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Experience with Lumix DMC-ZS30 (TZ40)?

Discussion in 'Panasonic Planet' started by koksie, Jun 12, 2013.

  1. koksie

    koksie Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Willemstad, Curacao
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    Hi Henrik,

    At the moment I am not yet using the TZ40, since I haven't bought it yet. Greenjuice has the predecessor TZ30, his wife the TZ20 and before that he had the TZ5. His posts therefore refer to his TZ30 and not the TZ40. However, since he is comparing his TZ30 to his TZ5, his points are also valid for the TZ40 since that is even newer and therefore an even greater leap from the TZ5.
    I still have the TZ5 and am already quite happy with the quality of the camera, so I am 99% sure that I'm gonna get the TZ40 as soon as my old TZ5 decides that it is over. Only thing that keeps me from taking the plunge righ now is that I have got a very good offer on a second hand Canon G12 and that my TZ5 is still working:).

    That being said, I am using the Panasonic housing with my TZ5 and am very content with it. I can handle all camera controls, use every camera function, the housing is easy to handle both underwater and on the surface and maintenance is very easy. I find the housing to be of great quality, especially for that price. If you are planning to go deeper than 40m, you cannot use is, since it is rated to a max depth of 40m. If you plan to stay above 40m, I would recommend the Panasonic housing for sure.
     
  2. Interceptor121

    Interceptor121 PADI Pro

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    The AD lenses will vignette until 75% of the zone range as the rear of the lens is really small and designed over 7 years ago when you had 35mm equivalent camera on 1/2.5" sensor
    What would be interesting is to test something like the nauticam wetmate for video that restore the air field of view
    Any other traditional inon lens m67/LD/AD will not be effective with this zoom camera and vignette to the point it is not worth using
     
  3. koksie

    koksie Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Willemstad, Curacao
    55
    1
    8
    Hi Greenjuice,

    Thanks again for your posts. I got confirmation from my Uwphoto shop that there are AD lensholders for strobearms available from Inon, so that got that covered.

    On the other hand, they confirmed (like you said) that the mount cannot be easily detached from the base, you have to unscrew the little screws to do that. On their site they claimed that there was a bajonet mount available as well, that would easily unclick the mount from the base, so I emailed them to confirm, but they answered that that was a mistake. So no easily detaching the mount. They also confirmed that the AD lens adapter would be visible, even without the lenses attached. That means that I always have to zoom in a little, which is a shame about the nice 24mm wide-angle. Alternatively, I can unscrew the adapter, but that leaves me with an extra action and an exta item to stow somewhere.
    Furthermore, the AD lenses would lead to a little more vignetting than the M67 lens would, so a little more zooming necessary with AD lenses.
    How far do you have to zoom with your TZ30 and the UCL-330s before the vignetting is gone? Is it 75% like Intercepter mentioned in his post? Seems like rather a lot to me?
    Do you only use those lenses or some wide-angle lenses as well?

    How often do you use the UCL-330s for macro shots, do you shoot a lot of macro/supermacro without them as well? I liked the pics you attached that were taken with the 330s. How do you like the maxro/supermacro without the lenses, does that lead to good pics as well?

    ---------- Post added June 24th, 2013 at 02:26 AM ----------

    Hi Interceptor121,

    Thanks for your post. I don't quite follow your post (not a native English speaker, sorry). As I understand it, you say that in order for the UCL-165AD to work on the TZ40 without vignetting, I need to zoom to 75% of the zoomrange, is that correct? That seems like rather a lot to me. Do you mean that only for AD lenses or also for the UCL-165M67 model?
    Furthermore, you say that all varieties of the Inon lenses will be effectively unusable with the TZ40, am I correct? Strange that both Inon and my UWphoto shop claim they are compatible, although zooming is required. Do you think they claim that for commercial reasons only?

    Do you have hands-on experience with this combination?
     
  4. HenrikBP

    HenrikBP Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: New Mexico
    5,163
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    Koksie; thank you for the clarification. I may wait and let the two of you try out the new TZ40/ZS30. Especially since the price of the camera just jumped up by $50. It sounds like a very nice all-round camera though - and a good price for the housing too.
     
  5. Greenjuice

    Greenjuice Nassau Grouper

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    Hi koksie,
    With the M67 mount on its own without any wet lenses screwed on, there is no vignetting and I can have the full wide angle of the 24mm lens (less a bit for magnification underwater). I need a small amount of zoom with the UCL-330s in position, but it is not much - I don't remember the setting, just a brief pull on the zooom lever. It is not '75%' (which would be 15x on a 0 - 20x scale; on such a scale it would be more like 1.5x - 2x or below 10%). [I might be wrong about this because I am not used to using these methods to describe the amount of zoom.]

    With the UWL-S100 ZM80 lens in place, the camera zoom has to be set to 80mm (35mm film equivalent), which could be considered '3.3x'. This allows me to change from macro to wide angle without having to reset the camera zoom (not much anyway). This lens was released last December and was designed by Inon for use with these ultra-wide compact cameras.

    I shoot about 25% of my macro without these close-up lenses. After having a lot of 'whole nudibranchs' in my collection of photos, I'm now more interested in getting 'parts of nudibranchs' or parts of coral, shrimps, etc.; so this could just be a reflection of my shift in subject interest. You can't get these easily with the basic camera lens. Another advantage of the close-up lenses is the narrowed depth of field for those 'portrait' shots.

