As an enthusiast the camera market is depressing.

Started Aug 13, 2013 | Discussions thread
photoreddi Veteran Member • Posts: 7,973
Re: But did you EVER find the perfect camera for all people?

John Miles wrote:


Yes, agreed. But in other replies here I have alluded to problems in camera selection that could easily be fixed. To say something different here, why is it that what I loosely term 'over styling' seems to feature so heavily sub DSLR sensor sizes? I realise this generates sales, but for example why is there not a simple, affordable DSLR sized and styled body for the Sony Nex lenses? Sony could easily release an SLT body adapted and styled for NEX lenses, but where is it?

It's over to the right at the Samsung booth. Most of their NX camera are small and thin like Sony's NEX models, but they also have a larger DSLR-like body that also has an EVF. They also use APS-C DSLR size sensors, just like Sony's NEX sensors. Samsung's lenses also tend to be less expensive than Sony's and produce higher quality images. But you'll probably come up with a list of why Samsung's cameras are zeros. One is that Samsung's cameras don't have extremely fast card write speeds so they're not what a sports photographer would choose for shooting high speed continuous bursts.

Here's a review written by one of DPR's regulars, a good "pro" photographer that can appear in most any forum, but I see his posts most often in the Pro Digital Talk forum. The DSLR-like body is the NX20, but it's probably not for you or anyone that prefers humongous Full Frame DSLRs that are designed to fit hands that can easily palm basketballs.

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The FZ50: DSLR handling of a bright, non-extending Leica 35-420mm F2.8-3.7 lens. I live in hope that Mr Ichiro Kitao, Mr Michiharu Uematsu and Mr Yoshiyuki Inoue have triggered the update to the FZ50. Please update the FZ50. It is unique and users of it cannot update without compromise of one or more of its combination of features. Full tribute here: . Performace diagram here:

Wow. I've seen plenty of camera fanboys but none until now that almost appear to be worshiping a camera, and a flawed camera at that. Have you considered creating a tribute website for this creaky, seven year old camera, or do you already have one?


  • Extra 2 million pixels offer little visible advantage
  • Noise reduction produces visible artefacts and loss of low contrast detail even at low ISO (and noise if you don't use NR) if viewed at 100% (actual pixels)
  • ISO 400 and above very soft and smeary due to excessive NR
  • Bleeding of colors (particularly reds) at high ISOs (excessive chroma sub sampling)
  • Occasional exposure problems
  • Max aperture at long end of zoom only F3.7
  • Reduced burst mode performance
  • Limited dynamic range, highlight clipping in JPEGs
  • Default contrast a bit on the high side
  • Limitations on shutter speeds that can be used with some apertures


If you look at the list of pros and cons above you'll notice that the pros are mostly concerned with the camera and the cons are mostly concerned with the image, or more specifically the effect of noise and Venus III noise reduction. This sums up the FZ50 perfectly; a fantastic camera with a less than stellar sensor / processor, and way too many pixels.

Producing a camera this size with 35-420mm (equiv.) F2.8-3.7 zoom lens means you have to use a small sensor, and small sensors mean compromise because noise is always going to be an issue. I completely understand why Panasonic chose to jump from 5 to 8 to 10 megapixels in three generations of its flagship FZ camera - it's a lot easier to sell a camera on pixels than picture quality, and the average consumer (and it must be said the average camera store buyer) uses megapixels above all else when sorting cameras into categories. Panasonic's marketeers knew full well that with 10MP 'consumer' SLRs on the horizon (and 10MP the new high end for compacts too) the FZ50 needed a headline 'resolution' that kept it near the top. I do, however, think it was a mistake to think that the FZ50 buyer is the 'average' consumer, unable to base decisions on anything but megapixels...

And so what we have is a camera that stretches its sensor to almost breaking point and compensates for the lack of sensitivity in anything but the brightest conditions by using excessive noise reduction. The FZ50 is an excellent 5 or 6MP camera, but a rather less impressive 10MP camera. Is this a problem? Probably not - by the time the huge files have been shrunk down for printing or viewing on-screen they look fantastic, and the handling and features are quite simply peerless. But do not, for a minute, think that the 10 million pixels you're getting with the FZ50 bear anything but a passing resemblance to the 10 million pixel images you'll get from a good SLR once you get above ISO 100, or once light levels start to drop.


There are probably dozens of camera zeros that you've rejected that are far superior the the FZ50, but you're going to like what you like no matter what anyone else says. But don't expect Mr Ichiro Kitao, Mr Michiharu Uematsu and Mr Yoshiyuki Inoue to respond to your fervent appeals.

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