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View Full Version : New FZ20 owner... WOW!



HawkeyeLonewolf
10-18-2004, 12:02 PM
We switched to digital a few years ago with a Kodak 3500 and were tired of missing shots of my color-guard daughter from bleachers with the 3500's 3x zoom. Having loved the Kodak, we got a newer 5MP camera of theirs, the 7560 or some such but were dissapointed with its performance.

Tried to return it the next morning to "Worst Buy", but they had misled us on the 15% restocking fee (told us something similar), so I had paid $75 for a 15 hour rental of the thing. (Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.). Had intended to buy a Canon Rebel EOS Digital for about $1400 too, but walked out due to them treating me like a thief and a liar.

Now on to the FZ20. Went to Circuit City and was still going for the Canon and then saw the FZ20 with it's large lens, 12x, and IMAGE STABILIZATION. This was Saturday and my 14 year old was going to her first homecoming dance that evening so I had to decide without reviews. Came home, read the reviews (all glowing), and opened the box.

All I can say is WOW!!!

So WOW!!!

This thing is incredible! I love that the digital zoom can be turned off so it doesn't ever play into things, but with image stabilization, using it isn't bad at all. With 48x, I took a picture of a mailbox way down the street. I cannot even see the flag on the mailbox or the street numbers. But with the FZ20 it is clear as can be -- and that was handheld too.

I am just amazed at the clarity. We had thought to get a video camera and then decided to get a better digital and I'm glad we did. We aren't video people really -- and the FZ20's ability to take small, simple video will do the trick nicely. But the clarity on the pictures is just incredible.

I know I'm overusing superlatives, but goodness me I have had a blast with this thing, just taking closes ups of brickwork from far away (or in macro mode). I've had very few blurry pictures. Very few. I've set stabilization on #2 and cannot see that I'd ever turn it off.

Now I just get to get the FA62 adapter ring and UV filter to protect my lens.

I thought I had to get a SLR to do "real" photography, but this camera makes that not so.

WELL DONE PANASONIC!

Thanks also to this group for all their help as I've read your comments!

lumixfan
10-18-2004, 01:07 PM
I can perfectly understand your extreme ethusiasm on getting this new baby. You echoed my feelings last week.

The camera is really excellent. Why do you say you have to get the adapter ring. It is already packaged. You have to get the MC protector only. It says the cap is supplied with it also. I am still debating whether to get it or not. Because then the camera becomes a little more big. I intend to use the hood when outdoors, but then I cannot use the lens cap. I am still debating about these.

If you purchased from circuit city, be sure to fill the mail in rebate for camera bag and the extra battery ($ 100 value as per mail in rebate). I am doing it today night. There is a separate thread on it also with website where you can print MIR. I also took shots anf printed out at Costco yesterday, the colors are very real.

I am still reading the manual. I have this habit that I read the manual from beginning to end once I receive a product before fully experimenting it. But with panasonic I used many stuffs before that. Also the live histogram is great!

Its a great learning tool also. Now I will brag about it in the camer club discussions.

Payne
10-18-2004, 06:37 PM
Well, the next step is posting some shots.

Best regards,

Jayde
10-19-2004, 04:19 AM
HawkeyeLonewolf
Congrats..
have fun with it.. :)
So WOW!!! yeh i agree thas what i feel with FZ10.. :)

more adaptor / lens info here..
http://www.dcresource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1314
injoy ! :cool:

VA Shutterbug
10-19-2004, 08:48 AM
I'm also new to the FZ20 owner's club, having acquired mine within the last week. Two questions for the group: (1) you have to use the supplied adaptor to add a UV (or other) filter, right, and 72 mm filter is the correct size; and (2) has anyone bought or used the telephoto or WA OEM lenses that can be used with the camera? Thanks!

johners
10-19-2004, 08:57 AM
I'm very glad that you are pleased with your FZ20.
I've been looking at getting a digital camera for a while now and I really thought that the FZ20 was going to be the one for me - right specs, right price. Then I saw the sample shots on this site and on Steve's Digicams. I cannot say how shocked and disappointed I was with these. Noise by the bucket load was my first thought, then colour - there's just too much of it. So over-saturated. The picture on this site of the pink flower (Hibiscus) compared to the Nikon990 completely destroyed my impression that this camare would be a good choice. Too much colour, greens way too yellow, and in the less saturated post, resolution degrading.
I would be delighted to be convinced otherwise, but at the moment I'm back to the Konica/Minolta A2 or its brother the soon-to-be-released A200.
HELP!!!

skyfree
10-19-2004, 03:41 PM
not really oversaturated... but overexposed... take a look at sample pics of fz10.. look also the image gallery of a2... mmmmh not so good.. very soft/out of focus pics... the a200? or maybe the nikon 8800 (sample pics are available on the net... not bad..) but the price list of these 2 camera is higher than pana's...

