Panasonic DMZ-FZ20, sleeper?

Discussion in 'Panasonic Lumix' started by Bill Crocker, Mar 29, 2005.

  1. Bill Crocker

    Bill Crocker Guest

    What do all of you think of the Panasonic DMZ-FZ20, is it a sleeper?

    Ok, I know, it's not a "PRO" camera, or a "DSLR", and it's only 5MP, but
    sometimes 5MP is plenty! Its the other features it has, above, and beyond
    that of many out there, that caught my attention!

    Having a Leica lens, f/2.8 is impressive. It being a 12X optical zoom, and
    maintaining it's f/2.8 throughout it's range, is something to take note of.
    Add to that, it's image stabilized too!

    I won't go into all the details here, as you can look them up, using Google.

    Right now, Circuit City has a $30.00 Instant Rebate, and a $40.00 Mail-In
    rebate, bring the price down to a reasonable $529.99. Their offer is good
    until April 2'nd, 2005.

    Bill Crocker
    Bill Crocker, Mar 29, 2005
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  2. Bill Crocker

    RHinNC Guest

    It is really in a class by itself. I feel what it offers in relation to the
    size makes it a very hard to beat combination.
    RHinNC, Mar 29, 2005
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  3. I was pretty high on these specs, too, but it was said the sensor is not up
    to snuff: pretty noisy at ISO 400.

    Check out for the samples.
    Dave R knows who, Mar 30, 2005
  4. Thinking about this still: Just checked the price: $550 on average. As the
    OP said, you're not going to get that kind of focal range and that speed of
    lens for that price anywhere else. So indoors or night shooting is not it's
    strong suit, but you can get another $300 camera for this and still spend
    less than you would to get those lens specs on a DSLR. I'd love to try one
    for a week.
    Dave R knows who, Mar 30, 2005
  5. Bill Crocker

    RHinNC Guest

    I had to hold the camera in my hand, I read the reviews as well about it
    being big and bulky but it fits my hands very well.

    Also the proprietary batterys I do not care for, but found them for about
    half what Panasonic wants (I bought 2 spares) and they last as long if not
    longer than the OEM batteries.

    Be sure and check this out as well on the dpreview site:

    Go back a few months and read what others who own the camera say.

    RHinNC, Mar 30, 2005
  6. Bill Crocker

    Bill Spanger Guest

    I have one and I recommend that you don't buy one.
    It seems that these are selling faster than Panasonic can produces them,
    I'd like to have a second one but ya'll keep buying them faster than they're
    made and the price stays high and goes higher. So, buy something else,
    tell your friends to buy anything except the FZ20. That's for everyone, don't
    buy an FZ20, we need to have the supply surpass the demand to bring the
    price back down to what I paid for mine in Oct '04.
    Remember the noise level makes the FZ20 unusable in any condition except
    full bright sunlight, the shutter release delay can be measured with a calendar,
    the internal flash is extremely weak and it pre-flashes every time which
    confuses slave strobes, the tripod mount isn't centered in the lens centerline,
    and that over a pound it weights way too much for the modern foto enthusiast.
    Avoid the FZ20 like the plague!
    <There, that'll do it.>
    Bill Spanger, Mar 30, 2005
  7. Bill Crocker

    Bill Crocker Guest

    How long have you been waiting? They say it can take up to 8 weeks. I've
    never had any problems with rebates from Circuit City. Here is some contact
    info, that may be of help:

    If you have any additional questions, please contact the Circuit City Rebate
    Center at (888) 213-9761 or visit us online at

    Thank you for shopping at Circuit City.

    Items that have been returned are not eligible for this rebate. You will be
    unable to reply to this email because it has been automatically generated,
    please direct any inquiries to the Circuit City Rebate Center at (888)
    Bill Crocker, Mar 30, 2005
  8. Bill Crocker

    Eric Babula Guest

    Thanks for your comments! I'm gonna keep reading the reviews and forums,

    Eric Babula
    Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention
    of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body.
    But rather, it’s to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up,
    totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, 'Wow! What a ride!!!'
    Eric Babula, Mar 30, 2005
  9. Bill Crocker

    Eric Babula Guest

    This is precicely one of the major reasons I'm NOT going with the dSLR.
    I don't want to have to carry the camera PLUS 3 lenses around (not to
    mention the backpack with water, munchies, ponchos, etc.) while I'm
    hiking up a mountain at Glacier National Park, or wherever.

    So, it looks like I'm down to just a few cameras on my shortlist. With
    these cameras, I can basically get 38-432mm shots, all in one nice,
    compact little camera! If I feel I need, I could get a wide angle
    attachment - but that would be only one extra lens to carry around.

