Panasonic FZ3 and FZ20

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Tony, Jan 1, 2005.

  1. Tony

    Tony Guest

    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.
     
    Tony, Jan 1, 2005
    #1
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  2. Tony

    Ken Guest

    "Tony" <> wrote in message news:5yFBd.1003$...
    > 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..
     
    Ken, Jan 2, 2005
    #2
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  3. Tony

    Bob Williams Guest

    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
     
    Bob Williams, Jan 2, 2005
    #3
  4. 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
     
    David J Taylor, Jan 2, 2005
    #4
  5. Tony

    Bruce Graham Guest

    In article <5yFBd.1003$>, 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.
     
    Bruce Graham, Jan 2, 2005
    #5
  6. 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
     
    Ira Perman via PhotoKB.com, Jan 2, 2005
    #6
  7. Tony

    Tony Guest

    "Bruce Graham" <> wrote in message
    news:...

    > 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.
     
    Tony, Jan 2, 2005
    #7
  8. Tony

    Bruce Graham Guest

    In article <caUBd.1308$>, news-reply@t-
    onywoolf.co.uk says...
    > "Bruce Graham" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    >
    > > 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 = .58). 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).
     
    Bruce Graham, Jan 3, 2005
    #8
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