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Bargain Buy (1 Viewer)

Reader

Well-known member
I was given the heads up on a Yahoo groups birdwatching site about a camera that Curry's are selling off cheap. It is the Panasonic FZ100 and they are selling it for £199.97.

I managed to bag the last one near me. I don't know anything about the camera but the HD video facility is why I bought it as I was thinking of getting a video camcorder anyway.

I haven't had chance to even read the manual yet. That will be done over the weekend.

One thing I would like to know. Can both the SD and SDHC cards be used in this camera. Also which is the best card to buy for HD video.

I will be taking this camera with me to South Africa later in the year and I can see it being a welcome addition to my equipment, especially on the cape Town Pelagic and also the one we are doing off the south coast.

Apart from the above questions do any of you have any tips about the settings to use etc and is it any good for Macro photography?

I have a Canon 50D and a 150-500 sigma lens so this is going to be a bit different for me.

Regards
John
 

njlarsen

Gallery Moderator
Opus Editor
Supporter
Barbados
For HD video you need a reasonably fast SDHC card. Buy a large one, as video can take up quite some space.

Niels
 

Reader

Well-known member
Thanks Niels

Not having ever used these types of memory cards before I didn't know if SD & SDHC could be used with the same camera.

I will go online and see what is around.

John

For HD video you need a reasonably fast SDHC card. Buy a large one, as video can take up quite some space.

Niels
 

Reader

Well-known member
I have been looking at a few cards and quite a few say they are not backwards compatible. What does that mean and are they ok for the FZ100?

John
 

pdwinter

Paul Winter
The settings I use (jpegs) are

Contrast 0
Sharpness +1
Saturation 0
Noise Reduction -2

which seem to give decent images.

All pictures on my blog since August 2010 were taken with the FZ100 and a large number of them are of dragonflies - not really macro but a 600mm equiv lens with a focus of 1m gets some good shots.

I've never used the video on it so can't say anything about the settings for that.

HTH, Paul
 

Reader

Well-known member
Thanks for that Paul

I will look to try these settings over the weekend.

John

The settings I use (jpegs) are

Contrast 0
Sharpness +1
Saturation 0
Noise Reduction -2

which seem to give decent images.

All pictures on my blog since August 2010 were taken with the FZ100 and a large number of them are of dragonflies - not really macro but a 600mm equiv lens with a focus of 1m gets some good shots.

I've never used the video on it so can't say anything about the settings for that.

HTH, Paul
 

scodgerott

Well-known member
Hi Reader, I have been using the FZ100 since last August and have used both the video and photo functions quite a lot. This is a very versatile camera and good for getting action shots, which is probably what you'll need in Africa. I haven't used the HD video, just HD "light", as my computer doesn't recognise the full hd files. Some good results, some not so good. One thing I do like is that this camera will take 3mp stills while you are using the video. If you go to the dedicated video setting then it gives you the options of setting shutter speeds and aperture. No other super zooms offer that feature. One thing I don't like about the video function is that the screen blacks out for about a second or so before you can see what you are filming. When shooting something on the move you may well find that it is no longer in the frame. This is normal for the camera and is mentioned in the manual. A way around this may be to use the LCD screen as the viewfinder, as you can keep an eye on what's happening around you, which you can't do when using the viewfinder. One feature that I use quite a bit is the 40 fps burst mode. Its amazing what you can capture with that. The settings that I use are Contrast +1 Sharpness +2 Saturation +1 Noise Reduction +2. The price you got was extremely good, so you should feel happy about that. I'm attaching three "action" shots I have taken with the camera. Remember these are reduced files, so the originals are much better. You should get good value out of this camera, there is still nothing on the market that can match its different shooting modes.
 

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njlarsen

Gallery Moderator
Opus Editor
Supporter
Barbados
I have been looking at a few cards and quite a few say they are not backwards compatible. What does that mean and are they ok for the FZ100?

John

What that means is that SDHC can only be used in devices made for them. My old FZ18 has had a SDHC from the start - I am certain that the FZ100 can use them too. A different problem might be with your PC/laptop: some fairly recent ones can only read basic SD cards, so you may want to purchase a reader as well (or as I found way back when, an offer of a card with reader). If purchasing a reader, do not buy less than USB 2.0, and if you can find one go for the USB 3.

(FYI: my recently purchased Pana GH2 can take SDXC which is one level up in both speed and capacity -- however, I settled for SDHC for that camera as well).

Niels
 

Reader

Well-known member
Thanks Scott

Thanks for the info. I won't be able to do anything with the camera until the weekend but will look to try the settings you have given me.

