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Panasonic DMC-FZ20

5-megapixel digital camera (Silver)

Item # 133FZ20S

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Overview

Our take on the Panasonic DMC-FZ20

Panasonic's DMC-FZ20 camera is a photographic powerhouse! First of all, it's got extensive 12X optical zoom. With that kind of telephoto power, you can zero in on distant scenes or capture attractive close-ups from across the room. When you take a stunning close-up of a far-off sailboat, zoom past the crowds at the zoo to snap a beautiful shot of the elephants, or record a unique toddler moment from the other side of the backyard, you'll understand why people love their zoom. And Mega Optical Image Stabilizer ensures that those kinds of shots aren't blurred by hand shake: it uses a built-in gyroscope to sense camera movement and shift the lens accordingly.

Panasonic's DMC-FZ20 camera is a photographic powerhouse! First of all, it's got extensive 12X optical zoom. With that kind of telephoto power, you can zero in on distant scenes or capture attractive close-ups from across the room. When you take a stunning close-up of a far-off sailboat, zoom past the crowds at the zoo to snap a beautiful shot of the elephants, or record a unique toddler moment from the other side of the backyard, you'll understand why people love their zoom. And Mega Optical Image Stabilizer ensures that those kinds of shots aren't blurred by hand shake: it uses a built-in gyroscope to sense camera movement and shift the lens accordingly.

But the DMC-FZ20 doesn't stop there. You get 5-megapixel photo capture; the top resolution of 2560 x 1920 permits crisply detailed images which make gorgeous large prints. The camera's Leica DC Vario-Elmarit lens includes a special coating designed to reduce flare and ghosting; your images are clean and clear from edge to edge! The extraordinary Venus Engine II LSI technology permits very fast processing of images, for three-shot-per-second shooting even at top resolution.

And, of course, the DMC-FZ20 offers all the shooting conveniences folks expect from a good digital camera. Full automatic shooting is easy and delivers outstanding photos. For a more sophisticated approach, you get manual adjustment of focus, aperture, shutter speed, white balance, and ISO (sensitivity, or film speed equivalent). Want to use an optional external flash? No problem. The hot shoe lets you add one, for fine-tuned flash shooting. The LCD viewfinder allows accurate, through-the-lens framing. There are also exposure presets for portrait shots, landscape scenes, sporting events, and more. Very impressive.

Product Highlights:

  • 5-megapixel effective recording
  • Leica DC Vario-Elmarit zoom lens with 35mm equivalent focal length of 36-432mm
  • Mega Optical Image Stabilizer
  • Venus Engine II LSI for speedy image processing (up to 3 shots per second at top resolution)
  • 2" color LCD
  • LCD viewfinder
  • 12X optical/4X digital/48X total zoom
  • JPEG options: 2560 x 1920; 2048 x 1536; 1600 x 1200; 1280 x 960; 640 x 480
  • movie mode (top resolution of 320 x 240; clip length limited only by available capacity of memory card)
  • autofocus
  • autoexposure
  • manual focus and exposure control
  • shooting modes
  • sensitivity control
  • white balance settings
  • PictBridge capability
  • built-in pop-up flash
  • USB (1.1) interface
  • hot shoe
  • NTSC/PAL A/V out
  • 5-1/16"W x 3-1/2"H x 4-3/16"D
  • weight: 18.2 oz.
  • warranty: 1 year parts, 90 days labor
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
Supplied Accessories:
  • 16MB Secure Digital® card
  • rechargeable battery pack
  • battery charger
  • A/V & USB cables
  • lens cap and lens hood
  • strap
  • software CD-ROM (PC & Mac)
  • Crutchfield digital camera tip sheet

What's in the Box:

  • Silver digital camera
  • 1 Lens cap (attached)
  • One 16 MB SD Memory Card
  • CGA-S002A lithium ion battery (7.2V/680mAh)
  • DE-993 Battery charger
  • 1 Lens hood
  • 1 Silver lens hood adapter
  • 58" USB connection cable with in-line filter (has a USB Type A connector on one end and a proprietary connector on the other end)
  • 58" AV cable with in-line filter (has a mono RCA audio connector and RCA composite video connector on one end and a proprietary connector on the other end)
  • 1 Strap
  • 1 Lumix CD-ROM
  • Digital Camera Operating Instructions (English)
  • Digital Camera Operating Instructions (French)
  • For Digital Camera PC Connection Operating Instructions (English/French)
  • Owner Information Card
  • Canadian warranty sheet
  • "Dear Customer" sheet (English/French)
  • "Caution" sheet
  • Lens Hood/Lens Hood Adapter note
Reviews
Details

