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Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ20
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ20

Hey! You should know that this product has been discontinued. Here are our current recommended cameras in the Extended Zoom Digital Cameras category.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ20

Editor's Review

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ20 is a startlingly sharp extended zoom camera that might make you feel a little like an amateur private detective. This slightly awkward looking camera likes to watch from a distance, with 12x optical zoom and image stabilization that produces crisp, detailed shots. It can seem a little hard to handle at times with a less than elegant body design, but few can deny its impressive reach.


  • 5 megapixels
  • 12x optical zoom/4x digital zoom
  • automatic and manual focus
  • manual
  • program
  • auto
  • shutter- and aperture-priority exposure modes
  • JPEG and TIFF file formats
  • ISO 80-400
  • proprietary lithium ion battery
  • movie mode with sound
  • Part Number: DMC-FZ20S
  • UPC: 037988977932
  • Release Date: Jul 08, 2005

Shop for DMC-FZ20 Accessories

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ20 Reviews

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ20 Reviews by Digital Camera-HQ Users

  • 5.0 out of 5
Love this camera (Shantell — 03/27/2011)
Still using it all these years later. Does a SUPER job!!! Main draw back for me is Out dated an Card size and space but ....few cards works out in the end.
  • 3.0 out of 5
Grainy & Blurred results in poor lighting! (Nicola — 05/07/2010)
I like to take wildlife shots and in the usual grey conditions we have in the UK, the photos come out really bad. The zoom is amazing, but if you use it to full capacity in bad lighting, the photos come out grainy and blurred. This is really gutting after seeing a new and unusual bird, thinking you're getting great photos only to get them on the computer and find they're terrible quality and you can barely even see the outline or colour of the bird! For macro pics of flowers it's a great camera, for anything else such as people and occasions ditto, anyone wanting something for a serious photography hobby wanting good quality shots in all conditions, I wouldn't advise this camera!
  • 4.0 out of 5
Only one drawback FZ20 (don fraser — 10/31/2009)

The 4x digital zoom really sucks the quality out of an image. One can shut it off—I did. Otherwise I've been very happy with it.

  • 4.0 out of 5
Only one drawback FZ20 (don fraser — 10/30/2009)

The 4x digital zoom really sucks the quality out of an image. One can shut it off—I did. Otherwise I've been very happy

  • 4.0 out of 5
stills OK video naff (phr33k — 07/29/2009)

Everything about this camera is fine apart from video capture. This is so naff, it is unwatchable.
We need a program to denoise, deflicker and everything else.
Don't even bother trying to make videos with this camera.

  • 5.0 out of 5
I'm so glad I bought this camera! (LisaS — 05/15/2008)

I wanted an easy to use realiable camera, and this is it! Pictures are wonderful and what I see is what I get. I take it everywhere and it's had more than its share of abuse, and it still keeps on going. I even dropped it twice...hard! I also love how good it feels in my hand. So easy to handle... I added a huge wide angle lens (102cm?) I wish I had had it all my life. Prior cameras have not done my memories justice.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Supreme Soccer Shots (Sheila — 04/14/2008)

Most digital cameras have a significant time lag between when you press the button and it records the shot. During soccer games this means you miss the action! This FZ20 lets you start shooting when it looks like something [like a goal] might happen, and lets you keep on shooting as the action progresses. I have gotten the most marvelous action shots with this camera over the past two years! The sequential shooting is why I bought it and why I can't live without it.

  • 2.0 out of 5
waterproof (sheldratke — 03/30/2008)

If you own a dmc f20 my advice spray it with water repellent.this is a poor sealed camera picture quality on special shots out of 10—5 rating some pictures are just good,my old hp 945 and kodak p850 much better pictures look for an other make

  • 4.0 out of 5
Conistent Reliable Quality from Panasonic (GMAN — 12/25/2006)

I have owned Panasonic Lumix cameras for a number of years now and they have consistently produced excellent quality crisp pictures. The stability technology almost never fails in capturing a clear image. The only downside is it's size. The camera is somewhat big and often a main reason to leave the camera behind at home.

