Canon S2 IS or Panasonic FZ20

Discussion in 'Panasonic Lumix' started by mehere, Dec 3, 2005.

  1. mehere

    mehere Guest

    Hi all

    Looking at choosing either the Canon S2 IS or the Panasonic FZ20.

    At the moment I am leaning towards the Canon as it is more compact and
    somewhat lighter. My current old Olympus is somewhat heavy and bulky which
    is what I want to get away from.

    The Panasonic has extra 2x zoom (Canon 10x and Panasonic 12x) but I don't
    think that makes any real difference in my view.
    Both have optical image stabilisers
    Both are 5MP
    The Panasonic apparently has a better lens - anyone care to comment?
    The Panasonic by my pricing is about $80 to $90 AUD more, except have found
    one shop today which has the Panasonic $50 AUD cheaper - what the?
    From samples I have seen image quality appears very close - but want your
    Panasonic has the facility to add external flash but I can't see me getting
    that far into Photography. If I do I think I'd be looking at getting a
    replacement camera (SLR) in the future.

    Have read dpreview ( comments and also info on
    livingroom ( and both appear to be
    said to be good cameras for price (not perfect of course), however user
    reviews and overall reviews from online price guides and other similar
    websites seem to put the Canon at around 4.5 stars (out of 5) and the
    Panasonic at around 4 stars.

    Any thoughts anyone?


    mehere, Dec 3, 2005
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  2. mehere

    SleeperMan Guest

    Corection... S2 has 12X zoom...old S1 did have only 10 x one...

    regarding lens i wouldn't comment too much, except that Canon lens can't be
    that last, this is not some cheap camera.
    Overall i can't compare with Panasonic, but i did have S1 and now S2 and i
    think that it's just what you can get for this money. If you want more, you
    must buy SLR at twice price or more. S2 has overall great improvements over
    old S1.
    I think what it will decide is which one you like better, then maybe what
    kind of batteries use -- S1 has AA NiMH cells, while FZ20 has LiIon, then
    you'll notice that S2 has way better movie mode ---640x480 at 30 fps and
    stereo sound. Both have motion JPEG mode, so here is no space saving one.
    This means about 8 minutes of movie on 1G card using Canon. Sure, FZ20 has
    possibility of connecting extra flash, but, as you is when SLR
    comes in... when really needed, slave flash can be used on S2 (tried this
    with great success). S2 has macro from 0 cm, and from i quickly read on
    dpreview, S2 is quicker - power on..4 secs vs 1.3 as an example...

    In short, are you sure that you didn't compare FZ20 and S1 instead of S2?
    SleeperMan, Dec 3, 2005
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  3. []


    The Panasonic FZ20 has the edge on image quality and has manual focussing,
    the Canon has better movies. My wife has the Panasonic FZ20 and is
    delighted with it. I have the more compact (and cheaper) Panasonic FZ5,
    which drops the manual focussing and flash hot-shoe, but that hasn't
    worried me as I don't want to drag round a bag full of accessories. Don't
    be put off by the brand names - some people think that /only/ Canon make
    good cameras, but that simply isn't so.

    All three are excellent cameras, to be honest, and perhaps if you can get
    into a photo shops and compare which feels better - which suits your hands
    better - that might help make the choice. If size and weight are
    important, perhaps look at the FZ5 as well as the FZ20.

    By the way: there has been past discussion comparing these cameras on the

    David J Taylor, Dec 3, 2005
  4. mehere

    mehere Guest

    Yep did compare to S2 - your right I got the 12x mixed up with the S1 10x -
    thanks for clarifying.

    Actually I had the comparison discussion at a local camera store and the (so
    called) professional was trying to tell me the FZ20 is better than the S2 -
    I was not convinced though from samples seen.

    Your comments aid my leaning towards the S2 - cheers

    mehere, Dec 3, 2005
  5. mehere wrote:

    That sort of thing annoys me a little - the cameras are /different/ rather
    than one being "better" than the other. Given a specific set of
    photographic aims or needs, then perhaps "better suited" or "worse suited"
    might be applicable.

    David J Taylor, Dec 3, 2005
  6. mehere

    mehere Guest

    "David J Taylor"
    Thanks David

    I had a look in a local photo shop and that was the FZ20 and the S2 and I
    preferred the compactness and feel of the S2. Did not see the FZ5 so could
    not compare that which is a shame, is there much od a size and weight
    difference between the FZ20 and FZ5? I'll see if I can find a local shop
    that has one so I can check it out.

    Also I did not find any info on the zlr group - maybe my local ISP does not
    have past news availabel - might try google groups later


    mehere, Dec 3, 2005
  7. mehere

    John H Guest

    Having just gone through the same selection process (to
    replace an Olympus C211UZ) I settled on the Canon primarily because of
    the superior movie mode. So far I have been quite happy with it. BTW
    the zoom specs are the other way around with the Canon being 12X. I
    gather that the optics of the Panasonic are somewhat better but if I
    were really looking for superior optics I think I would consider a

    Here are some sample landscape pictures from the S2
    John H, Dec 3, 2005
  8. mehere

    SleeperMan Guest

    agreed. I think so, too. But, i still have Canon. Not because think it's
    the best, but it's good enough for me. Before my S1 i considered a few
    models, including Oly /$= UZ...which went out of my selection because it
    didn't have Stabilizer, which is a must when having so big zoom. too has manual focusing, maybe panasonic one has easier to set,
    that i can't tell.

    It's just...when deciding, i think he should choose which he prefer most,
    and i mean by the look, too. If you have "ugly" camera, then it's jsut not
    ok for you... right? no matter what good it is...
    SleeperMan, Dec 3, 2005
  9. mehere

    mehere Guest

    Above $400?

    Best price I can get is $642 plus postage - it will be a while before it
    comes down that far. Do you know a place to get the S2 cheaper?

    mehere, Dec 4, 2005
  10. mehere

    Paul Allen Guest has the S2 IS for $455. They're not normally the rock-bottom
    price, but they're often close to it.

    Paul Allen
    Paul Allen, Dec 4, 2005
  11. mehere wrote:
    There's a link here which has the Panasonic FZ5 at $322:

    and points out the extras you need with the Canon e.g. to use filters.

    David J Taylor, Dec 4, 2005
  12. mehere

    mehere Guest

    I should have been clearer - $AUD :) as per my first post :)

    Cheers all
    mehere, Dec 9, 2005
  13. I don't know if anyone answered your original question about zooming in
    movie mode, but the FZ20 (and follow-on FZ30) can zoom in movie mode,
    since zooming is mechanical, driven by a ring on the lens barrel. I'm
    not sure about the FZ5, however (which uses a motor-driven zoom).

    Daniel Silevitch, Dec 9, 2005
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