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View Full Version : My FZ3 just arrived



Dave Dilks
08-31-2004, 08:25 AM
Ordered it from circuitcity.com and it arrived in less than a week. I only had a little time to play with it as I got home late last night and the battery needed charging. I took a few indoor pictures using ambient (dim to nearly dark) lighting and can say this much:

1) It works. :D
2) Auto-focusing was very quick (too early to say how much better than my Nikons, though)
3) Image stabilization is the berries. Hand-held shots at low shutter speeds are markedly better than my other cameras.

More details to follow once I get a chance to play with it more. Given my workload, that may not be until this weekend. :o

propwash
08-31-2004, 09:35 AM
Dave,

Glad to hear your camera arrived so quickly. PLEASE don't wait until this weekend to play around with your new toy! There are lots of us out here who are waiting to hear your impressions of the FZ3. I am seriously condisering that camera, but it's hard to take the plunge without having seen and held the real thing, or else at least heard some feedback from a new owner. Let us know what your impressions are. Thanks

Dave Dilks
09-04-2004, 06:16 PM
Sorry, propwash, but work kept me hopping through today. Keep in mind to take this review for the ramblings of an amateur, whose only cameras to compare it to are a Nikon 950 and 4500.

Overall, I like the camera a lot.

Controls and menus are easy to follow and pretty intuitive. My wife was able to get up and running on this camera much quicker than the Nikons.

The focus assist lamp allows it to focus quickly in low light, even in complete darkness.

Transer of pictures from the camera to PC is quick with the USB connection, and I've abandoned prior thoughts of getting a card reader for it..

Burst mode is pretty neat, although when trying to take single shots while in burst mode it usually took two.

I bought it for the combination of zoom and stabilized lens, and it seems to fit the bill very well. Here are a couple of unedited shots from the Uniersity of Michigan football game today, taken 50 rows up and halfway across the field:
http://home.comcast.net/~sdilks237372mi/P1000113.JPG
http://home.comcast.net/~sdilks237372mi/P1000136.JPG

Potential dislikes:

It's awkwardly sized, with relatively small length and width and lots of depth. This doesn't affect its use, but it won't fit into a pocket or many standard camera cases. This is not a big issue for me.

In casual shots taken around the yard, it seemed to have a higher percentage of shots that were out of focus than my Nikons did. Maybe the percentage will go up as I learn more about its use, but that's my impression right out of the box and not playing with any of it focusing options.


I was a little nervous about buying this sight unseen, but those fears are now gone. Let me know if you have any specific questions you'd like answered that weren't covered here.

Janet
09-04-2004, 07:03 PM
Overall, I like the camera a lot.


I bought it for the combination of zoom and stabilized lens, and it seems to fit the bill very well. Here are a couple of unedited shots from the Uniersity of Michigan football game today, taken 50 rows up and halfway across the field:
.

Thanks for the review. I think I am going to love my FZ 20! My last camera was a Nikon 950 and I think this one is going to be the one I have been waiting for. I loved your picture--I am from A2--Go Blue!

Janet

John_Reed
09-04-2004, 10:34 PM
I was a little nervous about buying this sight unseen, but those fears are now gone. Let me know if you have any specific questions you'd like answered that weren't covered here.It looks like it did a good job for you at the football game. When I bought my first FZ1 I also bought it "sight unseen," and was pleasantly surprised that it exceeded my expectations in almost every respect. Hope your experience with the FZ3 is similar.

Just a suggestion for focusing, that I've found to be helpful with my FZ10: Try using manual exposure settings, and spot focus. With manual exposure, while watching the EVF, you can "dial in" the color contrast, aperture and shutter speed you want. Then, all you're doing with the focus spot is focusing only, not also metering. I've found that when the two are married, as when you're not using manual exposure, it can sometimes be difficult to find a good spot for focusing that doesn't throw off your metering. Worth a try.

propwash
09-05-2004, 08:50 AM
Dave,

Thanks for your posting of your pictures. It's a little late now, but What I think might have been really educational would be if you had taken one of those long zoom pictures at the football game, and then immediately taken another one with the image stabilization turned off. It would be interesting to see a side-by-side comaprison of the same shot at 12x zoom with and without stabilization. I think that would convince a lot of people how important IS can be at long zoom values. Thanks again.

John_Reed
09-05-2004, 10:45 AM
What I think might have been really educational would be if you had taken one of those long zoom pictures at the football game, and then immediately taken another one with the image stabilization turned off. It would be interesting to see a side-by-side comaprison of the same shot at 12x zoom with and without stabilization. I think that would convince a lot of people how important IS can be at long zoom values. Thanks again.Actually, other aspects of the system may influence success with long-telephoto shots besides IS. For example, the fact that the Leica lens allows shooting at f2.8 at full telephoto means you take the shot at the fastest possible shutter speed, which is a good thing. And, if the camera can shoot noise-free shots up to ISO 200 or 400, that also promotes faster shutter speeds. So I'm saying, I guess, that in the lighting that illuminated that football game, IS by itself may not have been as much of a factor as it would've been in a situation where the shutter speeds were down around 1/50 or so. Now, if Dave comes back and says he was shooting all those shots at 1/30, I'm all wet! :o

Dave Dilks
09-05-2004, 11:15 AM
There was enough ambient light (fortunately, the rain held off until 10 minutes after the game ended) that most of the shots had pretty fast shutter speeds. The camera will get more of a test next weekend at a hockey game, where there lighting will be much poorer and shutter speeds much slower. propwash, regarding testing the effect of the IS at full zoom, the next home football game is in two weeks and I'll do a side-by-side test then, if not sooner.

John, thanks for the earlier focusing tip.