Full review posted for Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ20|
(Saturday, December 18, 2004 - 00:42 EST)
FINALLY! This has to be one of the most requested reviews of the year...
We've just posted our review of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ20, the 5-megapixel, 12x zoom, image-stabilized top of Panasonic's digital camera line. No surprises really, the camera is virtually identical to the FZ15 that we reviewed earlier.
The FZ20 adds a hot shoe for use with external flash units and sound recording, but operation is otherwise very similar. Noise levels are slightly higher, doubtless due to the slightly smaller pixels in the FZ20's sensor, and shot to shot cycle times are also slightly slower, the result of the increased amount of data that needs to be processed for each frame. The camera's overall color bias was also a little different, the FZ20 tending toward slight yellow casts, where the FZ15 tended toward slight pink ones.
Overall, the Panasonic FZ20 has an attractive case, a nice "feel" in the hand, an excellent image-stabilized lens, great versatility, and very good image quality. If you avoid its 9-area autofocus mode, it has reasonably fast shutter response for a long-zoom digicam, and its shot to shot cycle times are excellent.
Bottom line, the DMC-FZ20 is a very capable camera that conveys a distinct sense of pro quality in a high-end consumer digicam, with an excellent 12x zoom lens, and optical image stabilization to boot. With a full range of exposure control modes, including a full manual setting and no less than nine preset "Scene" modes, the DMC-FZ20 is an approachable camera for both novices and more experienced users alike.
Recommended, and yet another Dave's Pick (as one of the best digital cameras on the market) for Panasonic in the long-zoom category. Read our Panasonic DMC-FZ20 review for all the details!.