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.|
|Fascia walkie talkie building London by ian herridge|
from Abstract Architecture
|Global Reach by cjf2|
Ever wonder what the difference is between compressed, uncompressed and lossless compressed RAW files? Photography Life's Nasim Mansurov breaks it down for you in this informative article.
The oldest known portrait of a US president was just discovered after over a century in storage. It's going up for auction in October, where it's expected to fetch between $150,000 and $250,000.
If you're using the popular Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 Art lens with Sigma's MC-11 converter, listen up: you'll want to update your lens and converter firmware ASAP.
If you've heard it once, you've probably heard it a thousand times: never check in your camera gear when flying. This shattered $11,000 lens is what can happen when you do.
Lensrentals just did its first Cine lens comparison, pitting five top-notch 35mm primes against each other: the Zeiss CP.2 35mm T2.1, Canon CN-E 35mm T1.5, Sigma 35mm T1.5 FF, Rokinon Xeen 35mm T1.5 and Schneider Xenon 35mm T2.1.
A team of Google researchers have found that slightly warping watermarks when embedding them into images can help prevent automatic removal.
You don't have to empty your savings account to take your photography to the next level. These cheap buys cost about $50 or less, and come with outsized benefits for your photography.
Joey L, Dani Diamond, Brandon Woelfel and Jessica Kobeissi go head-to-head in an episode of "4 photographers shoot the same model."
The latest flagship phone from Asus combines a 12MP 1/2.55" Sony IMX362 main sensor with a smaller Sony IMX351 chip for 2x zoom and a background-blurring portrait mode.
The company behind popular photo editor Picktorial 3 just released the X-Pack: a preset package that allows you to add Fuji's in-camera film simulation profiles to your RAF files in post.
Photoshop. GoPro. Every once in a while a product emerges that defines a category. And sometimes, it vanishes just as quickly as it arrived on the scene. This week's Throwback Thursday remembers the Flip, the pocket camcorder everyone had – until they didn't.
The Nokia 8's dual-cam combines the image data from a 13MP RGB sensor and a 13 monochrome chip for better detail, improved dynamic range and lower noise levels.
The company behind retail giant B&H Photo has agreed to pay out $3.2 million in monetary relief and back wages to settle a discrimination and harassment case from 2016.
After a popular Facebook teaser and some studio portrait samples, Godox has finally officially released the Godox A1 smartphone flash and flash trigger. Cheap, versatile and innovative, color us intrigued.
Canon’s EOS 5D Mk IV has won the European Imaging and Sound Association’s Professional DSLR of the Year award, making this the third year in a row that the brand has beaten Nikon to the top spot in the professional camera category.
A photograph and quote tweeted out by former president Barack Obama has officially become the most popular tweet of all time, receiving over 1.3 million retweets and 3.4 million likes.
Edward Weston was one of the most influential photographers of the 20th century, and in this episode of Advancing Your Photography we learn the extreme technique he used to capture one of his most famous still life photos.
Instagram just released a small update that will make a huge difference if you're active on the photo sharing app: threaded comment replies.
Venus Optics has announced the price and delivery date of the second lens to join its Zero-D line up: the 15mm F2 for Sony’s E mount. A lens they've dubbed, "the world's fastest 15mm rectilinear lens for full-frame."
Cinnac is a new social network for photographers that will help you separate your good photos from your great ones through a Tinder-like community-based rating system.
The Canon EF 35mm F2 IS USM is an understated jewel of a lens, and one that we've enjoyed on a variety of cameras since its release almost five years ago. Its relatively small size and image stabilization make it a versatile tool for a variety of photography - check out our sample gallery.
You don't need a fancy studio or tons of gear to capture the kind of classic product photography you see in magazines. In this video, Dustin Dolby shows you how to do it with just a couple of speedlights and some know-how.
The life-logging camera is trying to make a comeback. Say hello to FrontRow, a live-streaming enabled life-logging camera from Ubiquiti that hangs on a necklace like a pendant.
When a prospective client approaches you, don't just say "yes" right away. Here's a useful list of questions you should be asking before you decide to take the job and name your price.
Samsung just revealed a blazing-fast new Solid State Drive capable of data transfer speeds of up to 540MB/s.
DJI has developed a 'Local Data Mode' that lets pilots fly without being connected to the Internet. The mode should calm recent fears over data privacy and security when flying DJI drones.
After 1.7 million downloads on Apple computers since the launch in November 2015, Aurora HDR will be available for Windows PCs for the first time with the 2018 release.
The company behind the new Meyer Optik Goerlitz lens manufacturing business has formed a new brand to bring back the Biotar 75mm F1.5 that was made by Carl Zeiss Jena in the 1940s and 50s.
The updated Qualcomm Spectra system is a dual-camera setup that is capable of sensing depth and motion in real time.
A sizable swath of the United States will be treated to a total eclipse of the heart – er, sun – in just under a week. Here are a few excellent guides to help you photograph this rare occasion.