Hands-on research

Features and Specs

General
LCD Screen Size 2"
Adjustable-angle LCD ---
Wi-Fi No
Touchscreen ---
Waterproof ---
GPS-enabled ---
Lens 35mm Equivalent 36-432mm
Optical Zoom 12x
Digital Zoom 4x
Filter Diameter N/A
Manual Focusing Yes
Manual Exposure Yes
Built-in Flash Yes
HDMI Output ---
Memory
Internal Memory None
Memory Media SD Card
Image
Sensor Size 1/2.5"
Megapixels 5e+006
Image Stabilization Mega O.I.S.
Highest Resolution 2560 x 1920
4K Video No
Video Resolution ---
Dimensions
Width (inches) 5-3/8
Height (inches) 3-7/16
Depth (inches) 4-1/4
Weight With Battery (ounces) 19.6
Warranty
Parts Warranty 1 Year
Labor Warranty 1 Year

Product Research

Features
Inputs and Outputs Notes
Supplied Software
Specifications

Features

Recording Media: The DMC-FZ20PP-S records images on SD Memory Cards and MultiMediaCards.

Image Recording Format: The camera records still images (with or without mono audio), or moving images with mono audio. Still images are recorded in JPEG and TIFF formats, and the movies are recorded in Motion JPEG format.

Image Sensor: For optimal image quality, the camera uses a 1/2.5" CCD image sensor with approximately 5.36-million total pixels and 5.0-million effective pixels.

Image Resolution/Compression: You can change the resolution and compression settings to suit the purpose of the image you're about to shoot. You can choose from the following resolutions: 2560 x 1920, 2048 x 1536, 1920 x 1080 (HDTV), 1600 x 1200, 1280 x 960, or 640 x 480. For each resolution, you can set the compression to TIFF (uncompressed), Fine (low compression), or Standard (high compression). The resolution of movies is fixed to 320 x 240. When shooting a movie, you can choose a motion rate of 10 or 30 frames-per-second.

MEGA Optical Image Stabilizer: MEGA O.I.S. technology helps solve the problem of unintentional hand movement that can result in blurry images, particularly with telephoto shots. You can choose from the following modes:

  • Mode 1: the stabilizer operates continuously and can assist during photo composition
  • Mode 2: the stabilizer function is in standby and activates at the moment the shutter captures the image. This mode offers a greater degree of stabilization.
  • Off: when image stabilization is not desired or when using the camera with a tripod

Viewfinder: The camera uses an LCD viewfinder with a diopter adjustment knob. By adjusting the diopter to suit your eyesight (with or without eyeglasses), the viewfinder image will look clearer.

LCD Monitor: The DMC-FZ20PP-S has a 2" low temperature polycrystalline silicon TFT color LCD monitor featuring approximately 130,000 pixels. In recording mode, you can choose one of the following display modes:

  • Non-display: does not display any recording information
  • Display: displays recording information, including the following: recording mode, picture size, battery indicator, picture/time remaining, metering, etc.
  • Display with Histogram: displays recording information with a histogram added. A histogram is a graph that displays brightness along the horizontal axis (black to white) and the number of pixels at each brightness level on the vertical axis. It allows you to easily check the way a picture is being exposed.
  • Out-of-frame Display: The recording information is displayed out of the recording screen, therefore, you can take pictures without interruption by icons or others on the recording screen.
  • Non-display (Recording Guide Line): When you align the subject on the horizontal and vertical guide lines or the cross point of these lines, you can take pictures with well-designed composition by viewing the size, the slope and the balance of the subject.

