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Why Buy the Panasonic DMC FZ28?
The Panasonic DMC FZ28 is a good buy if you take photos where you cannot get in close to the action, such as sports or wildlife. The manual controls give you more control over the way your final photos will look. The lens is flexible enough to also be suitable for sweeping landscape shots as well.
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|Outdoor 1 (Medium Zoom)|
This is a good start with a bright, colourful photo. As with other Panasonic digital cameras I am impressed by the way the DMC FZ28 is able to bring out detail and definition in lightly shaded areas. Panasonic cameras seem to be able to do this while avoiding adding noise to these areas. Overall the photo is sharply focused. As is typical at this time of the year the glare from the sun causes some of the detail on the boats to be lost.
|Outdoor 2 (No Zoom)|
With the lens zoomed right out this is the softest outdoor photo. I would have liked to have seen the photo that bit sharper, but it is very difficult to produce a lens with this range of focal length and expect pin sharp photos throughout the entire zoom range.
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|Outdoor 3 (Maximum Zoom)|
I am really pleased with this photo. Not only is it very sharp, but it shows the DMC FZ28 is able to control purple fringing much better than most similar cameras. Purple fringing occurs when a light source such as the sun strikes the edges of light coloured objects. Here you can see a small amount of purple fringing on the edges of the windows of the boats and also on some of the metalwork. The levels are so small it is only likely to bother you if you are making super sized prints.
|Outdoor 4 (Building)|
This is another example showing the focusing capabilities of the camera. I can pick out the individual bricks on the building without a problem. When it comes to sharpness the DMC FZ28 compares very well against other super zoom cameras.
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I am happy with all the portrait photos I took. This outdoor photo is sharp and I like the levels of colour the camera has used in the shot.
|Indoor Portrait with Flash|
The DMC FZ28 does a good job of retaining colour in the shot despite using flash. This helps to retain some warmth in the shot that is not always evident when flash is used. The photo is in sharp focus and works well.
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|Indoor Portrait without Flash|
This shot has a natural look to it. As with many shots taken indoors without flash this one would be better if it was a shade lighter. As you get to know your camera you can try adjusting exposure compensation to add some extra brightness in some lower light situations.
I am impressed with the colours throughout my test shots. They are vivid without being too bold and this helps to produce a pleasant contrast of colours. The photos also use light well and the DMC FZ28 is able to produce bright and vibrant photographs.
The DMC FZ28 can focus from 1cm away from a subject, so you should be able to get right in close for macro work. My test shot is a decent effort without being as pin sharp as some of the best cameras manage.
ISO 400 and ISO 1600: At ISO 400 the camera performs above expectations. Even so I would only increase ISO when I really had to in order to get a picture. At ISO 1600 there is plenty of noise, but again the camera does better than many others.
Overall: I am very happy with my test photos. They compare well against other super zoom cameras.
Shutter Lag and Recycling Times: Shutter lag times were good even though they did not match those of the Sony DSC H50 (the fastest current super zoom camera). A single photo took 0.33 seconds and five photos were captured in 8.12 seconds. With flash, times increased to 0.52 seconds for a single shot and 9.62 seconds for five. It took 2.69 seconds to turn the camera on and take the first photo.
Style: In terms of looks the DMC FZ28 is based along the lines of a small Digital SLR. It is available in black and silver.
Dimensions: 17.6 x 75.3 x 88.9mm
Batteries: Lithium ion. Panasonic suggests that up to 460 pictures can be taken in between charges. A battery and charger are supplied with the camera.
Memory Cards: The DMC FZ28 is compatible with SD and SDHC memory cards. To get you up and running Panasonic have built in 50mb of memory. This should allow you to take around 11 photos.
Ease of Use Rating: Good. As you would expect from a camera with this number of features it takes time to really get to know the camera. Even so Panasonic is one of the more straightforward brands. When you are first starting you can make use of the fully automatic mode.
Points I Like: Picture quality - advanced features - HD movie mode - length of zoom
Where it Could Improve: Wide angle shot could be sharper
Alternatives: Other digital cameras with long zoom lenses include the Nikon Coolpix P80 and the Olympus SP-570 UZ.
David Tymon's Verdict: If I was looking for a super zoom digital camera the Panasonic DMC FZ28 would be one I would strongly consider. I prefer the overall picture quality to that produced by most other brands. It has plenty of advanced features too.
David Tymon works with Cameras.co.uk