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Panasonic announces Lumix DMC-FZ70 with 60x optical zoom

By dpreview staff on Jul 18, 2013 at 00:00 GMT

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 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
63
I own it
21
I want it
10
I had it
Discuss in the forums

Comments

Total comments: 310
123
Konacq2
By Konacq2 (6 months ago)

Contrary to the above information, the FZ70 does *NOT* support the DMW-RSL1 remote shutter release - that works on the FZ200 only.

1 upvote
ozzy2008
By ozzy2008 (8 months ago)

new to photography but with the specs on the fz70 or 72 here in England I think ill be sticking with my little zoom fz150.just wish it could hold its own I wanted a decent zoom for my passion wildlife photography I suppose ill just have to use my fieldcraft more Still no complaints about the fz150s quality.
my first bridge camera ,still lots to learn .

0 upvotes
Tan68
By Tan68 (8 months ago)

The press release blurb states that "20mm the lens captures a nearly 140% wider angle of view compared with a 24mm lens"

Do they mean 140% wider...
Maybe 40% more.

I had an FZ-5. I can see the individual pixels in the built-in viewfinder. I bought it because it was one of the few cameras in 2005 that had a viewfinder.

I figure the people that buy this will be happy with the VF resolution. It is a nice feature and is good enough for framing and holding the camera in a steady way. It doesn't need to be cutting edge.

0 upvotes
ChristianG
By ChristianG (8 months ago)

I have to laugh (I shoot a DSLR where it doesn't happen) at a 60x zoom. Personally I think that even shooting at "only" 10x, unassisted by something like a tripod, is sailing very close to the wind.

0 upvotes
Augustin Man
By Augustin Man (8 months ago)

Did you see some BIF at 50X taken with a HANDHELD SX50?

Here you are:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/51007221

1 upvote
sh10453
By sh10453 (7 months ago)

I have been an SLR and DSLR (including full-frame) user for a few decades (45 years, at least).

I can tell you that if you were using the Panasonic FZ200 (25-600mm, f 2.8 across the entire zoom range), you would not be laughing, even hand-held at 600mm. Rent one and try it.

Your comment sounds a bit insensitive. I wouldn't laugh at others if I were you.

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (9 months ago)

Shooting at 20mm UWA with F2.8 iris seems to be the solitary cause for joy with the DMC-FZ70. For audio, the camera apparently has no external audio input jack, making do instead with a "built-in windshield" over the pinhead mic that is supposed to improve the SNR, but I am not biting without hearing the results first.

Even worse, there is no focusing ring and no zoom ring on the lens, and not even a small servo zoom toggle switch on the lens. So, you can use this zoom lens only by trying to push the tiny switch front of the topside shutter release button. There goes your 60x zoom lens a-wasted. And the fact that Panasonic insists folks in 2013 still want to shoot interlaced video makes the FZ70 a non-starter for many of us.

I guess, Panasonic gave us as much as they could for USD $399 with this latest one.

1 upvote
bb42
By bb42 (9 months ago)

"70% improvement in signal-to-noise ratio" - fine to hear that about the microphone - how about the same improvement for the image sensor?

The FZ60 was so noisy with ISO100 in bright sunlight it really surprised and annoyed me.

1 upvote
ufo1
By ufo1 (9 months ago)

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ70 - pre-production samples

http://www.optyczne.pl/6013-nowo%C5%9B%C4%87-Panasonic_Lumix_DMC-FZ70_-_przyk%C5%82adowe_zdj%C4%99cia.html

0 upvotes
WJMWJM
By WJMWJM (9 months ago)

Btw, to clarify this push towards Samsung Galaxy NX:

Only Android would possibly allow the combination of (extreme) HDR-Art, *full*swing panorama *and* decent wide-angle.
(panorama's with the 24mm Casio ZR200 are simply too limited, compared to the 21mm of the Tryx (and they still can't combine it with HDR-Art))

And the only other brand/model with decent HDR-Art, the Minolta 77/99, don't allow a full swing, only 180-degree/landscape or even 90-degree/portrait.

All this only in the context of 'in-camera' processing of course....definitely not perfect, compared to post-processing, but neither is the image quality to begin with, but to me it's still fully worth the compromise, as a light travel camera....the best shot is always taken with the camera that you have with you, not the one that was left at home for size or weight....
Also, HDR-post-processing would require 3 times more data-storage....
(for panorama it doesn't matter much, in- or out-camera)

0 upvotes
WJMWJM
By WJMWJM (9 months ago)

PS, raise your finger:

How many of you would give that finger, no make that left arm, to get a compact digicam with 14-28mm equivalent?
Or just even 17-35mm?
(14mm would break the filter-thread barrier anyway, always a shame)
(unless fiddling with even larger filter-holder concepts; yes, I know they exist)
(but it would defeat the compact-aspect/-criterium entirely....;))

If 20-1200mm is posible, with decent consumer-grade images, then anything from 14-100mm or even 14-200mm should be possible....or 17-135mm or 17-300mm.

PS: the super-wideangle stitching concept of Casio ZR200/ZR300 is crap; you don't get anything rectangular, just the full fisheye-distortion.
(and it's quite a challenge to get it right each time also, unlike the panorama mode....and of course, it also lacks the combination with Casio's lovely poppy HDR-Art)

Only tentative alternative: Samsung Galaxy NX, with 12-24mm (18-26mm eq), and trying to figure out whether Android can do this panorama + HDR-Art combination.