Mode Dial: The mode dial allows you to choose from the following camera modes:

  • Program AE: the camera automatically sets the shutter speed and the aperture value according to the brightness of the subject
  • Aperture-priority AE: the shutter speed is automatically determined by the aperture value you set
  • Shutter-priority AE: the aperture value is automatically determined by the shutter speed you set
  • Manual Exposure: the exposure is adjusted by the aperture value and the shutter speed, which are manually adjusted
  • Macro Mode: this mode allows you to take a picture closely focusing on the subject
  • Motion Image Mode: this mode allows you to record motion images with audio
  • Scene Mode 1 and Scene Mode 2: each mode allows you to store different scene modes for different settings. You can choose from the following scene modes:
    • Portrait: allows you to make the subject stand out from an unfocused background and adjust the exposure and the hue to achieve a healthy complexion on the subject
    • Sports: allows you to take pictures of a fast moving subject
    • Scenery: allows you to take a picture of a wide landscape
    • Night Scenery: allows you to take a picture of a nightscape. The landscape can be recorded vividly by using the slow shutter speed.
    • Night Portrait: allows you to take pictures against a night landscape. The subject can be recorded with brightness in real life by using the flash and the slow shutter speed.
    • Panning: when you take a picture following the motion of a subject, which moves to a certain direction as a runner or a car, the background will show some motion blur. This special effect is called "panning."
    • Fireworks: allows you to take beautiful pictures of fireworks exploding in the night sky. The shutter speed or the exposure is automatically adjusted for taking pictures of fireworks.
    • Party: allows you to take a picture in a dim room (e.g. a wedding reception, a party, a banquet in a bar, etc.) clearly. The shutter speed or the exposure is automatically adjusted according to the brightness of the room.
    • Snow: allows you to take a picture in locations such as skiing resorts and locations near snowy mountains. The exposure and the white balance are adjusted to make the white color of the snow stand out.
  • Playback Mode: this mode allows you to play back recorded pictures

Flash Modes: You can choose from the following flash modes:

  • Auto: the flash is automatically activated according to the recording condition
  • Auto/Red-eye Reduction: the flash is automatically activated according to the recording condition. It reduces the red-eye phenomenon by triggering the flash at 1 second before actually recording the picture.
  • Forced On: the flash is activated every time regardless of the recording condition
  • Forced On/Red-eye Reduction: in the Party scene mode, the flash mode is set to Forced On/Red-eye reduction
  • Slow Sync./Red-eye Reduction: when you take a picture with a dark background landscape, this feature makes the shutter speed slow when the flash is activated, so that the dark background landscape will become bright. Simultaneously it reduces the red-eye phenomenon.

Self Timer: The self timer is useful when you want to include yourself in the picture when recording still images. The delay time can be set to 10 seconds or 2 seconds.

Exposure Compensation: If you are shooting against a bright background or strong backlight, you may need to correct the exposure so that the subject doesn't come out too dark. You can set the adjustments from -2 to +2 in 1/3-step increments.

Auto Bracket: In this mode, 3 pictures are automatically recorded by each press of the shutter button according to the compensation range of the exposure.

Burst Mode: There are three continuous shooting modes: High speed, Low speed, and No limit. Each mode offers different recording options:

Burst Mode Burst Speed (pictures/second) Number of Recordable Pictures
Fine Standard
High Speed 3 Maximum of 4 Maximum of 7
Low Speed 2 Maximum of 4 Maximum of 7
No Limit Approximately 2 Depends on card capacity Depends on card capacity

White Balance: You can choose from the following white balance modes:

  • Auto: automatically adjusts the white balance
  • Manual: allows you to manually adjust the white balance. You can also finely adjust the hue.
  • Daylight: for recording outdoors on a bright day
  • Cloudy: for recording under a cloudy or shaded area sky
  • Halogen: for recording under halogen lighting
  • Flash: for taking a picture with photo flash only
  • White Set: for using the preset white balance
  • White Set: for setting the white balance again

ISO Sensitivity: ISO sensitivity represents the sensitivity to light in values. If you set the ISO sensitivity higher, the camera becomes more suitable for recording in dark places. When setting to Auto, the ISO sensitivity is automatically adjusted from ISO80 to ISO200 according to the brightness. It can be adjusted from ISO100 to ISO400 when using the flash. When the flash mode is set to Slow sync./ Red-eye reduction, the ISO sensitivity is fixed at ISO100.

