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

Started 5 months ago | User reviews thread
OP Stevie Boy Blue Senior Member • Posts: 1,519
Re: *Prodigal Son and Cats Return?*
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Todd Beall wrote:

Stevie, I just now discovered your excellent 2-part review of the FZ300 camera. I have owned this camera for 5 years, and am now giving away my much bulkier Canon 70D (plus lenses) to a young camera enthusiast, as I've finally decided that the 300 is plenty enough camera for me (I am 69 and have nerve damage to my hands, so weight is also quite important--as is grip, and the 300 has an incredible grip!).

I especially appreciate the standard settings suggestions as well as the use of aperture priority (f4 primarily). I am going to test that out and see how it works.

Thank you so much for taking the time to write these two articles!

Sincerely,

Todd Beall

P.S. Have you read Graham Houghton's User Guide to the FZ300? I think it is excellent (though sometimes a bit too detailed for me)

Hi there and thanks for posting, Todd.

It’s always good to know that my efforts to inform readers are appreciated by at least some of the audience. Although I always find it interesting to discover that yet another person has swapped their DSLR gear for an FZ330 (300), I’m never actually surprised by such a move simply because of the convenience factor associated with bridge models compared to interchangeable lens systems and all the kafuffle involved with glass-swapping to cover all focal lengths, save to mention the usual increase in weight and bulk that comes with most ILCs.

In all honesty, I see only the smaller models in Panasonic’s M4/3rd range as viable alternatives to the FZ330. But even then, one has to factor in the requirement to carry at least two separate lenses to match the FZ’s inherent focal reach – plus the combined expense of a camera body that adds up to owning a full system. In total, even when buying at the most conservative price point, I doubt we could ‘kit-up’ for less than a grand with any M4/3 or similar ILC. And that once again brings us back to the sheer value package that comes in the form of the FZ. For the current RRP, no other bridge camera offers more than the FZ330. I’m almost sick of saying that, but it remains as true today as it was back in 2015, when the FZ330 was introduced.

And I still don’t see that changing for at least another year or two, despite the recent, silly and totally inaccurate rumour that the FZ300 has been discontinued. Readers can rest assured from my reliable sources that this wonderful camera most definitely remains in production as I write this in June 2021. But as with many other models and makes, it is undoubtedly in short supply purely due to how covid-19 has impacted the whole camera industry worldwide. Sony, Canon, Nikon, etc: you name it, they’re all struggling to make and ship their products to would-be buyers keen to grab them from retailers just as eager to restock through consumer demand. Moreover, it’s not as though demand for the FZ330 is shrinking because it remains such a bargain buy! If anyone doubts me, just ask 90% of FZ300 owners how much they rate their camera for the money they paid. (Of course, there’ll always be the odd few who like to complain, but this small percentage of users tend not to have much photography experience and would probably struggle with most cameras they buy – even though they may not admit to or even realise they’re struggling.)

So, for now, and until Panasonic themselves either announce its discontinuation or, more likely, a replacement model, the FZ300 is still being made and will be stocked by retailers on an as and when available basis, just as is happening throughout the whole photography equipment and electronics sectors relating to MANY products until some semblance of normality returns post the pandemic.

Of course, short supply inevitably means rumours of discontinuation may develop. But rumours are really all they are, and rumours tend to first be created by ignorance and supposition before being perpetuated by folks with nothing better to do with their time. Of all sources of rumour, we must also account for those deluded folks who believe they’re making clever predictions, maybe for any number of reasons including pure vindictiveness because they simply don’t like a specific brand/model and might relish seeing it fail. Truth is, there are some truly shady characters armed with a keyboard and www access that love to generate yet more of their utter rubbish. As is often said, “it really does take all sorts to make this world of ours.” Never mind, eh?

