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the best optics/glass?
Ok, this is my first post. I've been researching to find a camera. I'm searching for an advanced point and shoot. I've been looking at ultra-zooms. I have it narrowed down to the Panasonic fz18, Canon S5, Sony H50, and the new Nikon P80. My main reason for looking for a camera is my upcoming trip out west...lots of scenery and hopefully wild animals!.

There are so many considerations, and I've managed to get myself really confused. I looked at the samples and emailed a friend who is really an amazing photographer. He suggested that I primarily look at the glass because it's really about the optics. All the other preferences can be dialed incolor hue, luminosity, saturation, etc. So what's the best glass/optics?.

Thanks,Joann..

Comments (11)

JoannH wrote:.

Ok, this is my first post. I've been researching to find a camera.I'm searching for an advanced point and shoot. I've been looking atultra-zooms. I have it narrowed down to the Panasonic fz18, CanonS5, Sony H50, and the new Nikon P80. My main reason for looking fora camera is my upcoming trip out west...lots of scenery and hopefullywild animals!.

There are so many considerations, and I've managed to get myselfreally confused. I looked at the samples and emailed a friend who isreally an amazing photographer. He suggested that I primarily lookat the glass because it's really about the optics. All the otherpreferences can be dialed incolor hue, luminosity, saturation, etc.So what's the best glass/optics?.

It's really weird that he'd tell you that. All the cameras you listed are superzooms, which makes them not as good, optically, as they could be. Good optics are usually more important in DSLRs and it's more about sensor size in P&S's..

From what you listed, I would probably get either the Canon or Sony. The Nikon doesn't have the movable screen, which is REALLY useful. I have no experience with Sony, but Canons are usually a breeze to learn, effortless in and out of camera. This Sony though looks like it's more userfriendly on the outside though, since it has better button arrangements. I'd look at cameralabs to see if they have video reviews on them...

Comment #1

Yeah, his comment about glass/optics is true with regard to dslrs but as far as P&S, the sensor and software are more relevant. Panasonics are supposed to have the best lenses (Leica) but many people prefer the images from other cameras due to how the Panasonic handles noise and noise reduction. If you want to follow his advice and go with the glass then Panasonic would be a good choice. (They do have some really good P&Ss.)..

Comment #2

MaryGierth wrote:.

Yeah, his comment about glass/optics is true with regard to dslrs butas far as P&S, the sensor and software are more relevant. Panasonicsare supposed to have the best lenses (Leica) but many people preferthe images from other cameras due to how the Panasonic handles noiseand noise reduction. If you want to follow his advice and go withthe glass then Panasonic would be a good choice. (They do have somereally good P&Ss.).

The Panasonic would not always be the best choice based on what you're saying. Panasonic licensed the names Leica uses, but those lenses are not made by Leica in Germany. Moreover, they aren't the typical Leica design which costs well over $1000 for the cheapest lens. On top of that Leica lenses use the same designs that many others use. Their claim to fame is mostly do to their superb German build quality as well as to optics to a lesser degree, IMO. I would think that the better Nikons, Canons and others have lenses of equal or maybe better quality as far as optics are concerned. The lenses in point and shoots may not be made or even designed by the company who's label is on it...

Comment #3

I would look at each of the cameras images that people have used..

The Panny is not good in low light but can take some very good shots, is very lightweight, and FUN to use..

The FZ18 is my 1st digital camera & got it after reading the review 3 months ago after reading the review. I have turned down the noise to -1 with good results. Does macro quite nicely. The times I had poor results I had upped the contrast & sharpness & downed the NR to -2.Major complaint is poor in low light results in noise..

I think image stabilization is great. I have taken shots sitting atop a horse of a ground squirrel..

Http://www.pbase.com/cits_4_pets/just_in_new_pix has a fairly diversity of good and lousy shots I have taken with Panny..

I got mine at Costco and am keeping it. I found the review at this site was the better way of learning how to use it as opposed to the manual..

My bird shots are better with it than my Nikon with a Tamron & Tokina telephotos. Shots are acutally much more crisp..

Happy Pets Go with the FloWalnut Creek, CA..

Comment #4

Guidenet wrote:.

The Panasonic would not always be the best choice based on whatyou're saying. Panasonic licensed the names Leica uses, but thoselenses are not made by Leica in Germany. Moreover, they aren't thetypical Leica design which costs well over $1000 for the cheapestlens. On top of that Leica lenses use the same designs that manyothers use. Their claim to fame is mostly do to their superb Germanbuild quality as well as to optics to a lesser degree, IMO. I wouldthink that the better Nikons, Canons and others have lenses of equalor maybe better quality as far as optics are concerned.



