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Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ45 vs FZ100 Digital Camera Reviews

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ45 vs FZ100 Digital Camera Reviews - Daniel Bell takes a look at two 24x optical zoom cameras from Panasonic.

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Category : Compact Cameras
Product : Panasonic Lumix FZ45
Price : £269
Rating :
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Features
Handling
Performance
Verdict
Specification

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100 front lens

Panasonic added the DMC-FZ100 and DMC-FZ45 to their range of Lumix Hybrid Super Zoom cameras in July 2010. The DMC-FZ45 is available for £269.00 and the DMC-FZ100 costs £366.99. Daniel Bell puts both cameras to the test and investigates whether the DMC-FZ100 is worth the extra £100.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ45 & FZ100 front

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ45 & FZ100: Features

Both cameras have a resolution of 14.1Mp, a CCD sensor on the DMC-FZ45 and a MOS sensor on the DMC-FZ100 and feature a f/2.8-5.2, 24x optical zoom lens which is a 35mm equivalent of 25 - 600mm. Using the Extra Optical Zoom function this can be extended to 50.6x although images are restricted to a maximum resolution of 3 megapixels.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ45 & FZ100 rear

The DMC-FZ100 records movies in 1920 x 1080 full-HD with the DMC-FZ45 restricted to 1280 x 720 HD and both feature the high sound quality of Dolby Digital Stereo Creator. On both cameras, in Creative Movie Mode the shutter speed and aperture can be adjusted. For playing videos back both cameras can be attached via mini HDMI to a Panasonic Viera TV.

To help take sharp pictures in varying conditions both cameras have Power OIS, Intelligent ISO Control, Face Detection AF/AE, Face Recognition, Intelligent Scene Selector, Intelligent Exposure and AF Tracking with the camera doing all the work in the iA Mode. Happy Mode optimises colour saturation and brightness for vivid scenes. On the DMC-FZ100, the iA Mode is also has Motion Deblur Mode by with Intelligent ISO Control and Intelligent Exposure to gain shutter speed to prevent blur.



Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ45 & FZ100 mode dial

Both cameras feature a manual mode as well as My Colour Mode and Film Mode to customise colours and with Advanced Scene Mode you can select the frequently used scene modes (Portrait, Scenery, Sports, Night Portrait, or Close-up Modes) with the dial.

Intelligent Zoom extends zoom ratio by approx. 1.3x which means 24x optical zoom can be extended to 32x without reducing image quality. Combine this with the 4x digital zoom and the camera is capable of a total of 128x zoom.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100 lens

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ45 Key Features:

 

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100 Key Features:

25mm wide-angle 24x optical zoom   25mm wide-angle 24x optical zoom
f/2.8 - 5.2 Leica DC Vario-Elmarit lens   f/2.8 - 5.2 Leica DC Vario-Elmarit lens
HD Movie in AVCHD Lite with Creative Movie Mode   1,920 x 1,080 Full-HD Movie in AVCHD
14.1 megapixel CCD sensor   Dolby Digital Stereo Creator
iA (Intelligent Auto) mode with Power OIS   14.1 megapixel MOS sensor and Venus Engine FHD
Intelligent Resolution Technology   iA (Intelligent Auto) Mode with Power OIS
32x Intelligent Zoom   Motion Deblur Mode
Intuitive Manual Control and Creative option   Intelligent Resolution Technology
My Colour Mode   32x Intelligent Zoom
3in LCD with wide-viewing angle   Intuitive Manual Control and Creative option
    My Colour Mode
    3in free-angle LCD

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100 articulating screen

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ45 & FZ100: Handling

Both cameras look and feel like an SLR and at first glance appear identical although there are some subtle differences between them. The main difference is the 3in free-angle LCD screen on the rear of the DMC-FZ100 which is not featured on the DMC-FZ45. The DMC-FZ100 screen also has a higher resolution at 460,000 dots compared to the 230,000 dots on the DMC-FZ45. The screen is great for taking pictures at unusual angles such as low down without having to bend your back.

Both cameras feature a jog dial which makes it easy to switch between modes. The placement of some of the buttons differ on each camera and are well placed and easy to press. Both cameras also come with a lens hood.

Although both cameras have the same battery the CIPA standards are 580 pictures for the DMC-FZ45 and 410 pictures for the DMC-FZ100. This is very reasonable and during testing the batteries never had to be recharged so there is no reason to doubt their expected life.

On both cameras is a 0.2in colour Electronic Viewfinder which is easy to see although it is a touch small. There is a diopter control wheel for those with less then perfect vision.

