Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50 Review

Click for our main menu

Review posted 11/7/2007

Introduction & Physical Views

Click to take a QuickTime VR tour of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50
Click on the Panasonic Lumix FZ50 to take a QuickTime VR tour

The DMC-FZ50 is the 10.1-megapixel model in Panasonic's popular Lumix line. It features a 12x LEICA optical zoom lens, the Venus III imaging engine, the MEGA O.I.S (Optical Image Stabilizer) and a 2" color LCD.

A Leica DC Vario-Elmarit lens on the DMC-FZ50 has a 12x optical zoom (35mm equivalent = 35mm to 420mm) and is the shinning star of this camera. The ED lens (extra-low dispersion) employs a special optical glass to compensate for chromatic aberration. As you probably know, Leica is a renown manufacturer of cameras and lenses.

The Panasonic DMC-FZ50 features the Venus III imaging engine to allow high sensitivity shooting at ISOs up to 1600. This noise reduction system has been improved to reduce noise in several processing stages. First, chromatic noise and the luminance noise are separated and then go through a secondary noise reduction process. Finally, chromatic aberration is also reduced.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50

With the FZ50, Panasonic has continued with the operational ease and innovative design found on the previous FZ30. Two rings on the lens barrel allow manual control of zooming and focusing, providing fast and accurate control not possible with zoom buttons. This feature is popular with users because of its precise control and dSRL-type operation.

A 2 inch, flip-out, high resolution color LCD is adjustable to 180 degrees both vertically and horizontally to assist shooting even in odd-angle shooting positions. The EVF (electronic viewfinder) allows you to check white balance, a real-time histogram and DOF(depth of field) preview before shooting.

The FZ50 is also equipped with a pop-up flash featuring multiple flash modes (Auto, Auto/Red-Eye Reduction, Slow Sync/Red- Eye Reduction, and Forced On/Off). You can mount the DMW-FL500 TTL external flash (optional) on the FZ50's hot shoe.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50 Features:

  • 1/1.8", 10.4-megapixel CCD with Primary Color Filter, 3,648 x 2,736 pixels
  • Leica DC-VARIO ELMARIT 12x zoom, equivalent to 35-420mm on a 35mm camera
  • MEGA O.I.S, Optical Image Stabilization
  • Venus Engine III image processing engine
  • Burst shooting mode at full resolution: max. 5 images (Standard Mode), max. 3 images (Fine Mode)
  • Macro focus : Wide 5 cm (0.16 feet) / Tele 200 cm (6.56 feet) - infinity
  • Free-angle 2.0" Polycrystalline TFT LCD (207 K Pixels)
  • Color electronic viewfinder with dioptric adjustment
  • Auto, Program Mode, Aperture Priority Mode, Shutter Priority Mode, Manual Mode and 16 Scene modes
  • Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Shade, Halogen, Flash, White Balance, Adjustment (±9 step, two axis)
  • QuickTime movie modes: 4:3 Aspect: 320 x 240/640 x 480 pixels at 10/30 fps or 16:9 Aspect: 848 x 480 pixels at 10/30 fps
  • Auto shutter speeds 1/4 - 1/2000 sec.
  • AF metering: 1-point, 1-point high speed, 3-point high speed, 9-point or Spot
  • ISO Sensitivity: Auto, I. ISO, 100, 200, 400, 800, 600 and High Sensitivity Mode 3200
  • Built-in flash with Auto, Auto Red-eye Reduction, Slow Sync., Red-eye Reduction, Forced On modes
  • SD Memory Card, SDHC Memory Card and Multimedia Card compatible
  • A/V Output (NTSC/PAL), USB 2
  • PictBridge compatible
  • Lithium-ion Battery Pack (7.2V, 710 mAh) and battery charger included
  • Software and driver disc included
  • Weight approx. 668 grams or 1.47 lb, body only

What's in the Box?

