Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ30 Review

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Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ30



Features & Controls


Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ30

The all-glass aspherical Leica DC-VARIO ELMARIT 12x zoom lens is equivalent to a 35-420mm zoom on a 35mm camera. This is the most powerful zoom lens available on any 8-megapixel digital camera. It has a maximum aperture of F2.8-F3.7 and is adjustable in 1/3EV steps to F11. The lens is constructed of 14 elements in 10 Groups (3 Aspherical Lenses and 1 ED Lens.)

One interesting feature is the FZ30's Extended Optical Zoom, made possible by using the center part of the 8-megapixel CCD, extends the zoom ratio beyond 12x when the resolution is decreased. For example, when shooting at 5-megapixels, the zoom ratio can be extended to 15.3x, and up to 19.1x when shooting at 3 megapixels.

Lumix cameras help solve the problem of unsteady hands and long focal lengths with advanced MEGA Optical Image Stabilizer technology. The FZ30 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. You won't even notice it working-all you'll see are the outstanding results!


Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ30

The zoom is manually operated by a ring on the lens barrel and allows for very precise focal length changes and uses no camera power. Being that it is not motorized, the optical zoom can also be used during movie recording.

The TTL contrast-detect auto focus system range is:

    Wide: 11.8 in. (30cm)/ Tele: 6.6 ft. (200cm) - Infinity
Macro close-up mode range is:
    Wide: 1.97 in. (5cm)/ Tele: 6.6 ft. (200cm) - Infinity.
Auto focus options include Single AF, Continuous AF and Spot AF. There is a focus-assist illuminator to aid in low-light conditions.

The lens can be manually focused with the rear ring on the lens barrel. During manual focus the center portion of the screen can be magnified to aid in critical focusing.




This is what you can do with a 12X zoom!



Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ30

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 0.7x wide angle (DMW-LW55) and 1.7x telephoto (DMW-LT55) adapter lenses for the FZ30.



Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ30

The eyelevel viewfinder is a miniature 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 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-FZ30

The free-angle, 2.0-inch color LCD monitor can be adjusted for comfortable shooting even in high- and low-angle positions. The resolution of both the LCD and the electronic viewfinder has been increased to 235,000 pixels, a 80% increase compared to the FZ20. Brightness has been increased too, and the 9-pixel mixed readout method gives you a brighter LCD and electronic viewfinder when shooting still images in low light situations.


Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ30

When the LCD is not in use, face it inwards for protection.





Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ30

The pop-up speedlight features Auto, Auto Red-eye reduction, Slow-sync Red-eye, Fill and Forced Off modes. The flash range (at ISO Auto) is 0.98 - 22.97 feet (0.3 - 7.0m). The flash output is adjustable from -2 to +2 in 1/3EV steps.



Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ30

The flash hot shoe allows you to easily attach any non-dedicated automatic type of clip on flash unit.



Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ30

Controls on the back: The AE Lock button holds exposure value for re-framing or panorama shots. The Shutter Speed command dial is used to select shutter speeds. The EVF/LCD button switches between the EVF and LCD monitor, the DISPLAY button controls the amount of data displayed. The MENU button calls up and dismisses the menu system.

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 Trash can button is for deleting images.



Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ30

Controls on top: Barely visible in front of shutter release button is the Aperture command dial for setting the lens aperture. The shutter release button. The MEGA OIS image stabilizer button. The Drive mode button selects Single or Continuous modes. And the Power on/off button.

The Mode Dial has positions for:

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

    camera icon - Simple fully automatic mode

    P - Program AE mode with Program-Shift

    A - Aperture priority mode, F2.8 to F11 in 1/3EV steps

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

    M - Manual mode

    Movie - Capture motion JPEG with audio, length is limited only to available memory

    SCN1 - Scene 1: Settable for Portrait, Sports, Scenery, Night Scenery, Night Portrait, Fireworks, Party, Snow, Self-Portrait, Food, Baby, Soft Skin, Candle, Starry Sky

    SCN2 - Scene 1: Settable for Portrait, Sports, Scenery, Night Scenery, Night Portrait, Fireworks, Party, Snow, Self-Portrait, Food, Baby, Soft Skin, Candle, Starry Sky





Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ30


The REMOTE port is for connected a wired remote shutter release

The A/V Out port sends the audio and video to a television set, the video format is user selectable for NTSC or PAL standard. This is also the USB 1.1 data I/O port, it is Mass Storage compliant and also supports the PictBridge direct-print standard.

