Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100 review
The FZ100 is Panasonic's most ambitious ultra-zoom camera to date. Not content with the slew of awards its previous FZ-series models have earned at Expert Reviews and elsewhere, this one takes on all challengers in virtually every department. It records video at 1080p resolution, takes photos at 11fps and has a 24x zoom lens, an articulated screen and a hotshoe for an external flash or microphone.
The price has rocketed, too. Its predecessor, the Lumix FZ38, cost around £260 at launch but the new model weighs in at around £350.
Performance is where the biggest improvements lie. The FZ38 was no slouch in normal use, capturing a shot every 1.3 seconds, but the 2fps continuous mode was limited to just three frames at the top quality setting and was unavailable in RAW mode. The FZ100's performance is in a different league, and even outpaces most consumer SLRs. Shot-to-shot time was just 0.8 seconds, while continuous mode ran at 10.8fps and lasted for 15 shots for JPEGs and 11 for RAW.
Various other continuous modes are available, such as 5fps with autofocus and 60fps for 60 frames at 2.7 megapixels – a feat made possible by the use of CMOS rather than CCD sensor technology. With ultra-zoom cameras specialising in sports and nature photography, this kind of performance is extremely welcome.
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