Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ20

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Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ20

The DMC-FZ20's advanced zoom lens takes you all the way from 36mm wide angle to 432mm telephoto. Shoot open landscapes, zoom in on a room interior, or...

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97% positive

11 reviews from the community

Review of "Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ20"

published 01/07/2005 | Kevinwinsall
Member since : 29/06/2005
Reviews : 6
Members who trust : 2
About me :
Excellent
Pro powerful x12 optical zoom ,SLR true colour photo's,movies as well
Cons slightly bulky not always the easiest menu system to use
very helpful
Picture Quality
Range & Quality of Features
Ease of Use
Durability
Reliability

"Panasonic Lumix DCM-FZ20 5 Meg digital camera"

This is a great all round camera. It has a massive x12 optical zoom with auto stabilizing software so even I with shaky hand can get perfectly still pictures ever time!

This digital camera gives you SLR quality pictures slightly cheaper than a good quality SLR but you are able to down load onto a computer and print it out any size. To save the money and time fiddling around with printer you can use online websites to send you prints. They send you high quality glossy photos on photographic paper for as little as 10p for 6" x 4" prints.

In addition, it has in built compression software, which is fast and very useful. For example a full quality picture (2560x1920) on a 128MB card without compression you can store up to 8 images but with full compression you can get 100 on it but it is a bit slow. I personally use medium compression where you get 51(2560x1920) photo's on a 128Mb card without loss of quality or speed

Full Auto mode is very easy to use and produces clear and crisp picture even in low light. Using this mode, it is simple point and shoot camera, which gives you wonderful true colour and clear photographs.

It has a built in flash which when you activate it you can set automatic anti red eye which really works. I have not taken a photo with red eye in it yet. In addition, you can force the flash on all the time or not at all.

The camera also comes with Lens hood and adapter for taking photos into direct sunlight

The movies are great; you can record at 10fps or 30 fps with sound too. The quality at 30 fps is great but you have to make sure there is good light, as flash does not work in this mode. At this quality, it is very memory hungry so I advise buying at least
512 MB XD memory card. You can use Multimedia cards but performance is lost as it is a bit slow.

Connecting to the computer using USB port is easy and the software provided is simple to use. It creates the XD memory as a drive on your computer so you click and drag files/folder on to it like a hard drive. It is a fast type of card and you can put any type of file on it, which proves useful for transferring files between computers.

On the main control, it allows you to choose 8 modes which are
(P) Fully automatic
(A) Aperture-priority
(S) shutter-priority
(M) Manual exposure (the exposure is adjusted by aperture value and shutter speed, which are manually adjusted
(Macro mode) for close up photo's
(SCN1) + (SCN2) which you allows you to take pictures depending on recording scenes
(>) Playback mode where you see all your pictures and can delete single or multi pictures.

On (M) manual mode setting where you can change everything you possibly want to include Exposer, White balance, sensitivity, colour and more. In my opinion, I find the menu system for this is a bit clumsy but functional.

Also on any mode, you can have manual focus, which is like professional camera where you twist this lens until you are happy with the focus.

Probably one of the major reasons I brought this camera was the burst mode option. This allows you to take continuous pictures at 3 per second still at high quality but you have to keep camera really still as anti shake is not active.

The battery life is great the book say 240Min (you are suppose to turn camera off after 10 pictures for 30 seconds to give battery a chance to recover) continuous use but it seems longer as I never use it that long without turning it off. The only negative point is the battery costs £40 but it is well worth a serious user having a spare even though charging only takes 120 minutes.

When I brought it was £340 and to get similar quality picture, zoom and movies I would have to pay extra £100

The only other negative thing is the size it's a bit bulky and heavy
(556grams with battery and memory card)

For the professional you can buy telephoto lenses to fit on it also filter lenses. In addition, you can attach external flash to the hot shoe.

