Panasonic Lumix DMCFZ30BB

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Panasonic Lumix DMCFZ30BB

DMC-FZ30BB is an 8 Megapixel Digital Camera that combines 12x optical zoom with advanced MEGA optical stabilizer pursuing manual controllability.

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Review of "Panasonic Lumix DMCFZ30BB"

published 11/06/2006 | Cestrian50
Member since : 26/04/2006
Reviews : 1
Members who trust : 0
About me :
Excellent
Pro Looks good, excellent lens with image stabilisation, and good quality results.
Cons Size, and a relatively high price of a non-SLR.
very helpful
Picture Quality
Range & Quality of Features
Ease of Use
Durability
Reliability

"Panasonic Lumix FZ30 Digital Compact"

I'm newcomer to digital photography.

So, you may ask for my credentials in writing this review. That's easy. I don't have any. Other than the fact that I do have an FZ30. I've owned and used the camera for just 2 months, and am still learning about it. That's yet another reason for writing this review. Writing about it will allow me to address what I like about the camera, what I dislike, and it will encourage me to focus on how to get the best from it in years to come.

For years I have maintained that digital cameras couldn't match the performance of my old Nikon SLR. Then the FZ30 came along, and I had to take a closer look. I was initially attracted by:

* it's stunning good looks. The camera looks best in black.

* that lens. The Leica lens made me sit up and take note.

* it's versatility. I wanted something that I could set to 'auto', and I'd be sure of good results, whilst I spent some time learning it's full capabilities.

Some two months down the line I can report that it more than matches my expectations. It is a serious piece of kit. To date it's travelled with me to Ireland, and to the Yorkshire Dales & Moors. It's been used to photograph landscapes, townscapes (not always in good light), birds, fauna, and flora (making use of it's excellent macro capabilities).

The FZ30 is a touch lighter than my old Nikon FE, but it is SLR sized. So it's not 'pocketable'. Unless you are serious about your photography, and willing to tote it around, you will need to look elsewhere. I carry mine in a bum-bag, which is capacious enough to carry a few accessories, sun glasses, etc.

The only other negative is the size of the SD Card supplied. Ditch it, and buy yourself a 1GB card.

Elsewhere, I've seen it critisised on just 2 issues:

* Software. It comes bundled with stuff on a CD ROM which is said to be of limited use. I guess that's true if you are into image processing. So, buy software that will allow you to make full use of the camera's RAW capability if you need it. But don't let it put you off buying the Panasonic.

* Noise. I hear that in low light there is unacceptable picture 'noise' to contend with. For the vast majority of users (me included) it's not an issue, and if you are compelled to take shots in poor light/nightscapes I suggest you also buy a used SLR, set it to manual, use a tripod, and bracket your exposures to get some excellent photos. Now for the good stuff. I'll keep my comments short, and to the point:
  • The 'auto' mode works well.
  • Try the 'P' mode. It's programme shift - and allows you to set your idea of the perfect combination of aperture and shutter speed. My favourite.
  • It has both aperture and shutter priority settings, if that's what you are used to or need for any given situation. It also has 'M' manual, and 'SCN' scene modes designed to optimise camera settings for a range of subjects.
  • 'Macro' is excellent. I take around 25% of my shots in macro mode, and the results are stunning. Get to within 5cm of your subject for impact, but watch your depth of field.
  • Leica optics first attracted me to this camera, and it is a great lens. The range from wide angle through to 12x telephoto is coupled with an impressive image stabilisation (anti-shake) facility that makes it perfectly possible to use it hand held in most situations.
  • Movies. Your only limit is the size of SD Card. A 1GB memory card gets you around 12 minutes of good quality video, with sound. Good for those candid/party shots, and highly entertaining.
  • Good battery life and neat charger.
  • The flash works well; though I don't use it much.
  • Excellent viewfinder and LCD. The LCD scores highly when taking macro. I no longer have to contort myself to get the right viewpoint. One minor criticism is the dioptre adjustment - all too easy to move the dial inadvertently. Then you have to re-set it; but it only takes a few seconds.
  • Superb handling. It feels perfectly balanced, and is a joy to hold. All the controls come to hand, and are (in the main) just where you would expect them to be.