0 upvotes
WJMWJM
By WJMWJM (9 months ago)

So, for the record, this makes the third-ever digicam with a decent wideangle, after the Casio Tryx and Samsung WB210 (both 21mm, although the calculating proof is a pesky task, being 3.8/Samsung vs 4.0mm/Casio).

(yes, I know I am now ignoring the many 22.Xmm hybrids, but I think just as many of those are listed as a rounded 24mm, just because most manufacturers (and customers!) don't give a poop about wideangle....8-))

Now, I already noticed that Panasonic *also* has a decent panorama-mode (with a full 360 degree swing, although they list that both for vertical and horizontal....do they mean both portrait and landscape orientation....because that is where the Casio stumbles, being sortof pixel-limited (so going vertical in landscape mode only gives you 180 degrees).

*And* Panasonic lets you combine this panorama with any of the creative modes, including HDR-Art ('Impressive Art'?).
Sadly there are no settings/gradations within this mode, like Casio has, from mild to pop-dazzling.

0 upvotes
Larry  Witt
By Larry Witt (9 months ago)

Not much of a sensor when going against ACS-C competitors. I guess that's why their 60X 1200mm is no more then Canon's SX50 1200mm. I agree that their LCD and optical resolutions are behind times: Larry

1 upvote
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (9 months ago)

Wow, how very silly. A tiny sensor, a silly 60x zoom lens good for not much at all, yesterdecade's interlaced video, a low resolution fixed LCD screen, a laughably low resolution viewfinder, and so on. Who is Panny going to be selling this turkey to, I wonder?

1 upvote
Yorko
By Yorko (9 months ago)

Me, Francis, Me! Aren't you being a bit harsh? It will be a very usable camera to take on holiay combining video which largely overcomes wind noise and decent photographs for the family album. And its light too. I am sold. No need to burden my with my big Canon and bagful of lenses. Well done Lumix, you've made a sale.

2 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (9 months ago)

Nothing to like here much with this Lumix DMC-FZ70, sorry. Panasonic has more Lumix camera models out now than the sky has stars, and they keep on churning them out like there is no tomorrow.

Regarding the audio, it will be just as awful as what you get with all the the built-in pinhead microphones out there, you know, the clever but useless P.R. lingo of the press release notwithstanding. Built-in pinhead microphones record the world's worst audio tracks, what would have saved this one would have been at least a 3.5mm TRS jack for unbalanced external microphone and/or line input. But Panasonic did not give that to the FZ70.

As for the video quality -- check out the video recording bitrates being mentioned above in the chart, now tell me how you can possibly record good quality video using bitrates as low as those being listed?

0 upvotes
luap_42
By luap_42 (9 months ago)

What!? Video quality? What are you expecting? That it should equal a Red camera? The video bitrates are perfectly adequate for a consumer do-it-all camera. It has full 720p at 50/60p. That is HD video albeit at the low end, but HD all the same. Are you expecting 4K?

The point of a 60x lens is the technology breakthrough. The first breakthrough device is never going to be the one to beat, and these cameras aren't aimed at super high quality anyway. They are compromise devices and very good ones at that.

1 upvote
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (9 months ago)

@ luap_42: "It has full 720p."

Wow, really it does? 720 lines, that many, huh? That sounds great. I was worried that it only has Full Standard Definition for video quality.

No matter how we slice it, video ought to be pretty bad quality overall out of this one here. Worth about $399, more or less, right?

Also, there is no "technology breakthrough" whatsoever here with the lens on the FZ70, either. There are video lenses out now that can do 400x zooming. Why are you saying that there is?

0 upvotes
JohnHancocks
By JohnHancocks (7 months ago)

Entirely agree, that fixed LCD screen make it impossible to use the macro to its full extent - and as for those high elevation shots with a tripod - forget it. A shocking design flaw! As for that 60X zoom, at full extent it is useless, far too grainy. This camera is a beat-up, I certainly wish I'd never fallen for the hype!

0 upvotes
rvof11
By rvof11 (9 months ago)

There's no word on price or retail availability just yet, but zoom past the break for more details in the meantime

0 upvotes
Don051348
By Don051348 (9 months ago)

So what can we extrapolate might show up in a future FZ250 now that the FZ70 specs have been released??

My guess:

Same body as FZ70
Obviously an articulated LCD screen.
Of course the higher resolution viewfinder
A leica branded lens
finally a rubberized eyecup.
It's not gonna be weather sealed or magnesium.
It aint gonna have a manual zoom ring.
I cant see them going less than 16meg sensor from a marketing point of view.

My guess is the FZ250 is gonna be geared towards the enthusiast market and higher IQ. So maybe, just maybe it will have somewhat larger sensor and the Leica branded lens will be scaled back to 800 or 900 but continue with the f2.8 constant aprature. I believe there will be an emphasis on reduced noise and higher IQ. You will pay a premium price...

I am really looking forward to a release of this camera. I own an FZ150 (which I love) and a Nikon D5100 ( which I have yet to fully embrace).

Comment edited 11 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
MediaDigitalVideo
By MediaDigitalVideo (9 months ago)

At least I hope the DMC-FZ250 will still have a "Leica" lens. The DMC-FZ70 doesn't

1 upvote
sh10453
By sh10453 (7 months ago)

I doubt that the f2.8 across the entire zoom range would come with an 800 or 900mm. You'd need a much larger diameter.

I have had the FZ200 for about a year now. I absolutely love the camera. F2.8 at 600mm (or 25mm) is simply awesome.
It performs superbly under low-light conditions.

The 1080 video quality, the high-speed video, and the many other advanced features are great features as well.

