44 of 46 people found the following review helpful
Great little camera,
This review is from: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH20 14.1 MP Digital Camera with 8x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 2.7-Inch LCD (Blue) (Electronics)I got this to replace a 3 MP Kodak bought 8 years ago.
You need at least a class 6 card to take HD video, so I also bought a 16 GB Class 6 SDHC card made by Sandisk. (I don't think there's any additional benefit to buying Class 10 or SDXC with this camera, but it may speed up "Burst Mode" continuous shooting.)
I added a Panasonic-branded high capacity second battery, and a suitable hard case. Got these through Amazon partners. There may be issues with non-Panasonic batteries. Read the reviews!
I went for a Panasonic camera because they're the only company using optical image stabilizing (OIS). I've used this previously in a camcorder and it's nicer than digital image stabilizing. It's a correction in the lens itself, not a cheap fudge. Given that it's an optical correction, a shaky had doesn't mean blurry images. I've used this camera handheld on full zoom with artificial light, and the image was still incredibly sharp right down to the pixel level.
This camera takes great pictures. I love the speed it powers up. Taking multiple shots, if you press, release, press, & so on, the camera has to reanalyse, refocus, etc. between shots. By holding down the shutter release button, you activate "Burst Mode", where the scene analysis is done only once, and the camera stores pictures every 1.5 s or so. This may be where a Class 10 SDHC or SDXC card comes in, but I don't have the funds to test this theory!
The battery lasts several sessions between charges. Before I used it, I was concerned that I'd have to have three or four batteries with me on vacation, but it turns out two will be more than enough; plus, as others have pointed out, they charge relatively quickly. (I was using high capacity NiMH AAs in the Kodak, and found I had to charge almost daily, and take alkaline backups with me.)
I like the picture taking modes with automatic tagging. Quick access to flash and macro.
1. The decidedly stupid toggling between movie and photo mode -- seriously, put another switch on there guys.
2. The now ubiquitous nonstandard USB cable, so when (not "if") you misplace the cable among all your other USB cables, you have to use a card reader to get pictures and movies off. Okay, so it doubles as an AV cable. So... seriously, who uses AV out from a camera? Drop the gimmick, or put MiniDP on there as well.
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Initial post: Nov 22, 2010 5:31:08 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 22, 2010 4:08:58 PM PST
The NIMH batteries in your Kodak were high capacity but not low self-discharge. Had you bought Kodak's own LSD batteries, or Eneloops or various Duracell pre-charged batteries, you would have had no problems. The higher capacity batteries will give you more shots in a day and a faster flash, but like you said, you have to charge them constantly. Sooner rather than later they will not hold a charge at all.
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