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» Number of reviews : 4 - viewing 10 Per Page

Last Review Posted by ikw101 - posted: Sat September 30, 2006 9:15pm [ Post a Review
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Views: 26086

If you\'re looking for a cheap digital SLR with an image stabilsed lens its time to be realistic. This isn\'t a DSLR and can\'t reasonably be expected to take DSLR quality photos. However what it can do is to take very good quality photos at x12 optical zoom. Thanks to the superb image stabilistion in all but the poorest of light a tripod isn\'t necessary. Even at maximum zoom a handheld photo at 1/30th of a second will be free of motion blur. Unfortunately image noise is an issue. To be fair to Panasonic they have left the user with a choice to either use the camera or external software to reduce image noise and carry out basic processing. The type of noise produced is very easily removed in Neat Image but this does costs an extra 16. The autofocus is fast and accurate and different focusing options can be used eg. spot, 3 spot high speed etc.. The best thing about this camera is that its light, easy to carry, quick to use and will take a very good record shot of anything that can be seen with a normal pair of binoculars. Sample photos at http://www.birdforum.net/pp_gallery/data/527/26920spottedflycatcher3.jpg http://www.birdforum.net/pp_gallery/data/527/26920squacco1.jpg http://www.birdforum.net/pp_gallery/data/527/26920willow-warbler.jpg.

Rating: 9
Product Details: "Lumix DMC FZ7" by ikw101 - posted: Wed August 9, 2006 - Rating: ********* 9.00

Last Review Posted by ikw101 - posted: Fri August 18, 2006 10:32pm [ Post a Review
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Views: 37656

I bought the 8x25 model as a pocket sized pair of bins to use mainly whilst out walking the dog in early mornings or evenings. Normally I use a pair of 8.5x44 ED Swift Audubon\'s so I\'ll try and avoid making too many unfair comparisons other than to say that I doubt any binoculars with a 25mm objective lens (or less) are suitable as a main pair unless your birdwatching is restricted to sunny days in mid-summer. The best thing about the Nikons is the remarkably high quality of the optics. Both near and mid-distance subjects are easy to resolve with a high amount of detail being present. The colours are neutral with no obvious chromatic aberration. Of particular importance given the size of the objectives the entire view remains in focus with little loss of quality towards the edge. The binoculars are comfortable and can easily be held and focused in one hand (definitely important when you\'ve got a dog lead in the other). Sometimes you just come across binoculars that feel right the Nikons can be added to that list. In addition they are also very light. In fact its easy to forget you\'re wearing them. The negatives are that after being used to big bins with a wide field of view lining these up with your eyes and then a bird takes a bit of practice. Likewise for my eyes these binoculars do not gather sufficent light to be able to resolve a high level of detail during twilight at distance. However they do just about gather enough light to enable identification to be made. It\'s a shame an ED or Fluorite type lens option isn\'t available. If ever Nikon do introduce this as an option it\'d be worth paying the extra. I enjoy using these binoculars and they are very good value for the money. Whilst I would have difficulty in recommending these as a main pair they were bought as a second pair and they serve that purpose extremely well.

Rating: 9
Product Details: "Travelite EX (Prostaff ATB) 8X25" by lumachrome - posted: Sat July 1, 2006 - Rating: ********* 8.67

Last Review Posted by ikw101 - posted: Thu July 6, 2006 10:17pm [ Post a Review
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Views: 32429

After an unfortunate accident with a pair of Swift Ultralites 10x50 back in April 06 I decided it was time to upgrade. (In case you\'re wondering it involved a concrete car park). Faced with the number of different models available the choice was overwhelming. Whilst the roof prisms appear to be increasingly fashionable after testing many models out at Leighton Moss earlier in Feb 06 I realized that my days as a trendsetter were over. Apart from the top of the range Swarovskii and Leica\'s in general I wasn\'t impressed with the performance of the roof prisms. The performance of many of the mid price models was actually bordering on being appalling. Therefore after the Ultralites failed the bouncebackability test I decided to stick with the porro prism design. In general my experience of Optics is fairly limited models owned include 1980\'s East German Zeiss, a truly appalling Chinon 8 x 42 and the Swift Ultralites. As far as Scopes are concerned the only one I\'ve owned is the 65mm Leica APO Televid which I\'d rate as being excellent but not quite outstanding. The choice of good quality porro prisms available is surprisingly limited. After a bit of research I\'d narrowed it down to the Nikon SE or the Swift Audubons. Unfortunately I couldn\'t find a local dealer who stocked both so based upon my generally good experience with the Ultralites and the ED glass used on the latest Audubons I went for the Swift Audubon 8.5 x 44. I\'ve now been using the Audubons for approximately 10 weeks and I\'m extremely impressed. In most field situations due to their astonishing clarity and brightness they comfortably outperform any other optics I\'ve ever experienced including the Leica scope. The field of view and depth of field is excellent and enables rapid recognition of birds in flight especially the little brown jobs that appear from nowhere and are gone before you have chance to focus. Fine focusing brings about superb centrefield resolution and whilst other reviews have mentioned about this dropping off towards the edges with such a wide field of view being available I\'ve yet to notice it. Their only slight drawback is their sheer size and weight especially in comparison to the Ultralites. Over the course of Winter 2005/6 I enjoyed several visits up to Parkgate at dusk watching the Hen Harriers coming in to roost. Based upon the time the failing light led other birdwatchers to give up and call it a day the Ultralites performed extremely well and enabled low flying Harriers, Merlin and Short eared Owls to be picked out over the marshland at a considerable distance. After 10 weeks in every situation the Audubons have comfortably outperformed the Ultralites and the difference the ED glass makes is astonishing. Whilst they don\'t carry the same kudos as the Swarovskii, Leica or Zeiss roof prisms if you\'re comfortable with the Audubons size and weight in most situations they will match the performance of the top roof prisms and in failing light more than likely outperform the non ED models. Whilst porro prisms aren\'t for everybody if you\'re seriously thinking about upgrading or replacing your binoculars go for a pair with ED glass. Unless your main interest is watching stationary birds the extra clarity, brightness and superb colour rendition of ED glass is far more useful than the ability to resolve the finest detail. I have no absolutely no hesitation in highly recommending the Audubons. As for the bouncebackability test I\'ll leave that for somebody else.

Rating: 9
Product Details: "Audubon 8.5x44mm ED" by ikw101 - posted: Thu July 6, 2006 - Rating: ******** 8.00

Last Review Posted by ikw101 - posted: Mon February 6, 2006 7:58pm [ Post a Review
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Views: 31516

I had been looking at similar ED glass type scopes including Kowa, Opticron and Nikon until I had the luxury of testing this at Leighton Moss on a cold misty morning. To say it was staggering is an understatement. It completely out performed everything else including top of the range models from Zeiss and Swarovski. Despite the far from ideal conditions the image was simply stunning. Expensive for a small scope but worth every penny.

Rating: 10
Product Details: "Televid 62 APO" by Andy Bright - posted: Sun October 26, 2003 - Rating: ********* 9.38

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