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View Full Version : Another one question FZ3 or FZ20?



lumixfan
10-13-2004, 09:07 AM
Hi

I have a few questions. I have decided to buy either FZ3 or FZ20. My requirements is print high quality upto 8 x 10.
Take plenty of baby pictures indoors and outdoors by myself and my wife (novice). I can handle big cameras (have a nikon film slr).
-questions
1. Can fz3 images at high quality print razor sharp 8 x 10 images.
2. How does fz20 feel for total novices in handling the camera. Does it feel heavy for novices? I am going to a store with my wife. But it is difficult to make a judgement there. I have seen both cameras. fz3 is really compact. fz20 has a SLR feel to it. I like the FZ20, but our current intention is to take lots of shots of baby. WIll FZ20 or FZ3 be more suitable for this purpose from both lots of usability and picture quality.

PS: I like fz20 as a way to grow and learn digital tricks, but I am afraid we will miss out taking lots of pictures. My wife will be taking pictures in the daytime and I am more into enthusiast photography on weekends.

Thanks

brad nichol
10-13-2004, 05:15 PM
Both the FZ3 and FZ20 will produce razor sharp 8 by 10s, so there is really no concern there, files from the FZ3 can actually be interpolated to make great A3plus prints so fear not.

The real issue is that the FZ20 has more features (ie flash hot shoe, manual focus etc) which may be of benefit and the FZ3 is beautifully compact.

The FZ3 is the type of camera you would take anywhere with you and the FZ20 may give you cause to ponder because of its increased heft.

Don't let the lower specs of the FZ3 fool you though, this is an extremely capable camera with full manual control (except focus) and lots of very nice features.

I bought an FZ3 recently mainly because the compact size was best for my intended purpose, however I have already used it on 2 professional jobs with great success despite the fact it was bought for other more family orientated purposes.

The FZ20 is a top camera however and is really very SLR like, but here in OZ it is about $1100.00 and you could buy a Canon 300D for about $1550.00 so it is not as tempting as the FZ3 (which can be hasd for about $650.00).

John_Reed
10-13-2004, 06:01 PM
Hi

I have a few questions. I have decided to buy either FZ3 or FZ20. My requirements is print high quality upto 8 x 10.
Take plenty of baby pictures indoors and outdoors by myself and my wife (novice). I can handle big cameras (have a nikon film slr).
-questions
1. Can fz3 images at high quality print razor sharp 8 x 10 images.
2. How does fz20 feel for total novices in handling the camera. Does it feel heavy for novices? I am going to a store with my wife. But it is difficult to make a judgement there. I have seen both cameras. fz3 is really compact. fz20 has a SLR feel to it. I like the FZ20, but our current intention is to take lots of shots of baby. WIll FZ20 or FZ3 be more suitable for this purpose from both lots of usability and picture quality.

PS: I like fz20 as a way to grow and learn digital tricks, but I am afraid we will miss out taking lots of pictures. My wife will be taking pictures in the daytime and I am more into enthusiast photography on weekends.

ThanksDon't let the "heavy" feature set of the FZ20 scare you. You can use P mode, and basically use the camera to "Point and Shoot." Sure, if you want to use more features, they're there, but if your wife is put off by the extra features, just leave the camera in P mode, and it will do most of the thinking for taking good photos. Similarly, the FZ3 has a "simple" mode, which has even fewer choices than the P mode of the FZ20, but both are pretty simple to use that way. If you were able to take photos using your Nikon SLR, surely you'd be able to take baby shots with the smaller FZ20? Size shouldn't really bother you either way. Go to the store and pick both of them up, try to take a few shots with each one. Some think the FZ3 is too small for their hands; your mileage (and your wife's) may vary!

Jim Zim
10-13-2004, 06:58 PM
The first thing I would suggest is that you locate Jeff Keller's FZ3 sample images here on the DCRP site... download a few... and print them out at 8x10 on your printer and see if the quality meets your standards. Then download Jeff's FZ20 pictures and do the same... and see if you notice a difference.

