Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ20K?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' 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
    #1
    1. Advertising

  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
    Copenhagen


    Scott Speck wrote:
    > 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
    >
    >
     
    Morten U. Hansen, Mar 13, 2005
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. In article <>,
    "Scott Speck" <> wrote:

    > *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


    The FZ20 will go along with all your requirements except "good macro". I
    may be excessively harsh with the FZ20 but I'm finding it's sometimes a
    struggle to get flowers and bees focussed with the default settings.
    This may be a problem with all zoom lenses.

    Following a similar request on this NG yesterday, I had a fiddle with my
    FZ20 this morning and found that I get much better performance by
    presetting the lens to 3x zoom before attempting macro shots. I can back
    off a little, compared to the default max wide-angle/macro setting that
    has you practically leaning the lens against the bee's eyeball. Any more
    than 3x and the focus goes overboard. At 3x/Macro mode I'm about
    300mm/12" from a flower, but at 4x I have to back off to nearer
    900mm/3ft, negating the zoom.

    Actually, the images at 12x zoom, when I'm backed right off, are about
    the same, except that the IS is clearly working much harder.

    I'm hoping to try adding a 2x dioptre lens to see the effect.

    If you have any doubts, I'd try taking a dead fly into the camera store
    and see if the results are within your specs.

    --
    YAnewsWatcher.
     
    YAnewswatcher, Mar 13, 2005
    #3
  4. Scott Speck

    irwell Guest

    On Mon, 14 Mar 2005 12:06:21 +1300, YAnewswatcher
    >If you have any doubts, I'd try taking a dead fly into the camera store
    >and see if the results are within your specs.

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

    Bill Rude Guest

    On Mon, 14 Mar 2005 07:34:35 -0800, irwell <> wrote:
    >On Mon, 14 Mar 2005 12:06:21 +1300, YAnewswatcher
    >>If you have any doubts, I'd try taking a dead fly into the camera store
    >>and see if the results are within your specs.

    >Don't forget to take your fly back with you,
    >you can use it in the coffee shop to get a free
    >sandwich.


    The title of the book is: "How to live in two dollars a day and a dead fly"
     
    Bill Rude, Mar 14, 2005
    #5
  6. Scott Speck

    Bill Tuthill Guest

    YAnewswatcher <> wrote:
    >
    > Following a similar request on this NG yesterday, I had a fiddle with my
    > FZ20 this morning and found that I get much better performance by
    > presetting the lens to 3x zoom before attempting macro shots. I can back
    > off a little, compared to the default max wide-angle/macro setting that
    > has you practically leaning the lens against the bee's eyeball. Any more
    > than 3x and the focus goes overboard. At 3x/Macro mode I'm about
    > 300mm/12" from a flower, but at 4x I have to back off to nearer
    > 900mm/3ft, negating the zoom. Actually, the images at 12x zoom,
    > when I'm backed right off, are about the same, except that the IS
    > is clearly working much harder.


    Interesting that 3x zoom is where you get your best real-world macro.
    (Although the FZ's actual "macro" setting allows you to approach the
    subject more closely, most interesting macro subjects are alive and
    do not appreciate photographers coming close.) 3x zoom is ~108mm,
    about where 35mm photographers like to buy dedicated macro lenses.

    As to the 2 meter close-focus limit at the long end, it appears that
    good close focus capability and corner-to-corner sharpness are two
    conflicting design goals for lens designers. Many of the sharpest
    lenses (e.g. Minolta 28-135/4-4.5, most pro 80-200/2.8 zooms) have
    relatively poor close focus capability.
     
    Bill Tuthill, Mar 14, 2005
    #6
  7. "Scott Speck" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > 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:
    >


    I've had my FZ20 for a few months, so here are my observations:

    > *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)


    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.

    > *2) Leica lens, which I've heard is very good and is fairly fast and

    should
    > therefore have a fairly good light gathering capacity


    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.

    > 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.


    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.

    > *4) 12X OPTICAL zoom, plus another factor of 4 in digital


    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.

    > *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


    I haven't taken many macros yet, but do note that the minimum focusing
    distance increases with the focal length.

    > 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?


    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.

    > 7) well-built but not too heavy/large to take along for the ride without
    > taking along lots of accessories


    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.

    ....
    > 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.

    ....

    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
    space)[com]
    ===============================
    "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
    #7
  8. On Wed, 16 Mar 2005 13:07:54 -0600, "Dan Wojciechowski"
    <> wrote:

    >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.


    Dan,

    that is correct. I would add that IS allows you to make do with
    leaning the camera against something, while you would need a
    tripod without IS.

    Hans-Georg

    --
    No mail, please.
     
    Hans-Georg Michna, Mar 17, 2005
    #8
  9. Scott Speck

    PC Guest

    Scott,
    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.

    Jackson

    "Scott Speck" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > 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
    >
    >
     
    PC, Mar 18, 2005
    #9
  10. Scott Speck

    Boch Guest

    I love the CP-4500...And....Can be had -cheap!

    --
    _________________-
    BOCH
    ________________
    A+TECH
    _________
    "Scott Speck" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > 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
    >
    >
     
    Boch, Mar 22, 2005
    #10
  11. Scott Speck

    tellme Guest

    On Tue, 22 Mar 2005 01:16:08 GMT, "Boch" <>
    wrote:

    >I love the CP-4500...And....Can be had -cheap!


    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
    #11
  12. On Tue, 22 Mar 2005 22:49:14 GMT, tellme <>
    wrote:

    >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.


    I also prefer the black case, but for a different reason. It is
    less conspicuous.

    I often photograph people.

    Hans-Georg

    --
    No mail, please.
     
    Hans-Georg Michna, Mar 23, 2005
    #12
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