Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1 Review

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Features & Controls

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18

The FZ18 is the first Panasonic model we have seen to feature such a versatile zoom rage, with its all- glass aspherical Leica DC-VARIO ELMARIT 18x zoom lens covering an equivalent range of 28-504mm zoom on a 35mm camera. It has a maximum aperture of F2.8-F4.2 and is adjustable in 1/3EV steps to F8. The lens is constructed of 11 elements in 8 Groups with 3 Aspherical Lenses and 4 Aspherical surfaces.

The FZ18's MEGA Optical Image Stabilizer has a built-in gyrosensor that detects any hand movement and relays a signal to a tiny microcomputer inside the camera, which instantly calculates the compensation needed. A linear motor then shifts the Optical Image Stabilizer lens as necessary to guide incoming light from the image straight to the CCD. The MEGA OIS has two modes of operation:

    Mode 1 - The stabilizer operates continuously and assists during composition.

    Mode 2 - The stabilizer is only activated when the shutter release is pressed. There is a greater stabilizing effect in this mode.

The TTL contrast-detect auto focus system in Normal has a focus range of:

    Wide 11.8 in. (30cm) / Tele 6.6 ft. (200cm) - Infinity
Macro mode focus range is:
    Wide 0.39 in. (1cm) / Tele 6.6 ft. (200cm) - Infinity.
Tele Macro range is:
    Approx 12 - 18x, 3.3 ft. (100cm) - Infinity.

    Users may choose from selectable AF settings. In addition to the Multi-point, 3-point high speed, 1- point High speed, 1-point normal speed, and Spot autofocus, the DMC-FZ18 can be set to Face Detect AF. This setting helps users capture even better portrait or "people" photos by tracking and locking focus and exposure to a subject(s) face. In low-light conditions, the AF system is aided by a focus-assist illuminator.

    Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18

    To minimize the occurrence of flares or ghosting when shooting outdoors or in any bright environment you can attach the supplied lens shade. It only takes a moment to snap it into place.

    Panasonic offers optional 1.7x telephoto (DMW-LT55) and DMW-LC55 Close-up adapter lenses for the FZ18. The Panasonic DMW-LA3 Conversion Lens Adapter is required when using auxiliary lenses. There's also a DMW-LND46 ND filter and DMW-LMC46 MC protector.

    Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18

    The pop-up speedlight features Auto, Auto Red-eye reduction, Slow-sync Red-eye, Fill and Forced Off modes. The flash output is adjustable from -2 to +2 in 1/3EV steps.

    Flash Range (approx.)

      ISO Auto: 0.3 - 6.0m (Wide) / 1.0 - 4.0m (Tele) High Sensitivity Mode: 1.15 - 24.0m (Wide) / 1.0 - 16.1m (Tele)

      Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18

      The eyelevel viewfinder is a 0.44" (188K Pixels) color LCD monitor with a magnifying eyepiece. It has dioptric adjustment and can be used with eyeglasses. This electronic viewfinder (EVF) gives you true TTL (through the lens) viewing (100% frame coverage) and overlays important camera and exposure data on top of the live display. It can also be used to review images and access the menu system in bright lighting where it's difficult to see the LCD monitor.

      Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18

      The large 2.5-inch color LCD monitor is a transreflective type with 207,000 pixels. If offers a field of view of approx. 100% and can be used as a viewfinder, for image review or accessing the menus.

      Controls on the back: The Flash button pops-up the built-in flash. The EVF/LCD button selects the active display. You can also see the built in speaker to the right of the EVF button. The AF/AE Lock button is a welcomed new addition, and allows you to lock Auto Focus and Auto Exposure. The Joystick controller is used to change shutter speeds, aperture values and to make manual focus adjustments. The DISPLAY / LCD MODE button cycles the LCD display modes (Normal, Histogram, Out of Frame, No Information). The 4-way selector in Record mode toggles the flash mode when pressed "Right." When pressed "Up" it toggles exposure or flash compensation, AE Bracketing or white balance adjustment. Press "Left" to activate the Self-timer and press "Down" to use the Quick Review mode to examine the last image captured. In Playback mode the 4-way selector is used to select images and of course in both record and play modes it is used to navigate the menu screens. The MENU/SET button calls up and dismisses the menu system and accepts selections. The Drive Mode/Trashcan button selects single frame or continuous recording mode or in playback or quick review it is used to delete images.

      Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18

      Controls on top: The shutter release button with the zoom lens controls around it, in playback mode they serve as the Index and Magnify options. Next is the AF Macro/Focus button, which enables and disables Macro focus mode. The AF/MF button selects Auto or Manual focus mode. The Off/On power switch has been moved to the top, on previous models it was located on the back.

      The Mode Dial has positions for:

        iA - Simple fully automatic Intelligent Auto mode

        Play - Play back of still images, movie or audio notes

        P - Program AE mode with Program-Shift

        A - Aperture priority mode, F2.8 to F8 in 1/3EV steps

        S - Shutter-speed priority mode, 1/2000 to 8 secs. (60 secs in Manual)

        M - Manual mode

        Custom - Create a mode that is "custom" to your shooting style

        Print Mode - Choose print settings when connected to a compatible printer

        Movie - Capture motion JPEG with audio, length is limited to 2GB

        SCN - Scene Modes:Food, Party, Candle Light, Sunset, High Sensitivity, Baby1, Baby2, Pet, Panning, Starry Sky, Fireworks, Beach, Snow, Aerial photo

        Night Portrait - Advanced scene mode, choose Night Portrait, Night Scenery, Illuminations, Creative

        Sports mode - Advanced scene mode, choose Normal, Outdoor, Indoor, Creative

        Scenery mode - Advanced scene mode, choose Normal, Nature, Architecture, Creative

        Portrait mode - Advanced scene mode, choose Normal, Soft Skin, Outdoor, Indoor, Creative

      Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18

      I/O ports:
      The Digital/AV Out port handles both the audio/video output to a television set (NTSC or PAL standard) as well as the USB 2.0 (Full-speed) data transfer to your PC. It is Mass Storage compliant and also supports the PictBridge direct-print standard.

      An optional AC power adapter or external battery can be connected to the DC IN 8.4V port.

      Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18

      Still images, movie clips and audio files are stored on the camera's approx. 27MB of internal memory or on a removable SD/SDHC card. It's compatible with SD cards up to 2GB or SDHC cards up to 4GB in size.

      Picture and Movie Storage (approx.)

      Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18

      Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18

      Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18

      Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18

      Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18

      Power is supplied by a Panasonic 7.2v 710mAh Li-ion battery pack. Fully charged the battery has power for approx. 400 pictures whether using the LCD or electronic viewfinder. Continuous playback time was not specified.

      The battery charger can replenish a fully depleted pack in 120 minutes or less. Batteries are charged out of the camera so you can be charging one and using another. We highly recommend you purchase a second battery pack and keep it charged and ready at all times, especially if you are planing to go on vacation.

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