Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ62 review
1/2.33in 15.9-megapixel sensor, 24.0x zoom (25-600mm equivalent), 493g
The FZ62 is the successor to the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ48, which was one of our favourite ultra-zoom cameras of 2011. We were particularly impressed that Panasonic had moved from 14 megapixels in the earlier FZ45 to 12 megapixels in the FZ48, as this delivered a significant drop in noise levels.
This wisdom has sadly escaped Panasonic this time around. While the pricier Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 sticks with a 12-megapixel sensor, the FZ62's resolution has been hiked up to 16 megapixels. This doesn't bode well for noise levels, although the move from a CCD to what Panasonic calls a High Sensitivity MOS sensor might redress the balance – more on this below.
Continuous performance is up from 3.7fps on the FZ48 to 10fps, but this isn't entirely good news either. Whereas the older model could capture seven shots in a burst, the FZ62 only managed three. An alternative 5fps mode is more useful, not least because the camera can refocus between each shot. This mode only lasted for three frames at 5fps but then continued at 1.7fps rather than stopping. It's not exactly a blistering turn of speed but we appreciate that live view was available while shooting. Elsewhere, performance was excellent, with just one second to switch on and shoot, and 0.7 seconds between shots.
Most other features remain as they were on the FZ48. The 3in screen is reasonably sharp but isn't articulated, and the low-resolution electronic viewfinder (EVF) isn't much fun to use. Higher quality EVFs are starting to appear in ultra-zoom cameras, but only in pricier models such as the FZ200 and Fujifilm X-S1.
The power switch has been moved to a lever beside the mode dial, which makes room for a dedicated button to access continuous mode settings. The buttons on the back have been tweaked, too, with a new white balance control. There are no less than four buttons dedicated to focus control: one for moving the autofocus point, an auto/macro/manual focus button, another for AF/AE lock and yet another for single or continuous autofocus. If that seems like overkill, the latter two can be reassigned, perhaps to access metering mode and AE bracketing. In short, this is an excellent camera for people who like hands-on control.