|Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50 digital camera review : As more and more digital SLR cameras are becoming attractively priced, the market for high-end compact cameras seems to have shrunk significantly. Undeserved perhaps, as the top class segment offers first-rate compact cameras that can almost compete with a digital SLR as far as quality is concerned, and offer the additional bonus of being considerably more compact. Moreover, there are plenty of interesting, perky models, such as -for instance- the so-called Megazoom cameras, which certainly have an identity of their own. Although we must say these too seem to have suffered a recent loss of popularity. Panasonic, however, remain an advocate for the super zoom, and the brand recently introduced the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50.
Panasonic FZ50 Megazoom camera - 12x Optical zoom
The Panasonic FZ50 is a Megazoom camera in its truest form. The 12x optical zoom provides a range of 35 up to 420mm, when compared to a 35mm camera. All in all, a considerable range. A pity, however, that we do not find a little more wide-angle, especially now that Panasonic are strongly asserting themselves with the 28mm campaign. Let's hope Panasonic will start to take notice of the demand for this type of range, especially considering the fact that there seems to be quite a bit of wide-angle interest amongst the Lumix FZ-users. Although creating a proper wide-angle on a small sensor in addition to a sizeable tele remains a somewhat tricky job, we have already seen plenty of proof that it can indeed be done.
Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ50 - MEGA O.I.S
Like all Panasonic cameras, the Panasonic Lumix FZ-50 features MEGA O.I.S.; Panasonic's optical image stabilisation system. We must admit it is a more than welcome addition to this camera. When working with long focal points in particular, in fact from 5x optical zoom, you will find it becomes slightly more difficult to maintain a still hold of the camera. MEGA O.I.S. enables you to win approximately 2 steps. As a result, you would still be able to practice hand-held photography when working with a 250mm range at 1/60. A second advantage that is not to be underestimated is the fact that the Panasonic FZ50 simply enables relaxed photography. Not constantly having to worry about the shutter speed when zooming in on the subject certainly creates a sense of effortless, trouble-free shooting.
Panasonic Lumix FZ50 - SD & SDHC memory cards
Panasonic are a member of the SD consortium, and produce memory cards themselves. Therefore, it shouldn't come as a surprise that the Panasonic FZ50 supports the new SD platform; the SDHC (Secure Digital High Capacity) memory card, in addition to the standard Secure Digital card. Although both cards have the same format, the SDHC card is available from 4GB, and could evolve to 32GB. Consequently, we find ourselves in a temporary phase; standard SD up to and including 2GB capacity, and the SDHC from 4GB. At this time, there are three speeds available for the SD card, and two for the SDHC cards. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50 offers you a choice between two worlds.
Panasonic DMC-FZ50 - Venus Engine III processor
In comparison to its predecessor, the Lumix FZ30, the Panasonic FZ50 has -among other things- been equipped with more Megapixels. The 10 Megapixels ensure the camera easily manages to keep up with the competition. The processor is another feature that has undergone a renewal; the Panasonic Lumix FZ50 now features the Venus Engine III. The new processor aims at significantly reducing the digital noise, as well as improving the overall image quality. Moreover, Panasonic are now offering both ISO 800 and 1600 in full resolution. Another new addition is the Intelligent ISO Control. When the camera detects movement of the subject, the ISO and shutter speed are adjusted in a way that ensures the movement of the subject will be frozen. The TIFF storage format seems to have found its downfall, and is no longer offered by the Panasonic FZ50 camera. If we are to be honest, this isn't much of a loss. RAW, however, is still available on the new camera. To convert the RAW images, Panasonic now supply SilkyPix Developer Studio SE.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50 review
Just as with the FZ30, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50 Megazoom camera allows you to capture your photos in the 16:9 and 2:3 ratio. It is the 16:9 format in particular that proves wonderful in practice. We do not yet see that many manufacturers involved in working with this HDTV ratio. However, Panasonic and Epson have made a deal to further explore this feature, an interesting development. The Panasonic FZ50 is an evolved version of the FZ30. Panasonic have applied plenty of developments and improvements to ensure their latest model is even more interesting. We had the opportunity to test the Panasonic Lumix FZ50 in practice for a considerable amount of time. Our findings can be read in the following Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50 digital camera review.
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