Those three shots you have attached, are they stills taken from a movie?

I have to get the right card before I can shoot a movie. When I do I will see if my Laptop or PC can handle it. If not I will have to seek advice on the best programme to get that will allow me to run it.

Eventually I would like to edit a movie so that I can include it in my web site. Is that easy to do?

John

Hi Reader, I have been using the FZ100 since last August and have used both the video and photo functions quite a lot. This is a very versatile camera and good for getting action shots, which is probably what you'll need in Africa. I haven't used the HD video, just HD "light", as my computer doesn't recognise the full hd files. Some good results, some not so good. One thing I do like is that this camera will take 3mp stills while you are using the video. If you go to the dedicated video setting then it gives you the options of setting shutter speeds and aperture. No other super zooms offer that feature. One thing I don't like about the video function is that the screen blacks out for about a second or so before you can see what you are filming. When shooting something on the move you may well find that it is no longer in the frame. This is normal for the camera and is mentioned in the manual. A way around this may be to use the LCD screen as the viewfinder, as you can keep an eye on what's happening around you, which you can't do when using the viewfinder. One feature that I use quite a bit is the 40 fps burst mode. Its amazing what you can capture with that. The settings that I use are Contrast +1 Sharpness +2 Saturation +1 Noise Reduction +2. The price you got was extremely good, so you should feel happy about that. I'm attaching three "action" shots I have taken with the camera. Remember these are reduced files, so the originals are much better. You should get good value out of this camera, there is still nothing on the market that can match its different shooting modes.
 

Reader

Well-known member
Hi Niels

Looking at the manual it states that it can use SD, SDHC & SDXC.

I have a USB 2 card reader already that can read various cards, including SD cards, so hopefully that will be ok.

John

What that means is that SDHC can only be used in devices made for them. My old FZ18 has had a SDHC from the start - I am certain that the FZ100 can use them too. A different problem might be with your PC/laptop: some fairly recent ones can only read basic SD cards, so you may want to purchase a reader as well (or as I found way back when, an offer of a card with reader). If purchasing a reader, do not buy less than USB 2.0, and if you can find one go for the USB 3.

(FYI: my recently purchased Pana GH2 can take SDXC which is one level up in both speed and capacity -- however, I settled for SDHC for that camera as well).

Niels
 

scodgerott

Well-known member
Hi Reader, The shots I have shown are still shots not taken from the movie. The dragonfly is taken at 11 FPS and the other two were taken at 40FPS. The 11 FPS is good, but will only work at that speed when the ISO is set at 100. The 40FPS works at 40 all the time, regardless of the ISO.
I have only tried to edit the movies in camera a couple of times. It is easy to do.
 
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Reader

Well-known member
Hi Guys

I must admit that I am finding the instructions on the CD a bit baffling. I will hopefully work through them eventually but my first concern is the seemingly vast difference between the settings you have both given. They seem to be poles apart.

You must both be getting good images with these settings so I suppose it must be down to personal preference but I must admit I would have thought the differences would be quite noticeable between the two sets of settings (especially the noise setting where both your settings at the opposite ends of the range than can be set).

John

The settings I use (jpegs) are

Contrast 0
Sharpness +1
Saturation 0
Noise Reduction -2

HTH, Paul


The settings that I use are
Contrast +1
Sharpness +2
Saturation +1
Noise Reduction +2.
 
Last edited:

scodgerott

Well-known member
Hi Reader, You're quite right about the disparity in our settings. I originally used PDWinter's settings, as they seemed to produced very good results. Then just recently I was testing my camera on the wheels of a car parked across the road and I found that the settings I gave you gave more detail in the darker inner areas of the brakes etc, so I have started using those. I may still change them, as you say it may come down to personal preferences.
 

Reader

Well-known member
Hi Scott

Once we get some decent weather (it is raining quite heavy at the moment) I will have a go at both sets of settings using the same subject and see which comes out the better.

I have just tried a few shots using your settings but the weather is so bad, and the light really bad, that I could only get 1/60th and that's too slow when it comes to capturing feather detail.

Having said that the noise seems to be better than the original settings.

John
 

njlarsen

Gallery Moderator
Opus Editor
Supporter
Barbados
NR settings are more important in bad light, so testing there as well as in good light is necessary to understand the whole picture.

In my old FZ18 I have always shot A-priority, using most settings at default (if I remember correctly) with NR at -2 (I am comfortable doing NR in a program afterwards).

Niels
 
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