Monday, October 19, 2015

LUMIX FZ300 One Camera To Rule Them All?

I use to have reservation on so called BRIDGE or Superzoom camera.

When I received the latest Lumix DMC-FZ300 from Panasonic NZ, I was rather amazed with the following features from a NZ$ 989.00 camera!

  • A f/2.8 constant aperture 25-600mm (equivalent) 24x Leica zoom lens
  • 12.1MP high sensitivity MOS, 1/ 2.33 inch sensor
  • 0.7x  EVF with 1440k dot and eye sensor
  • Rotating 3inch 1040k LCD touch screen 
  • 5-axis hybrid IS
  • ISO 100 to ISO 6400 sensitivities
  • 12fps continuous shooting
  • 4K photo / video, with stereo sound recording
  • 1cm macro mode
  • Wi-Fi  and QR code connection
  • Built in 3.5mm microphone socket
  • Splash and dust-proof weather-sealed body
  • Large 380 shot battery
That 25-600mm f/2.8 lens must be a typo, right?

It is NOT a typo and Panasonic actually caused a stir when they launched the DMC-FZ200 with the same f/2.8 superzoom two years ago!

Ignoring all the other feature sets, the shinning star on this fixed lens weather sealed camera is the 25-600 monstrous zoom.

How good can that be?

Not that long ago, if you tell your photographer friend that Panasonic created a super compact 25 (super wide) to 600 (super tele) f/2.8 zoom, he will surely think you are going gaga. Every photographers KNOW that kind of optics only appear in science fiction!

Well, with the advancement in optics AND small sensor technology, manufacturers are able to make  a high performance 4.5-108mm f/2.8 lens and to produce an acceptable high quality image, on a TINY 12.1 MP, 1/2.33 inch sensor.

By using a small sensor, that compact 4.5-108 zoom will have the SAME field of view of a 25-600mm monster lens on a full frame 35mm camera.

Make sense?

The zoom lens on the FZ300 ready to shoot at 25mm (left) and 600mm (right).

The same afternoon I received the test camera from Auckland, I was raring to try it out!

Despite being made from plastic to save weight, the camera felt very solid and sturdy. The large right hand-side rubberised hand-grip gives a good grip, it mould to the rear of the camera and provide a comfortable thumb rest.

I was happy that the battery in the test camera was already charged, I went outside my house and took some shots from the deck.

This was shot at the wide 25mm setting, ISO100 and f/2.8
I zoom in to the above scene at the maximum 600mm setting and this is what I get!
To give you some idea how "powerful" this little zoom lens is, take a look at this combo picture below!

What a lens!  I was impressed!

There are two ways you can activate the very smooth zoom, you either can push the "Zoom Level" on top of the right-hand grip or the "Slide Dial" on the left of the lens barrel.

The circular zoom dial on the hand-grip surround the shutter release.
The "Slide Dial" (Marked T and W) can also zoom the lens smoothly.
On the same night my wife asked me to take some shots of her New World Supermarket "Little Kitchen" collection, I thought this is a good chance to try out the close-up ability of the monster zoom...

These were exposed at 1/4 second, the zoom delivered a very sharp image and at that slow speed the 5 axis IS must be working very well!

Next day I took the FZ300 to my office to show my colleagues, they were impressed with the superzoom and the camera.

I did some candid shots of my colleague, Nigel, from the far side of our work room and he did not even notice ;)  At ISO800, the lens was zoom all the way to the 600mm position and a full f/2.8 and 1/125 were used. Take a look yourself and tell me if you are not impress!

I left work at 2.30pm, the sun was shining and even though it was still a bit chilly; it was a LOVELY WELLINGTON DAY!  Decided to swing around the CBD and heads for Oriental Parade to shoot more outdoor shots with the FZ300.

First stop, my de facto "Vista for lens test"...

On a nice sunny day, can't complain about the stunning colour and sharpness from this superzoom! 

What were they doing? Taking "wefie"?

My friend reckoned with this powerful I am a paparazzi! Ha ha ha...

If only King of Paparazzi RON GALELLA have a superzoom like the FZ300, it will make his life easier!

I had some quality fun time at the Oriental Parade and as I start my car to head home, I notice these pair of senior LOVE BIRDS in front of me... I wind down my passenger's window and took some grabs... LOVE HAS NO AGE LIMIT  :)

Here are some videos from Panasonic on the PZ300

Please look out for more posting on the PZ300 :)

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