Panasonic Lumix DC-FZ80 / FZ82 review : The Panasonic FZ80 (FZ82 outside the USA) is a superzoom camera launched at the CES 2017 in Las Vegas early this year. The all-round camera features a 60x optical zoom lens that makes it an outstanding camera for nature lovers and outdoor fanatics. The Lumix DC FZ80 easily captures details that you can not see with the naked eye. The FZ80 is Panasonic's cheapest bridge camera, yet it offers 4K photo and video functionality. The camera also features a 3-inch touchscreen and an 1.170k dot Live View finder. We received the Lumix FZ80 for a test in practice.
Panasonic FZ80 review
The Lumix FZ80 bridge camera succeeds the over three years old FZ70 / FZ72 and offers some interesting added value.
The image sensor has been renewed, the 16.1MP High-Sensitivity MOS sensor has been replaced for an 18.1 megapixel sensor with an extended ISO range of 80 - 6400 and a faster burst mode of 10fps.
The display has doubled in resolution. In addition to a 3-inch touchscreen display with 1.040,000 pixels, a Live View Finder is built in with 1,166,000 pixels. Also a significant improvement over its predecessor, the FZ70 had only 200,000 pixels.
The electronic viewfinder does not provide an eye sensor, with the LVF button you switch between the viewfinder and display. Although a little less user friendly, it is common for cameras in this price range.
There are also various new features available when it comes to video. The video resolution is increased to an impressive 4K, the Panasonic FZ80 also comes with features like 4K Photo, Post Focus and Focus Stacking. All features that we have only seen in more expensive Panasonic cameras so far. The impressive 60x optical zoom lens (20-1200mm) is maintained.
The Panasonic Lumix DC-FZ80 is quite robust and has a somewhat inexpensive plastic housing, but that's not so strange considering the price of $400 / €350 / £300.
The superzoom camera has a comfortable deep grip and the buttons are well positioned. The menu has been renewed and is more user-friendly than before.
Panasonic cameras offer a lot of photo features, the DC-FZ80 is no exception. All features are quickly accessible and also the touch display works well.
The Panasonic FZ80 offers a huge range, both in telephoto (up to 1200mm) and in wide-angle (20mm), you can capture a lot. Most bridge cameras start at 24mm. Thanks to the 20mm ultra wide-angle lens, the FZ80 is ideal for shooting vast landscapes and buildings.
The telezoom range of 1200mm is huge, you will not need such a range to photograph a bird in the garden, half will do the job too. But when you are on safari and intend to capture wild animals at a distance, then the huge zoom range will be very useful. You can even capture the moon with the FZ80. Topics that you hardly see with the naked eye brings the FZ80 into detail.
18 megapixel camera sensor
The Panasonic Lumix FZ80 features a completely new 18.1MP High Sensitivity MOS sensor. The new 1/2.3-inch sensor allows burst recordings up to 10fps with fixed auto focus and 6fps with continuous AF.
For action recordings, you can also use the 4K Photo feature, a fantastic and unique feature that can be found on most new Panasonic cameras. Furthermore, the FZ80 is equipped with the Venus Engine image processor.
Image quality of the Lumix FZ80
In practice, the Panasonic FZ80 produces beautiful, detailed photos. The colors are displayed realistically and up to ISO 1600 noise remains within limits. If shooting high ISO values is important to you, the FZ1000 might be a good alternative given its larger 1-inch sensor.
The camera is performing well with different types of lighting. The dynamic range can be increased by using the built-in HDR mode. In addition, there are enough manual settings available to customize the image quality.
The auto focus system works properly, the camera can focus quickly and accurately. The image stabilization system also does excellent work.
4K photo features
Panasonic cameras are renowned for their many photo features, both in compact camera and system camera models. The cheap Lumix FZ80 also features 4K Photo (with 4K burst and preburst mode), a great feature for action recordings.
A short 4K video will be recorded at 30 fps, you can then select one or more frames, and an 8MP image will be saved of each selected frame. Very creative and of good quality!
4K video recording
For several years, Panasonic has been able to integrate 4K video in its high-end cameras. The fact that 4K video is now also available in the cheap Lumix FZ80 is just great. The video quality of the FZ80 is above average for a camera in this price range.
The 49-points autofocus system with tracking performs properly, the camera focuses quickly and accurately. Also the Power O.I.S. Image stabilization system works well in video mode, ensuring sharp, smooth video clips.
In addition, the Panasonic FZ80 superzoom camera offers WiFi, enabling you to connect the camera to a smart device.
Panasonic Lumix FZ80 review conclusion
The FZ80 is a true all-round superzoom camera. The lens offers an enormous range and the new 18.1 megapixel image sensor performs well. Also the 3-inch touchscreen display and the improved viewfinder are nice to work with.
It's to praise that Panasonic has been able to add so many camera features (including 4K photo, 4K video, Post Focus, Stacking Focus) to such a relatively inexpensive camera.
For a suggested retail price of $400 / €350 / £300, the Panasonic Lumix DC-FZ80 offers great value for money!
Panasonic Lumix FZ80 pros
• Huge zoom range (20-1200mm)
• 4K video and 4K photo
• 3-inch touchscreen display
• Renewed electronic viewfinder
• Offers great value for money
Panasonic Lumix FZ80 cons
• Plastic body
• Somewhat big camera to hold
• Visible noise from ISO 1600