Perfect for travelers, the Panasonic LUMIX Digital Camera DC-FZ80K brings the legendary optical performance of a super-long 60X (20-1200mm) DC VARIO lens with amazingly stable O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer) to a highly portable point-and-shoot travel camera. With a powerful 18.1-megapixel MOS...
Pros: Light weight bridge camera with super wide angle and ridiculous zoom. I didn't have time to do a full battery of tests but I did test for ease of use, low light noise, macro, and OIS - I'm impressed with all of these. The fact that this camera has a 20mm wide angle makes it worthy of adding to my equipment line up, I wanted something light for hiking so I bought the Canon SX280HS. I'm marginally disappointed with that camera because it's slow and too noisy in low light but at the time of purchase I was pleased with it's zoom (25-500mm). Four short months this camera was released and as it's the only light weight camera with a 20mm wide angle I just had to try it. Despite the fact I can't just slip it into my pocket the FZ70 is very light. I'm 6' tall and the palm grip doesn't strike me as overly diminutive so I can see myself carrying this around with out a strap and not experiencing hand cramps.Despite reading a number of negative reviews, initially, I'm very pleased with the quality. Low light for a 1/2.3" sensor'd camera is better then I expected, in fact it's better then the SX280HS (same size sensor) I purchased just a few months prior. The negative comments surround picture quality, I could not duplicate a scenario that yielded a photo of "poor" quality. While the images are not perfect they are better, IMO, than other point and shoots and perhaps equal to prosumer options from say five or six years ago.Cons: Finding a bargain - This camera's price seems to be jumping around from the original retail price so be careful. Thanks to the super zoom and the uninitiated's inability to get a steady shot there are plenty of these as "used" which are in fact open box. Be sure to read the descriptions when sorting through the used vendors as some are missing accessories. I purchased mine as "used" and it arrived with all accessories, repacked in the original box, fulfilled by Amazon Warehouse Deals for nearly 30% off the already on sale price.Summary: I consider myself an avid enthusiast. I know how to use a camera in full manual, how to get a steady shot even with out OIS; in fact, I use a full size DSLR (5D mkiii) most times. I will be using this for my upcoming vacation and leaving the bulky lenses and accessories for my DSLR at home. I'll still take my jean pocket worthy Canon SX280HS with me but will use this for excursions and killing time on ship. If you are looking for telephoto capability my recommendation is walk before you run - this camera is good but only if you are familiar with bracing techniques, manual ISO setting, and tripod use. If you aren't comfortable with say, shooting in full manual mode go with a less expensive shorter range compact zoom. Check DPReview's site for a great comparison tool. IMO this camera is as good as it gets for size, zoom range, and low light quality. Not considering the value of the total package this would be a good camera to have at any price point within it's class of capabilities so if it's not on sale don't mark it off your list.11/22/2013 UPDATE:Add some Pros & Cons:Pros: I've shot 354 photos, about 150 outdoors, some with fill flash and the remainder inside, most with flash. I'm very impressed with the battery life, the display indicates I have full battery life remaining even after all that use. My indoor use consisted of walking around at the convention center here in San Antonio for the Auto Show. The cameras display stayed on for about 1.5 hours during the time I was taking photos. Also I wanted to point out the OIS is amazing. I shot most of my shots today, indoors, in manual mode most at 1/25th of a second some at 1/20th at ISOs between 100 & 400. Hand held sometimes zooming up to 16 or 18x and the shots came out crystal clear. I believe out of about 200 shots I may have had two that were not usable due to camera shake. I don't believe I would have achieved this with my heavier 5Dmkiii with the 24-105mm with IS. I did have to employ bracing techniques, holding breath, gently pressing shutter and using any railing I could find to lean up against, but no tripod or mono pod.Cons:Pano mode, while it works great, does not have a manual exposure control. Indoors it forced me to use ISO2000 which leads me to the next con, poor image quality in low light. I don't know if its a sensor problem or a compression issue as I was using jpg. It's not terrible but even at ISO400 it's noticeable. I had spend most of the day yesterday photographing my dogs between ISO 400 & 1600 while indoors and first noticed it but inside the house it's a bit darker then at an auto show. I knew to try and avoid ISO800 but after today I'd say if you can get the shot somehow with a lower ISO setting, say 200 or the lowest of 100 you'll appreciate the results - so a tripod, mono pod, or bracing techniques are a must.A side note regarding perception of the camera itself. Last year I used my 5D mkiii at the auto show and I went unnoticed. This year, with the FZ70, arriving early to the auto show I was approached by some of the presenters who thought I was the official photographer - go figure...As soon as I knew I liked the camera I ordered a spare set of batteries and charger. Considering how great the battery life is I sort of regret getting two extra batteries.Pack Of 2 DMW-BMB9 Batteries And battery Charger for Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ40K DMC-FZ45K DMC-FZ47K DMC-FZ48K DMC-FZ60 DMC-FZ70 DMC -FZ100 DMC-FZ150 Digital Camera + More!!
I was really skeptical of getting this camera for my sister. She had a cheap Nikon Coolpix point and shoot and she took some fantastic pictures with it that really impressed me, especially when using the zoom. It broke the other day after like three or four years and I figured it was time for her to upgrade. Since she did not want a DSLR because she wanted to keep it simple, I researched many bridge cameras, but their picture quality left a lot to be desired. She loved the zoom on the Nikon Coolpix P900 but I detested the image quality of that camera, especially for $500. Not this one. While OBVIOUSLY not having the image quality of a DSLR, it is fantastic for coming from such a small sensor. Not only that, but the colors of this sensor are faithful and have a lot of pop, which remind me of my Canon EOS-7D.Honestly, my Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 does not have these lovely colors at default settings. What else to say about the FZ70? Its sensor has surprisingly good dynamic range. Oh, the shutter release lag is minimal. There is none of that cheapy point and shoot lag. No waiting for a photo to be captured. After locking the focus by half-pressing the button, the picture is taken as soon as you press it fully. As soon as I took the first picture, I smiled so wide, because I was not expecting such DSLR-like behavior. Click. Sharp picture. Click. Another sharp picture. And that was in low light. SO SATISFYING. I'm telling you, it's a FUN camera and I NEVER felt the desire or even thought, "I wish I had my DSLR with me." I would be content having just this camera for a day without anything else. The zoom is not super fast in terms of speed, but come on...for less than $300, that would be too much to ask. The lens is SUPER WIDE, and it is respectably sharp even when zoomed fully, and I did not see chromatic aberrations when shooting a sunset. Ah, funny thing: even in VGA mode, the video quality is impressive. The camera has like 200 MB internal memory, so it can only record VGA. But it looks so good in camera, my sister and me started laughing. This is coming from me, a guy used to fast DSLRs and who would not be caught dead with a point and shoot. But not anymore, because this FZ70 is AWESOME. It even records RAW files if you happen to be allergic to JPEGs. How cool is that? Enclosed are snapshots testing the colors...and handheld moonshots...one at max zoom and one at less zoom. All are on Sunset scene setting. Thanks for reading. God bless you greatly!