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!
Panasonic Lumix FZ8 - SD & SDHC memory card
It is almost impossible to imagine a compact camera without a Secure Digital card. Despite this, some models still use another format of memory cards. Panasonic was one of the first manufacturers to use Secure Digital so it's only logical that this is the only format they use. Now that SDHC is available, it won't be long before they support it. The storage capacity of the Secure Digital memory card varies from 16MB to 2GB, the storage capacity of the SDHC card varies from 4GB to 8GB, but is expected to grow to 12, 16GB and more in a short period of time.
Considering 1GB storage capacity:
Resolution 3072 x 2304 pixels - RAW - 4:3 mode - 58 pictures
Resolution 3072 x 2304 pixels - JPEG Fine - 4:3 mode - 270 pictures
Resolution 3072 x 2304 pixels - JPEG Normal - 4:3 mode - 540 pictures
Resolution 2560 x 1920 pixels - JPEG Fine - 4:3 mode - 390 pictures
Resolution 2560 x 1920 pixels - JPEG Normal - 4:3 mode - 770 pictures
Resolution 2048 x 1536 pixels - JPEG Fine - 4:3 mode - 600 pictures
Resolution 2048 x 1536 pixels - JPEG Normal - 4:3 mode - 1180 pictures
Resolution 1600 x 1200 pixels - JPEG Fine - 4:3 mode - 970 pictures
Resolution 1600 x 1200 pixels - JPEG Normal - 4:3 mode - 1880 pictures
Resolution 1280 x 960 pixels - JPEG Fine - 4:3 mode - 1470 pictures
Resolution 1280 x 960 pixels - JPEG Normal - 4:3 mode - 2740 pictures
Resolution 640 x 480 pixels - JPEG Fine - 4:3 mode - 4640 pictures
Resolution 640 x 480 pixels - JPEG Normal - 4:3 mode - 7550 pictures
Resolution 3072 x 2048 pixels - RAW - 3:2 mode - 65 pictures
Resolution 3072 x 2048 pixels - JPEG - Fine - 3:2 mode - 300 pictures
Resolution 3072 x 2048 pixels - JPEG - Normal - 3:2 mode - 600 pictures
Resolution 2048 x 1360 pixels - JPEG - Fine - 3:2 mode - 680 pictures
Resolution 2048 x 1360 - JPEG - Normal - 3:2 mode - 1310 pictures
Resolution 3072 x 1728 pixels - RAW - 16:9 mode - 77 pictures
Resolution 3072 x 1728 pixels - JPEG - 16:9 mode - 360 pictures
Resolution 3072 x 1728 pixels - JPEG - 16:9 mode - 710 pictures
Resolution 1920 x 1080 pixels - JPEG - 16:9 mode - 910 pictures
Resolution 1920 x 1080 pixels - JPEG - 16:9 mode - 1720 pictures
Video resolution 848 x 480 pixels - 30fps - 9 min 20 sec
Video resolution 848 x 480 pixels - 10fps - 28 min 10 sec
Video resolution 640 x 480 pixels - 30fps - 11 min
Video resolution 640 x 480 pixels - 10fps - 32 min 50 sec
Video resolution 320 x 240 pixels - 30fps - 32 min 50 sec
Video resolution 320 x 240 pixels - 10fps - 60 min 15 sec