"touch me, touch me!" said the little camera...

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"touch me, touch me!" said the little camera...

Postposted on Tue Mar 18, 2008 9:24 pm

I was browsing dpreview as I normally do and saw this lil puppy... I gotta say I really want to play with it, specifically the touch screen. And hey go Leica lenses! http://www.dpreview.com/news/0803/08031802panasonicfx500.asp
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Re: "touch me, touch me!" said the little camera...

Postposted on Tue Mar 18, 2008 10:12 pm

The touchscreen does not excite me. The following do:
  • 25-125mm (5x zoom)
  • (almost) Full manual mode, with aperture and shutter settings using the touchscreen
  • AE priority
  • Shutter priority

All within an ultracompact body. Hopefully they have finally made an improvement to their noise reduction and sharpening algorithms from previous generations. This is finally most of the manual stuff in the Canon A series cramped into a smaller body. I have been saying that they need to put all that stuff into the IXUS and SD series and they have been dragging their feet for ages.

I'm psyched about the specs. Past Panasonic camera reviews say otherwise. So on average I'm cautiously optimistic.

Competition is good. Let's see what Canon does in response. To me Canon still takes pictures with more natural (less processed) colours.
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Re: "touch me, touch me!" said the little camera...

Postposted on Tue Mar 18, 2008 10:15 pm

Don't forget that it has image stabilization...
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Re: "touch me, touch me!" said the little camera...

Postposted on Tue Mar 18, 2008 10:21 pm

Usacomp2k3 wrote:Don't forget that it has image stabilization...

These days IS is to be expected. Like there is no way you are going to even think about a GPU with only DX7. :D
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Re: "touch me, touch me!" said the little camera...

Postposted on Tue Mar 18, 2008 10:25 pm

price?
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Re: "touch me, touch me!" said the little camera...

Postposted on Tue Mar 18, 2008 10:32 pm

PRIME1 wrote:price?

According to reports $400 in May.
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Re: "touch me, touch me!" said the little camera...

Postposted on Tue Mar 18, 2008 10:35 pm

Flying Fox wrote:
Usacomp2k3 wrote:Don't forget that it has image stabilization...

These days IS is to be expected. Like there is no way you are going to even think about a GPU with only DX7. :D

At least on P&S's I guess. I still prefer lens-shift over body-shift for SLR's, especially larger lenses.
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Re: "touch me, touch me!" said the little camera...

Postposted on Tue Mar 18, 2008 10:38 pm

Usacomp2k3 wrote:
Flying Fox wrote:
Usacomp2k3 wrote:Don't forget that it has image stabilization...

These days IS is to be expected. Like there is no way you are going to even think about a GPU with only DX7. :D

At least on P&S's I guess. I still prefer lens-shift over body-shift for SLR's, especially larger lenses.

Hey on a P&S we are lucky to have anything, even just software correction.
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Re: "touch me, touch me!" said the little camera...

Postposted on Tue Mar 18, 2008 10:40 pm

Flying Fox wrote:
Usacomp2k3 wrote:
Flying Fox wrote:These days IS is to be expected. Like there is no way you are going to even think about a GPU with only DX7. :D

At least on P&S's I guess. I still prefer lens-shift over body-shift for SLR's, especially larger lenses.

Hey on a P&S we are lucky to have anything, even just software correction.

Wait, so are we lucky or is it expected. (not trying to be difficult, honest)
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Re: "touch me, touch me!" said the little camera...

Postposted on Tue Mar 18, 2008 10:46 pm

Usacomp2k3 wrote:
Flying Fox wrote:
Usacomp2k3 wrote:At least on P&S's I guess. I still prefer lens-shift over body-shift for SLR's, especially larger lenses.

Hey on a P&S we are lucky to have anything, even just software correction.

Wait, so are we lucky or is it expected. (not trying to be difficult, honest)

It's ok. I may be a bit unclear.

These days, with bigger zoom and high MP on a regular P&S, some form of IS is expected. I would not even consider one without it being mentioned in the specs.

Now, as for how the IS is achieved, I don't think there is much choice for P&S cameras, be it software smoke and mirrorsor lens-movement compensation, at least the results with IS on is just much better than without. So we are lucky to have any form of IS on these little cameras.

Clear now? ;)
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Re: "touch me, touch me!" said the little camera...