The next thing I would suggest is to bring those pictures in to your image editing program... crop out some of the picture... and print at 8x10 and see how you like them. What I'm getting at is that with the extra resolution of the FZ20, you can poorly frame an image "out in the field"... come home and crop the heck out of it... and still have plenty of resolution left over to make a nice print. Depending on how much you crop out, the FZ3 might not be up to the challenge.

If you are used to an SLR film camera... you will ABSOLUTELY LOVE the FZ20. It's as close to "the SLR experience" as you can get in the digital world for $599.

lumixfan
10-14-2004, 12:06 PM
I have ordered the FZ20 from circuitcity. Go in evening and pick it up! Cannot resist posting here. Great tips here.
After looking at both fz3 and fz20 in store and playing with it, FZ20 was a winner for me. I also like the big lcd and less strain for my eyes, being very myopic. The use interface and buttons are so intuitive, except for how to set my own aperture or shutter speeds. Have to read the manual. I checked the big Sony F828 next to it and my question was - Who will ever buy that with so many buttons at many different places and it was a visual mess.
Compared to that FZ20 was clutter free and very clean,

patankar
10-14-2004, 12:12 PM
I have the same dilema as you LUMIXFAN. I just can't seem to decide between the FZ3 and the FZ20. My situation is a little different though. I just got out of grad school with a major in ecology and my main concern is the "heftiness" of the FZ20 . While I think the FZ20 would be a great camera to have in the field, I am afarid that its size might prevent me from carrying it around everywhere (like to a party ... I would hate to look like the designated photographer!! ) I would buy the FZ20 without hesitation but for the whole 'size' issue. Also, I am not sure if 3MP on the FZ3 is a dealbreaker or not. I almost bought the Canon S1 IS but am glad I waited for these two beauties! Anyway, if anyone here could help me make up my mind (or both our minds!), that would be great!!

lumixfan
10-14-2004, 12:30 PM
I can understand your dilemma. I was through the same dilemma. Sometimes you decide one vs another and keep repenting on it till you relalize, ultimately what matters is getting out that couch and taking pictures. I had no problems for the FZ20 for the heftiness, but since we were using to take many baby and casual pictures also with FZ20, I was hesitant. Then again I did not want to buy one FZ3 because of size alone. I put so many constraints and tried balancing it all. I was also till now torn between FZ15 and Fz20 to make matters worse. Then I thought of a investment for 3 years and decided to go for FZ20 itself to avoid sleepless nights.

To your question of going to parties, do not bother about others. What others think of you. If it is suitable to you, FZ20 then go for it. Finally it should be you after getting all inputs decide for yourself.

Hopefully I will take plenty of pictures. I am planning to on some trip to West Virginia / Shenandoah region with the camera to capture the nature.

John_Reed
10-14-2004, 12:32 PM
I have the same dilema as you LUMIXFAN. I just can't seem to decide between the FZ3 and the FZ20. My situation is a little different though. I just got out of grad school with a major in ecology and my main concern is the "heftiness" of the FZ20 . While I think the FZ20 would be a great camera to have in the field, I am afarid that its size might prevent me from carrying it around everywhere (like to a party ... I would hate to look like the designated photographer!! ) I would buy the FZ20 without hesitation but for the whole 'size' issue. Also, I am not sure if 3MP on the FZ3 is a dealbreaker or not. I almost bought the Canon S1 IS but am glad I waited for these two beauties! Anyway, if anyone here could help me make up my mind (or both our minds!), that would be great!!The camera's color has a lot to do, I've found, with how much stealth you can get away with. When I point my big black FZ10 (same size is FZ20) at someone, they know I'm intending to take their picture. On the other hand, with my smaller silver-colored FZ1 (slightly larger than FZ3), I could get away with all kinds of shots, since the subjects wouldn't even know that they were the only thing showing up in a 420mm lens frame! But as for "heftiness," I really don't think the FZ20 is too heavy or big to carry with you most places. I've put mine in a fanny pack and ran 5 miles with it strapped on my waist, for example. It's really fairly compact, lighter than a water bottle. :rolleyes:
Was that helpful?