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



Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ30

Power is supplied by a Panasonic 7.2v 710mAh Li-ion battery pack. The battery is good for approx. 240 pictures (CIPA standard testing, 50% with LCD on) and when using the electronic viewfinder (approx. 270 pictures). It has a playback time of 240 minutes.

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.



Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ30

Still images, movie clips and audio files are stored on removable Secure Digital or MultiMedia Card flash memory cards. Panasonic supplies a 32MB size SD card so the first thing you need to buy is a bigger one. We used a fast and spacious Sandisk Extreme III 1GB SD card.



Picture and Movie Storage (approx.)

Aspect Ratio
Capacity
Still Image Motion Image
Image Quality
Pixels
8M
5M
3M
2M
1M
640 x 480
VGA
320 x 240
QVGA
10 fps 30 fps* 10 fps 30 fps

4:3
16MB TIFF 0 0 1 2 3
25 sec
5 sec
82 sec
25 sec
Fine 3 5 9 14 22
Standard 7 11 17 28 41
RAW 0 - - - -
32MB TIFF 1 1 3 4 7 58 sec 16 sec 175 sec 58 sec
Fine 7 12 19 30 46
Standard 15 24 37 59 86
RAW 1 - - - -
64MB TIFF 2 3 6 10 15 120 sec 38 sec 360 sec 120 sec
Fine 15 25 39 62 94
Standard 31 49 75 120 175
RAW 3 - - - -
128MB TIFF 4 8 12 20 31 250 sec 82 sec 740 sec 250 sec
Fine 31 51 79 125 190
Standard 62 100 150 240 350
RAW 7 - - - -
256MB TIFF 9 15 24 39 61 490 sec 160 sec 1,440 sec 490 sec
Fine 61 99 150 240 370
Standard 120 195 290 470 690
RAW 13 - - - -
512MB TIFF 19 30 48 78 120 980 sec 320 sec 2,870 sec 980 sec
Fine 120 195 300 480 730
Standard 240 380 590 940 1,370
RAW 27 - - - -
1GB TIFF 38 61 96 155 240 1,970 sec 660 sec 5,700 sec 1,970 sec
Fine 240 390 610 970 1,470
Standard 480 770 1,180 1,880 2,740
RAW 54 - - - -
2GB TIFF 77 125 195 310 490 4,020 sec 1,350 sec 11,700 sec 4,020 sec
Fine 490 790 1,220 1,920 2,920
Standard 970 1,530 2,360 3,610 5,120
RAW 105 - - - -


Aspect Ratio
Capacity
Still Image
Image Quality
Pixels
7M
3,248 x 2,160
4.5M
2,560 x 1,712
2.5M
2,048 x 1,360

3:2
16MB TIFF 0 1 1
Fine 4 6 10
Standard 8 12 19
RAW 0 - -
32MB TIFF 1 2 3
Fine 8 13 21
Standard 17 27 41
RAW 1 - -
64MB TIFF 2 4 6
Fine 17 28 44
Standard 35 55 84
RAW 3 - -
128MB TIFF 5 8 14
Fine 36 57 89
Standard 71 110 170
RAW 7 - -
256MB TIFF 10 17 27
Fine 70 110 170
Standard 135 210 330
RAW 15 - -
512MB TIFF 21 34 54
Fine 135 220 340
Standard 270 430 650
RAW 30 - -
1GB TIFF 43 69 105
Fine 270 440 680
Standard 540 860 1,310
RAW 60 - -
2GB TIFF 87 140 210
Fine 560 890 1,360
Standard 1,090 1,700 2,560
RAW 120 - -

Aspect Ratio
Capacity
Still Image
Image Quality
Pixels
5.5M
3,072 x 1,728
2M
1,920 x 1,080

16:9
16MB TIFF 0 2
Fine 5 13
Standard 10 25
RAW 1 -
32MB TIFF 1 4
Fine 11 28
Standard 22 54
RAW 2 -
64MB TIFF 3 9
Fine 23 58
Standard 46 110
RAW 4 -
128MB TIFF 7 18
Fine 47 115
Standard 93 220
RAW 9 -
256MB TIFF 14 36
Fine 92 230
Standard 180 430
RAW 18 -
512MB TIFF 28 72
Fine 180 450
Standard 350 860
RAW 36 -
1GB TIFF 57 145
Fine 360 910
Standard 710 1,720
RAW 72 -
2GB TIFF 115 290
Fine 740 1,800
Standard 1,420 3,410
RAW 145 -





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