(Photograph: Courtesy ‘www.dpreview.com’)
It has been a while since I bought a Panasonic Lumix FZ8 and a review has been pending. I would have loved to explore the camera a bit more before writing this, however I decided I better do it before the model gets taken over by it’s newer rivals (from Panasonic itself).
Well, before buying this out, I never ever considered Panasonic as one of the options. However thanks to this post for introducing me to this camera. I kind-of got carried away by it’s super zoom capabilities. Upon researching a bit, it turned out that this camera is a great buy in it’s segment and scores decently over it’s rivals. And I don’t regret buying it!
I’ll keep my review short as a complete in-depth analysis can be found here.
I’ve taken about about 1000 snaps with the camera so far, and it hasn’t let me down. I’ll quickly touch upon some of the features I liked about it.
- The Lens: It has got a LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT, 36-432mm (35mm equiv) lens. No more explanations. Leica is into world class optics for quite some time now.
- Usability: The camera has well thought aesthetics and controls which make it easy to handle and operate even for a beginner like me. The inclusion of a ‘joystick’ makes it quite intuitive to operate.
- Pre-set Options: Panasonic has put in a wide variety of shooting modes which cover almost every scenario you could run into.
- Manual Mode: The camera exposes all the features to be adjusted manually allowing you to experiment and take control of the camera. Once I got used to the basics of photography, I could appreciate all the manual features exposed.
- The Zoom! : This is what I love. The camera has got a 12X Optical Zoom which makes it fall into the super zoom cameras we have in the market. Also, this gets extended to 18X if one reduces the image quality to 3MP. 18X is awesome! We are getting close to integrating telescopes into cameras!
- Optical Image Stabilization: FZ8 has got a great image stabilization algorithm which allowed me to take great shots even at relatively lower shutter speeds and/or greater magnifications without blurring the images. However don’t expect any magic over here. You would still need a tripod for longer exposers.
- Tele-Macro: Recently I have been experimenting with some Tele-Macro photography and I am satisfied with what FZ8 offers. Allows you to take great portraits with the depth-of-field effects. However I can’t focus on anything less than a meter or so when while at the farther end of the Tele mode (12X). No complaints as such. Even a meter is actually great when you consider the zoom.
I could go on. However I would be repeating most of the features already described in the review pointed earlier. I would recommend this camera to anyone with a budget of about US$ 250-300 (Not sure how much it costs in India). The Panasonic FZ8 has got everything to take you from a beginner to a mid-level photographer.
Some of the snaps I took over the last couple of months: