|Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ8 - 12x Optical zoom
The Panasonic Lumix FZ8's compact format does not readily lead you to believe that it has a 12x optical zoom. The 12x optical zoom can only be operated electronically via the zoom ring on top of the camera. Such enlargement capacity requires a very stable underground and there was good reason for equipping the Panasonic FZ8 with an optical image stabilisation system. Any tiny hand movements are immediately blown up with 12x zoom and will give movement blur, even if the lighting is good. The MEGA O.I.S. is a very welcome function and makes it possible to take hand held photos whether you are working with wide-angle or tele.
Panasonic DMC-FZ8 Megazoom camera - Settings
The camera's user-friendly character largely depends on the accessibility of the settings and functions and the time it takes to navigate through the menu. It is nice that the main settings such as aperture and shutter priority, manual or settings can be approached directly via the command dial. Via the LCD screen, you can select the correct setting via the multi control button or the little joystick. Navigating and changing the settings is quick and easy to oversee. You can also choose the easiest option, the simple mode. This setting allows the camera to be operated in the simplest fashion. Of course, experienced photographers will soon go in search of the P/A/S/M functions that will let them express their creativity to the full.
Panasonic Lumix FZ8 - Venus Engine III image processor
One of the differences to its predecessor is the upgraded image processor. The Panasonic Lumix FZ8 now has a Venus Engine III which gives better quality noise reduction and more speed. When taking the test photos, we found that this new feature had both advantages and disadvantages and it looks as if Panasonic has not yet found the perfect processor for the job. The improvements are noticeable, so we are still positive about the new Venus Engine processor.
|The reaction speed has been improved here and there, but it was already very good anyway. Other changes are scarcely perceptible. Activating the camera to being able to take the first picture takes approximately 2.5 seconds. It takes about the same amount of time to zoom in from wide-angle to tele. The speed of the serial shots is a bit lower, but this is scarcely noticeable. With a speed of approximately 2.8 fps against 3.0 fps, a maximum of 5 fps in a series seems hardly important enough to mention. All in all, it's a decent performance.
Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ8 - Electronic viewfinder
As well as the 2.5 inch screen, the Panasonic Lumix FZ8 camera has an electronic viewfinder (EVF). This part has improved a lot over the past few years and is now able to replace the optical viewfinder. Panasonic has really gone to town on the EVF and as well as the larger viewfinder they have used more pixels so that the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8 Mega zoom camera has one of the best electronic viewfinders you are likely to find in any compact camera. The resolution has increased from 114,000 to 188,000 pixels and this can be noticed immediately. I found myself using the EVF a lot, in contrast to previous cameras in this series, when I only made sporadic use of the viewfinder. All sorts of information is shown in the viewfinder and LCD screen, such as resolution, exposure, ISO, flash setting, aperture, shutter speed, etc.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8 - User friendly camera
Despite its extremely light weight and compact measurements, Panasonic have managed to make a stable camera. The Panasonic Lumix FZ8's design has been well thought through and the camera feels fine in your hand. This combined with the MEGA O.I.S. makes it a very pleasant camera to work with. The menu is well ordered and logical. The clear letter type, sharp colour contrast and quick navigation make the menu a pleasure to use. The settings can be changed quickly and are directly accessible. Top marks to the Panasonic FZ8 for user-friendliness and convenience!