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Old 1st December 2008, 13:15   #3061
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Dpreview judges Panasonic LZ8 as the best P&S under 200$.

Budget Camera Group Test (Q4 2008) Review: 1. Introduction: Digital Photography Review

The nice thing is this camera is available with a bill and 3 year warranty for just 5000 rupees on ebay.in.
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Old 1st December 2008, 13:27   #3062
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simraj View Post
Please avoid opting for a Panasonic Camera- if you stay in India.
Panasonic has numerous distributors and retailers spanning the length and width of India, but they don't have any such similar setup for Customer Care or Service! If I'm not wrong, it's a single digit figure!! If I'm still not wrong, it's a single ONE!!!
My personal experience.
To feel it- buy their products and JHELOO!.
Simraj
Your entitled to your opinion but its a tad misappropriated
  1. Panasonic Cameras sold in India are the only ones still manufactured solely in Japan!.Long term Quality is notches above compared to the same model being manufactuered at factory outlets in other countries.
  2. Panasonic has on site repair and service center in Hyderabad.The staff are helpful in every regard too.
  3. Comments and reviews on quality of the Lumix lens have even outshone the low end DSLR's
  4. The only place that these cameras loose out on final image quality is becasue of the sensors they have used.The one in the well knows models like the FZ8 and Fz18 is the same found in high end point and shoots. Thankfully this has been corrected in the Fz28.
Ive got a FZ-18 and also a S5,the day light pictures i get on both at iso100 setting is way better in the FZ18, but once the ISO is changed above 400, panasonic begins to loose its credibility in noise reduction. The S5 outshines the pana again in indoor and night time photography(wihout a tripod)because of the sensor and ISO advantage.Same results can be achieved if you use a tripod on the FZ18.

All in all , if i was the kind that wanted a superzoom with amazing stability at the telephoto end - the Panasonic FZ28 it would be. If i wanted indoor,night shots and better image processing - it would be the Canon S5.

Note: My comments are based on the 2 that i own in the same price bracket.
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Old 1st December 2008, 13:32   #3063
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^^The high ISO gremlins of panasonics seem to have been fixed of late with the Venus 4 image processing engine. Do check that review. LZ8 has the cleanest output of all the cameras in that shootout by a country mile.
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Old 1st December 2008, 15:57   #3064
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Quote:
Originally Posted by absynthguzzler View Post
  1. Panasonic Cameras sold in India are the only ones still manufactured solely in Japan!.Long term Quality is notches above compared to the same model being manufactuered at factory outlets in other countries.
  2. Panasonic has on site repair and service center in Hyderabad.The staff are helpful in every regard too.
All in all , if i was the kind that wanted a superzoom with amazing stability at the telephoto end - the Panasonic FZ28 it would be. If i wanted indoor,night shots and better image processing - it would be the Canon S5.
thanks mr guzzler, i have a TZ18. your points 1 and 2 add confidence. Not worried really about image quality. I got 3 year warranty also. i needed a pocket camera, with wide angle and a good zoom and something japanese. panny was just right for me. bouth a panny microwave also , which was not planned, when i bought the camera.
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Old 2nd December 2008, 19:59   #3065
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Could someone tell me if it is possible to vary the power on this flash, and how to do it if its possible.

( Crappy flash, I know. But works out better than the crappy built in one )
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The Digital Camera Thread: Questions, discussions, etc.-flash.jpg  

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Old 3rd December 2008, 10:25   #3066
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Looks like an 80's vintage which was meant for film cameras - I have a similar one lying around somewhere. Usually comes with a diffuser lens to reduce spot glare. The hot-shoe could adapt to a variety of camera brands - Minolta, Yashica, Nikon, Canon. With a couple of Vivitar flash unit models, flash duration could be modulated from some camera models.

The pic is of the rear. There should be a light-sensor in the front which senses the amount of light and modulates the flash duration based on the aperture set on the "F/STOP" slider switch, and the Film Speed (ASA/DIN) setting above it. Lower F/STOP would give shorter flash duration, I think. Gurus like Rudra will know for sure.

Crappy? This one is likely to function better than most consumer flashes. Definitely better than built-in ones.

Last edited by DerAlte : 3rd December 2008 at 10:28.
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Old 3rd December 2008, 18:36   #3067
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Yes DerAlte, The front has sort of a sliding switch with can be set to a red(is transparent leading to a sensor), blue (looks opaque) and the third setting M(manual, i guess). I do not have any experience using external flashes.( It reads Vivitar Auto Thyristor 3200A on the front )
I bought it day before yesterday(wasn't a bad deal at 800 rupees) as i needed a better flash for a function, the built in one is biased towards the left side. This one is too bright to use directly, so I ended up coming around the problem with this by bouncing it off the roof and using a paper piece for fill in light. Would be glad to know if i could modulate the flash power on this flash,as it is not possible to bounce it always there is an in camera setting for flash power but it works only with canon TTL flashes.
I tried to experiment with differnt settings on the flash but it didnt seem to make a difference.
The pictures though, are miles ahead of in cam flash pics.

