Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ3 Review
Announced at the end of July 2004, the DMC-FZ3 is part of the third generation of 'super zoom' cameras from electronics giant Panasonic. Like its predecessors (and the simultaneously announced DMC-FZ20) the FZ3 sports a Leica-branded DC Vario-Elmarit zoom with a whopping 12x optical range (35-420mm equiv) and a constant F2.8 aperture. It also boasts a newly-improved optical image stabilisation system and the Venus II engine, which, according to Panasonic's documentation, is now equivalent to shooting at 3 or 4 shutter speed steps faster - (the figure for the FZ20 was quoted as 2 or 3 shutter speed steps).
The FZ3 is also significantly smaller than previous models, and - thanks to the Venus II image processing engine - is faster, offers better resolution and lower noise. And that's not all; it is packed with new technologies and upgrades; enhanced metering and focus systems, new shooting modes and a new mode dial, TIFF mode, a better electronic viewfinder, a new menu system and a new two mode image stabiliser.
- 35 - 420mm (equiv.) F2.8, 12x Leica Zoom Lens
- Mega O.I.S (optical image stabilisation)
- Venus II image processing engine
- 9 scene modes and full photographic control
- TIFF mode
- New on-screen display
- Ultra fast startup, focus, shutter lag and shot-to-shot time
- 'Simple' mode for novice photographers
Panasonic DMC-FZ3 Key specifications
|Street price|| US: $399
|Sensor|| 1/3.2" CCD, 3.34 million total pixels
3.1 million effective pixels
2,016 x 1,512
|Movie clips|| 320 x 240 pixels @ 30fps
320 x 240 pixels @ 10fps
Duration only limited by card capacity (streaming)
Motion JPEG (.mov)
35 - 420mm equiv. (12x optical zoom)
|Focus|| 1 point, 3 point, 9 point Autofocus
Single shot or Continuous AF
Switcheable focus trigger
5cm macro mode (Wide), 120cm (Tele)
|White Balance|| Auto
Custom WB (manual)
|Image parameters|| Color Effect (Cool, Warm, B/W, Sepia)
Picture Adjust (Normal, Standard, Vivid)
Sharpness (3 levels)
|Continuous|| 4 fps, up to 7 frames (fine), 13 frames (standard)
2fps (limited only by capacity of card)
|Flash|| Built-in pop up flash
Auto, Manual on/off, Red-eye reduction: on/off, Slow sync: on/off
Range (ISO auto): W 0.3m - 4.6m (0.98 - 15.1 ft)
Compensation (-2.0EV to +2.0 EV in 1/3EV steps)
16 MB SD supplied*
|Viewfinder|| EVF (114,000 pixels)
Field of view approx 100%
-4 to +4 dioptre adjustment
|LCD monitor|| 1.5" TFT, 114,000 pixels|
|Connectivity|| USB 2.0 Full Speed
|Power|| Panasonic CGA-S002A Lithium Ion pack
7.2V, 680 mAh
(Optional AC adapter)
|In the box*||
Panasonic DMC-FZ3 camera
Spot, Center-weighted & Multi-pattern metering
|Weight (inc batt)||326 g (11.5 oz)|
|Dimensions||108 x 68.4 x 84.8mm (4.25 x 2.7 x 3.3in)|
* Supplied accessories may differ in each country or area
If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read the Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this article (it may help you understand some of the terms used).
Conclusion / Recommendation / Ratings are based on the opinion of the reviewer, you should read the ENTIRE review before coming to your own conclusions.
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This article is Copyright 2004 and may NOT in part or in whole be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the author.
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