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Old Feb 21, 2005, 10:21 AM   #11
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I'll also note in the interest of fairness that my eyes may be particularly sensitive to the hues that are skewed, and many will not be put off by that. The online shop I bought the FZ20 at has sold a boatload of FZ20 cameras and most people have been satified that at the price it's a heck of a good camera for handheld long zoom shooting, with nothing else in the price range as well equipped for handheld long zoom work. It's well laid out and has good menu design and practically feels like a mini-SLR.

I just didn't want to spend so long a time on my computer processing its images to get them to the point where the coloration truly pleased MY eye. You eyes may differ.

None of that has much to do with its suitability as a sports shooter... but perhaps for motor sports especially, where skin tones are not prevalent, it may be considered satisfactory.
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Old Feb 21, 2005, 10:44 AM   #12
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CotaG,

I've been shooting some action (aircrafts carsand birds) with the FZ20, and it does the job just great. I have not suffered from shutterlag.

Good luck deciding (though there is no good reason to not go for an FZ -> They RULE )

GB
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Old Feb 21, 2005, 10:53 AM   #13
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greenbaron,

Indeed, the FZ not only has very low shutter lag, with an UltraII card it can take repeated shots back to back a LOT faster than many of the cameras around. Practically feels like an SLR at times!
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Old Feb 21, 2005, 11:03 AM   #14
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I find the burst feature a bit tricky with panning shots; by the lack of an optic TTLviewfinder youhave no view of your subject during the burst. This makes it difficult to keep it in te frame.But the burst sure's a good one:arrow:
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Old Feb 21, 2005, 11:12 AM   #15
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Yeah, you really have to be good at predicting your framing with pretty much any digicam if you want to shoot repeated quick shots - none of them have through the glass viewfinders. But unlike many of the current crop, this one could capture quite a few frames even in non-continous mode close together and not have to stop until the buffer was flushed. If you turn off image preview I found that helps too.
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Old Feb 21, 2005, 11:50 AM   #16
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CotaG wrote:
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Thanks for the input. Always best to ask the people who know the camera best - the owners.
Try the camera your self and use a place that has a return policy with no restocking fees. Everybody has an opinion, some valid, some not.
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Old Feb 21, 2005, 1:17 PM   #17
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When I read Internet reviews of FZ 10-20 I was surpriesed that these were nearly all very fine, whereas on some (Italian) newspaper these cams were "only" rated at c. 70-75 out of 100.

Now I have it for more than 2 months and it satisfies me a lot.
But I have never thought it was perfect (both in IQ andf in other issues), yet which camera is?

Previously I only had a Canon Powershot A300-
I have no difficulty to admit that in some instances the latter gives better results than FZ20: leaving apart battery life and resting on Image Quality alone, Canon provides IMO better colors, and more correct WB.
If I use "vivid" setting the colors may turn a little bit too saturated, but more pleasing than FZ ones.

Both cams have slight color hues (blue, yellow) but IMO Canon is more close to the original.
FZ20 can produce strange behaviours with some reds and blues.
This can be partly avoided with LOW in camera settings, but then the colors can come out a little dead... skies are often washed out owing to the low tolerance of bright sources and a strangely narrow Dynamic Range, forcing the use of polarizer.
If one uses high saturation or an in cam effect, pics will show a still more evident tonal dominant color towards yellow or blue, depending on the WB used.
Manual WB and fine adjustm. of WB can be of aid in this.

But it is definitively easier to have good shots (chromatically speaking) with a point and shot than with FZ20.

But if one manages to understand the cam, and has some time to spend with Photoshop, FZ not only overcomes all the low and mid range cams, but can only compete with Prosumers and dSLR, although not at all the levels.

I personally find FZ20 a great affair, although sometimes I am bothered by having to clear noise areas in certain images or to resume colors.
Obviously I always PP images, also Canon ones: I think that there is no cam which provides images that do not improve after some PP.
This is the point:

If you have no time to dedicate, take a Canon or Nikon and only resize the pics...
If you want great shots take a dSLR or a cheaper FZ20 and spend some time with PS.
Although I'd liked FZ was better in some features, I have never complained taking this cam: there is simply no good alternative around.

When Canon will make something better with S1IS or Nikon will improve CP8800, or Olympus will insert IS or Minolta will improve IQ, it'll be probably another matter of fact.

But up to now, notwithstanding some evident deficencies (which can be more or less irritating, depending on each user) FZ3-20 remain one of the best solutions for amateur and semi pro photographers in search of a decent IQ together with great stabilized Tele and Macro features.
Ability with PS will do the rest...

