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Old Nov 14, 2005, 11:52 PM   #1
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I have decided that the FZ20 is the camera for me. I am concerned though that my family especially hubby wont be able to take good photos if the auto modes arent satisfactory, meaning at least equivalent to the quality of a 35mm point and shoot. Nothing spectacular but images that are at least acceptable to the untrained eye. It would be nice if they came out fairly decent but this camera seems to be geared to having some manual settings used.

Thanks in advance,

Marcie


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Old Nov 15, 2005, 1:28 AM   #2
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the FZ20 is made to meet the needs of both point-n-shoot users as well as more advanced photographers. i've had my FZ20 for a year, and i still use the "P" mode a great deal. the camera consistently gives me excellent results, and i find that i only need to use manual modes in cases where i want a specific result that i know the auto modes won'tgive me. i'vegot a wholewall fullof 8x10's that were shot using auto ("P") mode, andthey are a lot more than just "acceptable".

the only area where i feel the FZ20 is a little weak is indoor snapshots. it's optimized for outdoor photography (one doesn't design a camera with a 12x zoom to take pics across the living room!), and the results i've gotten indoors with the flashare not as good as my outdoor shots. but then, i almost never use it indoors, so that just isn't an issue for me...

if you want an excellent camera for outdoor work, it's awful hard to beat the FZ20, but if you're mainly interested in indoor snapshots of family get-togethers and the like, then i'd have to say the FZ20 might not be the best choice.
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Old Nov 15, 2005, 1:38 AM   #3
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Marcie:

80% of the shots I take with the FZ20 are on auto. Nothingextra other than I tend to use spot focus and metering. Of these 90% are "keepers" with just the simplest of tweaking using Picasa or the like (60% or so are real-good straight out of the camera).

So why have the other capabilities - for the 20% of shots where you NEED things like:
* manual focus - can't always get it right in a cluttered scene
* apature vs speed - gives you the choice

Two shots straight from the camera - other than resize for the web.

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Old Nov 15, 2005, 1:42 AM   #4
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and the other.

Ian
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Old Nov 15, 2005, 9:33 AM   #5
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I've had the FZ20 for a little less than a year. I've used the "P" mode quite a bit and I've also used several of the scene modes (portrait, scenery, sports, night scenery). IMO they are all very reliable.

If you want a camera that will be suitable for a variety of situations, the FZ20 will probably suit you just fine. Even though it's clearly at its best outdoors you will still be able to get decent indoor shots. The on-board flash is pretty good and its power level can be adjusted. I've taken some decent indoor shots with it but I will admit that I often have to work pretty hard to get the lighting and everything right for indoor shots. The shot that I've attached was taken indoors at night from a tripod with no flash in P (auto) mode. The only light came from a $20 Wal-mart floor lamp.

Having said all that, I think most of us who use the FZ20 use it primarily for outdoor shots - why else would we want all that zoom?. And to get back to your original question, yes, IMO the FZ20's auto modes are pretty darn good.
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Old Nov 15, 2005, 11:03 AM   #6
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Unless there is plenty of light youl'll need to flash for anything moving. As the flash is not controlled through the lens you will need to adjust it based upon your
review of how things are going. Primarily, reducing the amount of flash for close shots. I do this quickly through the EVF and keep going. Take a bunch of shots, they're cheap, and toss the bad ones. If things are a little dark they can be salvaged nicely, but if they're too light they're lost. Also, keep an eye on the white balance and be prepared to make a manual setting. A sheet of copy paper will do fine. I really don't have any real trouble indoors. Although it would be easier with a through the lens flash metering system.

Bottom line is that it does a more than admorable job in P, A, S modes, with
sufficient light. Auto focusworks quite well too, if you let it. Hold the shutter
half way down compose and wait for that magic moment that is about to happen.



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Old Nov 16, 2005, 12:21 PM   #7
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Thanks everyone for the great pics. I can see that they will be happy with the auto modes and that I can use them and be happy with it as well. As far as the flash I have been using a fuji 3800 which is only a 100 ISO there have only been a very few times where there has been a problem with not enough flash Ill have to play with to see the characteristics of the flash to see if I need to regularly lower the amt it wants to give. I also prefer the higher mountand bounce capabilities of the external flash and will probably use it more than the onboard flash.



Now I just need some decent software



Marcie
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