Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50 Review

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Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50



Playback Modes & Screens




Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50

Rotating the Mode dial to Playback (a VCR play icon) displays the last image captured.



Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50

Pressing the Display button while in Playback mode will display the exposure information overlay and includes the image size (10-megapixels), Fine quality, the battery is 1/3 discharged, folder name (100-0022), image number (9) /number of images recorded (15) and the time and date the image was captured.

The second time you press the Display button the following info is added to the overlay: a histogram, the exposure mode, aperture, shutter speed, ISO speed and flash mode.



Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50

In Playback mode the Aperture Command dial (on the camera's front, below the shutter release) is used to navigate through your images. Turning it to the left shifts from single playback to a 9 thumbnail index mode. Rotate the dial again and you bring up 25 images per page and a final turn displays a Calendar view that sorts images by the date they were shot.



Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50

Rotating the Aperture Command dial to the right allows you to enlarge the current image up to 16X in 2x steps. At any point you can use the 4-way selector to scroll around inside of the enlarged image.



Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50

Playback Menu options:

    SLIDE SHOW - Auto playback of all images or just those selected for DPOF printing
    FAVORITE - Add an image to favorite list
    ROTATE DISP. - Automatically rotate vertical images
    ROTATE - Manually rotates images
    DPOF PRINT - Select one or all images for later printing
    PROTECT - Protect/Unprotect one or all images
    AUDIO DUB. - Add up to a 10-second audio note to a still image
    RESIZE - Make a smaller image
    TRIMMING - Create a new smaller image from a zoom-cropped larger image.
    ASPECT CONV. - convert image to different aspect ratio
    FORMAT - Format the memory card





Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50

Movies are played back full screen on the LCD, viewfinder or a TV using the supplied audio/video cable. If played back in-camera, the audio portion of a clip is heard on the built-in speaker. The FZ50 has a new HD Photo mode that captures images in 1920 x 1080-pixel resolution with a wide 16:9 aspect ratio. Using the optional Panasonic HDTV Photo Player DMW-SDP1, you can view HD photos on your HDTV. We did not test this feature, but it is intriguing.



Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50

While a movie is playing back you'll see the time in seconds displayed in the lower right of the screen and a small movie controller in the lower left.



Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50

The Setup Menu has one screen (same menu is available in Record or Playback mode):

    CLOCK SET - Adjust the EVF brightness
    WORLD TIME - Auto review after capture (off, 1s, 3s, Zoom)
    CUST. SET MEM. - Show playback images on EVF or LCD
    MONITOR - Auto power off delay, 2m, 5m, 10m, Off
    GUIDE LINE - Enlarge center of screen during manual focus

Bundled Software and PC Compatibility




Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50

Panasonic includes a Lumix software disc with the FZ50. We did not review the software but the disc contains the Lumix Simple Viewer ver. 1.1, PHOTOfunSTUDIO viewer ver. 1.1, the USB Driver ver. 1 for Windows, ArcSoft Software Suite and the Silkypix Developer Studio ver. 2.0 SE.


Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50

Of course, you may not require any additional software to view images on your computer. I connected the camera using the provided USB cable to a Windows Vista PC and the expected Autoplay window opened asking if I wished to import, view or copy the images with the PC. I could then use Windows Photo Gallery to view and edit my photos. I also removed the memory card and inserted it into a card reader and had similar results.


Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50

Likewise, I tested the FZ50 with a Macintosh running OSX Leopard. I connected the camera using the USB cable and iPhoto opened up so that I could copy the files to the Macintosh.

One thing to remember: If you want to read RAW images created with the FZ50 you may need to install Panasonic's software to read them. But check your favorite image editor first, it may import RAW files or an update might be available from the manufacturer.You can view more information on the SILKYPIX Developer Studio SE at Panasonic's web site.





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