    Thanks for the insight, Siddhartha!
    Eric Babula, Mar 30, 2005
  10. Bill Crocker

    irwell Guest

    Me too, the FZ15 is all that the FZ20 is minus one or two
    featurs such as no sound when recording video. Mine was only
    $350 three months ago.
    irwell, Mar 30, 2005
  11. Eric Babula wrote:
    - image quality
    - AF assist
    - perhaps a more solid build

    We have an FZ20 (well, my wife does) and I'm very tempted to get one for
    myself! I'm also tempted by the newer Panasonic FZ5 (because it's smaller
    and lighter), and possibly by the Nikon 8800 but only because it would
    match my Nikon 8400 in menus, batteries etc.

    I'd be inclined to say - don't wait, get one while you still can! (No,
    I'm not on commission).

    David J Taylor, Mar 30, 2005
  12. Eric Babula wrote:
    ... and time to visit your local camera store and actually see how the
    ergonomics of each camera suit you.

    David J Taylor, Mar 30, 2005
  13. Bill Crocker

    Eric Babula Guest

    You are correct, Bob. Of these reviews, it seems that the FZ20 is more
    preferred by the 'expert' reviewers. I would definitely agree. But, get
    to the meat of each review, and I've found things that bug me about each

    Now, go to the forums and read plenty to find out what the actual owners
    of these cameras think, after taking 2,000 shots or more. I have started
    this part of my research, but haven't read enough to tell you, one way
    or the other, which camera is truly better for which types of
    photography. Remember, we all have different photography goals/needs.
    For instance, one might be really into macro photography (indoor or
    outdoor), while another just wants to take landscape shots, while a
    third might just want a good camera to take photos of their kids. These
    three people might or might not value the same things in the camera they

    Also, before making a decision, ya gotta go to a camera shop and
    actually hold one in your hands, and play with it a bit. I've held the
    Z5 and played with it a bit, but haven't played with the FZ20, yet
    (didn't know about it when I went into the shop). I'm hoping it's not as
    heavy/bulky as reported, cuz I like the fact that it has a Leica lens (=
    great quality). There are a couple other things I'm leery about with the
    FZ20, also, that I hope aren't as big of a deal when I actually get the
    camera in hand.

    I'll have to compare the two cameras side-by-side. Well, I'll probably
    throw in the FZ5, too, just as another option to look at. Another one
    I'll probably entertain is the Nikon Coolpix 8800, though it only has
    10x zoom, and is more expensive because of the 8MP. Should I consider
    the Canon PowerShot S1 IS, too? Lower MP - haven't really looked into
    this one.
    Eric Babula, Mar 30, 2005
  14. Eric Babula wrote:
    I hear it does nice videos, takes AA batteries and CF cards - if those are
    key features for you. Some people find it too small to hold comfortably.

    David J Taylor, Mar 30, 2005
  15. Bill Crocker

    Eric Babula Guest

    Yeah, I'm not sure if I want to drop to "only" 3MP, either. I'll look
    into the Canon, though, just for peace of mind, to know that I did my
    due diligence.

    I don't really care much about the video aspects. I have a decent enough
    video camera, if I want that.

    I do care much about the macro capabilities. I want to take great shots
    of my coin collection, along with other things. I've been seeing some
    wonderful macro shots of different things, and think that might be a fun
    hobby to pursue.

    I also have decided I want at least 10x optical zoom. I like the 12x
    zoom of the FZ20 and Z5.

    So, right now, I think I'm down to looking at:

    * Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z5
    * Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ5
    * Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ20
    * Nikon Coolpix 8800
    * Canon PowerShot S1 IS

    Honestly, I'm betting I'd be relatively happy with any of the above.
    Like I said, it's a matter of figuring out the Cons of each camera, and
    deciding which list of Cons I can live with.
    Eric Babula, Mar 30, 2005
  16. Bill Crocker

    Eric Babula Guest

    Gonna have to see it in person, then. Not sure if I want to drop to 3MP,
    though. I was kinda being sold on the 5MP.

    Eric Babula
    Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention
    of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body.
    But rather, it’s to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up,
    totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, 'Wow! What a ride!!!'
    Eric Babula, Mar 30, 2005
  17. Eric Babula wrote:
    For some people (or applications) 3MP is enough, but leaves you no margin
    if you want 10 x 8 inch prints. 4 - 5 MP is, I feel, a better general

    David J Taylor, Mar 30, 2005
  18. Bill Crocker

    Eric Babula Guest

    That's my impression/understanding, also. I may want to do 8x10 prints
    occasionally, so I'm probably sticking to the 5MP minimum. Not ruling
    out the Canon completely, yet - it's just at the bottom of my shortlist,
    right now.
    Eric Babula, Mar 30, 2005
  19. Bill Crocker

    Ron Hunter Guest

    Unless you plan to spend in the neighborhood of $1000 on the camera in
    order to get a larger sensor, you might do well to stay at 5mp or below
    because of the noise.
    Ron Hunter, Mar 31, 2005
  20. Bill Crocker

    Ron Hunter Guest

    Tripods are cheaper than IS....
    Ron Hunter, Mar 31, 2005
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