Not much different to last year's FZ48, but that's no bad thing. A solid all-rounder at a great price
There are extensive options in the menu to customise image quality, plus control over the maximum ISO speed allowed when Auto ISO is selected. There’s full manual exposure control too, but it’s disappointing that the slowest shutter speed is now four seconds; on the FZ48 it was 60.
Less technical photographers will want to stick to the Intelligent Auto mode, but we found that it sometimes failed to live up to its name. Shooting in moderate-to-low light using telephoto zoom positions, the camera often chose shutter speeds as slow as 1/4 seconds before it was willing to raise the ISO speed beyond 400. The FZ62’s optical stabilisation is pretty good, but it’s not that good – most of these shots were blurry.
The lens delivers sharp focus at the full 600mm zoom extension – click to enlarge
As with previous FZ-series cameras, the FZ62 excels for video. Picture and sound quality were both clear and detailed, and the zoom and focus motors worked smoothly and silently. The AVCHD format delivers clip lengths up to 30 minutes, and there’s manual exposure control for videos.
There’s quite a lot of blooming around over-exposed highlights, and noise is taking its toll in the shadows of this ISO 200 shot – click to enlarge
Photos were impressively sharp, thanks in no small part to the excellent lens and some aggressive digital sharpening, but our studio tests revealed only marginal improvements over the 12-megapixel FZ48. Handling of highlights appears to have regressed, though, with blooming around over-exposed areas of photos.
Indoor shots are fine for sharing online, but there’s barely any details when viewed up close – click to enlarge
It’s a welcome relief to find that noise levels at fast ISO speeds were a little lower than from the FZ48, despite the increased resolution. Noise was far from being absent, though, with a slight graininess to shadows even in brightly lit shots. Dimly lit shots had very little fine details but they looked fine when resized for online sharing. The FZ48 wasn’t great in low light, and while we welcome the improvement this time around, we’re curious to see how much better the 12-megapixel FZ200 performs.
The FZ62 isn’t the most inspiring update, but on balance it’s marginally better than the FZ48. The FZ48 is still available for around £220 as we go to press, and is an excellent choice for bargain hunters. But putting end-of-line deals to one side, he FZ62 is the best ultra-zoom currently available under £300.
|Sensor effective megapixels
|electronic (202,000 pixels)
|Viewfinder magnification, coverage
|LCD screen size
|LCD screen resolution
|Zoom 35mm equivalent
|optical, lens based
|Maximum image resolution
|JPEG; AVCHD, MP4 (AVC)
|Battery Life (tested)
|USB, AV, mini HDMI
|Focal length multiplier
|Kit lens model name
|one year RTB
|program, shutter priority, aperture priority, manual
|4 to 1/2,000 seconds
|f/2.8-8 (wide), f/5.2-8 (tele)
|ISO range (at full resolution)
|100 to 3200
|auto, 5 presets with fine tuning, manual, Kelvin
|Additional image controls
|contrast, saturation, sharpness, noise reduction, i.Dynamic,
|Closest macro focus
|multi, felxible spot, face detect, tracking
|multi, centre-weighted, centre, face detect
|auto, forced, suppressed, slow synchro, red-eye reduction
|single, continuous, self-timer, AE bracket, panorama, HDR, 3D