Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ4 Review

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Features & Controls

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ4

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 4-megapixel digital camera. It has a fast F2.8 to F3.3 maximum aperture. The Leica lens is constructed of 11 elements in 8 Groups (3 Aspherical Lenses/3 Aspherical Surfaces.)

Lumix cameras help solve the problem of unsteady hands with advanced MEGA Optical Image Stabilizer technology. The DMC-FZ4 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!

The TTL contrast-detect auto focus system covers from 11.8 in (W) / 6.56 ft (T) to infinity in normal mode and from 1.97 in (W) / 6.56 ft (T) in macro mode.

Select the AF setting from Spot, 1-point (normal or high-speed), 3-point high-speed, and 9-point. The 1-point normal setting solves the "image-freezing" that used to happen while focusing on fast-moving subjects, and makes them easier to track. Focusing time of the 1-point high-speed setting is reduced to about 1/3 of the previous level. This nearly eliminates the time lag that often occurs with high-magnification zoom shots, letting you capture those great moments that happen all of a sudden. Plus, an AF Assist Lamp is provided to make it easier to focus in low lighting.

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

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ4

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 attach the lens shade.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ4

The eye level viewfinder is a miniature color LCD monitor with a magnifying eyepiece. It has a diopter 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 which is handy outdoors where it can often be difficult to see the LCD monitor.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ4

The 1.5-inch color LCD has 114,000 pixels of resolution and can be used for framing, review or menu operations.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ4

The pop-up speedlight features Auto, Auto Red-eye reduction, Slow-sync Red-eye, Fill and Forced Off modes. The flash range is Wide: 0.98 - 13.78 feet (ISO Auto), Tele: 1.64 - 8.53 feet (ISO Auto).

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ4

Controls on the back: The OPEN button pops up the builtin flash. The EVF/LCD button switches between the EVF and LCD monitor, the DISPLAY button controls the amount of data displayed. The EXPOSURE button is used to enable the 4-way controller to change shutter speed or aperture values. The ON/OFF switch turns the camera on and off. 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, press "Down" to accept (SET) menu selections. The FOCUS button toggles the focus mode and in playback it is for deleting images.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ4

Controls on the top include the combination shutter release and zoom control ring. The zoom ring is used in playback to enlarge the image or display an index page. The button below the shutter release is to turn the MEGA O.I.S. on/off. The lower button toggles the drive mode between Single frame, High Speed or Low Speed Continuous.

The Mode Dial has positions for:

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

    P - Program AE which is a point-n-shoot simple mode

    A - Aperture priority mode

    S - Shutter-speed priority mode

    M - Manual mode

    Macro - Macro focus mode for closeup photography

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

    SCN - Scene: Settable for Portrait, Sports, Scenery, Night Scenery, Night Portrait, Panning, Fireworks, Party or Snow

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ4

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-FZ4

Still images, movie clips and audio files are stored on removable Secure Digital or MultiMedia Card flash memory cards. Panasonic supplies a 16MB size SD card so the first thing you need to buy is a bigger one. We had no problems using a fast and spacious Lexar 1GB SD card.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ4

Power is supplied by a Panasonic 7.2v 680mAh Li-ion battery pack. The battery is good for approx. 300 pictures (CIPA standard testing, 50% with LCD on) and when using the electronic viewfinder (approx. 320 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.

Continue on to the
Recording Modes & Menus

US visitors DMW-CAC1 AC Adapter/Charger for Lumix DMC-FZ3, FZ4, FZ5, FZ20 & FZ30 Digital Camera

$ 66.99 at

UK visitors DMW-CAC1 AC Adapter/Charger for Lumix DMC-FZ3, FZ4, FZ5, FZ20 & FZ30 Digital Camera

£ 66.99 at

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