  • 3.0 out of 5
Great quality gone bad! (RH — 12/08/2006)

We are having the same issue with horrible focus and quality on pictures. At first they were greatn ow they are horibble. We tried to take it in, our HH Gregg gave my wife some laim excuse which kept her from leaving it. Any ideas anyone?


  • 5.0 out of 5
Brilliant camera / lousy accessory availability (Pete Double — 12/02/2006)

The hand book supplied with the FZ20 shows a telephoto lens. I've had one on order for six months and am still waiting! The camera is superb in all respects but I need the tele lens for wildlife photography. If I up-grade to the FZ50 - how do I know there'll be a tele lens available for that model? and how long to I wait?

  • 4.0 out of 5
well it's in the shop at this time (Robet Romero — 11/17/2006)

when I first got the camera it took verynice shots (award winning shots) then I started having problems with out of focus shots which mostly with pictures I shot outdoors or with any degree of sun light so am waiting to hear what the problem is now but it did take some vey nice pictures when I ffiest got it and I love! the size as I am a big man with big hands

  • 3.0 out of 5
Beware FZ20 fatal application (Ron Plummer — 10/12/2006)

Top of the range for the price but there are a couple of problems.
1 The spring loaded zoom control is prone to stick and the hair spring could break.
2 The camera is NOT waterproof. The slightest whiff of moisture, rain, inside tropical houses or tropical holidays, will destroy the motherboard.A new board will set you back roughly ����285.
What good is a camera if you can't use it in ALL conditions?

  • 4.0 out of 5
Users Opinion (Ed Strong — 10/03/2006)

I bought this camera as I could not face the idea of lugging about a Digital SLR with a set of lenses - imagine the weight.
I find that the camera does a good job and am impressed by the battery life.At my daughters wedding the image quality seemed the match the pro pictures taken on a Canon 20D on A4 prints.After some experience of the camera I find the handling is great - comfortable and easy to use to the maximum of its (good) capabilities.
On the down side I find that manual focus is tricky as the viewfinder image is not of good quality - but autofocus is good and quick {except on long zoom in less than good outdoor light}. Another gripe is that there is no facility to fix filters to the lens so this restricts the amount of "creativity" one can use.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Outstanding picture quality (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I bought the FZ20 at Camp Fallujah in Iraq when my old camera kicked the bucket. I had it with me all the time for about four months before I left and I was not at all disappointed with the preformance or quality of the camera and the pictures I took using it. I used it from the turret of my Humvee while moving all the time and it still provided outstanding crisp pictures due to the image stablization. The great optical zoom was an invaluable feature as well. The only negative points are the zoom lenses seceptibility to dust and the the large blocky shape of the camera.

  • 4.0 out of 5
LONG SHOT IS NOT GOOD (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

i lost the camara manual if you have please send me

thank you

  • 5.0 out of 5
great camera (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

easy to use, great pictures, good price to value ratio. I love it.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Graet camera, the best i've owned! (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I have had several film SLRs and this is my second digital camera. All things considered, it's the best camera I've ever used. The images are top quality. My son has a Canon Digital Rebel SLR and he is amazed my the image quality from my FZ20. If you would like to see an example go to: The image of the moon that I took was hand held, taken from my driveway on a partially cloudy night. I was blown away by the sharpness and detail. The only negative thing about this camera is the movie mode, (very poor, very overcompressed quality. They should have just not even included it. But I knew that before buying. If I wanted movies, I'd buy a movie camera. If any one would like to see a really good example of a wide angle FZ20 shot, compared to a 12x optical zoom shot, compared to a 48x digital shot, all of the same scene: email me at

  • 4.0 out of 5
Great Digital Camera (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

Fantastic images in good lighting conditions,average in poor light but don't know of other cameras that are good in low light at this price range! Great shots with zoom at 12 times optical but need tripod for 4x digital , good shots in manual mode even at night, also has good menu system,2"LCD screen.
Overall I would give it 8/10

  • 5.0 out of 5
Photos like a Pro (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

