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My Panasonic FZ20 impressions

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Last response: in Digital Camera
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December 15, 2004 4:09:16 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

I have had this camera few weeks now and thought I would post my
impressions. This is my first digital camera; my previous camera was a
Pentax MZ/ZX-5n film based SLR. Also I am a weekend enthusiast and not
a serious pro, so please take that into account when reading this.

Overall I am VERY happy with this camera. It has taken great shots and
since going digital I have learned a lot about composition and
effects.

Moving to a digital camera was pretty straightforward for me, the main
thing was getting to know the menus. Also Manual mode on the FZ20 took
some getting used to. This is a completely subjective opinion as I am
very used to the Pentax controls where the apeture setting is on the
lens and film speed setting on the top of the body. Having to press
buttons to set these is a new experience for me, and a reason I did
not choose the Canon Rebel 35mm SLR.

My biggest problem so far is that I initially put the lens hood on
with the petals rotated the wrong way. If nothing else, this taught me
to use the Crop Tool in Photoshop...


Some comments :
* It has a great optical IS system. I never want to use another non IS
system again.
* Good lens (12X stabilised optical zoom at a constant f2.8) and very
good picture quality.
* An extra battery is a must have.
* Seems to be very solid build-wise.
* Very nice manual focus system (but I still miss split screens).


Cons :

* Seems to over-expose slightly. I haven't seen others complain of
this so maybe it's exposing correctly and it's just that I prefer
slightly under-exposed shots.
* In manual mode, I wish I didn't have to half-press the shutter to
see the light-meter reading.
* Would really like a wider lens. I suppose one day I will have to buy
the wide angle attachment.
* A swivel screen viewfinder thingy on the back would be nice.
* No bulb mode and max. 8 second exposure is my biggest criticism.

Cheers,
Russell.
Anonymous
December 15, 2004 4:09:17 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Russell <me@me.com> wrote:
>
> My biggest problem so far is that I initially put the lens hood on
> with the petals rotated the wrong way. If nothing else, this taught me
> to use the Crop Tool in Photoshop...

LOL.

> Cons :
> * Seems to over-expose slightly. I haven't seen others complain of
> this so maybe it's exposing correctly and it's just that I prefer
> slightly under-exposed shots.

Is this when producing JPEG, or in TIFF mode?

> * In manual mode, I wish I didn't have to half-press the shutter to
> see the light-meter reading.

I don't remember any of the reviews having mentioned this.

> * Would really like a wider lens. I suppose one day I will have to buy
> the wide angle attachment.

Yup. Perhaps it would make you feel better to know that at the wide end
(36mm crop equivalent) you are actually getting 6mm perspective. ;-)

Do you feel you could take good bird or wildlife pictures at the long end?

> * A swivel screen viewfinder thingy on the back would be nice.
> * No bulb mode and max. 8 second exposure is my biggest criticism.

Fortunately you still have a manual-mode film camera for star trails.
Swivel screen and viewfinder are two points in favor of the K-M A2.
Related resources
Anonymous
December 15, 2004 11:01:15 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

In article <41c09106@news.meer.net>, can@spam.co says...
> Yup. Perhaps it would make you feel better to know that at the wide end
> (36mm crop equivalent) you are actually getting 6mm perspective. ;-)
>
> Do you feel you could take good bird or wildlife pictures at the long end?
>
>
>
I don't know what kind of wildlife you are interested in but this was taken on a FZ10.

http://www.evil-photographer.com/youlookingatme.jpg

Don't worry about the domain, it's perfectly suitable for family viewing !
It is around 600kb though.

T.
--
Please Tony, NO!! You'd look dreadful in a basque and fishnets..
December 16, 2004 3:08:41 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

>> * Seems to over-expose slightly. I haven't seen others complain of
>> this so maybe it's exposing correctly and it's just that I prefer
>> slightly under-exposed shots.
>
>Is this when producing JPEG, or in TIFF mode?

I use the biggest and best quality JPEG setting. Will using TIFF make
a big difference?

>Do you feel you could take good bird or wildlife pictures at the long end?

