Panasonic has announced the Lumix DMC-FZ70, a 16.1MP compact superzoom with a 60x optical zoom. Spanning the equivalent of 20-1200mm it's the largest zoom lens available in a consumer compact. The FZ70's zoom lens has a maximum aperture range of F2.8-5.9, and the camera introduces a new 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor capable of 1080/60i video. A wind shield built into the camera's stereo microphone is designed to improve sound quality on windy days (Panasonic claims a 70% improvement in signal-to-noise ratio), and the microphone itself is designed to 'zoom' with the lens, though Panasonic reps couldn't provide details on approximate range.

Key Specifications

  • 60x 20-1200mm (equivalent) F2.8-5.9 lens
  • 16.1MP 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor
  • 1080/60i HD video
  • Raw shooting

The FZ70 more than doubles the zoom reach of its 24x Lumix DMC-FZ60 predecessor, which it effectively replaces. Naturally with such a long focal reach, the FZ70 offers Panasonic's Power O.I.S. optical image stabilization. Like its superzoom peers, the FZ70 provides auto and manual exposure modes, as well as Raw shooting.

According to Panasonic, the FZ70's impressive optics come from a production facility in Japan with a 25-year history of making lenses for CD and DVD players. Built with 14 elements in 12 groups, it includes 6 aspherical and 3 extra-low dispersion lenses. MSRP in the US at launch for the FZ70 is estimated at $399, a competitive number considering some of its 50x zoom peers retail for $450 and up.

First Impressions

We had a few fleeting moments to spend with the FZ70. Though we weren't able to photograph the camera itself or share photos from it, we did get a chance to take it for a test drive, so to speak.

Side-by-side with the FZ60, the size difference in the lens is immediately obvious. The FZ70's optics are much larger, as expected, making the camera's overall footprint notably increased. It's also immediately obvious that there's something different about the stereo microphone sitting on top of the camera. The FZ60's stereo microphones sit nearly flush with the chassis, while the FZ70's sit higher with vented openings at the front and sides.

The camera hits a competitive price point at $399, and it seems that some concessions were made in build quality to hit that number. The camera is encased in a composite plastic that feels slightly cheap, especially on the bottom panel. There's a nice deep handgrip though, and the command dial on the back panel makes it easy to change exposure settings quickly.

There's no use resisting the temptation to immediately zoom in to 1200mm equivalent once the FZ70's in hand, so we turned the camera to the streets far beyond and below the office. Zooming to the full telephoto end of the range is done in less than four seconds and the action of the lens is smooth. Using the FZ70 to its full telephoto potential revealed people on the streets below that we hadn't been able to spot with the naked eye. Once focused on these distant subjects, we were able to track them without much difficulty.

Image stabilization is aggressive at the long end of the zoom, and it needs to be. At 1200mm equiv. there's no chance of hand-holding and getting a clear shot, unassisted. The stabilization system fights minor camera shake effectively, shifting to a new subject relatively smoothly when panning across a scene. We tried the camera out in good midday lighting, so for anything less than ideal, a tripod would likely be necessary.

Jump to:


Press Release:

The LUMIX DMC-FZ70 is the Category Leader with the Number One Zoom Power in the Industry* 

*As a digital camera as of July 18, 2013
*35mm camera equivalent: 20-1200mm

SECAUCUS, NJ (July 18, 2013) - Panasonic today unveiled the new LUMIX DMC-FZ70 (FZ70) because life is more than just a single moment captured in time. That’s why the LUMIX DMC-FZ70 is packed full of the best multimedia technologies Panasonic makes. Optically the FZ70 delivers from its amazing 20mm wide-angle to 1,200mm (60X) long zoom, making it a category class leader*. With F2.8-5.9 lens brightness, both video and photos will appear bright under low light conditions. Optical image stabilization assures that both long zoom photos and videos are sharp and free from blur. The FZ70 offers amazing Full HD 1080/60i video recording, thanks to Panasonic’s experience as a world leader in professional broadcast video. It boasts crystal clear audio due to a unique microphone that eliminates ambient noise and wind sound with the stunning clarity of Dolby® Digital. This unique microphone even zooms with the optical zoom to more precisely zero in on the audio coming from your subject.

