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Old Oct 1, 2004, 12:33 PM   #1
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Hello All, I'm pretty new to Steve's Forums, but I am so interested in the Panasonic FZ20 that I definitely want to get some input...I have had three digicams, all Sonys the last one the P100 which was a great little camera until I fell and killed it.

Anyway, while I had it, I took some great shots and discovered how much I love macro and closeup shots, then searching for a new camera to buy I found Steves site and fell in love with thePhoto of the Day, Reviews etc.

I am going to purchase a new camera this weekend and I am seriously considering the Panasonic FZ20, they have it here at Circuit City, after reading Jeff's review though , I'm not sure, do you think he liked it?

I sure would love some input here, after reading reviews out the wahzoo for weeks, I've come to realize there is no PERFECT digital camera, especially under 1000 bucks.

But you all seem to love the Panasonics, since I've only used Sonys, I have no clue, just wanted to branch out and the 12x zoom and image stabilization really appeal to me..

I have eight parrots, another reason I love photography!

Nice meeting you all,

Linda Gilliam

Springfield, Missouri
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Old Oct 1, 2004, 1:09 PM   #2
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You say you have a decision to make... what are your other options? That way people would be more able to properly make suggestions, I think.

I have a FZ-10, my first digital camera, and I find it to be a very good one, only trouble comes when shooting at low light and trying to use manual mode. FZ-20 seems to be even better than the FZ-10 in some aspects.

P.S. I didn't know Springfield actually existed!
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Old Oct 1, 2004, 9:04 PM   #3
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Hi Linda
I have an FZ10, and I'm very pleased with it. The new FZ20 seems even better (I like the idea of a remote shutter release) and so I think you are fortunate that this model is now available. I have 3 parrots; I'm sure you'll come up with some great shots of your colorful feathered characters.
Robert
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Old Oct 1, 2004, 9:44 PM   #4
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Thank you Robert, what kind of parrots do you have, I have a double yellow headed Amazon, a Timneh African Grey, Nanday conure, Quaker parrot, and four cockatiels.

So far I am LOST on the camera, I am feverishly reading the manual and have managed a couple good shots so far but I am terribly lost...lol!

It seems like such a fun camera and I think the possibilities with it will be wonderful to say the least...I have seen such great pics from the FZ10 and some from the FZ20 also, I am really anxious to learn.

Has anyone on here taken any storm pics with these cameras, I love thunderstorms and would love to learn to shoot the lightning.


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Old Oct 1, 2004, 9:48 PM   #5
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Jose..Springfield does exist believe me..lol, where are you located?

By decision, I meant that I was just trying to make the final decision to buy it ...I went ahead with it anyway, as I really couldn't find anything I like better other than SLR's that were way above my budget at this time.

I was a little worried about the low light situation, what do you do in that case?

I love to take pics of my Christmas tree lights and such, will that be a problem with the EVF trying to see to do that?

Linda
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Old Oct 2, 2004, 1:37 AM   #6
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Hi Linda.

I am new to all this stuff, but a little over a month ago I thought it would be cool to have a digicam. So I went to a couple stores and looked at them. I was bombarded with confusion with all the features and stufff that I knew nothing about. So I started to do some research (at least enough to have a basic idea of what to look for).

I purchased a Sony CiberShot W1. It was a good camera, and took good pictures. One day I was getting ready to take a picture and the menu displayed all by itself. I thought maybe I hit the button by mistake, but after it started happening more frequently, I returned it as a defect.

I used it to exchage for a Canon S1 IS. It was a good camera, good zoom, good pics, but had a little trouble focusing in dim light. One day I put new batteries in it and it smelled like electronics heating up. I did'nt think too much of it but shortly after, the display started to get bright and dim and virtical lines would appear and go away. So I returned it as a defect.

I used it to exchange for a Canon A85 which I was kinda rushed into because the store was getting ready to close. It was not a bad camera, felt kinda cheaply constructed, and took fair pictures. I noticed 2 bright spots at the bottom of the LCD. I do not think this was a defect, but maybe a cheap way to light something up (like a watch with a cheap back light or something). I used that as an excuse to return it, and at that point was fed up with digicams. I was just going to get my money back and forget the whole thing.

I decided to take one last look to see if they had something else in stock. There just happened to be a guy in the camera area that seemed quite knowledgable, and he showed me the FZ20. They had just come in, and where not even on display yet. He let me do a little internet research on the store computer, and although I could not find any proffessional reviews, the user reviews I found where all 5 stars.

The camera felt well built, had a 12x stabelized zoom, and full manual features (for when I get better at this stuff). So I gave it one last try and got the FZ20.

