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Experience with Lumix DMC-ZS30 (TZ40)?

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

  1. Divealpha

    Divealpha Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Evje, Norway
    176
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    I've used the TZ-10 for some years, as is in original DMC housing, and was looking for a new rig,one of the reasons was that my wife was not satisfied with her Intova, and that I also wanted to take a step further, getting better quality shots. Stumbled over the first PL-1 offer,but luckily waited... I ended up with the Olympus PM-1 offer x 2 :)
    Even if it's some years old, the sensor is bigger than most compacts, and as far as I can see, superior in quality. Due to my work, I have not tried it under water yet, but For me, the size of the housing is not an issue. Not as long as I will use a tray and strobe with it. Guess it will be nearly weightless in the water...at least not heavy. My wife fell in love with the first, so I had to buy my own.... A system camera will be something to grow with, and the lenses can be used topside anyhow, also with coming newer MFT models. The picture quality is not far away from my old Nikon SLR... and we have already bought the 60 mm macro, (discounted at Bluewater P), and the 40-150mm for topside use. One of the things I missed most on my Lumix, was the raw format, and using full tele did not give my good results(to much water between).
    We haul our diving equipment as well when travelling, so a few kilos more does not matter.,,,,we just bring less t-shirts :)
    You will have vast possibilties with the PM-1.

    Don't think you can get a better rig for usd 500,- .......but there is always some drawbacks, no wider angle than 12 or 14mm, but then you will have to get a port as well, adding to weight and luggage...


    Sent from my GT-P7500 using Tapatalk 2
     
  2. HenrikBP

    HenrikBP Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: New Mexico
    5,163
    865
    113
    I keep telling myself it's a luxury "problem" :)

    In general I consider myself an "underwater tourist", not an underwater photographer. I dive for the dive, and also enjoy snapping pictures, but the diving is my priority. I also do some technical diving with doubles, slung bottles etc. where a big camera rig would be more than I'd want to have with me. So ideally, my UW camera wish list is manageable size along with the ability to grow or "compact" the system depending on the diving I'm doing.

    So for me an "enthusiast" compact camera is probably the way to go. I do like to tinker with my photographs, and would like to be able to shoot RAW for that reason. Finances kinda dictates a less expensive "brand" type housing, but I would like to be able to add wet lenses.

    I'm crossing my fingers that Panasonic will come out with a housing for the Lumix DSC-LF1, as it seems to hit most of my bullet points. Time will tell.
     
  3. Interceptor121

    Interceptor121 PADI Pro

    4,313
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    No the lens that would work with the pen is the traditional UWL-H100
    The Sony rx100 beat the e-pm1 and e-pl1/5
    I have now a panasonic lx7 and that beats those two
    There are few advanced compact that beat those cameras for still and for video plenty
    Obviously none of the zoom camera can compete with any mirrorless but there are other options
    If you shoot video definitely go for a compact for stills a newer mirrorless is good too but there is not a huge gap when you look at the rx100 especially for wide angle
     
  4. koksie

    koksie Angel Fish

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

    thanks for your info and point of view. I am more ore less on the same page with the wanting to upgrade/get better quality images. My concerns of size and weight are not really for UW but more for travelling and topside.
    I prefer to travel light, when going on holiday it is never for diving only, so the rest of the weeks I don't want to be weighed down with gear. For diving, I bring my mask, computer and photogear only, the rest of my divegear I leave at home. Since flying is the only way to get of the island and excess baggage prices are ridiculously high, I prefer to keep my set-up as light and small as possible.

    So there is the old see-saw again, between quality and size/weight:).

    ---------- Post added July 8th, 2013 at 05:17 PM ----------

    True, it is a luxury "problem" indeed! It is what the Germans call so nicely "Die Quahl der Wahl":), the pain of choice, although as with most German proverbs, it is not literally translatable.

    I do like to take pictures UW, I dive primarily for looking at animals and landscapes and then taking pics of them. The sport of diving itself and the more technical aspects of it don't appeal to me as much. For me diving is primarily about the fish and other lifeforms and secondary about diving. I look at it more like being on a safari: I am there to see the animals and take pics (in that order), not for the driving and walking:).

    Untill now, RAW has never been on my wishlist and actually it still isn't very high on that list. Its more of a nice-to-have but I won't base my camera choice on it. With my current pictures I never post-process them at all. Maybe that's because I can only shoot JPEG, so not much to post-process anyway, but I never felt like sitting down behind my laptop and fiddling with all the pics I took. I just copy them to my laptop, go through them all and keep the ones I like, the rest ends up in the recycle bin. Typically I save only 20 to 30 out of 400 photos because I find them not good enough. I then post some of them on facebook or show them to my little nephews and niece who enjoy them (or like me enough to pretend to enjoy them:)).

