Amazed...see what you think

Discussion in 'Retouching and Post Processing' started by RayGuselli, Sep 14, 2008.

  1. RayGuselli

    RayGuselli

    Oct 18, 2005
    Went to the Zoo today and took my Nikon DSLR with the 70-300vr etc......

    Decided to try to shoot a lion really close as it was such a distance that the Nikon would not pull it near enough...

    Used my Panasonic TZ5 point and shoot....

    Exif info is

    FOCAL LENGTH 472MM WITH DIGITAL ZOOM 250% = 1189MM

    OK, a little bit of levels, curves and sharpening...look what came out....I am really amazed given the camera was just about half the price of the Nikon lens alone!

    Sure, it's not perfect but whereas the Nikon would not get the shot....I got the shot.!!!!

    Best wishes

    Ray

    [​IMG]
     
  2. yeah...
    that IS amazing
    especially since the lumix line has been panned in the tech media because of its OVERZEALOUS in-camera noise reduction
     
  3. You're going to make spending money on expensive cameras a thing of the past ...... nicely done.

    Best,
     
  4. I guess I'm going to go a bit against the grain on this one, but I'm not amazed. I can say that, because I'm also an owner of a Panasonic Lumix FZ20 with Leica designed constant f/2.8 zoom from 36 to 432mm or thereabouts. While an impressive camera in it's own right, it's definitely no DSLR in image quality. The way these zooms get their reach is by their incredibly small sensors, which equates to an incredibly large crop factor. In other words, the Lumix lens is really only 6mm to 72mm, but with the small sensor, it equates to the large zoom. So, while you say your 70-300mm zoom couldn't take that shot, I would argue, it could take that shot even better. Of course it would mean you need to crop the final image to get there, but you'll find the critical sharpness and detail much better on your Nikon because the sensor and photosites are much larger. After all, that's all digital zoom is doing. It's cropping the already cropped image to make you think you're getting more zoom. All you're getting is a heavily cropped and blown up image that lacks any real detail. What I see in the image above is a photo that is so soft it almost looks like a smudge painting. I think you should have stuck with your 70-300VR, which is an incredibly sharp lens for it's class. At 300mm true lens focal length, you're getting a DX crop of 450mm. The detail of your nikon image at 450mm DX crop is already better than that of your Pana 472mm crop. All you need to do then is crop your image even further to get the effect of your digital zoom, and have even better detail to boot.
     
  5. RayGuselli

    RayGuselli

    Oct 18, 2005
    Hi Medic 1210

    Someone else has pointed that out but in not so much detail...your exoplanation is very helpful and I am grateful for it.....

    Guess I will stick to the Nikons!!!

    I must try what you have said though and if i do will post a comparison for you to have a look at and see how it looks....I am sure you will be right

    Very grateful for your comments.....learning all the time!

    Kind regards

    Ray
     
  6. No problem Ray. The Panasonic is a great camera for carrying around with you when you don't want to lug a heavy DSLR and big zoom lens, but you will never get the image quality you get with the DSLR. As far as digital zoom is concerned, you should never use it. It's nothing but a gimmick. It's like opening up an image in photoshop and upsizing it 200 or 300%. Sure, the image looks bigger, but you have not increased any detail by doing so. In fact, you've hurt the detail because it's having to interpolate image data to make the image appear bigger. If you test this out, you will find you can get the same results with your panasonic at full optical zoom, and then cropping the image to the size you got above. To get the actual image size back up to that (remember, digital zoom crops the original, then blows it up to increase the MP count back to camera MP count), you need to upsize the cropped image. Photoshop gives you more leeway and better results when upsizing, so you should find you actually come out better doing it that way. Then, when you do the test with your Nikon and 70-300VR zoom, you'll find that while you have to crop it a very tiny bit more than the Panasonic, you will see much greater detail in the cropped image, since your sensor is much larger.

    There was a bit more rambling in that post that I would like, but I had to type quickly. I hope it makes sense.
     
  7. RayGuselli

    RayGuselli

    Oct 18, 2005
    Thanks again...

    I appreciate the help and advice.....

    I guess your explanation makes a lot of sense....Really need to get into this!

    I think I may have to go back with the 70-300vr and give it a try....

    By the way...any advice re the optimum f stop on the 70-300VR please?

    Would be very grateful for any help.

    Thanks very much

    Ray
     
  8. Most lenses are sharpest about 2 stops down from wide open. So, for the 70-300, you're probably gonna get best sharpness at f/8. I'm not familiar with its MTF chart, so that's just a guess. Of course, at f/8, you're not gonna have the nice background separation you would have wide open, but if you're planning on cropping heavily into the image like the lion's head above, background separation is not much of an issue.
     
  9. RayGuselli

    RayGuselli

    Oct 18, 2005
    Oh boy

    you sure know your stuff....guess I have a lot to learn!!!!!!

    VERY VERY greateful for the help.

    Can't wait to give this a try!!!

    Best wishes

    Ray
     
  10. Nah, not really. Just picked up a lot of stuff from forums like this. Thanks though.