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Old Oct 24, 2004, 2:01 AM   #11
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Yes, the S1 images are too soft. And, from what I've seen of several sample photos, the FZ-20 produces too much noise for my liking. I really didn't think much of the FZ-20's images (at full resolution). The Fz-20 also uses a proprietary (see Expensive) battery, and has no distance scale in Manual Focus. Also, 8 seconds is the longest shutter speed. As well, they still have the Macro setting on the dial, rather than as a separate button. In the FZ-10, this meant it was difficult to use Macro in Manual Exposure mode (there is a way, but you have to 'trick' the camera). It appears as if they've not corrected this stupid problem with the FZ-20. To me, the FZ-20 is a camera that could have been - and should have been - much better. Instead, they were content to simplyincrease the resolution, and leave the problems of the FZ-10 intact.

As I understand it, the Nikon 4800 has no Manual Exposure (nor Aperture or Shutter Priority). So much for that one.

I think that, in this range of cameras, Olympus has the best image quality, and the best features overall. Too bad they went away from the AA batteries, though.
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Old Oct 24, 2004, 8:18 AM   #12
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Well, I have only had my FZ20 for two days now but so far I have not noticed a problem with noise. I too read about the noise issue but I also ready reviews and posts from new owners that dispelled this story. To me, the best source of information on a camera are from those that use it. All the posts I have readfrom new owners have been very complimentary.

To me, the FZ20 is all I had hoped for and more. Everyone has their own opinion and that is fine. I actually am glad this camera uses a proprietary battery. After several years of using my old Olympus that ate batteries like they were going out of style, I am very happy to not have to be buying AA's finally! I intend on buying an extra one or two and keeping them in the camera bag so I won't have a problem with running out of power.

So far I find all the different modes located on the dail, very user friendly and conventient. If and when I get more experience and start using the camera in manual mode, I'll figure out all the 'tricks' and workarounds I need to use the camera the way I want to. I find this part of learning about your camera fun and after all, everyone has to find workarounds and tricks for getting the most out of their particular camera so why should the FZ20 be any different? If I was not willing to do this, I'd just go out and buy a point and shoot and forget about any manual controls at all.

I am not saying that everyone will like the FZ20 or that it is the right camera for all. I am just saying that at this point in my photographic journey, it is the right camera for ME. I am not telling anyone to go out and buy the FZ20, I just think that it's a camera certainlyworth looking at and considering when buying an ultrazoom digital camera.

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Old Oct 24, 2004, 3:44 PM   #13
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Panasonic FZ20 shouldn't be compared to Canon S1 IS. They are in different price ranges. A more realistic comparison is FZ3 vs S1 IS.

EOS RT wrote:
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Yes, the S1 images are too soft. And, from what I've seen of several sample photos, the FZ-20 produces too much noise for my liking. I really didn't think much of the FZ-20's images (at full resolution).
All these cameras (around this price range) have noise issues. The Canon and the Konica Minolta are just as bad.

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The Fz-20 also uses a proprietary (see Expensive) battery, and has no distance scale in Manual Focus. Also, 8 seconds is the longest shutter speed. As well, they still have the Macro setting on the dial, rather than as a separate button. In the FZ-10, this meant it was difficult to use Macro in Manual Exposure mode (there is a way, but you have to 'trick' the camera). It appears as if they've not corrected this stupid problem with the FZ-20. To me, the FZ-20 is a camera that could have been - and should have been - much better. Instead, they were content to simply increase the resolution, and leave the problems of the FZ-10 intact.
Your criticisms are valid but they are misplaced IMO. Most of what you say is applicable to nearly all cameras in this price range and class. Remember, we are talking about ultra-zoom (10x+) cameras and you should compare these within the class. To see what I mean, consider how all the zoom cameras seem to have flaws:

* some don't have image stabilization (and you can't use the high zoom on thse ultra-zooms without IS--or you have to carry around a tripod everywhere)

* some have purple fringing and darkened corners, while others have noise problems at ISO 150+.

* some have autofocusing problems

* some have no macro mode at all

* some have expensive proprietory batteries, expensive memory cards, etc...

* and so on.

It's very difficult to decide between the ultra-zooms because they all have SOME flaw


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I think that, in this range of cameras, Olympus has the best image quality, and the best features overall. Too bad they went away from the AA batteries, though.
I don't remember the features of Olympus off the top of my head but if I remember correctly, it doesn't have image stabilization, which is a huge feature (especially if you are zooming past 6x+)!!!
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Old Oct 25, 2004, 12:33 AM   #14
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Image Stabilization is quite low on my list of priorities. I've lived this long without it... as well, it increases battery drain significantly.

The FZ-20 should have a distance scale in Manual Focus. There is no excuse not to include this. It just seems to me that some important changes from the FZ-10 were not made. I'm sure most people would like more than an 8 second longest shutter speed, as well. If Minolta can include a 30 second setting on the less expensive Z2 and Z3, surely Panasonic could have done much better than 8 seconds.

I realize that no camera has every feature we want (which is why I'm still looking for the 'right' camera). But when a company like Panasonic comes out with a camera like the FZ-20, following the FZ-10, and it maintains the flaws of the FZ-10, it frustrates me, because it is obvious that they made this decision simply because they want to sell a bunch of FZ-20s, and will then introduce a camera very similar to the FZ-20, but with a distance scale, or a 30 second exposure time, or with Macro as a separate button from the dial... in the anticipation that FZ-20 owners will 'bite' and make the 'upgrade'.This crapissimply too contrived for me. Panasonic could have put the missing features I've mentioned into the FZ-20 very easily, without asking for a significantly higher price. Surely they realize that people want these features - there are numerous mentions of these omissions on the FZ-10 on every camera message board. That theyrefused to include these features in the FZ-20 demonstrates a blatant disrespect to the very people who are responsible for their very existence - the customers.