Audio Recording: You can record a still image with up to 5 seconds of mono audio. Audio can be recorded along with the image, or audio can be added later. You cannot record pictures with audio in auto bracket, burst mode, or when the quality is set to TIFF.

Metering Modes: You can select from the following metering modes:

  • Multiple: camera measures the most suitable exposure by judging the allocation of brightness on the whole screen automatically
  • Center Weighted: used to focus on the subject on the center of the screen and measure the whole screen evenly
  • Spot: camera measures the subject in the spot metering target

Autofocus Mode: You can choose one of the following AF modes:

  • 9-area-focusing: camera focuses on any of 9 focus areas. You can record a picture in free composition without limiting the position of the subject.
  • 3-area-focusing: camera focuses on any of the left, center and right of the screen. This mode allows you to focus on the subject faster than any other modes in AF mode.
  • 1-area-focusing: camera focuses on the subject in AF area on the center of the screen
  • Spot-focusing: camera focuses on the limited and narrow area in the screen

Continuous Autofocus: This mode allows you to compose a picture more easily by always focusing on the subject.

AF Assist Lamp: Illuminating the subject with the AF assist lamp allows the camera to focus on the subject in low light conditions.

Color Effect: You can use 4 types of color effects depending on the image of the picture:

  • Cool: the picture becomes bluish
  • Warm: the picture becomes reddish
  • B/W: the picture becomes black and white
  • Sepia: the picture becomes sepia

Flip Animation: This camera allows you to create motion picture files up to 20 seconds long by connecting images recorded in flip animation mode. Flip Animations can be created at 5 or 10 frames-per-second.

Still Image Playback: You can manually display images one at a time, or, using Multi Playback, you can view nine images at once on the LCD screen.

Slide Show: This function allows you to play all the images on a memory card in a slide show. During a slide show, you can adjust the following settings:

  • Duration: can be set to 1 second, 2 seconds, 3 seconds, or 5 seconds
  • Audio: when set to On, the audio of the pictures with audio can be played back during slide show

Auto Review: After an image is recorded, it will appear in the LCD screen for a preset number of seconds for reviewing. Auto Review lets you choose one of the following settings:

  • 1 Second: the recorded picture automatically appears on the screen for about 1 second
  • 3 Seconds: the recorded picture automatically appears on the screen for about 3 seconds
  • Zoom: the recorded picture automatically appears on the screen for about 1 second. Then it is enlarged 4 times and appears for about 1 second. This mode is useful for confirming focus.

Motion Image Playback: During motion image playback, you can perform the following functions: fast forward, rewind, and pause.

Playback Zoom: When viewing a still picture, you can magnify the image 2x, 4x, 8x, or 16x.

Rotating Images: You can rotate a still image 90° clockwise or counterclockwise.

Resizing Pictures: This function is useful if you want to reduce the file size of the picture in cases when it needs to be attached to an e-mail or uploaded to a website. Once an image is resized, you can choose to keep the original image.

Trimming Pictures: This function lets you trim unnecessary parts of the recorded picture.

Power Save: The camera is automatically turned off if it has not been used for a predetermined amount of time. The amount of time can be set to 1 minute, 2 minutes, 5 minutes, or 10 minutes.

PictBridge Printing Capability: Using the supplied USB cable, you can connect this camera directly to a PictBridge compliant printer. PictBridge is a new standard that allows you to connect a PictBridge compliant camera directly to a PictBridge compliant printer and make prints, regardless of brand.

Exif Print (Exif 2.2): The DMC-FZ20PP-S conforms to "Exif Print", a worldwide standard. Vital camera settings (such as: exposure mode, white balance, exposure time) and scene data are recorded to the image file when it is captured. Printers compatible with "Exif Print" are able to use this information to produce high quality photographs, exactly the way they were intended at the time of capture. This intelligent communication process also allows the printer to correct for poor lighting or mistakes, resulting in photos that can be even better than the originals.

DPOF (Digital Print Order Format): DPOF is a system that allows you to select which pictures are to be printed on compatible photo printers. DPOF also allows you to set how many copies of each picture will be printed.

Lens Hood: In bright sunlight or backlight, the lens hood will minimize lens flare and ghosting. The lens hood cuts off excess lighting and improves the picture quality.

