Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ80 (FZ82)

Panasonic Lumix DC-FZ80 (Lumix DC-FZ82)

18.1 MP 1/2.3" MOS sensor | 20-1200mm equiv. F2.8-5.9 lens | 4K video capture

What we like:

  • Very long zoom range
  • 4K video capture
  • Fast autofocus
  • Good touchscreen implementation

What we don't:

  • Images are over-sharpened and have heavy noise reduction
  • 'Tearing' effect on EVF may bother some
  • Substantial crop in 4K

The Lumix DC-FZ80 (FZ82 in some regions) may be Panasonic's entry-level bridge camera, but it offers a lot of features for the money. It has a 20-1200mm focal range that covers every situation, 4K video capture, travel-ready USB charging and Wi-Fi for sharing your photos.

With the exception of its lens barrel and mode dial, the FZ80 is essentially all plastic. Being a decent-sized camera, there is plenty of space for buttons, so clutter isn't an issue. Speaking of buttons, three of them can be customized, and there are five soft buttons whose function can be set, as well.

The 3" fixed LCD has a very good touchscreen functionality, including Touchpad AF, which allows you to set the AF point with your eye to the EVF. The EVF itself uses field sequential technology, and some may find the 'tearing' effect to be irritating. Since the camera lacks an eye sensor, a button must be pressed with switch between the LCD and EVF.

"It has a 20-1200mm focal range that covers every situation, 4K video capture, travel-ready USB charging and Wi-Fi for sharing your photos."

The FZ80 uses Panasonic's impressive Depth from Defocus autofocus system. Focus times are very responsive, and the camera does a fairly good job at keeping subjects in focus using continuous AF when shooting bursts. The top burst speed on the FZ80 is 10 fps with single AF and 6 fps with live view and AF. Battery life is rated at a so-so 330 shots per charge. The battery can be charged inside the camera via USB.

Image quality is not the FZ80's strong suit, though to be fair, that's the case for most of the cameras in this class. While colors are pleasant and subjects sharp, noise reduction is heavy in JPEGs, resulting in a lot of detail smearing (the strong sharpening just amplifies this issue). Shooting Raw allows you to tone down the noise reduction, though don't expect a huge improvement. The lens is a bit soft in the corners with some visible purple fringing.

The FZ80 can capture UHD 4K video at 30p. The quality is respectable for a camera in this price range, though the camera's attempt at muting the sound of the lens zooming is awkward, and there's a 1.4x crop at 4K resolution, which reduces your field-of-view considerably. The camera also offers a 1080/60p setting and high speed shooting at up to 240 fps (at low resolutions). Not surprisingly the FZ80 doesn't much in the line of capture tools, aside from a wind noise filter. There are manual exposure controls, but Auto ISO isn't available. Panasonic uses the camera's 4K video capability to let users select a focus point after a shot is taken or capture a series of rapidly shot 8MP stills.

Overall, the Panasonic FZ80 offers a lot of camera for the money, with its big lens and broad feature set. The image quality isn't the best in its class and not everyone will like its electronic viewfinder, but for under $400 it's worth checking out.

Studio Test Scene | Specifications Compared