Panasonic might be relatively new to the digital camera scene but it does not show and other manufactories could learn something from the quality of this camera. I fully recommend this camera to everyone from the beginner to the more experienced


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This review was read 6783 times and was rated at
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Comments on this review

  • Nar published 06/07/2005
    A much better update you have done here, which is rewarding to know about and informs any buyer looking at this item. Good. Nar
  • CaptainDisaster published 05/07/2005
    Hi Kevin, that's a really good update you've done, thanks for letting me know. Cheers, Dave
  • ilusvm published 05/07/2005
    gladly re-rated :-) Em x
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Product Information : Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ20

Manufacturer's product description

The DMC-FZ20's advanced zoom lens takes you all the way from 36mm wide angle to 432mm telephoto. Shoot open landscapes, zoom in on a room interior, or pull a distant object right up close - all with instant zooming ease. With the FZ20, you get the same capabilities as a single-lens reflex camera equipped with a full set of interchangeable lenses. Use it to explore a new level of photographic expressivity. For example, use normal magnification for most ordinary shots, medium telephoto for portraits, and super telephoto for special long-range shots. The FZ20 even gives you the same capabilities as a super-telephoto lens in the 400mm, F2.8 class - something every serious photographer should have. Remarkably, the FZ20 offers the kind of specifications you get with a big, heavy lens, but in an extremely compact, lightweight package. With most compact zoom lenses, the brightness tends to be lower in the telephoto range. Not the FZ20. Its 12x optical zoom lens delivers F2.8 brightness all the way to full telephoto. This gives you more expressivity and greater ease of use because the exposure value doesn't change even when you zoom out to shoot long-range telephoto shots. The Elmarit lens made by Leica Camera AG of Germany has earned the acclaim of top photographers everywhere. Now some of the same cutting-edge technologies that make this lens so exceptional have been adapted to the digital camera. Presenting the LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT lens that inherits the traits that make Leica a legend in the camera world. Small in size yet featuring a large, bright aperture, this lens meets Leica's stringent quality standards. In fact, the FZ20 goes a step further by using ED (extra-low dispersion) glass in its lens, which helps minimize the refraction differences among light of different wavelengths. This helps to suppress the color bleeding that often occurs in telephoto shots, giving you crisp, vivid images no matter how far you've zoomed in on your subject. The CCDs used in most digital cameras have much smaller light-receiving areas than film does, so photos tend to have a high depth of field. This means that everything in the photo - including objects in the foreground and background - is in focus. The FZ20, however, takes advantage of its 12x zoom and large F2.8 aperture to offer the kind of expressivity you cannot get with conventional digital cameras. You can snap photos that capture the subject in a clear, sharp focus while giving the background a beautiful soft focus. Use the 4x digital zoom together with the 12x optical zoom and you've got ultra-powerful 48x zooming. That approximates a huge 1728mm lens on a 35mm camera.

Product Details

Product Description: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ20 - digital camera, Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ20EG-K - digital camera, Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ20K - digital camera

Product Type: Digital camera - compact

Memory Card Slot: SD card

Sensor Resolution: 5.0 Megapixel

Lens System: Leica 12 x zoom lens - 6 - 72 mm - f/2.8

Focus Adjustment: Automatic, manual

Min Focus Distance: 30 cm

Digital Zoom: 4 x

Image Stabiliser: Optical

Camera Flash: Pop-up flash

Viewfinder: Electronic - 0.33" - colour

Display: LCD display - 2"

Supported Battery: 1 x Li-ion rechargeable battery - 680 mAh ( included )

AV Interfaces: Composite video

Dimensions (WxDxH): 12.8 cm x 10.6 cm x 8.7 cm

Weight: 0.5 kg

Manufacturer: Panasonic

Colour: Black

General

MPN: DMC-FZ20, DMC-FZ20EGMK, DMC-FZ20B

Product Type: Digital camera - compact

Available Body Colours: Black, silver

Sensor Resolution: 5.0 Megapixel

Optical Sensor Type: CCD

Total Pixels: 5,360,000 pixels

Effective Sensor Resolution: 5,000,000 pixels

Optical Sensor Size: 1/2.5"

Optical Zoom: 12 x

Digital Zoom: 4 x

Image Stabiliser: Optical

Auto Focus: TTL contrast detection

Auto Focus Points (Zones) Qty: 9

Digital Video Format: QuickTime

Image Recording Format: JPEG, TIFF

AV Interfaces: Composite video

Enclosure Colour: Black

Exposure & White Balance

Light Sensitivity: ISO 100, ISO 400, ISO 200, ISO 80

Exposure Metering: Multi-segment, centre-weighted, spot

Exposure Modes: Programme, automatic, manual, aperture-priority, shutter-priority

Shooting Programs: Portrait mode, party/indoor, surf & snow, night portrait, scenery, fireworks, night scene, panning, sports mode

Special Effects: Cool, Warm, Black & White, Sepia, Saturation, Contrast compensation

