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I ordered the FZ18

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Old Friday 29th February 2008, 08:58   #51
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I will be in the New forest on tuesday/wednesday I will take some test shots then if i get time. 80th Birthday so may not get away. Ghostrider: What was your settings for the songthrush. A very good picture considering all the branches to distract the focus.
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Old Friday 29th February 2008, 19:08   #52
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Good job - good pics, and I would say that the first one it is a great photo!
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Old Friday 29th February 2008, 20:37   #53
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Imace,
Settings for the Song Thrush pic... 1/100s at f3.3 iso100 in S (shutter priority)mode.
AWB, Spot metering, High speed centre spot focus. Noise reduction -1.
This was the sharpest pic out of about 12 and i have sharpened it slightly using Picasa.


Cristian,
Thanks, glad you like them.
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Old Sunday 2nd March 2008, 09:24   #54
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Here's a couple of mine FZ8 with tcon17 in good light.
Ghostrider, the Pintail is super. Do you use shutter mode most of the time?
I will try your settings today as the sun is shining at the moment!
Here are a few of my latest efforts. I really need to focus a bit quicker on the flight shots as I miss some good pics. Your settings may help.

Brian.
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Old Sunday 2nd March 2008, 09:44   #55
siberian
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Originally Posted by Imace View Post
I will be in the New forest on tuesday/wednesday I will take some test shots then if i get time. 80th Birthday so may not get away. Ghostrider: What was your settings for the songthrush. A very good picture considering all the branches to distract the focus.
Thanks
Ian
Ian,
I hope you have a great time in the New Forest.
Eyeworth Pond and Cadnam Pool would be good places try out your camera. The birds are used to being fed in the car parks, and you can get some good birds there. Another nice place is Shatterford car park. However, you may already know all this!
Good luck,

Brian.
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Old Sunday 2nd March 2008, 11:04   #56
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Hi all

Just watching this thread develop with interest. I bought one of these a few month back. I have a DSLR & big lens (and back ache associated with that lol). This is my 5th digital camera, and probably the best to date - I do love the Nikon Coolpix CP4500 for normal use and as a digiscoping camera.

This is the first Digicam where I find reading the manual was of interest and helpful. i know most people never read them, but it is useful. There are a couple of tricks on here, and as mentioned previously on the thread a few good Panasonic forums.

The EOZ (Extended Optical Zoom) turns the superb LEICA lens from 18x to 28.7x zoom if the camera is reduced to 3MP. This has been the subject of much debate on various forums. It is NOT Digital zoom, but probably fair to say it is a auto-cropped picture giving the equivalent of 28.7x magnification. Basically, the camera takes the image from the centre of the picture and uses the unused pixels - a sort of inter-polarisation but I'm not explaining it very well - suffice to say as birders it should suit us as we tend to centre-frame our images.

Anyway, this camera is more than a point and shoot (I have a far inferior 12x Konica Minolta Z5) but has some really useful stuff - most of which needs more tinkering with. Face Recognition, 2 different optical stabilisation methods, Intelligent auto programme (which apparently actually works!) and the ability to set the highest ISO setting (the small sensor is very noisy) From what I can gather no higher than 400ISO is acceptable - but all down to user choice and opinion of course.

As the light improves here in the UK, this little beauty should get more of a run out - I might start leaving the scope at home

Oh yes - please, please anyone who has used the extended optical zoom with the 1.7 converter, please let us know of your experience/findings. 48.79x optical seems unworkable (1366mm equivalent) - as standard it is a 28-502mm equivalent (18x) and using the EOZ 803.6mm (28.7) for those who like the numbers.

Very much a compromise - DSLR's are much better, but the compromise between both cost and especially weight means a lot more of these will be taken out into the field - oh and they don't "hog" hide space like their larger brethren.

I'd like to see more people listing their own personal user settings. This camera can be used for birding but to me is the ultimate all round camera. Few superzooms have 28mm at the narrow end and as a bonus this one has superb macro facility too.
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Old Sunday 2nd March 2008, 19:05   #57
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Thanks Brian. I will be at my parents near Exbury Gardens so will pop to Hatchet Pond and Hill Top to look for Dartford Warblers.
I will try your settings Ghostrider thanks for the info.
Hi Quaker. I have tried my digiscoping settings i used on my coolpix 950 but poor results. Tried a few Aperture settings and now working on Shutter settings. Haven't a TCON17 so can't test that for you. But i did find when using the 3mpEZ (Extended Zoom) 28.7x i get a better shot with the EV down 1/3 or 2/3 depending on light.
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Old Sunday 2nd March 2008, 22:47   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by siberian View Post
Ghostrider, the Pintail is super. Do you use shutter mode most of the time?
I will try your settings today as the sun is shining at the moment!
Here are a few of my latest efforts. I really need to focus a bit quicker on the flight shots as I miss some good pics. Your settings may help.