I don't carry my full-frame Canon, the bag of L lenses, and the 25-pound tripod around anymore (unless there is a need for that, or if I have to impress someone, or to silence some of the folks who are on their high horses because they think no one else owns a DSLR, and quick to criticize cameras they have never used).

The FZ200 is with me, on a leash, all the time. :)

0 upvotes
tenorsaxman
By tenorsaxman (9 months ago)

Slow motorised zoom lens again! Panasonic had a great lens on the FZ50,fantastic construction and range despite its small size.The lens was let down by the sensor performance. If Panasonic used the same lens coupled with the improvements in the venus engine etc I would buy it.
I'd love to get a good bridge camera so I don't have to lug all my heavy gear around just because I cant be without a camera,but the persistence with motorised zooms is annoying. Agree with the comments re telephoto range,500mm is more than enough, just give us a bigger sensor.
Note to manufacturers- give us what we want not what you think we want!

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
3 upvotes
NetMage
By NetMage (9 months ago)

Unfortunately what you want isn't what most want... that niche has been covered by small mirrorless cameras now.

Get a Nikon 1 V2 with a 27-270mm equivalent all in one lens - weighs about 20oz (similar to FZ200) with half the crop factor, and with a manual zoom.

Comment edited 7 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Don051348
By Don051348 (9 months ago)

Actually IMO I like the motorized zoom on these so called "bridge" cameras. I prefer them over a manual zoom. So, you sir, please do not presume to know what all bridge camera purchasers want. But as far as 1200mm being excessive I would have to agree with you. But hey, if the picture quality is not half bad, why not. I can think situations where it might come in handy. I don't think at $399 most folks are expecting $6000 lens quality. If Panasonic could get these into the big box stores (Best buy) they'd have no problem selling tons of them...

1 upvote
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (9 months ago)

@ Don051348: I cannot seem to find ANY Panasonic Lumix cameras at my local Best Buys -- maybe this one will be the first one they will carry?

The zoom on the FZ70 is particularly bad, because Panasonic had "forgot" to put a servo zoom toggle switch on the lens barrel itself. So, you will have to use the same hand for operating the camera's start/stop switch, shutter button, and zoom lever, ouch.

1 upvote
sh10453
By sh10453 (7 months ago)

No, please. I love the 600mm on my FZ200 (with the f2.8 all the way from 25-600mm Leica lens).

I am sure there are many who would want it even longer (800mm, 1000mm, etc.), but then you can't have an f2.8 at that focal length (without enlarging the lens diameter considerably, which would make the camera a much bigger and heavier one).

The FZ200 has huge improvements over the FZ50, almost no comparison. I absolutely love mine.

I have purchased a Canon 1.4X video telephoto converter, auto-focus, that mounts on the front of the lens to give me a total zoom of 840mm. But I still find it not enough, especially for birds.

So I'm looking at 2x, 2.2X, 2.5x, 3x, and 3.5x converters, and will be getting one when I find the right quality and price (no cheap Chinese stuff).
I'd need a truck to carry my DSLR if I were to use a 2100mm Canon L lens on it (if it exists)!!

0 upvotes
sh10453
By sh10453 (7 months ago)

If I can ask Panasonic for just ONE wish, then I would ask for zoom and focus rings, or AT LEAST a manual focus ring. Manual focus as it is now (with the switches) is horrible.
I have seen many requests for such a ring on various forums, including here.

0 upvotes
sh10453
By sh10453 (7 months ago)

Best Buy may not carry the Panasonic line, but the FZ200 can be purchased directly from Panasonic.

They do put it on sale every once in a while (as much as $150 off).
I bought mine directly from Panasonic (2 of them actually), during a sale period, and the price was considerably less than any advertised price at any online retailer.

So watch for their generous sales.
I don't know about the FZ70 (for an experienced photographer), but the FZ200 would certainly please most of us.

Just look at its reviews everywhere, and see how much it has been praised.

I still want a manual focus ring, if Panasonic is listening (of course this doesn't mean to replace auto-focus).

0 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (9 months ago)

yet another itty bitty crappy tiny sensor!
I wish they would offer these camera with a bigger one - especially at these very long focal lengths, where IQ suffers significantly.

Comment edited 55 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
photonius
By photonius (9 months ago)

That's the whole point of the small sensor. This lens is 200mm in focal length to give 1200mm FF equivalent field of view. If you make the sensor bigger, you need a bigger lens. For a m43 sized sensor, you need a 600mm lens - look up how big those are.

8 upvotes
Northgrove
By Northgrove (9 months ago)

But how do you imagine a carryable 20-1200mm lens on a non-itty bitty crappy sensor? That camera will never exist due to optics.

You have to choose. Either this one, or a slightly larger sensor and a beast of a lens both in terms of price and weight, if it even exists. I don't think anyone have been crazy enough to do a lens like this even on micro-4/3 (it would be a 10-600mm zoom lens). Please correct me if I'm wrong...

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (9 months ago)

Well, what can one expect when camera WITH THE LENS still goes out the door for under USD $400? Cheap-cheap-cheap, I suppose, which is what sells things today, I suppose.

0 upvotes
Dodi73
By Dodi73 (9 months ago)

mmm
why camera makers can't find a way to make a 21-135 mm (20/200, 18/180 you name it, you choose it) camera with a large sensor ? Who really needs such extreme zoom when most of our life is within what Leicas M's easily recorded in the past 100 yrs ? Such huge front lenses would rather admit a larger sensor, instead of an useless megazoom.. Do you think a portable 1" camera or so with 21-135 as fast as possible wouldn't sell ?
Something very close is the Sony RX100 however both zoom range AND aperture are not adequate, but at least they tried. MP aren't the most important thing, after all. Better giving a broader d/r and high-iso capability than squeezing all those pixels becoming useless as soon as the light fades away.

