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Panasonic Lumix DCM-FZ20 5 Meg digital camera

01.07.2005 (05.07.2005)

powerful x12 optical zoom ,SLR  true colour photo's,movies as well

slightly bulky not always the easiest menu system to use

Recommendable Yes:

Detailed rating:

Picture Quality

Range & Quality of Features

Ease of Use


Overall Look & Design




Value for MoneyExcellent

Instruction ManualGood

9 Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful See ratings
very helpful by (60%):
  1. Tickly
  2. Nar
  3. CaptainDisaster
and 6 other members
helpful by (40%):
  1. StuartMcBane
  2. lipsalve
  3. selket135
and 3 other members

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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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Comments about this review »

Nar 06.07.2005 12:16

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 05.07.2005 16:53

Hi Kevin, that's a really good update you've done, thanks for letting me know. Cheers, Dave

ilusvm 05.07.2005 14:40

gladly re-rated :-) Em x

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Product Information »

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 landsca...


Product Type Digital camera - compact
Available Body Colours Black, silver

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

Show all Product Information

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Review Ratings »

This review of Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ20 has been rated:

"very helpful" by (60%):

  1. Tickly
  2. Nar
  3. CaptainDisaster

and 6 other members

The overall rating of a review is different from a simple average of all individual ratings.

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