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The best camera that is NOT a SLR

18.10.2005 (21.11.2005)

12x Zoom, Image Stabilizer, Picture  Quality

Manual Focus, No Manual Zoom,

Recommendable Yes:

Detailed rating:

Picture Quality

Range & Quality of Features

Ease of Use


Overall Look & Design




Value for MoneyExcellent

Instruction ManualGood

13 Ciao members have rated this review on average: helpful See ratings
very helpful by (42%):
  1. purplelynne
  2. mumsymary
  3. KRISPY13
and 7 other members
helpful by (58%):
  1. blonde_girl774
  2. salem_witch
  3. donf18
and 11 other members

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This camera is great. Its the closet it can be to being a SLR without actually being a SLR! It comes with a leica lens (the best lense manaffacture around), and its best feature of all, 12x Optical zoom, which means not having to buy Zoom Lenses for the camera. I have taking this camera hill walking for around 8 months now, and have taking some great photos, and the picture quality is amazing. There are low level of noise on the pictures and the Image Stabilizer really does help when your zooming in at 12x! Also, changing Aperture and Exposure times are easy to do with the cameras easy-to-use menus which help all ages to use this camera and through the ease of menus, it helps this camera be a great asset to even beginners into the world of Digital Photography.
So many pre-settings on this camera help you to be able to really get the most of the camera through a mode dial on the camera helping you switch from manual to video with a turn of a dial.
Using a Lith-ion battey, fully charged using the provided charger, you will get about 200-300 shots, which is pretty good, but unfortunately there is no way to get this camera to be able to use good old AA batterys.

There are a couple of things which let this camera down. The manual focus feature is not great. The LCD screen does not help you to clearly tell between focused and un-focused, while the EVF still does not help this function to be any better. Also, there could be a better start-up time for the camera and batter life if there were a manual zoom, as everytime you start up the camera, you have to wait for the lense to retract from 12x to 1x.
Its a great camera if you are an enthusiastic in the art of photography and being 5 megapixels it means photos can be printed at A4 with a breeze and just about A3 size.

Overall, 5 Megapixels, Built-In Flash, EVF, Manual Focus, Video, Image Stabilizer, Easy-to-use menus are just a handful of great features this camera offers, and for under £400, its a bargain.

Full Technical Specifications :-

Resolution: 5 megapixels (2560x1920)
Viewfinders: EVF (electronic viewfinder) and 2.0" color LCD
Lens: f2.8/36-432mm (35mm equivalent) all-glass Leica DC-VARIO ELMARIT zoom (13 elements in 8 groups with 3 aspherical surfaces to control optical distortion and one ED element to improve contrast and color).
Auto Focus: 9 AF point Contrast Detection
Exposure Modes: Auto, Program, Scene modes, Shutter priority, Aperture priority, and full Manual modes.
Flash: Built-in Multi Mode
Hot Shoe: Yes
Metering: Multi-Segment Evaluative, Center-Weighted, and Spot
Exposure Compensation: Yes /-2EV in 1/3EV increments
Noise Reduction: Yes-Automatic on shutter speeds of one second or longer
Image Formats: TIFF and JPEG
Sensitivity: TTL Auto, 80, 100, 200, & 400 ISO equivalents
White Balance: TTL auto, Pre-sets (Daylight, Cloudy, Halogen, and flash) plus a retrieve prior WB setting and a Manual WB setting
Image Storage: SD/MMC
Connectivity: USB, A/V out, DC in, Audio in
Power: Panasonic CGA-S002E 7.2v/680mAh Li-ion battery pack

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Comments about this review »

blonde_girl774 01.01.2006 12:39

Being a little slow, I'll blame it on the hangover, what's an SLR! Sam

salem_witch 27.12.2005 22:09

Eek at the price!

darkangelwing 28.11.2005 14:11

Good review,somevery brief technical info. but at best i thought this review to quite sufficent in order to be awarded a vh scoring,very well written and a good attempt

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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 (42%):

  1. purplelynne
  2. mumsymary
  3. KRISPY13

and 7 other members

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

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