Comment edited 39 seconds after posting
5 upvotes
Northgrove
By Northgrove (9 months ago)

I agree. Something like 18-150-ish on an APS-C with good pricing due to the package deal would be great. They could that way take shortcuts too, making the camera shorter than normally possible due to building the lens into the camera, i.e. like how Fujifilm does with the X100.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (9 months ago)

@ Dodi73: Maybe you want to look into the Nikon 1-series system, particularly the V2 body with the 10x zoom lens.

0 upvotes
solarider
By solarider (9 months ago)

A fantastic dream option would be a higher end version with much better EVF and LCD screen like that in the FZ200. Wouldn't that have been great.

0 upvotes
sh10453
By sh10453 (9 months ago)

The specs list says NO external flash, but the pictures show a hot shoe!
So I think the "No" in the specs is incorrect.

0 upvotes
sh10453
By sh10453 (9 months ago)

Too bad the screen is not articulated, and not of higher resolution.
Of course it makes sense for Panasonic to keep the FZ200, which is selling well, and has been highly rated in the various reviews.

I have had the FZ200 for about 7 months now. I'm extremely pleased with it.
In fact I'm in love with it!
I carry it with me most of the time now (on a leash :) ). It weighs a small fraction of my Canon 5D with the 70-200mm, L, mounted on it. So I rarely carry the 5D now, mostly due to its weight.

I have purchased a Canon (video) 1.4x multiplier/extender that I attach to the FZ200's lens (with a 52-46mm step-down ring).
That gives me 840mm on the FZ200.
It becomes quite a challenge at the full zoom to follow a fast moving object (panning, hand-held). Imagine 1200mm!

This is an awesome zoom range if you are into taking birds pictures.

No doubt this camera will be my Christmas gift to myself! The learning curve should be short (now that I have already been through it on the FZ200).

0 upvotes
aehii
By aehii (9 months ago)

No articulated screen kind of defeats the effectiveness of having such a zoom, I have the fz 150 and almost always use it to my advantage if I want to aim from the ground. I don't really ever have my eye to the camera, so i rely on it. These little things are far more important to me than the fact it more than doubles the zoom reach of its predecessor.

All I want from a bridge camera is multi exposure, the Fujifilm HS50 EXR has double exposure, I'm just not willing to buy it only for that, i dislike the manual zoom for one thing, and it's pretty huge. Pansonic's LX series have multi exposure (up to 3 images), so i have to wonder why it's not available in their bridge cameras.

1 upvote
ZAnton
By ZAnton (9 months ago)

Same camera & specs with 1/1.7" sensor please.

0 upvotes
mosc
By mosc (9 months ago)

yeah, seriously. I mean that's 50% bigger. Even if it cuts the telephoto end in half to ONLY 600mm, why the hell hasn't somebody made it yet? Is a 25-500 20x zoom with f2.8 to f6.0 really that hard to make for 1/1.7" <$500?

Comment edited 39 seconds after posting
1 upvote
William Blair
By William Blair (9 months ago)

"why the hell hasn't somebody made it yet"

Because most consumers are idiots when it comes to camera tech and simply want more pixels and zoom. "Sensor size? What's that?" And if they made the image quality of bridge cameras too good they would encroach on their entry level SLR and lens business.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
g7star
By g7star (9 months ago)

@ mosc
How about X-S1 albeit >$500.
http://www.dpreview.com/news/2011/11/24/fujifilmxs1

0 upvotes
SLove
By SLove (9 months ago)

Fujifilm has made several superzooms with 2/3" or 1/1.6" sensors over the years. The X-S1 is the latest one. They always end up huge, heavy and quite expensive. 1/1.7" isn't that much smaller than 2/3", so I doubt any company could make one profitably at less than $500 even with "just" a 20x zoom. Perhaps if they made the lens something like f/3.5 to f/6.3, but what would be the point of that?

0 upvotes
n o b o d y
By n o b o d y (9 months ago)

Just wait until there is a FF camera with a sensor with the
same pixel density like this sensor (about 600 Mp). With a
18-200 and a 6x digital zoom you will get exactly the same
picture quality at 1200 mm but a much better one at 20 mm.
And a DLSR with a 18-200 isn't much bigger than this one.

2 upvotes
G Davidson
By G Davidson (9 months ago)

I'm with the above. Better to evolve the smaller sensors than try making a camera that is too large to be compact, but still no-where near the level of something like a Nikon V or m4/3.

What might be interesting though would be a lens for something like the Pentax Q mini-system that has a very long reach, say 800-1500mm. That way you can shrink the set-up with smaller lenses for everyday usage.

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (9 months ago)

Forget the arcane 1/1.7-inch form fact for a sensor -- that thing is dying out as we are speaking. We will likely have 1/2.3-inch and even smaller sensors, on the one end... and then the 1-inch, 1.5-inch, etc. sensor cameras, on the other end.

Another sensor form factor that is already dead or fast dying is Fuji's 2/3-inchers.

0 upvotes
tabloid
By tabloid (9 months ago)

Is it a SLR (with mirror going up and down) or is SLR mirror-less (or whatever u want to call it).

Cant seem to find a answer.

0 upvotes
JonB1975
By JonB1975 (9 months ago)

It is a 'bridge' camera - looks a bit like a DSLR but has a compact sensor and a lens that covers most focal lengths you're going to need. No Mirror.

