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The new Panasonic DMC-FZ20

 
 
Mike Henley
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      07-23-2004
http://www.dcviews.com/press/Panasonic-DMC-FZ20.htm

Secaucus, NJ (July 21, 2004) Panasonic introduces the first digital
cameras to combine 12x optical zoom with an optical image stabilizer.
Integrating unrivalled optical and digital technologies with ergonomic
design, Panasonic's three new 12x zoom Lumix™ models achieve a level
of performance never before seen in digital cameras. New models
DMC-FZ3 (3-Megapixel), DMC-FZ15 (4-Megapixel) and DMC-FZ20
(5-Megapixel) feature a versatile, high-performance Leica DC
VARIO-ELMARIT lens with powerful 12x zoom (equivalent to a 35 – 420mm
zoom lens on a conventional 35mm film camera) and F2.8 brightness
throughout the entire zoom range. With their extraordinary telephoto
features and precision image stabilizers, these cameras are engineered
to capture every detail of distant or quick-moving subjects with
superb brightness and clarity.

Panasonic's MEGA Optical Image Stabilizer automatically detects and
optically compensates for hand movement by shifting internal lens
elements, enabling the user to capture crisp, clear, distortion-free
ultra-telephoto or macro shots of distant or moving subjects, even in
low lighting conditions.

"Photographers, especially those who shoot sports, wildlife or live
performances, know that it's difficult to get sharp images if they are
using a long lens on a handheld camera. The zoom accentuates every
little movement of the hand," commented Monica Helmer, Marketing
Manager for Panasonic. "We've incorporated the technology we
developed for our camcorders to create Panasonic's MEGA Optical Image
Stabilizer, a true optical image stabilizer that uses the full
capacity of the camera's CCD to compensate for hand jitter."

These cameras also feature an extra-low dispersion (ED) lens to
minimize color aberration (color bleeding) ¾ a common problem in
high-magnification / large aperture lenses. ED lenses are typically
exchangeable lenses designed for single-lens reflex cameras and
high-end, professional cameras.

Panasonic has also improved its innovative Venus Engine LSI, the
"brain" of the camera that converts the optical data into digital
information. The new Venus 2 Engine LSI handles all image processing
functions simultaneously ¾ from displaying the image on the LCD to
writing data to the memory card ¾ as soon as the CCD captures the
image signal. This simultaneous, parallel processing results in a
quick start-up, increased shutter speed and reduced lag time. The
improved LSI also allows faster consecutive shooting than its
predecessor. If desired, the camera will keep shooting until the
memory card is full.

A conventional LSI generates a luminance signal from the green
component of the incoming light. Panasonic's Venus 2 Engine LSI
generates the signal from the red and blue components, as well as the
green. This rich information in the luminance signal helps to boost
the diagonal, horizontal and vertical resolution, resulting in superb
images. The system also uses a low-pass filter to accurately handle
the borders between colors and a noise-reduction circuit to help boost
image sharpness and clarity.

All three cameras also include a host of sophisticated features such
as MEGA BURSTâ consecutive shooting mode, real-time histogram, auto
bracketing, color viewfinder and much more.
 
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Vic Dura
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      07-23-2004
On 22 Jul 2004 19:08:22 -0700, RE: The new Panasonic DMC-FZ20
http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed) (Mike Henley) wrote:

>http://www.dcviews.com/press/Panasonic-DMC-FZ20.htm
>
>Secaucus, NJ (July 21, 2004) Panasonic introduces the first digital
>cameras to combine 12x optical zoom with an optical image stabilizer.
>Integrating unrivalled optical and digital technologies with ergonomic
>design, Panasonic's three new 12x zoom Lumix™ models achieve a level
>of performance never before seen in digital cameras. New models
>DMC-FZ3 (3-Megapixel), DMC-FZ15 (4-Megapixel) and DMC-FZ20
>(5-Megapixel) feature a versatile, high-performance Leica DC
>VARIO-ELMARIT lens with powerful 12x zoom


Wow! This is good news!

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David J Taylor
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      07-23-2004
Vic Dura wrote:
> On 22 Jul 2004 19:08:22 -0700, RE: The new Panasonic DMC-FZ20
> (E-Mail Removed) (Mike Henley) wrote:
>
>> http://www.dcviews.com/press/Panasonic-DMC-FZ20.htm

[]
> Wow! This is good news!


Well, that's what I first thought and then I tried to see what was new.
They seem to have improved the appearance and perhaps the startup time of
the camera, but they haven't increased the sensor physical size at all
(the lens is the same focal length range 6-72mm) so packing in more pixels
will result in greater noise.

What batteries and memory media? Not stated.

Reviews awaited.

