FZ30 and 50 designs are still Panasonic's ergonomic epicentre

Started 5 months ago | Discussions thread
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John Miles
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FZ30 and 50 designs are still Panasonic's ergonomic epicentre
5 months ago

Two hands are two hands - fixed and final. What is ultimately comfortable to carry and use in two hands will optimise and fix accordingly. Back when the FZ30 was released a quiet but important day in the history of fixed lens camera ergonomics happened: The discovery of perfect camera ergonomics for Panasonic. At the time DSLR's were all larger though no less comfortable in many instances. It's just that the FZ30 had, for male hands, set a reasonable lower bar in camera size.

I will continue to keep the FZ50 in mind as this epicentre marker in camera design, and continue to watch as camera designs from all manufacturers draw closer to it.

For example. Look at the latest Nikon inch offering:

http://www.dpreview.com/previews/nikon-1-v3/

Still the small body lens changer, but look at the accessories that bolt on to build it up into an enthusiast level of operational control and handling.

Few reading this will have an FZ50 to hand. Many will soon know of the ergonomics when they buy the FZ1000 though. What needs to be fully appreciated by each to their own opinion is how comfortable these cameras are to hold and use. Bigger cameras than these feel too bulky. Smaller cameras begin to er to the fiddly.

Granted I speak of my male pair of hands here, and suggest the FZ200 as perhaps a lower limit for smaller hands. I make no comparison beyond hand comfort, where smaller cameras are lighter and easier to carry and store for example. What I state here is that if one picked up random stones in a quarry until one day one felt like a good two handed camera hold, that stone would be, in size and shape, very close to the FZ30/50

DSLR's have, in recent years, reduced in size to try and comply. And smaller large lensed cameras always iterate larger; one release to the next. That slightly larger grip etc.

This next decade will see two hands become increasing crammed with as much comfortable fixed lens camera as possible. It spells the end of the domestic lens change camera, and perhaps the fixed manual lens (which burns me to my core).

Video and flash lighting will climb on board the cameras, much as internal filters have. Gradually the usual camera bag accessories of old will become incorporated.

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The FZ50: DSLR handling of a bright, non-extending Leica 35-420mm F2.8-3.7 lens. Thank you Mr Ichiro Kitao, Mr Michiharu Uematsu and Mr Yoshiyuki Inoue for having triggered the update to the FZ50.
FZ50 is still great though: http://www.juzaphoto.com/recensione.php?l=en&t=panasonic_lumix_fz50 . Performace diagram here: http://www.dpreview.com/galleries/3862228415/photos/2623982/fz50-performance-range

 John Miles's gear list:John Miles's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX2 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5 +1 more
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50
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