2 upvotes
jcmarfilph
By jcmarfilph (9 months ago)

It's a motoyrized superzoom not bridge-cam not SLR-like.

The ones that are so-called bridge and SLR-like cams are Fuji HS and X-S1 cameras.

1 upvote
Clint009
By Clint009 (9 months ago)

Soon (3 to 5 years) bridge cameras will lead the market and the big body cameras will slowdown in sales in a big way.
New technologies will answer that.

1 upvote
sh10453
By sh10453 (9 months ago)

Not if you have to have a 60X zoom.

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (9 months ago)

Lumix FZ70 is a point and shoot superzoom camera. Nowhere near the "bridge" category.

0 upvotes
G0RD0
By G0RD0 (9 months ago)

In comparison to the Canon sx50hs. The Canon can do 1200mm (35mm equiv) optically 24mm x 50x =1200mm. The FZ70 is 20mm x 60x =1200mm (35mm equiv). So the Panasonic is actually just adding 4mm of Wide angle, but no increase in actual reach when compared to the Canon. Panasonic is just using 60x as a marketing strategy. They have not achieved any greater zoom then what was already available

0 upvotes
bb42
By bb42 (9 months ago)

The 20 mm _is_ the really impressive achievement that I've been waiting for. After dpreview has often praised wideangle reach I don't see why they focus on the tele in the short report.

On the tele you can always crop and get the same prespective as with a longer zoom - but you can never get the wider angle.

1 upvote
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (9 months ago)

The 1200mm part here is the mostly useless part, the 20mm instead of say 22.5mm, 24mm, 27mm,. etc. is the big news. Still, even with the 20mm F2.8 UWA, this camera is lacking in so many important ways. Well, $399 only goes so far in Summertime 2013, folks.

0 upvotes
falconeyes
By falconeyes (9 months ago)

20-1200 mm F/16-33

and according to optyczne.pl, it isn't even sharper at F/33 than F/47.

Can't see any other application than bright daylight video from a tripod ...

Comment edited 10 minutes after posting
1 upvote
ZAnton
By ZAnton (9 months ago)

it is f/2.8-5.9. where do you get 16-33 from?

2 upvotes
slick83
By slick83 (9 months ago)

... in full frame terms, perhaps?

1 upvote
sh10453
By sh10453 (9 months ago)

I believe that the f5.9 is the minimum (widest) at the full zoom of 1200mm, but does not mean you can't go to f8 or f11.
Just my guess.

0 upvotes
maxola67
By maxola67 (9 months ago)

Voyerists will appreciate this stuff

4 upvotes
rocklobster
By rocklobster (9 months ago)

Insane!

2 upvotes
ShutterbugDougG
By ShutterbugDougG (9 months ago)

Re: 20-1200mm zoom, I'm waiting for this crazy lens technology to make it into the SLR space - that is, hoping for small and lightweight Bigma alternatives.

0 upvotes
ppastoris
By ppastoris (9 months ago)

Won't happen, unless you are okay with say full-frame 20-1200 mm f/16-f/35 lens (which is what FZ70 lens/sensor combination is equivalent to).

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
5 upvotes
Revenant
By Revenant (9 months ago)

There is no special lens technology involved here. This is made possible by the small sensor. If you want this zoom range for a DSLR, it would require a really slow lens (as pointed out by the previous poster), or an enormous lens, or a small sensor DSLR.

0 upvotes
SLove
By SLove (9 months ago)

Even with a small sensor the lens would not be very small, because ILCs do not use motorized collapsible zooms like compact cameras. Pentax has not jumped to the opportunity to provide a superzoom lens for the Q system and the reason is clear: the Q system is all about small size and a 20x zoom would not be that small even if it would be technically quite possible.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (9 months ago)

Best product considering the above cited needs might be Nikon 1-series V2 body with either of the 10x zoom lenses made for it. Once you shoot with a 1-inch sensor camera, you definitely do not want to go back down to anything smaller just to shave off a couple of millimeters or grams.

0 upvotes
ShutterbugDougG
By ShutterbugDougG (9 months ago)

Disappointed that there's no GPS and no articulating screen. (:-( I'll pay more money for these desirable features.

0 upvotes
jp1958
By jp1958 (9 months ago)

Canon should take note of these omissions.

0 upvotes
Oleg Vinokurov
By Oleg Vinokurov (9 months ago)

buy cheap gps logger and simply merge gps data latter, can do it automatically using time recorded in photos. This actually more convenient, since camera battery can survive much longer

1 upvote
Clint009
By Clint009 (9 months ago)

GPS is not very much used now. But a link with Wifi to your phone or pad equipped with GPS could be possible. A GPS in cameras is a huge sucker of power.

0 upvotes
Prairie Pal
By Prairie Pal (9 months ago)

I was laughing at the extremes of these Super-Zooms THEN I thought maybe these are what the herds of new "freelance photo-journalists" on the street will be using.

1 upvote
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (9 months ago)

Right you are. In a couple of years time, this will be THE combination photo and video camera that today's minimum wage "photo-video journalists" will be using for shooting stuff for the NBC Nightly News. Why even bother with anything better for audio and video quality, let alone still pix, come to think of it?

0 upvotes
g7star
By g7star (9 months ago)

You can find some sample photos here..
http://www.optyczne.pl/6013-nowo%C5%9B%C4%87-Panasonic_Lumix_DMC-FZ70_-_przyk%C5%82adowe_zdj%C4%99cia.html

1 upvote
rocklobster
By rocklobster (9 months ago)

That fully zoomed shot with the fence in front of the building has wierd artifacts in the horizontal rails. Is that from image stabilisation or noise reduction? Anyway, image is grainy, soft and overprocessed but probably as good as you could expect from this package and great at that price.

