|Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ8 Megazoom digital camera
Panasonic set the tone for the Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ8 when it won an international DIWA Gold Award for its predecessor. The results from our practical test soon showed that the Panasonic FZ8 is a worthy successor. Although there is still room for improvement, it looks as if the Panasonic Lumix FZ8 Megazoom camera has grown up. By providing RAW format, Panasonic is showing that it takes digital photography seriously. This camera is a serious option for consumers who feel they have outgrown their compact camera and are ready for a DSLR. I'm not saying that the Panasonic FZ8 is a perfect replacement for a digital SLR, but it is able to put up quite some competition.
Panasonic DMC FZ8 - MEGA O.I.S image stabilizer
What stands out are the optical performances combined with the MEGA O.I.S. image stabilizer. This combination provides a well balanced concept and gives photographers a powerful piece of equipment with which they can capture a broad range of subjects The high quality Leica DC Vario Elmarit lens is excellent; its results are sharp and rich in detail. The effect of the large optical range stands and falls with how it is applied. The image stabilizer makes carefree photography possible and its effects should not be underestimated. The light, compact body makes it comfortable to carry around without stability suffering. Panasonic has not made any external changes. It seems that the Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ8 doesn't need them.
Panasonic Lumix FZ8 - Good image quality
The operation of the camera is friendly and I don't think that users will need to refer to the instruction manual very often. Despite the extensive settings options, it's all very easy to oversee. The image quality is very good with great resolution and brilliant sharpness. Colour reproduction is natural and lively and is accompanied by excellent exposure. The large, clear LCD screen provides photographers with a great tool for judging the quality of pictures even in daylight. When you add the new possibility to record in RAW, you could be forgiven for thinking that the Panasonic Lumix FZ8 is nearing perfection.
Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ8 - Improvements
Despite our positive results, there is still some room for improvement. Although Panasonic has once more renewed the Venus Engine and is now at version 3, this processor is not able to iron out all the creases. Noise is still too dominant and although Panasonic has brought on the heavy artillery to deal with it, this has been at the expense of detail. There is no problem up to and including 400 ISO, but the higher ISOs do not contribute anything of much use. The alternative, which is to combine low ISO with the optical image stabilisation system, is a powerful and satisfactory one.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8 - Real winner!
The changes in regard to its predecessor are not particularly sweeping, but the new features provide so much extra value that the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8 is entitled to call itself the king of the Megazoom cameras. With the improved and enlarged electronic viewfinder, the higher resolution of the LCD screen and the RAW option, Panasonic has shown that they have a serious alternative to an entry-level digital SLR camera. It is extremely user friendly, has excellent image quality and a great price/quality ratio. Is the Panasonic Lumix FZ8 the ultimate Mega zoom camera? Not quite, but Panasonic is not far off. The Panasonic FZ8 is a real winner!