Features & Controls
By Josh Fate
On the side of the 24x optical zoom lens, you will find a switch that allows you to put the camera into macro and manual focus modes. The button on the bottom allows you to automatically focus the camera when it is set to manual.
The FZ100 has a pop-up flash that is a little disappointing when comparing it to the size of the zoom lens. With a range of up to 9.5m (W) or 5.1m (T) at ISO auto, you can get some distance out of it, but your pictures will be very grainy if you push these limits. If you are close enough, it features several shooting modes including: Auto, Red-Eye Reduction, On, Off, Slow Synchro and more. If you would like more power, the camera will also accept an external hot-shoe flash.
Built into the top of the flash is the stereo microphone used for recording the sounds for your movies. Recording with stereo is a big benefit, especially when shooting your HD movies.
For those people who prefer the feel of a dSLR or just like shooting with an eye-level viewfinder, the EVF (electronic view finder) on the FZ100 features a full 100% coverage of the field of view and an equivalent of 201k pixels. This allows you to see a clear image with all of the camera settings, just like if you were looking at the LCD screen. Here you can also see the Flash Open, EVF/LCD and AF/AE Lock buttons.
With a 3.0-inch 460k dot Free-Angle LCD screen, you will have no problems shooting in any situations, including over and around obstacles. An anti-Reflective coating and adjustable power levels help you to see it in all lighting conditions, including direct sunlight.
Top Controls: From left to right you can see the Mode Dial, allowing you to quickly change your shooting modes. The shutter release and zoom controls are located on the top right and the power switch is on the bottom. Between them are the Video Record button, allowing you to record video at any time, no matter what shooting mode you are currently in. Finally there is the burst shooting button, allowing you to quickly change the speed and size of the images that you are capturing.
Controls on Back: At the top is a quick select dial, placed in the perfect spot for easy use with you thumb. Under that is a joystick control which when pressed brings up a quick menu. Under the thumb grip are the display and playback buttons, followed by the 4-way controller and finally the Q.MENU button. The 4-way controller allows you to navigate images and menus as well as providing shortcuts to popular shooting settings.
With 3 I/O (input/output) ports, you have the ability to export your pictures and videos to a computer or TV with the AV/Digital port, send them to an HDTV with the HDMI out or you can attach an external microphone or shutter remote in the port to the right.
The FZ100 is compatible with SD, SDHC and the new SDXC memory cards. Since this camera has the ability to record with high burst rates and HD video, a high speed SDHC/SDXC memory card is recommended.
Approx. Storage Capacities:
Powering the FZ100 is a 7.2V, 895mAh Li-Ion battery which allows the camera to capture up to 410 images on a single charge based on CIPA standards. Also shown here is the included quick charger, allowing you to recharge anywhere there is an outlet.