But, apart from getting close to the action in sports I can't see a use for this zoom range in photography.

Cheers

Comment edited 25 seconds after posting
1 upvote
NetMage
By NetMage (9 months ago)

It's a nice range for a day at the air show too.

0 upvotes
wkay
By wkay (9 months ago)

The 'artifacts' are also observed on the window edges are most likely atmospheric thermals. You don't want to know what they look like here in the Arizona desert at half that focal length.

1 upvote
bilu
By bilu (9 months ago)

I am going to pass and wait for DMC-FZ7000 so I can look for water on the surface of the moon.

1 upvote
krassphoto
By krassphoto (9 months ago)

Looks like Panasonic is slowly turning their FZ-series cameras into camcorders. Enormous zoom, tiny noisy sensors, excellent video and not so excellent still photos.

1 upvote
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (9 months ago)

"Excellent video?" Come again, please!?

0 upvotes
Devendra
By Devendra (9 months ago)

holy crOp! what do we have next, a hubble in my pocket?
but as long as they can keep up with the quality (somehow), more power to the consumers!

3 upvotes
MediaDigitalVideo
By MediaDigitalVideo (9 months ago)

Looking at the picture with full inzoomed lens I wonder how far goes the lens inside in the power off mode.

0 upvotes
Maverick_
By Maverick_ (9 months ago)

That's a lot of effort for $399. Lots of features for so little. What would they have to do next to top this. Where do you go from here camera makers? 16mm to 2500mm for $299? And what comes after that fish-eye, to 3000mm for $199?

This to me sounds like the beginning of the end. You can't support this growth in order to give people reasons to upgrade their bridge cameras. If someone buys this camera today and shoots with it a few times a year, he/she would have no reason to ever upgrade unless the camera breaks. This camera already belongs to a small market segment.

With compacts going away, as phone cameras taking over that responsibility, a tiny segment who aren't shooting with DSLRs and phones would still want a bridge cam true, but this segment will keep shrinking fast.

My guess is that we are looking at the last of this particular segment. A couple of more years and that's it.

The future is phone cameras and FF DSLRS.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
5 upvotes
chillgreg
By chillgreg (9 months ago)

Completely and utterly disagree with this view. Long zoom demand and sales have never been higher, witness the plethora of models available compared too only a few several years ago. DSLR and mirrorless long zooms are expensive and heavy and require carrying a 2nd lens. Phone cams are pushing innovation yes but until a completely new technology over the horizon overcomes the laws of physics, no digital trickery can match optical zoom.

9 upvotes
Thomas22
By Thomas22 (9 months ago)

"The future is phone cameras and FF DSLRS."

No. Plenty of people still have a use and need for something in between. I've personally found M4/3 to be an excellent compromise on size versus performance and flexibility, and have no desire to go from my GH2 to a bulky, full-sized full frame DSLR. Similarly, I can't imagine the person who would buy a superzoom like the new FZ70 being happy with the limited optics of even the best camera phone.

Yeah, the bottom end point and shoot cameras are going away in favor of camera phones, but there still seems to be plenty of room for superzooms, travelzooms, enthusiast compacts, and interchangeable lens cameras built around M4/3 and APS-C sensors.

4 upvotes
white shadow
By white shadow (9 months ago)

Have to agree with Thomas22. The performance of phone cameras can never beat this baby. For convenience, maybe.

If you really want image quality, shoot with a DSLR and an 800mm lens with a teleconverter. That will weigh more than 10kg and would cost you more than a car and you can't wonder around with it.

If the image quality is reasonable up to ISO400 and good enough for prints up to A4, this will be a great travel camera. Hey, one only need to pay about USD400. Most people won't print more than A4 if they ever do.

For those more critical shots where image quality is important, shoot with your backup like the Ricoh GR or a DSLR with a prime lens.

0 upvotes
Richard Murdey
By Richard Murdey (9 months ago)

Phones don't have optical zoom. Thus, compact cameras with wide zoom ranges are a relatively "safe" niche market.

1 upvote
bb42
By bb42 (9 months ago)

"If the image quality is reasonable up to ISO400 and good enough for prints up to A4"... - I saw noise even at 100 ISO in bright sunlight on the FZ60 so I sold it after one journey.
This one won't be much better.
Anyhow, the 20 mm wideangle is a good reason for checking it out.

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (9 months ago)

@ Thomas22: "I've personally found M4/3 to be an excellent compromise on size versus performance and flexibility, and have no desire to go from my GH2 to a bulky, full-sized full frame DSLR."

Not sure about your GH2, but GH3 body dwarves the Canon EOS 100D/SL1 in both size and weight.

"I can't imagine the person who would buy a superzoom like the new FZ70 being happy with the limited optics of even the best camera phone."

Today's best camera phones (Samsung, Nokia, at all) can probably record far better video and stills than the FZ70 can with this 60x lens.

0 upvotes
Sammy Yousef
By Sammy Yousef (8 months ago)

When you can get that kind of zoom in a camera or DSLR for under $400, come and talk to me. There are plenty of amateur birders, would be photojournalists and paperazzi, part time soccer parents, occasional zoo or wildlife photographers etc. who can't afford or justify $1200+ on a decent DSLR and long lens (or $12000 on a "proper" setup with 500-600mm primes, TC and tripod/monopod) for whom this sort of gadget is the perfect toy.

