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Old Mar 31, 2005, 2:23 AM   #1
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I am a dedicated user of the Panasonic FZ20. I love it. However, it is not quite the perfect camera yet. Here is a letter a wrote to the Panasonic R&D team. If we all suggest similar improvements, I bet you they listen. Send your suggestions to [email protected].

Dear Panasonic,

I am the owner of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ20. I love the camera, but I wanted to make a few suggestions on how to improve on it.

1) Instead of the fixed LCD screen, make it a swivel screen. Having previously owned a Canon Powershot G5, it was a huge step backward for me not having the flexibility of the swivel screen.
2) Improve on the macro ability. Many newer cameras have a "Super Macro" mode which allow close-ups as close as 1 cm.
3) Get rid of the "dead zone" in tele macro mode. As soon as the zoom exceeds 3x, one has to step back 2 meters (!) in order to be able to focus. That's a unique problem to this camera.
4) Use a larger CCD, ideally 2/3 inch or more. While 8 or more megapixels would be great too, a larger CCD is more crucial to keep down noise and add detail. In my wet dreams, you'd employ the Fovean x3 or similar technology on a 36x24mm CCD. I know this represents a challenge given that the large optical zoom makes it tough to incorporate a large sensor into a relatively compact body. However, the Nikon Coolpix 8800 incorporates a 2/3" 8MP sensor behind a 10x lens. Despite being no technical expert, I am sure it could be done. If it would result in a slightly larger camera, or a slightly reduced zoom (10x instead of 12x), I would accept that compromise.
5) With a larger CCD, you should be able to increase the ISO range up 1600. This would be great for indoor sports shooting.
6) Add a thread for filter attachments in front of the lens without the user having to add an adapter first.
7) Make the LCD's "gain up" in low light conditions. They are pitch black in low light conditions.
8) Strengthen the low light focusing beam, so it reaches past 10'.
9) Incorporate the improved auto focus employed in the new FZ5 model.

That's all I can think of at this time. Would be great to see some or all of these features in the FZ30 model. Other than the above points, I am very happy with your product and have recommended it to many others. I definitely convinced several people to buy it. Here is a link to a forum which I participated in on steves-digicams.com: http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...mp;forum_id=23.

Some feedback to my requests would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for creating fantastic cameras.

Sincerely,

Rainer Duve, Los Angeles



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Old Mar 31, 2005, 4:56 AM   #2
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rduve

You've made some good comments - most of which I agree too such as using a larger CCD, higher ISO speeds - I'd like to have a very good ISO 400 and then have the option to go up to ISO 800, a higher res EVF and LCD with gain up, etc. I'd also be quiet happy to have see the FZ get a little larger for them to be able to do this and may be have a 10x zoom. However, if you look at the reviews of the Nikon 8800, going from the 6MP 8700 to the 8MP also meant the new cam lost ISO800 and if you take a looking at the night test shots that were taken for the dcresource.com review at ISO400, the Nikon was not that much better than the FZ20. Again take a look at the Pana LC1, which has the 2/3 CCD its ISO range is just 100 to 400 and ISO 400 again is not really usuable even with the larger CCD.

I hope Panasonic do take into account our user experience - a feedback option on their website would have been a good idea or better still a dedicated site to FZ/Lumix cameras like Nikon does. We can only hope that they do check the forums esp this one.

Thanks for the e-mail address, I didn;t even know they had one! I will be sending them a quick e-mail today.

Cheers

Harj

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Old Mar 31, 2005, 5:17 AM   #3
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Some good points... but.. what i like about this camera is how inexpensive it is for what you're getting. with adding some of the things you mention, im sure they would/could add quite a large chunk to the price. im not exactly sure how much, but my guess is it would make the price far less attractive to people such as myself.
just my thoughts!
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Old Mar 31, 2005, 5:30 AM   #4
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Regarding price, I think they must be pretty aware that they need to keep it within reason. I mean if they put the price up by a couple of 100 then a lot of people would consider going for a DSLR, like the new Canon 350/Rebel XT or Nikon D70 unless they get the camera right.

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Old Mar 31, 2005, 5:50 AM   #5
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Old Mar 31, 2005, 5:53 AM   #6
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Jake

Yeah i forgot about the tilt flash - that has to be a must have on the next cam. Not sure on the lens/zoon/CCD issue - Nikon have managed to get a 2/3 CCD paired up with a 10x optical Nikkor and I'd say it was about the same size as the FZ20 - may be even smaller.

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Old Mar 31, 2005, 6:07 AM   #7
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Hmm. I guess its about how different we all are and what our needs are. Give me zoom over CCD,only ever used the EVF for macro and no way would I want the so called "Super macro" mode if it means we need to be only 1cm from the subject. Far better to add a Nikon 6T or a Canon 250D and let the zoom ratio control the subject ratio...............................from a good distance. You can't buy macro, its something you make it.

Thats me being selfish of course :-), if itsother types of photography, well I'm lost so can't comment :-)

As long as the camera has some system of IS, has a min of 10x optical, at least 3 megapixels, full manual control, hot shoe, can take a hammering, then I'm happy. I guess I already have what I want and need :-). Heck I'm easy pleased. LOL.

Danny.




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Old Mar 31, 2005, 6:35 AM   #8
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Old Mar 31, 2005, 6:41 AM   #9
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EVF gain up is all I ask. The issue appeared in the FZ10 and how many FZ's have followed, Fz3, FZ4, FZ5 FZ15, FZ20 and they still didnt fix it! Panasonic should fix the basics before it tries to do anything extra.

As for the New 4/3rds panasonic I will not hold my breath for great performance. The Olympus e-300 4/3 isnt that good and iso 1600 isnt even useable. 4/3rds has a lot to improve on before it will threaten true d-SLR's.

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Old Mar 31, 2005, 6:46 AM   #10
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Tree

Spot on - need to get the basics fixed and the EVF issue should be the first on the list but it looks as if they just ignore it (eg. the fZ5) even when this has been pointed out by all the major digicam sites in their reviews.

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