't seem to have corrected with the FZ15 and FZ20.

The camera does tend to overexpose though that's easily got round and isn't a major problem at all.

As for IS, I've got nothing but praise for it. Apparently there is a reduction in image quality when using it but I've not been able to see that - maybe it's lost in the jpeg compression! I've added a Raynox 2.2 converter lens (yeah, for the birds, variety: feathered!) and I'm genuinely staggered with the results. And, dare I admit it, even using the digital zoom with the converter, hand held, can produce some quite stunning images though as you'd expect, a lot aren't good. But hand held, IS enabled, at maximum 12x zoom (no converter) most images are very impressive. I really do feel the bad ones are down to me and not the camera.

Frankly, I'm not that impressed with the specs for the FZ15 and the FZ20 - I can't imagine even thinking about upgrading to either of those two. I'll wait a while yet and see what Panasonic come up with later on, though if ever the newly announced models ever make their way to this country's retailers, I'll be stunned, so I don't hold out much hope of seeing the FZ40 or 50 for sale here for years yet :o

Sorry about the length of the post - I hope it's been of some use to those who might be thinking about buying a new Panasonic or the Canon.

John_Reed
08-03-2004, 07:12 AM
I don't like Panasonic's ideas about compression which is certainly overdone. I reckon that's down to the pathetically small memory card that's sent with the camera. At the highest file size too much noise is introduced into some images (overcompression without doubt) but I've found that reducing to 1600 does seem to get rid of that problem. Nontheless, it's a shame and something that Panasonic don't seem to have corrected with the FZ15 and FZ20.

It's often said that Panasonic "over-compresses" their images. Can you or anyone show me the proof of this? "Noise" which is a by-product of small sensor size and high ISO is one factor, and "Over-compression" would be another. I just ran a series of shots from ISO 50 to ISO 400 on the same scene, and the file size increased with increasing ISO, as I'd expect it would, since the sensor "Noise" adds more detail to the image, which then takes more space to encode in memory. By using the "1600" size setting, you are, in effect, doubling the sensor size, thus reducing noise sensitivity. But can you show me an image where JPEG artifacts are demonstrably present?
By the way, I don't mean this query in an argumentative way. I'd seriously like to know if this "over compression" is truly happening, and would appreciate any thoughts you may have on that.

wax
08-03-2004, 07:28 AM
just thought you might want to know. i was thrown a surprise by my parents and went i went to the shop, they rose my budget! and i was able to get my dream camera, the dimage a1! yeah :D by the way, i felt a bit regretful that i should take the chance and bargain for a dimage a2 instead :( so anybody can lighten me up by saying some things like why a2 is better than a1? thanks!

D70FAN
08-03-2004, 10:05 AM
just thought you might want to know. i was thrown a surprise by my parents and went i went to the shop, they rose my budget! and i was able to get my dream camera, the dimage a1! yeah :D by the way, i felt a bit regretful that i should take the chance and bargain for a dimage a2 instead :( so anybody can lighten me up by saying some things like why a2 is better than a1? thanks!

Nope. Just enjoy it. If you were going to bargain up, go for a dSLR :D . I'm somewhat partial to the D70, but the Canon 300D would do.

If you can really bargain up (into the stratosphere) the Canon 1Ds is nice. But then you would have to bargain for lenses as well...

Or you could buy a car.

...Have fun.

judge9847
08-03-2004, 01:28 PM
By the way, I don't mean this query in an argumentative way. I'd seriously like to know if this "over compression" is truly happening, and would appreciate any thoughts you may have on that.

Absolutely understood! No argument, simply a good debate, trying to resolve an issue.

As I understand it "noise" and "artifacts" are different: noise is the electronic equivalent of excessive grain in a film image, found usually in images shot with high ISO. Artifacts are effects in the image such as blotches caused by over-compression, or multi-colored speckles from bright highlights, and noise from underexposure.

I'm not sure exactly where the line is between noise and when it might become artifacts but for certain, the Panasonic definitely doesn't generate the latter. Or not that I've ever seen anyway and that's about 7500 images so far. But at the higher file sizes it does appear to generate what I believe is noise. There is a clear and definite grainy effect, especially in backgrounds. I take lots of photos of the birds in the garden, mostly using the maximum telephoto capabilities of the camera and feathers seem to be particularly prone to it.

