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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    42

    Best Ultra Zoom In Low Light and Flash Use ?

    I just bought a Panasonic FZ5 but its ability in low light and flash photography is awful. The amount of noise in the picture compared to my 4 year old Digital Ixus V3 is very disappointing. The fact it is so easily beaten in this regard by 4 year old technology is quite upsetting.

    Could someone please tell me which is the best ultra zoom (10x +) in low light and flash use. Must have IS too.

    Should I wait for the Fuji S5200/S5600 ?

    I "upgraded" my Digital Ixus V3 because I wanted a lot more zoom. But at the moment it feels like a downgrade.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    4,428
    These were taken with Panasonic FZ20 with in-built flash, ISO80-100 taken as experiment. FZ20 suffers in low light (without flash) but otherwise I can't complain; not as that price. If tripod or flash is used there is no problem.
    There was no software enhancement only to scale the pictures down.
    See and judge for yourself and I'd like to know if you consider them as too much noise?
    Attached Images Attached Images    

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    42
    I am more concerned at the amount of noise in low light pictures without the flash.

    Considering these pictures were taken with the flash at iso 80-100 and have been scaled down, then I would say yes there is more noise than I would expect. Far more than my Digital Ixus produces.

    The amount of noise in those pictures with the flash on, I would have expected the camera to have been set at iso 200.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    3

    I don't like my FZ5 either.

    Feel misled by all those reviews.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    42
    Quote Originally Posted by SpiceTomato
    Feel misled by all those reviews.
    I agree. But then what I now realise is that these cameras are just being compared to other ultra zooms and not digital cameras in general. I think if they compared the image quality of them in more general terms, then they would get far worse reviews.

    I am certainly not happy with my FZ5 but am in two minds about whether to return it or not. Part of me says return it and forget about ultra zoom and get something with much better image quality instead. Part of me really wants the 12x zoom and feels maybe I should just put up with the inferior picture quality.

    The only real solution is a dSLR but they are far too expensive for me, too much hassle, and too big and heavy.

    I am waiting for reviews of the Fuji S5200/S5600 with interest. Its small, light and goes up to iso 1600. Be interesting to see what the noise levels are like.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    4,428
    Timk99, I was just gauging your level of expectation. I guess it's hard to please a professional with the FZ series.
    I was venturing into photography and was prepared to pay much more for a dSLR until I found Panasonic FZ20. Of course, even at this early stage, I keep pushing the camera limitations but I guess I got what I paid for, so I won't complain.
    Have you tested Canon or Nikon cameras? Many of them can fit optional tele lenses?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    278
    I had the FZ15.. the noise levels are fine in low light.
    Here's a shot of carnegie hall I took with it.



    6mm
    F/5.2
    8sec

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    42
    Obviously taken with a tripod.

    No offense intended but why does everyone on these forums assume that everyone wants to carry a tripod around with them.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    1,099
    Have you thought of the Olympus C8080? Its a good alternative.

    Quote Originally Posted by timk99
    I just bought a Panasonic FZ5 but its ability in low light and flash photography is awful. The amount of noise in the picture compared to my 4 year old Digital Ixus V3 is very disappointing. The fact it is so easily beaten in this regard by 4 year old technology is quite upsetting.

    Could someone please tell me which is the best ultra zoom (10x +) in low light and flash use. Must have IS too.

    Should I wait for the Fuji S5200/S5600 ?

    I "upgraded" my Digital Ixus V3 because I wanted a lot more zoom. But at the moment it feels like a downgrade.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Derbyshire, UK
    Posts
    2,505
    I've used my FZ20 for some low light shots & been pretty pleased with the results. The examples below are all taken in Las Vegas this Easter on holiday when I had only had the camera for a couple of weeks. All taken at iso 100 and hand held f2.8 and shutters of 1/6, 1/8 & 1/4 seconds.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Around every picture there's a corner & round every corner there's a picture
    - the fun's in finding them

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