DigitalCameraReview.com
Lumix FZ28 updates Panasonic's 18x ultrazoom
by David Rasnake -  7/20/2008

Panasonic has announced an overhaul to its popular FZ18. The new Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ28 adds more resolution and more features to the manufacturer's 18x ultrazoom platform.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ28

Built around a 10.1 megapixel CCD sensor, the FZ28 features a wide-angle 18x Leica lens with similar (though not identical) specs to the unit seen on its predecessor: a wider-than-before 27mm short end expands the FZ28's field of coverage at the expense of a little telephoto reach. As before, the lens is optically stabilized via Panasonic's Mega O.I.S. technology.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ28

Styling and form are nearly identical to the FZ18, with a large right-hand grip balanced by the FZ28's hefty lens barrel. A high-res 2.7-inch main display is complemented by the FZ28's 200K-dot electronic viewfinder, making composition and image review easy whatever the situation.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ28

True to its lineage, the FZ28 offers users seeking more control the complete range of manual exposure modes. A total of 37 scene modes, including Film Grain and Pin Hole settings borrowed from the new LX3, provide a comprehensive list of automatic shooting options as well. Panasonic's Intelligent Auto mode, which analyzes a scene and automatically selects the best combination of settings via its Intelligent Scene Selector, is also available.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ28

First seen on Panasonic's flagship ultracompact, the FX500, AF Tracking allows the FZ28 to lock focus on a particular object or area within the composition frame and hold focus – even if the subject moves or the shot is recomposed.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ28 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ28 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ28

A related system can be used to track faces when shooting with Face Detection AF, allowing the camera to track faces in profile (though subjects must still look at the camera straight-on to get an initial lock).

Full-res high-speed shooting is accomplished at 2.5 fps, with a 13 fps high-speed burst mode available at reduced resolution. Combined with its long, stabilized lens and electronic viewfinder, solid burst shooting performance and Panasonic's Quick AF technology and high-speed auto focus modes should make the FZ28 another solid performer where action shooting is concerned.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ28

HD video capture is Panasonic's calling card for the fall line; to this end, the FZ28 earns the ability to grab video at up to 1280x720. An optional component HD cable allows the camera to be connected to an HDTV to play back movies and display images.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ28

The FZ28 is expected for retail delivery next month. MSRP is $399.95.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ28 Specifications:

Sensor 10.1 megapixels, 1/2.33" CCD
Lens/Zoom 18x (27-486mm) Leica DC Vario-Elmarit, f/2.8-4.4
LCD/Viewfinder 2.7", 230K dot TFT LCD Display
Sensitivity ISO 100-1600
Shutter Speed 60-1/2000 seconds
Shooting Modes

Intelligent AUTO, Program, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, Manual, 2 Custom Modes, Portrait (Normal, Soft Skin, Outdoor, Indoor, Creative), Scenery (Normal, Nature, Architecture, Creative), Sports (Normal, Outdoor, Indoor, Creative), Night Portrait (Night Portrait, Night Scenery, Illuminations, Creative), Close-up (Flower, Food, Objects, Creative), Scene, Motion Picture

Scene Presets

Party, Candle Light, Baby1, Baby2, Pet, Sunset, High sensitivity, Hi-Speed Burst, Flash Burst, Panning, Starry Sky, Fireworks, Beach, Snow, Aerial Photo, Pin Hole, Film Grain

White Balance Settings Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Shade, Flash, Halogen, Color Temperature, White Set 1, White Set 2
Metering Modes Intelligent Multiple, Center-Weighted, Spot
Focus Modes

Face, AF tracking, multi-area, 1-area high speed, 1-area, spot

Drive Modes Single, Burst, High-speed Burst
Flash Modes Auto, Red-Eye Reduction, Forced On, Slow Sync/Red-Eye Reduction, Forced Off
Self Timer Settings
10 seconds, 10 seconds (3 pictures), 2 seconds, Off
Memory Formats SD, SDHC, MultiMediaCard
Internal Memory
50MB
File Formats JPEG, RAW, Motion JPEG
Max. Image Size 3648x2736
Max. Video Size
1280x720, 30 fps
Zoom During Video Yes
Battery Rechargeable 710 mAh lithium-ion, 460 shots
Connections USB 2.0, AV output, HD AV output, DC input
Additional Features Mega OIS Image Stabilization, Venus Engine IV processor, Intelligent ISO, Intelligent Scene Selector