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FZ7 or DSLR for A4 prints

Discussion in 'Panasonic Chat' started by normsmith, Apr 15, 2006.

  1. normsmith

    normsmith New Member

    I own a DSLR but am really interested in the portability of the FZ7. I know the DSLR will overall be the better camera but the FZ7 looks a much lighter proposition than the 'bag of lenses' that typically go out with me on my days off.

    I have started to print fave pictures at A4 and wondered whether the FZ7 in 6MP mode and at ISO 80 could stand a bit of cropping and then printing to A4 (about 11 x 8)
  2. Moos3h

    Moos3h Well-Known Member

    The answer is yes, to an extent.

    There's no reason why a 6mp image, printed to A4 shouldn't look good (especially shot at a low ISO where the amount of noise is at a minimum).

    But bear in mind that up close, it may not look as sharp or as clean as something with a higher pixel count.

    People get VERY tied up over pixel counts, but I used to A3 print pictures from my D30 and S1Pro and they came out superbly.

    I think photographic tests are to blame for this, in some way or another. They, quite rightly, focus on the absolute boundaries of performance, and regularly show 100% or 200% blow ups of troublesome areas of shots. This is fine, and gives you a good indication of quality versus similar shots with another camera. What it DOESN'T do is explain the true printed quality.

    Lastly, who looks at a printed picture from less than a distance of a foot? I sure as hell don't - even if it's commercial work.

    6MP should be fine, but I'd still go for the DSLR for all the usual handling and control reasons. I also dislike using EVF's or LCD's for framing, but that's just because I learnt using an optical viewfinder!

  3. Amateur

    Amateur Well-Known Member

    Reviews and tests of the LZ7 are very favourable for the price - I was also thinking of getting one for the following reasons

    1. Leica 12x optical lens (35-430mm equiv)
    2. Image Stabilisation
    3. Cost
    4. Manual control as well as point-and-shoot
    5. Viewfinder (OK electronic) with dioptric adjustment (I like using a viewfinder but not with glasses on)

    Most reviews do point out the noise issues at anything over ISO 100, but its still stacks ups well
    Steve's Digicams

    Anyone handled one of these ?

  4. Firstly, I am I dyed in the wool 35mm man. So why did I buy a digital "Bridge" camera?

    I really wanted a DSLR, but couldn't really justify the expense, so a much reduced (£199) in price (& discontinued) FZ20 became mine over Xmas.

    Since then instead of taking the attitude "its only a stop gap until I buy a Nikon D200", I have been deliberately exploring what it will do. Suffice it to say, I am unlikely now to change!

    Why? 1.The Lens 2.The Lens 3. The Lens.

    Just imagine what an f2.8 constant aperture 35-400+ with image stabilisation gives you - pictures that no standard zoom could even approach. It has simply opened a world to me that I could never, ever have afforded! Remember a Nikon AF-S 400mm f2.8D AF-S IF-ED II costs £5,965.00 and that's not a zoom.

    The results:


    Waiting for my son to drive up from the car park at Hardwick Hall I took this picture, then a quick zoom out to maximum:


    Today I enlarged it and found to my amazement I was staring at this sort of detail of a rivet! Try that with your average kit lens! Try that with almost anything.


    Observe - no purple fringes! I have compressed this for display here, but the original uncompressed version
    is here

    None of these pictures have been enhanced in any way - no sharpening, no colour alterations, no re-touching - just as they came out of the camera. The ones you see have been compressed for display which doesn't enhance the quality!

    The anti shake really works - I have been getting away with 1/30 on almost full zoom at times.

    So ignore the downside of the electronic viewfinder (its not as bad as I expected - usable, but no SLR clarity!) the slow access to the speeds & aperture controls and the fact that 400asa is pretty grainy. All the rest is very good indeed. Its smaller than a DSLR, its lighter, but the lens assembly is metal. It's also quite tough (I dropped it down the stairs!)

    However, the main reason for buying it has to be the lens - superb - unbeatable are the words I'd use. Remember this paean of praise comes from a man who still owns five Nikons! Methinks some are now distinctly for the chop!

    Don't let the "if its not a DSLR, its not a proper camera" mob influence you. Just try one.

