View Full Version : Would you still buy FZ10?

Brandon Lipp
09-27-2004, 07:21 PM
Now that the FZ20 and 15 are out would you still buy the FZ10?

I am thinking the prices will take a drop since these other newer cameras have hit the market.

I like the zoom on the FZ10 but am very concerned about it's indoor portrait/casual performance.

I'd like an all around camera and am wondering if the FZ10 will fit the bill. What's the ease of use like for a beginner?

09-27-2004, 10:52 PM
Now that the FZ20 and 15 are out would you still buy the FZ10?

I am thinking the prices will take a drop since these other newer cameras have hit the market.

I like the zoom on the FZ10 but am very concerned about it's indoor portrait/casual performance.

I'd like an all around camera and am wondering if the FZ10 will fit the bill. What's the ease of use like for a beginner?By all means the FZ10 is an awesome camera, I own one and am not remiss that I didn't hold out for the upgrades in the FZ20 for the sheer enjoyment I've been able to experience prior to the FZ20's launch. Comparing the features, it's not significantly lower than the FZ20, although for the $ the FZ20 is obviously a better camera, and the TIFF format would likely be a desirable thing if you are on the more Prosumer end of the specturm, as I'm sure there's less of the oversharpening and pixelization that you'll have with JPEG compressed files. If there was one feature on the FZ20 that stands out to me, that would be the one I'd most like. Other than that, it might have faster focusing or a more accurate spot focusing, but I've not tried the camera firsthand to get a feel for the differences and how substantial they are.

It's just a matter of whether or not you can find an FZ10 for enough below the FZ20's sticker to make it worthwhile. I mean if $100 is no object, then obviously get the FZ20, as I said TIFF is awesome although it'll likely chew up memory card space in a hurry (get at least a 256 mb card if you want to take a lot of photos at high quality, I can take 144 with my 256mb Panasonic card). If it's $150-200 though and you're not in dire need of RAW it might be best to gnab the FZ10 over the FZ20, and obviously over an FZ15 which has less megapixels and I believe lacks the hotshoe (more on this later). It's also accessibility too. Circuit City now carries both the FZ20 and FZ3 so it makes it more accessible to many than the FZ10 series was, which many had to obtain through mail order, and in which you don't get to experience the camera first hand before purchase. I had the luxury of having a bevy of Ritz and Wolf Camera shops in my area and I purchased one in-store, but you can likely get better deals through mail order. I just am paranoid and want that service plan for whenever I fork over $ of that amount.

For a novice it's a very easy camera to use, very intuitive. The interface isn't as flashy as some, but it's nowhere near as cumbersome as some of the competition to use, and the craftsmanship and construction is awesome, almost artsy with a more classic camera feel. It's as easy (or easier) to use as most any other "snappy" type of low-end camera, but it also has a lot of adjustability for when you're ready to make the step up to manual adjustments.

As far as indoor performance... it'll do the job. You'll want to likely get a bump flash for better control with the hotshoe mount (I need one, my Speedlite from my older EOS was a cheaper flash, and I have yet to rig up a shield for it to throw the light in a different direction, I used to do this in Photo class years ago in H.S. and Junior College), so I'd probably rule the FZ15 out if it lacks this. I've not read the stats that close but I thought someone said it didn't have the hot shoe. I know the FZ3 does lack the hotshoe at the very least, and I know the FZ20 has it. If the FZ15 has it, then it's a matter of megapixels per $ vs. the other features of the FZ10/FZ15.

My only experience with the FZ10 that has been negative is the focus speed as well as spot focusing (if you shoot through chainlink as I do sometimes, the camera will focus on the fence vs. what's through the fence, and the slow focus speed hurts remedying this). Yet there's not many 12x zoom digital cameras out there and that's likely part of the problem, as having that monster lens also slows it down for the full range of focusing and zooming. That and the lack of a low-light AF Lamp for hurts the cameras performance too. If you're going to take photos in dark lit situations, you're likely going to struggle with this camera, as it doesn't gain up the EVF, the focusing stalls in low-light, and manual focus with any non-SLR digital is a chore. You do get what you pay for when you upgrade to the Canon or Nikon D-SLR's, even the low-end models. Whether the FZ15/20 have remedied the focusing speed sufficiently is something I'm not sure of, as I've not tried them in-store... yet. If other's say they have though, I'd venture to say if it's a significant improvement, you might want to go with the FZ15 or 20. I know that I'm disappointed in the focusing speed myself, but other than that... the FZ10 is amazing to me. I enjoy it more than my old film SLR EOS. LoL

Even at a late dusk you're going to likely need a tripod or monopod to steady the camera for long range shooting, because while image stabilization helps make a bad situation better, it doesn't eliminate the situation or make the impossible, possible. It can take photos in lower light conditions than many other cameras can, but it can also have a lot of blurred photos as a result of the conditions just like any other camera would, or where the steadiness of a tripod far exceeds that of even the steadiest hands. So a tripod/monopod is a definite need under those circumstances, but for most daylight situations the camera is awesome, and into dusk you can often get by without one if you're capable of holding it pretty steady.

As far as the lens, I think the performance at wide or telephoto is quite good, but it's a matter of your own tolerance and what's acceptable to you. I know that there's liable to be barrel distortion at the wide end, but with anything there's a tradeoff. If you want an exquisite long range zoom built-in for the $, then you're going to sacrifice some of the wide angle's quality. Depending on how much of a stickler you are, it might be perfection, adequate, or atrocious. If you want better wide angle, you likely will buy a camera that has less zoom like maybe a 7-8x tops, and then buy conversion lenses as needed to boost things.

I'd study the reviews long and hard (I researched for 3 months, and this site = one of the best), and then if you have access to a camera shop that carries the camera along with some alternatives, give it a go. I know Circuit City carries both the Lumix DMC-FZ20 and FZ3 right now, as well as the Canon Powershot S1 IS (wasn't out when I bought mine but I would've considered it). I'd give both makes and all models a try and see what your preference is for what you're willing to spend and what suits you best. Then try the various Sony long range cameras, and then try them against any other models that come to mind that you'd be interested in. If long range zoom isn't necessarily all it's cracked up to be for you, then make a compromise and find a happy medium. I sacrificed higher megapixels for the zoom and image stabilization and am more than happy with it. Yet to each their own and the only real way to determine what suits you is to try them yourself.

Hope that helps. :)