Brian.
Hi Brian,
I try to use shutter mode most of the time to get the fastest shutter speed, even if the shot is slightly under exposed, you can add the light later on the pc. When the light is very good "P" mode usually does the trick.
Flight shots i'm finding very tricky mainly due to the shutter lag on these cameras. By the time you've focused and fired the bird has gone.
It's an interesting learning curve and i'm currently near the bottom.
But great fun.
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Old Monday 3rd March 2008, 08:02   #59
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Quacker,

You might want to take a look at my photos on Flickr. A lot of the FZ18 shots are taken with the TCON-17 at 3 MP EOZ. See for example:

http://www.flickr.com/photo_exif.gne?id=2269571320

http://www.flickr.com/photo_exif.gne...57600330213190

http://www.flickr.com/photo_exif.gne?id=2242203499

http://www.flickr.com/photo_exif.gne...xt=photostream
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Old Monday 3rd March 2008, 17:40   #60
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Originally Posted by kittykat23uk View Post
Quacker,

You might want to take a look at my photos on Flickr. A lot of the FZ18 shots are taken with the TCON-17 at 3 MP EOZ. See for example:

http://www.flickr.com/photo_exif.gne?id=2269571320

http://www.flickr.com/photo_exif.gne...57600330213190

http://www.flickr.com/photo_exif.gne?id=2242203499

http://www.flickr.com/photo_exif.gne...xt=photostream
Thanks - this ties in with another thread. which is the best way as I noticed there are several ways to mount a 1.7 several attachments and indeed several 1,7 converters (why is nothing ever straightforward?)
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Old Monday 3rd March 2008, 19:51   #61
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The Olympus TCON-17 is widely regarded as the best of the reasonably priced Teleconverters. At the time, the only adapter tube available was the DMW-LA3 and even those were as rare as hens teeth. However, I believe there is another compatible adapter tube available now, which causes less vigneting than the LA3 at the wide end but which requires a step ring as well.

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...ssage=26935711

That thread might be of interest/
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Old Saturday 22nd March 2008, 07:38   #62
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Originally Posted by Quacker View Post
Hi all

Oh yes - please, please anyone who has used the extended optical zoom with the 1.7 converter, please let us know of your experience/findings. 48.79x optical seems unworkable (1366mm equivalent) - as standard it is a 28-502mm equivalent (18x) and using the EOZ 803.6mm (28.7) for those who like the numbers.

.
Hello everyone,
I hope you are all out there snapping away with this brillant camera!
I have been trying the 3EZ setting, but the camera shake image usually came on. So I have set it to 5EZ which I think gives you 23X., plus the 1.7 if you have the TCON.
With my eyes (still havn't been to Specsavers!), the images are just as good, the only problem really is an even narrower field of view. With a lot of practice and empty frames I am gradually getting onto the subject first time. It reminds my of when you first use binoculars and you are trying to find the bird.
The weather is rather crap down here, but the Chiffchaffs are in and I have been trying to get some decent photos when the sun is out.
Although not great, I pleased with these two. Hopefully when they settle down I should more shots in the open.

Brian.
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Old Saturday 22nd March 2008, 09:02   #63
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I've been getting a bit of practise in with the camera, getting ready for the first big rarity!! You can see some of my results here http://www.birdforum.net/gallery/sho...0/ppuser/17409
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Old Saturday 22nd March 2008, 10:44   #64
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I've been getting a bit of practise in with the camera, getting ready for the first big rarity!! You can see some of my results here http://www.birdforum.net/gallery/sho...0/ppuser/17409

Some good photos there!
Really like your Tree Sparrow and Black Redstart. This is exactly what I'm hoping for, a rarity! Because the camera is so light and small even with the TCON, I always carry it with me, ready.
The rain has just stopped so I'm off out for more practise, and perhaps a mega!
A few more pics.
Brian.
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Old Monday 24th March 2008, 15:54   #65
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I hope I am not crashing this thread - but my son, aged 11, wants to photograph birds. My canon ixus70 is excellent for close up shots but seems hopeless for birds. My budget does not reach to DSLRs so I checked out the which? website which has the FZ-18 and its mega-zoom as a best buy - also easy to use - another factor for us beginners ( have a basic knowledge of camera settings). The other option was the Canon Powershot range? or similar price, weight and spec?

If this post is in the wrong place please advise a better place for it!

thanks
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Old Monday 24th March 2008, 16:37   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaxman View Post
I hope I am not crashing this thread - but my son, aged 11, wants to photograph birds. My canon ixus70 is excellent for close up shots but seems hopeless for birds. My budget does not reach to DSLRs so I checked out the which? website which has the FZ-18 and its mega-zoom as a best buy - also easy to use - another factor for us beginners ( have a basic knowledge of camera settings). The other option was the Canon Powershot range? or similar price, weight and spec?

