Lumix FZ20 vs. Canon Digital Rebel
I have been a amateur photographer for a few years, the last of which has been with the Canon Digital Rebel as my camera of choice. After reading all the reviews raving about the Canon quality I was starting to think I was crazy...the Rebel never really lived up to the hype for me. For one, its metering system is severely (and intentionally) limited by Canon and it tends to underexpose pictures. For another, it never seems to produce the "tack sharp" photos I was expecting (I will admin to not owning any "L" lenses, but a Canon 28-135 IS, the 18-55 Kit lens, and a Sigma 28-300 APO zoom). But when it nails an image, the quality is great...
So I bit the bullet earlier today and bought the Panasonic Lumix FZ20 – Circuit City had it for $539 plus a free bag and battery (worth $100). My thought was that the Lumix would serve as a "little brother" to the Canon for casual photos (vacations, museums, etc.) where I don't want to lug around the rather large dSLR.
For grins, I decided to compare the two cameras directly. Let me just say that I was shocked to see the results.
I took some sample photos for comparison and was hoping the quality of the Lumix would come close enough to the famous Canon sensor that I wouldn’t be disappointed with the Lumix. Instead, I found the Lumix consistently besting the Canon shots – both in exposure metering and in overall quality!
You can see these shots at the following address (I'll try to post full size images if anyone is interested):
For starters, the Canon consistently got the exposure wrong – 2/3 of the shots I took were underexposed which is not all that unusual for this camera. The first shot (Canon vs. Lumix 1) shows both cameras at their exposure defaults and clearly the Canon shot is badly underexposed (the Canon is on the left). The Lumix consistently metered the shots correctly.
But, I adjusted the Canon using my handheld light meter so I could get comparable pictures.
Canon vs. Lumix 2-4 show shots taken with the cameras on tripods approx 2 inches away from each other with the same composition (or as close as I could come). I put them side-by-side in Photoshop with no adjustments. You be the judge…
Oh – image stabilization is off on the Lumix, and I was using a Sigma 28-300 lens on the Canon (which may be part of the problem, but that’s comparable to the lens on the Lumix, at least in terms of focal length).
That Leica lens really seems to rock! A Canon lens comparable to the f2.8 435mm image stabilized zoom built into the Lumix would cost thousands of dollars.
Sigma 28-300 APO zoom
Aperture priority – 5.6
Exposure compensation +1.6 or + 2.0 (except shot #1, that shot is +0)
Metering – not selectable (default)
White Balance - Cloudy
High quality JPG
Approx. zoom – 300mm (x 1.6 = 480)
Image Stabilization – N/A
Leica 35-435mm (equivalent)
Aperture priority – 5.6
Exposure compensation – none
Metering – Center-weighted evaluative
White balance – Cloudy
High quality JPG
Approx zoom – 435mm
Image Stabilization - off
Surprising results, to say the least. I expected the Rebel (outside its rather weak metering) to blow away the Lumix and that just didn't happen. I think there are 2 things going on here. First, the Sigma 28-300 APO lens is simply no match for the Leica glass on the Lumix. Second, the Canon's metering doesn't do the sensor justice. Put both together and you have murky, soft images vs. properly exposed and tack sharp images.
If someone wants to send me a Canon L lens, I'd be happy to repeat the test!
Last edited by BryanMsi; 10-24-2004 at 05:36 PM.
wow, very interesting! Now i don't feel too bad that I can't afford the rebel and instead am getting the FZ20. Thanks for the comparisons!
Those are pretty suprising results
It looks like you might be thinking of using the FZ20 as your "mainstay" and the dReb as backup? Thanks for posting your results. The other day someone was lamenting all the Panasonic fanatics on this forum, but your results may put even more wind in our sails!
Originally Posted by BryanMsi
be your umbrella!
Love the waterfall even if it was shot from a Canon..
Aside: Did you get the $539 deal IN STORE on ONLINE? I need to go claim my price rebate if instore.
What is the difference between in store or online
Nice comparison and very methodically done. Need to get the Panasonic's might known to the public. I saw that in many websites finally they are beginning to acknowledge Panasonic power in ratings. we may be early adopters
Regarding the price, how has it dropped to $ 539 so fast. Do they have other rebates also. As the previous poster has asked I am also curious if it is in store price. Then we may be able to get price match. I wonder if CC has price match policy, and till how many days.
Last edited by lumixfan; 10-24-2004 at 06:05 PM.
It was $539 as web only, but you can buy online and then pickup at the store. Seems silly that they would make you pay for it online but let you pick it up locally.
If you go to to the following URL:
And add it to your cart, you'll see the price. Don't know if they price match their own web site, but if you bought it less than 14 days ago, you can return it and then order another one on the web (or threaten to - I can't imagine they would force you to do that if they know you're just trying to get the sale price).
But I gotta say - its still a bargain at $600. Just think, you could have invested twice that much in a Rebel...
Hi and THanks
I just replied on the other forum,
I have been tossing around the idea everyday since Thursday as to which camera to buy. I have read reviews, posted on the forums and still hadn't come up with my answer yet as to which camera to buy, Canon Rebel or the Panasonic FZ20. Well your the info on your thread and the pictures has finally made my decision. I will be buying the FZ20 tomorrow!
For info regarding the price match at CC, I was just in my store this evening and discussed this very issue with the manager who was helping me. I asked him if he would price match their price that was on-line? He asked me what the price was and I told him $539, he went to the computer checked it out and said YES he would match that price. So go get your camera!
PS If you buy from CC don't forget to get your rebate for a Free Camera Bag & Battery!
Last edited by Rprincess; 10-24-2004 at 06:44 PM.
Reason: Forgot to mention the Free Camera Bag & Battery
Threatening to return it will do you no good... You'll be hit with a 15% restocking fee which would eat the $60 savings. I'm calling my store tomorrow per RPrincess' comments and verify they will credit me the $60 in price-match.
Originally Posted by BryanMsi
Sorry I misunderstood,
When I was in the store today I was considering purchasing the camera. What I understand from this thread is that the camera has already been purchased and you want to get the adjustment. According to CC website they say you have 30 days that if you find it cheaper they will match the price. So it still should apply to your situation. Hope this helps.
Web Price instore
I bought my FZ20 at CC in the store. However, I showed them their web price and they matched it. Normally they will price match only othe brick and mortars, but they would match their own price. Look around and see if they are still running the special on the Sandisk Ultra II 512 cards..
BTW: make sure you get the second register tape.. There is a free battery and case from Panasonic, but only if you buy from CC. The register kept spitting out paper and that was a pleasent suprise.