Well, sometimes it's funny how things turn out. This is the best camera in it's price range, and the lense is in a legue of it'e own. It focuses on just about anything in just about any kind of lighting, and takes great pictures.

I would not worry about the reviews. Even the one you read at the end quotes that the FZ20 is one of, if not the best in it's price range. They are all going to find things they don't like about all the cameras.

Here is a moon shot you can look at. It's a good example of what this lense can do. Keep in mind that I am just an ameture.


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Old Oct 2, 2004, 1:59 AM   #7
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Hi Linda
these great digital cameras are "pro-sumer" level, bridging the gap between point & shoot consumer models and professional digital slr's. As they are somewhat complex, initial use of the "program" mode and a lot of "hands on" use will get you used to the various controls and their placement; as you get familiar with the Lumix, you'll start playing around with different modes and settings.and the learning curve will (finally) start to flatten out.
Robert
(p.s. I live in Santa Barbara; I also have a Timneh Grey, along with both a Cherryhead Conure and a Blue Crowned Conure)
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Old Oct 2, 2004, 1:31 PM   #8
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redparrot53 wrote:
Quote:
I was a little worried about the low light situation, what do you do in that case?

I love to take pics of my Christmas tree lights and such, will that be a problem with the EVF trying to see to do that?
When you're in low light conditions (and sometimes this can mean good enough light for your eyes) you can use the program mode and everything will be ok... but if you switch to manual mode (and some of us DO want to use this mode) the EVF / LCD darkens, and it's pretty impossible to compose / focus. If you use Program mode you can't go further than f 2.8 - 1/4 s, and even with higher exposition values (f 2.8 - 4 s) the EVF goes DARKER if you use manual mode. This is my experience with the FZ-10.

The same thing, as some users have reported, happens when you use an external flash.

So, this happens only in low light sittuations in manual mode. And there's a workaround to this problem: you can use program mode to compose, then switch the mode dial to manual (in the FZ-10), then change the settings... then the camera moved a little bit and you have to switch back to program mode, recompose and switch again to manual mode to take the picture. Oh, did you lost the moment?

But then again, depending of the kind of pictures you take, you might never find yourself in this situation. You have an exposure as far as f 2.8 - 1/4 s in program mode (in the FZ-10), and they say the FZ-20 flash is very good. And... you can set you ISO at 400, although Beware of the Noise.

You can find info on this subject in these threads, they refer to the FZ-10 model:

http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...81&forum_id=23

http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...44&forum_id=23

http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...74&forum_id=23

http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...93&forum_id=23

http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...69&forum_id=23



Some users said this LCD... behaviour was a "bug", they ask for a firmware upgrade which they claim would fix this, and said that Panasonic actually sold the cameras as "firmware-upgradable". Others say that this is not possible or not even needed. Make your own conclussions by reading the posts (it's gonna take you some time).



As I told you, those posts refer to the DMC-FZ10, not to your FZ20, but in

http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...19&forum_id=23

shootr2 actually states that the EVF behaves the same way in the FZ-20.

So that's it. For me, it's something that doesn't let you fully enjoy of all this camera can give you. And again, you might never find yourself in this kind of situation. Enjoy yours.

J.



P. S. StormyKnight posted in here

http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...04&forum_id=23

some info, according to which the Konica Minolta Z3 (described by some as the "competition" for the FZ line) has a similar problem. Perhaps now we can start some conspiracy theory about cameras with full zoom.
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Old Oct 2, 2004, 8:27 PM   #9
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José A. wrote:
Quote:

When you're in low light conditions (and sometimes this can mean good enough light for your eyes) you can use the program mode and everything will be ok... but if you switch to manual mode (and some of us DO want to use this mode) the EVF / LCD darkens, and it's pretty impossible to compose / focus. If you use Program mode you can't go further than f 2.8 - 1/4 s, and even with higher exposition values (f 2.8 - 4 s) the EVF goes DARKER if you use manual mode. This is my experience with the FZ-10.

I was doing some moon shots in Manual Mode, and if I set to f2.8, and start to step the shutter speed longer, I can begin to see the clouds in both displays.

I think the reason it goes dark is because of the settings in manual. If you set them to what they would set them selves to in Program Mode, I think you would see the same result on both displays.

At least thats the way it appears to me. Try it and let me know if my thoughts are correct?

Thanks in advance...

bobc
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Old Oct 2, 2004, 8:35 PM   #10
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I just tested it. I put it in Program mode with just my desk lamp on. And with no flash focused on my dresser which is on the dark side of the room. I could see it pretty good through both displays.

I then switched to manual and set my settings to what they where in Program mode and the displays showed the same.

I compared pics and they where also the same.

Mabe this is one of the improvements made to the FZ20.

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