White Balance: Custom, automatic, presets

White Balance Presets: Cloudy, Flash, daylight, halogen

Max Shutter Speed: 1/2000 sec

Min Shutter Speed: 8 sec

Exposure Compensation: ±2 EV range, in 1/3 EV steps

Auto Exposure Bracketing: 3 steps in 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV steps

Lens System

Type: Leica 12 x zoom lens - 6 - 72 mm - f/2.8

Focal Length Equivalent to 35mm Camera: 36 - 432mm

Focus Adjustment: Automatic, manual

Min Focus Distance: 30 cm

Macro Focus Range: 5cm

Zoom Adjustment: Motorised drive

Lens Construction: 8 groups / 13 elements

Features: ED glass, aspherical lens

Camera Flash

Camera Flash: Pop-up flash

Flash Modes: Fill-in mode, slow synchro, auto mode, flash OFF mode, red-eye reduction

Features: AF illuminator, flash +/- compensation

Effective Flash Range: 0.3 m - 7 m

Additional Features

Continuous Shooting Speed: 2 frames per second, 3 frames per second

Self Timer Delay: 10 sec, 2sec

Flash Terminal: Hot shoe

Additional Features: Audio recording, built-in speaker, RGB primary colour filter, auto power save, digital noise reduction, date/time stamp, DPOF support, PictBridge support, histogram display, resizing an image

Viewfinder

Viewfinder Type: Electronic

Viewfinder Colour Support: Colour

Viewfinder Diagonal Size: 0.33"

Viewfinder Resolution: 114,000 pixels

Field Coverage: 100%

Display

Type: 2" LCD display

Resolution: 130,000 pixels

Display Features: Built-in

Connections

Connector Type: 1 x USB ¦ 1 x composite video/audio output ¦ 1 x DC power input

Memory Card Slot: SD card

Software

Software: Drivers & Utilities, ArcSoft PhotoImpression, ArcSoft PhotoBase, ArcSoft Panorama Maker

System Requirements for PC Connection

Operating System Support: MS Windows XP, MS Windows 2000, MS Windows ME, MS Windows 98, MS Windows 98 SE, Apple Mac OS X, Apple Mac OS 9.x

Peripheral Devices: USB port, CD-ROM Drive

Miscellaneous

Included Accessories: Lens hood, lens cap, hand strap, lens adaptor, USB cable, audio / video cable, power adapter with battery charger

Battery

Details: 1 x Li-ion rechargeable battery - 680 mAh ( included )

Memory / Storage

Memory Card Slot: SD card

Supported Memory Cards: MultiMediaCard, SD Memory Card

Included Memory Card: 16 MB SD

Image Storage: TIFF 2560 x 1920 : 1 - with 32MB card ¦ Fine JPEG 2560 x 1920 : 5 - with 16MB card ¦ Standard JPEG 2560 x 1920 : 11 - with 16MB card ¦ TIFF 2048 x 1536 : 1 - with 16MB card ¦ Fine JPEG 2048 x 1536 : 9 - with 16MB card ¦ Standard JPEG 2048 x 1536 : 17 - with 16MB card ¦ TIFF 1600 x 1200 : 2 - with 16MB card ¦ Fine JPEG 1600 x 1200 : 14 - with 16MB card ¦ Standard JPEG 1600 x 1200 : 28 - with 16MB card ¦ TIFF 1280 x 960 : 3 - with 16MB card ¦ Fine JPEG 1280 x 960 : 22 - with 16MB card ¦ Standard JPEG 1280 x 960 : 41 - with 16MB card ¦ TIFF 640 x 480 : 13 - with 16MB card ¦ Fine JPEG 640 x 480 : 69 - with 16MB card ¦ Standard JPEG 640 x 480 : 113 - with 16MB card ¦ TIFF 1920 x 1080 : 2 - with 16MB card ¦ Fine JPEG 1920 x 1080 : 13 - with 16MB card ¦ Standard JPEG 1920 x 1080 : 25 - with 16MB card

Video Capture: QuickTime - 320 x 240 - 30 fps - 25 sec - with 16MB card ¦ QuickTime - 320 x 240 - 10 fps - 75 sec - with 16MB card

Dimensions & Weight

Width: 12.8 cm

Depth: 10.6 cm

Height: 8.7 cm

Weight: 0.5 kg

Environmental Parameters

Min Operating Temperature: 0 °C

Max Operating Temperature: 40 °C

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Listed on Ciao since: 07/12/2004