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
• UK: £370
Body Material Metal and Plastic
Sensor • 1/2.5" Type CCD
• 5.3 million pixels total
• 5.0 million effective pixels
Image sizes

• 2560 x 1920
• 2048 x 1536
• 1600 x 1200
• 1280 x 960
• 640 x 480
• 1920 x 1080 (16:9 HDTV)

Movie clips • 320 x 240 (10 / 30 fps)
• With audio
• Limited only by storage
• MOV (Motion JPEG)
Lens

• 36 - 432 mm equiv. (12x zoom)
• F2.8 (throughout zoom range)
• MEGA OIS (Mode 1 / Mode 2)
• LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT
• 13 Elements in 8 Groups
• 3 Aspherical Lenses/3 Aspherical Surfaces, 1 ED Lens

Focus • 1 point, 3 point, 9 point Autofocus
• Spot-focusing
• Single shot or Continuous AF
• Switcheable focus trigger
• Manual Focus(Ring)
• 5cm macro mode (Wide), 200cm (Tele)
Shooting mode

• Program (with shift)
• Aperture Priority
• Shutter Priority
• Manual
• Macro
• Moving Image
• Portrait
• Sports
• Landscape
• Night Landscape
• Panning
• Night Portrait
• Fireworks
• Party
• Snow
• AE compensation -2.0EV to +2.0 EV in 1/3EV steps
• Auto bracketing

Sensitivity • Auto
• ISO 80, 100, 200, 400
White Balance • Auto
• 4 presets
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
Storage • SD/MMC
• 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
• 130,000 pixels
Connectivity

• USB 2.0 Full Speed (12 Mbits/s)
• A/V out
• DC-IN
• Remote socket

Power • Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery
• Charger included
In the box*

• Battery Charger
• Battery Pack
• 16MB 6 SD Memory Card
• Lens Cap
• Lens Hood & Adaptor
• A/V & USB Cable
• Strap
• CD-ROM inc ArcSoft software bundle
• TIFF mode

Other features

Spot, Center-weighted & Multi-pattern metering
PictBridge and DPOF compatible
Mega Optical Image Stabilisation
Live Histogram
• AF assist lamp
Built-in speaker and microphone
• Flip Animation function
• In-camera picture resizing and cropping
• Voice annotation
• 2/10 second self-timer
• Venus Engine II™ LSI Image Processor

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