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Panasonic FZ3 and FZ20

 
 
Tony
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      01-01-2005
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 W
My e-mail address has no hyphen
- but please don't use it, reply to the group.


 
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Ken
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      01-02-2005

"Tony" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message news:5yFBd.1003$(E-Mail Removed) ...
> 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.


There are a couple of review forums where owners of both cameras often post
pictures. They often will detail the camera settings used to take the shots so you
can get a feel for the camera's capabilities for the types fo shots you plan to take
if you get one.

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/forum.asp?forum=1033

http://www.dcresource.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=26

Personally I prefer the extra MP capacity of the FZ20 as well as the addition
of the Hot Shoe for adding a better flash unit than the one provided on-camera..


 
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Bob Williams
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      01-02-2005


Tony wrote:
> 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.



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
FZ20.
Bob Williams

 
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David J Taylor
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      01-02-2005
Tony wrote:
> 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.


You might also want to ask this in the new newsgroup:

rec.photo.digital.zlr

(I only have the FZ20)

Cheers,
David


 
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Bruce Graham
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      01-02-2005
In article <5yFBd.1003$(E-Mail Removed)>, news-reply@t-
onywoolf.co.uk says...
> 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.
>

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 dpreview.com has higher ISO samples for both cameras. I've
looked at so much I'm pretty confused now.
 
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Ira Perman via PhotoKB.com
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      01-02-2005
I am not familiar with the FZ3, but I have been enjoying a new FZ20 this week - and loving everything about it. This camera is designed to make it simple to get difficult shots: Fast motion, distant objects, low light. I've owned about six digitals cameras and this one is a dream come true. The long 12x-f2.8 Leica lens matched with image stabilization, almost no lag shutter, rapid infinite burst, optional manual mode and controls, great menu and button layout, good design and construction and a battery that just won't quit (i got 12,420 shots out of a single charge) make this a reliable "got-the-shot" camera. There are plenty of reviews on the net about it - all strongly positive.

--
Message posted via http://www.photokb.com
 
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Tony
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      01-02-2005
"Bruce Graham" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed). au...

> 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.


Where do you find information on the sensor size?

> 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.


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 W
My e-mail address has no hyphen
- but please don't use it, reply to the group.








 
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Bruce Graham
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      01-03-2005
In article <caUBd.1308$(E-Mail Removed)>, news-reply@t-
onywoolf.co.uk says...
> "Bruce Graham" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:(E-Mail Removed). au...
>
> > 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.

>
> Where do you find information on the sensor size?
>

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 = .5. 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.


> > 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.

>
> 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.


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.

> It's not just noise, I think noise reduction software in the camera
> contributes to lack of sharpess at high ASA as well.
>


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).
 
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