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Best Ultra Zoom camera for low noise ?
Hi all, My first post so go easy on me..

Im looking to step up from a basic digital compact to something that has more capabilities and the potential to take better photgraphs..

I have no experience of photography other than point and shoot holiday snaps but I want to learn more..

I really don't want to go down the DSLR route yet as I don't feel I know enough about them and besides I don't want to be messing about with different lenses etc at this time..

I would however like a camera with a decent Zoom and reasonable Macro functions.An Image Stabaliser is also important as I don't have the steadiest of hands !.

I have been comparing reviews on here from a number of "prosumer" cameras and have pretty much filtered my choice down to a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50.

Most of the reviews I have read on this camera do however talk about noise at higher ISO settings..

Is there a better Camera of this type for Noise or is this the best of the bunch ? .

Also is this noise something that I should be worrying about with my experience level as I only intend using this camera for hopefully improved holiday snaps, some close up stuff and pictures of my kids which I would probably want to print off no larger than 10x8".

Would I really notice the noise at higher ISO's on a 10x8" print ? .

Thanks in advance...

Comments (9)

You should start seeing reviews of the FZ18 very soon. The FZ50 has some better features like the zoom ring on the lens not a button, a screen that you can tilt and swivel and a hot shoe for flash but the FZ18 is smaller and has a better zoom range. Either of these cameras will do very well. When you say 8x10 at high ISOs, what are you trying to take pictures of? That will help in assessing what type of results you can expect. 8x10's shouldn't be a problem under most circumstances.terryhttp://tbanet.zenfolio.com/..

Comment #1

Fuji S6000fd: 6mp, good noise performance up to ISO 800, decent performance at 1600..

Fuji S9100: 9mp, good noise performance up to ISO 400.Fuji Film S9100s9100/s9600 Flickr Group:http://www.flickr.com/groups/37994085@N00/..

Comment #2

Usapatriot wrote:.

Fuji S6000fd: 6mp, good noise performance up to ISO 800, decentperformance at 1600..

Fuji S9100: 9mp, good noise performance up to ISO 400..

We should mention that neither Fugi features Image Stabilization, a real plus with any long lens. All of the Panys do. *Very effective* IS..

No camera is perfect..

All things considered, for what you want, go with one of the FZs. Handle the 8, 18 and 50. All different in size and weight, one of them should feel *right* in your hands. All three will make beautiful pictures. There are many examples in the Panasonic Talk forum here at DPReview..

Don't worry about the noise. The pros far outweight any cons..

Mike marshall - FZ50.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window..

Comment #3

The fuji s6000fd has excellent low-light performance and a manual zoom ring..

I've got a Pany FZ30 and have been tempted to switch, but am put off by the Fuji's moving zoom lens. The FZ's fixed zoom allows me to easily hang big auxiliary lenses on it..

The FZ50 is f/3.7 at it's long end, compared to the Fuji's F/4.9 so the exposure times required for the full zoomed FZ are less than half that of the Fuji (at the same ISO.).

It is a difficult choice to make..

Good luck,.

Dave..

Comment #4

I'll answer in two parts. First why you should get a DSLR and second what non-DSLR you should get if you want to go that route..

I would avoid obsessing about noise unless you need to view images at 100%. Bare in mind that this would be equivalent to a print about three feet by two, which is insanely large. Many apparently noisy images will print perfectly well at 6x4 and even 8x10..

The DSLR case :.

The case for the DSLR is simple - it will take lowest noise shots. By the sound of it you should look at the Pentax K100D, which also has IS. Do not be worried about your ability to learn to use it - this will come, and, like most entry level DSLRs, it is has plenty of scene modes which don't require you to do anything much. Plenty of people these days are using DSLRs on full auto all the time, which might irritate enthusiasts but is a fact. The basic two lens kit is fine for your needs, or you could get something like a basic 28-200mm or similar lens to keep on 95% off the time - it would be like using a super-zoom..

In terms of cost it's more than the super-zooms, especially the Fuji S6500, but it will give you significantly better results..

Now for a non-DSLR :.

For low noise work ( i.e. low light and/or high ISO ) I would suggest the Fuji S6000/6500 is the best bet..

The Fuji S9100/9600 is also a good camera and, while it's better than most non-DSLRs at low light,. it's not as good as the Fuji S6000/6500..

I think it's very important to emphasize that the FZ50 can benefit significantly from noise reduction software and shooting RAW ( meaning avoiding the camera itself doing noise reduction ). This will not make me a fan of that particular camera, but I like Fuji also for the colors, which are excellent..

Even with a DSLR you will get noise to some extent. I would strongly advise you to invest in noise reduction software. NeatImage and Noise Ninja are generally well recommended. No matter what camera you get these relatively inexpensive software products are essential, IMO. To get the full benefit from these noise reduction systems you should shoot RAW and apply no other noise reduction when processing the RAW file..

If shooting RAW and processing bothers you I would suggest this is another reason to go the DSLR route..

StephenG.