So your saying it's a Leica in name only. I didn't know that...

Comment #5

If Panasonic was on the lens would you buy it? So the purchased the label. The same with Samsung that got the label Schneider and Sony Carl Zeiss. this doen't mean that the companies that purchased the label do a very poor quality lens. It's just marketing. Would you buy a Leica TV set?VictorBucuresti, Romaniahttp://s106.photobucket.com/albums/m268/victor_petcu/http://picasaweb.google.com/teodor.nitica/..

Comment #6

Thanks for the input. How do you turn down the noise...is that an expression or an actual setting? I hope I can figure out all the lingo and settings!.

Cits wrote:.

I would look at each of the cameras images that people have used.The Panny is not good in low light but can take some very good shots,is very lightweight, and FUN to use..

The FZ18 is my 1st digital camera & got it after reading the review 3months ago after reading the review. I have turned down the noise to-1 with good results. Does macro quite nicely. The times I had poorresults I had upped the contrast & sharpness & downed the NR to -2.Major complaint is poor in low light results in noise..

I think image stabilization is great. I have taken shots sitting atopa horse of a ground squirrel.http://www.pbase.com/cits_4_pets/just_in_new_pix has a fairlydiversity of good and lousy shots I have taken with Panny.I got mine at Costco and am keeping it. I found the review at thissite was the better way of learning how to use it as opposed to themanual.My bird shots are better with it than my Nikon with a Tamron & Tokinatelephotos. Shots are acutally much more crisp..

Happy Pets Go with the FloWalnut Creek, CA..

Comment #7

JoannH wrote:.

Thanks for the input. How do you turn down the noise...is that anexpression or an actual setting? I hope I can figure out all thelingo and settings!.

You can't exactly turn down noise, but you can reduce the amount of it you get by using a lower ISO setting. The lower the ISO you use, the cleaner your image will be, but you'll also have slower exposures. You can also do noise removal on your computer after the fact. I found that Noise Ninja and Noiseware were the two best noise removal programs currently going...

Comment #8

I have to strongly disagree. Lecia, Zeiss, others have a big reputation to uphold. They will not manufacture garbage and allow their name to be placed on the product. Now, is there inter-branding among manufactures? You bet. But for each company who puts their name on a lens, you can be assured it meets their quality standards in engineering and manufacturing. Certainly a 2.8 lens built for a SLR will not be as sharp as a lens for a superzoom, but the FZ18 by Panasonic is as close as it gets today - and I am not the only one saying that.

My 2 cents..

*********.

So, this is what Christmas has become? That we have to ask for stamps by demonination?..

Comment #9

AF2 wrote:.

I have to strongly disagree. Lecia, Zeiss, others have a bigreputation to uphold. They will not manufacture garbage and allowtheir name to be placed on the product. Now, is there inter-brandingamong manufactures? You bet. But for each company who puts their nameon a lens, you can be assured it meets their quality standards inengineering and manufacturing. Certainly a 2.8 lens built for a SLR.

How can you be assured? If it's not made by Leica nor maybe designed by Leica, how do you know that they can assure us that these lenses meet any standard. I assume they do. I also assume the build quality is good, but just because they license the name doesn't assure it..

Some of this is marketing hype obviously. Some is aura that these old German optics companies still hold today. The old wonderful Summicron F2 is a wonderful lens, but not better than modern equivalents today, other than build quality. I'm not sure where the Panasonic is made, but likely China or somewhere where the Leica craftmanship may not be so well observed..

My point was that just because Panasonic licenses the name, does not automatically make it better either optically or build quality than Nikon, Canon, Olympus, etc...

Comment #10

JoannH wrote:.

Ok, this is my first post. I've been researching to find a camera.I'm searching for an advanced point and shoot. I've been looking atultra-zooms. I have it narrowed down to the Panasonic fz18, CanonS5, Sony H50, and the new Nikon P80. My main reason for looking fora camera is my upcoming trip out west...lots of scenery and hopefullywild animals!.

There are so many considerations, and I've managed to get myselfreally confused. I looked at the samples and emailed a friend who isreally an amazing photographer. He suggested that I primarily lookat the glass because it's really about the optics. All the otherpreferences can be dialed incolor hue, luminosity, saturation, etc.So what's the best glass/optics?.

No kidding. The best glass is made in Germany/Austria..

I don't know why, but even at the simply outrageous prices charged, Japanese made lenses are simply not up to these European standards..

If you want "top" -the best- glass, make sure it has been made by Zeiss or Leitz, or some other Germanic-sounding firm..

That's really all you need to know..

All the rest are simply different grades of second best! ..

Comment #11

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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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