    Thinking through the situation for you, I think the AD mounts are going to be a problem with vignetting. It is a problem I don't have with the M67 screw mount. If AD is providing you with the best cost-benefit ratio, then you will have to figure out a solution for this. Remember also that the TZ40 will have a different M67 mount to the TZ5 so if you are hoping to test on the TZ5 before upgrading then you may have to factor in an extra cost to get the conversion to TZ40.

    Interceptor121 has written about his experience with wide lenses on compacts:
    Underwater Video Tips: Using 24mm Compact Cameras | Interceptor121 Underwater Video
     
  6. Interceptor121

    Interceptor121 PADI Pro

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    The AD lenses rear lens is small around half a full M67
    Generally you get vignette until around 70mm with an AD lens on a 24mm non zoom camera. With a zoom camera you could get more as the lens is further away
    This in itself is not a major problem as you shoot at telephoto end with a close up lens however if you take video and zoom out you may accidentally end up with a black corner
    With an M67 lens you get no or little vignette you can leave the lens there in a close up scene with the whole zoom range
    I also have to correct myself as in my article I wrote that a wetmate supports the full zoom whilst in reality it really works well up to 50mm after that the camera focus mechanism in water gets really hard
     
  7. Greenjuice

    Greenjuice Nassau Grouper

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    Sincere apologies koksie. I have just realised that I have slightly misled you about the close-up wet lenses I am using. They are actually a pair of UCL-165s and not the 330s. Sorry about that - my bad!
     
  8. Greenjuice

    Greenjuice Nassau Grouper

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    Here is the photo that doesn't show up in post #4 above

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1372802669.906662.jpg
     
  9. koksie

    koksie Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Willemstad, Curacao
    55
    1
    8
    Wow, Greenjuice, that's a beauty shot! Sorry for my long absence, work has been crazy and my baby-twins take up a lot of time as well. Luckily we had an official holiday today (Day of the Flag) so I had a little time to read up on the subject.

    Don't worry about the 330-165 confusion, I was planning on buying 165's anyway. So with two stacked 165's you are able to get supermacro shots of parts of nudibranches? Sounds great!
    Thanks for the reminder that the mountbase for the TZ5 is not the same as for the TZ40. They are quite pricey, my OW shop asks 80 euro's a piece for them, so I don't want to be over-enthousiastic and buy two of them, especially since my TZ5 doesn't have much life in her left.

    I am really in doubt about AD vs M67, there is a cost advantage there (AD's are widely available second hand, M67 not), however, I understand from you and from Interceptor121 that vignetting is much worse with the AD and of course a am not happy about that. I think I will go the M67 way but not 100% sure yet.

    You mentioned that you have the ZM80 lens as well, are you happy with it? How much extra view angle does it give you, compared to use without it? Can you post some pics you made with it?
    The reason I am asking is that I read online that you NEED a wide-angle lens for decent UW photography and that for these Superzoom camera's there is no decent lens available (the articles were from before the ZM80 I believe).
    I am also a bit anxious about the quality without any lens. Interceptor121's article that you referred to (thanks, interesting read) describes distortion with a bare port. Is the TZ30 you own usable in the housing without any lenses or does the distortion in Interceptor121's article show up in the pics?

    At the moment I am in doubt as to what route to go, TZ40 or a separate camera for UW and a TZ40 for on land. I want to have a small and quality-wise good set-up for UW, with enough WA and supermacro wetlenses available. Some more research to do, it seems:).

    ---------- Post added July 2nd, 2013 at 11:07 PM ----------

    Hi Interceptor 121, thanks for your post. As I understand it, the M67 will have far less vignetting than the AD, is that correct? I am thinking to go the M67 way, although more expensive it is less cumbersome and quality-wise better I feel.

    I read your article that Greenjuice referred to and it made me a bit nervous, seems that there is a fair amount of distortion with a 24mm lens, like the TZ40's. Does that mean that it is necessary to always use a lens like the ZM80? That would make the whole set-up more expensive and heavier, bigger etc. I read online, I think it was on Deepshots.co.uk, that a WA lens is quite necessary for making nice UW shots of divers, reefs etc. Since the WA options on the TZ40 are limited to only the ZM80, I am starting to wonder wether it is the right choice for me.

    I want to have a small, compact set (no seperate lenses/body type of camera like the Oly Pen series, no big compacts like the G15) that I can travel with easily but makes great UW shots. I read that the Somy RX100 and the Canon S110 are supposed to be good. I suspects that those are about the size and weight of the TZ40. What is your opinion on those, are they better than the TZ40?
     
  10. Interceptor121

    Interceptor121 PADI Pro

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    TZ40 is a zoom camera you will have to trade off something in water and that is the ambient light wide shots without strobes
    A camera like the RX100 the S110 or the Panasonic LX7 (I have the 1 and 3 and a Canon S95) are better for underwater but on land they lack the zoom you need as they all stop around 90-125 mm

    It is true about pincushion distortion at 24mm but on the other hand you only notice after you have read my article. I am very specific when it comes to image quality and my articles are sometimes an eye opener for things that never get noticed...
     

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