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Old Jan 8, 2006, 5:45 PM   #1
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I currently own an FZ5 and have been looking seriously at "upgrading" to the FZ20. The price differential right now is only $50.00 at Vann's with free shipping. I really like the compact size of the FZ5 and that was the original selling point, along with the great Leica lens, image stabilization and great battery life. Image quality is most important to me and I'd like to know if there is any real difference b/t these two models in that aspect. Also will the Schneider-Kreuznach Xenar 0.7x Wide Angle Lens fit the FZ20? Any advice from users about these two models would be appreciated. Thanks.
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Old Jan 8, 2006, 6:57 PM   #2
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they use the same sensor and optics, so the image quality should be very comparable. the main thing you get by switching to the FZ20 is manual focus and a flash hotshoe.

you'll need an adapter to make most add-on filters, lenses, etc. fit the '20, and if the WA lens you're using threads directly onto your FZ5, you'll also need a step ring to go from the adapter threads - 62mm, if you use a Pemaraal or Phayee, or 52mmif you get a Raynox- to the 55mm threads of the WA converter.
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Old Jan 8, 2006, 7:52 PM   #3
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Justinian,

Unless you feel you really need the manual focus or the hotshoe, you really wouldn't be gaining much to move up to the FZ-20. I have used the FZ-20 for the past year and have been happy with it, but I just gave my wife the FZ-5 for xmas. As you already mentioned, the compact size of the FZ-5 is the main difference as it basically is just the baby sister of the FZ-20. Although we have not done a "side by side" comparison of the cameras, my first impressions are that the photos are about equal in quality... and, the FZ-5 may even render indoor color a little better.

Have you considered upgrading to the FZ-30 instead? I believe that the FZ-30 has the same 55mm threads on the lensmount as your FZ-5. I know it would be more expensive, but it would be a true "upgrade" and you wouldn't have the hassle with new adapters/step-rings, etc... Although I think you would be happy with the FZ-20, I don't think you would feel like you had actually "upgraded" by your results.

Just my 2 cents...
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Old Jan 8, 2006, 9:56 PM   #4
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Thanks to both of you. Your answers were about what I expected in terms of image quality. The FZ30 is a little too much camera for me, especially the size. Isn't much larger than the FZ5 and even the FZ20? I'd have to see how it felt in my hand. I appreciate your advice and will probably just keep my FZ5.
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Old Jan 8, 2006, 10:43 PM   #5
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the FZ30 isn't really any larger than the '20, but it feels like it, because they lengthened the grip handle on the right side. i like the '20 much better in that regard. the '30 does have some nice features, but it won't give you any better image quality than the FZ5 of FZ20... just bigger. if you're happy with the FZ5, and can live without the hotshoe and manual focus, i'd recommend saving your money and holding off another 6-8 months to see what the FZ40 brings. by then, if you still want to move up, the '30'sprices will be dropping, and you can either pick on of those up cheap or, if the FZ40 represents a serious improvement, consider taking the big leap...
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Old Jan 8, 2006, 11:57 PM   #6
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Justinian: try this review at dpreivew -

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/panasonicfz5/

(Pages 8 and 9 gaves result of direct comparison between FZ5 and FZ20)

Hope this helps.
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Old Jan 9, 2006, 7:46 AM   #7
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Yes, that helps alot. At dpreview.com they see no real difference in the images b/t the FZ5 and FZ20, so that is that. I will keep the FZ5 and I ordered the Schneider-Kreuznach Xenar 0.7x wide angle lens for it. Apparently, it attaches right on to the adaptor that came with the FZ5 without vignetting. Now this is what I have been looking for - a camera with 12x UZ and the ability to wide angle down to 25mm - the best of both worlds in a compact package! Thanks again to all for your responses. This is a great forum - and fun too.
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