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
• UK: £350
Body Material Plastic
Sensor • 1/3.2" CCD, 3.34 million total pixels
• 3.1 million effective pixels
Image sizes

• 2,016 x 1,512
• 1,920 x 1080 (16:9, HDTV)
• 1,600 x 1,200
• 1,280 x 960
• 640 x 480

Movie clips • 320 x 240 pixels @ 30fps
• 320 x 240 pixels @ 10fps
• Duration only limited by card capacity (streaming)
• Motion JPEG (.mov)
• With sound
Lens

• 35 - 420mm equiv. (12x optical zoom)
• F2.8
4x digital zoom

Focus • 1 point, 3 point, 9 point Autofocus
• Spot-focusing
• Single shot or Continuous AF
• Switcheable focus trigger
• 5cm macro mode (Wide), 120cm (Tele)
Shooting mode

• Auto
• Program
• Aperture Priority
• Shutter Priority
• Manual
• Macro
Portrait
Scenery
Sports
• Panning
• Fireworks
• Party
• Snow
Night Portrait
Night Scenery
• Simple Mode
• AE compensation -2.0EV to +2.0 EV in 1/3EV steps
• Auto bracketing

Sensitivity • Auto
• ISO80,100,200,400
White Balance • Auto
• 4 presets
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)
Storage • SD/MMC
• 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
• A/V out
• DC-IN
Power • Panasonic CGA-S002A Lithium Ion pack
• 7.2V, 680 mAh
• (Optional AC adapter)
In the box*

Panasonic DMC-FZ3 camera
Lens Hood
Lens Cap
Lens Hood Adapter
Strap
8MB SD Memory Card
AV cable
USB cable
Battery pack and charger
Software CD-ROM (viewer and ArcSoft applications)

Other features

Spot, Center-weighted & Multi-pattern metering
PictBridge and DPOF compatible
Mega Optical Image Stabilisation
Live Histogram
Built-in speaker and microphone
• Flip Animation function
• In-camera picture resizing and cropping
• Voice annotation

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