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View Full Version : Panasonic announce FZ3, FZ15 and FZ20



aldon
07-20-2004, 12:43 PM
Panasonic's press release about their three new 12x zoom cameras is now available for our enjoyment here (http://www.panasonic.com/consumer_electronics/pressroom/cont2.asp?Filter=12&cont_id=716).

Hopefully, somebody can explain to me what the difference between the old FZ10 and the new FZ15 is, apart from the name.

Dave Dilks
07-20-2004, 01:50 PM
Hopefully, somebody can explain to me what the difference between the old FZ10 and the new FZ15 is, apart from the name.

Price? I'm I'm reading the respective web sites properly, it looks like the MSRP for the FZ15 ($499) is $100 less than the FZ10 ($599). I'm hoping that the introduction of these new models may drop the price on the FZ10 to a level that can justify my buying one.

morkys
07-20-2004, 03:16 PM
Interesting. Would like to find out more. I wonder if they've bothered to give the FZ15 and/or FZ20 the ability to do 640 x 480 @ 30 fps video. It is that cool feature that is tempting me to save my money and buy a Canon S1 IS.

Jake Conner
07-20-2004, 08:15 PM
The way I'm reading that release, they've all got Venus Engine II, allowing continuous shooting until the card is full. I'd call that a pretty big difference..

Jake

John_Reed
07-20-2004, 08:29 PM
Interesting. Would like to find out more. I wonder if they've bothered to give the FZ15 and/or FZ20 the ability to do 640 x 480 @ 30 fps video. It is that cool feature that is tempting me to save my money and buy a Canon S1 IS.
I think if that's what you're awaiting, go for the Canon. From all I've seen of the specs, 640X480 movies aren't in the cards for any of the new models. They are giving users the .tiff option now, which will impose a big memory load on your typical 256MB SD card.

sw9
07-20-2004, 11:01 PM
I think if that's what you're awaiting, go for the Canon. From all I've seen of the specs, 640X480 movies aren't in the cards for any of the new models. They are giving users the .tiff option now, which will impose a big memory load on your typical 256MB SD card.

I was really hoping Panasonic to include the Raw mode with their "cheaper" cameras. Unfortunately that doesn't seem to be the case here. (Raw is wonderful. Tiff is just horrendous) However I do see they included a host of new features such as multi point AF's and a faster imaging processor so that's a good news.

IMHO, with the SD memory cards' price still being high, 640X480 30 fps movies are fairly useless to most people since there's only so much you can put on before the space runs out. I've seen a 640x480, 30fps movie clip from my friend's Sony W1 which was impressive yet he was complaining his 256 meg memory stick just isn't enough for him to use the camera in place of a camcoder.

With the microdrives being somewhat cheaper in terms of $/meg, the high-quality movie mode is probably more useful with the S1. However I personally would consider the movie mode strictly a bonus feature and won't include it in my buying criteria. Having said that I must also mention to some people it'll be of high importance. i.e. People who want to take short clips of baby, dog, etc.

aldon
07-21-2004, 03:28 AM
I was hoping to see some info about improved low-light/night-time photography, such as focus assist lamp and display boosts as well as progress in noise reduction which many have complained about with the FZ10. Looking forward to seeing the full specs.

I hope the price quoted for the FZ15 translates across the Atlantic to the UK - $500 is currently around 270 but I fear that by the time that camera makes it way to these shores, it'll miraculously translate to 450 :(.

Cailean
07-22-2004, 01:48 PM
As the proud new owner of an FZ10, I was dismayed to read that it is being replaced with a better, CHEAPER model (FZ15)... ah well, what can you do.

I was confused by the first line of the press release, though, because it states: "Panasonic introduces the first digital cameras to combine 12x optical zoom with an optical image stabilizer."

My FZ10 has both optical stabilization and 12x optical zoom... what gives? Is every new Lumix going to be "the first" camera with these features?

Cailean
07-22-2004, 02:09 PM
I just looked at the hi-res pic of the FZ15 from Panasonics media images page (http://www.panasonic.com/consumer_electronics/pressroom/cont4.asp?Filter=12&cont_id=728&media_type_id=1)

Either, they've removed the hot shoe option or they've come up with a clever little cover... Also on the mode dial there are 'SCN 1' and 'SCN 2' which do not appear on the FZ10 model... any guesses as to what these are?

Other than that, looks just like my FZ10!

Jake Conner
07-22-2004, 02:42 PM
Panasonic did indeed leave the hot shoe off the FZ15, though the FZ20 has one. The SCN positions on the dial are probably two sets of scene modes.