Postposted on Tue Mar 18, 2008 10:50 pm

Much more so. Thanks for clarifying :D
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Re: "touch me, touch me!" said the little camera...

Postposted on Thu Apr 17, 2008 10:34 pm

Hong Kong website DCFever.com has posted a quick look article on the FX520/500 (so looks like their claimed date of April 12 seems to be correct).

Since their site/network is so **** slow outside of their own region, I have snagged their 4 sample pictures and mirrored it on imageshack.

(huge image warning)
ImageImage
ImageImage

Any thoughts? May be a tad too red? I am seriously thinking about getting this now. My A40 is getting really old and I want something small with a wide lens that have enough manual stuff should I want to (night shots mostly).
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Re: "touch me, touch me!" said the little camera...

Postposted on Fri Apr 18, 2008 12:52 am

Flying Fox wrote:Any thoughts? May be a tad too red? I am seriously thinking about getting this now. My A40 is getting really old and I want something small with a wide lens that have enough manual stuff should I want to (night shots mostly).

seems a bit soft and underexposed, most likely a user error. I'm going to hold on any opinions until i see a full review for it. and you're right about their site... it never did load for me. =/
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Re: "touch me, touch me!" said the little camera...

Postposted on Fri Apr 18, 2008 2:43 am

I'm not too happy about the trend of squeezing 10+ megapixels onto a tiny sensor, but the 25-125 F2.8 lens sounds like it's a cut above the rest of the P&S lenses.
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Re: "touch me, touch me!" said the little camera...

Postposted on Fri Apr 18, 2008 3:57 am

[offtopic] is there a topic with recommended budget camera ? [/offtopic]
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Re: "touch me, touch me!" said the little camera...

Postposted on Fri Apr 18, 2008 4:56 am

Sure... for large values of "budget." :wink:
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Re: "touch me, touch me!" said the little camera...

Postposted on Fri Apr 18, 2008 7:50 am

Concordia wrote:
Flying Fox wrote:Any thoughts? May be a tad too red? I am seriously thinking about getting this now. My A40 is getting really old and I want something small with a wide lens that have enough manual stuff should I want to (night shots mostly).

seems a bit soft and underexposed, most likely a user error. I'm going to hold on any opinions until i see a full review for it. and you're right about their site... it never did load for me. =/

If you look at the EXIF it was done using Program AE, and I don't think the picture taker didn't to much. Underexposed eh? I actually think it is pretty natural. Past Panasonic cameras have a tendency to over process (sharpen and more contrast) their pictures a bit. So it may not be as "vivid" for just sending it off in email and stuff. This is actually Canon's good thing with the not-so-processed colours? I can't tell much because they are day time outdoor pictures with enough lighting.

Firestarter wrote:I'm not too happy about the trend of squeezing 10+ megapixels onto a tiny sensor, but the 25-125 F2.8 lens sounds like it's a cut above the rest of the P&S lenses.
I just don't use all 10MP. Actually with Panasonic if you don't choose all 10MP you can do other aspect ratio (3:2, 16:9) and use the quasi-digital "extended zoom" (crop). Then lens is king, but past Panasonic image processing is a bit below Canon's, so that's the concern. I have read reviews of the other models based on the same Venus IV processor and they don't bode well.
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Re: "touch me, touch me!" said the little camera...

Postposted on Fri Apr 18, 2008 3:58 pm

Engadget has a hands-on now:
http://www.engadget.com/2008/04/18/vide ... screen-an/

Looks like they are shipping on time, good stuff. :)
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Re: "touch me, touch me!" said the little camera...

Postposted on Fri Apr 18, 2008 4:49 pm

Firestarter wrote:I'm not too happy about the trend of squeezing 10+ megapixels onto a tiny sensor, but the 25-125 F2.8 lens sounds like it's a cut above the rest of the P&S lenses.
Yeah, I agree. I love wide-angle -- back when I was shooting my film SLR my everyday lens was 24-120 and I took the vast majority of shots at the bottom of the range, well under 50mm. I'd rather have 4mm at the low end than 40 at the high.

And I agree about the MP too. Sure, you can crop away but smaller sensor pixels = more noise. I prefer to use ambient light whenever possible, so good low-light performance matters.

I've been lackadaisically shopping for a P&S for a while. My interest in a P&S is (a) as a pocket-camera companion to my SLR, and (b) as a small dive camera (in a dive enclosure, obviously). I suspect the touch interface eliminates the latter option, otherwise this camera might be interesting to me. I'm also sort of looking to get something for my elderly mother, but this is entirely too complicated for her.
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Re: "touch me, touch me!" said the little camera...

