FZ20 or KM A200???


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hantsung

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Jun 7, 2005
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#1
Hi,

I've had P&S digicams for several years now and thinking of increasing my interest in photography, mostly portraits and landscapes. I initially considered a DSLR, but I think it doesn't match my wallet, and I am not sure if I want to lug all the equipment all the time.

As such, I am keen on either the Panasonic FZ20 or Konica A200, which I feel gives a lot of SLR-type features, albeit which some restrictions of the prosumer.

Could I have your comments on which might be a better bet? Most reviews I've read rate the FZ20 better than the A200, but I thought it might not be an apple to apple comparision because one if 5 vs. 8MP.

Also, as a Singaporean living in Thailand, I am not too familar with the latest prices for the A200 - can anyone also advice?

Thanks in advance.
 

Firefox

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Feb 15, 2004
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A Canon 350D with it's kit lens would be better than either of the 2.. On the wide end, you get ~28mm field of view for your landscape shots.
On the tele end, you get ~90mm which you can do portraiture with.. The Sigma 18-55 f2.8 is better as it allows shorter DoF than the kit lense at the tele-end..
 

after8ight

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Jun 7, 2005
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Please, please get the FZ20. because:

1) if youre getting the over priced a200, its just price-wise a notch away from a dslr. so if you actually plan on the a200, then you should instead get a dslr.

but thats not the point.

2) fz20 is impressive, really. the manual focus and manual controls are definitely above prosumer levels.

3) color reproduction is superb, you get really natural reds and yellows.

4) it has an amazing zoom. 12x/48x may seem too unusably much, but its still a plus.

5) its the closest thing to a dslr just minus the stupid size.

You should check the professional review at dpreview.com as well as the user opinions on amazon.

I got mine a few days ago and im enjoying it thoroughy.

few things to note though:

its only 5 mega pixels. but considering its super big leica lens, i dont think its incomparable to a 8mp handheld, you know what i mean. so unless youre into poster sizes, 5 mp should really suffice.
 

Vulpix0r

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Oct 2, 2002
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#4
Can people stop blindly recommending DSLRs? No, the 350D with kit lens will not match the range provided by the A200 and FZ20. An equivalent lens of decently quality will cost as much as the camera and more.

Personally I would recommend the FZ20 as well. While the focusing can be a bit funny someitmes, it works great.
 

hantsung

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Jun 7, 2005
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#7
Guys, thanks for your comments. My sense is that the FZ20 is easier on the wallet.

One thing that I am super concerned about is the noise of the FZ20 even at low ISO settings. Have read the reviews on the 'Net, which says that this is a weakness.

How does the FZ20 perform under real conditions, by 'normal' enthusiaists?

Thanks again for your advice!!!
 

Firefox

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#8
Vulpix0r said:
Can people stop blindly recommending DSLRs? No, the 350D with kit lens will not match the range provided by the A200 and FZ20. An equivalent lens of decently quality will cost as much as the camera and more.

Personally I would recommend the FZ20 as well. While the focusing can be a bit funny someitmes, it works great.
First of all, the range of the kit lense more or less fits his requirements.. Landscape and portraiture..

The FZ-20 and A200 do not have sufficiently low DoF as one would like for many shots. I've owned and used both the FZ-10 & A2 which are optically identical to both units and can attest to that.

The wide end of the FZ-20 is also insufficient for many landscape shots.. There are situations where you simply can back off any further...

Whilst the prosumers have a seemingly fantastically large aperture, the sensors don't have low-enough noise at high ISO levels (which are still less sensitive than the 350D's) to cope with low-light conditions..

Since he has the budget for the A200, spending a little more for a 350D is, IMO, not out of the question.. Especially since he intends to further this hobby and the 350D can take him much further when he gets lense upgrades in future..
 

snowspeeder

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Feb 16, 2004
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#9
hantsung said:
Guys, thanks for your comments. My sense is that the FZ20 is easier on the wallet.