I have taken macro shots with the FZ10 and there is what looks like clear and definite noise, not artifacts, all over the background. I would expect some perhaps but not as much as there is. I've looked at macro images taken with my Fuji6800z and there really are no problems with that sort of thing though the maximum file size is slightly smaller at 2048x1536.

Here's a thought that's just crossed my mind! I wonder if the "noise" - I'll carry on calling it that! - could be caused by the electronics of the optical image stabilising system. I haven't done it yet but I think it might be a good idea to take the same shot hand held with IS in both modes and then do the same thing tripod mounted. Then switch the IS off and do it again by hand and using a support and then do some comparisons. I know Panasonic state that the image quality is improved by switching the IS off and it may just be that it's causing the "noise" problems and not the compression system, which I've believed it to be up until now.

What say you?

John_Reed
08-03-2004, 02:06 PM
Absolutely understood! No argument, simply a good debate, trying to resolve an issue.

As I understand it "noise" and "artifacts" are different: noise is the electronic equivalent of excessive grain in a film image, found usually in images shot with high ISO. Artifacts are effects in the image such as blotches caused by over-compression, or multi-colored speckles from bright highlights, and noise from underexposure.

I'm not sure exactly where the line is between noise and when it might become artifacts but for certain, the Panasonic definitely doesn't generate the latter. Or not that I've ever seen anyway and that's about 7500 images so far. But at the higher file sizes it does appear to generate what I believe is noise. There is a clear and definite grainy effect, especially in backgrounds. I take lots of photos of the birds in the garden, mostly using the maximum telephoto capabilities of the camera and feathers seem to be particularly prone to it.

I have taken macro shots with the FZ10 and there is what looks like clear and definite noise, not artifacts, all over the background. I would expect some perhaps but not as much as there is. I've looked at macro images taken with my Fuji6800z and there really are no problems with that sort of thing though the maximum file size is slightly smaller at 2048x1536.

Here's a thought that's just crossed my mind! I wonder if the "noise" - I'll carry on calling it that! - could be caused by the electronics of the optical image stabilising system. I haven't done it yet but I think it might be a good idea to take the same shot hand held with IS in both modes and then do the same thing tripod mounted. Then switch the IS off and do it again by hand and using a support and then do some comparisons. I know Panasonic state that the image quality is improved by switching the IS off and it may just be that it's causing the "noise" problems and not the compression system, which I've believed it to be up until now.

What say you?
Interesting question here. I think the phenomenon to which you refer would most properly be described as "noise," but as to whether it could be there because of the effects of the IS system is an interesting point. I know when I look at sample images for the new Panasonic cameras, the focused subject looks very clean and sharp, but in the un-focused background, I often see what I've characterized as "noise" before. A controlled experiment could be done, possibly. Take a certain scene (indoor scene, preferably, so that the breeze can't affect the results) and shoot it from a tripod at all 4 different ISOs, first with IS on, and IS off (possibly do the same with the two different IS modes as well). At a given ISO, all images should be the same, all file sizes identical. If the file sizes are different, the noisier files will contain the most noise. Game to see what happens?

judge9847
08-04-2004, 11:17 AM
You bet I'm up for it :)

I'll set it up as soon as I possibly can. If both of us could do it we might be able to see anything inconsistent - or preferably consistent!

I'll post again here when it's done.

John_Reed
08-04-2004, 11:16 PM
You bet I'm up for it :)

I'll set it up as soon as I possibly can. If both of us could do it we might be able to see anything inconsistent - or preferably consistent!

I'll post again here when it's done.
ISO No IS IS Mode 1 IS Mode 2
50 1,218,651 1,223,818 1,366,891
100 1,369,714 1,372,718 1,508,541
200 1,500,467 1,500,928 1,509,424
400 1,711,323 1,709,054 1,712,114

The numbers in the table are the file sizes of each respective image file, in bytes. At ISO 50 and 100, it looks like there's a significant increase in "noise" for IS Mode 2, but at ISO 200 and 400, no real significant differences. My photos were taken indoors on a tripod, using self-timer, under tungsten lighting, for what it's worth.

judge9847
08-09-2004, 03:30 AM
Here's the results of the test that I did.

