DMC-ZS3 and DMC-ZS8: anybody had experience with both?

Started Oct 3, 2011 | Discussions thread
Detail Man
Detail Man Forum Pro • Posts: 16,816
Differences Between the TZ4 and the ZS3 ?

just miler wrote:
... I love the earlier cameras and still have my trusty TZ4 ...

I owned a TZ4 for around 10 months. I liked that it had 8 Mpixels on a 1/2.5" image-sensor (lower pixel-density) than the TZ5 and later TZs. The build quality, battery-life, and color rendering was excellent - right on the money every time. The default Saturation level was high enough that I rarely found any usefulness in increasing color-saturation in post-processing.

The AF system was marginal, however. I ended up having to use Spot AF (at all shooting distances) in order to ensure integrity of focus, and it also failed to be able to function under around EV = 7.0 (going to a very large AF Focus Area). This is why I sold it - having to always use Spot AF drove me nuts !

It was an excellent camera for up-close flower shots, though, and was so small and light that I could easily hold it and shoot with only one hand (an advantage when trying to get a good up-close perspective amidst flowers of interest).

I used it at only ISO=100. The NR was a bit on the heavy side, causing a limited ability to resolve fine-detail in the structures of some flowers. The default sharpening (to make up for the detail-loss of the NR) was a bit strong, and I seldom found that much of any additional sharpening could be applied in post-processing.

... I held onto the ZS3 for a while, but my 9MP TZ4 produces the same, or slightly better, images so I sold it.

This it what I find most interesting about your post. In what specific ways did you find the ZS3 worse than the TZ4 ? Just curious as to your thoughts on that . I had a ZS3, but decided to give it to a good friend, as I wanted to have more user-control (things like PASM and Picture Adjust controls of NR, SHARPNESS, CONTRAST, and SATURATION, etc.). I had found the lack of user-controls on the TZ4 frustrating (and potentially limiting where it came to the ability to post-process effectively), and did not want to (also) feel similarly "boxed in" when using the ZS3 ...

TZ4 (ISO=100):

I have a ZS7 that I use at ISO=80 or ISO=100. I like and prefer the additional user-controls (relative to the ZS3). I shoot with NR and SHARPNESS at -2, and post-process my shots. Haven't notice any "exposure funnies", but sometimes it over-saturates the color (with default settings), leaving no room for later adjustment. It's OK for IQ - though the shots can sometimes be a bit on the bland side, and not highly amenable to improving very much in post-processing.

ZS7 (ISO=100):

Another great camera is the old FZ28 with tons of control and a wonderful lens.

I like my FZ28. Smaller and lighter than the FZ50. Very good battery-life. Read/Dark Noise of the FZ28 (with it's 1/2.33" image-sensor) is lower than the FZ50 (with it's 1/1.8" image-sensor), although the photon-shot-noise of the FZ50 (may well) be lower (due to it's larger sized pixels on the image-sensor). I pretty much shoot in RAW/RW2 when using the FZ50 and the FZ28. It's rather slow in operation (compared to later FZ models), but I am rarely in a hurry in my applications, so this is not a big deal for me ...

FZ28 (RW2, ISO=100):

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