Panasonic DMC-FZ30 Announced

July 20, 2005 | Mark Goldstein | Digital Compact Cameras | 361 Comments | |

Panasonic DMC-FZ30Panasonic DMC-FZ30 is announced today. The Panasonic DMC-FZ30 is an 8 megapixel compact digital camera with a 12x Leica optical zoom lens equivalent to 35-420mm, optical image stabilizer, addition of a manual zoom ring and rotating LCD screen with 235,000 pixels. The DMC-FZ30 replaces the older and very popular Panasonic DMC-FZ20 model. The Panasonic DMC-FZ30 will be available in the UK in September in black priced £549.99.

Panasonic Europe Press Release

Panasonic is proud to introduce the 8-Megapixel, 12x optical zoom¡¡(equivalent to 35mm to 420mm on a 35mm film camera) LUMIX DMC-FZ30 inheriting MEGA O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer) as an up-and-comer to its creative super zoom FZ double-digit line. The DMC-FZ20, released in 2004, has been internationally acclaimed for meeting the needs of the market by realizing the ideals of users.

The 12x optical zoom LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT Lens, which has been handed down since the first launch of the FZ series, underwent further development to provide even more superb picture rendering. The other key feature, the Optical Image Stabilizer, MEGA O.I.S. is deservedly continued as Panasonic advanced the theory that it should be standard in all digital still cameras. The newly incorporated Extra Optical Zoom extends the zoom ratio by using the center part of the high resolution CCD, to achieve 15.3x for 5-Megapixel and 19.1x for 3-Megapixel images with minimal deterioration.

Along with CCD size and total effective pixels, the FZ30 also has enhanced its excellence in other features: addition of a manual zoom ring to the manual focus ring, which was very popular in the FZ20; easy-to-see free-angle LCD; and adjustable dials for the aperture and shutter speed controls. Both the LCD and EVF have had their resolution increased by about 180%, offering a sharp, clear view. All these complete the FZ30 in the resulting picture quality and operationality.

The newly developed 8-Megapixel CCD is compatible with the 9-pixel mixed readout¡¡method, so now moving pictures with dramatically increased brightness can be recorded at 30 fps in VGA size, previously only recordable in QVGA. This technology is used for the LCD monitoring to provide a bright and clear view so subjects can be seen easily, even in low-light situations.

Taking advantage of these outstanding features, the LX1 incorporates the high speed, high quality image processing LSI the Venus Engine II. It boasts quick responsiveness that realizes the best-in-class level release time lag of 0.01 sec. Adopting a non-collapsible lens has substantially reduced startup time from about 5 sec to 0.97 sec. AF time in 1-point high-speed AF has been dramatically reduced to a quarter the level* of that of the previous DMC-FZ20.

Furthermore, by adopting a newly developed lithium-ion battery with a capacity increased from 680 mAh to 730 mAh, the FZ30 realizes the shooting of approx. 280** images for one charging.
The LUMIX DMC-FZ30 has the flawless basic specifications to fuel the spark of imagination in high-end users and is destined to join the Panasonic LUMIX high-end model lineup.
* Panasonic in-house comparison with DMC-FZ20 at the tele-end.
** Based on the CIPA standard.

1. 8-Megapixel CCD and 12x optical zoom LEICA DC Lens. The DMC-FZ30 includes an 8-Megapixel high resolution CCD and a newly developed LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT 12x optical zoom (equivalent to 35 mm to 420 mm with a 35 mm film camera) lens. The combination of 3 aspherical lenses and 1 ED lens generates high optical performance while preserving the compactness of the unit. The Extra Optical Zoom, made possible by using the center part of 8-megapixel high resolution CCD, further extends the powerful 12x optical zoom when less than 8-Megapixel resolution is selected. The zoom ratio can be extended to 15.3x for 5-Megapixel and 19.1x for the 3-Megapixel image recording. Zoom range can be extended in total to a remarkable 76.5x (equivalent to 35 mm to 2677 mm on a 35mm film camera) when combined with 4x digital zoom, even if the shooting range is as short as 2m.

2. Optical image stabilizing system MEGA O.I.S. and High-speed High quality Image Processing LSI Venus Engine II
What we strongly believe indispensable for every camera, especially for a high-magnification models susceptible to vibration, is MEGA O.I.S.(Optical Image Stabilizer). MEGA O.I.S. has been incorporated in all FZ series since its first launch and is now with all LUMIX lineup released in this year. Every slight hand-shake movement is detected accurately with the sampling frequency at 4,000 times per second and will be compensated to render clear, sharp images. This premier feature is subsumed with 2 selectable modes. In ¡°Mode 1¡±, the O.I.S. lens continuously compensates vibration, and ¡°Mode 2¡±,¡¡the O.I.S. lens suppresses hand-shake only at the moment the shutter button is pressed. In this mode, the lens can move in all directions at the moment to maximize its effect and higher-resolution image can be taken by capturing the image as close as to the center of the lens. Consequently, even without using a tripod, it allows you to reduce the shutter speed more than three steps compared to the conventional cameras without O.I.S., while assuring clear images. Its outstanding effects will be appreciated in all situations easily spoiled by hand-shake, especially telephoto, low light, and macro shots.

For the brain of the camera, high-speed high-quality image processing LSI Venus Engine II is incorporated to render clear images in detail, compensating the color aberration at the edges subject to occur especially in the telephoto shots. It also compensates for vignetting and generates bright image in every detail. This engine boast its high performance resulting in the best-in-class level release time lag of 0.01* sec helping to realize stress-free operation.
* Not including the time for AF.

3. Ring-operated manual focus and manual zoom Two exclusive rings on the lens barrel of the FZ30 provide manual control of zooming and focusing, allowing quick and fine control that cannot be achieved with button operation. This feature will be highly valued by high-end users not only for its precise controllability but also for the feeling of manual operation. MF, AF and Macro AF can be selectable with a switch located by the lens. Using MF you can zoom in the screen on the subject to focus easily. The magnified area is freely movable to realize unconfined framing, which is especially necessary when the camera is on a tripod.