All taken indoors, all tripod mounted, exactly the same postion, exactly the same subject in as even a light as is possible. No artificial lighting. No spot mode. Focal length 29.1mm (175 equiv) consistent on all images. All sizes in bytes from Windows Explorer for more consistency. All auto exposure, auto focus. All images taken at best quality, 2304x1728. Used 2 second timer to take all images.

ISO NO IS Mode1 Mode2
50 1,551,002 1,572,218 1,561,392
100 1,738,838 1,753,086 1,752,978
200 1,735,629 1,737,996 1,746,617
400 1,691,620 1,730,098 1,720,172

Weird. In mode 2, with the exception of ISO200, there's a DECREASE in "noise" over mode 1. In mode 1, there is an INCREASE over using no IS each time though at 200, the percentage increase is less.

Using no IS at all, at ISO200 there is a decrease in file size from 100 and then a further decrease from 200 to 400. (I would not have expected that at all.)

I'm not at all sure that this proves anything beyond the fact that IS does add something to the file size over the no IS images.

Looking at the images in PSP8.1 I'm pushed to determine what the obvious differences are. I'd say, purely from using my eyes, that the better images, by which I mean those with less "noise" are the lower ISO numbers of 50 and 100 though of course that's nothing like a "scientific" test.

But I'm bugged by the results at ISO 200. Any ideas/possible explanations would be welcome.

John_Reed
08-09-2004, 07:34 AM
ISO NO IS Mode1 Mode2
50 1,551,002 1,572,218 1,561,392
100 1,738,838 1,753,086 1,752,978
200 1,735,629 1,737,996 1,746,617
400 1,691,620 1,730,098 1,720,172

Weird. In mode 2, with the exception of ISO200, there's a DECREASE in "noise" over mode 1. In mode 1, there is an INCREASE over using no IS each time though at 200, the percentage increase is less.
Using no IS at all, at ISO200 there is a decrease in file size from 100 and then a further decrease from 200 to 400. (I would not have expected that at all.)
But I'm bugged by the results at ISO 200. Any ideas/possible explanations would be welcome.Bob, your results are different than mine. Mine showed a significant difference only for ISO 50 and 100, and only when using Mode 2 stabilization. My shots were done inside, under Tungsten lighting, with no zoom at all. The differences may be in what particular scene and lighting each of us chose. For one thing, I'd bet that you'd get a small change in bytes even if you took two successive, identical shots of the same scene. Looking at your table, the ISO 50 shots for each mode show the lowest noise, then for ISO 100, 200, and 400, noise increases for every mode, then declines as you raise the ISO through 100, 200, and 400.
As our scientific endeavor continues, we may safely conclude that so far, we have concluded nothing, safely. :mad:

hdburnham
08-17-2004, 06:25 AM
Hi, I'm new, but have read all of this thread with interest. I'm really keen on the FZ10 or its new replacement the FZ20, but have heard stories about the image noise. It seems to me that there are several things to consider:

1. First, the lens is fast across its range. That means you can shoot at a lower ASA rating, and thus lower noise, than a competing camera.
2. SImilarly, with image stabilisation: in order to shoot a steady shot at 200mm equivalent, without a tripod, you wouldn't want to go below 1/125 even if you had ice in your blood. Of course you could bump up the ASA and shoot faster. Or, have IS and shoot at 1/60 or lower.
3. I'm sure I read somewhere that the Venus II engine has improved noise.

That's how I'm selling myself anyway. My question to you people who already own a FZ10 is: is the noise 'subjectively' more bothersome than on competing cameras?

Thanks,

D

John_Reed
08-17-2004, 07:00 AM
That's how I'm selling myself anyway. My question to you people who already own a FZ10 is: is the noise 'subjectively' more bothersome than on competing cameras?In the August issue of Popular Photography, the FZ10's noise performance was judged to be better than either the Canon S1, or the Konica Minolta A2 - in fact the FZ10 was the only one tested that they deemed acceptable at ISO 400. Even at the low end, ISO 50, the FZ10 gave the cleanest images. I know from using Noise Ninja that it couldn't even find a noise profile on an ISO 50 image! I don't think it's really been a distraction at all, and when it becomes one, Noise Ninja to the rescue, though I haven't used it much, frankly. Nowadays, I set my ISO selector to "Auto," confident that the camera can do a good job across the range.

hdburnham
08-17-2004, 08:11 AM
Thanks, that's really helpful & reassuring.

D