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Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ7 Review

February 2006 | By Simon Joinson

Almost a year to the day since the introduction of the hugely popular FZ5 (and 4MP sibling the FZ4) - itself an upgrade to the FZ3 - Panasonic has announced its successor, the 6 megapixel DMC-FZ7. As well as a design facelift and an extra megapixel, the FZ7 introduces several handling and performance improvements over the FZ5, not least of which is the inclusion of manual focusing and significantly easier control over exposure settings via a new joystick (as seen on the DMC-LX1).

Major changes / improvements over FZ5

  • 6 megapixel sensor
  • Larger (2.5-inch) screen (lower resolution, however)
  • New joystick control for manual focus and exposure operations
  • Brighter LCD and EVF performance in low light
  • ISO 800 and 1600 options
  • VGA movies
  • 16:9 movie mode
  • Body redesign

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ7 vs DMC-FZ5 (feature & specification differences)

 

Panasonic DMC-FZ7

Panasonic DMC-FZ5
Sensor • 1/2.5 " Type CCD
• 6.37 million pixels total
• 6.0 million effective pixels
• 1/2.5" Type CCD
• 5.76 x 4.29 mm (info)
• 5.0 million effective pixels
Image sizes
(max)
• 2816 x 2112 (4:3)
• 2816 x 1880 (3:2)
• 2816 x 1584 (16:9)
• 2560 x 1920 (4:3)
• 1920 x 1080 (16:9)
Movie Mode • 640 x 480 (4:3) 30 / 10fps
• 320 x 240 (4:3) 30 / 10fps
• 848 x 480 (16:9) 30 / 10fps
• 320 x 240 pixels @ 30fps
• 320 x 240 pixels @ 10fps
Manual focus Yes (via joystick) No
Shutter speed 60 - 1/2000 sec 8 - 1/2000 sec
Shooting modes • Program AE
• Aperture Priority AE
• Shutter Priority AE
• Manual
• Program Shift (P mode)
• Simple
• Scene
• Macro
• Portrait
• Soft Skin
• Sports
• Scenery
• Night Scenery
• Panning
• Night Portrait
• Fireworks
• Party
• Food
• Candle
• Starry Sky
• Baby 1 & 2
• Snow
• Program
• Aperture Priority
• Shutter Priority
• Manual
• Macro
• Portrait
• Scenery
• Sports
• Panning
• Fireworks
• Party
• Snow
• Night Portrait
• Night Scenery
• Simple Mode
Continuous (burst) shooting • 3 or 2 fps
• Max 13 images (JPEG Standard) / 7 images (JPEG Fine)
• 3 fps, up to 4 frames (fine)
/ 7 frames (standard)
• 2 fps (limited only by capacity of card)
Flash range (wide, auto ISO) Wide 0.3 - 6.0m 0.3m - 4.5m
Sensitivity • Auto
• ISO 80, 100, 200, 400
• High sensitivity mode: ISO 800 / 1600
• Auto
• ISO 80,100,200,400
Viewfinder position Centered, above LCD monitor Off-center (to left of screen)
LCD monitor • 2.5" Polycrystalline TFT
• 114,000 pixels
• 1.8" TFT
• 130,000 pixels
Battery • Li-ion Battery Pack
• 7.2V, 710mAh
• (Optional AC adapter)
• CGA-S002A Lithium Ion pack
• 7.2V, 680 mAh
• (Optional AC adapter)
Battery life 320 shots (CIPA standard) 300 shots (CIPA standard)
Weight (no batt) 310 g 290 g
Dimensions 112.5 x 72.2 x 79 mm
(4.43 x 2.84 x 3.11 in)
108 x 68.4 x 84.8mm
(4.25 x 2.7 x 3.3in)

DMC-FZ7 specifications

Street price • US: $399 (tbc)
• UK: £299 (tbc)
Body Material Metal and plastic
Sensor

• 1/2.5 " Type CCD
• 6.37 million pixels total
• 6.0 million effective pixels

Image sizes • 2816 x 2112
• 2816 x 1880 (3:2)
• 2816 x 1584 (16:9)
• 2304 x 1728
• 2048 x 1536
• 2048 x 1360 (3:2)
• 1920 x 1080 (16:9)
• 1600 x 1200
• 1280 x 960
• 640 x 480
Movie clips • 640 x 480 (4:3) 30 / 10fps
• 320 x 240 (4:3) 30 / 10fps
• 848 x 480 (16:9) 30 / 10fps
• With audio
• Limited only by storage space
File formats • JPEG (EXIF 2.2)
• MOV (QuickTime Motion JPEG)
• TIFF
Lens • 36 - 432mm equiv.
• F2.8 - 3.3
• Leica DC Vario-Elmarit
• 12x optical zoom
• Extra optical zoom
Image stabilization MEGA OIS Mode1 / 2
Conversion lenses Yes
Digital zoom up to 4x
Focus • AF / MF switchable
• Manual focus (joystick)
• Normal / Macro (Dial)
• Continuous AF on/off
AF area modes • 1 point
• 1 point high speed
• 3 points high speed
• 9 points
• Spot
AF assist lamp Yes
Focus distance • Normal: Wide 30cm/ Tele 200cm – infinity
• Macro: Wide 5cm/Tele 200cm – infinity
• Tele Macro Mode: 100cm - infinity
Metering • Intelligent multiple
• Center weighted
• Spot
ISO sensitivity • Auto
• ISO 80
• ISO 100
• ISO 200
• ISO 400
• High sensitivity mode: ISO 800 / 1600
Exposure compensation • +/- 2 EV
• 1/3 EV steps
Exposure bracketing • +/- 1/3 EV
• -1EV steps
• 3 frames
Shuttter speed • 8 - 1/2000 sec
• 60 - 1/2000 sec (Manual)
• 15 / 30 / 60 sec (Starry sky mode)
Aperture • Wide: F2.8 - 8
• Tele: F3.3 - 8
Modes • Program AE
• Aperture Priority AE
• Shutter Priority AE
• Manual
• Program Shift (P mode)
• Simple
• Scene
• Macro
Scene modes • Portrait
• Soft Skin
• Sports
• Scenery
• Night Scenery
• Panning
• Night Portrait
• Fireworks
• Party
• Food
• Candle
• Starry Sky
• Baby 1 & 2
• Snow
White balance • Auto
• Daylight
• Cloudy
• Halogen
• Flash
• White set
White balance fine tune • 150 K step
• +/- 1500 K
Self timer 10 / 2 secs
Continuous shooting • 3 or 2 fps
• Max 13 images (JPEG Standard) / 7 images (JPEG Fine)
Image parameters Cool, Warm, B&W, Sepia
Flash • Built-in pop up
• Auto
• Auto / Red eye reduction
• Slow sync / red eye reduction
• Forced on / off
• Range: Wide 0.3 - 6.0m, Tele 0.3 - 5.4m
• Compensation: +/- 2.0 EV in 1/3 EV steps
Viewfinder • Electronic viewfinder
• 0.33" color (114,000 pixels)
• Field of view approx 100%
LCD monitor • 2.5" Polycrystalline TFT
• 114,000 pixels
Connectivity • USB
• DC-IN
• AV Out
Print compliance PictBridge
Storage • SD / MMC card
Power • Li-Ion battery pack included
• Charger / AC adapter optional
Weight (no batt) 310 g (x oz)
Dimensions 112.5 x 72.2 x 79 mm (4.43 x 2.84 x 3.11 in)


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 2006 Simon Joinson / dpreview.com and the review in part or in whole may NOT be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the author. For information on reproducing any part of this review (or any images) please contact: Phil Askey

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