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Megapixel envy?

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Anonymous
July 12, 2005 11:44:36 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.zlr (More info?)

Everything I've read about the Panasonic Lumix FZ5, FZ20, and the Canon
Powershot S2 IS -- indicates a fairly high degree of noise above ISO
100. I think this comes from the signal-to-noise issue of trying to
cram 5MPs of data onto the same 1/2.5 sensor that Panasonic has used as
far back as my FZ1.

Love the lens. Hate the 2MP limitation.

However, still available and offering a fairly vast degree of user
features is the Panasonic FZ15, a 4-MP "little brother" of the FZ20.
Costs a bit less than any of the other three cameras. The FZ15 has a
constant f2.8 aperture across the zoom range, TIFF option, manual focus
override, but no audio on video clips and no external flash support
(although I seldom use flash on the FZ1).

Given that most of my long-range FZ1 photos are indoor shots (my kids
in concerts, swim meets, and plays), will the difference between 4 and
5 MP really hurt me? What do you think?

_Cardamon Dave

More about : megapixel envy

Anonymous
July 12, 2005 12:09:13 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.zlr (More info?)

Thanks David. Movies aren't important, although I occasionally do
capture short clips. Is the FZ5's processor that much faster than the
FZ15's? I suppose I can pull down the noise in low-light shots with
software. But I also use the FZ1 camera with an ND or IR (Hoya) filter
for longer exposures, where grain/noise would be a given.

I've noticed a few people who sell their FZ20s online, saying they're
making the jump to DSLRs. I don't really feel I'd get my money's worth
out of a DSLR, given how quickly new models supercede current ones.
(Nikon's D70 had a 1-year life before the D70s emerged.)

For my money, it's all about the lens -- and the Leica on the FZ series
has really been a classy performer.

_Cardamon Dave
Anonymous
July 12, 2005 6:51:16 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.zlr (More info?)

Cardamon Dave wrote:
[]
> Given that most of my long-range FZ1 photos are indoor shots (my kids
> in concerts, swim meets, and plays), will the difference between 4 and
> 5 MP really hurt me? What do you think?

It's 25% in area, so that's a 12% increase is linear resolution. Just
perhaps the lower noise of the 4MP sensor (if that really is the case) and
the larger aperture (f/2.8 versus f/3.3) _might_ make a difference on a
few shots. If movies are important to you, the Canon S2 IS is the best
right now. In the Panasonic range, I would go for the newer FZ5 camera
with its better image processing. Yes, stick to ISO 100 if you can, but
occasionally the added noise (grain) of the higher ISO shots can add to
the character.

Cheers,
David
Anonymous
July 12, 2005 7:40:52 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.zlr (More info?)

Cardamon Dave wrote:
> Thanks David. Movies aren't important, although I occasionally do
> capture short clips. Is the FZ5's processor that much faster than the
> FZ15's?

I haven't used an FZ15 so I can't say from experience, but I understand
you do notice the improved speed.

> I suppose I can pull down the noise in low-light shots with
> software. But I also use the FZ1 camera with an ND or IR (Hoya) filter
> for longer exposures, where grain/noise would be a given.

Most cameras have dark-frame subtraction which should reduce the effect of
bad pixels on longer exposures. I'm pretty certain the FZ5 does this
automatically (probably not in "simple" or "programmed" mode, just in
aperture- and shutter-priority modes.

> I've noticed a few people who sell their FZ20s online, saying they're
> making the jump to DSLRs. I don't really feel I'd get my money's worth
> out of a DSLR, given how quickly new models supercede current ones.
> (Nikon's D70 had a 1-year life before the D70s emerged.)
>
> For my money, it's all about the lens -- and the Leica on the FZ
> series has really been a classy performer.

For me, the bulk and weight of the DSLR and its lenses and accessories
would be the deciding factor - I used to have Nikon 35mm SLRs but they
ended up staying at home. The cost is another factor. The good thing is
that you can keep the lenses between bodies (but just look at the cost of
a lens equivalent to the one on your FZ1!).

Cheers,
David
!