Announced yesterday Panasonic's new Lumix DMC-FZ20 is a step-change upgrade to the popular DMC-FZ10. On paper the FZ20 looks very good, a five megapixel CCD, twelve times optically stabilized zoom lens with an F2.8 maximum aperture throughout the zoom range, a range of manual controls wrapped up in a relatively compact body (compared to a digital SLR). We have received a pre-production camera and have produced a very brief hands-on preview with more product images and menu captures. Unfortunately no sample images are available at this stage.
Phil: Panasonic has asked us not to post sample images from this pre-production camera, we will be reviewing the FZ20 in full once production models are available and the (soon to be discontinued) FZ10 for which our review has already been started.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ20 hands-on Preview
The FZ20 has what we would coin an SLR-like appearance, although in this case the lens portion is fairly oversized compared to the body. The body itself is made from a very tough plastic material, the lens barrel is metal. The lens is the key to this camera, it provides a huge 36 to 432 mm equiv. zoom range with a very fast F2.8 maximum aperture even at full telephoto. In addition the lens has optical stabilization which will improve both telephoto and low light performance. This is coupled to a 1/2.5" Type five megapixel CCD. Panasonic have implemented their new 'Venus Engine II' in the FZ20 which promises faster performance, higher quality images and better image stabilization.
Side by side
Here you can see the FZ20 beside the camera it replaces, the four megapixel FZ10. As you can see the changes to the body design are quite subtle, mostly a rounding of edges and an increase and re-shaping of the hand grip (which is a surprising improvement). Other changes are less obvious, the storage compartment door now opens to the center of the camera instead of forward, all connectors are now found on the right side of the camera (from the front) and the dioptre adjustment on the EVF is on the left side of the eyepiece. FZ10 owners will feel immediately at home with the FZ20.
In your hand
The combination of the new deeper hand grip, more rubber and the molded rear thumb grip make the FZ20 a fairly comfortable camera to hold (although having used the camera for a while I personally would have liked an even larger grip). The large lens barrel automatically becomes the grip position for your left hand. Most of the camera's weight is in the lens and metal lens barrel and hence it can sometimes feel as though it is pulling you to the left.
|On top of the camera the mode dial has change slightly from the FZ10 but still performs the same functions. The zoom lever is single speed, it would have been nice (considering the range) if this had been multi-speed. It would have also been good to have the option to use the lens barrel ring to zoom.||The rear controls haven't changed from the FZ10, the menu system has had a 'make over' although has approximately the same layout. Everything is fairly logical and Panasonic has stuck with its simple on/off switch (sometimes simple solutions are the best).|
|Record view display with the new live histogram, this is one of five display modes.||Another display mode is this 'control panel' view which provides an summary of camera settings as well as a reduced size live view.|
|The FZ20 also has a 'thirds grid' record view display.||In manual focus mode the center portion of the display is magnified to help to see the focus point.|
|Record menu||Setup menu|
The venerable Canon PowerShot G1 was announced seventeen years ago this week, marking the start of a line of enthusiast-focused compacts that's still alive and kicking.
Super macro photographer Can Tuncer captured these incredible close-ups of a single peacock feather using a special setup and three different microscope lenses.
After successfully crowdfunding the Biotar 75mm F1.5, Oprema Jena is at it again. This time they're bringing back the Biotar 58mm F2: the world's only lens with a 17-blade aperture.
Adobe's move to a subscription model is treating it very well indeed. The company has posted record revenue for the second quarter in a row, hauling in a mind-boggling $1.84 billion.
More details have emerged about the potential sale of Blackstone's 45% stake in iconic camera brand Leica.
Popular mobile editing app Snapseed just got a major update that includes a new interface and 11 new presets for both Android and iOS, as well as adding the Perspective tool to the iOS version.
It might sound like a strange idea, but taking macro photos of boiling water can actually result in some really cool photographs. A good photo experiment for a rainy day.
The database was created to "break with the narrow lens through which history… has been recorded" by equipping those who commission photography with "the resources to discover photographers of color available for assignments.
Lensbaby has released two new optics for their special "optic swap system." The Lensbaby Sweet 80 Optic gives you that trademark sweet spot of focus, while the Creative Bokeh optic gives you 9 different drop in aperture plate options to play with.
TechCrunch has already posted their review of the upcoming iPhone 8 (not yet the iPhone X), and they're calling it "a look into the augmented future of photography."
Affinity Photo is a $50 photo editing software with no subscriptions. That's it – pay for it once and you're done. And we think it's actually pretty darn good.
Instagram is currently testing a major change to the app's profile layout: replacing the 3-photo across grid with a 4-photo grid... and some users are NOT taking the news well.
A report by USSRPhoto is shedding some light on the return of the famed Zenit camera brand. It seems the full-frame mirrorless camera they're working on will be made in part by Leica using components from the Leica SL.
According to a reliable Korean report, Samsung is developing a smartphone sensor that's capable of super slow motion. Translation: Samsung's next batch of Galaxy smartphones may be able to shoot 1,000fps.
This simple photograph of a seahorse and Q-tip has taken the internet by storm. We spoke to photographer Justin Hofman about how it was captured, and what it means to him.
After a massive leak last week, Profoto has officially debuted the Profoto A1: the company's first on-camera flash system that they're calling "the world's smallest studio flash."
"When the first hyperfocal distance charts were designed, someone decided that an acceptably sharp background contained some blur — enough to notice in a medium-sized print [...] After that point, nearly every other hyperfocal chart followed suit."
The Canon EOS Rebel SL2 (also known as the EOS 200D) is the company's impressively compact entry-level DSLR. Packing a 24MP APS-C sensor, DIGIC 7 processor and Dual Pixel AF, it promises a lot of bang for the buck. And while not mind-blowing, it handles most tasks very well.
Correct these four common composition mistakes and your photos will be more balanced, tell a better story, and lead your viewer's eye where you want it to go.
The rugged, compact 360° action camera Kodak unveiled at Photokina in 2016, the Kodak PixPro Orbit 360, is finally available in the United States.
iOS 11 launches tomorrow, and it'll save all of your pictures in a new high efficiency image format called HEIC. Fortunately, there's now a converter that will let you turn those photos back into JPEGs.
Photo protection company ImageRights recently released a new service that lets non-subscribers take advantage of their streamlined copyright registration system that checks for errors and fills out all the required forms for you.
What's the difference between a $200 circular polarizing filter and a $100 circular polarizing filter? Roger Cicala at Lens Rentals put six different filters through a few tests to find out.
A flurry of leaks reveal that GoPro's upcoming Hero6 will shoot 4K at 60fps, 1080p at 240fps, will cost $500, and is scheduled for announcement/release on September 28th.
Before he became the iconic director whose name we've all heard, a teenage Stanley Kubrick struck up a business relationship with New York’s Look magazine. No surprise: he was an incredibly talented photographer.
WD's new G-Technology G-Drive mobile SSD R-Series is a portable solid state option for photographers who want the reliability of an SSD in a rugged water and dust-resistant package.
Fast, stabilized and affordable is an appealing combination when it comes to lenses. With its latest 24-70mm F2.8, Tamron aims to upgrade autofocus speed and stabilization. We've got a full gallery from this updated full-frame zoom.
Photographer Clay Cook tells the story of his most ambitious photographic dream and career goal coming true: photographing A-list actress Jennifer Lawrence.
In an interview with a Chinese website, Nikon Japan's Director of Development dropped a bombshell, saying that a Nikon mirrorless camera "must be full-frame."
Here's a side-by-side spec comparison of two flagship devices with particular attention to the things that really matter – at least to people who prioritize photography features.