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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    13

    Question about Panasonic TZ1...or other relatively inexpensive models

    I'm looking for an all around use camera...one that's good for outdoors (landscapes, scenic views, etc) and regular indoor shots. But, I'm also looking for a camera that operates well in low lighting settings, as I go to many concerts. I've been looking at the Panasonic TZ1...it's got great zoom if I happen to not have great seats and am far from the stage, the quality of video it takes I've read is comparable to camcorder quality video, it's not too bulky, it's in my price range, it has image stabilizer, amongst some other features. The only thing I've noticed and kinda worries me is that it has no manual controls. I'm not smart in photography by any means, but I've read that in concert settings, it's pretty much necessary to have manual controls as you can't get away with getting good pictures on automatic (something like the camera's shutter speed, ISO, etc won't adjust to the lighting conditions on it's own). Should I not go with this camera, or is it ok that it doesn't have manual controls? If I shouldn't go with the TZ1, is there another one that has manual controls and relatively all the other features as the TZ1 that's in the $300 or less price range? Any help or advice would be much appreciated. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    western pa
    Posts
    2,334
    Well if you find that camera you are looking for, let us all know......it sounds as though that will be one great camera.

    All the mfgs are tring to build that camera

    An ultrazoom that works great in low light....Not very likely we will see that soon.

    But I have seen some nice low light shots from the Tizzy......And about Manual controls......for the most part the cameras are smarter than me.

    Hopefully someone can help you more than I did.
    .






    Gene
    http://grc225.zenfolio.com/
    http://imageevent.com/grc6
    one of these days I'll understand!

    Panasonic FZ20 & FZ30,FZ18
    D50 -- D80

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    4,173
    Low light, high zoom, far from subject, no current P&S camera is going to do very well with that. That is where a dSLR with high ISO and a fast lens will shine. The TZ1 is probably not a great choice for concert shooting.

    To get good low light zoom shots you'll need the ability to push the ISO high. Fuji is the leader in that field. Take a look a their ultrazooms.

    -dave-

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    E.Sussex,UK
    Posts
    279
    The TZ1 has proved a great little camera for me with one exception-low light.There can be a lot of image noise.However I haven't particularly missed the lack of manual settings.However if low light usage is at or near the top of your requirements I would suggest you look elsewhere.As suggested Fuji is probably the place to look though I am not sure if you will get an image stabiliser and if you want an ultrazoom it will be rather bulkier.

    Canon 60D,
    Sigma 17-70 f2.8-4.0 DC Macro OS HSM,
    Canon 18-55 f3.5-5.6 IS,
    Canon Speedlite 270EX

    Panasonic Lumix DMC GF3,
    Panasonic Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm/F3.5-5.6

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    96
    Although it is only 3MP, the FZ3 is still my favorite concert camera. It's pocketable (for shows where cameras are "discouraged" ), has a stabilized ultrazoom, and most importantly maintains wide aperture at full zoom. I bought a Fuji F10 for its superior low light capability, but it is "superior" only at wide angle shots. The two cameras make a nice tandem, but I'd guess that the FZ3 gets used for 90% of my concert photos.

    I'm waiting for Panasonic to come out with a newer pocketable ultra-zoom that can maintain full aperature at telephoto settings.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Garden City, MI
    Posts
    52
    Quote Originally Posted by JPW2020 View Post
    The TZ1 has proved a great little camera for me with one exception-low light.There can be a lot of image noise.
    I second that. I just took shots of my wife walking my daughter down the sidewalk in her Halloween costume and I had noise city. Again, I don't take so many night shots so that isn't killing me.

    I thought about getting rid of the TZ1 because of the amount of noise, but I also can't find that "perfect" camera so I'll stick it out for now.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    13
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Dilks View Post
    Although it is only 3MP, the FZ3 is still my favorite concert camera. It's pocketable (for shows where cameras are "discouraged" ), has a stabilized ultrazoom, and most importantly maintains wide aperture at full zoom. I bought a Fuji F10 for its superior low light capability, but it is "superior" only at wide angle shots. The two cameras make a nice tandem, but I'd guess that the FZ3 gets used for 90% of my concert photos.