The DMC-FZ100 can shoot 11fps / 5fps with continuous AF at full 14 megapixel resolution, and 60fps in 3.5 megapixel resolution. The varying modes of continuous shooting can be changed via a dedicated button. Although the DMC-FZ45 doesn't have a dedicate button it can still shoot at a maximum of 1.8fps at full 14 megapixel resolution. There are also two scene modes on both cameras for continuous shooting - Hi-Speed and Flash Burst Modes although images are restricted to between 2.5 and 3 megapixels depending on the ratio used at up to 10fps on the DMC-FZ45 and 60fps on the DMC-FZ100.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ45 & FZ100 battery

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ45 & FZ100: Performance

The 24x optical zoom lens is capable of taking excellent pictures even when handheld. In the images below you can see the wind turbine with good detail, which is excellent given that it is about 4 miles away from where the image was taken. The third image has combine digital and optical zoom to get as close as possible. When shooting the moon with full optical and digital zoom there is a pleasing amount of detail to be seen.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ45 & FZ100 wide-angle   Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ45 & FZ100 full optical zoom
Wide-angle, ISO100, 1/320, f/4, 4.5mm (35mm equiv: 25mm) DMC-FZ100   Full optical zoom, ISO100, 1/400, f/5.2, 108mm (35mm equiv: 600mm) DMC-FZ100
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ45 & FZ100 full digital zoom   Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ45 & FZ100 moon
Full digital zoom, ISO100, 1/640, f/5.2, 108mm (35mm equiv: 600mm) DMC-FZ100   Moon, ISO400, 1/80, f/5.2, 108mm (35mm equiv: 600mm) DMC-FZ100

Both cameras take excellent macro pictures whether at wide-angle or telephoto length. There is a minimum focusing distance of just 1 cm when using wide-angle and 100cm when using the lens at its longest.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ45 & FZ100 macro wide-angle   Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ45 & FZ100 telephoto macro
Macro wide-angle, ISO250, 1/60, f/2.8, 4.5mm (35mm equiv: 25mm) DMC-FZ100   Macro-telephoto, ISO400, 1/80, f/5.2, 108mm (35mm equiv: 600mm) DMC-FZ100

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ45 starts at ISO80 with the DMC-FZ100 starting at ISO100 and both of them having a maximum ISO of 1600.

ISO80 ISO100 ISO200 ISO400 ISO800 ISO1600
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ45
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ45 ISO80 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ45 ISO100 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ45 ISO200 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ45 ISO400 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ45 ISO800 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ45 ISO1600
1/4, f/3.5, 19mm (35mm equiv: 106mm) 1/5, f/3.5, 19mm (35mm equiv: 106mm) 1/10, f/3.5, 19mm (35mm equiv: 106mm) 1/20, f/3.5, 19mm (35mm equiv: 106mm) 1/40, f/3.5, 19mm (35mm equiv: 106mm) 1/80, f/3.5, 19mm (35mm equiv: 106mm)
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100
  Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100 ISO100 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100 ISO200 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100 ISO400 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100 ISO800 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100 ISO1600
  1/8, f/3.5, 19mm (35mm equiv: 106mm) 1/15, f/3.5, 19mm (35mm equiv: 106mm) 1/30, f/3.5, 19mm (35mm equiv: 106mm) 1/60, f/3.5, 19mm (35mm equiv: 106mm) 1/125, f/3.5, 19mm (35mm equiv: 106mm)

Here are examples of using the camera in portrait mode, both with and without the flash.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ45 & FZ100 portrait without flash   Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ45 & FZ100 portrait with flash
Portrait without flash, ISO400, 1/30, f/3.5, 22mm (35mm equiv: 122mm) DMC-FZ45   Portrait with flash, ISO250, 1/60, f/3.5, 22mm (35mm equiv: 122mm) DMC-FZ45

Both cameras produces well exposed images with excellent colour reproduction which can be seen in the examples below. The landscape mode mode gives images with excellent greens and blues. As well as landscape mode the cameras also have an architecture mode. Sport mode has been used the capture the water from the fountain. Sunset mode capture some nice colours in the sky but left the foreground slightly underexposed.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ45 & FZ100 landscape   Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ45 & FZ100 architecture
Landscape mode, ISO100, 1/640, f/4, 4.5mm (35mm equiv: 25mm) DMC-FZ100   Architecture mode, ISO100, 1/1000, f/4, 4.5mm (35mm equiv: 25mm) DMC-FZ100
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ45 & FZ100 sport   Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ45 & FZ100 text
Sport mode, ISO125, 1/500, f/3.3, 12mm (35mm equiv: 67mm) DMC-FZ100   Text (auto mode), ISO100, 1/200, f/4, 4.5mm (35mm equiv: 25mm) DMC-FZ100
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ45 & FZ100 sunset   Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ45 & FZ100 pet
Sunset mode, ISO160, 1/100, f/4, 4.5mm (35mm equiv: 25mm) DMC-FZ100   Pet (auto mode), ISO320, 1/125, f/2.8, 4.5mm (35mm equiv: 25mm) DMC-FZ100

The white-balance performance on the DMC-FZ45 is better than that of the DMC-FZ100 in our studio but in general use I found the auto-white balance produced good results on both. The incandescent preset on the DMC-FZ100 didn't cope particularly well under the incandescent lights.

