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Old May 9, 2005, 2:56 PM   #1
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Hi all,

I am about to buy a new digicam, and I've narrowed down to 2 choices. One of them is FZ20 (the more expensive one). My concern is that if I buy it, I wont have much money to spend on accessories. My question is the following. What is the minimum set of accessories one will need to start with FZ20 and the minimum price for each of them?

There a few things I could think of:

Extra battery: ??? $ (are there any decent 3rd party cheap solutions?)

512 SD: 35 - 40$

filters: ???$ (are the essential?)

Finally, what is the cheapest external flash that you would recommend?

Thanks all.


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Old May 9, 2005, 3:38 PM   #2
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There are many 3rd party batteries available, it's a common question on here. A lot of people have got them thru Ebay for just a few bucks. Dont buy the pana one as it'sridiculously expensive. The same applies to SD cards.

The Sunpak 383 is very popular flash unit for use with the FZ20, and not a bad price.

Filters aren't vital though I think most people will probably suggest at least a basic clear UV filter which are very cheap ( they just help protect the lense from fingers/dust etc.)

The FZ20 is apparently a superb camera and I'm sure you won't be dispapointed witht he slight extra outlay over the competition. The Leica lens is second to none.

Woody
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Old May 9, 2005, 4:34 PM   #3
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S`okay, here`s what I`ve spent so far. (but I do have a tendency to over buy)

1)Two 512mb cards at about $45 each

2) a spare battery $40

3) two 55mm filters, both for around $30. One is a multicoated UV filter, the other is a multicoated polarizer.

4) Filter adapter, to mount the filters tomy `20,from Nextphoto.com $25

The Sunpak 383 is a nice flash as well as the Vivitar 283 and 285. All are available online for well under $100. I will be recieving the Vivitar DF200flash ($65) tomorrow for my camera.

Have fun, JH :G
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Old May 9, 2005, 6:14 PM   #4
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You can't go wrong with an FZ camera but is sounds like you're having a hard time spending the money for the FZ20. I was in that position not long ago and found myself buying an FZ3 instead. Sure, it's only a 3MP cam but I've printed a couple 8x10's that look perfect with it (and I even cropped just a tad). I also purchased;
  1. Hoya UV filter - $25[/*]
  2. Hoya linear polarizing filter $30[/*]
  3. Hoya ND4 and ND8 filters $13 each[/*]
  4. Spare aftermarket battery $30[/*]
  5. Two high speed 256 MB cards (you don't need huge cards with only 3MP) $26 each[/*]
  6. Camera bag. $20
[/*]
All of which I've found good use for and wouldn't want to go without now that I've used them. That's around $180 more to consider over the cost of the camera. The FZ3is in the $250-300 range on ebay now so forabout the cost of an FZ20 alone you could have aFZ3PLUS the extra's.

I'll leave the argument for the FZ1 up for others but I've found that to be a pretty darn nice camera as well and for even less than any other FZ.

I don't know what other camera you have considered but the lense on the FZ series truely does make these things FUN.
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Old May 9, 2005, 7:36 PM   #5
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Thanks guys,

I appreciate all responses. I want to go for FZ20 since it has the hotshoe and manual focus. One last thing though. I read somewhere that the Auto mode of FZ 20 is not really good. Is this true? If it is, one can miss a lot of good shots ( the ones that you dont have enoguh time to adjust the settings manually for).

Any impressions?

Thanks again.
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Old May 9, 2005, 8:49 PM   #6
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here's my recommended accessory list...
  • 2 spare batteries @ $16 each[/*]
  • 2 512MB SD cards, one Kingmaxhi-speed @ $40 from Newegg, one "normal" speed Dane card, about the same price (older card from when prices were higher) from someplace else...[/*]
  • Phayee adapter, $22.50 from ebay[/*]
  • 62mm UV/skylight and polarizing filters, ~ $12 and $25 respectively. [/*]
  • 62mm Nikon 6T close-up lens, ~ $50 from B&H photo (not a necessity, but awfully nice to have if you plan to do much close-up work...)[/*]
  • Monopod, $19.99. already had pan/tilt head, and already had a tripod from my old film camera days. again, not essential, but sooner or later you'll want one or both.
[/*]
bare minimum would be one spare battery, one spare memory card, and some sort of adapter to allow you to use a UV/skylight filter to protect that lens. add the rest as the money becomes available.