    I doubt that Panasonic will come out with a housing for the LF1, they would have announced it by now I think. Unfortunately, other housings will be much more expensive, too expensive for my wallet at least. I am, like you, budget-wise bound to a cheaper housing and I have to say, the Panasonic housing of my TZ5 is small, light-weight, but of solid build-quality and I never had any issue with it (knock on wood).
    Not that many manufacturers have "cheap" housings with their cams, I think Panasonic, Canon and Olympus are the only ones. (Nikon has them but only for their really simple POS cameras afaik.). Other than that, the housings are built by other brands and much more expensive (and better quality I believe, but the Panasonic quality is good enough for me).

    ---------- Post added July 8th, 2013 at 05:53 PM ----------

    Hi Interceptor121,

    thanks for your post, usefull as always. Aha, it is the UWL-H100 then, sorry, I misunderstood your previous post.

    The RX100 and LX7 are budget-wise not feasible for me, since their UW-housings are too expensive for my wallet. The RX100 itself is also quite expensive. I cannot afford the set (cam+housing) atm and on top of that, they leave me no money to buy a TZ40 for topside use. The E-PM1 package would enable me to do that, buy the E-PM1 for UW and the TZ40 for topside (because of its small size and zoom).
    Of course extra lenses come into the equasion as well, but they can be bought later on instead of shelling out the money now,

    I don't shoot a lot of video, maybe one clip in two dives, when something nice like a turtle or something comes along. The vast majority is stills.

    To sum it up, financially my options now are:
    - TZ40 plus OW housing (later the UCL-165 and the UWL-S100 ZM80)
    - E-PM1 package + TZ40 (later the UCL-165 and the UWL-H100)
    - second-hand G12+ housing + TZ40

    This has basically to do with my desire to have a nice big zoomlens for topside use, which limits my choices severly and is an extra financial burden. However, we use the zoom a lot. I already looked into other zoomcamera's but they all suffer from the same technical drawbacks, as it to be expected, and the TZ40 seems to be the best of the litter.

    More thinking to do what the best way forward is for me, I might have to drop the travelzoom requirement to enlarge my options. Still, the LX7 and RX100 will be too expensive, since the housing alone will cost more than the TZ40+UW housing. S110+ Canon housing will most like be the new option then, small and relatively cheap, with good IQ underwater (on par with the G15?). I don't know how support for wet macro and WA lenses is though, I have to research some more for that.

    And then there is still the second hand G12+housing I can pick up for a low price, but the quality of the G12 does not impress me, especially for wetlens support and video.
     
  5. Greenjuice

    Greenjuice Nassau Grouper

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    It's a cover for the flat port during travel - cut it out myself from the bottom of a plastic water bottle! The ZM80 is in the larger of the two cardboard boxes. Both 165s fit into the smaller box.
    Here is the rig set up...

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1373371512.087324.jpg

    The float arm was recommended by Inon and I am sure it does help a bit.

    As interceptor121 has said, the most expensive parts of my system are the strobe and L&M video light. It made it easier to swallow when I flooded my housing and lost the camera! When the time comes to upgrade, I hope to be able to retain several of these parts.
     
  6. HenrikBP

    HenrikBP Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: New Mexico
    5,163
    865
    113
    I work with imaging and digital video, so I'm a bit of a "file quality" snob :wink: and while I don't fiddle a lot with my photos, and if so, only the few (very few) that are worth it, it's still nice to have the option to either "save" the one shot that came out half decent, or really "pretty up" one of the good ones. And my photo use is similar to your's: bore my wife or friends :D

    As for the LF1, you're probably right about the housing - not likely to happen. Also, Camera Labs finished their review, and Panasonic chopped *a lot* of the LX7 features from the LF1, making it a lot less attractive: no exposure control when shooting video, no slow-motion video and they also didn't include the touchscreen of the TZ40. I wish someone would hack the Panasonic firmware, similar to the Canons. I suspect that RAW could quite easily be "activated" in the TZ40/ZS30 - wish I had the skills.

    ---------- Post added July 9th, 2013 at 08:12 AM ----------

    That's a very nice and compact rig. Thanks for posting all the photos.
     
  7. koksie

    koksie Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Willemstad, Curacao
    55
    1
    8
    Thanks for the picture Greenjuice, nice and compact. Mine is about the same size, although I use loc-line arms on a simple Fisheye tray. Although I have two strobes, the size is approximately the same because my tray is more compact. I don't use floats now, I find the set-up not heavy at all, despite its negative buoyancy.

    The strobe, video light and UCL-165 lens will most likely be usable with any system you decide to upgrade to later. The UWL-S100 ZM80 probable not, since it is not compatible with that many cameras. However, there is most likely a large second-hand demand for it, so selling it will not be aan issue if it ever comes that far. But still, most of your investment is in re-usable equipment, ensuring an economical set-up.

    ---------- Post added July 9th, 2013 at 05:16 PM ----------

    Hi HenrikBP,

    True, if I have the choice I would like to have RAW of course. Since most reviews mention this as a negative point, I hope that Panasonic will listen and in the next version RAW will be present. There is not that much to improve left spec-wise, and enhancing IQ is not the marketing trick that's going to draw large numbers of customers, so lets hope they add RAW as part of further enhancement. If my old TZ5 stretches longer till next year, I might be able to pick that up although I fear it won't make it that long.