Optional Lens Compatibility: The optional DMW-LTZ10 tele conversion lens allows you to record pictures zooming in much more (1.5 times). The optional DMW-LWZ10 wide conversion lens allows you to record pictures with a wider range of focus than usual (0.8 times).

External Flash Compatibility: The hot shoe allows you to use the optional DMW-FL28 external flash, increasing the camera's effective range.

Inputs and Outputs Notes

Remote: This minijack allows you to add an optional DMW-RS1 remote shutter, which works similar to the shutter button on the camera. With a remote shutter, you can avoid jitter (camera shake) when using a tripod.

A/V Out/Digital: This proprietary jack allows you to use the supplied USB connection cable or AV cable.

DC In: This DC jack allows you to connect an optional DMW-CAC1 AC adapter.

Supplied Software

Arcsoft Windows System Requirements:

  • Operating System (OS): Windows XP (Home Edition, Professional), Windows 2000 Professional, Windows Me, Windows 98SE, or Windows 98
  • CPU: Pentium III or better
  • RAM: 128 MB or more
  • Hard Disk: 500 MB or more
  • Graphics Display: High color (16-bit) or more
  • Disk Drive: CD-ROM
  • Connection Terminal: USB Type A

Arcsoft Macintosh System Requirements:

  • Operating System (OS): Mac OS 9.0 or more
  • CPU: iMac, iBook, Power Mac G3/G4, or PowerBook G3/G4
  • RAM: 128 MB or more
  • Hard Disk: 400 MB or more
  • Graphics Display: High color (16-bit) or more
  • Disk Drive: CD-ROM
  • Connection Terminal: USB Type A

SD Viewer Windows System Requirements:

  • Operating System (OS): Windows XP (Home Edition, Professional), Windows 2000 Professional, Windows Me, or Windows 98SE
  • CPU: Pentium II or better
  • RAM: 32 MB or more (64 MB recommended)
  • Hard Disk: 30 MB or more
  • Graphics Display: High color (16-bit) or more
  • Disk Drive: CD-ROM
  • Connection Terminal: USB Type A

Specifications

Estimated Still Image Capacity of SD Memory Cards:

Resolution Quality Card Size
16 MB
(supplied)
32 MB
(optional)
64 MB
(optional)
128 MB
(optional)
256 MB
(optional)
512 MB
(optional)
1 GB
(optional)
2560 x 1920 TIFF 0 1 3 8 15 32 61
Fine 5 12 25 51 102 205 395
Standard 11 24 49 100 200 403 775
2048 x 1536 TIFF 1 3 6 12 24 50 96
Fine 9 19 39 79 157 317 610
Standard 17 37 75 153 306 616 1185
1920 x 1080 (HDTV) TIFF 2 4 9 18 37 75 145
Fine 13 28 58 118 236 476 916
Standard 25 54 110 223 445 898 1727
1600 x 1200 TIFF 2 4 10 20 40 81 157
Fine 14 31 63 128 255 515 991
Standard 28 59 121 244 487 982 1889
1280 x 960 TIFF 3 7 15 31 62 126 243
Fine 22 47 96 195 390 785 1511
Standard 41 86 176 356 709 1429 2748
640 x 480 TIFF 13 28 58 118 236 476 916
Fine 69 145 298 602 1200 2418 4650
Standard 113 236 484 979 1950 3929 7557

Estimated Moving Image Capacity of SD Memory Cards:

SD Memory Card Motion Rate
10 Frames-per-second 30 Frames-per-second
16 MB 75 seconds 25 seconds
32 MB 160 seconds 55 seconds
64 MB 350 seconds 120 seconds
128 MB 720 seconds 240 seconds
256 MB 1450 seconds 480 seconds
512 MB 2950 seconds 1020 seconds
1 GB 5700 seconds 1950 seconds

CGA-S002A Battery Performance:

 

Number of Images

Playback Time

LCD Monitor On LCD Monitor Off

CGA-S002A Lithium ion battery (supplied)

240 images 270 images 240 minutes

CGA-S002A Battery Charging Time:

 

Charging Time

CGA-S002A Lithium ion battery (supplied)

120 minutes

Our Product Research Team

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