Shutter speed and aperture controls are very easy and quick to adjust with the dials for them. The shutter speed can be selectable from 1/2000 to 60 sec, and the aperture from F2.8 to F11, to meet wider ranging shooting conditions. The AE lock button, a new control, is convenient for taking multiple shots at the same exposure setting regardless of the color of a subject.
Panasonic DMC-FZ304. High resolution free style LCD and EVF
The free-angle LCD is angle-adjustable to support comfortable shooting even in high- and low-angle shooting positions. With resolution increased by 180% compared to the FZ20, both LCD and EVF boast 235 k pixels, which realizes more comfortable operation when checking points such as the focus of details. Also, real time histogram and composition guidelines are displayed over the image on both the LCD or EVF. The high-resolution LCD and EVF allow the display of images even in tiny thumbnail size. Playback of 9, 16 or 25 is possible on a multi-split screen in addition to the normal 1 frame playback. This helps you to search for the image you want out of a number stored on the SD Memory Card, even the images are in bulk. The swivel LCD can be stored with the LCD surface on the inside to prevent scratching and damage.

5. Faster AF and enhanced options
The AF method can be selected according to the shooting situation: 9-point, 3-point high speed, 1-point high speed, 1-point normal speed and Spot. In the newly incorporated 1-point high speed AF,¡¡AF time has been dramatically reduced to a quarter the level* of the previous DMC-FZ20 thanks to the increased sampling frequency. Although screen-freeze in high-speed AF is now minimized, to take pictures of fast-moving subjects you can select 1 point normal-speed AF, which does not have any screen-freeze while focusing.

While using 1-point AF, you can specify a point out of 9 AF points. You can thereby enjoy free framing shooting even with the subject not at the center.
*Panasonic in-house comparison with DMC-FZ20 at the tele-end.

6. Quick and smart operationality
The startup time of the FZ30 has been substantially reduced to only 0.97 sec compared to the previous FZ20, which took about 5 sec.

Thanks to the multi-task image processing of the Venus Engine II, response has also been accelerated, resulting in the best-in-class level release time lag of approx. 0.01 sec for achieving more stress-free operation.

Consecutive shooting performance is also exceptional, providing shooting at 3 frames/second at full resolution. The Unlimited Consecutive Shooting function** allows limit-free consecutive shooting up to the capacity of the SD memory card. Burst shooting mode can be¡¡instantly activated with the independent button.
* Not including the time for AF.
** The speed of the consecutive shooting varies depending on the SD memory card.

7. Higher quality moving images
A newly incorporated CCD that adopts a 9-pixel mixed readout method makes it possible to record beautiful full-size movies at 30 fps in VGA size, only possible in QVGA size with the FZ20. The new CCD provides much more luminous signals, enhancing the picture quality not only in size but also in the brightness level, while also suppressing moir¨¦s.

Full advantage is taken of this by increasing the brightness of both the LCD and EVF when monitoring the taking of still images. This is especially effective in providing a clear view in low-light situations.

8. Easier and more comfortable operationality
By adopting a newly developed lithium-ion battery with a capacity increased from 680 mAh to 730 mAh, the FZ30 realizes the shooting of approx. 280* images for one charging.

In addition to the conventional ProgramAE, FZ30 is equipped with Auto mode, which caters for the entry level users. A total of 14 scene modes including 5 new modes Baby, Soft Skin, Food, Starry Sky and Candle, helps you to take beautiful images easily in wide-ranging situations. Still it is easy to select the one out of them thanks to the newly installed Scene Mode Help Screen that shows the description of each mode and the knack for shooting of each scene and helps users to take beautiful image easily.

Auto angle detection records whether an image was taken horizontally or vertically. This ensures that when playing back on the LCD monitor and displaying images on your TV or on a PC using included software, vertical images are automatically displayed vertically and horizontal images are automatically displayed horizontally. You can still view images in its full size by displaying conventionally.

The external design has also been reworked to move the doors of the battery and SD Memory Card so you can change either of them even when the camera is on a tripod.
*Based on the CIPA standard.

9. Expandability ¨C the proof of a true high end camera
The conversion lens newly developed for the FZ30 is dramatically reduced in both size and weight while enhancing its capability realizing 1.7x (714mm on a 35mm film camera) for a tele conversion lens and 0.7x (24.5mm on a 35mm film camera) for a wide conversion lens. Equipped with a hot shoe, an external flash can be fitted when necessary. The recordable image format is either RAW, TIFF, or JPEG (Fine or Standard). Expandability is the proof of a real high end camera, which is what the DMC-FZ30 also boasts.

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#301 Suresh

NightHawk - Thanks for the info. But I don't get it. The file size you mentioned seems to for Tiff or RAW types. A 620 is 7.1 MP and the only file type available is Jpeg having a max 4MB size under certain conditions. The average file size varies from 2MB to 3.5 with Superfine and Large modes.

I received the print samples all 6 X 4 size. They looked fine with good color and sharpness. There is nose at ISo 400. But the prints are very usable.

On Monday I am going to print full size images.

I lost a few images for lack of stabilisation. I wish it had.


7:39 pm - Saturday, January 7, 2006

#302 NightHawk

We are both right - smiles. But you are quoting compressed file sizes and I am quoting uncompressed file sizes. A Jpeg (jpg) uncompressed file is the same size as a Tiff or Raw. A 620 is 7.1 MP (produces roughly a 20.2 mb file uncompressed*) the max you quote - 4MB - is compressed and will vary with amount of compression and the information stored (well exposured image will be larger than a underexposure (dark picture) - less information stored). You say "The average file size varies from 2MB to 3.5 with Superfine and Large modes (compressed)" You are changing the effective mp or your camera. 2mb file is equivelent to 5mp setting on your camera and the file will be about 14.1 mb uncompressed. *I used your info " Superfine and size Large is 17 X 12.8 with a resolution of 180" to come up with the following uncompressed file size of 20.2mb. Yes with Jpeg compression that file will be around 4mb. Again, a uncompressed Jpeg file is the same size as a Tiff or Raw. With lack of image stabilization you has to think "Tripod".

9:33 pm - Saturday, January 7, 2006

#303 Suresh

NightHawk - Thanks. So my asumption that you might be refering to TIFF/RAW type was correct.

As for Tripod - you know, That is the very reason for buying a compact - not to carry heavy photografic equip's. even my 12 year old son takes good pictures with this one.

