Thom@s
Topic Author
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Anyone Thoughts On This Camera?

Fri Nov 05, 2004 8:39 pm

I'm thinking about buying a "proper" spotter camera, and thought I would need a camera which can help me overcome the "badquality" rejections I see far too many of these days.

So I've found this camera:

http://produkt.akam.no/vis_produkt.php?product_id=19671&view=images

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ20.


What I like about it is:
+ 4.91 Mega pixels.
+ 12x Zoom.
+ Uses Secure digital Memory card, just like my old camera, so I don't have to buy new ones.  Smile
+ Images are 2560 x 1920 pixels.

What I'm not too happy about:
- Maximum 8 sec exposure. (So perhaps not ideal for night shots?)
- Around £500 (Or is it worth it?)

The camera has received quite good reviews as far as I can see. Does anyon have any experience with it, and do you guys think that photos with 4.91 MP will make the photos notably better than the 3.2 MP photos I take now?

Thom@s
"If guns don't kill people, people kill people - does that mean toasters don't toast toast, toast toast toast?"
 
Joge
Posts: 1386
Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2000 3:26 am

RE: Anyone Thoughts On This Camera?

Fri Nov 05, 2004 8:43 pm

Thomas,

Panasonic itself sounds too nasty. Try at least to stick with the real camera manufacturer brands, like Nikon, Canon, Minolta, Olympus, Pentax...

As what I've heard however this has been a popular camera.

-Joge
Bula!
 
manzoori
Posts: 1459
Joined: Sun Sep 22, 2002 7:08 am

RE: Anyone Thoughts On This Camera?

Fri Nov 05, 2004 8:51 pm

I know someone who's selling a mint condition D30 if it's any good for you!

Contact me if you want more info.

Cheers!

Rez
 Big thumbs up
Flightlineimages DOT Com Photographer & Web Editor. RR Turbines Specialist
 
Thom@s
Topic Author
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RE: Anyone Thoughts On This Camera?

Fri Nov 05, 2004 9:28 pm

Joge, I think this one could do the job, so it's on top of my list at present.  Big grin

Rez, how good is a D30 compared to the one I have in mind? (I know squat about cameras...) Big grin

Thom@s
"If guns don't kill people, people kill people - does that mean toasters don't toast toast, toast toast toast?"
 
Lumix
Posts: 108
Joined: Wed Sep 29, 2004 8:55 pm

RE: Anyone Thoughts On This Camera?

Fri Nov 05, 2004 10:27 pm


Thomas -

Bear in mind that if you buy the FZ20 from a UK source you should be able to get it for less than £350 (plus postage).

For what you get its a bargain! 5MP, 12x (420mm) stabilised Leica zoom, full manual control. etc.

Much better IMHO than the Fuji S5000 and S7000.

Not every one can afford to spend £600 to £1200 for a Canon plus the same again for a decent lens.

I myself have the FZ10 and am very happy with what it produces (most of the time). whether the screeners agree is another matter!!

Search the database for FZ10 for samples. Haven't seen any FZ20 photos on a.net yet..........

Cheers, Lumix UK.

PS. If you must have a Canon..........Parks Cameras in the UK are currently selling the 300D for £499 (incl £100) cashback from Canon.


 
ckw
Posts: 4586
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RE: Anyone Thoughts On This Camera?

Fri Nov 05, 2004 10:51 pm

Looked at this camera very carefully on behalf of a friend. It is impressive. I would not be put off bythe Panasonic name - after all, its just a box stuffed with electronics and a sensor - I think you could argue that an electronics company may be better at this than a camera company  Smile

Where it matters (ie. the glass) you have the Leica name - and that should be good enough for anyone. And what a lens - f2.8 right up to an effective 420mm ... image stabalised to boot! There's more than one owner of top end DSLRs looking at this camera as the perfect "street camera".

Its not perfect - for a "compact" camera its big and heavy, high ISO performance is not as good as, say, a Canon 5mp camera and perhaps the worst flaw in my opinion, stronger than average colour fringing in some situations.

Put it this way - I'm seriously thinking of getting one myself. I don't think there is anything else in its price bracket that can touch it.

Cheers,

Colin
Colin K. Work, Pixstel
 
Thom@s
Topic Author
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RE: Anyone Thoughts On This Camera?

Fri Nov 05, 2004 10:59 pm

Thanks for your views guys.  Smile

Lumix, (Cool name btw) I found the FZ20 on Jessops.com prized over £400. But I think I'll just go with the domestic one.  Smile IF I buy it that is. Big grin

So, 5.MP is good enough to get those nice sharp pics then? I shouldn't spring for something more? (Will 5.MP not be a lot in 6 months time?)

