Panasonic FZ3 and FZ20

Discussion in 'Panasonic Lumix' started by Tony, Jan 1, 2005.

  1. Tony

    Tony Guest

    I'm trying to decide between these cameras. I can find the difference in
    spec (and experience the difference in size and weight) easily enough but I
    am interested in image quality. The pics I see on review sites seem pretty
    good from both cameras but they mostly seem to be taken in bright light.
    Anyone got any pictures from either of these cameras taken at 200 ASA, which
    is what I seem to need quite often? I'd also be very interested to hear
    comments from anyone who has tried both.

    Obviously the FZ20 will be better at long zoom because of the larger
    aperture, but the pics where I run out of light usually seem to be more at
    the wide angle end.
    Tony, Jan 1, 2005
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  2. Tony

    Bob Williams Guest

    All of the Panasonic FZ series cameras have an aperture of f 2.8 over
    the entire zoom range!
    That is quite an achievement.
    The FZ15 should also be a contender, 4MP and about $100 cheaper than the
    Bob Williams
    Bob Williams, Jan 2, 2005
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  3. You might also want to ask this in the new newsgroup:

    (I only have the FZ20)

    David J Taylor, Jan 2, 2005
  4. Tony

    Bruce Graham Guest

    my reading of the spec for the FZ3 cf. FZ20 is that the small
    physical size for the FZ3 is obtained mainly by a significantly smaller
    sensor than in the FZ20. That is offset pretty much by fewer pixels on
    the FZ3, so if all else was equal (never true, but might be more or less
    true given the Venus II family heritage) the 100% crop noise performance
    of the two cameras might be similar, but a downsampling of the FZ20 image
    to the FZ3 resolution would be better than than the straight FZ3. This
    is all armchair speculation on my part and I would be interested in real
    comparison data also.

    I think has higher ISO samples for both cameras. I've
    looked at so much I'm pretty confused now.
    Bruce Graham, Jan 2, 2005
  5. Tony

    Tony Guest

    Where do you find information on the sensor size?
    I have been looking at some sample pictures on Steve's Digicams review site.
    For a more valid comparison I re-sampled all the images to 4000 x 3000
    pixels. On the basis of that, the 200 ASA noise performance of the FZ3 and
    the FZ20 is extremely similar, but the FZ20 has, not surprisingly, slightly
    higher resolution. The resolution difference would probably be more obvious
    with lower ASA settings.

    I have rejected a Konica-Minolta Z3 because of noise and lack of sharpness
    at 200 ASA. Looking at the few 200 ASA pictures on the web, I think I can
    do better with the FZ3 or FZ20. But I may not approach the performance
    of my old 2 MP Canon, even when re-sampled to the same size. From
    looking at a lot of reviews, I notice that the noise performance of
    megazooms tends to come in for criticism. I wonder if megazooms have
    smaller sensors than normal zoom cameras in the same price range.
    It's not just noise, I think noise reduction software in the camera
    contributes to lack of sharpess at high ASA as well.
    Tony, Jan 2, 2005
  6. Tony

    Bruce Graham Guest

    from Panasonic web site, the FZ3 sensor size is not given, but it does
    give the focal lengths of the lenses.
    FZ3 f = 4.6-55.2mm (35mm Equiv.: 35-420mm)
    FZ20 f = 6-72mm (35mm Equiv.: 36-432mm)

    given the field of view is about the same, the sensor size ratio is
    roughly 4.6/6 = 0.76 (same answer from the tele end). This is a linear
    ratio, so square that to get the area ratio ( 0.76 x 0.76 = .58). Now
    the FZ3 has 3.1M pixels and the FZ20 has 5M, the ratio is .62 which is
    close to the .58 estimated above. I had not done this arithmetic before
    you asked, I had just done mental ratios.

    I think the sensor sizes for the FZ3 and FZ20 are in the normal range for
    digicams. Obviously a x3 zoom will cost a lot less than the lens on
    these cameras and will also be a lot smaller, so the big zoom cameras
    will cost more and the sensor will be as small as possible to keep the
    size and cost of the lens down. You can buy a 28-300mm zoom for your
    Canon DSLR giving similar range on a 1.6x body like the Dreb but the size
    and cost is much larger.
    I would expect so, but I'm just a newbie. I know I have to use products
    like Neat Image with care and adjust parameters for each image to avoid
    destroying detail and texture. (I have used this mainly with film scans).
    Bruce Graham, Jan 3, 2005
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