Nikon 8800 vs. Panasonic FZ20?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by jere7my tho?rpe, Mar 20, 2005.

  1. It is time for me to upgrade from my beloved Oly D-490, because
    something has frotzed in its power management system. I take a lot of
    wildlife photos, so a good telephoto and a good macro are both quite
    important.

    I don't want a DSLR; apart from the fact that the cost of telephoto and
    macro lenses would put me in the poorhouse, I hate lens switching. Back
    when I was using my Canon AE-1, I lost far too many good insect shots
    because of fumbling for the macro, and eventually just gave up lugging
    the 10-lb. camera bag everywhere and bought the Oly.

    Now I'm looking at the Nikon 8800 and the Panasonic FZ20, both of which
    are worlds above my Oly. I don't think the FZ20's 12x zoom is a
    significant advantage, since 12x with 5MP is about the same as 10x with
    8MP. The Nikon costs more, but only $100 (if I buy it before 3/31).
    Nikon is known for their macro ability, and it does seem to be possible
    to get closer with the Nikon (3cm vs. 5cm). I like the FZ20's focus
    ring, and I like that the aperture stays at 2.8 to the extreme of its
    zoom...though I'm not quite sure _why_ I like that. ;) I like the
    Nikon's time-elapse mode, and might be one of the few people who would
    actually use it with some regularity. I like the flip-out viewscreen on
    the Nikon -- useful for bugs, again -- and it seems to have better
    options in its movie mode. It gives me RAW if I feel I need it.

    Both have image stabilization. Both have Lithium-ion batteries instead
    of nice AAs. Both have hot-shoes for external flashes (my next
    purchase).

    So, they're pretty well balanced in my mind, and I feel I've gotten to
    the limit of what I can learn online. I intend to toddle down to Best
    Buy to try them both out, but if anyone here has personal experience
    with comparing them (particularly their macro modes) I'd appreciate it.

    ----j7y

    --
    jere7my tho?rpe | "The land knows whom it sent out;
    (440) 775-1522 | In the place of human beings
    | Their ashes in urns
    http://www.livejournal.com/~jere7my | Come back to each man's house."
    --- Aeschylus, The Agamemnon
    jere7my tho?rpe, Mar 20, 2005
    #1
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  2. jere7my tho?rpe

    Boch Guest

    Although I'm a Nikon user...You can't beat the FZ20... I've used both.

    --
    _________________-
    BOCH
    ________________
    A+TECH
    _________
    "jere7my tho?rpe" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > It is time for me to upgrade from my beloved Oly D-490, because
    > something has frotzed in its power management system. I take a lot of
    > wildlife photos, so a good telephoto and a good macro are both quite
    > important.
    >
    > I don't want a DSLR; apart from the fact that the cost of telephoto and
    > macro lenses would put me in the poorhouse, I hate lens switching. Back
    > when I was using my Canon AE-1, I lost far too many good insect shots
    > because of fumbling for the macro, and eventually just gave up lugging
    > the 10-lb. camera bag everywhere and bought the Oly.
    >
    > Now I'm looking at the Nikon 8800 and the Panasonic FZ20, both of which
    > are worlds above my Oly. I don't think the FZ20's 12x zoom is a
    > significant advantage, since 12x with 5MP is about the same as 10x with
    > 8MP. The Nikon costs more, but only $100 (if I buy it before 3/31).
    > Nikon is known for their macro ability, and it does seem to be possible
    > to get closer with the Nikon (3cm vs. 5cm). I like the FZ20's focus
    > ring, and I like that the aperture stays at 2.8 to the extreme of its
    > zoom...though I'm not quite sure _why_ I like that. ;) I like the
    > Nikon's time-elapse mode, and might be one of the few people who would
    > actually use it with some regularity. I like the flip-out viewscreen on
    > the Nikon -- useful for bugs, again -- and it seems to have better
    > options in its movie mode. It gives me RAW if I feel I need it.
    >
    > Both have image stabilization. Both have Lithium-ion batteries instead
    > of nice AAs. Both have hot-shoes for external flashes (my next
    > purchase).
    >
    > So, they're pretty well balanced in my mind, and I feel I've gotten to
    > the limit of what I can learn online. I intend to toddle down to Best
    > Buy to try them both out, but if anyone here has personal experience
    > with comparing them (particularly their macro modes) I'd appreciate it.
    >
    > ----j7y
    >
    > --
    > jere7my tho?rpe | "The land knows whom it sent out;
    > (440) 775-1522 | In the place of human beings
    > | Their ashes in urns
    > http://www.livejournal.com/~jere7my | Come back to each man's house."
    > --- Aeschylus, The Agamemnon
    Boch, Mar 20, 2005
    #2
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  3. jere7my tho?rpe wrote:
    []
    > So, they're pretty well balanced in my mind, and I feel I've gotten to
    > the limit of what I can learn online. I intend to toddle down to Best
    > Buy to try them both out, but if anyone here has personal experience
    > with comparing them (particularly their macro modes) I'd appreciate
    > it.


