Features & Controls
- f = 4.5 - 108 mm (25 - 600 mm in 35 mm equiv.)
- 28 - 672 mm in 35 mm equiv. in video recording
- Normal: Wide 30 cm (11.8 inches) - infinity / Tele 200 cm (78.7 inches) - infinity
- AF Macro / MF / Intelligent Auto / Motion Picture: Wide 1 cm (0.39 inch) - infinity / Tele 100 cm (39.37 inches) - infinity
- Normal / AF Macro / Macro Zoom / MF
- Quick AF On / Off (on in Intelligent Auto)
- Continuous AF (only for motion picture)
- AF/AE Lock Button
- One Shot AF
- AF Area Select
- AF Tracking
The pop-up flash throws around an impressive amount of light for its small size. The dedicated button next to the electronic viewfinder springs it upward. You'll notice the impressive flash range specification below. I can't say my personal experience could replicate the 44.3-foot flash range, but what's important to note here is the ISO Auto setting recommendation in the spec. Changing the ISO to Auto instead of ISO 100 definitely improved the flash range, increasing the noticeable fall-off from roughly 15 feet to perhaps 25 feet.
The back panel offers a wealth of controls to help you fine-tune your photography preferences. In addition to the typical four-way control, playback button, and trash button, there are two customizable buttons: the AF/AE lock button up top servers as Fn1, while the left position on the four-way control serves as Fn2.
The FZ60 offer an alternative framing option, with a 0.2-inch color EVF (electronic viewfinder). It sports a 202,000-dot equivalent resolution, which is adequate for framing shots, but not fine enough to rely on for manual focus accuracy. It is a welcomed backup for when bright light makes it difficult to see the LCD clearly.
Note also the depth and comfortable padding of the hand grip.
The variety of buttons on the back panel provide easy access to the camera's features. The AF/AF macro/MF button launches you directly into the focus menu with the three choices as labeled. In record mode, the Display button toggles you between a view with no camera information and one with many settings listed. In playback, the display button toggles you between a no information view, some settings, and detailed information such as shooting mode, flash, white balance, ISO setting, shutter speed and aperture.
Depending on the mode, three of the positions on the four-way control operate as expected, launching you into the ISO, white balance, or self-timer settings. The left position is reserved for a custom function of your choice.
Perhaps the most valuable button on the back panel is the trash button, which doubles as the quick menu button, offering easy access to many commonly used settings (nine menus in total). Rather than delivering you to a vertically oriented menu with multiple pages to sort through, the quick menu brings up icons organized horizontally along the top and bottom of the screen, overlaid on your framed shot in the background. You can navigate this menu using only the thumb wheel if you choose. That's because the thumbwheel works as both a dial and a button - turning it scrolls you through selections and pressing it inward makes the selection. This helpful feature works for more than just the quick menu - in Program mode it brings up the exposure compensation setting, while in iAuto Plus it also displays background blur and color balance.
The comfortable spacing of the function buttons and rear dial make the camera easy to operate and put a lot of features at your fingertips (or, thumb tip, if you will). Note the contoured shaping below the thumb dial - it's a small feature but it definitely helps you keep a grip on the camera when you want to take your thumb off the rear dial.
The mode dial offers quick access to the most common shooting modes. There is a dedicated iAuto position in addition to positions for creative controls (filters and effects), scene modes, PASM modes, creative video mode and two custom settings. You'll note that there is a dedicated movie recording button as well. The movie position on the mode dial (Panasonic calls it creative video mode) allows you to shoot video using program AE, aperture-priority, shutter-priority, or manual exposure settings.
Also nearby is the focus button, which allows you to adjust the size of the AF area with the rear dial and moved its position using the four-way control. The continuing shooting button between this and the shutter button launches you into the burst shooting menu. The shutter button is surrounded by the zoom ring atop the comfortable hand grip.
Of course, the depth of the hand grip and the size of the lens barrel contribute to the camera's size: 4.74 inches (w) x 3.18 inches (h) x 3.62 inches (d). This isn't incredibly hefty for a full-featured point-and-shoot camera of this type. For its size, it's comfortably light, weighing in at just 1.09 pounds with battery and SD card installed.
Around the corner from the LCD, on the opposite side as the handgrip, HDMI and AV/USB ports sit behind a rubberized flap. Neither an HDMI nor AV cable is included; and the USB cable is very much on the short side at just under 2 feet long. This might be convenient for reducing bulk if you only need to plug into a laptop, but it's inconveniently short if you like to, say, keep your camera atop your desk while plugging it into a PC tower on the floor.
SD, SDHC, and SDHC memory card formats are supported. In addition there is a built-in memory of approximately 70 MB.
Visitors of Steves can visit the stores below for real-time pricing and availability. You can also find hot, soon to expire online offers on a variety of cameras and accessories at our very own Camera Deals page.