  • DMC-FZ50 body
  • 32MB Secure Digital (SD) memory card
  • CGR-S006A Lithium-ion battery pack
  • Battery charger (110-220v)
  • USB and A/V Cables
  • Lens cap, lens hood & adaptor (55mm lens mount)
  • Software CD-ROM
  • User Guide
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50 has a MSRP of $599.95 USD.

Physical Views

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50

The Panasonic FZ50 compared in size to a standard CD disc.

Continue to
Features & Controls

Lumix DMC-FZ50 Specifications

14 elements in 10 groups (3 Aspherical lenses / 3 Aspherical surfaces, 1 ED Lens)
Optical Image Stabilizer MEGA O.I.S. (Mode1 / Mode2)
Optical: 12x
Extra Optical:
4:3 Aspect: 13.4x for 8.0 Mega, 17.1x for 5.0 Mega, 21.4x for 3.0 / 2.0 Mega
3:2 Aspect: 13.4x for 7.0 Mega, 17.1x for 4.5 Mega, 21.4x for 2.5 Mega
16:9 Aspect: 13.4x for 5.5 Mega, 21.4x for 2.0 Mega
Digital: 2x / 4x pre-select (Max. 48x combined with Optical Zoom without Extra Optical Zoom) (Max. 85.5x combined with Extra Optical Zoom)
Focal Distance f=7.4 - 88.8 mm (35 mm Equiv.: 35 - 420 mm)
Focusing Area Normal: Wide 30 cm (0.98 feet) / Tele 200 cm (6.56 feet) - infinity
Macro : Wide 5 cm (0.16 feet) / Tele 200 cm (6.56 feet) - infinity
AF Metering 1-point / 1-point high speed / 3-point high speed / 9-point / Spot
AF Assist Lamp Yes
Conversion Lens Compatibility Yes
Camera Effective Pixels 10.1-Megapixel
Image Sensor 1/1.8", 10.4 Mega Total Pixels CCD, Primary Color Filter
Focus AF / AF Macro / MF Switchable, Manual Focus (Ring), Continuous AF : On / Off
ISO Sensitivity Auto / I.ISO / 100 / 200 / 400 / 800 / 1600
(High Seusitivity Mode : 3200)
White Balance Auto / Daylight / Cloudy / Shade / Halogen / Flash / White Set 1/2
White Balance Adjustment (±9 step, two axis)
Exposure Auto, Program AE, Aperture Priority AE, Shutter Priority AE, Manual
Exposure Compensation 1/3 EV step, -2 - +2 EV
Backlight Compensation Yes (at Auto Mode)
Auto (AE) Bracketing ± 1/3 EV - 1EV step, 3 frames
Light Metering Intelligent Multiple / Center Weighted / Spot
Scene Mode Dial:
Auto, P(Program) Mode, A(Aperture Priority) Mode, S(Shutter Priority) Mode, M(Manual) Mode, SCN (Portrait, Sports, Scenery, Night Scenery, Night Portrait, Fireworks, Party, Snow, Panning, Soft Skin, Food, Baby1, Baby2, Starry Sky, Candle Light, High sensitivity), Motion picture, Playback, Custom
Shutter Speed Auto : 1 / 4 - 1 / 2000 sec.
Program AE : 1 - 1 / 2000 sec.
Aperture Priority AE / Shutter Priority AE: 8 - 1/2,000 sec. Manual: 60 - 1/2,000 sec.
Aperture Wide: F2.8 - F11
Tele: F3.7 - F11
Self Timer 10 sec. / 2 sec.
Auto Review 1 sec. / 3 sec. / zoom
Review 1x / 4x / 8x
Picture Adjustment Contrast: Low, Standard, High
Sharpness: Low, Standard, High
Saturation: Low, Standard, High
Noise Reduction: Low, Standard, High
Color Effect Mode Cool, Warm, Black & White, Sepia
Recording Format Still Image: JPEG (Design rule for Camera File system, based on Exif 2.2 standard), DPOF corresponding
Image with Audio: JPEG (Design rule for Camera File system, based on Exif 2.2 standard)+ QuickTime
