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Old May 8, 2005, 4:34 AM   #1
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Hi all, i'm new to this site. May i start off by saying what a great site it is.

But i am still confused. my friend has bought a Panasonic FZ 20. it appears to be a great camera. It is slightly out of my price range though considering this will be my first 'proper' digital camera.

i have been advised that the nearest type is the Olympus C 765 or the C 770could you please advise me if this would be suitable for a first camera. or if there are any others that would match it.

i have spent ages checking out the comparisons on this site but am still confused.

i am a fire officer and would be using the camera for work as well as pleasure. hence the reason for not wanting anything too bulky.

Thank you
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Old May 8, 2005, 9:15 AM   #2
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There is a great difference between the FZ20 and the 765/770, and because there are several cameras that are much closer to the 20 than those Oly's, I would have to say that the person who told you that the Oly's were thenearest does not know the full range of cameras. The FZ20 is a full-sized, full-featured mega-zoom with image stabilization (IS), and the Oly is, well...not. Since size is an issue, I will limit my comments to the cameras that are more similar in size to the Oly's, rather than mention the ones that are truely closer to the 20.

You didn't mention how many megapixels you need, so I will first mention the Panasonic FZ3, which is much closer in size to the Oly, but yet still retains the fast 12x lens w/IS and manual exposure modesseen on the 20. If your pockets are big enough to hold a 765, it will hold an FZ3 as well. The FZ3 has 3.2mp, which is big enough for 8x10 prints (don't know what this equates to in the UK). Panasonic also recently introduced the FZ4 and 5, which have the same form factor as the 3, but have more mp's and a slightly slower lens (and a higher price tag).

If you want IS but can't find the above, you could also look at the Canon S1 IS and the Minolta Z3/Z5, which have big zoom w/IS, and although only slightly larger than the FZ3, are still much smaller than the FZ20.

If you don't really need IS, then the Oly's are the smallest big-zooms that I can think of. I've always been a fan of Olympus, and I know that they would provide excellent pictures. There is also the Fuji 5100 and Kodak 7590 as well, but these are noticeably larger than the Oly's. Still though, they do provide very good performance for the price, so it would be worth your time to read the reviews. Lastly, there is the Nikon 4800, which is fairly close in size and weight to the Oly's, but whose zoom drops down to about 8x or so.

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Old May 8, 2005, 10:20 AM   #3
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The FZ15 has most of the features of the FZ20 but about 150 cheaper when I bought it two months ago. It is 4 MP, has no hot shoe and no sound in movie mode but all other features are identical. Great camera.
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Old May 8, 2005, 2:51 PM   #4
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Thanks Phil. that was very useful. i will compare the ones you have stated. I'm going to Sicily in 3 weeks and need to act fast. i had looked around today and almost decided on th C 770. but will now consider your suggestions.

Kind regards

Ps thanks to shinytop too for your comments.
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