wmussatto
10-14-2004, 12:57 PM
I hope both you and your wife tried out the cameras. When I did I was glad the FZ3 was chained down, it was so light.. Also, for me a bit small. Coming from a film SLR both will seem light. The FZ-20 is heavy only in comparison to the FZ-3 or some of the point in shooters. Interestingly, I had trouble with my Minolta X-700 (yes I know its old...) with my glasses, but the EVF on the FZ-20 is very useful. Also, if you go into CC, ask for the Panasonic gift certificate (free battery and camra bag). Came out on the register.. I realize that the rules are different in Oz, but sometimes it pays to be dense...Helps me with punsters all the time.

Bill

PS. don't forget to tell CC that you came to them because they support sites like this.

patankar
10-14-2004, 02:47 PM
Thanks for the fantastic replies erevybody! Hoorah!......I am going for the FZ20 ... :) ... LUMIXFAN, you are absolutely right..it is an investment for the next few years. Hopefully FZ20 has enough to offer me for a long time to come! I don't intend on buying another camera for sometime (my last digicam was a 1.3 MP Olympus CAMEDIA bought in Dec 01). I think the FZ20, with all its features and higher resolution is more 'future-proof' than the FZ3 (although the latter seems quite capable of holding its own ground!).

Again, thanks alot everbody. My only other question is where to buy from. Does anyone know of a good online merchant? I have been thinking of ordering from nightowlcamera.com. And lastly, can anyone suggest a resonably priced 1 G SD card?
Thanks alot in advance!

zookeeper
10-14-2004, 08:23 PM
ABOUT the size of the FZ20.......It's perfect.....large enough to get a good grip and it's not that 'hefty'. I have a Minolta Maxxum SRL with a 35-200 zoom lens......WOW, talk about hefty. This thing is a Sherman tank compared to the FZ20. That's not saying the FZ20 is not built well, it is. I'm saying I'll carry the FZ20 for hours and not get tired OR a chaffed neck from the strap with the boat anchor on the end of it. Don't hesitate when considering the FZ20..................it's GREAT..........Do you think I'm sold????
I also have used a Fuji Finepix A203, my first digital, a small compact pocket sized all auto camera and I don't like it. Not for the lack of flexability or quality of pics (their very good) but because it's hard to get a grip on it. I find that I end up holding it with only thumb and one finger of each hand and that's not very secure. Being so small if you grab a fistful of this camera, you end up covering up something that shouldn't be.

NOW, as for the SD card size, Think about this: If you have several 'small' cards like 256MB instead of one BIG card, and you have an electrical or physical problem with a card, you may only lose part of your baby or vacation pics rather than ALL OF THEM. Besides, if a problem occurs, you would have a couple 'backup' cards in your pocket or bag. So I may have to do a 'stop-n-swap' a couple times, but I will be assured of taking home most or all of my pics. I, for one, am going with several 256MB cards.

AND MAKE those cards, a BIGGY or several little ones, HIGH SPEED i.e. 32X or faster (10mb read/write rating). It will make a big difference in your burst or continuous shooting.................Jerry G................the Zookeeper

lumixfan
10-15-2004, 07:53 AM
Patankar,
I for some reason, paranoid or so avoid lesser known names for resons of stability. All my past film camera/lenses have been with BH photo. But for the FZ20 I opted for CircuitCity. They have a $ 75 mail in rebate of Gift certificate this week (Columbus week special). But the cost is $599.99 + $ 30 tax so my bill was $629.99
With the $75 mail in rebate, I may buy a 512 Meg SD card.
Definitely steep, but I will get over it soon.

The thing is so intuitive, I charhed the battery for 2 hours yesterday night and the charger is so cute design. So small. Read manual for about an hour. and started taking pictures. When my baby daughter woke up in the morning, I greeted her with quite a few portrait shots and showed to my wife. My wife's reaction -- Wow... This thing can do B&W too ! I am almost tempted to take a few days off and take this out to a trip...