Auto White Balance - Incandescent Lighting Preset Incandescent WB - Incandescent Light Auto White Balance - Fluorescent Light
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ45
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ45 Auto White Balance - Incandescent Lighting Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ45 Preset Incandescent WB - Incandescent Light Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ45 Auto White Balance - Fluorescent Light
ISO100, 1/10, f/3.2, 7mm (35mm equiv: 39mm) ISO100, 1/13, f/3.2, 7mm (35mm equiv: 39mm) ISO100, 1/3, f/3.2, 7mm (35mm equiv: 39mm)
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100 Auto White Balance - Incandescent Lighting Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100 Preset Incandescent WB - Incandescent Light Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100 Auto White Balance - Fluorescent Light
ISO100, 1/15, f/3.2, 8mm (35mm equiv: 44mm) ISO100, 1/15, f/3.2, 8mm (35mm equiv: 44mm) ISO100, 1/4, f/3.2, 8mm (35mm equiv: 44mm)

My colour mode has a range of different effects that can be applied when shooting pictures. There are 11 in total as well as a custom mode, examples of which are below. Noise performance on the DMC-FZ45 is good at ISO80 and ISO100 with it getting worse through ISO200 and ISO400. ISO800 shows signs of detail being lost and ISO1600 produced images best kept for web use. The DMC-FZ100 is good at ISO100 and ISO200. Things start to go wrong at ISO400 with green spots starting to appear in the black areas of the test shots. This gets much worse at ISO800 and ISO1600 is best used as a very last resort.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ45 & FZ100 Dynamic Art   Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ45 & FZ100 Dynamic Black and White   Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ45 & FZ100 Elegant   Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ45 & FZ100 Expressive
Dynamic Art, ISO400, 1/400, f/4, 4.5mm (35mm equiv: 25mm) DMC-FZ45   Dynamic Black and White, ISO400, 1/400, f/4, 4.5mm (35mm equiv: 25mm) DMC-FZ45   Elegant, ISO80, 1/320, f/4, 4.5mm (35mm equiv: 25mm) DMC-FZ45   Expressive, ISO80, 1/200, f/4, 4.5mm (35mm equiv: 25mm) DMC-FZ45
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ45 & FZ100 Film Grain   Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ45 & FZ100 High Dynamic   Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ45 & FZ100 Monochrome   Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ45 & FZ100 Pin Hole
Film Grain, ISO1600, 1/1600, f/6.3, 4.5mm (35mm equiv: 25mm) DMC-FZ45   High Dynamic, ISO400, 1/400, f/4, 4.5mm (35mm equiv: 25mm) DMC-FZ45   Monochrome, ISO80, 1/250, f/4, 4.5mm (35mm equiv: 25mm) DMC-FZ45   Pin Hole, ISO125, 1/250, f/4, 4.5mm (35mm equiv: 25mm) DMC-FZ45
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ45 & FZ100 Pure   Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ45 & FZ100 Retro   Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ45 & FZ100 Silhouette    
Pure, ISO800, 1/125, f/3.6, 4.5mm (35mm equiv: 25mm) DMC-FZ45   Retro, ISO80, 1/250, f/4, 4.5mm (35mm equiv: 25mm) DMC-FZ45   Silhouette, ISO80, 1/200, f/4, 4.5mm (35mm equiv: 25mm) DMC-FZ45    

Video Mode

If you are looking for a camera with full HD video then out of the two on test here, the DMC-FZ100 is the camera for you. The DMC-FZ45 records at 720p, for a sample please visit the ePHOTOzine YouTube page.



Value For Money

The DMC-FZ100 is currently available for around £360 and the DMC-FZ45 is £260. Other high-end super zoom compact cameras to consider are the Nikon Coolpix P500 (36x optical zoom, £339.00), Canon Powershot SX30 IS (35x optical zoom, £348.00), Fujifilm FinePix HS20 EXR (30x optical zoom, £379.00), Sony HX100 (30x optical zoom, £429.95), Kodak Easyshare Max Z990, Fujifilm FinePix S4000 (30x optical zoom, £223.00) and Olympus SZ-30MR (24x optical zoom, £279.00).

