The new Panasonic DMC-FZ20

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Mike Henley, Jul 23, 2004.

  1. Mike Henley

    Mike Henley Guest

    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.
     
    Mike Henley, Jul 23, 2004
    #1
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  2. Mike Henley

    Vic Dura Guest

    On 22 Jul 2004 19:08:22 -0700, RE: The new Panasonic DMC-FZ20
    (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!

    --
    To reply to me directly, remove the XXX characters from my email address.
     
    Vic Dura, Jul 23, 2004
    #2
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  3. Vic Dura wrote:
    > On 22 Jul 2004 19:08:22 -0700, RE: The new Panasonic DMC-FZ20
    > (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
     
    David J Taylor, Jul 23, 2004
    #3
  4. On Fri, 23 Jul 2004 09:26:09 GMT, "David J Taylor"
    <-this-bit.nor-this-part.uk>
    wrote:

    >Vic Dura wrote:


    >> On 22 Jul 2004 19:08:22 -0700, RE: The new Panasonic DMC-FZ20
    >> (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

    --
    No mail, please.
     
    Hans-Georg Michna, Jul 23, 2004
    #4
  5. 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
     
    David J Taylor, Jul 23, 2004
    #5
  6. "David J Taylor" <-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.

    --
    Michael Meissner
    email:
    http://www.the-meissners.org
     
    Michael Meissner, Jul 23, 2004
    #6
  7. 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
     
    David J Taylor, Jul 23, 2004
    #7
  8. "David J Taylor" <-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:
    http://www.the-meissners.org
     
    Michael Meissner, Jul 24, 2004
    #8
  9. 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
     
    David J Taylor, Jul 24, 2004
    #9
  10. On 23 Jul 2004 20:18:17 -0400, Michael Meissner
    <> 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

    --
    No mail, please.
     
    Hans-Georg Michna, Jul 24, 2004
    #10
  11. On Sat, 24 Jul 2004 07:57:04 GMT, "David J Taylor"
    <-this-bit.nor-this-part.uk>
    wrote:

    >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.


    David,

    that's very, very true. It also distinguishes the good
    programmers from the bad ones.

    Hans-Georg

    --
    No mail, please.
     
    Hans-Georg Michna, Jul 24, 2004
    #11
  12. Mike Henley

    Mike Henley Guest

    Michael Meissner <> wrote in message news:<-meissners.org>...
    >
    > > 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.


    Not only that they always get the toys last, but they get them at
    insanely high prices.
     
    Mike Henley, Jul 24, 2004
    #12
  13. Hans-Georg Michna <> writes:

    > On 23 Jul 2004 20:18:17 -0400, Michael Meissner
    > <> 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.


    Not necessarily. It depends on the competence of the programmers who wrote the
    compiler, the quality of the code being compiled, whether there is a single
    hotspot that most of the time is spent in, and how regular the machine is.
    There is also the time to market issue, in that if you go overboard in doing
    the machine coding, it can cause you to take much longer in getting the code
    correct and miss your window for releasing the product. Finally, if you code
    in machine code, this will have to be either tweaked or completely rewritten
    when the next generation comes along.

    --
    Michael Meissner
    email:
    http://www.the-meissners.org
     
    Michael Meissner, Jul 24, 2004
    #13
  14. On 24 Jul 2004 09:42:53 -0400, Michael Meissner
    <> wrote:

    >Hans-Georg Michna <> writes:


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


    >Not necessarily. It depends on the competence of the programmers who wrote the
    >compiler, the quality of the code being compiled, whether there is a single
    >hotspot that most of the time is spent in, and how regular the machine is.
    >There is also the time to market issue, in that if you go overboard in doing
    >the machine coding, it can cause you to take much longer in getting the code
    >correct and miss your window for releasing the product. Finally, if you code
    >in machine code, this will have to be either tweaked or completely rewritten
    >when the next generation comes along.


    Michael,

    all very true too. Things are, as usual, more complex when one
    looks more closely.

    Hans-Georg

    --
    No mail, please.
     
    Hans-Georg Michna, Jul 24, 2004
    #14
  15. Mike Henley

    Joe-46er Guest

    Wish they had a 7 megapixel version. >>sigh<<



    On Fri, 23 Jul 2004 14:11:27 GMT, "David J Taylor"
    <-this-bit.nor-this-part.uk> wrote:

    >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
    >





    _________________________________

    "Take a little 5FU, leucovorin and oxaliplatin for thy stomach's sake." -- 1 Timothy 5:23 (adapted)
     
    Joe-46er, Nov 23, 2004
    #15
  16. Joe-46er wrote:
    > Wish they had a 7 megapixel version. >>sigh<<


    7MP versus 5MP is only an 18% increase in linear resolution - is that
    /really/ worth sighing about? 11.8 inch wide prints instead of 10 inches?

    David
     
    David J Taylor, Nov 24, 2004
    #16
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