Olympus C8080 or Panasonic DMC-FZ20?

Discussion in 'Panasonic Lumix' started by Richard, Dec 6, 2004.

  1. Richard

    Richard Guest

    Well, I had my mind made up that I was going to get an Olympus C8080
    but someone told me to look at the Panasonic DMC-FZ20 first. While
    the OLY definitely seems more robust and has greater resolution, I am
    intrigued by the large zoom range with image stabilization on the
    Panasonic. I am not sure I would use the extra zoom range but it
    would certainly be nice to have it available! Have any of you used
    both cameras enough to offer an opinion as to which one takes better
    pictures or is more forgiving? I will likely take more pictures of
    grandchildren than anything else but the camera will travel on
    vacations as well.

    Richard
     
    Richard, Dec 6, 2004
    #1
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  2. Richard,
    I can tell you what I like and dislike about the Olympus 8080, but I have no
    clue about the Panasonic DMC-FZ20.

    I have owned the Olympus 8080 for 4 Months now, and have gone through it
    pretty well. It was actually my 3rd choice, but after reading reviews and
    going over the details, controls, I chose to purchase it. I take it you know
    your digital cameras or else you wouldn't be looking at this model.

    Some of the things I like about the Olympus 8080;
    Of course you know the lens is non interchangeable, which I prefer, the
    range coverage is adequate and dust free. Very fast start-up times. Well
    designed easy to get to controls. Electronic view finder. Long battery
    life. Fast zoom and focus. Resolution excellent! Color balance excellent,
    but read below. These are some of the key things that I like about the
    camera.

    Now for some of the things I overlooked.
    I wished the viewing in different light conditions were compensated in the
    view finder or monitor as in the Canon digitals, where you could quickly see
    the color balance at a glance. With the Olympus 8080, you don't get to see
    the color balance until the shot is taken, but I'll have to say the
    correction is done well. Scares me that I can't view it first.

    As with most digital cameras, you can change ISO at will. This is very
    important in low light situations. (Oh btw, a monopod is a must! The
    Monfrotto 676B with the 3232 tilt head is a perfect choice). You have the
    compensation dial to increase or decrease the stops which comes in handy.
    However the max on the ISO is only at 400. I wished they could have pushed
    it to 800 or 1600. But the resolution at 400 is excellent, so they must
    have done this for that reason. For most stage lighting it's good enough.

    Olympus software picture package; junk it!
    The provided XC card; junk it! The camera accepts both XC and Compact Flash,
    but defaults to the XC card unless you pull it out. Buy a compact flash card
    and leave the XC slot empty.

    The provided lens hood will cause vignetting at wide angle. They won't tell
    you this, I found out the hard way.

    The normal complaints, don't need all the bells and whistles like; portrait
    mode, sports mode, night mode. I wish they would omit these nonsense
    buttons. When you get to the high end of digital cameras, the photographer
    should know how to use the camera to compensate for these situations.

    Overall, it's a user's camera that will take a beating, takes excellent
    quality photographs.
    Controls you can learn in one evening. Electronic view finder is awesome,
    and to toggle back and forth is a breeze and a must.

    Any more questions about the Olympus 8080, feel free to email me.
    -tom
     
    Tom Nakashima, Dec 6, 2004
    #2
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  3. Richard

    Terry King Guest

    Comment: I have the older Olympus C2100UZ with image stabilization. I
    LOVE the 10:1 zoom, as I love to shoot faces without imposing on people,
    and closeups of people during indoor events such as musical performers
    and stage plays. I used to shoot with 400 film with a Nikon and long
    zoom. I never had enough light or could hold the camera still enough.
    The Image Stabilization is really important in those cases.

    When I buy the next camera with more pels it will be a FZ20 or a
    Canon S1-IS, or one of the Konica Minolta Z2 Dimage (or Z3) or A1 or A2.
    It depends on your budget and your degree of need for steady long zoom
    in low light.

    For a 10:1 example, look at:
    http://terryking.us/photos/tunisianstudies1004/
    where among the long shots you will see several face shots of kids on a
    class trip. Those were all taken from 20+ feet away, and none of them
    knew I took the shot at the time.

    For low-light stuff, see:
    http://www.printroom.com/ghome.asp?domain_name=terryking
    which are a lot of performance shots. I never could do this kind of
    stuff with earlier Nikons without Image Stabilization.

    It depends on what kind of shot/environment is important to you.

    But, man, I love that 10:1 !!!
     
    Terry King, Dec 6, 2004
    #3
  4. Richard

    Robert Guest

    Just a few words about the 8080. I also had one for about four months and
    took it back for a return.
    It had several problems but it might be because I had a defective unit.

    1 Several areas with multiple defective pixels.
    2 Focus difficulties with approximately 5% of the photos not focused
    correctly.
    3 Factory settings for contrast seemed to be light,, pictures looked
    underexposed.
    4 Factory settings for saturation too low.
    5 Flash would not pop up most of the time, required assistance with a
    finger to open.
    6 Cover over hot shoe was lost with normal usage.

    Saving up to get the canon 20d now.
     
    Robert, Dec 11, 2004
    #4
  5. I have an 8080, and am generally well pleased. From what I read, Oly traded
    off a large zoom range for better image quality, which is what I want. Oly
    shortcomings:

    1. No image stabilization, which is nice on this class of camera.
    2. Excessively long shutter lag. This is really the only serious
    shortcoming in my opinion.
     
    Dick Frederick, Dec 11, 2004
    #5
  6. Richard

    Robert Guest

    Flash is supposed to pop open with a button, it didn't work. Had to use a
    fingernail to assist while pushing button.
     
    Robert, Dec 12, 2004
    #6
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