Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ30 Review
Operation and controls
The FZ30 looks like a serious camera, and it acts like one too, offering everything from point-and-shoot scene modes to advanced manual photographic controls. Panasonic's engineers have obviously listened to some of the criticisms aimed at earlier models and have added two control dials to give easy, direct access to apertures and shutter speeds (amongst other things), in a step that brings the FZ series a step closer to SLR-like handling and control. There's still no quick way to change white balance or ISO (a custom shortcut button would be very welcome), but the menu system - essentially untouched since the FZ20 - is fast and easy to navigate.
Rear of camera
All the camera's controls are placed to the right of the 2.0-inch LCD screen (those that were above the screen on the FZ20 are now down the side). From the top you have AE lock, viewfinder/LCD toggle, display (changes the amount and presentation of on-screen information), menu and delete buttons. Further to the right is the four-way controller; in record mode three of the four arrow keys have a single function; quick review (look at the last image saved), flash mode and self-timer. The top (up) arrow cycles through AE compensation, flash exposure compensation, AE bracketing and (if you are not using auto white balance) an unusual white balance adjustment (a 20-step slider from 'more red' to 'more blue').
Top of camera
|The top of the camera shows clearly the 'SLR-like' styling of the FZ30, as well as the newly-enlarged hand grip. The main 'shooting' controls are all placed together on the top plate; exposure mode, shutter release and drive mode.|
Display and menus
Scrolling through the FZ30's menu system, which is virtually identical to the FZ20's, gives you some idea of just how feature-rich the camera is, and how much thought has gone into making it not only versatile, but easy to master too. The menus are clean, bright and easy to read. They're fast too, and Panasonic has done an excellent job of taming some of the complexity inherent in such a large feature set.
|The most basic preview screen in record mode is completely free of any overlays or icons. You can also, by pressing the Display button, get a simple grid to aid framing.||Half-press the shutter release and the camera will calculate exposure (AE) and focus (AF) indicating the AF area used and the aperture/shutter speed chosen. You'll also get a warning if camera shake is a danger.|
|If you want all the information, but like to see your preview without all the clutter, choose the 'out of frame' mode - designed to mimic a professional SLR viewfinder.||One more press of the display button gives you the full monty; full shooting information, plus a live histogram.|
|Manual focus is relatively easy given the high resolution of the LCD screen and this (optional) focus aid, which magnifies the central portion of the frame.||Pressing the 'up' arrow repeatedly cycles through Exposure compensation, Flash level, White Balance adjustment and AE Bracketing. The left/right arrows change the actual settings.|
|If you press the FOCUS button in single-point AF mode you can choose from one of the nine autofocus points using the four-way controller.||Manual mode - the two control wheels change shutter speed and aperture.|
|Something still rare on non-SLR cameras; a program shift function. Once you've metered (half-pressed the shutter) you can use the rear control dial to change the chosen shutter speed / aperture combination without changing the exposure level.||The three-page record menu covers options such as white Balance, sensitivity, picture size/quality, metering and focus modes and image adjustments. Here is also where you'll find the unique 'flip animation' function. This allows a series of shots to be turned into a QuickTime movie - make your very own 'Chicken Run'.|
|There are two 'SCN' positions on the mode dial, which can be configured to your needs. The default behavior is to display the scene mode menu when you turn the dial to either position (so you can choose the scene mode you want). Alternatively, you can set each position on the dial to your most commonly used scene modes. As we saw on the FZ5, all scene modes also have brief descriptive 'info' pages.||The three page playback menu offers the usual array of printing, erasing, protecting and slideshow options. There's also the option to add sound to saved files, as well as crop (trim) and resize them (or change the aspect ratio). Here is also where you'll find the card-formatting command.|
|As when in record mode you can choose the amount of information displayed in playback mode - from nothing at all to full data and histogram (as shown here).||Moving the zoom lever to the left ('zoom out') to view nine thumbnails (again you can turn off the frame numbering and menu bar with the display button). You can also 'zoom out further' to see 9 or 25 thumbnails.|
|Turning the front control dial to the right enlarges the playback image. There are only four steps (2x, 4x, 8x and 16x), but it's very quick. The four arrow keys are used to scroll around enlarged images.||The setup menu - accessible from either playback or record mode - has four pages of basic camera-related settings, from monitor brightness and auto review settings to power management, sounds and date and time settings.|
|_ERN9064 by ernesto juarez|
from Shoot yourself ! (with your camera)
|walkersons fields by George Veltchev|
from -Waiting for Autumn- (in Full Colours Only)
Nikon's Sendai factory in the Tōhoku region North of Japan has been churning out cameras and lenses since 1971. We had the opportunity recently to visit Sendai during events to mark the launch of Nikon's new Z mount.