    My wife's feeling on the FZ20, having just used one intensively for the
    last three weeks, is that she missed the swivel finder more than she
    imagined she would. If you can get the two at about the same price, that
    might swing you towards the 8800, although the lens does have a smaller
    maximum aperture. When we were buying there was a 2:1 price difference.
    The 8800 has higher resolution moves as well, if that's important to you.
    I haven't used the 8800 so I can't comment on marco modes.

    Cheers,
    David
    David J Taylor, Mar 20, 2005
    #3
  4. jere7my tho?rpe

    Joe Miller Guest


    > So, they're pretty well balanced in my mind, and I feel I've gotten to
    > the limit of what I can learn online. I intend to toddle down to Best
    > Buy to try them both out, but if anyone here has personal experience
    > with comparing them (particularly their macro modes) I'd appreciate it.
    >
    > ----j7y


    This can be a pretty tough one. After trying both I had decided on the
    FZ20. But I thought I'd give it one more go-around. I really liked the
    faster overall shooting and focussing time of the FZ20, but this time I
    held it in my hands for 10 minutes or so and found it a bit
    uncomfortable. Maybe it was just the size of my hands interacting with
    the body shape. I tried an 8800 again, this time also for about 15
    minutes, and came away with a much higher opinion. It fit my hands
    better. This time I thought it focussed very dependably, even at
    maximum zoom and in moderately dim light. Why the difference from
    before? I don't know. I compared it directly to the new Canon 350D XT,
    and I found that camera could do some hunting at maximum zoom in dim
    light. Of course, it usually responded instantly, but with a long zoom
    on it would be suitable for a boat anchor. I decided it wasn't for me
    right now, leaving aside the big investment. There is a website with a
    comparator that allows you to compare images with different cameras, and
    I compared the 8800 to the Canon 20D dslr. I thought the 8800 had
    sharper images in this comparison. When it comes to macro, Nikon
    cameras are well known for being superb. I really like the feature set
    on the 8800. I have the old Coolpix 950, and I have used the Best Shot
    Selector many times in dim light to get very sharp though long
    exposures. With the VR, this should be a great feature. The swiveling
    camera turned out to be surprising useful, as I often got shots by
    reaching into awkward places that I couldn't have taken otherwise. I
    like the idea of time lapse, remote control, and several other features.
    It is virtually impossible to manually focus the 8800, but I virtually
    never do that anyway. So I decided to get the 8800 in the end and
    bought it today. With the $100 rebate, it is a little over $600
    delivered, which I consider a lot of camera for the money. I'll put up
    with drawbacks for all the good things.

    I'm sorry I rambled on, sort of a core dump. There is no substitute for
    trying both. The fact that I flip-flopped shows it isn't a
    straightforward decision. Good luck

    Joe
    Joe Miller, Mar 20, 2005
    #4
  5. In article <>,
    Joe Miller <> wrote:

    > I'm sorry I rambled on, sort of a core dump. There is no substitute for
    > trying both. The fact that I flip-flopped shows it isn't a
    > straightforward decision. Good luck


    *grin* Core dumps are quite helpful. Thanks!

    ----j7y

    --
    jere7my tho?rpe | "The land knows whom it sent out;
    (440) 775-1522 | In the place of human beings
    | Their ashes in urns
    http://www.livejournal.com/~jere7my | Come back to each man's house."
    --- Aeschylus, The Agamemnon
    jere7my tho?rpe, Mar 20, 2005
    #5
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