Thom@s
"If guns don't kill people, people kill people - does that mean toasters don't toast toast, toast toast toast?"
 
PNEPilot
Posts: 148
Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2004 8:19 am

RE: Anyone Thoughts On This Camera?

Fri Nov 05, 2004 11:33 pm

5MP is plenty for web/on-screen use and "normal" size prints - only time 8MP becomes more useful is if you intend to print really big or crop heavily - which shouldn't be necessary too often with 420mm on the front.
 
mygind66
Posts: 1033
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RE: Anyone Thoughts On This Camera?

Sat Nov 06, 2004 12:11 am

..

We are so get used to DSLRs pro cameras of a minimum of 6 million megapixels that if you see a cheaper camera it's going to be rubbish...
Leica has been relationed with top quality and Panasonic is not a chinese product, definitely...

Prices in Spain around 600 euros..

Enrique
 
Thom@s
Topic Author
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RE: Anyone Thoughts On This Camera?

Sat Nov 06, 2004 12:30 am

Right, then. 5MP is good enough for me then.  Smile

Colin, love your pictures on a.net. How many MP on your D60?  Smile

Thom@s
"If guns don't kill people, people kill people - does that mean toasters don't toast toast, toast toast toast?"
 
manzoori
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RE: Anyone Thoughts On This Camera?

Sat Nov 06, 2004 12:59 am

Thomas,

I'm sorry mate, no idea how good a D30 is compared to the Panasonic camera simply because I've never tried the Lumix.

I can however confirm that the D30 takes great pictures... I won't self plug but just do a search for D30 in the remarks in the DB and you'll find one or two of mine in there somewhere.

The D30 is a fully featured SLR with all the adjustments you could want (OK maybe not some of those seen on a 1D Mkii but you get what I mean). On the flipside the lumix may well have that level of flexibility too... i don't know.

For me, the ability to attach the right lens for the situation and having next to no shutter lag were important factors... specially for high speed jet action!

Cheers!

Rez
 Big thumbs up
Flightlineimages DOT Com Photographer & Web Editor. RR Turbines Specialist
 
Woody001
Posts: 508
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RE: Anyone Thoughts On This Camera?

Sat Nov 06, 2004 1:12 am

For me, the ability to attach the right lens for the situation and having next to no shutter lag were important factors... specially for high speed jet action!

The correct lens at the right time....school boy error!  Nuts

Shutter lag is a big issue for any airshow shooter, it doesn't matter how many megapixels the camera has, if it takes too long to take the shot it's no good.

Ian.
If I could just get the afterburner working...
 
ckw
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RE: Anyone Thoughts On This Camera?

Sat Nov 06, 2004 1:40 am

Thomas - D60 is 6mp

Actually megapixels counts are overrated - I think people are finally beginning to realise this with the latest 8mp digicams ... the quality is definitely lacking when compared to, say, a 6mp DSLR.

Equally important are pixel density and pixel size (or more correctly, sensor site size & density) as these have a bearing on noise and dynamic range, which together with resolution combine to produce the perception of the final image.

From what I've seen, 5mp may currently be a good upper value for the tiny sensors used in digicams - higher counts give bigger, but not better images. If the quality of the image is good, it is surprising how much it can be enlarged (as I'm sure any 3.3mp D30 user will agree!).

Cheers,

Colin
Colin K. Work, Pixstel
 
manzoori
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RE: Anyone Thoughts On This Camera?

Sat Nov 06, 2004 1:58 am

The correct lens at the right time....school boy error!
You're correcting my English?!?! Sheesh!  Wink/being sarcastic

If the quality of the image is good, it is surprising how much it can be enlarged (as I'm sure any 3.3mp D30 user will agree!)

Very true !  Big thumbs up

Cheers!

Rez
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mikephotos
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RE: Anyone Thoughts On This Camera?

Sat Nov 06, 2004 2:06 am

From what I've seen, 5mp may currently be a good upper value for the tiny sensors used in digicams - higher counts give bigger, but not better images. If the quality of the image is good, it is surprising how much it can be enlarged (as I'm sure any 3.3mp D30 user will agree!).

Colin..you usually post very intelligent information. However, you should know better that this...if it doesn't have 8mp and a vert. grip, it's just a toy. How can you recommend a camera with an itty bitty 5mp sensor  Big grin

Mike
 
mygind66
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RE: Anyone Thoughts On This Camera?