    Hm, sounds like the LF1 is no longer an option then, just as well they don't support it with a housing:).

    ---------- Post added July 10th, 2013 at 12:07 PM ----------

    Hi HenrikBP,

    just saw that there is a cheap housing for the RX100 available: MeiKe RX100 Housing for SONY Cyber-shot RX100/B Cameras. It retails for 190US$. Maybe that makes the RX100 affordable for you? It has a 1 year warranty and a M67 port, so it will be easy to attach wetlenses without the need for an expensive adapter.
    I looked at the manufacturers website, they are Shenzen or HK-based Waterproof Camera Case MK-RX110-Products-Hong Kong Meike Digital Technology Co., Ltd.. The website is not too full of text, as is quite common with Chinese manufacturers:).
    Divervision is located in Taiwan and there is a thread on them on this board: http://www.scubaboard.com/forums/underwater-photography/141808-www-divervision-com-2.html. Seems like a decent company.
     
  8. HenrikBP

    HenrikBP Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: New Mexico
    5,163
    865
    113
    Koksie; Thanks for the RX100 housing idea. From the cursory pictures and description it certainly looks nice enough. I'd have to research it a bit more.

    But I think I may end up going with the TZ40ZS30 though. I would have liked RAW and a brighter lens - even if it meant a shorter zoom range - which is why the LF1 looked so tempting. But seeing how Panasonic neutered that model I'll pass. They'll probably bring out an "LX 9" with all those features at some point :)

    But the ZS30 has some features that are important in my "daily" topside use: high speed video 120 fps @ 720p, remote control from a smartphone, long zoom for the occasional wildlife shot when hiking, small almost pocketable size. The fact that it also has available a decently priced UW housing is a big plus. Thinking about it, I could probably put together an UW package of camera, housing, decent strobe and wide wet lens for less than an RX100 and Nauticam housing :D

    I'll keep you posted if I pull the trigger.
     
  9. koksie

    koksie Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Willemstad, Curacao
    55
    1
    8
    You're welcome of course. I am more and more leaning towards the TZ40 too, but not totally sure yet. I'll have another chat with my girl tomorrow and see what she likes best, after all, she is also going to use it (and travel with the weight:)).

    The video is indeed a big plus, as is the large zoom. Personally, I could have done with less zoom, like 10x or 16x. My current TZ5 is 10x and for most situations, this is enough. Of course, more is better, but if 10x means a much brighter lens than 20x, I would stick with 10x. As I said, RAW is a nice bonus for me, but not a dealbreaker. It is certainly pocketable, I carry my TZ5 in my pocket most of the time and that is even larger than the TZ40.

    Ha ha, I think you are right about the prices of the whole set-up. The Nauticam housing for the RX100 alone is 950$. I have no personal experience with Nauticam, but supposedly they offer very good quality housings. Nevertheless, that price buys a nice strobe+wetlens:). And since I am happy with the quality of my "cheap" Panasonic housing, I see no need to buy a 3x as expensive one.
    The Meike housing is much cheaper though so that might be an option if you decide to go the RX100 route.

    That is also my concern for the E-PM1, the inital investment is cheap, with the 500$ package, but then the pain starts with the extra lenses and the wetlenses and the domeports and the ports and...and....and...I have a feeling I need to invest way more than with the TZ40 set-up before I will have the flexibilty to shoot what I want. So, one more plus for the TZ40, where expenses are much more visible upfront (for me). That has also to do with the fact that by now I know what I would need for the TZ40 to be able to shoot decent WA and macro, whereas with the E-PM1 I am still a bit lost. Especially the WA lenses, both dry and wet, are expensive and I am not sure what all the options are. And then there are te various dry macro lenses, that require the non-lighted version of the housing or wet lenses with their own demands.

    Ah well, I am in no hurry to decide since my TZ5 is still alive. I'll let you know when I made the decsision.
     
  10. HenrikBP

    HenrikBP Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: New Mexico
    5,163
    865
    113
    A cheap housing has certainly done well enough for me for years - my current UW setup is an old Canon SD300 pocket cam in a Canon housing. Not much in the way of options or image quality there. So the TZ40 would no doubt be a big step up for me :)

    And that was my other concern with the E-PM1 - aside from size - the standard lens and port are ok, but it seems that you really need different lenses and ports to really make it shine.

    ---------- Post added July 11th, 2013 at 09:14 AM ----------

    Rookie question: in order to use wet lenses with the Panasonic UW housing for the TZ40, I would need one of these lens adapter bases?

    INON M67 Lens Adapter Base MCTZ35/40 for Panasonic DMW-MCTZ35 / DMW-MCTZ40 Housings

    I don't see a "threaded part" in the picture of that mount, so would I need to add an additional adaptor (LD or AD or M67 thread) to be able to mount lenses? On the spec sheet on the Inon website, it looks like this mount may only be compatible with M67 lenses ...?
     

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