Whether this particular camera fails or not depends on how it fairs against others in the group.

0 upvotes
Zoltan Csuka
By Zoltan Csuka (9 months ago)

No 1080/60p? I thought Panasonic included that in their cams for while...

1 upvote
chillgreg
By chillgreg (9 months ago)

No doubt that's a feature reserved for the upcoming flagship FZ250...

1 upvote
Frank Malone
By Frank Malone (9 months ago)

I just uploaded 3 pictures I took 7-15-2013 in an album. These were all cropped to 8x10 and I printed all three and the prints look good to me. I think they would also make good 11x14 prints. All I can say for around $400 the SX50 is a great bird camera. I got a Canon 400mm with 1.4 teleconverter and pictures to me are not near as good as the SX50 if you don't print over 11x14.

2 upvotes
iae aa eia
By iae aa eia (9 months ago)

I was waiting for the day they would reach the same 60 x optical zoom of a camcorder, but starting at 20mm IS INSANE! Ok, considering its sensor size and the mp count, it's probably a low resolution optical design (I guess). Keep up the bold moves!

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Frank Malone
By Frank Malone (9 months ago)

I think the people saying you can't hold 1200 mm are wrong. I have taken some good pictures with the SX50. Just check out the Power Shot forum for some good SX50 pictures. I'm amazed how close you need to be to get a good closeup of a small bird. Even with 1200 mm you really need to be close for small birds. I decided to get the SX50 when I saw how I believe a $12,000 camera and lens taking the same picture and the SX50 was better since it had 1200mm compared to 600 mm.

5 upvotes
vodanh1982
By vodanh1982 (9 months ago)

Assume diffraction limited lens, the maximum resolution is about 3 Mpix at f/5.9.

1 upvote
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (9 months ago)

Kind of answers the question what lens should I bring and it reminds me of the commercial where the young woman is going up the escalator and the man looking at her has his eyeglasses turn into telescopes. Man, that was great.

0 upvotes
bed bug
By bed bug (9 months ago)

Hmmm....a few years ago I owned the Z20, AKA 'the noise machine'. The high ISOs required to handle 1200mm would mean that image quality would suffer terribly, unless you decided to print no bigger than a postage stamp.

Yes, I would agree with other that this is a gimmick.

2 upvotes
BJL
By BJL (9 months ago)

Are you ignoring image stabilization, which is fine for stationary and slow moving subjects, since camera shake is the main reason for needing higher shutter speeds with long lenses? With f/5.9 at the long end and image stabilization, plenty of daylight shots will not need high ISO speeds.

I have done 1200mm equivalent at ISO 200, f/6.7 1/200s and got images that are sharp at full screen size, and with good light, higher shutter speeds than that are possible. (I did this with an E-M5 in its 2x digital zoom mode and the 75-300/4.8-6.7 lens at 300mm.)

So I expect the long end of this lens to produce some images that are more than good enough fine for displaying on a computer or posting on a website, Flickr, Facebook and such. Which is how most photos from such cameras are displayed, I would guess.

2 upvotes
pulsar123
By pulsar123 (9 months ago)

Even though obviously a gimmick (I can't image what one would want to shoot at 1200mm equivalent FL; this is the domain for telescopes, with their massive stable tripods and star tracking motors), the lens's FL range is quite impressive from a lens designer's point of view. In addition, the maximum aperture is 36mm (at the long end), which is also impressive for a P&S camera.

0 upvotes
BJL
By BJL (9 months ago)

IS and the high usable ISO of modern digital cameras are a wonderful combination for long shots: I have got a few nice shots at "1200mm equivalent", hand-held. That is with 300mm focal length on an Olympus E-M5 (so 2x format factor), 2x crop from that to a 4MP final image, with some of those crops looking quite sharp when viewed filling the entire screen.

I wouldn't make large prints though!

0 upvotes
Lan
By Lan (9 months ago)

pulsar123: One word: Birds. Or more generally wildlife.

I think f/5.9 @ 1200mm is impressive, particularly with image stabilization at that price point!

You couldn't buy a lens like that for an SLR, and even if you could, and had a few million in the bank to pay for it, I still wouldn't be able to lift it anyway ;)

Comment edited 56 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
Mario G
By Mario G (9 months ago)

@BJL: we all agree on the "high usable ISO" of the Olympus OMD E-M5. But this has a 1/2.3" sensor, not quite the same thing...

1 upvote
Oleg Vinokurov
By Oleg Vinokurov (9 months ago)

It's certainly great for amateur wildlife photography. I saw quite amazing photos of birds done with superzooms of previous generation. But of course takes some skills and good technique, can't really expect anything great shooting on auto and handheld at @1200mm

Can be argued of course, but i do think that current small sensors are quite usable for small prints even up at 1600iso

0 upvotes
SLove
By SLove (9 months ago)

Wildlife is a wide concept. I agree that 1200 mm zoom is useful for birds, but you usually do not need that long lens for large mammals. Small mammals are mostly nocturnal, so a slow lens with a small sensor is very suboptimal, and you can't spot them from very far in any case. Small reptiles and amphibians are in general also difficult to spot from far away, although I admit such a lens could sometimes be useful in shooting them.

0 upvotes
NetMage
By NetMage (9 months ago)

I'm thinking it is time that moon pictures replace cat pictures on the Internet!

After all, since a full moon is a bright sunlight shot, this should do pretty well.

0 upvotes
bb42
By bb42 (9 months ago)

Good point - what I wanted to reply to people complaining about sensor / diffraction:
You can use that thing as a telescope - and it's even stabilized.