So, before buying, think about what you want to do, what you absolutely NEED and what you can "forgive" or improve to your target cam.
Waiting for better models has sense only within a determined span of time.

Don't expect FZ20 will beat any camera just in any situation and at any level.
It is great for the price and more than average in quality, but much ameliorable too

Francesco

PS I'll soon be posting a new gallery made in the snow with my FZ20.
I also made few (30) shots with A300 to compare with FZ20.
FZ20 has far better resolution (also using both at 3Mp) and great lens (A300 has no optical zoom).
With a bit PP I can make colors from FZ look like those with A300 in vivid mode.
But the sheer resolution and long zoom of FZ20 is hard to equate.


To have a generally equal satisfaction from Canon and FZ 20, I should have had just aG6 with me.... and still I would better like FZ limitations than G6 lack of high stabilized zoom even with 7 Mp.




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Old Feb 21, 2005, 1:52 PM   #18
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I´m a new fz20 owner. I came from an Oly c 700- the brother to your oly camera.....

I have some reservations about the FZ

One problem is that the minimum shooting distance (yes you said sports but hear me out) you can´t zoom in completely for some close subjects. The picture won´t focus because you have to be further away from the subject. I miss that from my OLY.

Also Burst photography means sitting in front of your computer more to make decisions between many very similar pictures. You get so many pictures that you fill your hard drive with a lot of the same pctures that you feel guilty about deleting. On the Oly, you can get 3 pics in burst mode (continuous shooting mode) or 5 or 7 at lower resolutions. That seems like a drag, but after getting used to it, (like I assume you are) deciding which ones to keep is an easier process. You see such a difference from picture to picture.

I got my brother in law to buy the Kyocera 410r because it had a fast burst mode, but the large batches of pictures I took with that camera are still not fully looked through. The pics were so similar that I got tired deciding which one of the 10 identical pictures I should delete.

I like that the fz has a "slow" burst mode option and I can use the slowness of my card (non high speed lexar 256mb) as an advantage.

The Oly was hard to use following sports. ( I never shot sports but chased things anyway) but you start to get used to it. The Kyocera was much better but like i said, it almost went Too fast. The Fz20 is somewhere in between but closer to the Kyocera and with more flexibilities.

Finally I have to agree with some of the gripes about the cam in low light. I was sure that my next cam after Oly would be killer for in door pics, because technology would be 3 years better. Well it didn´t get better, probably because of the megapixel race. I miss the idiot-proof auto mode on the Oly. If I was indoors I would try as many manual things I could but I would always take some auto mode pics on the Oly to see what the cam would choose, and I´m sorry to say, often the cam in auto mode got the pic and the ones i tried in P mode or A/S/M mode weren´t better. (OK stop laughing everyone don´t tell me the truth that i suck as a photographer!)

Feel free to ask me for help. I hope my logic doesn´t seem TOO wierd! (Yes English is my first language- but you never would know it!)
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Old Feb 21, 2005, 2:09 PM   #19
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I found the camera to be quick enough for most uses without using burst mode, and just clicking the shutter a few times in close succession. Yeah, the hard drive can get mighty full with pictures that need to be auditioned. It helps to have agood renaming/grouping facility (which Windows Explorer is not).
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Old Feb 21, 2005, 5:36 PM   #20
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greenbaron wrote:
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I find the burst feature a bit tricky with panning shots; by the lack of an optic TTL viewfinder you have no view of your subject during the burst. This makes it difficult to keep it in te frame. But the burst sure's a good one:arrow:
This problem may be easily solved..

http://graflex.org/cameras/

Not suggesting anyone buy one of these beasts (though they are fun to use) but note the hoop type sport finder with the peep site behind it in the top photo.. These were/are available in one form or another with many types of film cameras where TTL wasn't/isn't convenient or possible due to the setup (non-slr, other situations as well but non slr will do for this discussion). Most of these cameras have optical viewfinders as well, perhaps a simple shoe mount device would suffice.. The optical viewfinders (the tube mounted on the top) of these graflex cameras can be found for $10-$20 on ebay.. One of these arrangements and a couple hours at a work bench may save Hours of frustration due to missed or clipped shots.. Once the camera locks on in auto focus, or even manual for that matter, simply switch viewfinders. Most rangefinder cameras use a similar arrangement. The peep site on the graflex (later models) is adjustable in hieght to correct parralax at different distances.

Just a thought..

Jeff
:|
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