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Byline: Jonathan Takiff
THE GIZMO: Product introductions at the Photo Marketing Association show in Orlando, Fla.
For the last couple months I've been having fun with (but dawdling over the chore of reviewing) the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ20. It's an SLR look-alike digital still camera boasting 5-megapixel resolution (plenty for an 11-by-14-inch blowup), with a spectacularly bright (F2.8), 12X zoom lens designed by Leica, traditionally the best name in the camera business.
There's also a very effective system for stabilizing those long zoom shots, plus lots of user-control flexibility and a very comfortable, balanced feel to the camera.
Selling for $599, the FZ20 is still in the product line, I'm happy to say. But at the PMA show, Panasonic introduced yet another Leica-12x-zoom-lens-equipped Lumix, the DMC-FZ5 that's a tad smaller and lighter, with much the same feature set (except manual focus). And it's $100 cheaper!
Such is the …