Cheers,
David


 
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Hans-Georg Michna
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      07-23-2004
On Fri, 23 Jul 2004 09:26:09 GMT, "David J Taylor"
<(E-Mail Removed)-this-bit.nor-this-part.uk>
wrote:

>Vic Dura wrote:


>> On 22 Jul 2004 19:08:22 -0700, RE: The new Panasonic DMC-FZ20
>> (E-Mail Removed) (Mike Henley) wrote:


>>> http://www.dcviews.com/press/Panasonic-DMC-FZ20.htm

>[]
>> Wow! This is good news!


>Well, that's what I first thought and then I tried to see what was new.
>They seem to have improved the appearance and perhaps the startup time of
>the camera, but they haven't increased the sensor physical size at all
>(the lens is the same focal length range 6-72mm) so packing in more pixels
>will result in greater noise.
>
>What batteries and memory media? Not stated.
>
>Reviews awaited.


David,

my best guess is that the FZ3 is a 3 Mbit sensor in the FZ2 case
and improved firmware, while the FZ15 and FZ20 use other sensors
in the FZ10 case and improved firmware.

Hans-Georg

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David J Taylor
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      07-23-2004
Hans-Georg Michna wrote:
[]
> my best guess is that the FZ3 is a 3 Mbit sensor in the FZ2 case
> and improved firmware, while the FZ15 and FZ20 use other sensors
> in the FZ10 case and improved firmware.
>
> Hans-Georg


Well, the FZ10 and FZ20 look different (the FZ20 is not quite so 1950's
European look), so they've changed the case, at least! The faster startup
time suggests either newer processor, newer firmware, or both.

Cheers,
David


 
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Michael Meissner
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      07-23-2004
"David J Taylor" <(E-Mail Removed)-this-bit.nor-this-part.uk> writes:

> Hans-Georg Michna wrote:
> []
> > my best guess is that the FZ3 is a 3 Mbit sensor in the FZ2 case
> > and improved firmware, while the FZ15 and FZ20 use other sensors
> > in the FZ10 case and improved firmware.
> >
> > Hans-Georg

>
> Well, the FZ10 and FZ20 look different (the FZ20 is not quite so 1950's
> European look), so they've changed the case, at least! The faster startup
> time suggests either newer processor, newer firmware, or both.


They claim a newer, faster processor (aka Venus-II) in the press release.

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Michael Meissner
email: (E-Mail Removed)
http://www.the-meissners.org
 
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David J Taylor
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      07-23-2004
Michael Meissner wrote:
[]
> They claim a newer, faster processor (aka Venus-II) in the press
> release.


Indeed, they do. But it is not clear whether it is the processor or the
firmware that has speeded up the response. Any improvement in response is
welcome, though.

I wonder when my local dealer (Jessops) will have one to play with?

Cheers,
David


 
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Michael Meissner
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      07-24-2004
"David J Taylor" <(E-Mail Removed)-this-bit.nor-this-part.uk>
writes:

> Michael Meissner wrote:
> []
> > They claim a newer, faster processor (aka Venus-II) in the press
> > release.

>
> Indeed, they do. But it is not clear whether it is the processor or the
> firmware that has speeded up the response. Any improvement in response is
> welcome, though.


For most users, it really doesn't matter whether it is a faster processor,
better algorithms, or a better compiler, since it is all a black box. It would
certainly matter to me they were using my compiler (they are not), and needed
speed improvements. I remember when I was with Cygnus, and Sony contracted
with us to provide a compiler for the PS/2, and discovered later that the
machine was slower than anticipated, and tried to get us to make up the
difference with more optimizations, but after the easy optimizations, it takes
a lot of work to get lots better code.

> I wonder when my local dealer (Jessops) will have one to play with?


End of summer is the dates I heard, but I recall a lot of people in the UK
complaining that they always get the toys last.

--
Michael Meissner
email: (E-Mail Removed)
http://www.the-meissners.org
 
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David J Taylor
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      07-24-2004
Michael Meissner wrote:
[]
> For most users, it really doesn't matter whether it is a faster
> processor, better algorithms, or a better compiler, since it is all a
> black box. It would certainly matter to me they were using my
> compiler (they are not), and needed speed improvements. I remember
> when I was with Cygnus, and Sony contracted with us to provide a
> compiler for the PS/2, and discovered later that the machine was
> slower than anticipated, and tried to get us to make up the
> difference with more optimizations, but after the easy optimizations,
> it takes a lot of work to get lots better code.


People often forget how looking at an alogrithm at the highest level and
re-thinking it can produce much more dramatic results than a compiler or
low-level tuning ever can! Some people don't even know where the
bottleneck is.

Cheers,
David


 
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Hans-Georg Michna
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      07-24-2004
On 23 Jul 2004 20:18:17 -0400, Michael Meissner
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>I remember when I was with Cygnus, and Sony contracted
>with us to provide a compiler for the PS/2, and discovered later that the
>machine was slower than anticipated, and tried to get us to make up the
>difference with more optimizations, but after the easy optimizations, it takes
>a lot of work to get lots better code.


Michael,

they'd have to code the core routines, those where the processor
dwells in loops, in machine language.

Hans-Georg

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