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Old May 9, 2005, 9:16 PM   #7
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The FZ20 package comes with alot of stuff allready , more than most ive seen .

If your just an average user a lens protector is all you need . Ive taken alot of nice pics with no extra gear .Believe it or not just using alens hoodand basic fundamentals in photographycan help the quality of your pictures.

The Pana 20 has one the best most important elements "the lens" .

I would also recomend going with adapters such as squirl033 mentioned because of there size .I originally went with Raynox adapters and there perfectly fine .But im starting over with the bigger lens and adapters ,as i feel its better myselfjust my personel preference. Its a great camera for the money :|
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Old May 9, 2005, 10:55 PM   #8
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If you're on a tight budget (I mean really tight), you can probably live for a while with very few "accessories".

I'd say a SD card is mandatory. You can't fit squat on the 16mb card they include in the box. I'm not even sure why they included it. I guess there's at least one guy out there who received an FZ as a gift, and if it wasn't for the free 16mb card, they wouldn't be taking any pictures the first day. Kinda a downer. I think I coughed up close to $60 for a 512mb SanDisk Ultra II, but the Costco was right next to the Circuit City (where I bought the FZ20) and the gratification was instant. If you can stand to wait a bit, you can find some decent 512mb high speed cards on the internet for $40 or less.

Second up is a bag, and even that you can probably live without for a short while. The bag is a smart idea, because it protects your camera and keeps you from losing your charger / cables, but I've seen plenty of casual shooters who just carry their cameras around on the strap. The Tamrac TEK Digital bag isn't too pricey ($20 or less) and can actually hold an FZ20 with the stock lens hood attached (sorry, no petal hood). I bought the TEK at the Circuit City at the same time as the FZ20.

Third, I'd recommend a SD card reader. Again, you can always get by on just the USB cable, but it's a lot less wear & tear on the camera to use a card reader. Plus they're a lot faster. And I've heard horror stories of people frying their FZ's USB port. I think I paid about $30 for a universal 9 in 1 reader from CompUSA, but that wasn't until I already had owned the FZ20 for a couple weeks.

After that, you start to hit the more "optional" items. If you tend to be rough with your toys, you probably ought to look for an adapter and a UV filter to keep the lens covered. Plenty of people don't believe in them, but plenty of others swear by them. Raynox adapters seem to be the cheapest (about $15 at BugEye) and the filter can be found at firesale prices if you rummage through your local Ritz's clearance bin ($5 or less for a Tiffen 52mm)

If you bought an FZ20, you probably want a hotshoe flash by now. If your FZ doesn't have a shoe, you might still want a slave flash. Either way, if you've made it this far, you're pretty committed to your addiction, and cost is becoming less of an object. A nice Sunpak can be found on eBay foraround $50. Watch for the 383, the 433D, or the 444D. Or pay $70~$100 and buy a new one. If the bank is still tight from last month's FZ purchase, consider a Sunpak 144PC. People find them on eBay for under $10.

Finally, the insanity begins to set in fully, and you'll start pricing macro lenses or teleconverters. MasterCard still hasn't forgiven you for the FZ20 you bought three months ago, but you don't care any more. The Raynox 1540 PRO looks like a bargain at $110, but you really want a TCON-14B for about $40 more. Aw, what they hey! I'm sure I can find a good deal on a Panasonic LTZ!
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Old May 10, 2005, 5:33 AM   #9
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One other point. don't forget that most of these items you would buy no matter which camera you went for!

As regards the AF, i've not heard any real complaints that aren't suffered by all AF's due to their very nature. The good things is as you've said you do have the manual option if you want, which not many competitors have!

Woody
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Old May 10, 2005, 5:26 PM   #10
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Wow, thanks guys, much more ifnothan I was hoping for.

I really appreciate all the info.

Can't wait till the end of month (when I'll be buying my FZ 20)
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