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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Review of "Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ20"

published 22/01/2006 | JeffFromPoole
Member since : 21/12/2005
Reviews : 193
Members who trust : 50
About me :
Excellent
Pro superb image quality, easy to use, fast action, good battery life
Cons A little bulky
helpful
Picture Quality
Range & Quality of Features
Ease of Use
Durability
Reliability

"An impulse buy in the January sales Updated 16 feb"

close up of anti-aircraft gun, Hamble, Hampshire

close up of anti-aircraft gun, Hamble, Hampshire

I was becoming disatisfied with my old camera, the screen wasn't visible outdoors, the focus and shutter lag was meaning that I was missing shots and frankly it looked like a toy.

When I saw the Panasonic Lumix FZ20 in the window of a well known camera retailer for £199.99, I had to go in and take a look.

Five Minutes later I was out again, having sustained a hit on Barclaycard, clutching my new camera, and I'm very pleased with it. Goodbye to shutter lag, hello EVF, superb zoom capabilties and welcome home to my stock of SD cards, which was helpful, as I didn't need to buy anymore.

I am staggered by the picture quality, the range of features and for the price I paid, value for money. It could be a good starter camera, which would not need to be replaced as quickly as a simple point and shoot camera.

I was particularly impressed by the anti-shake function, in other cameras I have tried you can hear it running, in this one the only way to tell if it is working is to turn it off and compare the results in low light.

update 16/02 /06

Thought I'd upload a selection of different kinds of pictures I have taken with this camera. Although they have been reduced in size hopefully you will get the idea of the colour range and versatility ofthe camera. The dog picture was taken in bad light with the flash, usually all-black subjects absorb light and are featureless.

The zoom shot was taken of the Poole to Studland ferry, when it was about half way across. The light was failing as it was about 5 pm in February. My guitar was shot indoors with flash. the rusty machinery is the working end of a WW2 anto aircraft gun on the shore at Hamble, Hampshire, it was a very bright sunny morning and colours were becoming washed out. the only alterations I have made to the pictures is reducing their size, as they are nearly 3 Mb out of the camera.

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Comments on this review

  • mumsymary published 23/12/2007
    Cameras have improved so much
  • whitehall1 published 11/03/2006
    I bought the DMC Lumix FZ5 recently --- and I would agree that these cameras are very easy to use. Great pictures, very interesting! Sun
  • bluejules published 18/02/2006
    Good review. I have a Canon Ixus 50 and am very happy with it, so I'm not looking for a new one. Jules 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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