0 upvotes
Axel Vercauteren
By Axel Vercauteren (9 months ago)

Still the awkward rear dial, if you want to develop a RSI buy this one.

0 upvotes
Trollshavethebestcandy
By Trollshavethebestcandy (9 months ago)

I think you will do better with a spotting scope and your iPhone

1 upvote
M Jesper
By M Jesper (9 months ago)

I think not.

8 upvotes
Mescalamba
By Mescalamba (9 months ago)

Well, this is easier to hold.. so no.

0 upvotes
Mark B.
By Mark B. (9 months ago)

No, you really will not.

1 upvote
Sir Corey of Deane
By Sir Corey of Deane (9 months ago)

Do return with a HELPFUL comment when you have actually used this camera.

2 upvotes
Mikofox
By Mikofox (9 months ago)

Comparing this to my FZ35:

Very nice design, especially the redesigned back.
The larger body, better integrated viewfinder and edge rounding should improve handling. MPEG-4 video good! Microphone redesign may be really good.
The hot-shoe is welcome. [Needs to be corrected in the Specs, as it says No for external flash]

Unfortunately the viewfinder is still at an unusable resolution and that is the major dislike I have with the FZ35 and will likely keep me from buying this one. My eye-sight is not what it was, and fixed LCD's are problematic in sunlight, so a decent viewfinder or tilting bright screen is very important to me.
Fixed LCD = negative for ground level work
The minimum shutter speed [if true] at 8 sec ???
Processing Engine?

If the IQ were as good as the FZ150 or FZ35, I would consider this an upgrade, especially at the price point.
But I'll wait for the successor of the FZ200, which I hope has a top viewfinder, and better IQ than the FZ200.

0 upvotes
Ghostboo
By Ghostboo (9 months ago)

The FZ250 press release will be out in the next day or two and if they listened to their customers, the new model should prove to be phenomenal. I would hold out for that one. The FZ200 was incredible and they can only go up from there. I think we'll see a bigger sensor and an expanded zoom range of 20mm to 1000mm at F2.8. GPS, 920k touchscreen, and an improved mic up top should be on the spec sheet too. I would guess this will list in the mid $500 range but should be worth every penny.

0 upvotes
steve_hoge
By steve_hoge (9 months ago)

I'm also looking for a successor to my beat-up FZ35, but would gladly trade off the FZ70's increased zoom range for the FZ200's constant aperture.

I hope they're including an external mic input for serious videographers.

Was also hoping to see sweep panorama and - hope against hope - GPS introduced into these latest models; it galls me that my cheap Android phone can produce panoramas and geotag photos but doing the same with my Lumix requires a complicated hand-work flow.

Agree that the low-res viewfinder in the FZ35 is one of its real weak points - I never REALLY know what I shot until I look at the computer later, and the lack of viewfinder realism has a strange negative effect on my visual creativity.

0 upvotes
buri pakath
By buri pakath (9 months ago)

I have my old FZ50. A work horse in and out the studio.
Most of my work is done with this camera.
I'd rather use a bridge model than a SLR. They depreciate faster.
I'll have a serious look at the FZ-70.

Comment edited 16 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Clint009
By Clint009 (9 months ago)

@Ghostboo, I agree partly about the coming FZ250 os so.
I don't see a bigger sensor but a much improved sensor quality of the same size then FZ200 (the technological development in sensor is phenomenal and the competition is huge). The zoom 20-1000, that is now possible. The stereo microphone will zoom with the optical zoom.
But the price won't be bellow $625.
That is my two cents.

0 upvotes
NetMage
By NetMage (9 months ago)

If the FZ250 comes out with improved sensor tech (like this one) then the f/2.8 will become much more meaningful and a little bit wider wouldn't hurt. Depending on what is announced I'll decide whether to get an FZ200 or the FZ250.

0 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (9 months ago)

Most novice users think they need a 1200mm zoom lens. What they will actually need is a 20mm F2.8 lens and a good pair of walking shoes.

6 upvotes
King Penguin
By King Penguin (9 months ago)

That's what I've got....and a D600. With the 20mm f2.8 it's actually quite compact! (Fits in the poachers pocket of my Barbour) :)

0 upvotes
Photomonkey
By Photomonkey (9 months ago)

Pictures at the seashore might be compromised by the limit of the walking bit.

Comment edited 12 seconds after posting
7 upvotes
Mikofox
By Mikofox (9 months ago)

Okay, let's hope the Grizzly won't mind it when you push your 20 mm in its face. I'd rather have a valley in between and walk a little less.

7 upvotes
Gary S
By Gary S (9 months ago)

Exactly Photomonkey. When I can walk on water then the comment from mpgxsvcd might begin to make sense.

3 upvotes
vodanh1982
By vodanh1982 (9 months ago)

Yeah, bring a 20mm f/2.8 to ladies with bathing suit and they'll slam you to the face. Tele is safer.

1 upvote
Seagull TLR
By Seagull TLR (9 months ago)

Had anyone ever tried taking close-up shots of grizzly bear with cubs using 20mm f2.8 lens?

0 upvotes
NetMage
By NetMage (9 months ago)

Yes, but it didn't end well...

1 upvote
Zerg2905
By Zerg2905 (9 months ago)

Canon, come on, what's this?! 80x or nothing, eventually f/2.8. And soon, OK? Cheers! :) :) :)

2 upvotes
Cameron R Hood
By Cameron R Hood (9 months ago)

That's insane...any indication on price?

Oh, duh, the ad right above my post...$399.00.

Comment edited 27 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
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