Sat Nov 06, 2004 2:31 am

We are so get used to DSLRs pro cameras of a minimum of 6 million megapixels that if you see a cheaper camera it's going to be rubbish...

Sorry Thomas..just correcting my very bad bad english. Just wanted to say that this is wrong...
There are some people shooting with 3MP cameras with a superb quality..

Enrique
 
Thom@s
Topic Author
Posts: 11674
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RE: Anyone Thoughts On This Camera?

Sat Nov 06, 2004 2:32 am

Ok, well i think I'm convinced.  Smile Better start saving for that Panasonic then.

Not that your D30 doesn't sound interresting Rez, it's just not quite what I'm looking for.  Smile You have some great pics on there though. Liked the B-52 lowpass photo. Big grin

Thanks alot for your help everyone.

Thom@s
"If guns don't kill people, people kill people - does that mean toasters don't toast toast, toast toast toast?"
 
Woody001
Posts: 508
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RE: Anyone Thoughts On This Camera?

Sat Nov 06, 2004 3:18 am

Rez, not correcting your English.

Have you never heard of the 'Laws of Aviation photography'...?
  • The lens you need is always the one in the bag

  • The filter you need is always on another lens


  • It goes on but you get the idea!  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

    Ian.

    If I could just get the afterburner working...
     
    manzoori
    Posts: 1459
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    RE: Anyone Thoughts On This Camera?

    Sat Nov 06, 2004 4:11 am

    Ahhh Sorry Ian... my mistake! Embarrassment

    Yes indeed... the harsh Laws of Aviation Photography.... caught me out on many a good photo opportunity!!

    Rez
     Big thumbs up
    Flightlineimages DOT Com Photographer & Web Editor. RR Turbines Specialist
     
    javibi
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    RE: Anyone Thoughts On This Camera?

    Sat Nov 06, 2004 4:42 am

    More info on the FZ20:

    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/panasonicfz20/

    Selling for 377 pounds at http://www.nomatica.co.uk/

    j
     
    Thom@s
    Topic Author
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    RE: Anyone Thoughts On This Camera?

    Sat Nov 06, 2004 4:46 am

    Funny, the norwegian site i checked out with that camera, only linked to the site you just provided Javibi. Big grin

    Looks like I can get a good deal with some extra features here too...  Smile

    Thom@s
    "If guns don't kill people, people kill people - does that mean toasters don't toast toast, toast toast toast?"
     
    ckw
    Posts: 4586
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    RE: Anyone Thoughts On This Camera?

    Sat Nov 06, 2004 5:25 am

    it's just a toy

    Of course it is Mike ... but lets be honest, they're all toys really  Smile

    What is they say is the difference between men and boys - nothing ... just the cost of their toys.

    (And no offence intended to our female members!)

    Cheers,

    Colin
    Colin K. Work, Pixstel
     
    Lumix
    Posts: 108
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    RE: Anyone Thoughts On This Camera?

    Thu Nov 11, 2004 12:26 am


    For those who can't afford a Canon or Nikon I have just read a recently posted review on the FZ20 here:

    www.megapixel.net

    It received an superb review & a 94% rating. Can't be bad.


    There are also reviews on:

    www.dcresource.com

    www.dpreview.com

    www.steves-digicams.com
     
    oly720man
    Posts: 5740
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    RE: Anyone Thoughts On This Camera?

    Thu Nov 11, 2004 12:54 am

    http://www.internetcamerasdirect.co.uk/digital-camera-brands-Panasonic.htm

    359 GBP inc VAT here. I've bought stuff off them before now and had it within a day or so.
    wheat and dairy can screw up your brain
     
    flygmolinafmly
    Posts: 104
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    RE: Anyone Thoughts On This Camera?

    Mon Nov 15, 2004 11:35 pm

    I purchased this camera a month ago and I am extremely impressed with its quality and capabilities. I highly recommend this camera. It has its very nice features such as 12x zoom, lens, big lcd screen and everything else.

    Gabriel Molina
    "When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have bee
     
    noelg
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    RE: Anyone Thoughts On This Camera?

    Tue Nov 16, 2004 12:02 am

    Do a search on ebay for FZ20. Coming up with Buy it now prices of less than £300 (plus p&p).

    Must admit I'm seriously tempted by this!  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

    Wondering if the wife is in a generous mood this Christmas  Wink/being sarcastic

    Noel.

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