I took these on a hike I went on recently :

http://www.photo.net/photodb/photo?photo_id=2962930
http://www.photo.net/photodb/photo?photo_id=2962926


Cheers,
Russell.
Anonymous
December 17, 2004 12:52:00 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Nice pictures...

I'm curious about the answer to your question too..for all the discussion on
this group about "uncompressed" files being important...I cannot see the
difference between a tiff picture and the least compressed jpeg...I did some
tests in good light and no zoom (so no shaking)...at about 300 to 400%
enlargement, both pictures looked pretty much the same..

Is there another reason why tiff is better?

Tony

"Russell" <me@me.com> wrote in message
news:rgn2s01fqdv7d25orb86215o6e4keu7s1v@4ax.com...
>>> * Seems to over-expose slightly. I haven't seen others complain of
>>> this so maybe it's exposing correctly and it's just that I prefer
>>> slightly under-exposed shots.
>>
>>Is this when producing JPEG, or in TIFF mode?
>
> I use the biggest and best quality JPEG setting. Will using TIFF make
> a big difference?
>
>>Do you feel you could take good bird or wildlife pictures at the long end?
>
> I took these on a hike I went on recently :
>
> http://www.photo.net/photodb/photo?photo_id=2962930
> http://www.photo.net/photodb/photo?photo_id=2962926
>
>
> Cheers,
> Russell.
Anonymous
December 17, 2004 1:17:55 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Tony van der Vooren <avooren@rogers.com> wrote:
>
> I'm curious about the answer to your question too..for all the discussion on
> this group about "uncompressed" files being important...I cannot see the
> difference between a tiff picture and the least compressed jpeg...I did some
> tests in good light and no zoom (so no shaking)...at about 300 to 400%
> enlargement, both pictures looked pretty much the same..
> Is there another reason why tiff is better?

Try changing brightness, gamma, contrast, saturation, or color balance,
and you should be able to see 8x8 blocks formed by compression.

Alternatively, you could save a TIFF image in JPEG, then use Photoshop's
"difference" layer (or ImageMagick composite) to see pixel variation.

JPEG is amazing for compactness, and with 1x1 chroma subsampling amazing
for quality, but it's kind of a write-once format.
Anonymous
December 17, 2004 2:08:13 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On Thu, 16 Dec 2004 21:52:00 -0500, "Tony van der Vooren"
<avooren@rogers.com> wrote:

>I'm curious about the answer to your question too..for all the discussion on
>this group about "uncompressed" files being important...I cannot see the
>difference between a tiff picture and the least compressed jpeg...I did some
>tests in good light and no zoom (so no shaking)...at about 300 to 400%
>enlargement, both pictures looked pretty much the same..
>
>Is there another reason why tiff is better?

Tony,

take a photo of a drawing that contains small, sharp structures,
like a map.

Then look at the JPG photo and enlarge it. You will see lots of
JPG artefacts all over the picture, like little colored
blotches, that are not there in an uncompressed picture.

Hans-Georg

--
No mail, please.
Anonymous
December 17, 2004 3:58:15 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

You are right Bill,

A lot of times I find myself having to re-compress the jpg just because
I opened in PS and added contrast or something. Re-compression is
what'll kill you. I guess that if you are taking a shot which you know
you are going to be doing some post-editing to, you are going to be
better off with the TIFF.

PaiasoLoco.
Anonymous
December 17, 2004 11:54:01 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

In article <m6WdnUvlx_RH1F_cRVn-1g@rogers.com>, avooren@rogers.com
says...
> 'm curious about the answer to your question too..for all the discussion on
> this group about "uncompressed" files being important...I cannot see the
> difference between a tiff picture and the least compressed jpeg...I did some
> tests in good light and no zoom (so no shaking)...at about 300 to 400%
> enlargement, both pictures looked pretty much the same..
>
> Is there another reason why tiff is better?
>
Religion. Either way has its believers. By definition, some loss occurs
with jpeg compression and *any* loss is unacceptable to some people.
Others worry if it is significant to them and to some extent that depends
on the degree of dramatic curve stretching and squashing and filtering
that happens in subsequent editing. You just have to make up your own
mind considering how you operate.
!