Postposted on Sat Apr 19, 2008 9:59 am

UberGerbil wrote:I've been lackadaisically shopping for a P&S for a while. My interest in a P&S is (a) as a pocket-camera companion to my SLR, and (b) as a small dive camera (in a dive enclosure, obviously). I suspect the touch interface eliminates the latter option, otherwise this camera might be interesting to me. I'm also sort of looking to get something for my elderly mother, but this is entirely too complicated for her.

If you don't mind slightly bigger units the Canon A series is hard to beat. These ultracompacts have too buttons too small or use some joystick control which may be harder to control for persons with age.

Myself I kind of want an all-in-one, so I got the A40 when it first came out with all the manual goodies. However I do find the size limiting. With an ultracompact body, wide lens and all the manual stuff this is the perfect one for me on paper. However, other models with the same Venus IV processor are not exactly stellar so I may have to crawl back to Canon and just get the SD870IS, sacrificing some manual controls (hopefully its night mode is better). :-?
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Re: "touch me, touch me!" said the little camera...

Postposted on Sat Apr 19, 2008 1:36 pm

Flying Fox wrote:Myself I kind of want an all-in-one, so I got the A40 when it first came out with all the manual goodies. However I do find the size limiting. With an ultracompact body, wide lens and all the manual stuff this is the perfect one for me on paper. However, other models with the same Venus IV processor are not exactly stellar so I may have to crawl back to Canon and just get the SD870IS, sacrificing some manual controls (hopefully its night mode is better). :-?

My fiancee has the 870IS and while it is a nice camera, I'm having trouble finding controls that it may not even have. It does take great point and shoot pictures too if you just leave it in manual mode.
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Re: "touch me, touch me!" said the little camera...

Postposted on Sat Apr 19, 2008 2:55 pm

SpotTheCat wrote:My fiancee has the 870IS and while it is a nice camera
I was about to ask you about that in your thread. So how's the low light indoor (ie. parties, dinners, get-togethers) performance?

SpotTheCat wrote:I'm having trouble finding controls that it may not even have.
Like what?

SpotTheCat wrote:It does take great point and shoot pictures too if you just leave it in manual mode.

What does "manual" mode have? ISO settings, WB, EV comp, and what? AFAIK there is no Aperture and Shutter priority, which is really what I want in terms of "manual features". This new Panny promises these 2 that's why I am very interested.

If the SD870IS can take better pictures without those vs me having to set a dozen things for every picture on the Panny, then the Canon wins out of course.
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Re: "touch me, touch me!" said the little camera...

Postposted on Sat Apr 19, 2008 4:13 pm

You named it, you cannot control the aperture. I was hoping to have aperture setting too, and in a few years I'll probably venture into the DSLR range to get the full slew of controls.

the higher ISO performance is there, but grainy at higher ISOs. I'd say 800 is grainy, but livable. It does do 1600, too, but I never use it because of how bad it looks.

Here are a few indoor pictures I just took, using a tripod. Going from 1600 ISO to 800, 400, 200, 100, 80.
1600 and 800 are messy, but the 800 is still top notch in P&S land (I think I tried them all at the store).
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Re: "touch me, touch me!" said the little camera...

Postposted on Sun Apr 20, 2008 11:06 am

Thanks SpotTheCat for taking those pictures.

What about parties with artificial lights and human faces? It does seem that out-of-the-box the Canons will take better, less noisy pictures. So what about night scenes?

I had high hopes for the Panny, but looks like I may be slightly disappointed. Damn Canon why they still haven't put some of these manual controls on their ultracompacts? I don't really want to go back to the A-series since they are a bit too big to bring out to parties and they don't have sub-35mm wide yet. Another sign of Canon dragging its feet when there is no serious competition. :evil:
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Re: "touch me, touch me!" said the little camera...

Postposted on Sun Apr 20, 2008 12:58 pm

Flying Fox wrote:Thanks SpotTheCat for taking those pictures.

What about parties with artificial lights and human faces? It does seem that out-of-the-box the Canons will take better, less noisy pictures. So what about night scenes?