Payne
10-19-2004, 04:02 PM
not really oversaturated... but overexposed... take a look at sample pics of fz10.. look also the image gallery of a2... mmmmh not so good.. very soft/out of focus pics... the a200? or maybe the nikon 8800 (sample pics are available on the net... not bad..) but the price list of these 2 camera is higher than pana's...

I really dont believe that Nikon 8800 will be a good choice since according the sample shots posted on this site, I could notice that the noise level is huge...too much...aboge average. About the Konica Minolta A2.....this expensive DC has a poor quality image, just check what Dpreview posted about this DC "Disappointing resolution, soft images (not just as a result of poor AF)" "Flash color cast, under exposure" "Moiré visible near resolution limits (especially disruptive of horizontal lines)" etc etc....even Dpreview did mention nothing on behalf of the quality image. If Johners wants to back to his A2 thats up to him....I am sure that it is a wrong decision.
I do not want to be a Panasonic defensor, I just say what my eyes see.....and the A2 quality image is nothing compared to the new FZ20...even my FZ10 is better.

skyfree
10-20-2004, 04:37 AM
http://www.pbase.com/rackham/image/34797779/original

http://www.pbase.com/image/34688964

2 sampòe pics nikon 8800. Yes there is noise.. but first it is not so bad as other.. you can't see green and red point.. there is grain... but is not a problem... What I dislike is that pictures looks not sharp... too much soft.. (Of course softness help reducing noise). Also consider that it is a 8 mp.. and in this range all the camera shows big problem with noise and purple fringing.. I think this will be a good camera.. but we will have to wait the final review of Jeff.

MikeCamp
10-20-2004, 07:28 AM
Something really cracks me up about you guys. You guys look at some sample pictures and complain about this and that. Well, here is something I never hear ever being brought up. You can look at the same picture on 20 different monitors and have 20 different results. I've been in computers just about all my life and have about 6 different monitors ranging from LCD flat panels to 21"CRT with extremely good dot pitch. (maybe some of you guys have .31mm dot pitch screens?= appear grainy)Photos will look a little different on each one. So that being said; I'd really like to know how many of you guys actually pay attention to the fact that color along with dot pitch can very tremendously from CRT to CRT and effect the looks of photos. The fact of the matter is you can't simply judge "sample" pics off the net as gospel. Get a demo camera, get a high quality photo printer, actually print samples out and then make comparisons. (Quality of prints can also be effected by printers as well) There are too many variables to say the cameras colors are off...etc. To say that the FZ20 doesn't take good pictures is just absurd.

skyfree
10-20-2004, 02:49 PM
[a dot pitch of 0.24 give you an image sharper than a 0.31 but this doesn't mean that on a 0.31 images looks grainy....]
I think you can do comparison about quality. I look pictures on the same monitor calibrated by software... [of course I have another monitor and the image have different color tone, brightness, temperature... but the image quality is the same..] If i look two image from two different camers on the same monitor I can do a comparison, the condition is the same for the 2 pics! however I often burn sample pictures on cd and send to a professional lab... and then I evaluate it again... You know that image quality is not the same from lab to lab, and from operator to operator? So we cannot do a comparison? Image will never be the same on monitor, the samo on printings.. and never will be what we saw... and .. what I see is not equal to what you see... not so objective not so subjective...

Treasuredude
10-20-2004, 04:29 PM
Maybe it's just me but I think the images from the FZ20 look great. I downloaded all the sample pics from this site as well as Steve's. I have also downloaded other samples that I have found on the Net. All look great to me.

zookeeper
10-20-2004, 05:32 PM
Everybody has their "opinion" about the FZ20 and I bet very few have taken their own pics and compared to other cameras. No way in HE** can you compare one camera to another unless you took the pics yourself on the same day at the same time under the same lighting/weather conditions. The only 'true' comparison tests between cameras over long periods of time MUST be done under strict and controlled studio conditions. I believe in the reviews of those (DCResource, DPReview, etc.) people that have been doing it for a long time AND for a living. I also believe in the results, i.e. pictures, that I have taken myself. I believe that the FZ20 will produce excellent 4x6, 8x10 or even 11x14 prints that will rival any fixed lens digital camera out there. It may even rival some $1000-1200 D SLRs. And it has that 12X Leica lens.......All I can say is ( REPEAT ) WOW.........
Jerry G.......................the Zookeeper

MikeCamp
10-20-2004, 06:36 PM
Everybody has their "opinion" about the FZ20 and I bet very few have taken their own pics and compared to other cameras. No way in HE** can you compare one camera to another unless you took the pics yourself on the same day at the same time under the same lighting/weather conditions.