Today I took a few photos in the evening at my in-laws. The difference - The images with setting -"Indoor" had slight noise particularly in darker areas. But those taken with setting "portrait" were very good. Taken minutes apart

These are the EXIF info
Shooting Mode ="Portrait"
Shutter Speed =1/60
Aperture Value=2.8
Light Metering=Evaluative
Exposure compensation=Evaluative
ISO Speed = auto
Focal Length=7.3 mm

Shooting Mode ="Indoor"
Shutter Speed =1/60
Aperture Value=3.5
Light Metering=Evaluative
Exposure compensation=0
ISO Speed = auto
Focal Length=21.7 m

I cleaned the noise with Neat Image without loosing much detail.

What could be the reason for the noise ? And what could be the real difference between these two modes ?. Any idea ?


8:47 pm - Sunday, January 8, 2006

#304 NightHawk

Regarding your asumption that I was refering to TIFF/RAW type is not truly correct I was refering to uncompressed image size which is the same regardless of image type.

The reason for the difference is noise is probably the ISO -- I think you should always know the ISO even when you select auto - I never select auto ISO. Higher ISOs generally are the reason for noise problems.

I assume the "portrait" mode uses the widest ampeture (shallow depth of field more light in) and therefore lower ISO. The "indoor" used a narrower ampeture for more depth of field and may have used a higher ISO. The timing is not critical the lighting is - was the availible light the same? Play attension to the ISO next time and think about setting the ampeture at the widest when you do not need depth of field and the working with the ISO to keep the shutter speed at 1/60 or faster - what the "protrait" mode does.

A tripold does not have to be heavy but if you plan to shoot much slower than 1/125 you will blurr images without it. If real steady you may get away with 1/60 but then the subject also must be motionless. You have to balance all three shutter speed, Ampeture, and ISO.

11:06 pm - Sunday, January 8, 2006

#305 NightHawk

sorry for spelling errors apeture and Pay instead of Play

11:18 pm - Sunday, January 8, 2006

#306 suresh

NightHawk - Thanks again for clarificatons.

Auto Mode- Canon ( at least A 620) never writes the actual ISO it used to the EXIF. it simply writes "AUTO". So, like you wrote, it better to use the manual settings always. I must master it.

I believe canon produces the correct colors (along with more details) at Higher ISO.

The color difference is prominent.

Lukly it produces clean images at ISo 100 or even 200 with very slight noise. may other brands/models behave similarly (Colors).

I took one at ISO 100 with 1 second shutter speed and +1 exposure compensation. The image came out very clean. It was almost dark (subject was our bathroom with glazed tiles with any light).

The colors of the tiles and other fittings were correct with ISO 100 than with AUTO or ISO 50.

I shall update more later.


7:30 am - Monday, January 9, 2006

#307 NightHawk

suresh: If you do not want to use a tripod and do not care about depth of field the "protrait" mode may work fine for you with auto ISO. I like to know all my settings so I do not use auto but you have different needs and wants than I. I would just suggest that you take the time to learn to shoot Apeture or Shutter priority modes more and set the ISO. But when you do not want to think about all that go to the mode that works the best for you. Just understand what the camera is doing.

10:53 am - Monday, January 9, 2006

#308 suresh

NightHawk - I took a photo of an old relic building - actualy sort off an statue. it is was dark with only a sodium vapour lamp in from . the settings i used was iso 50 , exposure compesation (since the lamp directly in front of me) +2. but the image was noisy, could not be satisfactoraly corrcted with Neat Image.

What do you think the settings should be in such a condition. Am I missing on something here.

This is one sittuation I have not correctly understood. All others- I am now able to cope up reasonably well for an amature (not any were near to your standards).

if it requires more than ISO 200 then i may have to giveup.

thanks & regards

7:09 am - Wednesday, January 11, 2006

#309 DaMan

Hey Suresh I have a solution for you -

Use a better camera.

7:21 am - Wednesday, January 11, 2006


DaMan - Well that is a vague answer. Better on what aspect ?

as I understand many shots which came out bad could be improved or be excellent on the camera . Its a matter of understang photography and the digital camera one is using. But there might be situations which exceeds the specifications of a camera.

My question was whether the situation I stated is beyond A 620 capacity or need a camera with different speifications ?. So if I get the ideal settings required for such situations , I will know if it is possible with A620 specs.

yesterday when i took the shot i was in a hurry didnt get any time to experiment.

when you say better camera are you implying higher ISO ? or Max sutter speed (Canon A 620 do have 15 secs) ? or both.

shots with reasonable lighting have produced excellent images on A 620. I suspect fuji (F11) or similar might produced a better image in the situation I described above. But this is what i would like to confirm.


11:49 am - Wednesday, January 11, 2006

#311 NightHawk


Those that blame it just on the camera without giving an explaination take the easy way out so I would just ignore them - smiles. Canon makes a good camera - I just do not know its limitations. I also wonder why the noise in this case. I really think it is another problem and not processor noise. How did you use the light meter? A spot mettering on the statue or what? Are you sure it is not camera shake or lens glare instead of noise? Or was if just underexposed? Please send me the image - I do not understand why you would have noise at ISO of 50 unless it was do to underexposure or lighting problems. This would be a perfect time to use a tripod and abobe photoshop CS2 and merge images into HDR. Take several images just varying the exposure and merge them into one. This situation may have required a higher iso -- I do not know the limits of your camera but what is noise like at 100 or 200 iso? I probably would only use iso 50 during daylight or when trying to lengthen the exposure time for special effects.

2:30 pm - Wednesday, January 11, 2006

#312 suresh

NightHawk - I am realy sorry. As I said I was in a hurry. I was driving by and suddenly saw this building. I simply stoped the car and took the shot. I only adjusted the EV to +2. Usually in the programe mode I keep the ISO 50. I think my son must have changed it. I only checked the EXIF when you commented about the noise at ISO 50.

This is EXIF from the cammera.

