FZ50 die hards only. Boring to everyone else.

Started Aug 29, 2012 | Discussions thread
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John Miles
John Miles Veteran Member • Posts: 6,919
FZ50 die hards only. Boring to everyone else.

I have just sent this to Panasonic. Doesn't hurt to try does it
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I hereby pay tribute to the FZ50, and the area of photography it dominates in 2012:

Like Concorde and the Apollo space program, there are inventions in life that have passed by yet to be bettered. The FZ50 is such an invention.

The FZ50 is all about manual control of a crisp Leica lens. Ranging from 35mm to 420mm, it is today outranged by all current superzooms. But it is not outclassed in the quality or operation of the lens. The internal, non-extending zoom is super smooth and operates end to end by one finger turning over no more than a 100 degree rotation of the barrel. This, coupled with a camera ON time of a second, generates a truly blistering pace for OFF to first capture anywhere from 35-420mm that no other camera can approach to this day. The internal zoom is discrete in front of the camera shy and camera bags at any focal length setting. The lens also controls stray light very well indeed, as if always sporting the lens hood.

There is a need with any small sensor (and its limited dynamic range) to maintain a constant control of exposure value. The FZ50 can operate EV directly from the front wheel under the shutter. Whilst not a unique feature in itself, when married to the FZ50's lens operation, which is of course a left handed action, simultaneous composition of zoom and EV can take place. I cannot stress enough how fast this makes the FZ50. In the time it takes you to raise the camera to your eye, it can be on, zoomed where you want and have the EV adjust screen up and moving already. Fine composition commences immediately and the shot taken just as soon as you are ready. It is easily possible to be putting an FZ50 down after having captured a shot before most of today's superzooms have finished starting up, let alone been zoomed to composition or have activated EV control.

The FZ50's sensor is, frankly, a 100 ISO device. In respect of the sensor the FZ50 has aged most. However at ISO 100 and with its Venus III processing, it remains extremely capable of beautifully punchy out of camera results. There is a white balance adjust function, for calibrating white balance to your personal taste, which crucially is available for the cameras AUTO white balance selection as well as its manual ones. You can set the FZ50 to AUTO WB, and that auto setting will be calibrated how you want it; excellent.

The build quality of the FZ50 remains hard to beat. That lovely lens mentioned above is connected to a high quality body with all the right buttons in all the right places. The little doors are all nicely hinged; not just a rubberised bung. The screen, small by today's standards, actually makes way for a huge thumb rest. With this the FZ50 can be carried and operated with absolute assurity and long term comfort.

For low light work the FZ50 has a flash shoe for Olympus/Panasonic dedicated flashes. The 'Oly' form of the Metz24 AF-1 digital flash is a particularly compact yet useful flash, which includes a tilt head. Its use allows the FZ50 to master most indoor photographic situations; beyond the otherwise limited low light capacity of the sensor.

As a reactionary bridge camera, one that can jump from rest to capture in quick order, the FZ50 is not only unsurpassed but remains way out in front of todays bridge competition.

Even when not challenged to capture the moment before it's lost, this spead just adds to camera operation by making it feel very predictable, controlled and measured. The overall ergonomics are superb.

A small sensor bridge camera maintains a wide depth of field over a wide zoom range under the cameras Program setting. With the FZ50's operational speed this means means more in focus captured sooner than any other camera; ever.

May a worthy replacement of the superb FZ50 be in your thoughts.

With kind regards
John Miles

The FZ50: DSLR handling of a bright Leica 35-420mm lens that's this good: http://www.flickr.com/groups/panasonicfz50/pool/ (slideshow always good). And now add the LX2: http://www.flickr.com/groups/lx2/pool/show/
[Tomorrows camera is better and smaller than todays]

 John Miles's gear list:John Miles's gear list
Panasonic FZ1000 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5 +1 more
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50 Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX2
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