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
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