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You pros will probably laugh at me but.... Panasonic DMC-FZ30

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Madrone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-11-06 04:50 PM
Original message
You pros will probably laugh at me but.... Panasonic DMC-FZ30

I've got one ordered and on the way after a lot of research. I'm very interested in photography, but other than a stint in highschool with an actual SLR and a darkroom I haven't done anything other than point and shoot. And I don't remember jack about my experience in highschool.

I was looking for a "hybrid" p&s / slr - and after much research settled on the Panasonic. I'd like to eventually add on - filters, lenses, etc. I of course know nothing about brand/quality or anything else that might impress ya'll w/ my knowledge. :D

I'm curious as to your overall impressions of my newly ordered camera, and any other tips you may wish to throw to a newbie.

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CC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-11-06 08:16 PM
Response to Original message
1. Congrats on the new camera.
None of us would laugh except in joy that another is joining us in out addiction. Tip #1- The most important one is have fun and take lots of pictures. Tip #2- Stop by often and post pics for us.

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ConsAreLiars Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-11-06 09:21 PM
Response to Original message
2. I believe that is the same camera I chose for my son.
After reading a lot of reviews and knowing his objectives and the harsh conditions it would encounter, it seemed like "the best" choice. He hasn't broken it yet and has produced very good quality photos. The limitations are the same as the advantages. It does not have interchangeable lenses, so getting dirt inside is unlikely. The zoom ratio is fixed at "only 10:1 optical," but tests give the Zeiss (iirc) lens high ratings for the full range, and that's more than I get with my film SLR with lenses ranging from 24mm to 200mm, and his camera weighs less than most of my lenses alone.

I think the camera sensor was 3 or 4 megapixels in resolution, and that can be a problem if he (or you) wanted to produce prints much larger than 8x10 or 11x14, but when he (or you) have the need and money to make a lot of bigger prints, then, by then, a replacement camera at twice the capability at half the price will probably be on the market.

Like most, I tend to have a bias toward the "famous names," but it seemed like the wisest choice for him, and nothing I have heard or seen since then suggests I was wrong.
I expect you will be quite happy and not feel limited in any way by this choice of camera.
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Madrone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-11-06 10:39 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. I think your son's may be an earlier incarnation. Mine has
12x optical and 8.3 megapixels. The biggest problem seems to be lots of noise at higher ISOs - but as I understand not really an issue unless you are trying to print anything above 12x18 (I think?) and not an issue at all if you have PhotoShop. I DO have PhotoShop, but I can't really say I know how to use it!

Heres a pic:

And some exhaustive info (most of which means nothing to me!)

With the new DMC-FZ30, Panasonic thrusts its super zoom category of digital still cameras firmly into the hands of photo enthusiasts with an 8-megapixel, 12x optical zoom (equivalent to 35mm to 420mm) camera. Equipped with both automatic and manual controls that will meet the needs of prosumers and amateurs alike, the DMC-FZ30 incorporates Panasonic's acclaimed MEGA Optical Image Stabilization.

The 12x optical zoom Leica DC Vario-Elmarit Lens, which has appeared in all of the FZ series cameras from Panasonic, has undergone further development to ensure more superb picture rendering. Along with the CCD size and total effective pixels, the FZ30 also has enhanced and added a host of other features: a manual zoom ring along with a manual focus ring; an easy-to-see, free-moving LCD; and adjustable dials for the aperture and shutter speed controls. Both the LCD and the electronic viewfinder have had their resolution increased by about 180 percent, offering a sharp, clear view.

The FZ30 combines high-speed and high-quality image processing with the Venus Engine II LSI. It boasts quick responsiveness with best-in-class level release time lag of 0.01 seconds. Adopting a non-collapsible lens has substantially reduced start up time from about five seconds to about 0.97 seconds. Autofocus time in 1-point high-speed AF has been reduced to a quarter of the level achieved in Panasonic's previous model

In addition to advanced features are great enhancements to basic functionality. A newly developed lithium-ion battery has increased capacity. There are also 14 scene modes for beginning photographers, including five news modes: Baby, Soft Skin, Food, Starry Sky and Candle. Each scene has its own help screen to describe the affect and advise the photographer on how to get the best shot possible. Auto angle detection recorders when an image is taken horizontally or vertically and displays the file appropriately on the LCD monitor or on a TV or PC, using included software.


New Leica DC Lens with 12x Zoom
An 8-megapixel lens has now joined the FZ series of 12x zoom lenses with MEGA O.I.S. (optical image stabilizer). The Extended Optical Zoom function further increases zooming power to 19.1x** while suppressing image degradation.
**At 3-megapixel resolution.