Category Class Leading Super Long Zoom Lens

With a 60X optical zoom (20-1,200mm), the lens in the FZ70 is the widest and longest zoom in its class*. Its stunningly versatile ultra-wide 20mm to 1,200mm range makes it possible to capture dynamic landscapes, wildlife and almost any scene when traveling. At 20mm the lens captures a nearly 140% wider angle of view compared with a 24mm lens. Comprised of 14 elements in 12 groups, including 6 aspherical lenses with 9 aspherical surfaces and 3 ED (Extra-Low Dispersion) lenses, this advanced lens unit delivers exceptional optical performance by suppressing distortion at the wide end and color bleeding at the tele end.

* As of its introduction July 18th for long zoom bridge digital cameras.

2. A Little Extra Zoom Kick

Thanks to its Intelligent Resolution technology, the FZ70 can extend the zoom ratio up to 120X equivalent while maintaining the picture quality. An optional optical lens adapter can further extend the FZ70s range.

3. Amazingly Clear Zoom Microphone with Dolby(R) Digital Audio Quality

Recording video with the FZ70 is easy, but what’s really amazing is its ability to capture audio clearly. The recorded videos come with the highly realistic Dolby® Digital Stereo Creator and its sound quality is further improved in the DMC-FZ70 thanks to a newly developed Wind Shield Zoom Microphone that minimizes wind noise by approx. 70% compared to prior models. Externally, the sealed structure prevents wind from hitting the microphone directly and the draft structure suppresses retention of air internally. As a result, the sound is clear and comfortable to listen to even it if was recorded on a windy day.

* Manufactured under license from Dolby Laboratories. Dolby and the double-D symbol are trademarks of Dolby Laboratories.

4. Full HD Video Recording

The FZ70 records full-HD 1920 x 1080 videos in both AVCHD and MP4 formats. A special, separate button on the top lets you instantly start recording videos while shooting photos without having to make any extra changes. The Creative Video Mode lets you adjust the shutter speed and aperture any way you like when shooting videos. The powerful 60x optical zoom with POWER O.I.S. is available in video recording as well. 

5. New 16.1-Megapixel High Sensitivity MOS Sensor and Venus Engine Deliver High Speed Response and High Picture Quality

A newly integrated 16.1-megapixel High Sensitivity MOS sensor and the advanced image processor Venus Engine feature high speed response and high quality image even in high sensitivity recording. This contributes to enabling high speed burst shooting at 9 fps in full resolution* and the Light Speed AF to catch the most fleeting shooting opportunities together with the quick start-up time of less than a second.

* Max. 3 images

6.  Power Optical Image Stabilization with Active Mode

The POWER O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer) effectively suppresses hand-shake vibration. The angular width that the FZ70 can compensate for is more than 200% wider than previous models at the tele-end, which allows for superior handheld 1,200mm super telephoto shooting. The Active Mode equipped allows for active video recording at wide angle such as shooting while walking without causing deterioration of image quality.

7. In-Camera Creative Controls and Retouch

The Creative Control and Creative Retouch feature a total of 15 filter effects: Expressive, Retro, Old Days, High Key, Low Key, Sepia, Dynamic Monochrome, Impressive Art, High Dynamic, Cross Process, Toy Effect, Miniature Effect, Soft Focus, Star Filter and One Point Color. The Creative Control lets users shoot with a filter effect while evaluating how it makes a difference in the picture: this can be used for video recording, as well*. The Creative Retouch enables applying a filter effect on the picture even after shooting in camera.

  • Creative Panorama (13 effects) 
  • Creative Control (15 effects) 
  • Creative Retouch (15 effects) 

* Soft Focus cannot be used in video recording

8. Creative Panoramic Effects

With the Creative Panorama function, it is possible to shoot a horizontal or vertical panoramic image with consequent shots taken by overlaying the previous picture and to put on a filter effect of Retro, Expressive, High Key, Low Key, Sepia, Dynamic Monochrome, Impressive Art, High Dynamic, Old Days, Cross Process and One Point Color.

9. Amazing Low Light Sensor Response.

While the FZ70 offers a bright F2.8-5.9 lens, it’s the new 16.1-megapixel High Sensitivity MOS sensor that cuts noise by 10-15% and dramatically improves images in high-sensitivity shooting. Together with the Venus Engine, it elevates the response, sensitivity and image quality of the LUMIX DMC-FZ70 to even higher levels.

  • Panasonic comparison with the DMC-FZ60

10. iA Plus Mode

In the iA (Intelligent Auto) Mode, the camera does all the work, leaving you free to compose shots and capture moments in both photo and video recording. In addition, the iA Plus Mode enables you to adjust defocusing area, exposure compensation and white balance by just moving the slider.

11. Optional Accessories The LUMIX DMC-FZ70 offers a variety of options to choose from to match every shooting situation and shooting style.