Jake

morkys
07-22-2004, 03:33 PM
When can we expect review of these camera's? I'm hoping that the movie modes are better, but I realize that they are probably won't be. Not a big deal.

Jeff Keller
07-22-2004, 04:09 PM
When can we expect review of these camera's? I'm hoping that the movie modes are better, but I realize that they are probably won't be. Not a big deal.

I got myself on the waiting list for the FZ3, FZ20, and FX7. I imagine they'll be reviewed in August or September (but no promises!).

Patrick113
07-23-2004, 01:26 AM
I was hoping to see some info about improved low-light/night-time photography, such as focus assist lamp and display boosts as well as progress in noise reduction which many have complained about with the FZ10. Looking forward to seeing the full specs.

I hope the price quoted for the FZ15 translates across the Atlantic to the UK - $500 is currently around 270 but I fear that by the time that camera makes it way to these shores, it'll miraculously translate to 450 :(.

The three models have a focus assist lamp and Panasonic says they have reduce noise in dark areas. There are also new modes (landscape) and, if I remenber well, different selctor positions for P, A and S modes.

aldon
07-23-2004, 05:10 AM
Yeah, I've been reading up on the specs at Steve's-digicams forum and it sounds like a nice step forward from the FZ10. Most issues with the FZ10 seem to have been put right.

Personally, I like the sound of the FZ15, which, although it loses a few features, such as the hot-shoe, it'll be $100 cheaper than the FZ20. But it seems it's only to be released in the USA, unfortunately.

There is also a sample piccy circulating, supposedly taken using the FZ20, and it doesn't look great, so hopefully it was just a bad shot.

I'm looking forward to reading Jeff's and Steve's reviews.

b.n
07-26-2004, 01:52 PM
Darn...Just got a S1...kinda wish I would have waited for the FZ15 now. But those cameras are pretty darn big.

D70FAN
07-26-2004, 01:59 PM
I got myself on the waiting list for the FZ3, FZ20, and FX7. I imagine they'll be reviewed in August or September (but no promises!).

How about the Minolta Z3? Any word on when that will be up for testing. It's the only competition I see for the Panasonic right now, and the form factor is definately compelling.

Thanks Jeff.

morkys
07-26-2004, 02:37 PM
Yeah, I also wonder how the Z3 will do. It looks like a 5 MP camera.

Anyone know the MSRP's of the upcoming Panny FZ 15 and FZ 20?

John_Reed
07-26-2004, 03:04 PM
Anyone know the MSRP's of the upcoming Panny FZ 15 and FZ 20?
I think it's $499 and $599, respectively. Corrections, anyone?

Dave Dilks
07-26-2004, 06:40 PM
I think it's $499 and $599, respectively. Corrections, anyone?

You are correct, sir. (Picture an Ed McMahon impersonation). From their press release:


Panasonic Lumix 12x Zoom Models Model Availability MSRP*

DMC-FZ3 3-Megapixel,1/3.2 CCD Late summer 2004 $399.95

DMC-FZ15 4-Megapixel,1/2.5 CCD Late summer 2004 $499.95

DMC-FZ20 5-Megapixel,1/2.5 CCD Late summer 2004 $599.95

John_Reed
07-26-2004, 10:03 PM
You are correct, sir. (Picture an Ed McMahon impersonation). From their press release:


Panasonic Lumix 12x Zoom Models Model Availability MSRP*

DMC-FZ3 3-Megapixel,1/3.2 CCD Late summer 2004 $399.95

DMC-FZ15 4-Megapixel,1/2.5 CCD Late summer 2004 $499.95

DMC-FZ20 5-Megapixel,1/2.5 CCD Late summer 2004 $599.95
I was $0.95 off. Foiled again. Thanks for your corrections, Ed! ;)

morkys
07-27-2004, 06:09 AM
If the FZ20 is as good as the FZ10 but doesn't have added amounts of noise, then it'll be quite the camera.

morkys
07-29-2004, 12:42 PM
Does anyone know how long it will be before the FZ 15 and FZ 20 will be available? How long before they are reviewed? I am thinking of grabbing an FZ10 as I don't know if I want to wait too long, but instead, I was thinking of getting something less expensive like the Kodak 6490 or Olympus 765 so that when the FZ20 comes out and I want to upgrade, I will hopefully lose less cash selling whatever camera I have at the time.

How long before the FZ15 an FZ20 are reviewed and available for sale? Street date?

Listener
07-29-2004, 06:41 PM
Does anyone know how long it will be before the FZ 15 and FZ 20 will be available? How long before they are reviewed? I am thinking of grabbing an FZ10 as I don't know if I want to wait too long, but instead, I was thinking of getting something less expensive like the Kodak 6490 or Olympus 765 so that when the FZ20 comes out and I want to upgrade, I will hopefully lose less cash selling whatever camera I have at the time.

