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Old Feb 20, 2005, 12:15 PM   #1
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the panasonic lumix FZ-20, 4mp, 12x zoom. i want something thats not quite professional as a DSLR, but fairly capiable of taking the range of photos that im after. shots like freezing a droplet of water, or taking a picture of a waterfall so that the water is soft, and flowing, wildlife shots, landscapes etc. is the panasonic capiable of all theese?are the manual settings decent ( i have a casio exilim and there are few manual settings).thanks for the info all
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Old Feb 20, 2005, 12:42 PM   #2
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Nearly all the prosumers can do what you are saying under good conditions (i.e. lots of light/daytime/etc). Where these prosumers start to suffer (compared to DSLRs) is with low-light performance (high noise at high ISO) and perhaps speed of response.

The Panasonic FZ20 can do what you want... so can many other prosumers... what you should do is to check out people's galleries... Check out the FZ20 gallery at pbase.com...
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Old Feb 20, 2005, 3:20 PM   #3
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The range of shutter speeds on the FZ20 is wide enough to do what you want. The aperture/shutter priority and manual modes are easily accesible via a dial on top of the camera, and actual settings are done by a dial on the camera's back.

This camera also has manual focus as well, and is done by turning the lens barrel, just as god intended.

PhilR.
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Old Feb 20, 2005, 5:55 PM   #4
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Manual controls is no problem - you will have them in full. So it is appears like you can do anything what you want. But this is not the case. I have FZ-10 and it let me down in some areas. ISO above 100 is useless and it has some fringing (although not major problem - just frustrating); but main problem is inability to stop lens down more than 8. In some situation it is really pain; for example I was trying make "soft" water in sunny day and I gave up - it became impossible without gray filter. Saying that I like to admit that I am quite happy with FZ-10 - this camera has lots to offer and above-mention disadvantages more or less belong to any pro-sumer camera anyway. So in short you will be able to do *almost* everything with *very* acceptable pix quality
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Old Feb 20, 2005, 7:51 PM   #5
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I had the FZ20 for a week. It was GREAT in some areas, very responsive when a fast SD card was in it, nice layout of controls, menuing was well-designed, camera was easy to hold and use very quickly, great glass gave detailed images, nice to have a lense hood outdoors, a LIVE histogram which should be required on modern cameras. Beats a light meter.

But it had skewed color hues (compared to others that aren't perfect either, with colors that are especially important for humans or landscapes - pulling blues toward purple, which always made skies cast differently, and pulling orange and yellow toward red and magenta which made getting nice skin tones problematic. Each of these tendencies is in opposite directions on the color wheel, so image processing sessions were more involved than they should have to be. Indeed, it seemed like that also made it nearly impossible to pull strong greens out in some outdoor shots... it often accentuated whatever rust or red was in foliage. It also liked to make heavily shadowed areas purple.

I like digital darkroom, but not to the exclusion of better color values right out of the camera. I should have trusted the Imatest results I've seen elsewhere ; }

It also was not so hot for poorly-lit indoors flash shooting as its LCD and viewfinder do not gain up. So it's tough to frame shots (or even see the subjects) or fine tune / be assured of focus. Too bad, because the camera does have a manual focus ring as well as manual/auto assist right on the side of the lense housing. I should add that on a very few shots for no apparent reason it did not come close to filling the total dynamic range (another shot of the same scene would however), basically no lows and highs, all midrange.

Anyway, I came very close to keeping it because the long zoom and image stabilization worked incredibly well, and it had a lot of good options as regards in-camera sharpening, color saturation, etc. Now I'm thinking that to get long zoom and IS and better color and monitoring, it's next stop Konica Minolta A2 or A200 with a 2x extender, or the soon-to-be KM Z5 or the slightly longer wait for the new Sony longshooter which looks pretty sweet. I also like the Nikon 8800 though its not really going to be decent at rapid-fire shooting.

I want an SLR without the bulk and cost and lense changing ; }
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Old Feb 21, 2005, 7:36 PM   #6
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greenboy wrote:
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I want an SLR without the bulk and cost and lense changing ; }
Get Pentax *istDS + Sigma 18-125 (effectively 28-200) and be happy :-) Although lens not the best of the best, but still respectable performer for money asked
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Old Feb 22, 2005, 12:07 AM   #7
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schmintan wrote:
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the panasonic lumix FZ-20, 4mp, 12x zoom. i want something thats not quite professional as a DSLR, but fairly capiable of taking the range of photos that im after. shots like freezing a droplet of water, or taking a picture of a waterfall so that the water is soft, and flowing, wildlife shots, landscapes etc. is the panasonic capiable of all theese?are the manual settings decent ( i have a casio exilim and there are few manual settings).thanks for the info all
First off, the FZ20 is a 5mp camera not 4.. I'm sure you simply made a typo but just correcting it for the record.. The FZ20 will do what you ask of it but not right out of the box.. It will take some getting use to and learning how to work around a few quirks. It's among the best in it's class and once you get use to it, very simple to use.

Some complain about color cast problems, I've found them to be minimal and correctable. Some complain about noise at iso 400 in low light.. Have you ever taken a picture in low light with iso 400 color film?? I'd wager you won't see much difference in the print.. In most cases, the photos in those situations can be cleaned up (the beauty of digital phtography).

Your expectations are reasonable and I would have to say the FZ20 will do what you want. Just make sure you know what you expect from it before you buy it.

Jeff
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