medo
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2005 9:14 pm

Panasonic Lumix FZ Users!

Mon Dec 24, 2007 1:08 pm

Hello everyone, I want to ask to Panasonic Lumix series FZ users what are the best settings to use for planespotting.
I have just buy an FZ50 and I would like to know your impressions and how's the best use of the FZ series.
Manuel
 
GPHOTO
Posts: 799
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2004 11:44 pm

RE: Panasonic Lumix FZ Users!

Mon Dec 24, 2007 1:27 pm

A bit long in the tooth, but I used to use the FZ-20. Still have it in fact and took it on holiday with me a few months ago as very convenient for travelling - like having an old friend back.

Anyway, I would use the lowest ISO possible, 80 or 100 on the FZ-50. This will reduce the amount of noise in the image.

I tended to use shutter speed as my main control and let the camera handle the aperture. The FZ-20 has a pretty sharp Leica lens, even at wide apertures and had a good depth of field, so I never worried too much about the aperture. Typical shutter speeds would be:
1/500 was good for fast jets and airliners on bright days.
1/250 for sharp props and helicopters
1/125 reduces 'frozen' props, but increased risks of blur, useful for blurry backgroounds on panned shots.

You need to account for the weather too. The duller it is, you will need to leave the shutter open a little longer, at the risk of more blur. I would not recommend going to higher ISO on any non-DSLR camera, certainly no more than ISO 200.

Biggest problem with the FZ-20 was noise and the FZ-50 will be no different, so keep the ISO as low as possible and the shutter speed as fast as possible.

Noise reduction will be necessary during editing. Be selective with the magic wand. Do noise reduce aircraft and skies (skies and aircraft structure should look smoother), but not grass, trees or builings (which look unnaturally smudged after noise reduction).

Above all practice with camera and editing software until you get the right feel for your set-up. Have fun!

Best regards,

Jim
Erm, is this thing on?
 
aussieaviator
Posts: 78
Joined: Sat Jul 08, 2006 6:44 pm

RE: Panasonic Lumix FZ Users!

Mon Dec 24, 2007 3:12 pm



Quoting GPHOTO (Reply 1):
Biggest problem with the FZ-20 was noise and the FZ-50 will be no different...

I strated off with the Panasonic Lumix FZ-30 and the 'noise' was attrocious in anything other than perfect lighting conditions. The FZ-50 is definately no better - worse in fact. Apparently the sensor size is the same as the FZ-30 - just with more pixels crammed in!

I became so frustrated with my FZ-30 ... I gave it away and bought a Nikon D80.

Noise seems to be a big issue with the Panasonic 'prosumer' non-DSLR cameras.

Cheers and Merry Christmas !
Graham Slingsby
 
medo
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2005 9:14 pm

RE: Panasonic Lumix FZ Users!

Mon Dec 24, 2007 3:42 pm

I think that if you shot with sunny weather and postprocess with PS problem of noise is not strong:

http://www.airliners.net/open.file/1272741/L/
 
Lumix
Posts: 110
Joined: Wed Sep 29, 2004 8:55 pm

RE: Panasonic Lumix FZ Users!

Mon Dec 24, 2007 4:32 pm



Quoting GPHOTO (Reply 1):
A bit long in the tooth, but I used to use the FZ-20. Still have it in fact and took it on holiday with me a few months ago as very convenient for travelling - like having an old friend back.

I know just what you mean! Having had an FZ10 for a couple of years (and having over 500 shots from it accepted on a.net) I replaced mine with a Canon 30D. However I missed the convienience of the FZ and have just bought an FZ30. It's a fantastic piece of kit.

Yes, noise is a problem, but with careful use of Neat Image it is easily minimised (always use NI on the original image before downsizing to 1200 wide or whatever).

On the positive side the stabilsed Lieca 35-420 lens is amazing, the Focus locks quickly, the exposure is pretty good as are the colours. It's probably one of the few non-DSLR's that can take photos that will be accepted on a.net.

So far I've only had one shot added to the DB taken with the FZ30 but another few are pending. If anyones interested here some I shot just last week with the FZ30.

http://forums.airshows.co.uk/cgi-bin...c5238dcb453732;act=ST;f=34;t=41911

Needless to say I've an almost identical set of shots taken with the 30D and 70-200 F4L. I intend to use the FZ30 for shots outwith the 70-200's range at both ends.

It's very interesting to compare the same shot taken with each camera....it's very hard to tell the difference!

As for the FZ50....I read the reviews of both this and the FZ30 very carefully before deciding that the FZ30 was the better camera. The fact I picked up an almost brand new FZ30 on ebay for £165 helped too!
 
TransIsland
Posts: 1826
Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2004 9:22 pm

RE: Panasonic Lumix FZ Users!

Tue Dec 25, 2007 3:46 am

I agree with most of what was said before, and, yes, the noise is a major nuisance. Nonetheless, most of my pictures here on a.net that were taken between Xmas 2005 and April 2007 were taken with an FZ-30.


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Stephen B. Aranha
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Stephen B. Aranha



These two examples show, however, that it doesn't have to be the best light in the world... but it helps to keep the camera steady because you really don't want to yank up the ISO with the Panasonic Lumix series. For this reason alone, I'd recommend using it either in shutter or aperture priority (that's really a personal preference, because whatever you do, you're gonna keep an eye on the other value anyway), because in all the Lumix' fancy programme modes, it will often choose ISO 160-200 on overcast days in order to get a shutter speed of 1/500 or 1/1000 sec. even though you really don't need that!
I'm an aviation expert. I have Sky Juice for breakfast.

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