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Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ30 Review

Review Summary
Reader Score: 8.24 (out of 10)
The FZ30 is designed to look - and operate as far as possible - like a traditional SLR (single lens reflex) camera, and it's not that much smaller either. The body is dominated by the large 12x zoom lens, which no longer extends on power up, and so is around an inch longer than the FZ20's zoom (with lens retracted). Overall a much more considered and mature product than the FZ20, the new button layout, additional control wheels and manual zoom ring make the FZ30 a much more serious alternative to an entry-level DSLR than any of its predecessors.

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Other Reviews For This Model

Web Site Review Score Date Added Go To Review
Imaging-Resource 8.93  01-19-06 Read Full Review
"Though Panasonic was late offering a wide array of digital cameras, they've produced some excellent and very popular digicams in the last few years; particularly in the long zoom category. The Panasonic Lumix FZ30 combines a 12x optically stabilized zoom lens with a 8.0-megapixel sensor, a host of features, and a new burly look designed to entice novice and enthusiast in a market that's swinging toward the SLR.

Without a doubt, the Panasonic FZ30 is one of the stronger entries at the top end of the "enthusiast" all-in-one digital camera range. Its performance and specs may not quite match those of typical digital SLRs, but when you consider the superb optical quality of its image-stabilized 12x Leica zoom len, you'd have to pay literally a couple of thousand dollars to match its reach with a SLR body and kit of two or three zoom lenses."

Web Site Review Score Date Added Go To Review
Megapixel 8.36  10-04-05 Read Full Review
The Panasonic DMC-FZ30 is a large camera, one of a group that have been dubbed "bridge" cameras as their characteristics overlap those of both digital SLR cameras and Compact cameras. With its large 12X stabilized zoom, substantial rubber-coated grip, hefty weight and large hinged 2-inch LCD monitor, the FZ30 body is more SLR than compact camera. But the fact that its lens is not interchangeable, and that it uses an electronic viewfinder (EVF) instead of a TTL finder anchor it with compact cameras.
Web Site Review Score Date Added Go To Review
LetsGoDigital 8.25  09-14-05 Read Full Review
Hands-on preview: Panasonic is getting more popular among camera enthusiasts and when we look at products like the new Panasonic DMC FZ30 we understand why. It is a mere fact that features like the Image Stabilization and a large optical zoom are features that a potential large group of consumers is looking for. Though the ergonomics and control are not directly similar to others, the Panasonic FZ30 digital camera has enough features that will attract new potential Panasonic users or at least make them curious. As soon as we receive a full-production model I will get more into the actual quality and effect of this full featured flagship…"
Web Site Review Score Date Added Go To Review
Digital Camera Info 8.19  06-20-06 Read Full Review
Head-to-Head: "In our second head-to-head review, we compare two popular super-zooms: the $489.95 (online), 8-megapixel Panasonic Lumix FZ30 and the $559.95 (online), 9-megapixel Fujifilm FinePix S9000. Comparing the two cameras should help shoppers choose between the two, along with pointing out the advantages and limitations of the super-zoom format – particularly in contrast with comparably-priced inexpensive digital SLRs.

The FZ30 is the superior performer in our resolution tests. First, its horizontal and vertical results are consistent, which is a minor but notable advantage. Second, the FZ30's OIS system produced an acceptable result at 1/30 of a second, at ISO 400, while the S9000, which lacks optical stabilization, produced a sharp but very noisy image in the same conditions, because we had to bump the ISO to 1600.

The Panasonic Lumix FZ30 has some significant advantages over the Fujifilm FinePix S9000 – optical image stabilization, a feature which will save many, many pictures when a tripod isn't appropriate; better color performance; and a more solid feel. We particularly like the fact that the FZ30's lens focuses and zooms internally. It seems more sturdy and less vulnerable to dust and moisture than the telescoping lens on the Fujifilm Finepix S9000. The less-sturdy plastic skin of the S9000 makes it hard to accept its price, which is $70 higher than the FZ30."

Web Site Review Score Date Added Go To Review
Hardware Zone 8.14  11-08-05 Read Full Review
From its design elements, we feel that the FZ30 is suited for prosumers who are aiming to step up to a full DSLR camera in future, but aren't quite ready for one just yet. Since the handling of both camera types is very similar, it is easy for one to transition to a more complicated DSLR camera later. So long as one can cope with the aforementioned shortcomings, the FZ30 is a near perfect long-zoom camera for those aspiring to eventually springboard to the arena of pure DSLR cameras. All things taken in to consideration, the Panasonic DMC-FZ30 is a superb camera with many features and advancements that address the issues of its predecessors.
Web Site Review Score Date Added Go To Review
DigiCam Review 7.88  02-07-06 Read Full Review
"The Panasonic Lumix FZ30 is an excellent ultra zoom digital camera, offering excellent image quality, an excellent Leica 12x optical zoom lens with image stabilisation, and a manual zoom ring. The high resolution 2" swivel screen is very good, and the camera is very good value for money. The easy to use camera offers speedy performance, good battery life, with good controls and excellent build quality thanks to a solid metal camera body. I would highly recommend this camera, especially to people who like it's SLR styling, although be aware that noise is on the high side."
Web Site Review Score Date Added Go To Review
PC Magazine 7.00  09-16-05 Read Full Review
The FZ30 looks like a small D-SLR thanks to its body, excellent grip, and massive Leica 12X superzoom lens. Maximum apertures range from f/2.8 to f/3.7; focal lengths, from 7.4 mm to 88.8 mm (35 mm to 420 mm in 35-mm equivalent). Panasonic has replaced previous zooming buttons with a manual zoom ring, adding to the camera's D-SLR feel, and has improved the manual focus ring. Also new is a larger CCD to accommodate the increased pixel count, but it's still not nearly as large as that used by consumer D-SLRs.
Web Site Review Score Date Added Go To Review
Digital Camera Info 6.80  10-21-05 Read Full Review
The Panasonic DMC-FZ30 is an appealing camera, for users who can avoid the camera's poor noise performance. These are users who plan to make small prints where noise is less of an issue, and who do not need high ISO ratings. The camera is slow to operate – focusing time, shutter lag, and image writing cause enough delay to miss shots in hectic situations. At $700, the FZ30 is priced as close to entry level DSLRs as it is to compact cameras, thought it has much more in common with the compacts – it shoots video, it has an extensive range of scene modes, it has a live display with a live histogram; it is also slow and its small imaging sensor gives rise to noisy images.
Web Site Review Score Date Added Go To Review
Digital Trends 6.33  10-28-05 Read Full Review
With a camera that had so much going for it-a great 12x Leica lens, optical image stabilization and 8MP resolution-the Lumix DMC-FZ30 should have rung the bell. It didn't. The price is right too: it costs around $600. By comparison an 8MP D-SLR like the Canon Digital Rebel XT is $800 for the body and an image stabilized 100-400mm zoom would set you back another $1,400! Unfortunately, digital noise is a problem at higher ISOs. Bummer. If tweaking RAW files in PhotoShop CS2 is your style, then this camera is worth a long look. Other shoppers should consider mega zoom cameras from other companies, even though there is no direct competitor.
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