The seller called it crappy, and for the price I assumed it to be crappy too.
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Old 4th December 2008, 13:51   #3068
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@gendarmee, one can make out the effect of different settings only with a photo-sensor and an oscilloscope with single-shot capabilities!!! It is impossible for the human eye to make out the duration of the flash - it is in the milliseconds range. The amount of light from the flash is controlled by the modulating the duration of discharge (through the 'thyristor' inside it). I hope you are not expecting that it will affect the 'brightness' or 'dimness' of the light produced!

You are right, bouncing the light off of roofs & walls is one way of controlling the effective light on the subject. Paper, especially layers of wax paper, is also a reduction method - by diffusing the light.

But trust the settings to work - maybe you could experiment with it at leisure to see what works best for you. As a thumbrule, higher ASA/DIN number (say 400) and lower F-stop number (say 1.2) would give you less light effectively. Keep the front switch in the position that the sensor shows through.

You will not be able to see much difference because it is your CAMERA which is controlling the shutter time to adjust for available light, under conditions under which IT thinks the flash should be fired. If you keep the camera in manual mode and set all the parameters, you will immediately see the difference.
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Old 4th December 2008, 14:00   #3069
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Flash duration will not change, only intensity will change.
For example dialing in a higher F stop number(smaller aperture) will mean that you are telling the flash, aperture is narrow, so fire with more power.
For ASA. If you set ASA to 50, you are telling the flash to dial in more power.
Max power is dialled in by setting F-stop to the smallest aperture and ASA to 50.
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Old 4th December 2008, 15:59   #3070
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@tsk-bhai, a gas-discharge tube cannot be modulated for intensity ('brightness'). Once fired, the intensity reaches it's natural/design max in a short while (nano-seconds), reduces exponentially and stops when either the voltage across the xenon tube is too low to sustain the arc (uncontrolled stop), or current / discharge is shut off before that (controlled stop). Check here for the detailed explanation.

The 'amount of light' sensed by the film / image sensor is sigma of incident light (whatever the aperture allows through) over the time that the shutter is open. So, longer the flash fires, the more the light that is recorded - hence brighter image.
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Old 4th December 2008, 16:15   #3071
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Oh ok... I guess as long as the flash duration is less than shutter open duration, this can be done(which is the case mostly as flash discharge is of the order of microseconds, and shutter is open for alteast a millisecond).
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Old 5th December 2008, 00:13   #3072
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DerAlte View Post
But trust the settings to work - maybe you could experiment with it at leisure to see what works best for you. As a thumbrule, higher ASA/DIN number (say 400) and lower F-stop number (say 1.2) would give you less light effectively. Keep the front switch in the position that the sensor shows through.
You will not be able to see much difference because it is your CAMERA which is controlling the shutter time to adjust for available light, under conditions under which IT thinks the flash should be fired. If you keep the camera in manual mode and set all the parameters, you will immediately see the difference.
I exhausted 2 sets of alkaline batteries, playing around with the different settings on the flash unit, but the brightness/strength of the flash didnt seem to change much in consecutive photographs, used manual mode for it ( in fact i always use manual mode as my cam has a problem with metering by itself)
All pics seemed to have the same amount of flash, so was frustrated and posted here for help
The more i use the external flash, the more i want to get my self the canon TTL flash.

Last edited by gendarmee : 5th December 2008 at 00:14.
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Old 5th December 2008, 01:38   #3073
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DerAlte View Post
@tsk-bhai, a gas-discharge tube cannot be modulated for intensity ('brightness'). Once fired, the intensity reaches it's natural/design max in a short while (nano-seconds), reduces exponentially and stops when either the voltage across the xenon tube is too low to sustain the arc (uncontrolled stop), or current / discharge is shut off before that (controlled stop). Check here for the detailed explanation.

The 'amount of light' sensed by the film / image sensor is sigma of incident light (whatever the aperture allows through) over the time that the shutter is open. So, longer the flash fires, the more the light that is recorded - hence brighter image.
what is the length of the arc gap is controlled. i don't know how, but when i select low flash strength in my S2 IS, the flash really appears to be a small spark. is it our eyes taking the sigma of the flash?
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Old 5th December 2008, 16:12   #3074
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@gendarmee, which camera are you using this flash with? Are you getting white saturation patches at any of the settings? Or are the pictures OK at any setting on the flash? Could you post pictures taken at extreme settings of the flash (as tsk explained)?

@vivekiny2k, sure the gap can be controlled, but that method will be way too costly and impractical for consumer equipment. In your S2 IS, the low flash setting charges the capacitor to a lower voltage (charging cuts off early). For the same discharge duration, the spark produced is 'smaller'. In the older external flash units, the capacitor would always charge to full; only the trailing edge of the discharge was controlled.
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Old 6th December 2008, 08:36   #3075
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Guess who wins the Ultra-Compact camera race DPreview?

Joint winners: Canon SD 790 IS and Panasonic DMC-FX37

Slim Camera Group Test (Q4 2008) Review: 15. Conclusions and ratings: Digital Photography Review

Although they are joint winners, one look at the specs and it is clear that Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX37 is the real choice with 25-125mm range compared to 35-105mm range of SD790.

BTW, I bought the FX-36 few months back, the FX-37 has better tele-zoom (5X instead of 4X) and slightly better aperture.
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