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ45 & FZ100: Verdict

Both of the cameras on test here take excellent pictures in ideal conditions, including at both ends of the lens and macro. The noise performance at ISO800 and ISO1600 does let the DMC-FZ100 down but both cameras are absolutely packed with features. The DMC-FZ100 has the flash hotshoe, full HD videos, 11fps shooting and the articulating screen which is a major advantage. If these features aren't a high priority for you then you may prefer to save yourself the extra £100 and go for the DMC-FZ45.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ45 proves excellent value for money for the features and performance offered.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ45: Pros

Excellent 24x optical zoom lens
Feature packed
Electronic Viewfinder
Really good macro images
Excellent value for money

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ45: Cons

Not small enough to fit in your pocket
Camera is quite bulky, some may prefer a smaller zoom cameras such as the Nikon Coolpix S9100

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100 is packed with features and the 24x zoom is really impressive.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100: Pros

Excellent 24x optical zoom lens
Feature packed
Full HD video recording
Electronic Viewfinder
Articulating LCD screen
Really good macro images

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100: Cons

Camera is quite bulky, some may prefer a smaller zoom cameras such as the Nikon Coolpix S9100
Incandescent white-balance preset doesn't do as well as hoped
Shocking noise performance at ISO800 and ISO1600

 

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ45

 

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100

FEATURES  
HANDLING  
PERFORMANCE  
VALUE FOR MONEY  
OVERALL  

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ45 & FZ100: Specification

 

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ45

 

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100

Price £269.00   £366.99
Contact  
Optical zoom 24x optical zoom, 4.5 - 108mm (35mm equiv: 25 - 600mm), f/2.8 - 5.2
Resolution 14.1Mp
Sensor size CCD   MOS
Sensor type 1/2.33
Max image size 4320 x 3240
Aspect ratio 4:3 / 3:2 / 16:9 / 1:1
Focusing system Normal / Macro, Macro Zoom, Quick AF On/Off (On in Intelligent Auto), Continuous AF On/Off / AF/MF Switchable, Manual Focus (Jog Dial and cursor key button), One Shot AF, AF Area Select, AF Tracking   Normal / Macro, Quick AF On/Off (On in Intelligent Auto), Continuous AF On/Off / AF/MF Switchable, Manual Focus (Jog Dial and cursor key button), One Shot AF, AF Area Select, AF Tracking
Focus points Face / AF Tracking / Multi (23pt) / 1pt (flexible / scalable)
Focus distance 1cm
File types JPEG, AVCHD Lite, QuickTime Motion JPEG   JPEG, AVCHD, QuickTime Motion JPEG
ISO sensitivity ISO80 - 1600   ISO100 - 1600
Metering system Program AE, Aperture Priority AE, Shutter Priority AE, Manual, Program Shift (Program AE mode)
Metering types Intelligent Multiple / Center Weighted / Spot
Exposure compensation 1/3 EV step, +/-3 EV
Shutter speed range 1/2000 - 60sec
Frames-per-second Full-Resolution Image, 1.8 frames/sec Max. 5 images (Standard mode), Max. 3 images (Fine Mode) / High-speed Burst Mode: approx. 5 frames/sec (image priority) / approx. 10 frames/sec (speed priority) / (recorded in 3M for 4:3, 2.5M for 3:2, 2M for 16:9)   Full-Resolution Image, 11 frames/sec Max. 15 images / High-speed Burst Shooting: max. 60 frames/sec (recorded in 2.5M for 4:3, 3M for 3:2, 3.5M for 16:9, 2M for 1:1)
Image stabilisation POWER OIS
Movie mode 720p HD   1080i HD
Monitor 3in LCD Screen, 230,000 dots   3in LCD Screen, 460,000 dots
Viewfinder 0.20in Color EVF (201.6K Pixels equiv.), Field of View : approx. 100%, Lens 19.6x
Media type SD, SDHC, SDXC
Interface  
Power  
Box Contents Battery Charger, Battery Pack, AV Cable, USB Cable, Shoulder Strap, CD-ROM, Lens hood, Lens cap, Lens cap string
Size 120.3 x 79.8 x 91.9mm   124.3 x 81.2 x 95.2mm
Weight 454   496

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ45 costs £269.00 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100 costs £366.99 and are available from Warehouse Express here:

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ45

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100

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Photographs taken using the Panasonic Panasonic Lumix FZ45

Who Do You Think You Are Kidding?Diamond-facedN E W SWeather WornCobble on the RocksAmong AngelsRemember MeGrainsPhantassie DoocotFlour of ScotlandRays of LightDenimQuite Unlike
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Comments


21 Apr 2011 10:28AM
Did nobody see in the sample pictures that the FZ45 is significantly sharper than its counterpart? IQ has a clear winner here, the FZ45, and the additional features of the FZ100 do not compensate its loss of detail.

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MikeRC e2
9 3.5k United Kingdom
27 Apr 2011 7:30PM
Excellent review Daniel but how will this camera cope with birds in flight ?
....that'd be a real test.
.......Mike

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