  • Tele Conversion Lens - DMW-LA8 Lens Adapter for 1.7X DMW-LT55 Conversion Lens 
  • DMW-LC55 Close-up 3X Filter 
  • External Flashes - DMW-FL220 Flash, DMW-FL360L Flash, DMW-FL500 Flash 
  • ND / PL Filters - DMW-LNDH55 Neutral Density Filer DMW-LPL55 Polarizer Filter 

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ70 specifications

Body type
Body typeSLR-like (bridge)
Sensor
Max resolution4608 x 3456
Other resolutions4608 x 3072, 4608 x 2592, 3648 x 2736, 3648 x 2432, 3072 x 2048, 3072 x 2304, 3072 x 1728, 2736 x 2736, 2560 x 1920, 2560 x 1712, 2560 x 1440, 2304 x 2304 , 2048 x 1536, 2048 x 1360, 1920 x 1920 , 1920 x 1080, 1536 x 1536, 640 x 480, 640 x 424, 640 x 360, 480 x 480
Image ratio w:h1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels16 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors17 megapixels
Sensor size1/2.3" (6.17 x 4.55 mm)
Sensor typeCMOS
ProcessorVenus Engine
Image
ISOAuto, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, (6400 with boost)
White balance presets5
Custom white balanceYes (2)
Image stabilizationOptical
Image stabilization notesPower O.I.S
Uncompressed formatRAW
JPEG quality levelsFine, Standard
File format
  • JPEG (DCF/Exif2.3)
  • MPO
Image parameters
  • Contrast
  • Sharpness
  • Color Saturation
  • Noise Reduction
Optics & Focus
Focal length (equiv.)20–1200 mm
Optical zoom60×
Maximum apertureF2.8 - F5.9
Autofocus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Face Detection
Autofocus assist lampYes
Digital zoomYes (2x)
Manual focusYes
Normal focus range30 cm (11.81)
Macro focus range1 cm (0.39)
Number of focus points23
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDFixed
Screen size3
Screen dots460,000
Touch screenNo
Screen typeTFT Screen LCD Display
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeElectronic
Viewfinder coverage100%
Viewfinder resolution202,000
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed8 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/2000 sec
Exposure modes
  • Intelligent Auto
  • Program
  • Aperture Priority
  • Shutter Priority
  • Manual
  • Custom
  • Creative Video
  • Creative Control
  • Scene
  • Panorama Shot
Scene modes
  • Portrait
  • Soft Skin
  • Scenery
  • Sports
  • Panning
  • Night Portrait
  • Night Scenery Handheld Night Shot
  • HDR
  • Food
  • Baby1
  • Baby2
  • Pet
  • Sunset
  • High Sensitivity
  • Glass Through
  • 3D photo
  • Starry Sky
Built-in flashYes (Pop-up)
Flash range13.50 m
External flashYes
Flash modesAuto, On, Off, Red-eye, Slow Sync
Drive modes
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Self-timer
Continuous drive9.0 fps
Self-timerYes (2 or 10 secs)
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
Exposure compensation±3 (at 1/3 EV steps)
AE Bracketing±3 (3 frames at 1/3 EV steps)
WB BracketingNo
Videography features
Resolutions1920 x 1080 (50i/60i, 25p/30p), 1280 x 720p (50p/60p or 25p/30p), 640 x 480 (25p/30p)
FormatMPEG-4, AVCHD
Videography notes1920 x 1080 pixels, 60i and 50i (FSH: 17Mbps / AVCHD) (Sensor Output is 25/30fps) ; 1280 x 720 pixels 50p/60p (SH: 17Mbps / AVCHD) (Sensor Output is 25/30fps) ; 1920 x 1080 pixels, 25/30 fps (FHD: 20Mbps / MP4) (Sensor Output is 25/30fps), 1280 x 720 pixels, 25/30 fps (HD: 10Mbps / MP4) (Sensor Output is 25/30fps)
MicrophoneStereo
SpeakerMono
Storage
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC, Internal
Storage included200 MB internal
Connectivity
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMIYes (mini )
Remote controlYes (Optional DMW-RSL1)
Physical
Environmentally sealedNo
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionLithium-Ion rechargeable battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA)400
Weight (inc. batteries)606 g (1.34 lb / 21.38 oz)
Dimensions130 x 97 x 118 mm (5.12 x 3.82 x 4.65)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingNo
GPSNone

Additional Images

DMC-FZ70 with flash popped-up DMC-FZ70 with DMW-LC55 close-up filter