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FZ50 et al, bridges to nowhere...
I just got a Panasonic FZ50. Excellent lens, great handling, reasonable price , RAW etc... but the fundamental question is, why doesn't it take better pictures?.

True, I am a novice, and I recognize the tool is only as good the craftsman using it, but... even using the input from the Panasonic Forum on settings, manually controlled for everything I could, while the images are certainly better than my old P&S Panasonic and Fuji (at least in RAW), they are not $500 good and not that much better than a $250 camera..

I should have listened to the dpreview... "do not, for a minute, think that the 10 million pixels you're getting with the FZ50 bear anything but a passing resemblance to the 10 million pixel images you'll get from a good SLR.".

The FZ50, and the Canon G9 which I also tried, may be the best of the their types cameras, but if it's image quality is what you want, the "best" still isn't all that good..

I think it's time to go back to the basics, learn the craft and not look for a magic bullet camera .Brian..

Comments (12)

BLawson wrote:.

I just got a Panasonic FZ50. Excellent lens, great handling,reasonable price , RAW etc... but the fundamental question is, whydoesn't it take better pictures?.

Post some examples of the typical shots your getting and what you don't like and maybe I (even though I don't own a FZ50, but do have a FZ20) or someone else can help..

Good Day,Roonal.

'Money doesn't buy happiness, but it makes for an extravagant depression' by golf tournament sportscaster..

Comment #1

Roonal wrote:.

Post some examples of the typical shots your getting and what youdon't like and maybe I (even though I don't own a FZ50, but do have aFZ20) or someone else can help..

This was shaded outdoors, 35mm @f4/200, iso100, auto WB A/F in RAW, shotg with a tabletop tripod. I used this to compare with my FZ7, and although better it still lasks the fine detail I wanted..

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Brian..

Comment #2

What RAW converter are you using?.

Are you sharpening the RAW image in the converter?.

And if so then sharpening the image during the RAW conversion process (or post-processing the converted RAW file) isn't helping?.

How familiar are you with shooting RAW or processing digital images?.

Are you aware that when shooting in RAW, that (in general) in-camera parameters are not applied no matter their settings to the RAW file?.

Therefore how the converted RAW-to-JPEG image "looks" is very much dependent on how much / what type of post processing you do. Or if you do nothing, then what the RAW converter default settings are set to..

Good Day,Roonal.

'Money doesn't buy happiness, but it makes for an extravagant depression' by golf tournament sportscaster..

Comment #3

If you reckon that shot is 'bad' then I think you'd be just as disappointed with early use of a DSLR. Consider doing it again with lower ISO as a JPG and also as a RAW, and adjust curves and USM in Photoshop to suit..

I can still remember feeling for quite some time that my 2mp Olympus 2020Z took better pics than my first 'bridge camera' a Minolta D7i. My little Canon s400 also does things well. However, use Photoshop on the bridge camera images, and everything gets better - a LOT better. The same applies to DSLR shots, although some DSLRs are more "snap" photo friendly than others..

If you're really looking for "out of the box" OK pictures then consider trading the camera in for an Olympus or Nikon entry level DSLR plus suitable lenses to cover your use..

"Bridge Cameras" are often misunderstood as being a "poor man's DSLR", but they're actually single lens photo enthusiast cameras and excellent walk-arounds..

John.Please visit me at:http://www.pbase.com/johnfr/backtothebridgehttp://www.pbase.com/johnfr/digital_dartmoor..

Comment #4

Roonal wrote:.

What RAW converter are you using?.

Are you sharpening the RAW image in the converter?.

And if so then sharpening the image during the RAW conversion process(or post-processing the converted RAW file) isn't helping?.

I'm using PS3 in RAW... +.5 exposure compensation combined with 16 recovery, 20 fill, blacks up 10 and brightness/contrast set to +20/+50. In addition, I used 80 sharpening, 1.0 radius and lowered color noise by 20..

And still, at 100% cropped, I'm seeing too much loss of resolution. I don't know anything else I could have done, any suggestions?Brian..

