Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ20 - opinions

Discussion in 'Panasonic Lumix' started by DM, Jun 13, 2005.

  1. DM

    DM Guest

    Has anyone used this camera? I would be interested to read any comments
    about it especially in comparison to digital slrs. It's hundreds of
    dollars cheaper, with 12x zoom Leica lens and gets great reviews on
    dpreview and steve's. So, what's the catch?

    DM, Jun 13, 2005
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  2. I have one of these cameras. I bought it last week for those moments when
    silent shutter is critical. It is not in any way equal to a DSLR but in it's
    own right, it is a nice camera. Shooting in jpg mode will produce images I
    find quite hard to manipulate due to the considerable artefacts but in TIFF
    mode it really does produce good pictures.

    The lens is not a "real" Leica, it's made in Asia under licence and has some
    plastic elements. Nothing wrong with that in the context of what the camera
    is but you need to be aware that a name like Leica on a lens is no guarantee
    it is a "real" Leica lens.

    The SD card that comes with the camera is a joke. Three tiff images and it's
    full! As for buying one in substitution for a DSLR? Hmmm. There is a more
    expensive Panasonic model which looks like a leica rangefinder camera. This
    would be a substitute but then a 300D is cheaper!

    Incidentally... The FZ20 is being discontinued. In August the new model
    arrives so right now is a great time to buy one. RRP of just on $1000, I
    bought mine from Photo Continental in Brisbane for $860. I see them in other
    stores for the full retail price so maybe they don't sell all that well here
    in Australia.

    [email protected], Jun 13, 2005
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  3. DM

    k Guest

    | Has anyone used this camera? I would be interested to read any comments
    | about it especially in comparison to digital slrs. It's hundreds of
    | dollars cheaper, with 12x zoom Leica lens and gets great reviews on
    | dpreview and steve's. So, what's the catch?

    not the same as your came3ra but worth a read anyway :)
    k, Jun 14, 2005
  4. DM

    DM Guest

    Thanks for taking the time to respond, Douglas. I appreciate your thoughts.
    DM, Jun 14, 2005
  5. DM

    DM Guest

    Thanks - he certainly does great work...
    DM, Jun 14, 2005
  6. DM

    endeavour53 Guest

    I haven't used one apart from playing with one several times in stores
    and doing lots of research and comparison. Was ready to buy one, and
    if a couple of places had had them in stock, or at the right price, I
    would have been the owner of one. I'm sure I would have been very
    happy with the output.

    I wouldn't even dare to try and compare it with my digital SLR. They
    are quite different beasts. I was looking for something with a
    reasonable zoom range, with good quality output, that I could take
    with me on holidays or at other times when I don't want to cart the
    whole SLR kit and kaboodle along with me.

    In the end, I was pleased that no-one had one in stock, because I
    ended up deciding that I couldn't live with the 38-420 (may not have
    remembered that correctly) lens and that wide angle was much more
    important to me than telephoto. I bought a Canon Powershot Pro-1
    (28-200mm) and have been impressed with the results. It also had the
    advantage of compatibility with my SLR in things like CF cards,
    batteries and external flash.

    In summary, I thought the Panasonic seemed to be about the best of the
    super-zooms, and it was only availability at the time that fortunately
    saved me from making what was an incorrect decision for my needs. If
    it meets your needs, then I'm sure it won't disappoint you; but a
    digital SLR it definitely IS NOT. Neither is my Powershot, which feels
    like a toy in comparison.

    endeavour53, Jun 14, 2005
  7. DM

    witwald Guest

    There's really no catch - the FZ20 is an excellent performer for pits
    price, and certainly the optical image stabiliser and a good quality
    f/2.8 lens give it a good level of versatility. The images can be a
    little bit noisy, especially at higher ISOs. The amount of image
    compression used with JPEGs is quite high, so some quality loss can be
    expected (I don't understand why Panasonic did this). The "Leica" lens
    is certainly not manufactured by Leica (e.g. a Leica 50mm f/2 lens
    probably costs over $2000 on its own), although the "Leica" label
    implies it is a Leica design, which appears to be very good considering
    the low price. A DSLR offers better image quality, but at about double
    the price, and a less wide-ranging zoom range unless you get extra
    lenses or opt for a 18-200mm lens that gives you an equiavelent field
    of view of a 28-300mm lens on a film SLR. The more affordable DSLR
    lenses are slower than the f/2.8 lens on the FZ20, but you can make up
    for this by shooting at ISO 400 or ISO 800 and still having much less
    noisy images than the FZ20 at ISO 100. The wide angle end on the FZ20
    is a little lacking compared with the typical kit lens offerings on a
    DSLR (35mm equivalent field-of-view versus a typical 28mm equivalent on
    a DSLR).
    witwald, Jun 19, 2005
  8. DM

    Rod Out back Guest


    Where did you hear the FZ20 is being discontinued? I spent about an hour
    searching for more info, but no joy. I would like to read more about the
    replacement model(s).
    I have one(FZ20), and have found it a great stop-gap till I can justify a
    20D or similar. For what I spent purchasing it($1020 incl 512mb Ultra II SD
    & second battery), it has more than paid for itself.


    Rod.......Out Back
    Rod Out back, Jun 22, 2005
  9. Photo Cotinental had about 40 in a stack with a price of $880 each. I
    queried why the best P&S camera made, was being discounted. Given that 6
    month's ago they were in short supply and was told there is a new model
    release iminent. Later in the conversation I was told August is the release
    date and when all the FZ's are gone they are gone. No "Industry Rumours" I
    can find other than the rush to dump current stocks.

    [email protected], Jun 22, 2005
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