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Nikon 8800 vs. Panasonic FZ20?

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Anonymous
March 20, 2005 3:12:31 AM

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

It is time for me to upgrade from my beloved Oly D-490, because
something has frotzed in its power management system. I take a lot of
wildlife photos, so a good telephoto and a good macro are both quite
important.

I don't want a DSLR; apart from the fact that the cost of telephoto and
macro lenses would put me in the poorhouse, I hate lens switching. Back
when I was using my Canon AE-1, I lost far too many good insect shots
because of fumbling for the macro, and eventually just gave up lugging
the 10-lb. camera bag everywhere and bought the Oly.

Now I'm looking at the Nikon 8800 and the Panasonic FZ20, both of which
are worlds above my Oly. I don't think the FZ20's 12x zoom is a
significant advantage, since 12x with 5MP is about the same as 10x with
8MP. The Nikon costs more, but only $100 (if I buy it before 3/31).
Nikon is known for their macro ability, and it does seem to be possible
to get closer with the Nikon (3cm vs. 5cm). I like the FZ20's focus
ring, and I like that the aperture stays at 2.8 to the extreme of its
zoom...though I'm not quite sure _why_ I like that. ;)  I like the
Nikon's time-elapse mode, and might be one of the few people who would
actually use it with some regularity. I like the flip-out viewscreen on
the Nikon -- useful for bugs, again -- and it seems to have better
options in its movie mode. It gives me RAW if I feel I need it.

Both have image stabilization. Both have Lithium-ion batteries instead
of nice AAs. Both have hot-shoes for external flashes (my next
purchase).

So, they're pretty well balanced in my mind, and I feel I've gotten to
the limit of what I can learn online. I intend to toddle down to Best
Buy to try them both out, but if anyone here has personal experience
with comparing them (particularly their macro modes) I'd appreciate it.

----j7y

--
jere7my tho?rpe | "The land knows whom it sent out;
(440) 775-1522 | In the place of human beings
jere7my2@oberlin.net | Their ashes in urns
http://www.livejournal.com/~jere7my | Come back to each man's house."
--- Aeschylus, The Agamemnon
Anonymous
March 20, 2005 10:26:40 AM

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

Although I'm a Nikon user...You can't beat the FZ20... I've used both.

--
_________________-
BOCH
________________
A+TECH
_________
"jere7my tho?rpe" <jere7my2@oberlin.net> wrote in message
news:jere7my2-59587B.00123120032005@corp.supernews.com...
> It is time for me to upgrade from my beloved Oly D-490, because
> something has frotzed in its power management system. I take a lot of
> wildlife photos, so a good telephoto and a good macro are both quite
> important.
>
> I don't want a DSLR; apart from the fact that the cost of telephoto and
> macro lenses would put me in the poorhouse, I hate lens switching. Back
> when I was using my Canon AE-1, I lost far too many good insect shots
> because of fumbling for the macro, and eventually just gave up lugging
> the 10-lb. camera bag everywhere and bought the Oly.
>
> Now I'm looking at the Nikon 8800 and the Panasonic FZ20, both of which
> are worlds above my Oly. I don't think the FZ20's 12x zoom is a
> significant advantage, since 12x with 5MP is about the same as 10x with
> 8MP. The Nikon costs more, but only $100 (if I buy it before 3/31).
> Nikon is known for their macro ability, and it does seem to be possible
> to get closer with the Nikon (3cm vs. 5cm). I like the FZ20's focus
> ring, and I like that the aperture stays at 2.8 to the extreme of its
> zoom...though I'm not quite sure _why_ I like that. ;)  I like the
> Nikon's time-elapse mode, and might be one of the few people who would
> actually use it with some regularity. I like the flip-out viewscreen on
> the Nikon -- useful for bugs, again -- and it seems to have better
> options in its movie mode. It gives me RAW if I feel I need it.
>
> Both have image stabilization. Both have Lithium-ion batteries instead
> of nice AAs. Both have hot-shoes for external flashes (my next
> purchase).
>
> So, they're pretty well balanced in my mind, and I feel I've gotten to
> the limit of what I can learn online. I intend to toddle down to Best
> Buy to try them both out, but if anyone here has personal experience
> with comparing them (particularly their macro modes) I'd appreciate it.
>
> ----j7y
>
> --
> jere7my tho?rpe | "The land knows whom it sent out;
> (440) 775-1522 | In the place of human beings
> jere7my2@oberlin.net | Their ashes in urns
> http://www.livejournal.com/~jere7my | Come back to each man's house."
> --- Aeschylus, The Agamemnon
Anonymous
March 20, 2005 2:18:03 PM

