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Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ62 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : 270
inc VAT

Not much different to last year's FZ48, but that's no bad thing. A solid all-rounder at a great price

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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.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ62 sample shot
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.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ62 sample shot
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.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ62 sample shot
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.

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Basic Specifications

Rating*****
Sensor effective megapixels15.9 megapixels
Sensor size1/2.33in
Viewfinderelectronic (202,000 pixels)
Viewfinder magnification, coverage100%
LCD screen size3.0in
LCD screen resolution460,000 pixels
Articulated screenNo
Live viewYes
Optical zoom24.0x
Zoom 35mm equivalent25-600mm
Image stabilisationoptical, lens based
Maximum image resolution4,608×3,456
File formatsJPEG; AVCHD, MP4 (AVC)

Physical

Memory slotSDXC
Mermory supplied70MB internal
Battery typeLi-ion
Battery Life (tested)450 shots
ConnectivityUSB, AV, mini HDMI
Body materialplastic
Lens mountN/A
Focal length multiplierN/A
Kit lens model nameN/A
AccessoriesUSB cable
Weight493g
Size80x120x115mm

Buying Information

Warrantyone year RTB
Price£270
Supplierhttp://www.lambda-tek.com
Detailswww.panasonic.co.uk

Camera Controls

Exposure modesprogram, shutter priority, aperture priority, manual
Shutter speed4 to 1/2,000 seconds
Aperture rangef/2.8-8 (wide), f/5.2-8 (tele)
ISO range (at full resolution)100 to 3200
Exposure compensation+/-3 EV
White balanceauto, 5 presets with fine tuning, manual, Kelvin
Additional image controlscontrast, saturation, sharpness, noise reduction, i.Dynamic,
Manual focusYes
Closest macro focus1cm
Auto-focus modesmulti, felxible spot, face detect, tracking
Metering modesmulti, centre-weighted, centre, face detect
Flashauto, forced, suppressed, slow synchro, red-eye reduction
Drive modessingle, continuous, self-timer, AE bracket, panorama, HDR, 3D

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