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Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ4

Review posted 5/4/2005

Introduction & Physical Views

Click to take a QuickTime VR tour of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ4
Click on the Lumix FZ4 to take a QuickTime VR tour

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ4 is a 4-megapixel digital camera with a high-quality Leica 12x optical zoom. The Leica DC Vario-Elmarit 12x zoom is equivalent to a 35 - 420mm zoom on a 35mm camera with a F2.8 to F3.3 maximum aperture. Panasonic's advanced MEGA O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer) enhances the camera's telephoto zoom capabilities, helping to deliver sharp, vivid images even when taking handheld telephoto shots or shooting in low light. This feature uses motion sensors, which detects even slight hand movement and integrally links the lens control to the motion of the camera to reduce jitter.

Incredibly responsive, the DMC-FZ4 captures consecutive shots nearly as quickly as a motor-driven film camera. As soon as the camera's CCD captures the image signal, Panasonic's multi-tasking Venus Engine II LSI simultaneously displays images on the LCD while writing data to the memory card, significantly reducing lag time between shots. To capture sudden events as they unfold, the MEGA BURST recording feature enables consecutive rapid-fire shooting, capturing 4 frames per second with undiminished quality from frame to frame.

The DMC-FZ4 features Program AE, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority and Manual exposure modes as well as Macro, Portrait, Sports, Panning and Night Portrait picture modes. Single or Continuous auto focus, Spot AF Switching and AF Lock. Other features include High Speed and Low Speed Continuous and AE Bracketing recording. The camera also captures QuickTime 320 x 240 motion video at 30 or 10 frames-per-second with audio, the length is limited only by available memory space.

The DMC-FZ4's histogram feature functions like a digital light meter, providing a graphic representation of the luminance level of the pixels composing an image. By using the histogram, users can exercise more precise exposure control for quality photos. The histogram can be displayed on the camera's 1.8-inch LCD screen while an image is being recorded and also after a shot has been taken.

Power is supplied by a proprietary lithium rechargeable battery pack that is charged outside of the camera. The charger is small and very portable and allows you to charge one battery while using another. Images and movies are stored on removable Secure Digital (SD) memory cards which are available in capacities up to 1GB.

Major DMC-FZ4 Features:

  • 4-megapixel effective CCD for images up to 2304 x 1728 pixels
  • Leica DC-VARIO ELMARIT 12x zoom, equivalent to 35-420mm on a 35mm camera
  • Optical image stabilization to help prevent camera shake and blurring
  • Venus Engine II LSI for robust camera operations
  • Mega Burst continuous capture @ 4 or 2fps up to 7 images (4 in Fine mode)
  • Macro focus with autofocus down to 1.9 inches
  • 1.5-inch TFT color monitor with 114,000 pixels
  • Eye level color electronic viewfinder with dioptric adjustment
  • Program AE, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority and Manual modes
  • Macro, Portrait, Sports, Panning, Night Portrait picture modes
  • High Speed and Low Speed Continuous and AE Bracketing modes
  • 320 x 240 QuickTime movies, 30fps or 10fps w/audio
  • Shutter speeds from 1/2000 to 8 seconds (Shutter priority and Manual modes)
  • Built-in flash with auto, fill, slow synchro and red-eye reduction modes
  • Intelligent Multiple and Spot exposure metering
  • TTL Auto White Balance, 5 presets and custom set
  • Secure Digital memory card slot, 16MB card included
  • Plug-n-Play USB, Mass Storage compliant
  • PictBridge Direct-Print compatible
  • Li-ion rechargeable battery and rapid charger included

The Lumix DMC-FZ4 has a suggested retail price of $449.00. The camera comes with a lens hood to help diminish flare and ghosting when photographing extremely bright scenes. Also included are: a rechargeable battery pack and charger; 16MB SD Memory Card; A/V cable; USB connection cable; lens cap; carrying strap and software on CD-ROM.

Physical Views

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ4

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ4

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ4

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ4

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ4

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ4

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ4

The DMC-FZ4 compared in size to a standard CD disc.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ4

The 5-megapixel FZ5 and the 4-megapixel FZ4.

