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Old Nov 22, 2010, 10:54 AM   #1
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Default Thoughts on Panasonic FH20/FH22?

Hey guys, I have a niece who's interested in a very compact, pocketable P&S that has at least reasonable IQ and halfway decent zoom ability. I ran across a Panasonic FH22 for $139 at Best Buy yesterday. Zoom range is 28-222mm (equivalent). The FH20 is the same camera, without (I think) the touchscreen controls and 720p (instead of 1080p) video.

Anyone have an experience with either of these cameras? Within the realm of compact/ultra-compact P&S cameras, how are these? The one or two professional reviews I've found seem to be positive and have even said the cameras do surprisingly well at higher ISOs. Of course, we all know that's comparing results to those of similar cameras. Does anyone have any real-world feedback?
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Old Nov 28, 2010, 5:46 PM   #2
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I'm interested in these cameras as well. I'm looking for a camera for my daughter & also one for my mother. From what I can find, the FH20 seems to get very good reviews, but the FH22 seems to have problems with the touchscreen.

I'd like to hear the opinions of anyone here that owns either one.
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Old Nov 29, 2010, 9:53 PM   #3
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Well, she picked up the FH22 on sale at Best Buy for $139 on Saturday. I had a chance to try it out a bit. Actually, while I realize why many people go for the ZS7 and ZS5, at half the price the FH22 is one smokin' little ultra compact (slightly smaller and noticeably lighter than either of the the ZS twins). I was impressed enough to pick one up myself for those cases when I just want something to slip in a pocket and use to fire off some shots quickly and discreetly.

The 28-224mm zoom range is way ahead of anything else for the price. No, it's not the 25-300mm offered by the ZS cameras, but it's still a very generous and useful range for such a small camera.

Image quality seemed fine to me - certainly for the class of camera with that kind of sensor. The Intelligent Auto function seemed highly reliable as well - making the camera even more attractive for its mission.

There is actually quite a bit of image customization available to the user - even if it's not through the traditional avenues of aperture priority, shutter priority, etc. The scene modes do work well in the environments for which they are intended and one can further customize things by forcing the flash on or off, pushing ISO higher or lower, selecting focus areas and adjusting exposure compensation.

Neither my niece nor I experienced any problems with the touchscreen. I think that's a personal thing. Some people take to them and others not. In fact, when either of us wanted to bypass Intelligent Auto, we found the touchscreen made it much easier and faster to do so than mining through the traditional menu systems that these cameras tend to have. Our cameras also came with firmware version 1.1 - so perhaps that improved the touchscreen function a bit?

Speaking of the touchscreen, the rear LCD offers only the typical 230,000 dot resolution, but does offer an automatic mode that increases brightness when using the camera in bright sunshine. It also offers a setting that allows the LCD to be seen clearly from a sharp angle - such as when you're raising the camera over your head to shoot above a crowd, etc. Both settings can be turned on or off.

We didn't play too much with video but the camera shoots 1280x720 HD Quicktime, not AVCHD or AVCHD Lite.

Overall, a pretty nice purchase for the price!

EDIT: This is the only lengthy review I can find for the FH22:


Last edited by Biro; Nov 29, 2010 at 10:59 PM.
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