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

> So, they're pretty well balanced in my mind, and I feel I've gotten to
> the limit of what I can learn online. I intend to toddle down to Best
> Buy to try them both out, but if anyone here has personal experience
> with comparing them (particularly their macro modes) I'd appreciate it.
>
> ----j7y

This can be a pretty tough one. After trying both I had decided on the
FZ20. But I thought I'd give it one more go-around. I really liked the
faster overall shooting and focussing time of the FZ20, but this time I
held it in my hands for 10 minutes or so and found it a bit
uncomfortable. Maybe it was just the size of my hands interacting with
the body shape. I tried an 8800 again, this time also for about 15
minutes, and came away with a much higher opinion. It fit my hands
better. This time I thought it focussed very dependably, even at
maximum zoom and in moderately dim light. Why the difference from
before? I don't know. I compared it directly to the new Canon 350D XT,
and I found that camera could do some hunting at maximum zoom in dim
light. Of course, it usually responded instantly, but with a long zoom
on it would be suitable for a boat anchor. I decided it wasn't for me
right now, leaving aside the big investment. There is a website with a
comparator that allows you to compare images with different cameras, and
I compared the 8800 to the Canon 20D dslr. I thought the 8800 had
sharper images in this comparison. When it comes to macro, Nikon
cameras are well known for being superb. I really like the feature set
on the 8800. I have the old Coolpix 950, and I have used the Best Shot
Selector many times in dim light to get very sharp though long
exposures. With the VR, this should be a great feature. The swiveling
camera turned out to be surprising useful, as I often got shots by
reaching into awkward places that I couldn't have taken otherwise. I
like the idea of time lapse, remote control, and several other features.
It is virtually impossible to manually focus the 8800, but I virtually
never do that anyway. So I decided to get the 8800 in the end and
bought it today. With the $100 rebate, it is a little over $600
delivered, which I consider a lot of camera for the money. I'll put up
with drawbacks for all the good things.

I'm sorry I rambled on, sort of a core dump. There is no substitute for
trying both. The fact that I flip-flopped shows it isn't a
straightforward decision. Good luck

Joe
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Anonymous
March 20, 2005 2:55:57 PM

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

jere7my tho?rpe wrote:
[]
> So, they're pretty well balanced in my mind, and I feel I've gotten to
> the limit of what I can learn online. I intend to toddle down to Best
> Buy to try them both out, but if anyone here has personal experience
> with comparing them (particularly their macro modes) I'd appreciate
> it.

My wife's feeling on the FZ20, having just used one intensively for the
last three weeks, is that she missed the swivel finder more than she
imagined she would. If you can get the two at about the same price, that
might swing you towards the 8800, although the lens does have a smaller
maximum aperture. When we were buying there was a 2:1 price difference.
The 8800 has higher resolution moves as well, if that's important to you.
I haven't used the 8800 so I can't comment on marco modes.

Cheers,
David
Anonymous
March 20, 2005 6:35:45 PM

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

In article <jmiller-0E552A.11180220032005@news.isp.giganews.com>,
Joe Miller <jmiller@surfnetusa.com> wrote:

> I'm sorry I rambled on, sort of a core dump. There is no substitute for
> trying both. The fact that I flip-flopped shows it isn't a
> straightforward decision. Good luck

*grin* Core dumps are quite helpful. Thanks!

----j7y

--
jere7my tho?rpe | "The land knows whom it sent out;
(440) 775-1522 | In the place of human beings
jere7my2@oberlin.net | Their ashes in urns
http://www.livejournal.com/~jere7my | Come back to each man's house."
--- Aeschylus, The Agamemnon
!