Comment #5

My first serious camera was a Fuji S6500 and I too was disappointed by some of the first shots that I took. But I realised pretty soon after reading some of these forums that I was pushing it beyond it's capabilities..

This camera, I was told, was a 'champion' of low-light photography. I assumed that it was as good as a DSLR in low light rather than just better than most compact cameras. So when I cropped parts of images (pixel-peeped) I was alarmed at the noise reduction artifacts at high ISO. I got a reality check and adjusted accordingly..

Again, a little later, I suffered another (mild) level of dissapointment when I started shooting RAW. Soft images with some noise even at low ISO however, with help I was able to adjust these to produce excellent images. I imagine the same is happening with your FZ50..

Cheers..

Comment #6

I think you just need to spend some time with your FZ50 and learn how to use it..

It is a very nice camera and can give you excellent results once you figure it out!.

And.you don't need to shoot RAW to get nice, sharp, detailed photos out of it!.

One other thing.make some prints before you judge the FZ50.they look much better than computer monitor viewing..

J. D.Colorful Colorado.

Straight out of FZ50 jpeg with no PP:.

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Remember.always keep your receipt, the box, and everything that came in it!..

Comment #7

I guess it dpends on what you are expecting from a camera that costs 1/2 as much as 1 decent SLR lense. If you are expecting pixel peeping perfection then you need a nikon D300 or cannon equivelent etc..

I bought mine for being able to take pictures of my travels and the wildlife so portability and funtianality make it far more suitable than a DSLR..

If your expecting 5 grands worth of quality for $500 of course you will be dissapointed.i couldnt be happier.

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Comment #8

BLawson wrote:.

...I used 80 sharpening, 1.0 radius and lowered color noise by 20..

Hold off the sharpening and noise reduction in RAW. Instead sharpen via Unsharp Mask in the Photoshop Elements editor. Play around, trying different settings. Don't do any noise reduction (which would tend to make the image softer)..

Any improvement in detail?.

And still, at 100% cropped, I'm seeing too much loss of resolution..

Looking at images at 100% is referred to as "pixel peeping" and many images don't look "perfect" at 100% zoom..

You might do well to print a couple at the size you want and they may be fine - assuming the print size is "reasonable" of course .

As I said I don't have the Pano FZ50, but have a Pano FZ20..

Below ere are some 100% crops from a recent set I did with my FZ20 - before and after post-processing - but though I'm "reasonably satisfied" with them, they may not have the level of detail you're looking for. I would assume the FZ50 being a later generation and higher resolution camera would be able to match and exceed the FZ20 which is only a 5MP camera..

If you decide to go the route of a DSLR, you should do some research and spend the extra money for a "sharp" lens as not all lenses are created equal or perform equally..

Couple lens review sites:.

Http://www.photozone.de/Reviews/overview.

Http://www.slrgear.com/reviews/index.php.

FZ20 samples:.

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100% crop original.

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100% crop edited version.

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100% crop original.

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100% crop edited version.

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100% crop original.

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100% crop edited version.

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Good Day,Roonal.

'Money doesn't buy happiness, but it makes for an extravagant depression' by golf tournament sportscaster..

Comment #9

I'm not sure what you were expecting from this image - you're shooting through thick glass into a dark, porous, backlit subject in the shade..

Maybe you could try something a little more accessible. Something with more discernible detail under better lighting conditions, then you can work up your own "corrections" and more severe conditions a little more easily. I used a Fuji s602 for several years and the good bridge cameras do do quite well in many situations..

I use things like a beer stein, some different ceramic statue type things, and some kid's toys for practice subjects at times. They stay still and dn't complain too much...

Comment #10

Fuji S602z:.

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Panasonic FZ10:.

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Panasonic FZ50:.

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All handheld.

J. D.Colorful Colorado.

The best camera is the one you have with you...

Comment #11

I'm totally new to SLR/SLR-like cams as well, and I think I've been able to pull some decent shots in the few days I've had it..

This first one is at max zoom, which will stretch any cameras ability to get sharp focus, and I quite like how sharp it is:.

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This one is a macro shot, and the FZ50 did a good job capturing fine detail like the veins in the leaf..

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Comment #12

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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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