One thing that I am super concerned about is the noise of the FZ20 even at low ISO settings. Have read the reviews on the 'Net, which says that this is a weakness.

How does the FZ20 perform under real conditions, by 'normal' enthusiaists?

Thanks again for your advice!!!
All digicams/prosumers are very much like that with noise level. ISO 400 and above and you'll have to face up to it. You can't really expect the noise level to be simlar to DSLRs right?
 

Vulpix0r

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Oct 2, 2002
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#10
Firefox said:
First of all, the range of the kit lense more or less fits his requirements.. Landscape and portraiture..

The FZ-20 and A200 do not have sufficiently low DoF as one would like for many shots. I've owned and used both the FZ-10 & A2 which are optically identical to both units and can attest to that.

The wide end of the FZ-20 is also insufficient for many landscape shots.. There are situations where you simply can back off any further...

Whilst the prosumers have a seemingly fantastically large aperture, the sensors don't have low-enough noise at high ISO levels (which are still less sensitive than the 350D's) to cope with low-light conditions..

Since he has the budget for the A200, spending a little more for a 350D is, IMO, not out of the question.. Especially since he intends to further this hobby and the 350D can take him much further when he gets lense upgrades in future..
He has already mentioned he does not want to lug around lenses and all that nonsense. A 350D's lowest price which I have searched around for without memory card is 1570, which is still quite a far away price, plus the extra purchase of a decent sigma 75-300mm lens which still defeats his budget.
 

Firefox

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#11
Vulpix0r said:
He has already mentioned he does not want to lug around lenses and all that nonsense. A 350D's lowest price which I have searched around for without memory card is 1570, which is still quite a far away price, plus the extra purchase of a decent sigma 75-300mm lens which still defeats his budget.
I already said that he can start off with the kit lense which will suffice for his purpose.. Unless you're telling me the FZ-20 and A200 don't have lenses...
 

dennixg

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Nov 29, 2004
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#12
hantsung,

I can't comment on the FZ20 as I have never use it before.

I have been using A200 for the last few month now.
The A200 is easy to use, access to different functions are easy due to layout of buttons.
Images captured are good.(friends using DSLR's comments)

The A200, gives less noise at high ISO as compare to other camera the same class.(check it out at dpreview)
Friends using DSLR also comment that nosie level is low for a non-DSLR
Barrel distortion is also low, at wide angle, as compare to other cameras.

AF is not as fast as I would like it to be though, even at sports mode or custom sports.
Images tends to be a little underexpose at low lighting, so you need to get a flash for it.

Overall, I am quite statisfied with the image quality and ease of use.
 

hantsung

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Jun 7, 2005
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#13
Guys,

Thanks for all your comments. Firefox, thank you for thinking about the 350D - I like it a lot, but I think it might not fit my wife's budget (its my birthday next month!)

The FZ20 is around $900, but how much is the basic A200?
 

LifeWorld

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Jan 18, 2002
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#14
Hi,

Recently, I have done some indoor shots at ISO400 in lowlight situation using the FZ20. Whether it's acceptable, depends on oneself!
View the pics here: http://www.pbase.com/lifeworld16/plug3

Note the outdoor bluesky shot was done at 7:30pm. It was darken sky. Some CSers have said it's noisy at 100%. But to me, it's acceptable.. :)
 

Firefox

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Feb 15, 2004
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#15
hantsung said:
Guys,

Thanks for all your comments. Firefox, thank you for thinking about the 350D - I like it a lot, but I think it might not fit my wife's budget (its my birthday next month!)

The FZ20 is around $900, but how much is the basic A200?
Get the FZ-5 instead of the FZ-20.. It's the same 5MP sensor and the lense stops down only 1/2 stop when in tele.. No manual focus but the AF is fast and the LCD does not have enough resolution to do a proper off-center focus anyway..
Since you don't want to carry accessories, the flash hotshoe on the FZ-20 isn't likely to see any use.. Overall, the FZ-5 is a better choice.. Lighter and packs as much punch..
 

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