Jerry G.......................the Zookeeper

Exactly my point. I have to take some people here with a grain of salt because they seem so negitave. I kind of wondered if they even read Peter Rackhams notes on those samples from the 8800 "Here are some further results with my NIKON Coolpix 8800. The first ones are unprocessed straight from the camera and the later ones have been processed a bit in Photoshop CS." "To be honest, the technical data would be useless to you anyway because I have processed these latest images in Photoshop CS. I use such things as shadow/highlight, saturation, unsharp mask, sharpen, and contrast to varying degrees." I do believe everyone has a right to an opinion.

And Skyfree, yes .31mm dot pitch will make things look grainy when compared to a dot pitch of .25 or lower especially on larger monitors. (over 17")
read one example:
http://www.pantherproducts.co.uk/Articles/Monitors/buying_a_monitor2.shtml

Quote "If the dots are too far apart then the image becomes grainy"

nooner
10-20-2004, 07:33 PM
:o Mike is right. How many people have well calibrated monitor that is capable of reproducing what the camera is actually producing? Too many variables to make a sound judment of a camera based on internet quality photos. The FZ 20 needs to be used first hand and look at the prints it produces and then tell me it's not a quality camera.

Jim Zim
10-20-2004, 07:39 PM
I personally like my pictures to have vivid colors... so I have my FZ20 set to "High Saturation"... and I'm the guy that took the Hibiscus photo. If you prefer less saturated photos, just set the saturation to "LOW".

Also, regarding noise... are you aware that the FZ20 has two choices for noise reduction in the main menu? If the level of noise in the photos bothers you, just turn the noise reduction to "HIGH". Of course, noise can also be easily eliminated with software. Check out a free program called Helicon Filter. It works great. Google it.

But my main advice is that if you're so picky that you aren't satisfied with the FZ20 pictures you've seen so far... you ought to stop looking at $600 cameras. You should be looking at DSLRs... but you better be willing to pay.

For the money, the FZ20 can NOT be beat! It's an awesome camera!

skyfree
10-21-2004, 10:24 AM
I don't say it isn't an awesome camera the fz20, I think it is the best compact camera. I have an fz10, I sold my fz20 because I prefer the fz10 just because have less digital noise (also for some shoot in auto mode overexposed). However it is not a problem.. for example noise is noticeable only when there is sky, or you shoot in lowlight without flash.. and overexposure occur only in outdoor shoots (of landscape with critical lights). Of course i prefer the new features of fz20.. assist lamp, quick focus.. but I took always outdoor shoots of landscape so I prefer fz10.. however I didn't want to appear so negative. I'm sorry, my english is very bad and I am not so able to have a good communication with you.

LStoner
10-23-2004, 06:20 PM
[QUOTE=lumixfan]If you purchased from circuit city, be sure to fill the mail in rebate for camera bag and the extra battery ($ 100 value as per mail in rebate). I am doing it today night. There is a separate thread on it also with website where you can print MIR. I also took shots anf printed out at Costco yesterday, the colors are very real.


Hi lumixfan,
Can you tell me what website the mail in rebate is on? I just got the FZ20 2 days ago and would like to take advantage of that offer if it's still around. Thanks so much.

-Lee Ann

lumixfan
10-24-2004, 04:56 AM
Go to circuitcity.com, Go down to Sales and Rebates,
Then go ro Camera and Camcorders, Go to
Panasonic - Free Camera Bag & Battery w/ select digital cameras! 10/1-10/31 10/01/04 10/31/04

Link is :

Panasonic/Circuitcity Mail in Rebate - expires end of Oct 2004 (http://www.circuitcity.com/rpsm/oid/111238/rpem/ccd/RebateDetails.do)

Nytmair
10-24-2004, 05:46 PM
Go to circuitcity.com, Go down to Sales and Rebates,
Then go ro Camera and Camcorders, Go to
Panasonic - Free Camera Bag & Battery w/ select digital cameras! 10/1-10/31 10/01/04 10/31/04

Link is :

Panasonic/Circuitcity Mail in Rebate - expires end of Oct 2004 (http://www.circuitcity.com/rpsm/oid/111238/rpem/ccd/RebateDetails.do)

OOoooohhhh... thanks for the link! I'll be purchasing an FZ20 soon :)

-Dan