File NameIMG_0354.JPG
Camera Model NameCanon PowerShot A620
Shooting Date/Time1/10/2005 8:57:27 PM
Shooting ModePortrait
Photo EffectOff
Tv (Shutter Speed)1/60
Av (Aperture Value)2.8
Light MeteringEvaluative
Exposure Compensation0
ISO SpeedAuto
Lens7.3 - 29.2 mm
Focal Length7.3 mm
Digital ZoomNone
Image Size3072x2304
Image QualitySuperfine
Flash TypeBuilt-In Flash
Flash Exposure Compensation+2
Shutter curtain sync1st-curtain
White BalanceDay Light
AF ModeSingle AF
Color SpacesRGB
File Size2626 KB
Drive ModeSingle-frame shooting

I think I will go back there some time today take another shot with different settings.

The noise at ISO 100 is very low and very good for 5 X 7 prints at ISo 200. I dont think a layman will notice it at even 8 X 10 unless sombody points at it.

I shall try other settings and let you know.

Again thanks for pointing it out.

You know, The gap between the professional and the ameture is a Hair Line. The difference is, Only the professional notices it and the other crosses accidentaly.


3:28 pm - Wednesday, January 11, 2006

#313 NightHawk

I have made my share of goofs so I know what can go wrong. The red eye mode on the flash is a waste of batteries on none living subjects smiles can turn it off to save power. Try different amounts of flash - from none to full power. I generally like a little fill flash outdoors - say place the flash on low setting or about 1/3 power just to "add fill lighting" -- "not light the subject". I find myself not making sure of my settings at times also and sometimes that results in a great shot but more often not. It is best to slow down and take the time to preview the image - it is digital so take advantage of that ability while you are on the site and can retake the image. Any subject deserves several shots if it deserves one -- smiles. Just try to make reviewing camera settings a habit just like prefright testing on an airplane - smiles.
No need to be sorry! Just learn form your mistakes -- the true judge of your potential is how you deal with mistakes -- if you face them positively and chose to learn from them or treat them negatively as failures and give up. Mistakes can be great and if you never make a mistake you seldom learn anything.

4:07 pm - Wednesday, January 11, 2006


NightHawk, you were right about the reviews at Imaging-Resource.

See my comment #20 at the "Take My Wife's Digital Camera" thread.

8:05 pm - Monday, January 16, 2006


I am posting this comment to several PhotographyBLOG threads, the
ones where I have spent considerable time over the past few months.

As you know, I've been searching for a camera for my wife's birthday
coming at the end of January. I was looking for an ultra-compact with
a high zoom and minimal red-eye. Some of the cameras I considered
were the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX1, the Samsung Digimax L55W, the
HP Photosmart R817, the Nikon Coolpix S4, and the Ricoh Caplio R3.

Unfortunately, all of these cameras were eliminated for one reason or
another, but mostly for their high image noise. It was only at CES that
a camera debuted which caught my eye, the Kodak EasyShare V570.

The V570 is a dual lens, dual CCD, ultra-compact. One lens is a fixed
23mm while the other is a 3x zoom (39 - 117mm), for a 5x total zoom
range. Both lenses are of the folded-optics variety. The V570 also has
two 1/2.5" 5 megapixel CCDs, which do not seem to be plagued by the
excessive noise of similar CCDs. Its in-camera red-eye removal is also
quite good.

If you are interested in reading more about the V570, or about its CCD
noise characteristics (as per a review of the V550 which uses the same
CCD), then check out the links in my comment #20 of the recent "Take
My Wife's Digital Camera" thread (written by yours truly).

The camera is not ordered yet, so any feedback you can offer would be
greatly appreciated. I would feel better if the camera had been reviewed
by our own Mark "The Noise Sleuth" Goldstein.

8:38 pm - Tuesday, January 17, 2006

#316 NightHawk

I would look at fuji F10 or a cannon proshot. You are asking a lot if you want an ultra compact. I think you should not go crazy with high mp and settle one the had low noise say 3-7mp and was user friendly. Imaging-Resource it is a great resource. Know it Sony would come up with a Sony R2 with a 80- 400 equivelent lens.

9:53 pm - Tuesday, January 17, 2006


Neither Fuji nor Canon have in-camera red-eye removal, which is an
absolute necessity. It was the only thing my wife didn't like about her
Casio QV-R51 (aside from the fact that it died after less than 2 years). :)

11:08 pm - Tuesday, January 17, 2006

#318 NightHawk

red eye is a function of flash to close to the lens axis - red eye reduction is not a cure. It is best to buy a cheap bracket and separate the flash from the lens or not to use the flash. I think in-camera red-eye removal is silly - there are programs that do it well afterwards. The best idea is not to have it in the first place, buy a cheap bracket and separate the flash from the lens.

1:04 am - Wednesday, January 18, 2006


NightHawk, while that may be sound advice, it defeats the purpose of
having an ultra-compact camera with direct-print capability, which was
the main criteria for my camera search.

1:38 am - Wednesday, January 18, 2006

#320 NightHawk

Gary: I thought I was asking for alot -- smiles. But what you give up to have in camera red eye "removal" may be more than it is worth. I would suggest doing that at the printer level instead at the camera level anyway. To me that would waste to much camera time. Basically becareful for what you wish for it might come at a to high of price and not be necessary.

4:42 am - Wednesday, January 18, 2006

#321 Suresh

Gary - The Canon A620 may be the answer for you. It has Red-Eye reduction. out of more than five hundred photos, I had Red-ere only in three. It also has direct print facility. The software that comes with it is simple to use and has good features usefull to laymen. It also can take additional attachements like wide angle lens, telephoto converter lens, extra high power flash etc.

what it lacks is high ISO , which come in handy at night and Image stabilisation

(Gary - you have more knowledge about cameras than most of us. So why did you start this discussion. I wonder...smiles no offence)

I hope this helps you.

6:00 am - Wednesday, January 18, 2006


Thanks, NightHawk. Your suggestion of doing the red-eye reduction
at the printer level is something I had not previously considered, but I
will look into it.

Suresh, the reason I started the discussion was because I am not too
happy with the solution at which I had arrived, and I was hoping that I
had missed something ... like NightHawk's printer suggestion above.

As for the Canon PowerShot 620, this is a camera to which I had given
serious consideration because of its excellent feature set; however, for
my wife's purposes, the disadvantages of its bulky size and lack of 2.5"
LCD outweigh the advantages of its many advanced features. Thanks
for the suggestion, and thank you for your kind words.

