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Old Dec 8, 2005, 2:44 PM   #1
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I'm leaning towards the panys due to the great reviews. People rave about the Lecia lens. I have a few questions:

I'm pondering if i should get a fz5 or a z20. Basically, i'm a point and shot kind of guy. Don't need anything fancy. I like the above models for the 12x. I think the ZOOM would be great. I'm currently using a 35mm - Minolta point and shoot. It zooms out to 135mm. It has produced some good shots. I'm just sick of dealing with sending them out to be processed and only about 25% of the photos being 'keepers'. I'm thinking i can save money in the long run with just printing out the ones i like at a WalMart or something similiar. I have two kids under the age of three. Most ofmy shots involve them.

On to my questions:


Some reviews comment on panys being noisy - are they notorious for this - or, is their nosiness over-rated? Would any one NOTbuy a pany due to its so-called 'nosie problem"?


2. Some wrote about the 20 having an awkward shutter release location. Any thoughts on this? I'd like to see one for myself but i live in a small town. Would have to drive at least on hour to view one and hold one. However, that might be an hour will spent.


3. Some rave about the pany 20 having a fixed apeture. How much of advantage is this for the 20 over the 5?


4. Size of camera - the 5 vs the 20. Small vs. big. This seems like something that i would have to hold in a store to see which one i prefer.

Is a 20 a little bit of over kill for a p/s guy like me? Thereby, making the 5 a better choice for me? I want ease of operation, good image prints and great zoom.

The Sony DSCH1 and the Canon S2 have also interested me. But it seems like most of the reviews that i have read comparing the three - that the two panys are preferred as far as image quality - again, largely due to the Lecia lens. I have read that the Canon takes the best movies - but i already have a stand alone Sony video camera that works good. It would be convienent to have a camera that did both but i imagine that my stand alone, dated Sony makes better video than does the Canon S2.

One dude i talked with on the phone at a camera shop said that i would be happy with any of the three. That they are too close to call. Like saying should i buy a Honda, Toyota, or a Nissan. Any of the three are great cars and will give you good results. The question is - what is your preference? Come in for a TEST DRIVE. I'm guessing i need to take that long drive and take these diggys for a test drive.

Any help/thoughts from you experienced folks would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

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Old Dec 8, 2005, 2:50 PM   #2
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Compare the test imagesinSteves reviewsof FZ20 and ,say,"not known to be noisy"CANONIS s2 @ iso 400- you will be pleasantly suprized
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Old Dec 8, 2005, 3:08 PM   #3
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driliagor wrote:
Compare the test imagesinSteves reviewsof FZ20 and ,say,"not known to be noisy"CANONIS s2 @ iso 400- you will be pleasantly suprized
Are you saying to look at the samples on the Canon review and then look at the sample of the z20 review then try to compare the two or is there a link where i can see the two side by side?

Are you saying that the pany is no more noisy than the Canon?

Thanks for your reply!

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Old Dec 9, 2005, 10:34 PM   #4
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If you're choosing between the FZ5 and the 20, go for the 5. (But yes, do check out the Canon too).

1: Other cameras are less noisy, but I don't think their images are quite as sharp. Except maybe for the Canon that has been mentioned before. I would also recommend you check it out. Myself, I'm a very happy FZ10 owner. I keep the ISO at 50 (unless it's real dark), which is not too hard to do with that stabilized f2.8 lens.

2: I could be wrong, but I think all the FZs have very similar shutter release buttons. If someone says the FZ20's is awkward, then this person is probably comparing it with digital SLRs (or, possibly, with other big-zoom digital cameras), not with the other FZs. Most digital SLRs have the shutter release kind of in a diagonal between the top and the front, while most non-SLR digital cameras (like the FZs) have it horizontally at the top, which is a tad more awkward.

3: The FZ20's fixed aperture is great, f2.8 all the way through. The FZ5 only drops to f3.1, though, which is really a small difference. All this means is that, in a zoomed-in shot where an FZ20 could take it at 1/1000s, the FZ5 would need about 1/800s. It means your shutter speeds will have to be about 20% slower if you zoom in all the way. But f3.1 at 420mm is still wonderful, and better than any other digital camera, especially since it's stabilized. So don't worry about it.

4: Seriously. The FZ10 and 20 are huge. The FZ5 isn't exactly tiny, though, but it's smaller.

The FZ20 has a flash shoe. If you're not going to use an external / add-on flash, then I don't see any advantage in getting the FZ20 over the 5.

The guy at the store is right - all these cameras are very close. I'd choose the FZ5, but I'd recommend you visit Steve's reviews and look at the pictures taken with each camera before you decide.

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Old Dec 9, 2005, 10:59 PM   #5
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Noise is one of the main reasons I stick with Fuji for compact cameras. I did a comparison of the Fuji F10(one of the lowest noise compacts on the market) and the FZ5, and found the FZ5 at ISO100 has similar noise to the Fuji at ISO400. For some, this is not an issue. For me, I cannot stand noise in my bright outdoor pictures, and I like low light capability. I am not trying to sell you the F10, because due to your intial camera choice, it is not likely the camera for you.

I agree you should look into the canon IS2, as it has much more controlled noise levels at low ISO, and similar noise levels at higher ISOs. The Fuji 5200/5600 may be a solution for you if you want the zoom, but it will be a little bulkier to carry around, and noise levels are much lower than the other two choices. The Panasonic does have a lens that has less chromatic abrasion, but I rather have slight chromatic abrasion than noise any day.
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