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Old Dec 22, 2004, 6:06 PM   #1
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Present use a Kodak 4330 3mp and want to greater pic detail and longer zoom.

I take most pictures indoors with available light or outside in a sunny environment. I use the zoom on my older camera quite a bit, primarily point & shoot.

Is there much diffence between these 2 cameras ?
The Panasonic is hard to find, mailorder only, and $100+ more than the Kodak. Is it worth the difference.

Reading the reviews etc it will be quite a whlie before I could make an intelligent decision. I am leaning toward the Kodak but don't want to kick myself later.

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Old Dec 22, 2004, 7:30 PM   #2
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Panasonic is MUCH better! It can keep its aperature at a lower value throughout the zoom (this is supposed to be a good thing). In addition, it has image stabilization (which I consider to be a big thing anytime you zoom past 5x). Those are the two big key features... Only thing that sucks about the Panasonic is the movie mode. I'm not sure how good the movie mode is on the Kodak or whether you care about movies...
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Old Dec 22, 2004, 10:56 PM   #3
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Sivaram Velauthapillai wrote:
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Panasonic is MUCH better! It can keep its aperature at a lower value throughout the zoom (this is supposed to be a good thing). In addition, it has image stabilization (which I consider to be a big thing anytime you zoom past 5x). Those are the two big key features... Only thing that sucks about the Panasonic is the movie mode. I'm not sure how good the movie mode is on the Kodak or whether you care about movies...

The movie mode on the Pana doesn't stink. As far as I know, it's 30 FPS with sound, the only sucky part is the resolution.

The Panasonic keeps an F2.8 throughout the entire 12X zoom range, which is brighter but also has a shorter DOF (depth of field). It is still a good thing. The Leica lens is the main reason the Panasonic is so good. It is a superb piece of glass.

The Panasonic has a wide range of add-ons available, including hotshoe. The kodak has no hotshoe and thus you'd be limited to lower-end slave flashes rather thana nicer hotshoe-based flash.

Keep in mind there is very little point in a 10X lens without image stabilization (Pana has 12X). The stabilization adds up to 3 F-stops on the Pana, meaning you can use shutter speeds 8 times as long on the Panasonic, or use 3 f-stops higher (smaller aperture, higher number, larger DOF). This can be the difference between a good night shot and a crappy, blurry one. Further, at full zoom the Kodak is at F3.7, almost a full F-stop higher than the Panasonic. This means that at full telephoto the Pana is at 12X, using a shutter speed nearly 16 times that of the Kodak (we'll call it 12-14 times as long, because the Kodak is at 3.7 and a full F-stop above the Pana is 4.0).

"Rapid shooting in single-shot mode yielded 5 images at 1.7 second intervals, with subsequent shots coming every 7 seconds as the camera's buffer emptied." (Steve)

The Panasonic's multi-tasking Venus (or Venus II engine with the FZ20) can do consecutive shots until the card is full with barely any time at all in between shots (using the right card, of course). See here:

http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/FZ20/FZ20A.HTM

Shutter lag (pre-focus)on the Kodak is.2 seconds (per Steve) and on the Panasonic it is .038 seconds. The Kodak wins in continuous AF by .3 to .6, but few people will find themselves using this feature. The Pana and Kodak are about equal on standard AF.

"The DX7590 flushes its buffer at a relatively leisurely rate, taking over 40 seconds to empty a 5 image burst [using a transcend 1 GB card]." (steve) I can't find exact data on the Panasonic, but it is within seconds that the buffer empties after a 5-shot burst (somewhere around 3 seconds using a 512 MB Transcend card, what I use). The Panasonic does 5 shots high quality high speed at 4 FPS (if i recall correctly) and 5 shots high quality low speed at 2 FPS (again if I recall correctly) then 7 shots in low quality, same FPS with respctive high/low speed.

The Kodak does not have a focus assist lamp while the Pana does. However, the Pana is lacking in LCD gain-up. Which is more important is up to you.

The Panasonic has an electronic manual focus, which is an absolutely stellar design feature.

I do not believe the Kodak does TIFF, which the Panasonic does.

You could try to find an FZ10 if focus assist lamp, Venus II, and a few other small improvements are not necessary to you. I'd try for the latest, but it is personal choice and you'll hear recommendations on both sides.

I would buy the Panasonic, no questions asked.
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Old Dec 23, 2004, 4:45 AM   #4
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How would you rate these 2 as far as just a point and shoot? Are they both good in this area, with the Panasonic offering more features as my knowledge increases ?
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Old Dec 23, 2004, 11:27 AM   #5
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tacticalnuke wrote:
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The movie mode on the Pana doesn't stink. As far as I know, it's 30 FPS with sound, the only sucky part is the resolution.
Actually it does suck... resolution is half the equation (other is frame rate)... the res on the Panasonic is too low to be considered any good...


Quote:
Keep in mind there is very little point in a 10X lens without image stabilization (Pana has 12X).
I'm a big fan of IS too but keep in mind that some people use tripods and IS will likely not help them that much...
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Old Dec 23, 2004, 12:20 PM   #6
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Hi Bobbee,

You can often find the FZ20 on Ebay.

Sometimes, the seller has not yet filled out the warranty even!

Good luck
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Old Dec 23, 2004, 3:32 PM   #7
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I am considering buying he FZ20 tonight, but a few questions remain.

The FZ20 review states movies without sound, yet there is an 'audio on' option. Can the FZ20 make a movie with sound ?
(This was a nice feature on my old dx4330 when we were looking at homes in another state.)

Some of the posts concerned me, can you get good pics without using a lot of manual settings, i.e. point & shoot.
I would like to learn photography, but my wife is strictly a button pusher.

The lens is rather large, would some type of protector be in order ?
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Old Dec 23, 2004, 4:26 PM   #8
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bobbee wrote:
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I am considering buying he FZ20 tonight, but a few questions remain.

The FZ20 review states movies without sound, yet there is an 'audio on' option. Can the FZ20 make a movie with sound ?
(This was a nice feature on my old dx4330 when we were looking at homes in another state.)

Some of the posts concerned me, can you get good pics without using a lot of manual settings, i.e. point & shoot.
I would like to learn photography, but my wife is strictly a button pusher.

The lens is rather large, would some type of protector be in order ?

Most people buy an aftermarket lens adapter ($30 US) and then a UV filter (more as a lens protector, $20-100 depending on quality, $20 are just fine, go to 2filter.com).

There's a Phayee adapter (check e-bay, you have to e-mail a guy in China who makes them, come over to the Panasonic forum and look at the Filters sticky) and then there's a Pemeraal adapter (www.b-300.com)
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Old Dec 23, 2004, 4:46 PM   #9
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It does have movie/sound, one review was misleading.

How about as a point an shoot ?
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Old Dec 23, 2004, 4:56 PM   #10
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I have a fz20 and when taking pictures of birds and other moving things in 'off' light conditions or when setting all the dials will make me loose the pictureI use the 'P' mode and it's just fine. It does tend to overexpose and you can compensate that by setting it down a notch or 2, then forget it. Even in 'P' mode I'd suggest setting the white balance manually, but this is only my opinion. Haven't used the Kodak so can make no comments.



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