8:40 am - Wednesday, January 18, 2006

#323 suresh

Gary - Yes it is slightly bulky. then may I sugest Fuji F11. It is also having very good features and provide some manual control than F10. It seems to excellent for night shots having ISO 1600. It is also much less bulier than A 620. In fact I considered it agaist A 620. but unfortunately it is not available here.

There are many new cameras anounced during cs2006 show. some of these seems to be having very good features. as for reality we may have to wait for reviews.


10:13 am - Wednesday, January 18, 2006

#324 NightHawk

You are very right - it takes a wise man to ask for suggestions even if they are an expert. I am surpriced at how many times when I do it people treat me like why? I even fell into that trap with you. We tend see it as a weekness or look at it as giving away valuable secrets - smiles. I like to work as a team and put head together to come up with something better than what I would have thought of alone. Mankind has many weakeness - sometimes I think the only difference from us and the smartest animal is that we have written history and most of us choice to ignore its lessons - smiles. My printer idea - well I am not sure but I thought I heard about it on HP but to me it seems to me to be a better place to have that software versus in-camera. I think the portable printers should if they do not already. Please tell me what you find I am looking for a portable printer but not sure if I would like to settle for one that just does 4x6s. I want one to do car shows and such -- 5X7 and 8X10s would be a nice option and I am not looking for ultra compact like you.

5:10 pm - Wednesday, January 18, 2006


The best truly portable printer (with built-in 1.5 GB HD, plus optional
rechargeable battery power source / 12V car adapter) having printer
red-eye removal (and adaptive lighting) is the HP Photosmart 475. It
prints 4 x 6, 5 x 7, or 4 x 12 (panorama) from PictBridge cameras, as
well as directly from most memory cards. It has a 2.5" LCD, and uses
a tri-color inkjet cartridge or an optional B&W inkjet cartridge.

The Kodak EasyShare Photo Printer 500 prints up to 4 x 6, and does
not have a portable power source, but it does have a 3.5" LCD, uses
dye-transfer printing, prints in normal, enhanced, B&W, or sepia color
mode, and also has printer red-eye reduction.

If you want larger sizes, the HP Deskjet 5940 prints 4 x6 to 8.5 x 11 to
8.5 x 24 (panorama), and has red-eye fix, adaptive lighting, PictBridge
compatibility, and inkjet printing, but no LCD, memory card support, or
portable power source.

Both the HP Photosmart 475 and the Kodak EasyShare Photo Printer
500 received excellent reviews at Steve's Digicams.

I'll tell you, NightHawk, I am seriously considering taking the advice I
gave to many a reader on this blog, namely, WAIT. My wife would be
very happy with one of these printers for her birthday, and she would
be busy going through her tons of unprinted photos until at least after
PMA, by which time, a more suitable camera may be announced. :)

9:05 pm - Wednesday, January 18, 2006

#326 Nebraskan

I've followed along pretty well with this thread and wanted to leave my 2 cent worth. *S* I've researched for some time the differences between the Panasonic and the Fuji S9000 and came to the decision to buy the Fuji. I've downloaded actual pictures taken with the Fuji S9000 and printed them. They are absolutely stunning!! There are so many good positive things going for this camera. It has so many features that it almost is "TOO" much for a lot of people, but it does offer many program modes and user modes for fine tuning. Forget the 1600 for anything serious. The fact that it's there is only for absolute need, not as a "General Purpose". I never shot anything in film past ASA 400 when I shot 35mm, 6X7, and 4" X 5" photo because I felt I neither needed the speed.. (increase shutter time) or wanted the grain. Truly, I think the ISO 800 will closely replicate ISO 400 in film. And, with some very nice noise filtering programs out there, like Neat Image, there is ways to improve upon the noise aspect.

I liked the idea of the Leica lens on the Panasonic, but would I shoot a Leica film camera if all it could do was ISO 400 and above? Probably not. The Image Stabilizer is no big deal to me. I have a tiltall tripod I'm very close to. *S*

The final decsision was last weekend when I went looking for batteries for the Panasonic in Holland, MI a fairly large metropolitan area, with all the good electronic places. I found no battery to know how much one really costs. So, I think.. hmmmm what happens if I was on a trip in some other remote area and needed a replacement battery? I can ALWAYS find a AA batter out there in the world, but not necessarily a Lithium Ion batter for the Panasonic.

For what I do the Fuji S9000 with it's rich picture taking ability will do just fine.

6:10 am - Thursday, January 19, 2006


I do not think anyone would argue that, if you eliminated the Fuji's lack
of IS as a negative, it would be an ideal all-in-one digicam. Best of luck.

6:50 am - Thursday, January 19, 2006

#328 Suresh

Gary, NightHawk.

Your discussion about correcting the Red-Eye on the printer is interesting.

My knoledge is that apart from firing the flash twice, it is corrected by software (1) in camera (2) external software (3) printer.

All three uses software. So the question is which software is better.

Another point is - I had a situation where only one eye had red-eye, that too slightly, but evident on 8X10 prints. The software provided by canon had auto removal as well as manual. Auto mode could not correct the problem. I had to remove it with manual mode. The software could not correctly detect the red-eye. That is why I had to do it manualy.

In such situations how will the printer respond. don't you think alot of paper + ink will wasted. or do these printer have a better solution including preview, manual etc.

kindly clarify.


7:44 am - Thursday, January 19, 2006


I assume Kodak and HP use the same red-eye removal algorithms in
their printers as in their cameras. I have never seen manual red-eye
removal for such embedded systems, only for computer systems.

Until recently, the embedded systems were all proprietary; however, I
am now seeing third party ArcSoft and FotoNation red-eye processing
being offered for nonspecific cameras. I would bet that either of those
systems could automatically fix the single eye problem you mentioned.

10:37 am - Thursday, January 19, 2006

#330 Suresh

Gary, Canon has supplied Arcsoft along with my A 620 along with ZoomBrowser-EX. Both have effective Red-Eye Correction. I had tried Auto method with both without success. I used the manual method provided by ZoomBrowser which is also very simple. But the fact remains that the Auto Algorithm could not find Red-Eye (atleast enough of it) to correct it automaticaly.

Funny thing is that once you point the mouse in the area, if it finds Red-Eye it draws a green circle (Size varies). Just click and the problem is solved. You have to Identify the area manualy and it finds the Red-Eye on its own , even its size almost accurately.