  5. d_g_edge

    d_g_edge Well-Known Member

    I'm in total agreement with Paul. I bought a Kodak P850 recently and tend to use it a lot more often than my film and digital slr kits.
  6. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    There are purple fringes visible on my monitor, Paul, albeit they're somewhat hidden by the sharpening haloes - quite a neat in-camera processing trick, that! - but they're still pretty visible on the enlargement. And try the same test with an even brighter background, then see... However, it's still an excellent result. I have to say that the results from modern compacts are pretty good, at least at lower speeds - however, given the choice, I would go SLR every time, as the quality is still better, and the ability to use high ISO settings with impunity is invaluable to me.
  7. El_Sid

    El_Sid Well-Known Member

    I use a dSLR because I find most other digiboxes damn near incomprehensible to use...........no proper controls most of the time, vital info lost in a plethora of badly laid out menu options etc. etc............
  8. Amateur

    Amateur Well-Known Member

    I have to say Paul - that's pretty damn impressive

    Cheers for your opinion

    I went into my local Jacobs (new one in Monument, Central London) and checked out the FZ7 - first impressions was that it was really light (good and bad) but the construction was good and the zoom impressive. Including the charger, lens hood and filter mount is a nice touch

    I think for the price/spec/quality you can do a lot worse. Need to compare it to the Canon S3 - looks like a similar spec

  9. Johnal

    Johnal New Member


    I recently examined a lot of the prosumer d-cameras and concluded that, at an on-line price of £269, a black F7 was the best bet. I have lugged SLRs, lenses, flashlights around for over 40 years and ruined my right shoulder. Thus something light, compact and with similar facilities to an SLR with a long zoom range would, I felt be a suitable replacement. I have not been disappointed. The lens is superb. The menus while extensive are logical and easy to use. Once your choice of prefered settings has been made you can leave the menus alone for the most part, unless you plan something a bit less than your normal range of pictures. Most of the normal settings have knobs or buttons on the camera.

    100 & 200 ISO are perfectly useable but like faster film the 'grain' can show a little. 400 & above become noisy

    My son has recently bought a Canon dSLR and had before that had an Olympus 4mp with a long zoom. The FZ7 outperforms both of those and has much less in the way of purple fringing. There are two things that might have been useful, a cable release socket and a hot shot but the 2 sec (and a 10 sec)setting for the time delay and a tripod, make it easy to do without the cable release. External flash? Do I need to carry one around -no. A good camera if you want sharp pictures, a good range of exposure setings and lightness and compactness.

  10. Matt_M

    Matt_M Member

    There is mention of noise with the Panna FZ7 in most reviews (and on here). In reality how would this effect my mum!! :D She would like a compact but cant quite get used to the feel of a compact and prefers the 'feel' of the FZ7. The 2 cameras she is looking at are the Fuji F30 or the Panna FZ7. She is unlikely do do any cropping/manipulation etc etc and has asked my opinion on which would be better for her. From your posts the lens is the bonus of the FZ7 but some of the salesmen have said dont use the zoom, certainly at full chat?? Although there is the issue of stowing the camera when not in use she cannot make up her mind which camera suits her needs better. Has anyone any experience of either or ideally both who can lend me their experience so she can make an informed decision, Cheers

    Matt :)
  11. "dont use the zoom, certainly at full chat"

    I have used the zoom at maximum frequently without any perceptable loss of quality.

    As I said in my post above, it gives truly excellent results. I used it for a wedding last week and took 500+ pictures in the evening. At "jumbo enprint" size (say 5 X 7, they are indistingishable from the ones I took in the afternoon on my Nikon SLRs (and I used prime lenses!)

    I have yet to try 10 X 8, but would your Mum want many that size?

  12. Matt_M

    Matt_M Member

    Unlikely, Paul. Looking at both camera's they both have pro's and cons as do all camera's. The F30(Fuji) apparently has a loud auto focus which could become annoying and one review said lack of colour definition, and then the FZ7 has this grain issue. Weighing it all up I have obviously told her to make her own decision but my preference would be the FZ7 its 'proper' image stabilisation is a boon and as I said to her at least with the Panasonic she has a more varied potential of shots due to the zoom. You and I would no doubt crop and manipulate in PS etc but she will not so to have a capable zoom sounds like a good reason to opt for the Panasonic. Cheers for your input Paul. :)

  13. Dave_Cox

    Dave_Cox Well-Known Member

    We actually have an FZ7, and the pictures are absolutely sharp up to full size at 6mb. Out of 5 digital cameras, this is only beaten by the two DSLRs. The metering is pretty good too, although it has been fooled on really bright days with a lot of extreme highlights. This could probably be dealt with using a bit more care in composition. Prints at A4 are hardly distinguishable from the SLRs.

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