To sum up. It's not cheap, but it is a fine camera and an impressive creative tool. It offers versatility without the bulk of an SLR (with additional lenses, flash, and tripod). Panasonic electronics and Leica optics work well together. Can it be improved upon? They'll certainly try. However, in my view it's near perfect and any later model will only offer marginal improvements that most people won't notice in day-to-day use. You could hang on and buy a later version, but my advise to you is buy the FZ30 now and enjoy your photography.

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Comments on this review

  • COOOEEE published 13/06/2006
    That was a good first review - I've got a feeling you're going to do well here. If you would like to add to or change any part of your review in the future you can do this by pressing the edit link on the right hand side of the page as you read your review. Fionaxx
  • baby_uk published 11/06/2006
    A great first review there, well done xx
  • Tonster published 11/06/2006
    Great First review,.. Really done well,...xxx
  • Did you find this review interesting? Do you have any questions? Sign into your Ciao account to leave the author a comment. Log in

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Product Information : Panasonic Lumix DMCFZ30BB

Manufacturer's product description

DMC-FZ30BB is an 8 Megapixel Digital Camera that combines 12x optical zoom with advanced MEGA optical stabilizer pursuing manual controllability.

Product Details

Product Description: Panasonic Lumix DMCFZ30BB - digital camera

Product Type: Digital camera - compact

Memory Card Slot: SD card

Sensor Resolution: 8.0 Megapixel

Lens System: Leica 12 x zoom lens - 7.4 - 88.8 mm - f/2.8-3.7

Focus Adjustment: Automatic, manual

Min Focus Distance: 30 cm

Digital Zoom: 4 x

Image Stabiliser: Optical

Camera Flash: Pop-up flash

Viewfinder: Electronic - 0.44" - colour

Display: LCD display - 2"

Supported Battery: 1 x Li-ion rechargeable battery - 730 mAh ( included )

AV Interfaces: Composite video

Colour: Black

Dimensions (WxDxH): 14.1 cm x 13.8 cm x 8.6 cm

Weight: 0.7 kg

General

MPN: DMCFZ30BB

Product Type: Digital camera - compact

Enclosure Colour: Black

Sensor Resolution: 8.0 Megapixel

Optical Sensor Type: CCD

Total Pixels: 8,320,000 pixels

Effective Sensor Resolution: 8,000,000 pixels

Optical Sensor Size: 1/1.8"

Optical Zoom: 12 x

Digital Zoom: 4 x

Image Stabiliser: Optical

Auto Focus: TTL contrast detection

Auto Focus Points (Zones) Qty: 9

Digital Video Format: QuickTime

Image Recording Format: JPEG, TIFF, RAW

AV Interfaces: Composite video

Exposure & White Balance

Light Sensitivity: ISO 100, ISO 400, ISO 200, ISO 80, ISO auto

Exposure Metering: Multi-segment, centre-weighted, spot

Exposure Modes: Programme, automatic, manual, aperture-priority, shutter-priority

Shooting Programs: Portrait mode, party/indoor, surf & snow, night portrait, scenery, food, fireworks, night scene, panning, sports mode, candle, baby, starry sky, soft skin

Special Effects: Cool, Warm, Black & White, Sepia, Saturation, Contrast compensation

White Balance: Custom, automatic, presets

White Balance Presets: Cloudy, Flash, daylight, halogen

Max Shutter Speed: 1/2000 sec

Min Shutter Speed: 60 sec

Exposure Compensation: ±2 EV range, in 1/3 EV steps

Auto Exposure Bracketing: 3 steps in 1/3 EV step

Lens System

Type: Leica 12 x zoom lens - 7.4 - 88.8 mm - f/2.8-3.7

Focal Length Equivalent to 35mm Camera: 35 - 420mm

Focus Adjustment: Automatic, manual

Min Focus Distance: 30 cm

Macro Focus Range: 5cm

Zoom Adjustment: Manual

Lens Construction: 10 groups / 14 elements

Filter Size: 55 mm

Features: ED glass, aspherical lens

Camera Flash

Camera Flash: Pop-up flash

Flash Modes: Fill-in mode, slow synchro, auto mode, flash OFF mode, red-eye reduction