    I'm waiting for Panasonic to come out with a newer pocketable ultra-zoom that can maintain full aperature at telephoto settings.
    I've heard really good things about some of the Fujis, but zoom is really important to me when it comes to concerts. I just stopped using film cameras (I had an Olympus film camera with only a 2x zoom that didn't give me close up shots I wanted), and wanted to venture into the digital world with a high zoom camera. As well, I've got shaky hands and unless a camera without image stabilization still gives you good shots, I think it would be necessary for me. My brother did some research for me into cameras, and tells me that a camera with higher megapixels is the way to go...he thinks that the Canon A630 or Kodak C875 would be good cuz of the 8MP, but while they do seem like great cameras, the low zoom and no image stabilizer I doubt would cut it (and probably not work great with low light anyway)...I don't see myself printing out pictures any larger than 4x6, and what's the point of having a camera with such high MP if the pictures will be blurry and not all that clear where you'd even want to print them out or save them? For a concert, I'd rather have the zoom over the MP...SOOO many other concert enthusiasts I've spoken to have told me that nowadays a high zoom is what you should go for, especially when the prices aren't that bad where you can get one for about $300.
    I was reading other threads about high zoom Panasonic cameras that operate well in low light settings and someone said that an FZ10 or FZ20 and maybe some of the LZ models operate well in concerts...I know that they're older models (early 2005), but would they still be reputable today?
    Does anyone know if I can get away with a camera with lower zoom and still get relatively close up shots at a concert? At a concert, about how many rows back would be equal to getting a good, close up shot with a 4-6x zoom camera?
    I know that more zoom adds more bulk to a camera, but does anyone know just how heavy and big a 10-11 oz camera is? I've read good reviews for Kodak Z612, but wasn't sure how bulky it is. My brother has an Olympus C-730 and it's kinda clunky. I don't need a camera that fits in my pocket, but maybe will fit into an average sized pocketbook and not weigh me down too much.
    I know I sound VERY camera stupid and am fantastical thinking I can find that perfect camera with exactly what I want, but if anyone could give me some insight with all these technical terms and features, it would be lots of help and very appreciated.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    2,929
    Get the Panasonic FZ20. I had one and it performed fairly well in low light conditions(commercial wrestling, WWE) and that can be much more harsh than concerts. the reason I say the FZ20 is because its very cheap now, $250 and it maintains a low light friendly F2.8 throughout the entire 12X zoom range! It also has that wonderful image stabilization that will help you use lower shutter speeds. Once you get past ISO400 with this camera it does get noisy, but if you dont plan on large prints you will be ok. If you cant afford DSLR yet, I strongly suggest the Panasonic FZ20. The one downside, its not very compact.
    Jason

    "A coward dies a thousand deaths, a soldier dies but once."-2Pac


    A bunch of Nikon stuff!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    2,929
    I do want you to be aware though, what you are shooting, is a job for DSLR, superzooms and compact cameras do not perform the best in low light, thats why myself and many others jump over to DSLR. I would hate to see you lay down your cash on a camera and then be dissapointed after your first concert shoot.

    The high MP isnt all that important unless you plan on printing larger prints and or doing alot of cropping of the photos.

    Alot of zoom is nice, but it does cause some photo quality problems and camera shake.

    I mentioned F2.8 in my last post, the lower the number, the more light gets into the sensor, which you want in low light situations. 2.8 is very good for ultrazooms!

    I hope this helps a little and I wish you the best with your decision! You are in the same situation I was when I had my FZ20. Good luck!
    Jason

    "A coward dies a thousand deaths, a soldier dies but once."-2Pac


    A bunch of Nikon stuff!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Los Altos, CA
    Posts
    2,635

    Some low-light concert photos with TZ1...

    It was an outdoor concert starting in fading daylight, then darkness. First shot shows the stage and one of the bands at ISO 200, not full (77mm equivalent) zoom:



    Then it got dark, and for the remainder of the scenes I selected ISO 400 (1st - 350mm @ 1/30 sec):



    This one shot at 350mm @ 1/50 second:



    Those two shots were taken at full zoom, but here was a shot of a nearby woman (61mm @ 1/15 sec) blowing bubbles. All you can see of the bubbles are the streaks in the air made by reflections of the stage spots off the bubbles:



    Yes, the TZ1 is "automatic," but for these photos, I used its spot metering, pointing the spot at the faces of the musicians to lock in the correct exposure. All photos handheld. So you see, this camera is not entirely useless at a concert?
    Let a be your umbrella!

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