Having a Manual mode is definetly an advantage.

One of the reason I had such a situation might be due to lack of photography skills.


11:40 am - Thursday, January 19, 2006


Interesting. Maybe you should inform ArcSoft so they can update
their automatic mode to handle that one eye situation. As for your
photographic skills being the culprit, are you sure your subject did
not have one glass eye? :)

Gotta get going now. Catch you later.

11:56 am - Thursday, January 19, 2006

#332 NightHawk

Of course the best way to correct red eye is not to have it in the first place, buy a simple bracket and mount the external flash further from the lens.
Second seems to correct it manually on a computer. My Third way would be to do it at the printer. The forth would be at the camera - to me editting pics on the camera is a waste of camera time and adds a feature to the camera that I would seldom use. The Flash firing several times works sometimes depending on camera and situation but it is truely best to avoid the problem than fix it afterword. I guess I am a traditionalist and think you should capture a good image instead of fix a poor one afterwords.

2:48 pm - Thursday, January 19, 2006

#333 NightHawk

I really agree with your logic and do like you comparison of ISO 800 on the s9000 and ISO 400 in film. I take that your observation is based on "grain" for film and "noise" for digital and not light capture, right? The great advantage over film, as you know, is that you can switch ISO at will. Please tell me what format that you think the s9000 is equivalent to - does it actually do better than 35mm pro slide film? I would love to hear what you think and learn from your insight,knowlege, and experience with film.
Yes not having to buy another special battery is a big thing. It takes about $100 - $200plus off the price tag of required camera assesories(an extra battery or two at $50 each and another special charger that I would buy upfront but might misplace and be in big trouble - smiles). I also agree that image stabilization is a nice but not required feature. But I hope the camera's upgrade or its competitor is equipped with it soon and a faster on camera prossesor and more buffer. To me it does not have a true competitor now as the Panasonic noise problem and the Sony R1 small zoom range and larger price tag (R1 is truely in a class by its self due to the price, 5X zoom, and image quality. The sensor and lens produce far superior images - I got to get one! However; the s9000 will probably be the first camera I buy of my dream two camera kit, due to the price and zoom range. Great thing is that the Sony R1 uses the same battery as the my old Sony F-707 and I have two batteries (had three, lost one spare) and the sony AC/DC charger (paid $140 for the charger alone and another $100 for spare batteries). I have found that required accessories can cost at least as much as the camera.

3:39 pm - Thursday, January 19, 2006

#334 Suresh

Gary - No my subject did not have glass eye. What I meant was an experienced photographer might have avoided the moment given the same camera.

NightHawk - You are absolutely right. It is absolutely better to have a good picture than fix it later. Yes, we can have another flash etc. But remember we , partucularly Gary are discussing a compact which idealy takes great pictures in the delicate hands of a lady.

The search goes on.

One think I don't understand is why Gary did not mention/consider Fuji. does iy have any problems which we are not aware of ?.

As for Kodak , Most of their models use in-Camera Image processing redusing detail. This is my conclusion from numerous reviews and images downloaded from various sites.

I hope Gary clarifies since he has considered almost all other brands. In India, Fuji does not much of a market ( infact least of all others). it is very difficult to see a fuji camera in shops. They say there is no demand. yet s9000 is available (partcularly in the grey market). I had a look at it. it is huge, but feels good in the hand. Now a days I dont go for long tours/site seeing. other wise I would have considered buying it.


6:21 pm - Thursday, January 19, 2006


To the contrary, Fuji was one of my highest considerations due to its
proprietary CCD technology, which produces very low noise. Though
none of its cameras have in-camera red-eye fix, this is not a problem
any longer. The two Fuji ultra-compacts I am still considering are the
F11 and E900, but the F11 has only 3x zoom and does not utilize AA
batteries, and the E900, which has 4x zoom and does take AA's, has
only a 2.0" LCD. Another Fuji, the V10, which was just announced at
CES, looks very interesting with its 3.0" high-res LCD and 3.4x zoom.

I also agree wholeheartedly that avoiding red-eye is better than fixing
it. There were two ultra-compacts having this potential, the Panasonic
LX1 and the Ricoh R3. The LX1 has a pop-up flash, which moves the
flash off-axis from the lens, and the R3 positions the flash and lens at
diagonally opposite ends of the camera body; however, neither one of
these cameras has proven to be very effective at avoiding red-eye.

7:13 pm - Thursday, January 19, 2006

#336 NightHawk

I know a lot of great women photographers. So it is more in pocket or purse point and shoot and correct your goofs afterword camera. I understand the market and I have taken shots with red eye and it would be nice at times to fix images in-camera. As some people seldom download their pics. I have one model that just buys another memory card and views her pics on camera. Mybe they would do best with a cell phone camera.

7:20 pm - Thursday, January 19, 2006


Thanks to everyone for their helpful suggestions and advice, on this
and other PhotographyBLOG threads, regarding a camera purchase
for my wife's birthday at the end of January.

Well, it's a done deal. Since I was way behind in the count with two
strikes (and no balls), I decided to lay off the next couple of pitches,
and wait until after PMA to make any camera purchasing decisions.

Instead, I ordered the HP Photosmart 475 Photo Printer for my wife.
It has built-in red-eye removal and adaptive lighting, and is capable
of 4" x 6", 5" x 7", and 4" x 12" prints. It also has an internal 1.5 GB
HD for storing photos and subsequent viewing on a connected TV.

This printer is exactly what my wife needed, and it will keep her busy
printing the back log of photos she has for at least a few months. We
have an important anniversary coming up at the end of June, so that
might be an excellent time for a camera purchase.

I feel another "The Peoples' Voice" article in the works. :)

9:31 pm - Thursday, January 19, 2006

#338 NightHawk

Great Gary
Glad that the printer suggestion hit the mark. Thanks for the review on the printers too.

