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Old Dec 5, 2004, 10:50 PM   #1
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Hi I am thinking of buying either 8800 or FZ20. The review of the FZ20 is great and the price is even better but I would like to get some feedback from people who have handled both cameras. Your thoughts and feedback would be most appreciated. Thanks in advance ....
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Old Dec 9, 2004, 3:16 AM   #2
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Greetings Suhern...No one has replied yet, so I will throw a few words in, even though I don't own either camera. Click on the 8800 titles here in the NIKON topic and you will see there has been a raging debate on the pros and cons of the 8800. Some pictures have been posted as well by The Scubbler, and by Carlitin, both 8800 owners. Some beautiful pictures with the Panasonic FZ20 were posted in PEOPLE pictures by a guy from Turkey, whose name escapes me for the moment, but they were very nice. He could possibly give you some pointers on the Panasonic. His post was just yesterday I believe, so it's easy to find. ( Johnt was the name) You more than likely have browsed and found this for yourself, but...just in case...Best regards,

KennethD
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Old Dec 10, 2004, 7:55 AM   #3
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Also, if you go with the FZ 20, pick up one of these.

http://www.google.com/froogle?q=Minolta+SD-CF1+Compactflash+Adapter&btnG=Search+Froogle


They will make your SD media (which FZ20 uses) work in a Compact Flash slot on an 8800 or a digital SLR.

This way, you do not need to "replace" your SD media with Compact Flash media should you upgrade to a DSLR someday.

:-)
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Old Dec 11, 2004, 7:11 PM   #4
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If your objective is long zoom capability consider that the 8800 is almost 2 f-stops slower at full zoom (f5.2 compared to f2.8 on the FZ20). That cancels out most of your stabilization advantage. Any way you cut it the FZ20 will take comparable shots with almost ¼ the light at full zoom. The FZ20 zoom also gives you an extra couple of Xs – no big deal.

If you need the extra Mp or plan on using it for movies the 8800 is the better choice. They are both good cameras.

About the ergonomics on the FZ20, you just have to own one for a while. Once you learn to hold your left hand under the barrel with both elbows into your body you can stabilize it as well as any other camera. There are disadvantages to picking a camera up in a store and making a judgement in a few seconds.

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Old Dec 11, 2004, 9:32 PM   #5
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Quote:
Agreed. I don't own the panny, so I probably would get used to it like most any camera.
Sometimes it is like getting used to a tack in your foot or a missing finger – I guess you can get used to anything. But the FZ20 (FZ10 in my case) settles in pretty quickly compared to some things I've had to get used to. Harder than the ergonomics to me was the almost total lack of physical controls. Everything is menu driver other than the great manual focus control – which I assume was designed by Leica. But menus aren't bad with an EVF and they are well designed.



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Old Dec 13, 2004, 1:19 AM   #6
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Thanks people for the feedback. I have decided on the FZ20, will be getting it tomorrow.
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Old Dec 13, 2004, 1:33 PM   #7
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Sorry guys, but look at the sample images on this site and I think you will agree that the CP8800 wins hands down.

The FZ20 lens looks great at f2.8 across the zoom range but, if Steve's images are used a guidance, it's still not in the same league as the CP8800.
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Old Dec 13, 2004, 1:47 PM   #8
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Don't forget when looking at the two, as I did, that the Nikon has some more 'pro' features that the panny doesn't. TTL flash, bulb exposures, the swivel LCD, a better EVF (which gains up in low light to make composition easier) and silly features like the panorama assist (which IS actually quite useful... though how often, REALLY, do you take or want to take a panorama shot?).
If you don't see yourself as needing any of those very much, I would go for the panny, it's so much cheaper, and the extra £££/$$$'s will let you add a teleconverter, for example, or a whole array of filters.
Weighing in on top of price for the panny is also the issue of the manual focus ring which is a dream for fast composition.

The nikon has definite issues with low light focus (but not so much as to ruin the experience for me) whereas with the panasonic it will be difficult to compose the shot in low light because of the EVF and LCD not gaining up in low light.
The panasonic has apparent colour issues, though I've not seen many people complaining about it, red fringing at full telephoto (in some minor circumstances) but then the nikon can't zoom as far as the panny and it's not nearly as fast as the panasonic at the further distances. Ok, so you can crop the image, but out of the box, you can get 'closer' with the panasonic.
Going by samples, I prefer the images produced by the 8800, but going by price, it's one seriously high premium to pay for minor perceived image quality improvement.

If i hadn't got some money in from an online auction of some unwanted stuff I had, I would've gone for the panasonic, but when the money was there, I couldn't resist the temptation of the 8800.

Go and try both as well because I bet one feels better in your hands than the other. If money is not an issue, you've considered all the other things and still can't decide, then go for that one (that feels better), because neither will let you down.
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Old Dec 16, 2004, 10:14 PM   #9
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Too bad one cannot blend (as images can be merged!) the 8800 and FZ20 to have the best of both worlds.

Given the stunning arrivals of the 8800 and the FZ20, I gotta wonder...what will the "8900" and "FZ30" do???

My hopes...

The "FZ30"will strive to incorporate the best features of the 8800. Hopefully, it will incorporate Compact Flash as an option along with SD media.

The "8900" will have 12x zoom with ~f2 at full zoom and will have standard lens threads (not "proprietary") to which accessory can be easily attached.






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Old Dec 27, 2004, 12:18 AM   #10
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I finally got my hands on the Panasonic FZ20. It was working in the store without a memory card. The camera seemed easy to use and I was able to try out a few options just by fiddiling around. The manual focus wasn't too good but I am happy to let the camera's auto focus do its job. Really the only thing I dind't like about the camera is that it felt cheap. I believe the body is all plastic but I could be wrong. When I picked up the 8700 I felt like I was holding a real camera. Anyway this experience has me leaning towards the 8800. There are tradeoffs. The 8800 has less noise at low ISO's (from what I've seen and downloaded) and the lens is a little sharper. Also, the Nikon has a swivel LCD. The Panasonic has a faster lens and the camera is overall faster. Also, the Panasonic's LCD screen doesn't gain up in low light. I still haven't made up my mind as of yet. If Olympus has an ultra zoom I would go for that and I'm sure they will come out with one. The question is how long do I want to wait. There are other isues with both products but I only touched on the ones that will factor in to my deciscion.
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