Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ20 Review
Updated 9th Nov: High ISO samples added to gallery
Announced at the end of July 2004, the DMC-FZ20 is the flagship model of the third generation of 'super zoom' cameras from electronics giant Panasonic, and is a direct replacement for the FZ10. Like its predecessors (and the simultaneously announced DMC-FZ3) the FZ20 sports a Leica-branded DC Vario-Elmarit zoom with a whopping 12x optical range (36-432mm equiv) and a constant F2.8 aperture. It also boasts a newly-improved optical image stabilisation system and the Venus II engine, which, according to Panasonic's documentation, is now equivalent to shooting at 3 or 4 shutter speed steps faster.
The FZ20 offers several enhancements over the FZ10 it replaces, including a higher resolution sensor (5MP as opposed to 4MP), improved hand grip and - thanks to the Venus II image processing engine - it's faster, offers better resolution and lower noise. And that's not all; it is packed with new technologies and upgrades; enhanced metering and focus systems, new shooting modes and a new mode dial, TIFF mode, a better electronic viewfinder, a new menu system and a new two mode image stabiliser.
- 36 - 432mm (equiv.) F2.8, 12x Leica Zoom Lens with one ED lens
- Mega O.I.S (optical image stabilisation)
- Venus II image processing engine
- 9 scene modes and full photographic control
- New mode dial for easy access to exposure modes
- TIFF mode
- New on-screen display
- Ultra fast startup, focus, shutter lag and shot-to-shot time
- Available in Black (FZ20K) and Silver (FZ20S)
Panasonic DMC-FZ20 Key specifications
|Street price|| US: $500
|Body Material||Metal and Plastic|
|Sensor|| 1/2.5" Type CCD
5.3 million pixels total
5.0 million effective pixels
2560 x 1920
|Movie clips|| 320 x 240 (10 / 30 fps)
Limited only by storage
MOV (Motion JPEG)
36 - 432 mm equiv. (12x zoom)
|Focus|| 1 point, 3 point, 9 point Autofocus
Single shot or Continuous AF
Switcheable focus trigger
5cm macro mode (Wide), 200cm (Tele)
Program (with shift)
ISO 80, 100, 200, 400
|White Balance|| Auto
Custom WB (manual)
White Balance fine tune (R-B)
|Image parameters|| Contrast (Low, Standard, High)
Sharpness (Low, Standard, High)
Saturation (Low, Standard, High)
Noise reduction (Low, Standard, High)
Color effects (Cool, Warm, Black & White, Sepia)
|Continuous|| Full resolution: 3 or 2 fps
Full resolution: max 7 images (standard mode), 4 images (fine mode)
Infinite consecutive (unlimited but slower shooting rate)
|Flash|| Built-in pop-up flash
Modes: Auto, Auto with red-eye reduction, Slow sync, On/Off
Range: 0.3 to 7.0 m (0.98 feet - 23.0 feet)
External flash via hot-shoe
16 MB SD supplied*
|Viewfinder|| EVF (114,000 pixels)
Field of view approx 100%
-4 to +4 dioptre adjustment
|LCD monitor|| 2.0" TFT LCD
USB 2.0 Full Speed (12 Mbits/s)
|Power|| Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery
|In the box*||
Spot, Center-weighted & Multi-pattern metering
|Weight (inc batt)||556 g (1.2 lb)|
|Dimensions||128 x 87 x 106 mm (5.0 x 3.4 x 4.2 in)|
* Supplied accessories may differ in each country or area
If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read the Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this article (it may help you understand some of the terms used).
Conclusion / Recommendation / Ratings are based on the opinion of the reviewer, you should read the ENTIRE review before coming to your own conclusions.
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This article is Copyright 2004 and may NOT in part or in whole be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the author.
East Coast Photo
|Synergy Digital Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ20 Digital Camera USB Cable 5' USB Data cable - - Replacement by||$5.69|