I know that the other camera companies are guilty of the same shady practice - but not to the degree that Panasonic is in the FZ-20.
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Old Oct 25, 2004, 7:27 AM   #15
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Well, I guess that many people don't agree with your dislike of the FZ20 . Reviews by very experienced people were good, new owner posts have been positive and this camera is flying off the shelves and the stores can't keep them in stock so it would seem that Panasonic must be doing something right.

All the features you mentioned that you feel this camera should have can add up to quite a few more dollars on the cost of a camera. You have to remember that this is not a $1,000.00 + camera. It's a very affordable , ultra zoom camera for the novice to experienced hobbyist. If you want all the bells and whistles, go look at the DSLR's and pay much more for it.

I personal do not feel like I am missing out on anything with my FZ20. I like the features it offers at this point in the game. Should Panasonic come out with a newer model in the near future that offers some of the features you listed, I doubt I would buy it. I plan on keeping my FZ20 for at least a couple of years because I feel this camera is going to be all I need andthen someat this point in the game.

Like you said, all the camera companies are continually bringing out new camera's with more options than the camera's before them, that's the nature of the beast. However, no one is ever forced to upgrade. That's a decision we make on our own. Can't blame the camera companies for wanting to continue to keep their customers happy and moving forward with a new model.

Maybe the Z2 and Z3 have longer shutter speeds available on their cameras, but I have also read (many times) about serious reliability issues with these cameras and what good is longer shutte speed on a camera you can't use? Reliability is the most important thing for me since without it, you might as well not have the camera. The Panasonic's have had a good reliablity record .

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Old Oct 25, 2004, 11:12 AM   #16
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EOS RT wrote:
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Image Stabilization is quite low on my list of priorities. I've lived this long without it... as well, it increases battery drain significantly.
IS is very important to me... but then again I'm a newbie, and likely won't use a tripod

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I realize that no camera has every feature we want (which is why I'm still looking for the 'right' camera).
You are looking for a perfect camera that will never exist--unless you go into the high-end prosumer or pro cameras.

Quote:
This crap is simply too contrived for me. Panasonic could have put the missing features I've mentioned into the FZ-20 very easily, without asking for a significantly higher price. Surely they realize that people want these features - there are numerous mentions of these omissions on the FZ-10 on every camera message board. That they refused to include these features in the FZ-20 demonstrates a blatant disrespect to the very people who are responsible for their very existence - the customers.
At this price range (not sure about FZ20 but definitely FZ3 and FZ15 price range), you will always have something missing. If you look at the competitor cameras, they are missing something too. The price is too low for them to put everything in...

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Old Oct 26, 2004, 12:39 AM   #17
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That's the thing - in this price range (FZ-20), the Z2 and Z3, as well as the Olympus 10x Zooms all have a distance scale in Manual Focus, a separate Macro button, and a shutter speed of at least 16 seconds. So, it can be done within this price range.

As for quality, I think the Olympus 'Super Zooms' are at least equal to, if not better than, the FZ-20 overall. The quality and durability is at least equal to Panasonic's from what I've read and heard. I prefer the images out of the Olympus (Olympi?) myself - but that's personal preference. What gives the Olympus cameras the advantage are the features I'm talking about - distance scale, separate Macro button, and longer shutter speed. These features, in my mind, are more practical than Image Stabilization (just a convenient gimmickfor people who are too lazy to carry a tripod), or a little bit added to the zoom length.

I think that one of the reasons for the positive feedback on the FZ-20 thus far is due to it being 5 MP in a category dominated by 4 MP cameras. People love numbers, and they've been conditioned to believe that bigger numbers are always better. The fact, however, is that VERY FEW of the people who buy an FZ-20 would be able to tell the difference between 4 MP and 5 MP - simply because they aren't making huge prints, or otherwise manipulating their photos. The majority keep their photos on their hard drive, or on a CD, and use the computer monitor to view them. Can you tell the difference between a 4 MP image and a 5 MP image on a TV screen? I doubt it. Many will make 4x6 prints - buteven 3 MP will be perfectly fine for that.So, of what use is 5 MP to the majority of FZ-20 owners? For 'bragging rights' - that's it. "Mine's bigger than yours." Big deal.

Let's not forget that there has been negative feedback on the FZ-20, as well - as there is with every camera.
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Old Oct 27, 2004, 8:54 AM   #18
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Can someone here help me decide between the Panasonic FZ20 and the Konica Minolta A2? In addition to general photography and landscapes I want to take pictures at my son's hockey games. These rinks don't always have the best lighting so I like the image stabilization, relatively fast lens, and low shutter lag of these two cameras. The A2 gives me more megapixels (for cropping) pictures later while the Panasonic gives more zoom. Are the different CCD sizes and lack of RAW capture on the Panasonic something to consider in my choice?
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Old Oct 27, 2004, 12:50 PM   #19
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I don't know why you are dismissing image stabilization. The vast majority of the people who buy at this price range will not be carrying around a tripod all the time. Given that, IS is actually one of the major features of a zoom camera. Now, if the camera only has 4x zoom then IS isn't that helpful; but at 10x+ zoom, IS is invaluable...
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Old Oct 27, 2004, 12:51 PM   #20
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Olympus is ok... but I don't know... it's hard to say between the Olympus and the Panasonic... you can read two good reviews here:

http://dcresource.com/reviews/panaso...ew/index.shtml

http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/ol..._770uz-review/

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