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Old Oct 31, 2006, 7:08 AM   #1
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Hi i am new to the forum,so please bear with me! Just purchased my first panasonic fz20, so please any tips would be greatly appreciated.

Thankyou very much
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Old Oct 31, 2006, 7:17 AM   #2
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hello, sianjovi. what type of photos do you normally take? i have an fz20 which is terrific for outdoors photography, including my niece's tennis. however, my niece's and nephew's basketball have proved a challenge. i've found paint shop pro comes in very handy for erasing/replacing blurred balls.
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Old Oct 31, 2006, 7:21 AM   #3
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Hi nice to meet you, i am after taking mainly outdoor shots, landscapes and macro shots? any particular settings that you would suggest to being the best?
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Old Oct 31, 2006, 8:00 AM   #4
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Your going to love the FZ20 for wild life and landscape shots. Most who have it here set the EV at -1/3. It helps to not over expose shots. Also: turn the High Light and Histogram on on the display. Both of these will help you take better pictures. Shot with as low ISO as you can. I keep my camera set on ISO80 except for really dark sunrise/set photos. Like tafugate, I use Paint Shop Pro X for noise reduction and any fine adjustments I want to make. Keep in mind that anything you read about shot settingswith the FZ10 will also work on the FZ20. Do a searce of this forum for FZ10/20 post. You will learn a lot from reading them.

Good luck and go have fun.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"Don
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Old Oct 31, 2006, 10:35 AM   #5
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Hi thanks for that, i shall go and have a play.:-):-):-):-):-)
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Old Oct 31, 2006, 1:39 PM   #6
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Congratulations. I too have the FZ20 and doubt I'll get rid of it even if I go up to the FZ50 or VLUX 1 or whatevr.. Pentax as my attention... yet after today and Donnas pictures of her backyard... I don't know.* It keeps pulling me back.. and to be honest, the peole on the Panasonic forum are maybe the nicest and most caring of the community.. although we all stray, I find this particular spot very welcoming on the whole and few trolls anymoreSuch a verstile camera and rock solid. Learn from others.. ask questions. And take the advice above. Get a UV filter... either 72mm for the end of the cap or get a ring that takes a 52 or 55 mm for the movable lens. Don't skip on that as it also protects the valuable lens.I am going out today to get a polarized lens for extra bright days or water shots....Look at the latest forum entries and be prepared to get jealous.**I wish I had the FZ when I visited Hampshire 2 years ago..... OH... but I did take the S400 Canon and got a lot of good memory shots. Beautiful countryside and great people.Ireland, Scotland, Wales, London, never ran into anyone unhappy ( hooligans). Of course the Soccer championships were going on and they may have been elsewhere[img]/forums/images/emoticons/demon3.gif[/img]if you want, I have a file with a lot of the hints and lessons, I print web pages on good posts to pdf. Send me your email and I'll send them over or put into my idisk* public folder and you can get them there.If Will
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Old Oct 31, 2006, 3:46 PM   #7
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Hello and welcome

The pana cameras are great fun cameras, with that long lecia lens you can't go wrong. I have a dslr but use my fz7 just as much. Can't afford a lens for my olympus that is comparable to my pana. Donna
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Old Oct 31, 2006, 3:59 PM   #8
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hi Sianjovi, and welcome to the forum!

i've had my FZ20 for almost 2 years now, and although i have stepped up to a DSLR last spring, i find my FZ20 is still capable of holding its own in many cases. it's a rugged, durable, and optically excellent camera that will last a long time if you take care of it, and it's capable of astonishing image quality if it's used right.

as to what accessories to buy, here's a few suggestions:

first, get yourself a good adapter, like the Phayee, Pemaraal, or Raynox. these will allow you to attach a UV/skylight filter to protect your lens, and also will let you use polarizersor close-up lenseson the FZ20. these adapters also keep the accessory lenses close to the main lens, which reduces the likelihood of lens flare or ghosting.
these adapters let you use filters of 52mm, 58mm, or 62mm, depending on which one you buy. i have the Phayee model, which lets me use 62mm filters and accessories, including my teleconverter.

