Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ20 Review
Timing & Performance
Panasonic has made much of the performance enhancements offered by its Venus II processor, and the FZ0 - like the FZ3 reviewed a few weeks ago - seems to bear out many of the claims. It feels very responsive indeed in use and rarely lets you down. The only slightly disappointing results are those for power up and power down, which are mostly taken up with the extending and retracting of that big 12x zoom. Once the camera is powered up it is able to keep up with all the action (save for the occasional focus hunting when using the long end of the zoom in low light).
All times calculated as an average of three operations. Unless otherwise stated all timings were made on a 2560 x 1920 Fine JPEG image (approx. 1,947 KB per image). The media used for these tests was a 512MB SanDisk Extreme (aka Ultra II) SD card.
|Power: Off to Record||4.3|
|Power: Off to Play||Image displayed||1.8|
|Power: Record to Off||All activity ceased||5.3|
|Power: Play to Off||When buffer is empty||2.1|
|Record Review||Image displayed||~0.6|
|Mode: Record to Play||1.3|
|Mode: Play to Record||Lens already extended||~0.8|
|Mode: Play to Record||Lens not extended||~4.3|
|Play: Magnify||To full magnification (16x)||~0.7|
|Play: Image to Image||Time to display each saved image||~0.4|
|Play: Thumbnail view||3 x 3 thumbnails||0.9|
|Zoom from Wide to Tele||36 to 432 mm (12 x)||2.6|
|Half-press Lag (0->S1)||Wide angle||~0.5|
|Half-press Lag (0->S1)||Telephoto||~1.0|
|Half to Full-press Lag (S1->S2)||LCD live view||~0.1|
|Half to Full-press Lag (S1->S2)||Viewfinder||~0.1|
|Full-press Lag (0->S2)||LCD live view, wide angle||~1.0|
|Off to Shot Taken||LCD live view||~4.8|
|Shot to Shot||Flash off||1.15|
|Shot to Shot||Flash on||1.35|
Lag Timing Definitions
|Half-press Lag (0->S1)
Many digital camera users prime the AF and AE systems on their camera by half-pressing the shutter release. This is the amount of time between a half-press of the shutter release and the camera indicating an auto focus & auto exposure lock on the LCD monitor / viewfinder (ready to shoot).
|Half to Full-press Lag (S1->S2)
The amount of time it takes from a full depression of the shutter release button (assuming you have already primed the camera with a half-press) to the image being taken.
(Take shot, AF/AE primed)
|Full-press Lag (0->S2)
The amount of time it takes from a full depression of the shutter release button (without performing a half-press of the shutter release beforehand) to the image being taken. This is more representative of the use of the camera in a spur of the moment 'point and shoot' situation.
(Take shot, AF/AE not primed)
The tables below show the results of our continuous shooting test, indicating the actual frame rate along with maximum number of frames and how long you would have to wait after taking the maximum number of frames before you could take another shot. Media used for these tests was a 512MB SanDisk Extreme (aka Ultra II) SD card. Shutter speed was kept above 1/200 sec during these tests.
Continuous drive mode
In burst mode the FZ20 shows a brief review image for each frame taken, but the live preview does not work between frames. There are three continuous drive modes; High (H), Low (L) and No Limit (∞). Burst mode cannot be used with TIFF images.
