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Old 01-07-2005, 08:42   #1
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Change my FZ20 - for what?

I have a Panasonic FZ20 and I've always been bothered by the lack of sharpness and noise in the images. I know Panasonic owners quite aggressively defend their purchases (on dpreview at least) but since I got my little Fuji F10 recently, there's no denying the FZ20's images are less than tack sharp and nowhere near as clean as they could be.

I'm therefore thinking of changing the FZ20 for another cam that would give me more "creative control" than the Fuji but with better image quality. To be honest, I'm not sure I'd miss the extreme telephoto (I don't shoot birds!) and would probably find a wider angle more useful. I've dismissed the Minolta A2/ A200 on the grounds of less than sharp images (certainly from what I've seen, and what others report). The Canons similarly don't catch my eye. Which sort of leaves the Olympus 8080, which seems to produce just about the best images this side of a DSLR and importantly for me, is fabulously built (in fact better than most budget DSLRs). Only problem is it's big and heavy.

Has anyone else switched from the FZ20 and gone through a similar thought process as myself? I've been dithering over this for to long now and and advice would be welcomed!
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Old 01-07-2005, 08:53   #2
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Sorry can't offer any experience on models but would be interested to see an image you have issues with on the Panasonic. I was thinking this was the perfect model for my dad but will be very interested in your findings and you could save me an expensive mistake.

edit. The New Nikon D50 is just out, no idea of cost but I know it's more compact than the other DSLR's maybe it's worth a look.

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Old 01-07-2005, 10:14   #3
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I don't have the facility unfortunately to post any pics I've taken (I'm not confident enough anyway!). What I can tell you though is that across the board, they're just not as sharp as I would like. Many others are obviously entirely happy with theirs. The Panasonics have many attributes, but these niggles do bother me. (That said, to my eyes, the images from the FZ5 look cleaner than the FZ20).

As for the Nikon - much as I'd like it, it's too expensive. You're looking at around £600 just to get going and I can't justify that.
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Old 01-07-2005, 12:02   #4
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As I said I didn't know the price of the D50. I'll be willing to bet that it will drop though as that sounds too close to the street price of the d70s.

As far as your FZ20 goes you might find that as with many of the DSLR's due to it being more of a serious camera as apposed to a snapper that the fz5 could be described that it dos little or no in camera sharpening. Out of the camera images from my 4-5 year old IxusV are shaper than my Eos 10D this is because you can get the results you want in photoshop or other application rather than just a guess from the camera. You can however turn on sharpening in one of the menus. I'm not saying this is why you're not happy with your pics but it could be worth investigating.

This site has a comment that "suggesting that you may not see a large difference in the FZ20's images without a little post-capture sharpening in the computer.)" Look under the Resolution Chart Test Results section.
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Old 01-07-2005, 12:14   #5
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too be honest, even though you say have dismissed them, you should really have a butchers at the cannon range. If you look at my iceland pics you'll get an idea of the sharpness of the image.
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Old 01-07-2005, 14:30   #6
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Mum has a Nikon 8800 and I'm impressed with the images from it. I also agree with bumfrog, Canon produce some excellent cameras, I wouldn't discount them without trying one 1st.
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Old 01-07-2005, 16:16   #7
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Nor me - that said, it's the first time I've heard of FZ20 images being soft.
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Old 01-07-2005, 16:31   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Radiohead
Nor me - that said, it's the first time I've heard of FZ20 images being soft.
I do believe it's a common "complaint" (or should I describe it as "attribute") of the FZ20. Many people raise this at dpreview (it's also acknowledged in many reviews). Trouble is, you fear for you life on the Panasonic forum if you dare to criticise any aspect of the camera's performance! Interestingly I posed a similar question on the Olympus forum and several posters said they had made the switch too, I've only had a few digicams and the FZ20 has had the "softest" (and noisiest) pictures if them all (anything above the minimum ISO 80 is just unacceptable to me). They also don't seem to take too well to sharpening using the various bits of software I've tried, and I hate the effect of de-noising software.

That said, it does have many plus points - I'm just not sure I can live with the downsides.
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Old 02-07-2005, 00:31   #9
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That doesn't sound so good Keiron99, I was hoping I had provided the magic answer for you in the post production sharpening. I had viewed some very long telephoto shots on a bird spotters forum but had assumed the quality was lacking due to the use of teleconvertors.

Sorry you have this issue but I'm glad you've posted and saved me wasting money. So many people find they have to justify their poor purchases so its good to see and impartial opinion from an owner. I'll have to find an alternative for my old man now.

edit for drunken spelling and grammar.

Last edited by wseed; 02-07-2005 at 06:53.
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Old 02-07-2005, 06:21   #10
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I'd heard of the FZ20 being a little noisy, but not soft. Useful info though.
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Old 02-07-2005, 08:14   #11
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I think a lot of it is subjective - It seems a bit harsh to criticise such an excellent camera. Let's be real here the is a £350 compact not a top end dslr. I have an FZ3 and for the £200 I paid for it there's nothing to touch it at the moment. Being honest some of the indoor shots do come out on the soft side but respond well to sharpening in picasso.

I guess we're never going to unearth the perfect camera as i assume there has to be trade offs with the technolgies they are using ending up with results that are too jagged or noisy or soft or saturated or wahed out or over exposed.....

The bottom line is we all pick fault with our cameras no matter how good they are !

A camera that get's everything right hasn't been manufactured yet !
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Old 02-07-2005, 09:04   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by superleeds123
I think a lot of it is subjective - It seems a bit harsh to criticise such an excellent camera. Let's be real here the is a £350 compact not a top end dslr.
Yes, well put, I don't want to overstate the case! I'm fully aware of the price/perfermance aspect and the many good qualities. Really, I wouldn't want to put anyone off just on my experience and opinions. Truth is I still have it because I can't find anything better this side of an SLR!
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