Features: AF illuminator, flash +/- compensation

Effective Flash Range: 0.3 m - 7 m

Additional Features

Continuous Shooting Speed: 2 frames per second, 3 frames per second

Self Timer Delay: 10 sec, 2sec

Flash Terminal: Hot shoe

Additional Features: Audio recording, built-in speaker, RGB primary colour filter, auto power save, digital noise reduction, date/time stamp, DPOF support, digital image rotation, camera orientation detection, PictBridge support, histogram display, AE lock, AF lock, resizing an image

Viewfinder

Viewfinder Type: Electronic

Viewfinder Colour Support: Colour

Viewfinder Diagonal Size: 0.44"

Viewfinder Resolution: 235,000 pixels

Field Coverage: 100%

Display

Type: 2" LCD display

Resolution: 235,000 pixels

Display Features: Rotating

Connections

Connector Type: 1 x USB ¦ 1 x composite video/audio output ¦ 1 x DC power input

Memory Card Slot: SD card

Software

Software: Drivers & Utilities, ArcSoft PhotoImpression, ArcSoft PhotoBase, ArcSoft Panorama Maker, LUMIX Simple Viewer, Photo Fun Studio

System Requirements for PC Connection

Peripheral Devices: USB port, CD-ROM Drive

Miscellaneous

Included Accessories: Carrying strap, USB cable, audio / video cable, power adapter with battery charger

Battery

Details: 1 x Li-ion rechargeable battery - 730 mAh ( included )

Memory / Storage

Memory Card Slot: SD card

Supported Memory Cards: MultiMediaCard, SD Memory Card

Included Memory Card: 32 MB SD

Image Storage: RAW 3264 x 2448 : 1 - with 32MB card ¦ TIFF 3264 x 2448 : 1 - with 32MB card ¦ Fine JPEG 3264 x 2448 : 7 - with 32MB card ¦ Standard JPEG 3264 x 2448 : 15 - with 32MB card ¦ TIFF 2560 x 1920 : 1 - with 32MB card ¦ Fine JPEG 2560 x 1920 : 12 - with 32MB card ¦ Standard JPEG 2560 x 1920 : 24 - with 32MB card ¦ TIFF 2048 x 1536 : 3 - with 32MB card ¦ Fine JPEG 2048 x 1536 : 19 - with 32MB card ¦ Standard JPEG 2048 x 1536 : 37 - with 32MB card ¦ TIFF 1600 x 1200 : 4 - with 32MB card ¦ Fine JPEG 1600 x 1200 : 30 - with 32MB card ¦ Standard JPEG 1600 x 1200 : 59 - with 32MB card ¦ TIFF 1280 x 960 : 7 - with 32MB card ¦ Fine JPEG 1280 x 960 : 46 - with 32MB card ¦ Standard JPEG 1280 x 960 : 86 - with 32MB card ¦ 3248 x 2160 ¦ 2560 x 1712 ¦ 2048 x 1360 ¦ 3072 x 1728 ¦ 1920 x 1080

Video Capture: QuickTime - 640 x 480 - 30 fps ¦ QuickTime - 640 x 480 - 10 fps ¦ QuickTime - 320 x 240 - 30 fps ¦ QuickTime - 320 x 240 - 10 fps

Dimensions & Weight

Width: 14.1 cm

Depth: 13.8 cm

Height: 8.6 cm

Weight: 0.7 kg

Environmental Parameters

Min Operating Temperature: 0 °C

Max Operating Temperature: 40 °C

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Listed on Ciao since: 08/06/2006