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Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ20K?

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Anonymous
March 13, 2005 5:00:23 PM

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

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
Anonymous
March 14, 2005 12:40:09 AM

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

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
>
>
Anonymous
March 14, 2005 3:06:21 PM

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

In article <f8qdneslZr54EKnfRVn-rQ@comcast.com>,
"Scott Speck" <speck82@comcast.net> 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.
Related resources
Anonymous
March 14, 2005 3:06:22 PM

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

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.
Anonymous
March 14, 2005 3:06:22 PM

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

YAnewswatcher <umustbjoking@ihug.co.nz> 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.
Anonymous
March 14, 2005 3:06:23 PM

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

On Mon, 14 Mar 2005 07:34:35 -0800, irwell <hook@yahoo.com> 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"
Anonymous
March 16, 2005 4:07:54 PM

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

"Scott Speck" <speck82@comcast.net> wrote in message
news:f8qdneslZr54EKnfRVn-rQ@comcast.com...
> 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"
Anonymous
March 17, 2005 1:54:27 PM

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

On Wed, 16 Mar 2005 13:07:54 -0600, "Dan Wojciechowski"
<too.much@spam.com> 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.
March 18, 2005 9:31:11 PM

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

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" <speck82@comcast.net> wrote in message
news:f8qdneslZr54EKnfRVn-rQ@comcast.com...
> 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
>
>
Anonymous
March 22, 2005 4:16:08 AM

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

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

--
_________________-
BOCH
________________
A+TECH
_________
"Scott Speck" <speck82@comcast.net> wrote in message
news:f8qdneslZr54EKnfRVn-rQ@comcast.com...
> 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
>
>
March 23, 2005 1:49:14 AM

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

On Tue, 22 Mar 2005 01:16:08 GMT, "Boch" <pboch@columbus.rr.com>
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.
Anonymous
March 23, 2005 1:47:21 PM

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

On Tue, 22 Mar 2005 22:49:14 GMT, tellme <whois@yahoo.com>
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.
!