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Oly SP-560 UZ or Pany DMC-FZ18 ?

Started Dec 30, 2007 | Discussions thread
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Oly SP-560 UZ or Pany DMC-FZ18 ?
Dec 30, 2007

Cons of Panasonic from http://www.dpreview.com: “images lack biting crispness, some loss of fine detail to noise reduction even at ISO 100”(!!!), “default noise reduction too high at all ISO settings (use low NR setting or raw)” in comparison with “evidence of noise reduction smearing at anything over base ISO” of Olympus (no problems at ISO 100!). Other cons of Panasonic: “occasional odd artefacts at lower ISO settings (some moirĂ© related, some just plain old NR)”, “soft, over-sharpened JPEGs don't work well with very fine detail (though they produce perfectly acceptable prints)” and “occasional highlight clipping and fringing in JPEGs”. I compared both – Olympus at 27 mm gives about 5-10% wider picture than Panasonic at 28 mm.

Cons of Olympus: very long lens (at 486 mm) – necessity to buy the lens adapter tube, to protect the lens. Pros of Panasonic - a plastic glare shield, that protect the lens as well. Therefore Panasonic seems to be more comfortable in use, in store etc.

Cons of both cameras: “anything over ISO 400 of very limited use”, occasional “focus hunting” and some “corner softness”.

Cons of Olympus: “more features than you will know what to do with (many of them gimmicky)”, “unwieldy menu system”, “manual focus requires a lot of guesswork”, “plastic tripod mount”, “limited AA battery life” seem (for me) to be less significant. Panasonic is a bit lighter and a bit better looking (very subjective!) – both features less significant as well.

Lab Test Rankings at: http://www.popphoto.com/cameras/4836/shootout-18x-evf-superzooms.html : 1. DMC-FZ18, 2. SP-560UZ

I take a lot of photos - architecture, people, landscapes. Some photos indoors. Before printing, I usually process photos in Photoshop. If I chose Olympus, I'd rather use JPEG mode (due to the time delay in RAW mode). Would it be a big loss of quality / colors etc.?

And finally which one to buy ?

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