1:54 am - Friday, January 20, 2006

#339 Nebraskan

NightHawk: The pictures I printed looked for all intense and purposes like those I've done in 4X5. Really! Which is quite remarkable considering the low megapixels of the camera. Now, I only printed to 8X10 as that is all my current printer is capable of. But for the marjoity of shooters out there that have used 35 mm cameras, I don't think in the ISO ranges up to 400 you will be too dissapointed. *smiles*

When I mean "Low Megapixel" I am referring to the "effective" megapixel of a film camers in 35mm, which is around 25 Megapixels. For 4X5 inch you would need a camera shooting at 500 Megapixel to approximate it. Please referr to this artilce and see what I am talking about:

This guy does an EXCELLENT job of explaing the ins and outs of film/digital and their features and good points. Some mazazines stil insist on only 4" X 5" negative or transparencies (I've shot both) for publication. I have 2 4X5 cameras, one a more recent Crown Grapic and the other the improved model of the Grapic View II model in 4X5, along with a lens shade, case, etc. I use a 210MM Schneider Super Symar-S lens that is razor sharp. Just wish there was a back for these cameras that would capture digital, even if the digital sensor was way smaller. You would have the advantages of lens swings, shifts and tilts for absolute control of the final image.

Regardless, I can tell you I have prints from 4X5 format and they, enlarged to 8" X 10" size pictures are not much different thant the images I printed on my color photo printer. Technology is truly amazing!

But, if I were to just enlarge just a small piece of the 4X5 negative to a larger exten of 8X10 inches it would fare out much better than a similar sized chucnk enlarged respectively from a digital camera. Know what the limitations are and live within that. *smiles*

Enjoy the link!!


I know I'm going to bookmark that page for my favorites..... it's really an amazing piece done on the digital/film critique.


4:26 am - Friday, January 20, 2006

#340 Nebraskan

By the way, that artilce in the link was written in 2003 I believe. There has been much advancements in digital since 2003, but the article is still enlightening for film - digital comarisons. Glad I kept my Nikon F3 camera (amongt the others). ;-)

4:57 am - Friday, January 20, 2006

#341 NightHawk

Would you do me a big favor and send me a 1/4 or 1/8 section of one of your sharp images from a 500 mb 4x5 scan.
I would love to compare 1/4 image of the s9000 and a 4x5 enlarge to 8X10. Yes I do understand that at 9mp - 26.1 mb image is small compared to a 6X7 scan let alone a 4X5 scan. So you think the s9000 would make magazine quality images!!!!! WOW
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5:30 am - Friday, January 20, 2006

#342 NightHawk


Great link!!!!!



5:42 am - Friday, January 20, 2006

#343 Suresh

NightHawk -

Its more than 10 days since the last post.

any way, I suppose you might be able to help on this.

I have canon A620 and the pictures taken in day light are great. because of low ISO the pictures taken at night are not very good. I tried taking a few out in open during temple festival . there will be only a few halogen lamps available for lighting.

Those taken with flash very near to the subject are very good. I find there is lot of noise in the area were the flash does not reach, even in the near background.

It is very difficult to use a tripod (for slow shutter speeds- some thing like 2 seconds and f2.8 iso 50/100) under the cuircumstances.

do you think an additional sensor flash will solve the problem somewhat?. There is no hotshoe or direct connection point for the additional flash. so I have to use sensor flash.

kindly give your views on this.


9:16 am - Thursday, February 2, 2006

#344 bazza

Hi guys, back again after some serious soul-searching and trying out a few loan cameras.

Borrowed a Fuji S9000 and enjoyed using it. Most shots needed a bit of post processing but just a click on auto contrast and low sharpening in Nikon Editor. Once I had done that the prints were fine - no real noise at ISO100 & 200, very acceptable at 400 and junk at 800 and over.

Then I borrowed a Canon 20D with a decent (28-135 Image Stabilised) lens. End of debate. I immediately got better, sharper prints at ISO800 than I got at ISO100 with the Fuji. I got some really good low noise prints (10x8) at ISO1600 and 10x8 prints at ISO3200 which were acceptable.

I bought a second hand 20D (still under Canon warranty) for £600 and put a crappy Sigma lens on it. Now I'm saving my pennies to buy a good lens.

Pros: Quality of prints, ease of use, no need to use post processing if you set the camera's parameters for that

Cons: Heavier and bigger than Fuji or Pana, mirror noise (not bad but noticeable) Cost of decent lenses (Canon cheapies are just as bad as Sigma cheapies...need to go for something better but then the weight and cost go up alarmingly.)

Studying the cost of good Canon lenses highlights what good value the Sony R1 is as I will have to pay £400 - 500 for anything as good as the Zeiss glass.


11:30 am - Wednesday, February 8, 2006


Congratulations, Bazza. I think you made the right choice. The 20D's
APS-C CMOS Image Sensor is one of the best sensors on the market,
and you are seeing the results.

Be sure to leave room in the budget for a few Sigma lens cloths. :)

4:58 pm - Wednesday, February 8, 2006

#346 NightHawk


Not much help as I do little low light photography

10:36 pm - Wednesday, February 8, 2006

#347 Nebraskan

Well, I bought a a Fuji S9000 about 2 weeks ago and have had a lot of fun with it. I am quite pleased with it's controls and even the amoount of noise, given it's sensor size and limitations. I even used the noise to one photograph effectively. I shot an old log house in B&W setting (in the camera) at ISO 1600 in the daytime. It was quite a bit overcast so there was some noise. Even though there was noise I was really suprpised at how useable the print still was. I messed around with neat image and pretty much eliminated the noise in a trial.

Funny thing is when I printed the picture at 8X10 the noise nearly dissappeared on me. When you print the printer compresses stuff so much and the fact that I use an inkjet photo printer, it sort of blends stuff a bit, and the noise was almost eliminated in the picture. Still has the effect of an old time photo shot on Tri-X or something, but it did truly loose the noticable grain you see on the computer screen.

All in all, for a multi talented camera, I'm pretty pleased with it. It does have some Chromatic distortion that shows up at times in a heavy blow up, but for teh most part on 4X6 and 8X10 prints it is not noticable. And, I cannot seem to repeat the distortion all the time, it only appears at very high contrast shots like tree branches against white clouds, etc. That is the downfall of such a wide range of zoom.... the ability of the lens to focus properly on the 'circle of confusion' without distortions creeping in somewhere.


4:47 am - Thursday, February 9, 2006

#348 Suresh

Vern - Its very nice of you to write about of your experience with the camera. Such insights realy help others also.

