Panasonic has announced its successor to the FZ200. Dubbed the LUMIX DMC-FZ300, this new all-in-one offers a 24x optical zoom range. That's 25-600mm in 35mm equivalence. The remarkable thing, though, is the constant f/2.8 maximum aperture allowing for low light performance as well as extremely shallow depth of field image composition.
The FZ300 also boasts a 12.1MP High Sensitivity MOS image sensor mated to the Venus Engine image processor. According to Panasonic, the "Venus Engine in the LUMIX FZ300 excels in diffraction compensation to make the resulting image crisp and clear even when shot with a small aperture. In addition, the Venus Engine also improves color reproduction with accurate evaluation of each color even if it is similar not only in color phase but also in saturation and luminosity."
In non-PR speak, that should translate into fast image capture (up to 12fps in full resolution, or up to 30fps in the 8MP 4K Photo Mode), enhanced noise reduction, quick AutoFocus (0.09 sec to find focus in multiple AF modes), and accurate colors (which can be altered in any one of the 22 Creative Filters).
Budding filmmakers have the option in recording video multiple resolutions and frame rates -- 4K @ 30p or 24p, Full HD 1080p @ 60p, 720p HD @ 120fps, and VGA @ 240fps. In video mode, the FZ300s Optical Image Stabilization system engages 5-Axis HYBRID O.I.S.+ (Optical Image Stabilizer Plus) for Steadi-cam-esque hand-held shots.
The rugged, splash-proof, dustproof FZ300 also offers Wi-Fi integration for connecting the digicam to your iOS or Android smartphone, RAW image capture and in-camera processing, iA+ (Intelligent Auto) Mode for Photo and Video, a Macro Mode, and a Creative Panorama Mode for shooting everything from tight spaces to epic vistas.
The FZ300 should be excellent option for those considering a DSLR or Mirrorless ILC camera, but who don't want to spend thousands on a body plus multiple pro-series lenses, or for advanced photographers who need a well-appointed secondary camera for his or her kit.
Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ300 Features:
- 12.1MP High Sensitivity MOS image sensor
- Venus Engine image processor
- 24x Optical Zoom
- F/2.8 constant max aperture
- 12fps high speed burst shooting
- O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer)
- Multi-process NR (Noise Reduction) with Random Filter
- ISO 100-6400
- OLED LVF (Live View Finder)
- 3-inch free-angle rear monitor
- Multi-Resolution Video Recording
- 4K Video @ 30p or 24p
- Full HD 1080p Video @ 60p
- 720p High Speed Video @ 120fps
- VGA High Speed Video @ 240fps
- Time Lapse / Stop Motion Animation
- 5-Axis HYBRID O.I.S.+ (Optical Image Stabilizer Plus)
- 4K Photo (8MP) with 30fps high speed shooting
- 4K Burst Shooting
- 4K Burst (Start/Stop)
- 4K Pre-burst enhanced by DFD (Depth From Defocus) technology
- 0.09 sec Light Speed AF (AutoFocus)
- Full Area AF
- Pinpoint AF
- Focus Peaking
- Face Recognition AF
- Tracking AF
- 0.88 sec quick start-up
- 1/4000 sec (@ 25mm) to 1/3200 sec (@ 600mm) max mechanical shutter
- 1/16000 sec max electronic shutter
- Wi-Fi® connectivity (IEEE 802.11 b/g/n)
- Requires FREE Panasonic Image App for iOS / Android
- RAW data development in Camera
- Highlight/Shadow Control
- Creative Panorama
- 3.5mm microphone socket
- 1cm Macro
- Silent Mode
- Level Gauge
- WB (White Balance) Bracket
- Creative Control with 22 Filters
- iA+ (Intelligent Auto) Mode for Photo and Video
- Multiple Exposure
- DMW-MS2 Stereo/Shotgun Microphone
- DMW-LC55 Close-up Lens DMW-LC55
- DMW-LT55 1.7x Tele Conversion Lens
- DMW-FL580L (GN58) External Flash
Pricing and availability for Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ300 will be announced shortly. List price for the last generation FZ200 was just shy of $600. I would expect the FZ300 to land somewhere in that range as well.