If this post is in the wrong place please advise a better place for it!

thanks
Hi Jaxman

For someone in your position, I would say the FZ18 would be a good choice. It is jam-packed full of features and is very light and portable. However, it does have its limitations, so it is important to be aware of that before taking the plunge. The main drawbacks are noise, which means it needs decent light, and limited dynamic range, which means it doesn't deal well with "contrasty" situations and so highlights tend to be blown.

I should also point out that although it is easy to use, you will get better pics if you take creative control rather than relying on the camera tgo do everything. I tend to use mine in either aperture priority or manual mode.

I've been using mine for about six months and I've attached one or two pics to show you what it can do and what it can't. The kestrel and the redshanks were taken in good light and are decent crisp images. The female mallard is okay, but you can see how little of the water "texture" has been retained.

Although I still have my FZ18, I have since upgraded to a DSLR. I grew frustrated over the shots I failed to get and I appreciate the greater capability of the DSLR. Having said that, for someone who was definitely not going down the DSLR route, I would say the FZ18 is a good compromise.

All the best,

Malcolm
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Old Monday 24th March 2008, 17:12   #67
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thanks for that, very nice pics by the way. I have had a quick search on the web and given the cost of DSLR's and the tendency for 11 year old boys to change their minds I think that price wise this camera is a good starter.
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Old Monday 24th March 2008, 17:43   #68
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thanks for that, very nice pics by the way. I have had a quick search on the web and given the cost of DSLR's and the tendency for 11 year old boys to change their minds I think that price wise this camera is a good starter.
I agree it would be a good choice, and believe it may turn out to be more than just a "starter". I have an FZ18 and personally, at least in good light situations, I have a hard time seeing any difference between the image quality of shots taken with the FZ18 and a DSLR, especially when we are talking about shots as displayed on a computer screen. The only way to demonstrate a difference in image quality would be a side-by-side comparison, which I have not seen yet. I also have no desire to switch to a DSLR -- especially given the extra weight and cumbersomness of a DSLR body plus multiple lenses.

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Old Monday 24th March 2008, 18:29   #69
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I agree that the FZ18 would be an excellent camera for your 11 year old son. I bought mine a couple of months ago for myself and my 11 year old son (12 last week). I always use aperture priority to set fast shutter speed and usually check settings before he uses, but he has taken some nice pictures. Obviously it has it's limitations but doesn't every camera ? and i think for the price it is excellent value.
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Old Monday 24th March 2008, 21:59   #70
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I'm seriously tempted to get myself one of these myself!!

I've spent the weekend birding with a friend who has recently been using one herself, having seen what it's capable of I was very surprised to see the relatively low price. The Short Eared Owl below was taken this evening on my local patch, admitedly at close'ish range in good light but still retained enough resolution to crop quite heavily...

Matt
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Old Tuesday 25th March 2008, 07:32   #71
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I have looked at the gallery for FZ18 shots, can anyone explain the teleconverter - does it simply attach to the camera lens? is an adpater required? how big? useful? easy to use are they?
thanks!
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Old Tuesday 25th March 2008, 11:33   #72
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I have looked at the gallery for FZ18 shots, can anyone explain the teleconverter - does it simply attach to the camera lens? is an adpater required? how big? useful? easy to use are they?
thanks!
Here is a link to a thread I started discussing those and similar questions about the FZ 18. You might want to review it: http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=102876

Best,
Jim
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Old Wednesday 26th March 2008, 16:16   #73
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Hi, i bought the fz18 3 weeks ago, and although i am a novice when it comes to photography i am really pleased with the images it produces. We all know dslrs produce better pictures but for a camera of this size and price and all the features it possesses it is great. Here are a few pictures taken from my garden using the IA mode.
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Old Wednesday 26th March 2008, 16:19   #74
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Hi, i bought the fz18 3 weeks ago, and although i am a novice when it comes to photography i am really pleased with the images it produces. We all know dslrs produce better pictures but for a camera of this size and price and all the features it possesses it is great. Here are a few pictures taken from my garden using the IA mode.
Very good. Those are some of the nicest shots I've seen from the FZ18 so far. Excellent colours.

What sort of distance were they taken at?
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Old Wednesday 26th March 2008, 16:35   #75
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Very good. Those are some of the nicest shots I've seen from the FZ18 so far. Excellent colours.

What sort of distance were they taken at?
Thanks for your comments, these pictures were taken from my window in bright morning sunshine the birds were about 5,6 metres away.
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