Motion Picture: QuickTime Motion JPEG
Recording Image Size
Still Image
4:3 Aspect: 3,648 x 2,736 pixels,
3,264 x 2,448 pixels,
2,560 x 1,920 pixels,
2,048 x 1,536 pixels,
1,600 x 1,200 pixels,
3:2 Aspect: 3,600 x 2,400 pixels,
3,248 x 2,160 pixels,
2,560 x 1,712 pixels,
2,048 x 1,360 pixels
16:9 Aspect: 3,584 x 2,016 pixels,
3,072 x 1,728 pixels,
1,920 x 1,080 pixels
Image Quality RAW / Fine / Standard
Motion Picture*
(QuickTime Motion JPEG)
4:3 Aspect:
640 x 480 pixels, 320 x 240 pixels
30 fps, 10 fps
16:9 Aspect:
848 x 480 pixels
30 fps, 10 fps
(Max. recording time depends on memory card capacity.Max. 2GB for motion picture)
Burst Shooting Mode Full-Resolution Image, 2 frames/sec. or 1 frames/sec.
Full-Resolution: Max. 5 images (Standard Mode) / Max. 3 images (Fine Mode)
Unlimited Consecutive Shooting Yes (Depending on memory card size, battery power, picture size, and compression)
Still Image Rec.
with Audio
5 sec.
Audio Dubbing Max. 10 sec.
Real-time Histogram Yes
Composition Guide Lines Yes (2 patterns)
Scene Mode Help Screen Yes
Auto Angle Detection Yes
Flip Animation Yes
Travel Date / World Time Yes / Yes
Built-in-Flash Auto, Auto / Red-eye Reduction, Slow Sync. / Red-eye Reduction, Forced On / Off
Flash Output Adjustment (1/3EV Step, -2 - +2EV)
Wide: 0.3 - 7.4 m Tele: 0.3 - 5.6 m (ISO Auto)
External Flash** Hot Shoe (TTL Auto)
Viewfinder 0.44" Color EVF (235 K Pixels), Field of View : approx. 100%
LCD Free-angle 2.0" Polycrystalline TFT LCD (207 K Pixels)
Field of View : approx. 100%
Power LCD mode
Playback Mode 25 / 9 - thumbnail display, Calendar display, Zoomed playback (16x max.), Image rotation (except for RAW),
Slide show (duration is adjustable, also manual controllable),
Playback of favorite pictures, out-of-framed display
Resizing (selectable number of pixels), Trimming, Protection, DPOF print setting
OSD Language English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Netherlandic, Chinese(Traditional), Chinese(Simplified), Russian, Thai, Korean, Japanese
*Varies according to the models of your sales area.
Recording Media SD Memory Card, SDHC Memory Card, MultiMediaCard
Microphone Yes
Speaker Yes
Interface DC Input, A/V Output (NTSC / PAL), USB
Direct Print PictBridge
Power Li-ion Battery Pack (7.2 V, 710 mAh) (Included)
Battery Charger / AC Adaptor (Input: 110 - 240V AC) (Optional)
Battery Life (Approx.) 360 pictures (CIPA Standard***) / 360 pictures (with EVF****)
Included Software

LUMIX Simple Viewer, PHOTOfunSTUDIO -viewer-, SILKYPIX DEVELOPER STUDIO 2.0SE, ArcSoft Camera Suite (ArcSoft PhotoImpression, ArcSoft PanoramaMaker), Adobe Reader, Quick Time, USB Driver
(W x H x D)
140.75 x 85.5 x 142 mm
(5.54 x 3.37 x 5.59 inch)
(Not including protruding parts)
Weight (Approx.) 668 g. (1.47 lb) (Body),
734 g (1.62 lb) (with Battery and SD Memory Card)

(Specifications as provided by the manufacturer.)

Continue on to the
Features & Controls Page

Return To Our
Reviews Menu

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.