Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ20

  |   by DigitalCameraReview Staff

The 4-megapixel Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ10 offers a host of professional features at an affordable price. It includes a 12x optical zoom with image stabilization, full manual controls (with a manual focus ring), a hot shoe accessory connector, and movie mode with audio. This Lumix model (the DMC-FZ10S) has a silver body; the DMC-FZ10K has a black body.

Optics and Resolution
With its 4-megapixel CCD sensor, you can capture up to a 2304 x 1728 pixel image for prints up to 11 x 17 inches. It also has 1600 x 1200, 1280 x 960, and 640 x 480 pixel resolution settings (and 1920 x 1080 for display on HDTV wide screen TVs with a 16:9 aspect ratio).

The extended zoom of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ10 digital camera
No Zoom 3x Zoom 6x Zoom 9x Zoom 12x Zoom

The Leica DC Vario-Elmarit lens features an F2.8 brightness throughout the entire 12x zoom range, which is equivalent to a 35-420mm zoom lens on a conventional 35mm film camera. (The DMC-FZ10 also has a 3x digital zoom.) Its precision lens, extraordinary telephoto features and no-lag processing speed enable this camera to capture every detail of distant or quick-moving subjects with superb brightness and clarity. The Lumix DMC-FZ10 image stabilization system uses gyroscopes within the camera to sense camera shake and shift the lens elements to compensate for the movement–thus enabling you to shoot at a slower shutter speed.

About Panasonic’s MEGA Optical Image Stabilizer
The same image with IS off and with IS on
Handheld telephoto shots, or shoot-
ing in low-light conditions, often magnifies unintentional hand move-
ments into blurry images (above, top). This optical technology (bottom) provides precise compen-
sation for these movements without any degradation of image quality.

Movie Mode
In addition to taking still photos, the DMC-FZ10 can also record 320 x 240 movie clips at either 30 or 10 frames per second (fps) with audio. Your video length is limited only by the size of your memory card. The included 16 MB card can hold 25 seconds of 30 fps video.

More Features
In addition to the variety of convenient automatic controls, the DMC-FZ10 has full manual controls for exposure, focusing, and white balance. Manual exposure capability gives you complete freedom for capturing images according to your preferences, including intentional overexposure or underexposure. The manual focus ring provided on the lens barrel, like traditional camera lenses, allows you to focus on the particular part of your subject according to your preference. Advanced histogram functions on the DMC-FZ10, like a digital light meter, provide a graphic representation of the luminance level of the pixels composing an image for more precise exposure control for quality photos.

Incredibly responsive, the DMC-FZ10 captures consecutive shots nearly as quickly as a motor-driven film camera. As soon as the camera’s CCD captures the image signal, Panasonic’s multi-tasking Venus Engine LSI simultaneously displays images on the LCD while writing data to the memory card, significantly reducing lag time between shots. To capture sudden events as they unfold, Panasonic’s exclusive Mega Burst recording feature enables consecutive rapid-fire shooting, capturing 4 frames per second with undiminished quality from frame to frame.

Other features include:

  • 2-inch LCD display with 130,000-pixel resolution
  • Flash modes: Auto, Red-Eye Auto, On, Red-Eye On, Red-Eye Slow Sync
  • Focus modes: Auto Focus System, Manual Focus, Normal/Macro (Dial), Spot AF On/Off (Spot Mode), Continuous AF On/Off
  • Audio recording with images up to 5 seconds

As an added bonus, Panasonic includes a lens hood, which comes in handy when you’re shooting outdoors. The lens hood is threaded for 72 mm filters, as well.

Panasonic's MegaBurst Mode
Designed for action shots, Panasonic’s Mega Burst imaging captures up to eight full-resolution shots in two seconds.

Storage and Transfer
Images are stored on either Secure Digital (SD) or MultiMediaCard (MMC) memory cards. A 16 MB SD card is included with the DMC-FZ10. At the 2304 x 1728 pixel setting, the 16 MB card can hold 8 images at Fine Quality mode or 16 at Standard Quality mode.

Images can be downloaded to either a Mac or PC via USB 1.1 connectivity, which means the camera can be connected to any USB-based Windows Me/2000/XP and Mac OS 8.6 or later computer without installing any software.

Power and Size
The camera is powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery (included). It measures 3.4 x 5.5 x 4.2 inches and weighs 19.4 ounces (550 grams).

What’s In The Box
This package includes the Lumix DMC-FZ10S (silver) digital camera, 16 MB Secure Digital memory card, rechargeable lithium-ion battery (CGA-S002A), AC adapter/battery charger, lens hood, lens cap, neck strap, USB and A/V cables, and 139-page printed manual. It also includes the following software:

  • ArcSoft PhotoBase–Transfer images from an SD Memory Card to a PC that “footnotes” and display them in a list
  • ArcSoft PhotoImpression–Adjust colors and process images to create calendars, cards, etc.
  • ArcSoft Panorama Maker–Merge separate photos to create a single image
  • ArcSoft PhotoPrinter Pro–Select numerous photos to print together as one group
  • SD Viewer for DSC–Makes it easy to check image data on an SD Memory Card. Use it to create slide shows and save them on an SD Memory Card (For Windows)
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