Advanced MEGA O.I.S.
Now you can capture clear, sharp photos even when zooming or in dim lighting. LUMIX's popular MEGA O.I.S. suppresses the effects of hand-shake, so you get less blurring and more beauty.

Venus Engine II LSI
With its high resolution, this LSI helps deliver the full potential of the high-definition CCD. You get stunning images with exceptional detail.

Full Manual Operation
This new design incorporates a zoom ring, focus ring, and aperture/shutter speed command dial. Advanced manual operation lets you take photos exactly as you envision them, by putting the full performance of this powerful camera to work for you.

A Variety of Controls
The pixel count has been increased in both the LCD monitor and electronic viewfinder. The Free-angle LCD Monitor lets you adjust the angle for a more comfortable shooting stance.

Mode Dial/Scene Mode
The mode dial makes it easy to take beautiful shots in almost any situation. Candle Light, Starry Sky, Baby, Soft Skin, and Food modes have also been added to give you a choice of 14 modes in all.

More Shooting Fun
Enjoy features that only a digital camera can offer, such as viewing beautiful VGA (640 x 480-pixel) moving pictures on a large TV screen. You will also discover many other ways to explore the fun and creativity of photography.


Total Megapixel: 8.32

Effective Pixels: 8.0 Megapixels

CCD (Image Sensor): 1/1.8"

Image Processor: Venus Engine II LSI Primary Color Filter

Recording Image Size: (Pixels )

4:3 Aspect Ratio (Still Image)
3264 x 2448
2560 x 1920
2048 x 1536
1600 x 1200
1280 x 960

3:2 Aspect Ratio (Still Image)
3248 x 2160
2560 x 1712
2048 x 1360

16 :9 Aspect Ratio (Still Image)
3072 x 1728
1920 x 1080

Motion Image (4:3 Aspect Ratio)
640 x 480, 320 x 240


Leica DC Vario-Elmarit Lens: 14 Elements in 10 Groups (3 Aspherical Lenses/3 Aspherical Surfaces, 1 ED Lens)

Optical Image Stabilizer: MEGA O.I.S. (Mode 1 / Mode 2 )

Optical Zoom: 12x

Extra Optical Zoom:

4:3 Aspect Ratio: 15.3x for 5 Mega, 19.1x for 3 Mega, 2 Mega, 1Mega
3:2 Aspect Ratio: 15.3x for 4.5 Mega, 19.1x for 2.5 Mega
16 :9 Aspect Ratio: 19.1x for 2 Mega

Digital Zoom: 2x / 4x pre-select

(Max. 48x combined with Optical Zoom without Extended Optical Zoom)
(Max. 76.5x combined with Extended Optical Zoom)

Combined Total Zoom: 48x

Aperture: Wide: F2.8 - F11; Tele: F3.7 - F11

Focal Length: f=7.4-88.8mm (35mm equivalent: 35-420mm)

Focusing Area:

Normal: Wide 30cm / Tele 200cm - infinity
Macro: Wide 5cm / Tele 200cm - infinity

Focus Modes:

AF Macro
MF switchable
Manual Focus (Ring)
Continuous AF On/Off
One-Shot AF

AF Metering:

1 point
1 point high speed
3 points high speed
9 points
(Selectable focus area on 1 point/1 point high speed)

ISO Sensitivity: Auto / 80 / 100 / 200 / 400

White Balance:

Auto/Daylight/Cloudy/Halogen/Flash/White Set1/2
White Balance Adjustment (except for Auto WB)


Program AE
Aperture Priority AE
Shutter Priority AE
Program Shift (P mode)

Exposure Compensation: 1/3 EV Step, +/- 2 EV

Backlight Compensation: Yes (at auto mode)

Auto Bracketing (AE): +1/3EV-1EV Step, 3 Frames

Light Metering: Intelligent Multiple / Center-weighted / Spot

Scene Modes:

Dial: Auto, Program Mode, Aperture Priority Mode, Shutter Priority Mode, Manual Mode, SCN1, SCN2 :(Portrait, Sports, Food, Scenery, Night Scenery, Panning, Night Portrait, Fireworks, Party, Snow, Baby, Soft Skin, Starry Sky, Candle),Moving Image, Playback

Shutter Speed:

8 - 1/2000 sec.: Program AE, Aperture Priority AE, Shutter Priority AE
60 - 1/2000 sec.: Manual

Self Timer: 10 seconds / 2 seconds

Auto Review: 1 sec/3 sec/zoom

Review: 1x/4x/8x

Picture Adjustment: Contrast, Sharpness, Saturation, Noise Reduction

Color Effect Mode: Cool, Warm, Black & White, Sepia

Recording Format:

Still Image: JPEG (design rule for camera file system), DPOF corresponding
Still Image with Audio: JPEG (design rule for camera file system) + QuickTime
Motion Images: QuickTime Motion JPEG

Image Quality: RAW/TIFF/Fine/Standard

Motion Image (Quick Time Motion JPEG):

4:3 Aspect Ratio: 30 or 10 fps (320 x 240 pixels) 2(640 x 480 pixels)

Mega Burst Shooting Mode: (Full-resolution image)
Standard Mode: Up to 9 images at 3 or 2 frames/sec.
Fine Mode: Up to 5 images

Unlimited Consecutive Shooting: Yes

Still Image Recording with Audio: 5 seconds

Audio Dubbing: Maximum of 10 Seconds

Built-in Flash Mode:

Auto, Auto/Red-eye Reduction,
Slow Sync./Red-eye Reduction
Forced On/Off
Flash Output Adjustment (1/3EV step, -2 +2EV)
0.3 - 7.0m (ISO Auto)

External Flash: Hot Shoe


LCD Monitor: 2.0" Diagonal Polycrystalline TFT LCD Display (235k pixels) Field of view: approx. 100%

Viewfinder: 0.44" diagonal Color EVF (235k pixels) Field of view: approx. 100%

Playback Mode:

25, 16 or 9-Thumbnail Display
Zoomed Playback (16x max)
Image Rotation
Slide Show
Favorite Pictures
Trimming, Protection
DPOF Setting

Recording Media: SD Memory Card / Multimedia Card

Microphone: Built-in

Speaker: Built-in

Interface: DC Input, A/V Output (NTSC/PAL), USB

Power Supply:

Included: Lithium-ion Battery Pack (7.2V, 730 mAh)
Optional: Battery Charger/AC Adaptor (Input: 110-240V AC)

Battery Life:

Up to 280 pictures (CIPA Standard)
Up to 300 pictures with EVF

Included ArcSoft Software:

ArcSoft PhotoImpression
ArcSoft Panorama Maker
ArcSoft PhotoBase
USB Driver
Lumix Simple Viewer
Photo Fun Studio

OSD Language: English, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese (Traditional), German, Italian, French

Dimensions: 3.37'' (H) x 5.54'' (W) x 5.44'' (D)

Weight: 1.63 lbs

Other Features:

Color: Silver

AF Assist Lamp

Composition Guide Lines
Scene Mode Help Screen

Auto Angle Detection

Flip Animation

Unlimited Consecutive Shooting

Real-time Histograms

Direct Print: PictBridge

Conversion Lens Compatibility

manufacturer Warranty: One year

And here's a random review snagged from Google w/ more pictures of the camera, as well as some test shots. (The one on the review is the black model)


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ConsAreLiars Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-11-06 11:09 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Yes ,you're right. I think it might have been the FZ3 instead of FZ30
And a Leica 12X rather than my imaginary "Zeiss 10X" lens. Memory fades. You seem to have 2-3 times as much camera at a comparable price. So I am even more confident in my expectation that you will find it to be a good choice.
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Robb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-11-06 09:50 PM
Response to Original message
3. Welcome!
I'm a hybrid man, myself. Focusing is for ninnies, I say. :D

I shoot my best stuff with an Olympus C-2100 on automatic everything mode. Who has the time to twist all that stuff around? It's like manual transmission! :rofl:

now THAT's how you draw out flames! Welcome! :toast:

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Blue_In_AK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-11-06 09:57 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. I agree with you, Robb...
I was trying to do manual transmission most of the time on our trip, just to prove to myself that I could, but I know I missed some shots that I could have otherwise taken (marmot on a rock pile, for instance). I found myself yelling at the camera -- "come on, come ON" -- as I'm frantically pushing buttons and turning dials. I see this manual stuff takes practice.
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JeffR Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-11-06 10:27 PM
Response to Original message
5. I've shot a lot of crap with my (film) SLR over the years
And got some great shots with my modestly priced non-SLR digital. Hell, I've even taken some decent shots with my old Polaroid and a magazine-subscription-giveaway panoramic camera my mom gave me some years back.

There's a lot to be said for the best possible manual control over what you shoot, but at the end of the day, I think what you shoot matters more than what you shoot it with. Your eye is the most important tool in your arsenal, IMHO.

Now hurry up and post some pics!!!!!!!!
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bikebloke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-13-06 03:26 PM
Response to Original message
8. I went for the FZ5
Size was the determining factor. I decided I was more likely to tote it along with a smaller size. There's isn't manual focus, but I find ways to work around it when needed. Great images, by the way. What's neat about learning with digital is your goofs and experiments don't cost a cent in processing. Just delete them.
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