There's no mistaking the Nikon Coolpix P1000 – with a 24-3000mm equivalent zoom, it really is in a class of its own. It's a conspicuous-looking superzoom with one main job: getting you really close to far away subjects. We've put together a gallery showing the kind of results you can expect from it.
A new report from The Verge claims Instagram is currently testing a feature that allows users to re-share posts to their own account feeds.
GoPro has announced its HERO7 camera lineup. The updated action cameras feature new HyperSmooth and TimeWarp modes, as well as improved video and photo specs.
The latest Samsung midrange smartphone offers a super-wide-angle lens in its triple-camera setup.
The Sony 24mm F1.4 is the latest lens to join the company's premium G Master lineup. We've been shooting with one for a couple of days - here's what you need to know.
Apple released iOS 12 a few days ago and some iPhone X users are less than happy with how the new operating system has made their phones look.
Camera bag manufacturer Lowepro has introduced mark II backpacks for its ProTactic AW range with models that are said to feature an improved handling experience as well as a collection of accessories that can be attached to the outside.
Canon has announced its latest superzoom camera, the PowerShot SX70 HS. Compared to the SX60 that came before it, the SX70 has the same lens but offers a higher resolution EVF, 4K video capture and support for Canon's new CR3 Raw format.
Cosina has announced its eighth lens designed specifically for Sony's E-mount system. The Voigtlander 21mm F3.5 lens is due out October 2018.
Sony has taken the wraps off of its new 24mm F1.4 GM full-frame lens, which the company claims is the lightest in its class. Despite its fast aperture, the 24mm F1.4 is remarkably light, weighing just 445 grams (15.7 ounces). The lens will set you back $1400 when it ships next month.
In this episode of DPReview TV we take a look at Sony's brand new 24mm F1.4 GM lens, a desirable focal length for many photographers. How does it perform? Chris and Jordan give us their first impressions.
We've had a little time to shoot with Sony's new wide/fast prime, both close to home and on the water in San Francisco. Check out our initial sample images.
Fujifilm released a firmware upgrade for its X-T3 mirrorless camera that addresses issues with distortion compensation and the mechanical lock on SD cards.
The app's algorithms have been trained using using 200 million cropping data points from real photographers.
Thanks to a software update, the Loupedeck+ editing console can now be used for video editing.
British photographic engineer MTF Services is claiming the world’s first third-party lens adapters for the new Nikon Z system with a collection of four units designed to allow cinema lenses to be mounted on the mirrorless full frame bodies.
Think Tank Photo has updated its line of heavy-duty rain covers and introduced a new, compact version for emergency situations.
The X-T3 is our first opportunity to analyze what's likely to be Fujifilm's next generation image sensor. Take a look at how it performs next to the competition in our studio test scene.
Canon's new normal is seriously sharp wide open. After shooting with it for a few days, we've prepared a gallery of real-world sample images.
Nikon will cease offering Brazil-based customer service and technical support, though the company stresses that it will still offer technical assistance and warranty repairs for valid warranties.
Two years ago, CatLABS of JP announced a plan to save Packfilm from the dead. Now, it's announced it's giving up its efforts to better focus its resources elsewhere.
The GoPro Fusion is designed to make it easy to capture 360-degree video and stills. We took it out recently on a typically hot Seattle summer day to see what it can do.
We've got our hands on a full-production Nikon Z7 camera and have updated our gallery with additional samples.
A new Kickstarter campaign seeks funding for Chroma Chrono, a programmable RGB camera flash that emits multiple colors during long exposures.
Think Tank Photo has launched a new lineup of six dual-access, water-resistant protective lens cases it calls Lens Case Duo.
Canon and Nikon finally entered the full-frame mirrorless market this summer with the brand-new RF and Z mounts. Now that we've had some time with the cameras, we wanted to revisit our earlier predictions and take stock.
The devices' camera specs look pretty much identical to last year's iPhone X but under the hood a number of important improvements have been made.
Blackmagic Design has announced the public beta of its new Blackmagic RAW video codec. The company says the new format combines the benefits of shooting Raw video with the ease of use and smaller file sizes usually associated with non-Raw video files.
Serif, the company behind the Affinity suite, has announced the latest update for its mobile Photoshop competitor Affinity Photo for iPad.