Takes brilliant photos. Images are crystal clear and look great. If your looking for a camera that is easy to use, well priced, and loaded with features then the FZ20 is the one for you. I am hooked.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Better than most SLR's (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I have taken photos with many cameras. I personally feel this is a great camera for all types of photography. I recently took photos at a wedding and my photos were compared to the canon 6.3mp and mine turned out better. I will probably upgrade to the 20d.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Great for nature photos (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

After 30 years of 35mm photography, this is my second digital camera (first was an Olympus C-400)and I could not be more pleased. I use the FZ-20 primarily for birding, wildlife, and nature shots in Florida's wildlife preserves. All photography starts with the lens. You need good glass to be able to craft good pictures. The 12X Leica zoom is where this camera really shines. Mated to a very good processor, the total camera is hard to beat. True, there is a bit of noise at higher ISO levels (just as there isa bit of grain with film at high ISO levels...), but you can find shortcomings with any photographic instrument - none are perfect. Those who overly criticize this camera probably also use a screwdriver as a hammer. Any tool must be used within it's intended parameters, and a good craftsman knows the capabilities of the tools of his trade. Bottom line - this is a great camera and after weeks of research, and trips to photo / electronics dealers, I found the FZ-20 to be the best camera in its price range and fully capable of fine photographic results.

  • 4.0 out of 5
Shooting Birds In Flight (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

Lumix FZ1 was my first digicam.
Lumix FZ20 my second.
Lumix FZ30 could be my third!
The former two are very good, notably the lens and the superzoom are just superb, but the latter is still not quite there yet.
There? The ability to pick up a bird in flight and to follow it.
Looks like FZ30 is an improvement over FZ20, but my fear is that it might still not make the grade, falling short in several significant areas, e.g. no optical viewer, noise at higher ISO, difficulty in low light conditions, etc.
Shortcomings, notwithstanding, I'm eagerly awaiting the appearance of FZ30.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Best digital under $900! (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

Superb color and intuitive controls make this camera a pleasure to use. The zoom range and quality are exceptional.
The only complaint I have is AF is slow to keep up with action shots.
Very happy with the value!

  • 5.0 out of 5
my lumix (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

Great camera, zoom is terrific, anti shake works. The leica lens, what can I say,sharp and clear.
One suggestion read the manuel, so many tricks with this camera. This is my second digital camera my first a canon. For the price I paid $375.00 for the panasonic, it is wonderful

  • 5.0 out of 5
The perfect Prosumer camera (Michael Moore — 04/11/2005)

Like others reviewing here, I researched thoroughly before I decided to get a camera with more options than my trusty Kyocera Finecam S3. The FZ20 has options in abundance- shutter, aperture, full manual or full auto priority; pre-set scene modes, great macro mode; manual focus option; large LCD or eyepiece; single, multi or all delete function; ISO 80-400; hot shoe for a more powerful and/or bounce flash; the list goes on and on. The main reason I went with the FZ20 over the (quasi) competition is its optical image stabilization modes, and of course the superb Leica lens. The only thing negative about this camera is that you can't put a protective filter on the lens- has to go on the hood, if you use it. Still, with reasonable care that big lens should be fine. The zoom shots and wide shots I've taken are superb. You can really be creative with this camera- compose anything you want. I've also taken some great shots on stage in low light, handheld, thanks to the wide-open 2.8 lens, image stabilization and ISO 400 option. Noise is sometimes noticeable in dark areas at that speed, but software like Noise Ninja takes care of it if you want perfection. 5 MP is more than enough, due to the fact that you won't need to crop very much with this 12X zoom. Much smaller, lighter and cheaper than a DSLR, but for the "prosumer" this is perhaps the perfect digital solution. I'd like to get its tiny brother DMC-FX7 to go with it for those times when all I have is a pocket. Panasonic's quality is 1st rate.Lastly, these cameras use compact, inexpensive SD cards and can download into iPhoto automatically and quickly and even view on a TV. The more I use this camera, the more I appreciate it.