get yourself spare batteries and more memory! the FZ20 isn't particularly efficient in terms of battery usage, i've found mine runs out of power and fills a 512MB memory card at about the same time - between 200 and 240 shots. you can buy replacement batteries cheap on eBay, and a 512MB hi-speed SD card will cost you under $25 at Newegg.com.

if you plan to shoot lots of close-ups, try to get a good close up lens like the Nikon 5T (6T is better, more powerful, if you can find one, but Nikon discontinued those a while back, so they're getting scarce and expensive) or one of the Raynox lenses. these will let you focus down toas little as 12 inches while using full 12x zoom, and are capable of someamazing macro shots.

for wildlife, i'd recommend a good teleconverter. i have theOlympus TCON-14B. it's a 1.4x converter, and is widely regarded as the best TC out there for the FZ20. it gives me theequivalent of a 50-600mm lens, and is good enoughfor most telephoto uses.it also screws right onto my Phayee adapter with 62mm threads. it cost me a bit over $100 on eBay, but if you're patient, you can probably get one closer to $80. some people have used other TCs with good results, but stay away from the cheap ones thatclaim to offer 3x magnification for $75 or some such thing. lenses are like anything else, you get what you pay for, and considering the amazing optical quality of the FZ20's Leica lens, you do NOT want to putcheap, distorted, poorly made lenses in front of it!

as far as using the FZ20, it's pretty simple, but as was mentioned earlier, you want to avoid ISO200 or 400. the FZ20 takes very good photos, but it's prone to noise, especially at higher ISO settings or in dim light, so use ISO 80 or 100, and shoot with plenty of light if you can. the FZ20's AF is not very fast, which makes it a bit tough to use for moving targets, but for stills, or for slower-moving subjects, it's just fine. for the landscapes and macros you want, that won't be an issue. as far as settings, i tend to leave the camera's internal settings at "std", except for sharpness, which i set to 'high". i use mostly "P" mode, though if i want specific results, i use aperture to control depth of field, or shutter to stop action or blur motion. i also usefull manual if need be, such as for moon shots. i use AF almost all the time, because the FZ20's EVF isn't very clear, and my eyes aren't what they used to be... and the camera focuses almost perfectly every time. do be aware of the spot-focus capability - it's handy forfocusing onsmallish subjects against a crowded background. avoid the multi-area focus settings; they're faster, but less accurate, and can cause the camera to focus on the wrong things. the 1-area settingshound befine for 95% of your needs.

like i said, i still use my FZ20, even though i have a Canon 30D. the FZ actually gives me more pleasing results for some things, like sunsets and extreme close-ups. the Canon is, of course, vastly faster and better for wildlife, and of course it offers more resolution and much lower noise,but for landscapes, the FZ20 can easily hold its own, especially if you don't print larger than, say, 8x10 (~A4) size. i have 11x14 prints on my wall at home shot with my FZ20 that are amazingly clear and sharp, better than anything i ever got with my old film SLR. i am sure you will love your new FZ... let us know how it works for you, and post some of your shots with it!
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Old Oct 31, 2006, 6:31 PM   #9
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Picked up more from you and Donna today, thanksSharpness always eluded me.. never ventured into that menu before. Had left all stdDid get a adapter or step adapter to use for the UV if I dont have the 72mm on the hood.Also picked up some of those goofy macro lens, a 2X,3x,4x 62mm at a camera shop for $5 a piece. Just for kicks and the odd ball opportunity. If I want the Olympia or Nikon sounds great.. but I may get that set up on next camera. No need to add to what may be a b/u camera.
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Old Oct 31, 2006, 7:24 PM   #10
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i'd be a bit leery of those $5 close-up lenses. they may offer a nice flexible way to boost your macro capability, but most of those are single element lenses that get really soft around the edges. they're fine if you're not terribly demanding, and if you don't mind losing contrast and sharpness in the corners. it's all in what you want to do, of course,but remember that the Leica lens in your FZ is capable of tremendous clarity, and it's a shame to put cheap glass in front of it and reduce it to the level of those $5 lenses...


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