Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Panasonic FZ30:
• 7.18 x 5.32 mm CCD Sensor with 8.3 million pixels total • 8.0 million effective pixels
• 3248 x 2160 (3:2)
• 60 - 1/2000 sec
• 9 Point AF + AF Lamp
• ISO - 80, 100, 200, 400.
• Continuous Shooting: 3FPS
• 640 x 480 /30fps MJPEG
Weight: 740g (With Battery)

The Panasonic FZ30 is a P&S (Point And Shoot) it generally refers to non-interchangeable lens designs like DSLR Cameras are. However the FZ30 does provide full manual controls, exposure, WB, focus, ISO, etc. The Panasonic uses a Leica designed and coated zoom lens that is 35mm to 420mm, with a 2.8 on the wide and a 3.7 on the tele end, it's actually quite an achievement for the size, weight and quality it obtains.
To get a similarly configured DSLR with similar abilities on the lens setup is impossible. You need a range of lenses and most are heavy, large and costly to come anywhere near the results found on the FZ30.

Pentax K7:
• 23.4 x 15.6 mm CMOS Sensor with 15.1 million total pixels • 14.6 million effective pixels.
• 4672 x 3104 pixels (3:2)
• 30 - 1/8000 sec
• 11 Point AF + AF Lamp
• Continuous Shooting : 5.2FPS.
• 1280x720 (720p) 30FPS MJPEG.
• Weight: 750g (with Battery)

The Pentax K7 is quite similar in a number of respects to my FZ30. The size, weight and ergonomics are almost identical. The K7 is a semi pro DSLR, with magnesium/steel body with complete WR sealing & dust prevention.

Both cameras can shoot RAW, with image stabilization, weigh about 750g and are considered to share the same weakness in low light or high ISO shooting, and are both made by smaller Japanese Camera manufacturers starting with the letter "P". :)

There are however some major differences. Obviously interchangeable lens, the larger DSLR CMOS sensor, a Pentaprism optical viewfinder and a Mirror/Shutter system.

The EVF on the FZ30 is actually an LCD screen which shows an illuminated display of what the lens is pointing at. The OVF on the K7 is an actual view of what you are seeing, via a prism, while it's bigger and offers a larger FOV the EVF is much brighter and easier to see.

Panasonic's mirror less 4/3rds DSLR's are born from the FZ's success, and has taken the DSLR market into a new era, creating all sorts of competition for industry heavyweights Canon and Nikon. I myself am left wondering if there is much benefit to still having a OVF over EVF.

There are times when i believe that that the OVF would be beneficial, but i tend think the EVF provides more advantages, in particular when changing aperture on the EVF you can actually see the whole scene in the EVF getting darker or brighter (under or overexposed) in realtime, and thus getting a immediate feedback. The OVF obviously gets no brighter or darker depending on the settings, you must actually take a photo and see the results before knowing if your settings are close or not.

Anti-Shake technologies differ in that, Panasonic use Optical Image Stabilization and Pentax use a Body/Sensor Shake Reduction(SR) technology. Personally i think the OIS is better on telephoto lenses and is more effective, however SR seems to help at lower shutter speeds a little more.

Pentax DA II 18-55mm WR Kit Lens actually is only covers a small amount of the focal length that the Leica provides and with an additional 255 Grams of weight, when you include the 55-300mm as well the Panasonic is a nice neat and light package.

I have used the FZ30 for thousands of shots over the last 5 years, but it will now be relegated to the backup camera, overall since owning the K7, there are been little reason to go back to the FZ30, but i will include some comparisons for fun.

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