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Features & Controls

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

Lumix DMC-FZ4 Specifications

Image Sensor 1/2.5" CCD, Primary Color Filter
4.23 Total Megapixels
4.0 Effective Megapixels
Lens Leica DC Vario-Elmarit 12x Optical Zoom
f=6.0-72mm (35mm equivalent: 35-420mm)
F2.8 - F3.3 max. aperture (Wide-Tele)
4x Digital Zoom (up to 48x when combined with 12x Optical)
11 Elements in 8 Groups (3 Aspherical Lenses)
Aperture Wide: F2.8 - F8
Tele: F3.3 - F8
Focusing Area Normal:
Wide: 0.98 feet; Tele: 6.56 feet-Infinity
Macro, A/S/M mode:
Wide: 0.16 feet; Tele: 6.56 feet-Infinity
Focus TTL Contrast-Detect AF System
Normal/Macro (Dial)
Continuous AF On/Off
One-shot AF
Focus-Assist Illuminator
Optical Image Stabilizer MEGA O.I.S. (Mode 1 / Mode 2)
Image Processor Venus Engine II™ LSI
Recording Image Size (Pixels) 2304 x 1728
1600 x 1200
1280 x 960
640 x 480
1920 x 1080 (16:9 HDTV)

Motion Image: 320 x 240

Motion Image (Quick Time Motion JPEG) 30 or 10 fps (320 x 240 pixels) with audio
Length of movies depends on available memory.
ISO Sensitivity Auto / 64 / 100 / 200 / 400
White Balance Auto/Daylight/Cloudy/Halogen/Flash/White Set
White Balance Adjustment
(except for Auto WB)
Exposure Modes Program AE w/Shift
Aperture Priority AE
Shutter Priority AE
Scene Modes SCN is user-settable for:
Portrait, Sports, Scenery, Night Scenery, Panning, Night Portrait, Fireworks, Party or Snow
Exposure Compensation 1/3 EV Step, 2 EV
Auto Bracketing AE +1/3EV-1EV Step, 3 Frames
Light Metering Intelligent Multiple / Center-weighted / Spot
Shutter Speed 8 - 1/2,000 sec.
Self Timer 10 seconds / 2 seconds
Picture Adjustment Natural, Standard, Vivid
Color Effect Mode Cool, Warm, Black & White, Sepia
Image Quality TIFF/Fine/Standard
Mega Burst® Shooting Mode Full-resolution image:
Standard Mode: Up to 7 images at 4 or 2 frames/sec.
Fine Mode: Up to 4 images
Still Image Recording with Audio 5 seconds
Audio Dubbing Maximum of 10 Seconds
Built-in Flash Mode Auto, Auto/Red-eye Reduction,
Slow Sync./Red-eye Reduction
Forced On/Off
Flash Output Adjustment (1/3EV step, -2 +2EV)
Wide: 0.98 - 13.78 feet (ISO Auto)
Tele: 1.64 - 8.53 feet (ISO Auto)
External Flash No
Real-time Histograms Yes
LCD Monitor 1.5" Diagonal Polycrystalline TFT LCD Display (114k pixels)
Field of view: approx. 100%
Viewfinder 0.33" diagonal Color EVF (114k pixels)
Field of view: approx. 100%
Built-in SD Card Slot Yes
Recording Media SD Memory Card (SD) or Multimedia Card (MMC)
Microphone Built-in
Speaker Built-in
Conversion Lens Compatibility No
Auto Review 1 sec/3 sec/zoom
Quick Review 1x/4x/8x
OSD Language English, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, German, Italian, French
Playback Mode 9-Thumbnail Display
Zoomed Playback (16x max)
Image Rotation
Slide Show
Trimming, Protection
DPOF Setting
Direct Print Yes, PictBridge compatible
Interface DC Input, A/V Output (NTSC/PAL), USB 1.1
Power Supply Lithium-ion Battery Pack (7.2V, 680 mAh)(Included)
AC Battery Charger (Input: 110-240V AC)(Included)
Battery Life Up to 300 pictures (CIPA Standard)
Up to 320 pictures with EVF
Dimensions (H x W x D) 2.69" x 4.25" x 3.34"
Weight 0.72 lbs
Included ArcSoft® Software ArcSoft PhotoImpression
ArcSoft Panorama Maker;
ArcSoft PhotoBase
Other Included Software SD Viewer for DSC
USB Driver
Included Accessories Battery Charger, Battery Pack, 16MB SD Memory Card, Lens Cap, Lens Hood & Adaptor, A/V & USB Cable, Strap, CD-ROM

(Specifications as provided by the manufacturer.)

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