How long before the FZ15 an FZ20 are reviewed and available for sale? Street date?


Panasonic says "late summer" so I'll guess end of August. Assuming image quality is really good, I'm waitin' for one. I like the features and form factor.

L.

morkys
07-29-2004, 09:47 PM
No "Full Reviews" yet, but here's something to wet your appetites for now:

http://www.dpreview.com/news/0407/04072202panasonicfz20prev.asp

No 640 x 480 @ 30fps though....bummer.

I still think maybe I'll wait... :)

...until the price of the FZ10 drops.

Listener
07-30-2004, 11:13 AM
No "Full Reviews" yet, but here's something to wet your appetites for now:

http://www.dpreview.com/news/0407/04072202panasonicfz20prev.asp

No 640 x 480 @ 30fps though....bummer.

I still think maybe I'll wait... :)

...until the price of the FZ10 drops.

And here:

http://panasonic.co.jp/pavc/global/lumix/fz20/index.html

and here:

http://www.letsgodigital.org/en/news/articles/story_1480.html

(640x480 would have been nice along with usb 2.0 and bulb mode - probably will be in the FZ30 next year...)

Morpheus
08-03-2004, 04:26 AM
On DP Review they said a better review could be done when the camera went into full priduction... whens that??


http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B0002R282O/104-5192359-8319948?v=glance&s=photo&n=507846

"Price: $599.95

Availability: This item will be released on September 21, 2004. You may order it now and we will ship it to you when it arrives."

THATS BAD NEWS... i mean why would it alke so long? you reacon amazon is wrong...?

when i emailed panasonic hey said late august but they couldnt gaurentee late august...

i want to find out when it will be avlable in australia... i want it beofre the 10th because i am going away on holz on the 17th so i want it in good time for some practice...

any news ppl?

judge9847
08-03-2004, 05:47 AM
If the delivery time - to Europe - of the FZ10 is anything to go by, whilst the release date may be September 04 to the rest of the world, which basically means the US, Japan and Hong Kong, it won't appear in the UK until Feb or March 05.

Reading the reviews, I can't see that Panasonic have announced they've done anything to improve the compression systems they use so I reckon noise will remain a problem. And, if they have achieved an improvement, why not produce a firmware update for the FZ10? Oh, hang on ... that would mean that the FZ20 wouldn't sell I suppose. Ah well, such is life.

I'm personally not convinced that these new cameras are that much of an improvement over the FZ10 which definitely was a step forward over the FZ1. But as FZ10s don't seem to be widely available anymore, I guess you have to have what you're sold.

As to the availabilty for Australia, from what I remember of the FZ10 when it first came on the market, it was slightly better than European. So that would likely mean it will be available around January. I really can't see your dates being achieved. Sorry.

Listener
08-03-2004, 09:41 AM
I did read somehwere (can't remember where...) that besides adding TIFF saves, the jpeg compession *was* changed for the better.

From what I've read, the 20 is a big improvement over the 10: improved Venus Engine, AF Assist Lamp, more AF methods, improved grip, bumping up to 5 megapixels, etc. Of course, we won't really know until units get into the hands of reviewers.

I have no idea when it will make it to ths States. Sooner than later I hope.

judge9847
08-03-2004, 12:30 PM
Yep, I agree about TIFF format but why they didn't decide on RAW I don't know. Now that definitely would have been an improvement!

As to the rest, I'm not at all sure that the changes that have been specified really are that great. To be honest, I think they're the sort of things that should have been included on the FZ10 and weren't. Compared to some other manufacturers cameras, other than the Venus (propriety of course) changes which probably would have been expected in any case, they're almost cosmetic.

It would have been great to see standard batteries, perhaps microdrive compatibility, RAW format, more user control over such things as ISO settings and so on for the FZ20. It's the way I thought that a great camera like the FZ10 should evolve. As it is, I won't upgrade and I doubt too many other users will - it's just not really worth it and that is a shame.

Just my opinion of course!

Listener
08-03-2004, 01:46 PM
While I understand what your saying, it seems to me that Panasonic listened to what people were saying about some of the limitations of the 10 and acted upon it. Recent statements from top brass at Panasonic indicate that they want to enlarge their 3% share of the digicam market in a serious way. While the FZ10 got really good reviews from critics it was largely ignored by the market.

Anyway, I've spent *way* too much time over the last 6 months researching for my first digital camera. I'm looking for a camera the takes great shots (with little or no post-processing) and is relatively easy to use, yet has a bit of complexity under the hood if I ever want to go there. If the FZ20's images are great I'll buy one.