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Old May 22, 2006, 12:55 PM   #1
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Ifound the FZ20 selling for $319. The cheapest FZ30 I can find is about $480. $480 doesn't seem like a bad price, but is the FZ30 worth an extra $160. This topic may already be talked to death, but I couldn't find it through a search.

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Rob
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Old May 22, 2006, 6:19 PM   #2
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I did not want you to feel ignored... I just got the FZ30 and love it. Unfortunately, I cannot compare for you. The 3 extra MP give you more range if you tend to take pictures that are too far away as you can crop tighter and still have a printable image. So, I guess you can look at it as $160 more for roughly a '15X' zoom.
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Old May 22, 2006, 7:06 PM   #3
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i have an FZ20, which i bought for $450 in November of 2004. I love the camera, but if i were in your position now, and had neither one, i'd spend the extra $160 for the FZ30hands down. the FZ30 isn't enough better to warrant "upgrading" from an FZ20, but if you don't have either one, why not spend the marginal extra money and get the most up-to-date model you can? the '30 has features the '20 lacks (flip LCD, mechanical zoom ring, improved response times, etc.), and as Gsellis pointed out, the extra 3MP can be a real plus at times.
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Old May 22, 2006, 7:12 PM   #4
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With the FZ30 you get the ability to use RAW image files and... and... (sorry, I forget the Panasonic marketing term, so I'll just describe the feature) and the option to extend the optical zoom range for lower-resolution images. (The latter is an improvement over crop-and-resample "digital zoom".)

I consider these significant improvements. You also get a somewhat higher-resolution display, which may enhance your ability to focus manually, if that's important to you.

In my opinion, the only advantages the FZ20 has are slightly smaller size, a slightly brighter lens at the tele end... and the lower price.

Bear in mind that I have an FZ20 and like it. I consider the FZ30 an improvement, but I haven't felt compelled to upgrade.
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Old May 22, 2006, 10:16 PM   #5
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Thanks for the input. The question was posed to me by a friend. I have an FZ20 andlove it. Since I'm not going to upgrade, I haven't really checked out the FZ30 to see its pluses (what I don't know won't tempt me) so I wasn't sure how to answer. I know most, maybe all, here would highly favor the 30, but being a beginner with no digital camera, he may go for the 20 at what sounds like a really good price.

Thanks again for the replies
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Old May 23, 2006, 1:53 PM   #6
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Robb wrote:
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With the FZ30 you get the ability to use RAW image files and... and... (sorry, I forget the Panasonic marketing term, so I'll just describe the feature) and the option to extend the optical zoom range for lower-resolution images. (The latter is an improvement over crop-and-resample "digital zoom".)
AFAICS, the difference is just that they don't resample. I know that they pushed this when the camera first came out, but it never made sense as anything but marketing BS to me. If you optically zoom further, and end up with fewer pixels gettng exposed, it sure sounds like the moral equivalent to a crop at the zoom that actually fits onto the sensor from where I'm standing.

That said, I think that RAW is a BIG win, even if you mostly take JPEGs.Also, the mechanical zoomis abig win. The video is a big win for those who areactually willing to use a still camera for video. The faster boot time is a big win. The smaller filter size will save more money than the difference in camera price if you buy a few decent quality filters. The slower lens is a big disappointment, but other than that, the FZ30 is all improvement.


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Old May 23, 2006, 11:10 PM   #7
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tclune wrote:
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Robb wrote:
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(some snippage)... and the option to extend the optical zoom range for lower-resolution images. (The latter is an improvement over crop-and-resample "digital zoom".)
AFAICS, the difference is just that they don't resample. I know that they pushed this when the camera first came out, but it never made sense as anything but marketing BS to me. If you optically zoom further, and end up with fewer pixels gettng exposed, it sure sounds like the moral equivalent to a crop at the zoom that actually fits onto the sensor from where I'm standing. ....(rest snipped)
Agreed, the difference is that the FZ30 doesn't resample in this mode. The ability to take an honest 3 megapixel (for instance) image at maximum zoom with cropping is something I would value and consider an improvement over cropping to 3 and resampling back up to 5, 8, or whatever megapixels.

But it's not something that would or should appeal to everyone, and I appreciate your describing it so succinctly.
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Old May 24, 2006, 8:36 AM   #8
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Robb wrote:
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tclune wrote:
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Robb

Agreed, the difference is that the FZ30 doesn't resample in this mode. The ability to take an honest 3 megapixel (for instance) image at maximum zoom with cropping is something I would value and consider an improvement over cropping to 3 and resampling back up to 5, 8, or whatever megapixels.

But it's not something that would or should appeal to everyone, and I appreciate your describing it so succinctly.
i feel the same way about the extended zoom; i dont take enough telephoto shots to warrant purchasing a telephoto extention, however, once in awhile i want to take pictures or something alittle outside of the 12x zoom range. i dont do alot of post processing, so this feature is nice to have- i know its probably not something i'll print anyways - and at 3 megapixels, you can print a decent 5x7 image if you need to. i appreciate being able to take those few close ups without having to do any post-processing.

back to the question posed, i've never had the opportunity to handle an fz20.i do however love the fz30, i debated the two for a month before deciding on the fz30. if you're leaning more towards the fz20, you might want to consider the fz7 as well, they share alot of features also, and the fz7 actually has some improvements over the 20; that being said, i tried out the fz7 the other week (i thought about downgrading) but after playing with it for 15 minutes i was set on keeping the fz30. it wouldn't be worth the $150 i'd get back from selling it for the downgrade. the fz30 is a great camera, and i'll be holding onto it for a year or two and then upgrade to a dslr. so, since the fz20 appears to have more in common with the fz7, i'd go with the fz30. you can do a side-by-side comparison of all three here: http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sidebyside.asp
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Old May 24, 2006, 8:43 AM   #9
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RobPA wrote:
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Thanks for the input. The question was posed to me by a friend. I have an FZ20 andlove it. Since I'm not going to upgrade, I haven't really checked out the FZ30 to see its pluses (what I don't know won't tempt me) so I wasn't sure how to answer. I know most, maybe all, here would highly favor the 30, but being a beginner with no digital camera, he may go for the 20 at what sounds like a really good price.

Thanks again for the replies
If your friend is a beginner, than the best answer might depend on what your friend's future plans are. If he/she wants a camera to use while learning, and will be willing to upgrade after getting some experience, than the FZ20 would fill the bill and the savings would be worth it. And, one has to think and hope that future models will improve upon the FZ30 and really worth upgrading to. The FZ20 is my first serious camera, and I'm still learning each time I go out. As much as I love a new toy, I'm content to wait until there are significant improvements to the FZ line, especially in terms of noise and low light shooting difficulties.

But, if your friend wants to make one purchase and stay with it for a long time, than spring for the newest model.
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