**FZ330 REVIEW Part 2 by Stevie Boy Blue**

Started 4 months ago | User reviews thread
OP Stevie Boy Blue Senior Member • Posts: 1,519
Re: **FZ330 REVIEW Part 2 by Stevie Boy Blue**
1

Dale108 wrote:

Another great summary and homage to the FZ300.

Dale

Thanks for the compliment, and for popping in, Dale.

I always appreciate a reply from any fellow owner of the FZ330 (300), as we’re the ones who truly get what the camera offers for the price and sensor size.

Cheers…

Stevie Boy Blue wrote:

Please note that this is an addition to the original and extensive review of the FZ330 that I compiled back in October 2019. See here:

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/63244070

Primarily this extension is born of a response to a question posed by DPR’s Barney Britton to Yosuke Yamane, director of Panasonic’s Imaging Division, in an interview published on March 30th 2021:

Asked whether there is still a market for compact cameras (under which bridge models like the FZ330 fall)? Mr. Yamane indicated that, although the Covid-19 damaged digital camera market was now recovering, interest in compacts is shrinking whilst demand for mirrorless models has grown steadily. With video production and live streaming demands diversified, he predicts the role of mirrorless cameras will continue to expand.

Hence, although he doesn’t state that Panasonic’s range of compacts (and FZ cameras) have no future, Mr. Yamane does admit the company will continue to strengthen full-frame and M4/3rd systems, thereby at least implying what many of us have suspected for a good while now. Yep, I believe it’s now fair and possibly accurate to presume that Panasonic’s development of compact cameras, including FZs – and especially those with pinhead 1/2.3 sensors – has been well and truly shelved for the foreseeable future at least. Perhaps 1-inch sensor models aside, could it even be that the FZ330 is the last camera of its kind that we’ll ever see from the company?

Hmmm, imagine if that were true rather than merely my own fairly justifiable assumption. Where exactly would it leave FZ fans like me and countless others who have bought and enjoyed this range of camera for many years?

Well, although I can’t and wouldn’t attempt to speak for all, as one of this range’s biggest and most longstanding fans, a shelved developmental line actually does not affect or bother me in the slightest – at least beyond postponing the excitement I always felt at the prospect of a brand new release/purchase.

That’s because the FZ330 will always be the FZ330 and nothing less. It remains in production with no sign whatsoever of being phased out any time soon. It just might never be upgraded. But logically, would that be such a bad thing when you can still buy one that rolled off the production line as recently as last month or next, and the one after that if you continue to wait as long as you like?

Despite it being in its 6th (yes sixth) year of production, the FZ330 is no less the absolutely superb camera today than it was when released back in 2015. Its 25mm to 600mm F2.8 aperture lens has still never been surpassed or even equalled by any other manufacturer.

It takes astonishingly good photographs for any camera in its class – of course within the limits of its tiny sensor. It’s splash and dust resistant, shoots 4K video and has a fast burst rate for capturing stills of action sequences. All in all and in my personal opinion, the FZ330 is the best camera of its kind made by any manufacturer, not just Panasonic but all of those so-called bigger brands, too. In the 1/2.3 sensor category, even in 2021 THE FZ330 REMAINS KING OF ALL BRIDGE CAMERAS for the money we pay. Nothing else comes remotely close to it.

And so, to remind some whilst enlightening others to the camera’s sheer versatility, I submit the following image examples for readers’ to view. Please note that although all photos have been resized and/or cropped for uploading through a relatively slow internet connection, they are all Jpegs as they appeared straight out of the camera. Note that I’ve also included my settings, too. (See the relevant illustration for that particular revelation, one which I first published way back in 2015.)

I do not shoot RAW and I rarely post process any image that I do not print. These are OOC Jpegs resized, just like all those examples in my first review.

In the main, those initial shots in the first review were indicators of the camera’s potential as mainly a wildlife tool when we can get close enough to fill as much as the frame as possible with the subject. That is and always will be key to rendering fine fur and feather detail on pinhead sensors that simply do not afford the crop-ability of larger sensors such as M4/3rd or bigger.

This latest set is more to outline what the camera is capable of as a do-it-all, carry everywhere prospect that shows little limitations when kept under ISO 800 and where light levels are at least reasonable to very good. Remember, at the end of the day, this is a bridge camera with a small sensor. In many respects it has the means to surprise or even stun us with the quality of image it can produce, particularly in capable hands and when set up optimally. But if you require professional levels of consistency across the board at all times, maybe you’ll need a model with a much larger sensor for a much larger price.

As I have already said, for the money, the FZ330’s top of all in its class. If you want the very best camera of all, then you’ll be shelling out thousands rather than hundreds and are sure to be changing lenses for all manner of things that the FZ330 can muster minus such inconveniences. As ever, the choice is yours.

But you can rest assured that despite every incarnation of smart phone representing another nail in the coffin of most compact cameras, the FZ300 is simply too versatile a machine to fall victim to the mainstream trends. On the contrary, I’ve had it confirmed by no less than five respected UK retailers in the last few days that the FZ330 remains a very popular seller indeed. I’m in no way surprised by that.

All in all, the FZ330 is as good a camera today as it was when released almost six years ago. That is just how far ahead of its time it was back in 2015. And if it’s the last small sensor FZ flagship model we ever get to appreciate, many of us will be celebrating it as one of Panasonic’s greatest ever achievements for years to come. That said it’s clearly going nowhere for the moment and my guess is that the FZ330 will remain in production for at least another two to three years before the competition finally catches up.

Admittedly I’d liked to have seen DFD autofocus tech replaced or updated with something a little less temperamental, but that’s the only real criticism I could sling in the FZ330’s direction from a purely intermittent perspective. 90% of the time, the camera focuses flawlessly but I’m as sure as I can be that it could be made even more reliable in an upgrade that we may or may not eventually see. Who knows?

No worries either way, because when push comes to shove I’ll simply keep on buying brand new FZ330’s as each unit becomes long in the tooth. I’m already using my second one and will undoubtedly purchase a couple more in preference to anything else currently available as and when required.

In closing, did I tell you just how highly I rate the FZ330? If not, please feel free to read and read again. After all, you now have two parts of this review to study at your leisure. Just in case you missed it, here’s another link to part one:

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/63244070

Thank you very much reading my review (s). If you already own the FZ330, you might appreciate why I’m so enthusiastic about the camera. If not, then I urge you to at least check one out at your favourite retailer.

All the best and happy shooting…

PLEASE NOTE. No image examples included in this review were taken with a TC added. FZ330 only!

Click on image to expand

Click on image to expand

Ps: The full interview with Mr. Yamane that sparked this second section of my FZ330 review can be read here:

https://www.dpreview.com/interviews/8480678649/panasonic-interview-we-will-strengthen-both-full-frame-and-m43?utm_source=self-desktop&utm_medium=marquee&utm_campaign=traffic_source

Cheers…

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