Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digital Cameras (Point and Shoot) > Panasonic / Leica

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Jan 17, 2005, 5:41 PM   #11
Senior Member
jsiladi's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 587


You've been here a few days longer than I have and probably seen that there's a lot of good information here.. Including many examples of what these cameras are capable of. I just bought an FZ20, for the 5mp, the killer lens, and the fact that this model had a flash shoe.. As others have pointed out, the camera isn't "popular" because no one knows much about it. I would call that bad advertisement on Panasonics part more than anything else.

I can tell you I've owned 3 panasonic items in my lifetime. A VCR that is going on 12 years old and still working fine, a television that I've had about 6 years, and this camera that I've had for 6 days. I can further state that every Sony, JVC, Toshiba (especially) item I've ever owned have crapped out in a matter of a few years. Perhaps that's all just my luck, perhaps not. I'm sure someone elses experience will differ from mine. Anyway, That bit of past history alone was enough to steer me away from those brands and toward the Panasonic once I decided what I was looking for in a digital camera.

Yes, It's obscure in the popular sell everything electronics supermarkets but in my opinion, well worth the hunt.

That all said.. After 6 days, Here's what I like about the FZ20 and don't like..

*The Lens.. Top notch for a camera in this price range.

*The controls.. Most things are menu operated. There aren't a lot of buttons and gadgets to A: Break and B: Get in the way of using the camera for photos.

*The Display.. Nice and big and for most situations, works great. The electronic view finder works pretty well too.

*The macro mode.. One of the reasons for the purchase was for the ability to get as close as half an inch from the lens.

*The ISO 80.. I would have prefered a 50 (or less) but it still does a nice job of keeping the noise down.

*Manual Focus ring.. A lot of people wouldn't care about this but I like to be able to control everything.

There are others but those were the key features for me.

Con: Please note that I knew about these before I bought the camera. I decided they weren't important enough to me to pass on the camera.

* No manual zoom control.. Only electronic control
* Higher ISO of 400 can be noisy
* No B shutter speed (8 sec is longest exposure)
* The movie mode. Probably among the lowest resolution of all compared to other cameras. Works pretty good on a computer screen or the LCD but it's terrible on the television.
* The built in flash tends to throw a pinkish cast on human subjects. This can be corrected in post processing but you should be aware of it (Back to why I wanted an external flash shoe).
* The LCD display of your image can be difficult to see in lower light situations. Some call the feature that this camera lacks a "gain up" feature where it will brighten to show you what the camera is looking at.
* Only comes with 16Mb card (you'll want to upgrade that right away).

The FZ15 and FZ20 operate the same from what I understand so that's why I posted my lengthy response.

That's my 3.5 cents on the subject..

jsiladi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 18, 2005, 9:27 AM   #12
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 36

I would NOT consider the FZ20 over the FZ15 if you are the average sport shooter - Ask yourself how many times are you willing to hook up the external flash on your FZ to capture your shots ? Keep in mind that they improved the flash on the FZ15/20 over the FZ10 series. As far as image quality goes - even viewing on a monitor - you probably will NOT see the difference in 4MP versus 5MP. As for cropping - you will only get about 10 percent more cropping ability with 5mp versus 4mp. With the 12x zoom - you should not HAVE to crop as much any how if you are composing your pics properly.

Also consider overall image quality - It has been said in many reviews that the FZ15 has less obvious noise than the FZ20. Makes sense since they both use the same size CCD. The FZ15 will go down to ISO 64 versus only ISO 80 on the FZ20 - I'll take ISO 64 for my kids sunny summer shots any day. Go out to imaging-resource.com - You can compare pics of the FZ15/20 side by side for yourself.

If you want audio served up with your video - use what's made to do that - A camcorder.

I could NOT justify the extra $80-100 for the FZ20 over the FZ15. Thats $80-100 setting in savings (about 20-25%) saved for the next gen of panny to come out or for the following gen when I upgrade again.

Another note to mention - If you want a fast camera - the FZ15 will be a little quicker than the FZ20 - mainly due to the smaller image writes to SD card - 4mp vesus 5mp. Also consider archiving - the FZ15 on fine jpg is about 1.4 meg - I 'm guessing the FZ20 is over 2 meg/pic - Now multiply the differnece by thousands of pics = lots maor HD space.

The only thing I DO MISS with the FZ15 - is the remote shutter capability

sportster64 is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 8:42 PM.