Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ30 preview - LetsGoDigital
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Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ30 Digital Camera Preview
Panasonic FZ30 - Page 1/4
Wednesday 14th September 2005
Written by Dennis Hissink
Panasonic Lumix FZ30 - Introduction
Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ30 - 8 Megapixels and 12x optical zoom
Just before I packed my notebook and photo equipment to fly to the IFA event in Berlin (check out our IFA 2005 Show Coverage) a package arrived from Panasonic, containing a pre-production sample of the Panasonic FZ30 digital camera. This brand new Panasonic flagship is a pro-consumer model with an 8 Megapixels CCD on board. The Panasonic has a newly developed 12x optical zoom featuring a mechanically linked zoom ring, fully internal zoom and image stabilization. This powerful zoom lens also features a manual focus ring (electronic).

The Panasonic brand is becoming more and more popular among photo enthusiasts. Their engineers are designing interesting innovations which we find in their line of cameras. Today Panasonic's top model is the Panasonic Lumix FZ30, an eight Megapixel advanced digital camera with a powerful 35-420mm (equivalent of a 35mm camera) lens and image stabilization. The following preview gives you a more inside look of the new FZ30 digital camera.
Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ30 - 8 Megapixels and 12x optical zoom
LCD display Storage media
Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ30 Storage media
Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ30 LCD display
Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ30 Storage media
The new Panasonic FZ30 digital camera has a 2-inch LCD display that is able to tilt. It is not that advanced like the Fujifilm FinePix S9500's display, but it certainly offers the user the possibility of capturing images at a more varied angle. Digital cameras featuring a tilting LCD display are offering more creativity, more freedom to compose images the way you want to. The LCD display can be fully pulled open (approximately 120°) and rotated 180°. You can close the display with the screen facing inwards to prevent it from scratches and dirt, handy! Compared to the Panasonic DMC FZ20 the FZ30 has a higher LCD resolution to offer; in stead of 130,000 it has 230,000 pixels resolution. The images displayed on the LCD are crystal clear.
On the side of the camera we find a tiny lid that leads us to the storage media compartment. You need to slide the lid to open the compartment. Be careful not to insert or remove a flash card while the Panasonic FZ30 camera is still on, this could ruin the data on the card. For some years now Panasonic have chosen the Secure Digital card as their premium storage media. And why not, the Secure Digital card is available in a diverse range, from standard to ultra fast flash cards, but also advanced card like the SanDisk Ultra II SD Plus flash card with built-in USB interface. It is recommended to use a fast SD card which gives you the advantage of faster writing and reading times. To use an SD card with the Lumix FZ30 digital camera is easy; open the door, and insert the card until it clicks. Remove the card by pushing it until it clicks, then pull the card out. The Panasonic DMC FZ30 also supports MultiMedia cards, but according to Panasonic these cards are slower in combination with the FZ30, so Secure Digital is recommended!
Mode dial Charging battery AF assist lamp
Panasonic DMC FZ30 Mode dial Panasonic FZ30 Charging battery Panasonic DMC FZ30 AF assist lamp
Panasonic DMC FZ30 Mode dial
Panasonic FZ30 Charging battery
Panasonic DMC FZ30 AF assist lamp
On top of the Panasonic we find a mode dial that suits recording of a variety of scene modes. Turn the mode dial to select the desired mode. Settings like Program AE, Aperture and Shutter priority, Manual, Macro, Motion, Auto mode, Playback and Scenes are located to give direct access to main settings. In Motion mode the Panasonic FZ30 digital camera is able to record VGA (640x480) movies with a frame rate of 30fps. When recording VGA movies at 30fps it is recommended to use a high-speed flash card with a minimum recording speed of 20MB/sec. In case a lesser card is used it is possible that the recording will stop.
In the box we find a charger with a Lithium-ion battery, 7.2V, 680mAh. Place the battery on the charger, wait for about 120 minutes and detach it. Slide the release lever to open the battery door and insert the charged battery. Lock it and close the door. A battery indication appears on the screen. The FZ30 digital camera set in Program AE mode and 50% use of flash will enable you to take approximately 250-300 pictures. We recommend a spare battery, always convenient in situations when you are unable to re-charge the battery.
It should be more or less common among digital cameras like the Panasonic DMC FZ30 to have an AF assistance on board. In difficult light situations the camera's AF might have problems to focus correctly. Illuminating the subject with the AF assist lamp allows the FZ30 camera focusing on the subject in low light conditions. Press the shutter halfway, and an AF area wider than usual appears and the AF assist lamp turns on. The effective range of this feature is 1,5 meters. The AF assist lamp supports P, A, S, M, Movie, Scn1 and Scn2 modes.
Dennis Hissink - LetsGoDigital Online Magazine
External Flash Burst mode
Lumix FZ30 External Flash Lumix FZ30 Burst mode
Editor's comment:
"Panasonic is getting more popular among camera enthusiasts and when we look at products like the new Panasonic DMC FZ30 we understand why. It is a mere fact that features like the Image Stabilization and a large optical zoom are features that a potential large group of consumers is looking for. Though the ergonomics and control are not directly similar to others, the Panasonic FZ30 digital camera has enough features that will attract new potential Panasonic users or at least make them curious. As soon as we receive a full-production model I will get more into the actual quality and effect of this full featured flagship…"
Lumix FZ30 External Flash Lumix FZ30 Burst mode
The Panasonic Lumix FZ30 is equipped with a hot-shoe thus creating the option for the use of an external flash for those who like to have more flash power. The shutter speed becomes 1/60 to 1/250 in normal mode, 1/30 to 1/250 in scene mode (Night portrait). Panasonic have some flash guns under their own brand; Panasonic PE-20ST, PE-28S or the PE-36S, are all optional flash guns. Using the extra flash you have to select either Preset or Manual on the camera. Preset will use f2.8 aperture and 100 ISO as standard setting regardless of the recording mode. Manual will provide a possibility of choosing aperture and shutter speed value and ISO sensitivity. It is not possible to use the internal flash at the same time. The Panasonic FZ30 is able to let you take multiple pictures at the same time with the extra flash. You can take up to 3 pictures by pressing the shutter button continuously.
With the DMC FZ30 digital camera you are able to take photos with a burst speed of 3 photos per second. You can select three kinds of burst modes; High Speed, Low Speed or Unlimited. With High Speed it is possible to capture a maximum of 4 photos in the highest quality with a speed of 3 photos per second, lower compression will result into a maximum of 7 photos sequentially. Panasonic are taking this burst speed steady, regardless of the transfer speed of the flash card the burst speed remains constant. When the burst speed is set to unlimited you are able to take pictures till the capacity of the flash card is used up, and it is not possible to capture photos when the quality is set to RAW or TIFF. Set at High Speed; exposure and white balance are fixed to the values selected for the first photo taken. It is recommended to use a Secure Digital card, because the MultiMedia card is not fully supported by Panasonic who claim that this flash card is too slow for the burst mode.
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