Pentax K100DFuji S5200Fuji E900PCLinuxOS..

Comment #5

Sjgcit wrote:.

I'll answer in two parts. First why you should get a DSLR and secondwhat non-DSLR you should get if you want to go that route..

I would avoid obsessing about noise unless you need to view images at100%. Bare in mind that this would be equivalent to a print aboutthree feet by two, which is insanely large. Many apparently noisyimages will print perfectly well at 6x4 and even 8x10..

The DSLR case :.

The case for the DSLR is simple - it will take lowest noise shots.By the sound of it you should look at the Pentax K100D, which alsohas IS. Do not be worried about your ability to learn to use it -this will come, and, like most entry level DSLRs, it is has plenty ofscene modes which don't require you to do anything much. Plenty ofpeople these days are using DSLRs on full auto all the time, whichmight irritate enthusiasts but is a fact. The basic two lens kit isfine for your needs, or you could get something like a basic 28-200mmor similar lens to keep on 95% off the time - it would be like usinga super-zoom..

In terms of cost it's more than the super-zooms, especially the FujiS6500, but it will give you significantly better results..

Now for a non-DSLR :.

For low noise work ( i.e. low light and/or high ISO ) I would suggestthe Fuji S6000/6500 is the best bet..

The Fuji S9100/9600 is also a good camera and, while it's better thanmost non-DSLRs at low light,. it's not as good as the Fuji S6000/6500..

I think it's very important to emphasize that the FZ50 can benefitsignificantly from noise reduction software and shooting RAW (meaning avoiding the camera itself doing noise reduction ). Thiswill not make me a fan of that particular camera, but I like Fujialso for the colors, which are excellent..

Even with a DSLR you will get noise to some extent. I would stronglyadvise you to invest in noise reduction software. NeatImage andNoise Ninja are generally well recommended. No matter what camerayou get these relatively inexpensive software products are essential,IMO. To get the full benefit from these noise reduction systems youshould shoot RAW and apply no other noise reduction when processingthe RAW file..

If shooting RAW and processing bothers you I would suggest this isanother reason to go the DSLR route..

StephenG.

Pentax K100DFuji S5200Fuji E900PCLinuxOS.

Thank you for all your replies in such a short space of time.Your point about not obsessing over noise has helped a great deal..

I was reading all the reviews about these cameras and most mention noise yet I dont really know what that means in "real" terms..

If I'm not going to notice it with the photo's I will take, Portraits of the kids, pics of the dog, my lad playing football, holiday snaps etc, the odd one or two of these maybe printed at 10x8, then I think my mind has been made up..

The sample photo's I have seen from the FZ50 look plenty good enough for me as an entry into photography so I think I will head down this route..

Thank you agian for your help and once the camera is in my hands, I will post some pics on here and ask for help again no doubt...

Comment #6

Ultrazooms are fine at iso 50 -200 above that and you are in trouble with noise bar perhaps the Fuji Range. Panasonics have some of the worst noise of all superzooms. The Canon S2is S3is and Sony H2 H5 are ok at iso 200 and just acceptable on occasion at iso 400. I don't make a big deal about noise on a DSLR as it's miles better than on a superzoomI upgraded from a Superzoom and if I were you I would just go for a budget DSLR if you are likely to use iso 200 - 800 on a regular basis..

RegardsTim Hugheshttp://www.artwanted.com/timhughes..

Comment #7

Timhughes666 wrote:.

Ultrazooms are fine at iso 50 -200 above that and you are in troublewith noise bar perhaps the Fuji Range. Panasonics have some of theworst noise of all superzooms. The Canon S2is S3is and Sony H2 H5 areok at iso 200 and just acceptable on occasion at iso 400. I don'tmake a big deal about noise on a DSLR as it's miles better than on asuperzoomI upgraded from a Superzoom and if I were you I wouldjust go for a budget DSLR if you are likely to use iso 200 - 800 on aregular basis..

RegardsTim Hugheshttp://www.artwanted.com/timhughes.

The noise issue with the FZ50 has been greatly exaggerated. It is really no worse than on most other non-DSLRs, and is better than many. Go over to the Panasonic forum and search on Noise.Specifically,see this postinghttp://forums.dpreview.com/...forums/read.asp?forum=1033&message=25002423.

And then look at the rest of the thread. do those shots from the inside of a dimly lit church look noisy to you?Joel Orlinsky.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window..

Comment #8

Thankyou for the replies..

I have indeed looked at the link you provided and have decided that this camera will more than suit my needs..

Remember I have NO photography experience other than point and shoot holiday snaps where I have never even concidered how much noise is on them..

To be honest until last week I had never even heard of ISO settings and all of a sudden I'm worrying about the effect high ISO will have on my pictures from a camera that I haven't even purchased yet..

I am happy that for my standard 6x4 and the occasional 10x8 prints, this camera will do just fine..

Not sure about the Fuji as ive mentioned before I don't have the steadiest of hands so OIS is quite important for me I think as I won't be carrying a tripod around with me either...

Comment #9

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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