Moving on from my rambling, I’m sorry to note the nerve damage to your hands, but I’m pleased to see that the FZ300’s grip is helping somewhat to keep you in the game. As for my tips, re the review, aperture settings, etc, you’re very welcome. But thank you for the acknowledgment of my time and effort. I trust that should you get around to trying out what I’ve said, you’ll get on fine. Perhaps you’d be kind enough to let me know how you get on?

Not to worry if not, though. I’m just pleased you found something of use in my articles.

As for Graham Houghton’s User guide. No, I’m fortunate in that I have enough experience in photographic tactics and cameras not to need to read it. To be truthful, whilst I appreciate that Graham has a fan base that appreciates his efforts, I find myself disagreeing with lots that I’m told he has said or written in blog spots, etc.

Just one example for here. He advocates the use of I-resolution and even shooting in IA mode with a few different FZ cameras. I DO NOT, as neither approach is conducive to gaining the best quality photos afforded by these potentially excellent cameras.

Although I could go on to discuss further differences between how Graham and I would approach things both in relation to setting up and shooting with FZs, I’ll leave it to those who may feel they benefit from his advice to carry on taking it on board and promoting it to others. All in all, I know what works best for me and I’m more than happy to carry on disagreeing with anyone who views I-zoom and IA as advantageous in any way.

All in all: It’s nice that Graham has a following of fans. I just don’t happen to count myself amongst them. No offense to you or anyone else who values the guy’s opinions and/or advice.

Happy shooting and kind regards.

PS: Almost forgot to mention that I’m about to buy my third copy of the FZ330. Shooting on average 50,000 to 60,000 images annually means I tend to wear them out within two to three-years. As it happens, 120,000 shots into my second unit, the zoom lever has become as temperamental in use as it did on my first one. I’ve heard of this problem developing far more quickly in some other FZ300s and would be interested to hear from anyone having had the zoom lever repaired under warranty. I am trying to establish how widespread the issue may be and for how long buyers need to use the camera before it arises.

For the record. My own experiences occurred with the camera well outside of the warranty period. I am talking about the toggle zoom lever around the shutter release button. Initially the zoom begins sticking. As the problem develops, it takes a weird turn that can result in the lens extending when the user moves the lever to retract. Most strange.

Eventually the zoom lever becomes so unreliable that it’s best ignored completely in favour of zooming via the switch on the lens barrel. Note that since buying my second FZ330, I have resurrected my first unit by placing one drop of ‘silicon-based’ WD40 under the zoom lever. Although I WOULD NOT RECOMMEND anyone do this with a FZ still under warranty, unit one (which is six years old) has worked fine since its ‘lubrication’. Remember. I AM NOT ADVISING anyone else to do the same. I am just saying what appears to have worked for me.

Another point worth mentioning is that my six-year old first unit, with which I’ve shot over 250,000 photos, has dust particles inside of the front lens element. Although this dust does not show on images taken recently, I did attempt to gain access by removing the front element as per can be done with the FZ200. However, unlike the FZ200, removing the bezel and then three screws on the FZ300 does not allow access to repair or clean inside. Instead, the front lens element remains stuck firm with what I assume is weather resistant resin instead of any rubber seal that I expected to find. Hence, as the front element is glued as well as screwed on, the lens of the FZ300 is apparently not serviceable – at least from the front. No way would I ever attempt to strip down from the rear!

And as the front element is apparently glued/sealed firmly in place, I’m left slightly puzzled by how the dust got sucked in unless it’s come from behind after entering through repetitive in and out lens/zoom function over such a long period.

Just thought I'd mention this. And again, I AM NOT SUGGESTING anyone else tries any of the procedures covered above. Anything and everything one cares to do is done entirely at his or her own risk!

Bottom line. If anyone experiences the aforementioned problems with the zoom lever, please let me know, especially if problems arose before the warranty expired rather than due to expected wear and tear associated with prolonged usage such as applies with my cameras.

Apologies for the long post. But as I’m rarely viewing these pages currently, I thought I’d cover all I wish to in this one contribution. Hence it may be a while before I visit DPR again.

Cheers.

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