Frames in a burst *1
|2560 x 1920 JPEG Fine||Continuous H||3.0 fps||4||1-3 sec pause*3|
|2560 x 1920 JPEG Fine||Continuous L||2.15 fps||7||1-3 sec pause*3|
|2560 x 1920 JPEG Fine||Continuous ∞||2.2 fps||limited by card capacity||n/a|
|2560 x 1920 JPEG Standard||Continuous H||3.0 fps||4||1-3 sec pause*3|
|2560 x 1920 JPEG Standard||Continuous L||2.14 fps||7||1-3 sec pause*3|
|2560 x 1920 JPEG Standard||Continuous ∞||2.15 fps||limited by card capacity||n/a|
|2048 x 1536 JPEG Standard||Continuous H||3.0 fps||4||1-3 sec pause*3|
|2048 x 1536 JPEG Standard||Continuous L||2.0 fps||7||1-3 sec pause*3|
|2048 x 1536 JPEG Standard||Continuous ∞||2.13 fps||limited by card capacity||n/a|
|1600 x 1200 JPEG Standard||Continuous H||3.0 fps||4||1-3 sec pause*3|
|1600 x 1200 JPEG Standard||Continuous L||2.14 fps||7||1-3 sec pause*3|
|1600 x 1200 JPEG Standard||Continuous ∞||2.12 fps||limited by card capacity||n/a|
|*1||In a single "burst" (finger held down on shutter release).|
|*2||In H and L mode continuous shooting stops when the buffer is full (4 or 7frames according to the file size/quality setting. This is the delay before the next burst|
|*3||The delay of around one to three seconds is mainly down to the need to refocus before the next burst. By switching to manual focus you can reduce this to ~0.8s.|
Not a bad performance at all. The buffer clears very quickly, and most of the delay between bursts is due to the fact that you cannot just hold down the shutter and wait - you have to take your finger off the shutter and press it again. This means waiting for the camera to refocus. By switching to manual focus you can reduce this to under a second. It's an annoying quirk; if the camera can clear the buffer so quickly why not let you continue shoot, albeit at slightly lower rate without having to take your finger off the trigger and start again? If you want to take a really long burst with no pauses you can always switch to the 'no limit' mode (which averages around 2.1 frames per second).
File Write / Display and Sizes
Timings shown below are the time taken for the camera to process and "flush" the image out to the storage card, the timer was started as soon as the shutter release was pressed and stopped when activity indicator went out. This means the timings also include the camera's processing time and as such are more representative of the actual time to "complete the task". The media used for these tests was a 512MB SanDisk Extreme (aka Ultra II) SD card. .
Time to store
File size *1
Images on a *2
|2560 x 1920 TIFF||~2.5||~0.6||14,416 KB *3||31|
|2560 x 1920 JPEG Fine||~1.0||~0.6||1,947 KB||202|
|2560 x 1920 JPEG Standard||~0.8||~0.6||850 KB||396|
|2048 x1536 JPEG Standard||~0.8||~0.6||584 KB||606|
|1600 x 1200 JPEG Standard||~0.8||~0.6||330 KB||967|
|*1||All file sizes are an average of three files. As is the case with JPEG it's difficult to predict the size of an image because it will vary a fair amount depending on the content of the image (detail and noise).|
|*3||All TIFF files are 14,416KB, and each is saved with a 953K (std quality) JPEG|
With write times averaging around 2.5 seconds for a 14MB TIFF the FZ20 is very fast indeed for a 'compact' digital camera - approximately 5700KB/s, and JPEGs - whatever the size or quality setting - are saved in a second or under (most of this time will be taken up by the processing). Very impressive stuff, and proof that the Venus II engine is more than mere hype.
"With only a few hundred of these lenses still in existence, and the inability to get them serviced and repaired if damaged, one can only assume that finding one of these will only become more and more difficult as time goes on..."
Google's Pixel 2 might have the 'world's highest rated smartphone camera', but the phone's display is causing serious headaches for the company. From 'dull' colors to reports of burn-in and blue tint, some troubling reports are haunting the tech giant this week.
The WiBotic PowerPad is a three-foot by three-foot landing pad that, according to its makers, is capable of charging almost any drone wirelessly.
Hear what Adobe director of product management Tom Hogarty and Lightroom product manager Sharad Mangalick have to say about the new Lightroom CC, and the future of Lightroom Classic CC.
Phase One has released a new, 15-preset Film Styles Pack for Capture One users that gives you a total of 45 different analog 'Styles' to choose from—33 in color and 12 in black & white.
"Everyone was wearing essentially the same outfits, doing the same poses, and felt like they needed 37 versions of each pose. As irritated as I was by this, it wasn’t what annoyed me the most."
With features like full-sensor-width 4K recording, Nikon has made its most video-friendly DSLR to date in the D850. That said, there's a difference between offering a feature and implementing it well.
If you're set on investing in a seriously capable compact, no doubt these two cameras will be on your list. Here's how they square up.
Adobe's experimental Project 'Deep Fill' is an incredibly powerful and impressive, AI-powered version of Content Aware Fill. Watch the demo to see this amazing tool in action.
LEE has released a new series of Reverse ND filters that are most opaque in the middle and become progressively clearer towards the top. This makes them ideal for capturing scenes where the sun is close to the horizon.
A former New York Times photographer is suing both the newspaper and its photography director Michele McNally for over $500,000 for age discrimination and unfair classification as a freelancer for nearly a decade.
"CPS Platinum members will now enjoy next-day service, with equipment serviced and shipped the business day after an estimate is approved. For repairs that will take longer, Canon will offer next-day loaner equipment."
Irix is introducing a new filter system called the Irix Edge 100. The ultra-light, ultra-thin system is build specifically for wide angle lenses like Irix's own 15mm F2.4.
After conducting a series of safety tests, the FAA is recommending that all airlines ban cameras and other electronics with Lithium Ion batteries from checked baggage. The agency believe the risk of a catastrophic fire and explosion is too great.
The Pixentu jackets keep you and your gear warm and dry, offering useful features like lens and tripod pockets, in addition to some quirky ones like an extended hood to protect your camera from the rain.
Adobe gave the audience at MAX a sneak peek at some exciting new technology its developing. It's called Adobe Cloak: a highly capable Content Aware Fill-like feature for video editors.
Earlier today, Flickr moved its photo book printing service over to a third party services, and stopped offering any wall art options entirely.
The patent details a flipping rear LCD screen so large, Canon has had to hide the rear dial and several buttons underneath.
We've added a selection of extra images to our Nikon D850 gallery. As part of the process of rounding off the review we made sure a number of us had shot the camera in a variety of situations, we've added those shots to the gallery to give a broad cross section of how the camera performs.
Wiral LITE is an affordable, easy-to-use cable cam system that can do things a portable slider simply can't do, and go places no slider would dare go.
Not happy with the recent demise of Lightroom as a stand-alone, subscription free service? Macphun's got your back... or they will in 2018.
Once connected to a PC, Mac, tablet or smartphone, Pholio automatically searches through the device storage and backs up all images and videos—complete with auto-tagging and intelligent search capabilities.
The 360 Round uses eight horizontally positioned camera pairs and one upward-pointing single lens to capture and livestream panoramic 4K 3D content.
Introduced just three years ago, the Samsung NX1 was both a technological tour-de-force and a great camera to use, earning one of the highest scores we've ever awarded and winning our 2015 Innovation Award. But its short-lived run in the photo world leaves us wondering what could have been.
The Fujifilm X-E3 is styled like a classic rangefinder, but features a built-in touchscreen, AF joystick, and electronic viewfinder – truly an old school meets new type of camera. Lay some eyes on our sample gallery to see how it performs in the real world.
Like it or not, Adobe is embracing a cloud-centric, AI-rich future with the introduction of Lightroom CC. And that's a great thing, though you may not see it now, argues Rishi Sanyal.
The announcement of a more cloud-integrated Lightroom product sees the death of the company's standalone version. This need to make payments in perpetuity (whether you choose Lightroom Classic or CC), chips away at the idea that your Lightroom library is a long-term solution, argues Richard Butler.
The XPro-C 2.4GHz wireless flash trigger that Godox released for Canon users last month now has a Nikon equivalent—the aptly named XPro-N. Sony, Fujifilm and MFT versions are in the works.
In the aftermath of hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, camera and lens maker Sigma is extending its standard product warranty to cover damage caused by these three natural disasters.
The F4 Plus can can capture 360° stills, videos and broadcast livestream footage at 8K resolution... that's 7680 x 3840 pixels!