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avian
09-24-2004, 06:16 PM
Purchased this from Circuit City but haven't deboxed yet. Decided to purchase due to images I've seen on net as well as users' comments. CC offered a $50 gift card rebate and MSN 15% rebate and so it seemed like a good price for a good camera. My intention has been to purchase a DSLR and waiting to see the upcoming Minolta but the FZ20 looked to be a good easier to carry around camera. My questions:

I currently have a Minolta Dimage 7. Wondering how image quality compares with the FZ. The Dimage has some focusing problems, in my opinion, but I've gotten many excellent pictures from it. I also have an Oly E100RS and the pictures from that are superb except it is only 1.8 megapixel. Except for the megapixel count, I would have to say that I prefer the E100RS to the Minolta. If anybody has experience with the Dimage or E100RS and can compare to the Panny I would appreciate it.

Also, I did not realize that the labor warranty for the Panny is only 3 mos. Is it worth purchasing an extended warranty? Where would you recommend purchasing from? I wonder if I would still be able to get one from CC and if their warranty is any good. OR would it have been better to purchase from onecall and get their extended warranty?

My photography is generally nature-oriented: flowers, birds, etc. Also like doing macro photog. Is the FZ a good choice for this?

What accessories would you recommend? I have read that I need to purchase an adapter in order to attach filters or other lenses. Will my Oly 1.7X converter work with the FZ20 and can one do IR photography with it?

Thanks in advance.

judge9847
09-25-2004, 03:57 AM
My photography is generally nature-oriented: flowers, birds, etc. Also like doing macro photog. Is the FZ a good choice for this?

What accessories would you recommend? I have read that I need to purchase an adapter in order to attach filters or other lenses. Will my Oly 1.7X converter work with the FZ20 and can one do IR photography with it?
I've used my FZ10 for macro work and the answer is yes, it does what it says it does. But, being completely honest with you, it took me a lot of experimenting to get it right. And even then I don't think it matches the ability of my older Fuji6800zoom but that may be my personal preferences at play.

What I did find though is that, instead of using the macro function, you can often achieve much the same results (maybe even better) by standing back from your subject and using the Panasonic's optical zoom to get in close. You do have to be slightly wary of focus issues but I found that using the manual focus also contributed to the photograph. It's certainly nice to have two ways of achieving the same thing :)

As far as your accessories are concerned, I'm sure you'll find that the Oly converter works with the FZ20 but I'm sure you'll need an adapter for it. There are many people reading this forum who use the Oly with Panasonic cameras so I'm sure they'll confirm what I'm saying.

Hope that helps answer some of your questions.

avian
09-25-2004, 10:43 AM
Thanks for the information. Camera still in box :D Guess I'm just leary about the labor warranty and CC's "not the best" return policy.

I checked out adapters and found the extend-a-lens system at photoresolve.

I've also used macro function as well as just zooming in close to get the shot.

Here's another question..how does the FZ series do with depth of field. For whatever reason, I couldn't get things to work consistently with my Dimage.

Jeeves
09-27-2004, 09:57 AM
Hi Avian,

Could you please kindly tell me how to go about getting the MSN 15% rebate? I have looked but found nothing. Do you know if this applies to all cameras or just the FZ20?

Thanks for your help.

isis
09-27-2004, 03:30 PM
Hi Avian,
I think the FZ-20 has a one-year guarranty from Panasonic.

I just got my FZ-20 and they didn't offer me anything but they said they would meet any offer that any other CC offered and they would meet any lower price offered by other vendors, excluding on-line vendors. Which Circuit City did you get your $50 gift card rebate from?

I haven't taken any pic yet but I'm looking forward to it. As far as the macro capability is concerned - I intend to try using the macro setting and then trying the same shot using the telephoto lens.

Hope we enjoy our cameras (after shelling out all this $$$).

Thanks,

isis :)

avian
09-27-2004, 05:57 PM
Jeeves:
It was a one day only special (9/22/04) and one had to connect to CC through a link at the MSN website. Took one to a page with the rebate info and form and then could go shopping from there.

Isis:
USA warranty is 1 year parts but 90 days labor. I believe battery is warrantied for 3 months and LCD 6 months but not sure. It's in the owner's manual. $50 gift card was offered through CC website. Don't remember dates when camera had to be purchased. Now they have a gift card worth 10% of purchase price available (9/26-10/2).

To use either of these rebates camera needed to be purchased online but could then be picked up at store.

judge9847
09-27-2004, 06:10 PM
Hope we enjoy our cameras (after shelling out all this $$$).

From my own experience with the FZ10 I'm absolutely certain you will. They really are quite exceptional cameras.

The best advice I can offer you is to be prepared to work and experiment with your camera. There is a lot to learn about how to get the best out of it in all the circumstances you'll meet and a lot to remember about how the camera behaves but believe me, it's well worth the effort. The results will be impressive and you'll impress a lot of people.

And of course, there's always this forum to ask any questions you may have :)

IVIIVI4ck3y27
09-27-2004, 11:11 PM
I've never had a problem with Circuit City's Extended Warranty. When my Kenwood Receiver burned out (freak accident as a result of static electricity, touched the volume knob and fzzzzzzt), I brought the receiver in for repairs within the 5 year extended plan. When they couldn't fix the unit, they credited me with full value to purchase a new one. I believe most of their plans are 4-5 years, no questions asked. Granted when I brought my unit in, I was a bit miffed. They stuck a giant sticker to the outside of the unit with the service claim. If they fixed it they would've best found a way to get it off or I'd pitched a fit if they gave it back to me with remnants of that sticker on it. LoL

I've got a 2 year extended warranty on my FZ10 from Ritz. It's extendable up to 5. It's also a no questions asked, even if a freak accident happens, even if it's your fault type of warranty. Circuit City's warranties are MUCH cheaper and far longer than the one I have, but at the time the FZ10 was unavailable from CC. Their warranties also cover under the same circumstances, as does Best Buy's extended's to the best of my knowledge.

It's up to you whether you need it or would have the added peace of mind worthy of spending the $. I might expand mine another year (tops) or so by going into Ritz and extending the warranty, but for the costs I'm not sure I'd go beyond 3. After all... for the amount of $ spent on the extended from Ritz, I could after 3-4 years of warranty have had that money and bought an FZ20 or whatever eventually replaces it, or easily buy a used FZ10 off of eBay at that point for far less. CC's extended is like $90 or so for the FZ20, I believe for 4 years. From Ritz I've already spent over $167 for 2 years of ext. warranty... So keep that in mind.

MikeCamp
09-28-2004, 02:03 PM
I personally didn't go the extended warranty route. It's never paid off on anything I've ever owned so why start now? I read somewhere that panasonic does flat rate repairs for $100... I believe. Circuit City wanted about 90 for the warranty. If it breaks once in five years I send it in and get the repairs done for $100 I have no loss. I've owned quite a few cameras and none of them have broke or had any kind of problems in the past. I didn't see the value in the warranty... I hope I'm right. :D I also tend to be very careful with my equipment. I guess if you have had bad luck in the past get the warranty.

luckycat
09-29-2004, 05:21 AM
If it breaks once in five years I send it in and get the repairs done for $100 I have no loss.

Can anyone confirm this flat-rate $100 price to fix a camera from Panasonic?