About what you wrote, I would like to ask a dumb question. You wrote about taking a photo of an old log house in the day time. why did you use the ISO 1600 (such high sensitivity) in the day time ? is it because you taken the shot at full tele-photo and to reduce camera shake you have to use ISO 1600 ? In which case a camera with IS will allow us to take the shot at a lower sensitivity reducing the noise. But the cost might be the bargain.

Samsung has given us Pro815 with 15X zoom. but here also the noise levels reported is not that promising.

what do you think ?.

3:46 pm - Thursday, February 9, 2006

#349 Nebraskan

Suresh: I took the picture of the log house at ISO 1600 for the effect of the noise. I wanted the noise. It looked reminisent of the old Tri-X that was push processed to 800 or above in some of the old 35mm cameras. It gave the old house sort of an "old" picture look by shooting at 1600. It had nothing to do with camera shake, and I took additional photos of it at ISO 200 in color and "chrome" as well.

The whole idea of the using of 1600 in a daylight situation was purely for the result for that setting, and not for image stability.

Personally, I think the Image Stabilizing is a bit over rated. I use the S9000 nearly ALL the time with the Elecronic View Finder as opposed to the LCD screen. You hold the camera up next to your head in a more natual camera position and it helps very much in the bracing of your arms against your body and the slow and steady pressure on the shutter to take the picture. Holding it out at a distance from you to look at the LCD screen really 'invites' the dreaded camera shake. The S9000 shoots a lot like a DSLR in the regards to compusure through a viewfinder. Only on some occasions have I used the LCD and it was more like a waist level finder for taking a picture of a cat close to the ground. I kept the camera on his level when taking the picture and using the flip out of the LCD screen I was able to focus, and compose the shot from above.

The Samsung Pro815 is a very well designed camera and with Neat Image, I sure would not let noise be the major deciding factor. Noise can and should be a part of the decision, but resolution and correct colors and sharpness have a lot more points in my book. Noise (grain) can be pretty well overcome in Post Processing and if you print 8X10 or less you will find as I have that noise is not nearly as noticable. The old addage WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) going from monitor to printer does not always ring true. *S*

1:06 am - Friday, February 10, 2006

#350 suresh

Vern - Your idea of turning noise into an advantage is creative.

It is also true , as you said, the prints need show all the effects displayed on the monitor. I have printed 8 X 10 prints. The monitor displayed slight noise but the prints did not show it. I was actualy surprised. We try to access a camera by what is shown on the monitor . But proves to be a wrong / or atleast partialy wrong concept.

Most of the shake happen when you extend the hand to look at the LCD. Also there is no way one can avoid shake if the shuter speed is very low.

I have tried the multi drive mode to shoot 3 or 4 times. This helps very much. At least one image seems to be good. The first image will be shaky. this shows that the shake occurs due to the extra pressure while pressing the button. but this is gamble - without a tripod.

Thank you for the responce.

11:42 am - Friday, February 10, 2006

#351 Nebraskan

suresh: Take a peek at this link. I posted int the dpreviews forum in a thread about a guy that was undecided. It is a picture of our winery cat Pinot Meow. I shot it with the Fuji S9000 and did NO post processing other than to shrink the size. I also heavliy cropped just the picture of his eye and posted that so you can see the moisture on his eye and the star pattern left from the flash and the aperture blades. I am "The Winemaker" in this thread. *S*

1:59 am - Friday, February 17, 2006

#352 Nebraskan

Thread is titled " Samsung Pro815,FujiS9000,or Pana FZ30?" so you can find it again. *S*

2:01 am - Friday, February 17, 2006

#353 Suresh

Vern - That is a remarkable photo. It reflect your experience in photography as well as the quality of the Fuji s9000.

What is remarkable, to me, is the fact that the fur-coat does not have any sort smearing. Most of the Digitals (low/medium end)may not be able to produce the hairs distinctly. It looks smeared. This could be due to in camera noise processing.

Thank you very much for sharing this us.


9:58 am - Friday, February 17, 2006

#354 jens lipponer

Great camera but it died after 2 months. I noticed that it stopped working occasioanally and finally it turned itself off and that was it. I was told that it would cost $650.00 AUD to repair, when I got it back the cost of a new pcb was only $250 AUD. Hope it will not die again. :bug:

12:11 am - Sunday, July 2, 2006

#355 NightHawk

I bought the fuji 9000 also and am still learning more about it after 2500 images. I like it a lot and it has the image size to produce poster size prints. Some of the images I have taken with it are at I got the extended warantee fron fuji (walk in) and the Mach warantee. Plus have my aging sony as a back up.

2:15 am - Sunday, July 2, 2006

#356 Zoltan

Hi Nebraskan!
Your question is good, Samsung Pro815,FujiS9000,or Pana FZ30! Both models perform very vell, comfortable and easy handing. You'll not made mistake if choose any of them, but I have some personal experience with Fuji S9600 and I suggest it. See informations about Fuji S9600 here.

8:59 am - Saturday, April 21, 2007

#357 Marke

I tried both of those and ended up with the Samsung, I think it looks a bit more stylish and as an artist/photographer I'm very shallow ;)

You can compare it with the Fuji here what you reckon?

4:32 pm - Monday, July 9, 2007

#358 NightHawk

I have had my Fuji S9600 for just over a year and have taken nearly 18,000 pics with it. I got warantees and have sent the camera in twice to Fuji each time for the master control dial. It seems that it can only take about 9,000 images the way I use the dial until it needs serviced. But I have been very happy with the camera - just wish it would function better at high ISOs - I generally stay at ISO 100.

1:09 am - Tuesday, July 10, 2007

#359 Jim

I have a Panasonic DMC-FZ30 that has been a great camera but today it stopped recording my shots. I can't figure out why. When I plugged it into my computer the virus detector discovered two Trojan virus that could not be disinfected... they were deleted. Any ideas on how to get functioning back?

3:41 am - Sunday, November 18, 2007

#360 Gustavo Chacon

Can someone help me? I lost my software cd of my Lumix DMC-FX30 and need ti install it again
Thanks in advance

6:27 pm - Thursday, September 11, 2008

#361 Raina

Good morning. Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.
I am from Japan and learning to read in English, please tell me right I wrote the following sentence: "Fall activities and seasonal activities for preschool children that are fun and educational."

Thanks for the help 8), Raina.

10:53 am - Tuesday, August 4, 2009