Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ20K?

Discussion in 'Panasonic Lumix' started by Scott Speck, Mar 13, 2005.

  1. Scott Speck

    Scott Speck Guest

    Hi Everyone,

    After looking at all of my digital camera options, and searching for the
    best balance of features and cost, I'm seriously considering buying an FZ20.
    Here are my reasons. I have put asterisks next to those items that are very
    important to me in my decision:

    *1) image stabilization. I want something I can carry around without
    needing a tripod in somewhat low light conditions (like in a forest during
    the day)
    *2) Leica lens, which I've heard is very good and is fairly fast and should
    therefore have a fairly good light gathering capacity
    3) 5 MP CCD, and I'm only going for greater than 4 MP. I'm NOT in the
    "megapixel" contest here, thinking that more MP are better.
    *4) 12X OPTICAL zoom, plus another factor of 4 in digital
    *5) good macro capability, from what I've read. Wife and I enjoy filling an
    entire frame with a small insect or tiny blossom/flower
    6) "takes good looking pictures" from what I've read. I'm listing this from
    a more more subjective, less-quantifiable perspective. How do the pictures
    that you take really LOOK?
    7) well-built but not too heavy/large to take along for the ride without
    taking along lots of accessories

    My aim here is to get a reasonably good P&S digital that serve as our
    primary camera for now and then as a good secondary camera when, in about
    2-3 years, I'm willing to invest in a better DSLR once I can get ALL of the
    aforementioned capabilities (not Leica brand lens, but a really GOOD lens,
    real GLASS lenses, too...) for around $600 for just the body. I'll be
    willing to spend more on a DSLR once I can read reviews of a particular
    model that don't point out nagging issues like sticking shutters, poor
    low-light AF, etc. For example, if I were to eventually spend $600 on the
    body (once prices have dropped on the particular camera that would meet my
    requirements), I would expect to spend probably around $1200-$1500 total to
    get a good short focal length lens, a telephoto, and a nice macro/micro
    lens. For really long focal lengths (2000 mm and up), I'd go with a Meade
    telescope or something similar, for astrophotography.

    Right now, we have an older Nikon 995 P&S that we have really enjoyed, but
    my only problem with it is blurred pictures under a forest canopy in midday
    due to longer exposure times and no tripod.

    If anyone disagrees with my thoughts on the FZ20, or, for around $600
    (within $100) can point me to what they think is a better choice for the
    entire camera/lens ensemble given my required/desired features, I would
    appreciate some feedback.

    Thanks very much,
    Scott Speck
    Scott Speck, Mar 13, 2005
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  2. Hi Scott,

    I just want to give you my 5 cents worth.

    I started my digital career with the Nikon Coolpix 990. I must admit
    some of my best pictures where taken with this baby. I sold it because I
    wanted a 'longer reach', so I bought the Panasonic Lumix FZ1 (2Mpix, 10x
    Zeiss zoom). In my experience this cam was good in outdoors light, but
    not indoors. As it had only program auto and not Aperature and
    Shutter-priority settings I could not control the Aperature. This made
    the cam select the 2.8 Aperture almost always... And I have to say it is
    a good lens, but not overcoming its sweetspot starting only at 5.6 or
    later. Therefore I usually ended up with very soft pics. I loved the
    tele-lens and the antishake though...

    This might not be the same with the new FZ20, because with this cam, you
    can control the aperture and make sure it always stays in the lense's
    sweet-spot (5.6-11).

    I think however you might end up thinking that picture quality between
    your 995 and the new FZ20 deteriorate with the FZ20. Your present camera
    is an outstanding Digicam. Only falling short to the FZ20 on the Tele of
    10X. Unless Panasonic really revolutionized image creation and in other
    ways perfecting getting the image from the lens in a better way than I
    could with the FZ1, I wouldn't part with your 995.

    Today I'm on my second DSLR (Canon 10D) with a good reach of diff lenses
    from 28-420mm (35mm equivalent). And I must admit I'm very happy with
    image quality, but sometimes I miss the form factor of the Panasonic...
    Hmm I guess you can't have it all.

    But good luck choosing.

    Morten U. Hansen
    Morten U. Hansen, Mar 13, 2005
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  3. Scott Speck

    irwell Guest

    Don't forget to take your fly back with you,
    you can use it in the coffee shop to get a free
    irwell, Mar 14, 2005
  4. Scott Speck

    Bill Rude Guest

    The title of the book is: "How to live in two dollars a day and a dead fly"
    Bill Rude, Mar 14, 2005
  5. I've had my FZ20 for a few months, so here are my observations:
    Don't think of image stabilization as eliminating a tripod. Think of IS as
    giving you a few more steps in shutter speed or apeture size before movement
    blur becomes noticable. That said, I *love* the IS on the FZ20.
    At F2.8 through the entire 36mm - 420mm (35mm equivalent), yes its a
    pretty cool lens. I don't know of any other P&S camera family that can
    touch it at the long end.
    Actually, 4MP to 5MP is too small to notice for 99% of the people 99% of
    the time. Heck even 3MP to 6MP isn't terribly noticable until you start
    produce 8x10 and larger prints.
    Digital zoom is never worth much, but yes, the 12 optical is wonderful.
    Just remember, the wide end is only 36mm (35mm equivalent) which,
    while fairly typical for P&S cameras, isn't all that wide.
    I haven't taken many macros yet, but do note that the minimum focusing
    distance increases with the focal length.
    Better than my Minolta S404. Best be is to look at the samples on the
    various web sites. Even print some at your prefered sizes to see what
    you get.
    If you haven't picked one up, this is the big, honkin', monster of the the
    P&S world. I don't know of any other camera that comes close. }:)
    Compared to DSLRs, its a light weight, but for those used to ultra tiny
    digitals, its a brick. Personally, I don't find it a problem at all.


    New cameras come out every few months. Check the web sites and don't
    buy anything until you've picked it up in your hands and tried it out. }:)

    Dan (Woj...) [dmaster](no space)[at](no space)[lucent](no space)[dot](no
    "I want to feel sunlight on my face
    I see the dust cloud disappear
    Without a trace
    I want to take shelter from the poison rain
    Where the streets have no name"
    Dan Wojciechowski, Mar 16, 2005
  6. Scott Speck

    PC Guest

    I've a FZ-2 (2Mp)and very happy with it.
    Leica lens is very sharp and fast.
    I say much better than any 3Mp cameras including my Canon D30.
    Go for it, you won't disapointed.

    PC, Mar 18, 2005
  7. Scott Speck

    tellme Guest

    FYI i am also trying to buy the Panasonic DMC FZ20. The reason I have
    not as yet is that all I can find is the silver case. I have read they
    were cheap, dented, scratched and to get a black case. So far all the
    places I have contacted only have the silver.
    tellme, Mar 22, 2005
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