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Old Mar 1, 2006, 7:51 AM   #1
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Hello all. I've been reading this forum for months and would like thank you all for helping me decide on my first "real" digital camera. I did own a few 1 megapixel digitals for casual use in the past, but didn't think a digital would/could replace my film SLR's. I have been a user/fan/collector of Canon SLR's since 1983. My favorite through all those years was the Canon A1.

Many members here convinced me to try the Panasonic FZ. I had intentions to buy the FZ30 but when I visited the local Ritz store I found the FZ20 at a good price ($250 less than the FZ30) so I bought it on January 31st.

So far I LOVE the FZ20. I wanted a digital camera that would allow me to carry just it without a large bag full of cameras, lenses, autowinder and related accessories like I have done for years with my SLR's. I love the fact that with it's one lense I can shoot from 35mm-420mm. It is exactly what I needed.

Now to a question that I haven't been able to find here by just reading...

I live in southwestern Pennsylvania (Latrobe) and am suffering from "cabin fever". I need to get out and shoot some photographs soon! This weekend coming up my wife and I are going to our camp up north in Elk County. We have Elk, Deer, Turkey (Bear are still sleeping)and other animals visit the back yard so those will be easy to shoot with the FZ20. But, in order to get to some great locations for some landscape shots we need to travel by ATV. Finally to my question. How rugged are these cameras? I have never traken my 35mm film SLR cameras on one of these trips for fear of the bumps and vibrations harming the mirror in them so I would take along a cheaper 35mm camera or a Kodak 1 megapixel digital camera. In fact the Kodak has many miles of ATV riding on it without a problem. Now I would love to take the FZ20 but worry about harming it. I will (if I take it) carry it in a foam padded and waterproof hard case. It will be strapped to a rack on the ATV. Like I said above there will be vibrations from the engine and the trails and also the shock from hitting bumps and small rocks. Will the FZ20 hold up to abuse such as this? I have thought of placing an extra piece of foam under the camera case to lessen the effects of the ride.

I don't want to harm my new camera but I want to be able to use it to capture some great landscapes in the wilds of Elk County. Walking would bebetter for the camera but to reach some of these spots would take all day to just get to them.

Thanks in advance for all replies. This is a great forum! Thanks also goes out to Steve also for providing and maintaining this forum for us all to enjoy. I know how much work is involved since I am part owner/operator of an ATV discussion forum.

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Old Mar 1, 2006, 8:04 AM   #2
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having owned and used an FZ20 for over a year with nary a hiccup, i can say they hold up pretty well. while i've been careful to avoid banging mine into things, it has been bounced around a bit, with no ill effects at all. it sounds like you have a good, padded case (softer foam is better) to carry it in , and i would imagine that unless you really abuse it, your camera will do fine on your trip. i wouldn't hesitate to take mine in that situation.
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Old Mar 1, 2006, 8:23 AM   #3
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Welcome to the forum and the FZ cameras. I had an atv for a few years and didn't have any problem with the cameras I took along. Now they were not as nice as my FZ, but I didn't cause any harm. We would ride REALLY hard and fast, jumping, water crossings, mud all over the place. If you use the case you have in mind I don't think you will have any issues. The key for anything you attach to an atv rack is that is must, must, must never move from it's location. If you mount it rock solid and have no air gap inside the case it should be just fine.

Post some of your work when you get back.

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Old Mar 1, 2006, 8:40 AM   #4
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I also live in Western PA and Have had a FZ10 and 20 on many ATV trips.....many Bass boat trips and MC trips.....I am getting old so the FZ30 may be limited to the boat.

Reasonable care and it will be fine....On the ATV and bike I always used a backpack but I do not think that would matter much.

I also had a lot of miles with it just hanging from my neck.
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Old Mar 2, 2006, 9:51 AM   #5
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Thank you for the replies and the welcome.

I'm happy to hear the FZ20 should hold up to a quad ride.


We would ride REALLY hard and fast, jumping, water crossings, mud all over the place
That seem to be the norm for you guys from Minnesota. We have many members on our ATV forum from there, they are all a great bunch for sure.

Gene, Western PA also. We are neighbors and you ride too!

Since two of you guys ride I thought I might mention...

Check out my Profile for the link to my homepage. It will take you to our ATV forum if you are interested. We have a great bunch of semi mature members there discussing ATV and everything else too.

Thanks again guys. The weather isn't looking good for the weekend, might be just shooting out the window at camp.

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