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Old Dec 13, 2004, 2:04 PM   #1
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I have an FZ20 and love it so was thinking of getting the smaller model (FZ1 or FZ3) for my "point and shoot" wife. Is the flash weak on the FZ1 like it is on the FZ10? Is the picture quality that much improved on the FZ3? (for 8x10 and under). They both have the 1/3.2" CCD so I am assuming(?) that the change from 2.1 to 3.1 megapixels is in the processor and software. Is that close to being right? Also the FZ1 is slightly larger.
I guess I am wondering if the extra $100 to get an FZ3 is worth it. She takes mostly family pics and occasional scenery but is creative and I hope at some time she will "get into it" like we all do. (But then she may want MY camera. Uh oh!)
Any thoughts would be helpfull.

Thanks,
Jering
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Old Dec 13, 2004, 3:19 PM   #2
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That's a really tough call. Both are fine cameras. Hard to properly "weight" the price differential vs. extra features, as only you can determine this. I can attest to the picture quality for the FZ-1 but it does have a weak flash (which I have compensated by buying a digital slave flash...)and no autofocus assist light, which can sometimes be an issue. FZ-1 owners seem mostly satisfied with it, and don't seem to feel compelled to upgrade. FZ3 owners seem to love their camera too. I mostly print 5X7's with the FZ-1 these days, and have some terrific 8X10's too.

How's that for a long "non-answer"?
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Old Dec 13, 2004, 4:23 PM   #3
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Hey Nick,

Loved your long (informative) "non-answer." I overlooked the fact that the FZ1 does not have a focus assist lamp. Guess what I thought was that in the pictures is actually the self timer? You have helped me lean heavily toward the FZ3 because she will probably be taking the majority of pictures initially inside with flash and no AF lamp would make a difference there as well. Now to go find more MONEY!

Thanks!
Jering
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Old Dec 13, 2004, 5:02 PM   #4
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Jering...

I, too, use my FZ3 for much of the same purpose as your wife's. The AF assist lamp comes in handy almost on a daily basis (for us)right now since we're confined inside a lot these days (too cold out!). I've been most impressed with the clarity in the pics of my kids. I can practically see every eyelash and every strand of hair. It's been the best all around cam for us... a nice combination of ourold Canon film SLR and Canon point and shoot.

I personally think the extra $$ is worth getting the FZ3... for that extra MP, Venus Engine, AF assist lamp, smaller body and stronger flash.

Here are some more differences (copied and pasted):

How does the FZ3 compare with the earlier model FZ1/2?

Camera size
• The FZ3 is slightly smaller in overall volume/dimensions and weight (28g less) than the FZ1/2, and the FZ3 has a deeper hand grip.

Sensor
• The FZ3 has 3.1 million effective pixels, while the FZ1/2 has 2.0 million, but the sensor size is the same.

Software
• The FZ3 has the improved Venus Engine™ Mark II which reduces chromatic aberration.

Electronic viewfinder (EVF)
• The FZ3 has an improved EVF compared with the FZ1/2, giving a larger image.

Focus
• The FZ3 has improved autofocus and an assist lamp for low light situations, whereas the FZ1/2 does not have an assist lamp.

Exposure
• The FZ3 has a fully manual exposure capability, enabling both the aperture and shutter speed to be set together, whereas the FZ1/2 only allows aperture or shutter speed to be set but not both at once.
• The FZ3 has an optional grid for composition, live histogram, and flashing overexposure warning, but the FZ1/2 does not have these features.

Flash
• The FZ3 has a more powerful inbuilt flash unit than the FZ1/2 with a different housing on the camera.

Image format
• The FZ3 has optional TIFF format as well as JPEG, but the FZ1/2 does not have TIFF.

Movie mode
• The FZ3 has a movie speed of 30 fps, compared with 10 fps for the FZ1/2.

Lens hood adaptor
• The FZ3 has an adaptor with a 55mm front thread (as for the FZ1/2) but the connection to the FZ3 camera is a bayonet fitting, whereas the FZ1/2 adaptor is threaded, so the adaptors are not interchangable.
• As the front threads are 55mm for both the FZ3 and the FZ1/2 adaptors, both models can use 55mm filters and lens converters (or with step rings to connect to 55mm), with the proviso that as they are plastic, the adaptors may not support heavy lenses.

Memory cards
• Both the FZ3 and the FZ1/2 use the same type of SD memory cards, so the cards are interchangable.

Battery
• Both the FZ3 and the FZ1/2 use the same size and type of battery, so the battery is interchangable
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Old Dec 13, 2004, 7:18 PM   #5
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Wow, maryanne! How could I ask for better information?

I searched for info like this but must have put in the wrong words to search for. I did not realize there were so many impovements in the FZ3. The grip, the Venus engine upgrade... seems like only the battery and memory are the same.

It's cold here in MN, too. I still venture out and freeze my hands tho....especially after a fresh snowfall (10" yesterday).

Thanks so much and happy snappin'

Jering
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Old Dec 13, 2004, 8:10 PM   #6
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You're welcome, Jering.... here's where I got that info from:

http://pie.midco.net/treasuredude/fz3faq.html

It's become my FZ3 bible.

BTW, there are some pretty good prices on the FZ3 right now (as you might know). I got mine for $312 shipped from ibuydig.com.... and Circuit City might still have it on sale too.

Good luck with you're decision.... let us know!


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Old Dec 13, 2004, 11:06 PM   #7
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FZ1 can do infrared not sure about FZ3
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Old Dec 13, 2004, 11:38 PM   #8
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Old Dec 13, 2004, 11:54 PM   #9
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maryanne,

Another post with a wealth of information. Had to read the whole site before I could quit and reply. lol.

I wonder....if there is such a site for the FZ20....hmmmm.

Circuit City still has it with a $50 rebate and free shipping but with sales tax it brings it back up to $325 and you have to wait for the rebate. Almost bought it from Butterfly Photo last night for $294 plus $15 ship.... didn't..... and they upped the price this morning by $20. Do they call you at ibuydigital.com and to try to sell you more stuff? Would not be cool if my wife answered and they asked what she wanted with her new camera!

Thanks for all your help. Just checked and ibuydigital.com upped their price to $318 plus $15 shipping. Guess I am going to pay for waiting. If you see it somewhere else comparable, please let me know. Thanks alot!!!

Thanks to you also, Jake, for your test shots.

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Old Dec 14, 2004, 12:07 AM   #10
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aghauri wrote:
Quote:
FZ1 can do infrared not sure about FZ3
According to the site maryanne referenced you can take infra-red with the FZ3 but need a filter AND a longer exposure because the FZ3 has more protection for the CCD.
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