Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100
A superzoom new camera
The latest generation of Panasonic bridges has been impressing: super-optical zoom, full HD video and shooting mode available directly in the menu.
Powerful optical zoom, full HD video directly on the display and removable burst mode at 11 frames per second. The new Panasonic bridge from high-end class sets a very high bar to competitors.
Panasonic has made a reputation in the segment of the bridge, a little loss of speed, it must be admitted. The mark has made major changes, not only in Japan, and has produced and released two new bridge models in 2010: the Lumix DMC-FZ100 and F45. The FZ100, reviewed today is the jewel of the brand made in Japan.
14.1 CMOS sensor
The optical part is the equivalent of a 24-600 mm. The zoom is x24 and can grow to the smart zoom up to x32 and we can say it’s been impressive in our testing. The sensor is a 14.1 megapixel CMOS that can shoot up to 11 frames per second at full resolution. The rotatable display has a 7.6 cm diagonal, better than G1, GH1 and G10 with 460 000 pixels. This bridge is able to manage the RAW format and all the manual modes SLR (PASM), a great flash and a good grip, it also comes with some types as SLR. On the video side the camera shoots in Full HD at 1080i (interlaced) in AVCHD mode. As far as sensitivity is concerned, the bridge is able to work from 100 to 1600 ISO but can be extended to ISO 6400. Specifications are solid but you must pay about 499 euros for this gadget.
Other options available
For about 100 euros difference – 399 euros – the Panasonic FZ 45 model is somewhat similar, but changes the sensor in CMOS technology to the more conventional CCD. However, the sensor has the same 14.1 MP resolution. The screen is more simple and has only 230,000 pixels. Compared to the Venus Engine of FHD FZ100, the processor is simple. FZ45 uses Venus Engine HD. The Full HD switches therefore to a more traditional video mode. The resolution is 1280 x 720 pixels (720p), still in AVCHD mode. Another big loss, the burst mode, which is about 11 frames per second on the FZ100, here goes to… just 1.5 frames/s ! The technical differences are sufficient to effectively tie the two devices quite similar from a physical point of view.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100, tested and reviewed today has been available since August 2010; the FZ45 since September 2010.
Positive points (pros)
* Able to take up to 11 frames per second at full resolution;
* Full HD 1080i Video mode;
* Rotary Screen with Anti-glare treatment;
* Optical Zoom up to x24;
Negative points (cons)
* For FZ45’s the burst mode has very low specs;
* The high price for Panasonic FZ100 model;
* Not the most powerful zoom compared with other models.
Resolution of sensor: 14.1 Megapixel;
Maximum Optical Zoom: 24X;
Memory Card available: DS / SD HC / SD XC;