DigitalCameraReview.com
Users Speak Out About the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ20 Digital Camera
by Ben Stafford -  5/31/2005

Welcome to another installment of "Users speak out..."  This time, we're going to take a look at the  Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ20 The opinions will be chosen based on the value of the information (in our opinion) to our readers.  We won't necessarily pick only the "positive" opinions or only the "negative" opinions.  We'll pick the opinions that we think will be most helpful to you as you shop for and compare cameras.   To see all opinions, click through to the product detail, and click the "View Opinions" link.

The DMC FZ20 has a 5 megapixel sensor, 2 inch LCD and and optical 12x zoom with image stabilization.  Below are some opinions from users of the camera.

Opinions

Fantastic camera -- better than expected - Manny 

Rating: 8/10

Pros: This is my first venture with a digital camera, and I was not dissapointed. I wanted something that I could grow with, starting basically with a "point & shoot" mode, but gradually learning and using more of the manual features (shutter priority, manual focus, etc.). This is a perfect camera for that. Plus, the 12x optical zoom is AMAZING. Great scenic shots as well as action shots at baseball games. The picture quality is impressive, as well. Plus, the functions were easy to find and utilize.

Cons: Nothing major that comes to mind. A few random shots of friends have turned out blurry, but I know that is not due to the camera, but due to my lack of experience with the correct function/mode. However, later I took some "glamour shots" for a friend, and they turned out terrific.

 

Best Sub $1,000 camera

Pros: Exelent shutter responce. Great for taking pictures of my kids. I love the 12x lense! This Panasonic FZ20 is the best digital camera I have owned. The flash is extremely powerful. The burst shot is a great and fast feature. I didn't have to read the manual to understand the buttons or menue.

Cons: Hard to get. I only found 2 online store who offered it.

 

The best ulta-zoom and non-SLR camera available!

Pros: Just an awesome camera. Pictures are high quality and sharp with vibrant colors and great image reproduction. Zoom is incredible and with the Optical Image Stabilization you get perfectly focused shots just about every time. I'm getting shots I could never get with my old digital camera. The menus and input buttons are clear, concise, and easy to use. I only had a couple of hours to learn the camera before I left for vacation, but was able to master all controls very quickly. Flash is very powerful and pictures turn out well when used. 2" LCD is very high quality and works in almost any light.

Cons: 16mb card that is included with camera is just a joke. When I purchased camera I bought a 512mb card and CC was throwing in a 128mb card for cameras over 5.0 megapixels. Between the 2 cards I am able to take approx 250 pics. Flash does not open when the camera detects that it needs flash. You have to manually open flash and then the camera takes over the with automatic control. The 2" LCD screen is not very well protected as it is flush with the back of the camera and seems like it needs to be protected better. With these comments I am just nit-picking, I still believe whole-heartedly that this is the best non-SLR digital camera on the market today.

 

 Great features - Hard to beat in price range

Pros: I have had this camera for a week now. No buyers remose whatsoever. The optical stabilization is works great. Pictures are very sharp. Color depth is pretty good. Love the manual focus assist. The live histogram is a good feature for adjusting exposure. LCD screen is bright and the menus are intutive.

Cons: View finder is kind of small. Some learning curve involved in order to become proficient with all it features. Flash is good but must be deployed manually. Manual could be better at explaining its various features better.

 

Great Camera, Period!!!

Pros: The camera does everything a beginner or semi-pro could ever ask for. I researched for days online and this is it! You can zoom in accross a large room to a light switch, take the pic, in the review mode, zoom in and read the "on/off" letters! with no tripod!!! incredable! for the price (pro cams with lens are double) the average person wont see any quality differance in the pics. GET THIS CAMERA!

Cons: Being picky, i would: 1) Make it a 7 meg over its current 5 Meg. 2) the dile should have the Auto mode between the scene select and review mode. 3) Finnaly, the manual needs to stress that in low light, it MUST have the flash on or the pic will be blurry (even with the fast shutter "sport" scene selected). I kept getting the "image not stabilized" warning (red hand) even when it was on a tripod (in low light). when i opened the flash, this warning went away and the pic was perfect. THIS IS NOT IN THE INSTRUCTION BOOK! i thought the stabilazation was broken (stuck to always show the "red hand"), but it was fine. (In regular light the auto works fine with no flash). Again, these "cons" are picky, get the camera!

 

 Dont Waste money on 1000+ Cameras

Pros: Panasonic FZ20 I have owned digital cameras now for several years and the Panasonic FZ20 will be my sixth camera. I only use the camera for home stuff and holidays, yet like most ordinary users, I expect a every picture I ever take to come out as if its been taken by David Bailey. Well I can?t get David Bailey to take my pictures for me, but with the Panasonic FZ20, frankly I don?t need him. This camera exudes quality in everything it does, from the way it feels in your hand right through to the pictures it takes, it's just amazing. I have never used one of these 1000 plus cameras and I just can't imagine how they can be better than the FZ20 for around 400. The way the camera operates is flawless and the controls and menu's are just so easy and so logical, I guess it's what Nokia is to mobile phones, just easy to use and easy to understand. Even if you have never picked up a digital camera before, you will be taking amazing pictures from the very first push of the shutter button. The point and shoot modes just cut the mustard without you even having to mess with the stacks of user options that are available to you. The low light ability is superb, allowing you to take great indoor shots, without even using the flash. The massive zoom lens is crystal clear right through the range from the 12x optical up to the 48x zoom when added to the digital zoom. The image stabiliser has to be tried to be believed, it's got a couple of options and option 2 is stunning. Hand held on 48x Zoom, the Panasonic will give you rock solid images just as if the camera was bolted onto a tripod. The FZ20 also has a movie mode and again this is such a bonus, because it is video camera quality, so much so that I have invested in a 1GB SD card so I can now take better advantage of it. I have found the battery life to be excellent. Finally, I just love this camera to bits and can not imagine how it can be improved. For sure if you are loaded, get yourself a 1000+ camera, but if you do, all the Panasonic owners will be laughing at you

Cons: NONE

 

 This baby is a gem!

Pros: Was struggling between this and several other 5MP prosumer cams and after two weeks with this baby, I'd take the Pana in a heart beat if I were to choose again. The fixed AP 12x Leica lens is a wonder and the super fast reactions of this cam makes it the perfect compromise between a DSLR and point-n-shooter. Can't ask for more in terms of picture quality, though a little less noise would add some icing on the cake. Wonderfully flexible camera. Great macro mode. This camera simply oozes quality. Great value for the money. Luv it!

Cons: Ergonomics could have been better; the buttons above the LCD can be a little hard to reach. Stock adapter ring feels out of place with the rest of the high-quality body; after market piece fixed the problem. Bulkier than other prosumer DC's but still beats having have to pack multiple lenses.