I had high hopes for the Panny, but looks like I may be slightly disappointed. Damn Canon why they still haven't put some of these manual controls on their ultracompacts? I don't really want to go back to the A-series since they are a bit too big to bring out to parties and they don't have sub-35mm wide yet. Another sign of Canon dragging its feet when there is no serious competition. :evil:

As long as you STFA from the 1600 ISO, it's better than any hand held this size I've seen. I wouldn't get it if you want a ton of manual controls, because they don't exist. Get it because it's a great pocket camera.
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Re: "touch me, touch me!" said the little camera...

Postposted on Sun Apr 20, 2008 5:19 pm

SpotTheCat wrote:As long as you STFA from the 1600 ISO, it's better than any hand held this size I've seen.
You haven't seen a Fuji F10/11/30/31 then :wink: .

Hey SpotTheCat, do you find that the 870IS gives a red tint to and generally overexposes (Caucasian) skin tones in harsh outdoor light situations? This has been the case for pretty much all the Canon P&S cameras I've used, but then I haven't used a Canon produced in the past 18 months or so.

I've found that Canon severely oversaturates the red channel to the point of clipping at default settings. Changing the colour settings to "Natual" helps, but I still don't like what it does with skin tones. Sorry but I don't have a good image to demonstrate what I mean.

Speaking of Panasonic cameras, the ones I've used can produce quite pleasing, if slightly contrasty images provided you have good lighting. Anything above ISO 80 and you've got visible noise though :(. Hopefully this camera can shoot at least ISO 400 without outputting a mottled mess. Heck, just give the user the option of RAW output so they can take care of the noise in post-processing.
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Re: "touch me, touch me!" said the little camera...

Postposted on Sun Apr 20, 2008 5:25 pm

crazybus wrote:
SpotTheCat wrote:As long as you STFA from the 1600 ISO, it's better than any hand held this size I've seen.
You haven't seen a Fuji F10/11/30/31 then :wink: .

Hey SpotTheCat, do you find that the 870IS gives a red tint to and generally overexposes (Caucasian) skin tones in harsh outdoor light situations? This has been the case for pretty much all the Canon P&S cameras I've used, but then I haven't used a Canon produced in the past 18 months or so.

I've found that Canon severely oversaturates the red channel to the point of clipping at default settings. Changing the colour settings to "Natual" helps, but I still don't like what it does with skin tones. Sorry but I don't have a good image to demonstrate what I mean.

Speaking of Panasonic cameras, the ones I've used can produce quite pleasing, if slightly contrasty images provided you have good lighting. Anything above ISO 80 and you've got visible noise though :(. Hopefully this camera can shoot at least ISO 400 without outputting a mottled mess. Heck, just give the user the option of RAW output so they can take care of the noise in post-processing.

Actually I thought Panasonic P&S gives even more redish pictures. The Canon ones are fine by my standards.
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Re: "touch me, touch me!" said the little camera...

Postposted on Sun Apr 20, 2008 6:07 pm

It's just a shame nobody puts aperture and compression options on point and shoots. The point and shoot has it's place, and that place is in my pocket.
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Re: "touch me, touch me!" said the little camera...

Postposted on Sun Apr 20, 2008 6:10 pm

SpotTheCat wrote:It's just a shame nobody puts aperture and compression options on point and shoots.
P/A/S/M is what this new Panny promises, that's why it is exciting. By compression options you mean RAW? Because most of these cams do have fine, super fine and normal compression settings.

So Spot, any pics night indoor parties with lots of faces and stuff? What about nightshots? I thought you said you wanted to take some during that lunar eclipse a while back.
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Re: "touch me, touch me!" said the little camera...

Postposted on Sun Apr 20, 2008 6:54 pm

Flying Fox wrote:
SpotTheCat wrote:It's just a shame nobody puts aperture and compression options on point and shoots.
P/A/S/M is what this new Panny promises, that's why it is exciting. By compression options you mean RAW? Because most of these cams do have fine, super fine and normal compression settings.

So Spot, any pics night indoor parties with lots of faces and stuff? What about nightshots? I thought you said you wanted to take some during that lunar eclipse a while back.

I did and the zoom is pathetic. It is much more suited as an indoor camera because of the wide-angle lens. Low light level pictures... I can't help you there, but they look fine to my eye.

I am a little hesitant to veer away from the companies that made good film cameras. We tried a Sony, too, and it was just awful. It constantly wanted to be 2-3 ISO levels too high in auto-mode, so everything came out super grainy. Automatic modes shouldn't be so useless.
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