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The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ72 was announced in July 2013 and is a bridge camera which has a 60x optical zoom lens. At the moment this is the most amount of zoom you'll find on a digital camera. If this isn't enough for you there is an optional tele conversion lens, shown below, which means the zoom can be extended further to 102x! The FZ72 is available now for approximately £330.
To make picture taking as easy as possible there is an Intelligent Auto (iAuto) mode which automatically adjusts the camera settings based on the detected scene. There are also many scene modes to choose from or for full control over your shooting there are full manual controls - you can also shoot in RAW. There is a HDR mode and you can also shoot panoramas. In continuous shooting the FZ72 can record at up to 9 fps.
To help composition, particularly when shooting with lots of optical zoom, there is a 0.2 inch EVF (Electronic Viewfinder).
Videos are recorded in full 1080p HD and includes a new Wind Shield Zoom microphone that helps prevent wind noise.
- 16.1 megapixel MOS sensor
- 60x optical zoom lens (35mm equiv: 20-1200mm)
- Power Optical Image Stabiliser (OIS)
- 3.0 inch 460k dot LCD screen
- 0.20 inch (202k dots equiv.)
- Full manual controls with RAW shooting
- Full 1080p HD video recording
- ISO 100-6400
- 1cm minimum focusing distance
- 9 fps continuous shooting
- HDR mode
- Panoramic mode
The FZ72 has a dedicated button for accessing continuous shooting, which sits on the top with the movie, record and focus buttons. The focus button lets you use the d-pad to choose the exact point which you wish to focus on. There is also an ample set of buttons on the rear of the camera. There are a couple of function buttons which can be changed to your own personal preference from a wide number of choices. There are also buttons to change the focus mode, ISO and white balance.
The 3.0 inch screen has a decent 460k dot resolution. The screen is bright and colourful, but if you're struggling to see the screen you can used the 202k dot EVF. Although not a particularly high resolution, it is good enough to compose shots and makes darker scenes appear much brighter. To switch between the EVF and LCD screen there is a button to press.
The FZ72 has a simple to use, easy to navigate menu system. To quickly change picture settings, such as image size, quality, exposure compensation etc. there is a q.menu button.
Battery life is rated at fantastic 400 shots according to CIPA test results, plenty for a least a day or two of shooting. We took a number of shots to test the camera's responsiveness, from switch on to first photo, shot to shot, focusing speed etc. We take a number of shots and then use the average to ensure accurate and consistent tests, making it easy to compare with other cameras.
|Shutter Response||0.1 secs|
|Wide - Focus / Shutter Response||0.2 secs|
|Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response||0.6 secs|
|Switch on Time to Taking a Photo||1.2 secs|
|Shot to Shot without Flash||0.7 secs|
|Shot to Shot with Flash||3.2 secs|
|Continuous Shooting - 2 fps mode||1.8 fps|
|Continuous Shooting - 5 fps mode||5 fps|
|Continuous Shooting - 9 fps mode||8.8 fps|
|Continuous Shooting - H mode||9.5 fps|
|Continuous Shooting - flash burst||2 fps|
When shooting with the flash, it is a little slow to recharge. Continuous H mode is restricted to 3 megapixels, but the other continuous shooting modes all record in full 16 megapixel resolution. The fps mode slows after 3 shots, flash burst slows after 5 shots and the 9 fps mode is limited to just 3 shots.
Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.
Panasonic Lumix FZ72 Sample Photos
Portrait | 1/60 sec | f/4.2 | 11.2 mm | ISO 500
Landscape | 1/1300 sec | f/3.2 | 5.0 mm | ISO 100
Night Landscape | 1/4 sec | f/3.6 | 7.4 mm | ISO 1000
Pet Portrait | 1/320 sec | f/5.6 | 74.4 mm | ISO 640
Sample Photos - The FZ72 produces superb pictures that are well exposed and have excellent colour reproduction. When shooting portraits, skin tones are decent and free of red-eye when using the flash.
Panasonic Lumix FZ72 Lens test images
Wide Angle | 1/640 sec | f/4.5 | 5.0 mm | ISO 200
Full Optical Zoom | 1/320 sec | f/5.9 | 215.0 mm | ISO 100
Some Optical Zoom | 1/500 sec | f/5.6 | 57.2 mm | ISO 100
Macro | 1/50 sec | f/3.8 | 8.2 mm | ISO 400
Lens Performance - Detail is good at both ends of the lens, there is a little purple fringing but it is generally kept to a minimum. To get the sharpest pictures possible when using the lens at its longest you're well advised to use a tripod if possible. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of just 1cm, this allows you to get really close for excellent macro shots.
Panasonic Lumix FZ72 ISO test images
1/8 sec | f/4.7 | 16.0 mm | ISO 100
1/15 sec | f/4.7 | 16.0 mm | ISO 200
1/30 sec | f/4.7 | 16.0 mm | ISO 400
1/60 sec | f/4.7 | 16.0 mm | ISO 800
1/125 sec | f/4.7 | 16.0 mm | ISO 1600
1/250 sec | f/4.7 | 16.0 mm | ISO 3200
ISO Noise Performance - Noise is minimal and remains so throughout ISO 100, 200, 400 and 800. Detail suffers a little at ISO 1600, with much softer images produced at ISO 3200. ISO 6400 is available but only in High Sensitivity mode where image size is restricted to a minimum of 3 megapixels
Panasonic Lumix FZ72 White-balance test images
AWB Tungsten | 1/13 sec | f/3.6 | 7.1 mm | ISO 100
WB Tungsten | 1/13 sec | f/3.6 | 7.1 mm | ISO 100
AWB Fluorescent | 1/5 sec | f/3.6 | 7.1 mm | ISO 100
White Balance Performance - The Auto White Balance (AWB) copes excellently under both our incandescent and fluorescent lights. The incandescent preset takes an image with a slight colour cast under the incandescent lights. There is no fluorescent preset.
Panorama | 1/250 sec | f/8.0 | 3.6 mm | ISO 100
Panorama mode - Panoramas have a good level of detail - the bright sunshine in our examples has caused a slight stitching issue, but stitching is generally decent.
With Teleconverter 1 | 1/200 sec | f/5.9 | 215.0 mm | ISO 100
With Teleconverter 2 | 1/500 sec | f/5.9 | 215.0 mm | ISO 250
The two images above have been taken using the optional Panasonic DMW-LT55 teleconverter which extends the zoom to 102x. Image quality remains quite good and gives to the option to shoot subjects so far in the distance that are barely visible to the human eye!
Panasonic Lumix FZ72 Digital filters
Photo Style Standard | 1/20 sec | f/4.2 | 11.8 mm | ISO 100
Photo Style Monochrome | 1/20 sec | f/4.2 | 11.8 mm | ISO 100
Photo Style Natural | 1/20 sec | f/4.2 | 11.8 mm | ISO 100
Photo Style Portrait | 1/25 sec | f/4.2 | 11.8 mm | ISO 100
Photo Style Scenery | 1/25 sec | f/4.2 | 11.8 mm | ISO 100
Photo Style Vivid | 1/15 sec | f/4.2 | 11.8 mm | ISO 100
Creative Control Cross Process | 1/15 sec | f/3.9 | 9.5 mm | ISO 400
Creative Control Dynamic Monochrome | 1/15 sec | f/3.9 | 9.5 mm | ISO 400
Creative Control Expressive | 1/10 sec | f/3.9 | 9.5 mm | ISO 400
Creative Control High Dynamic | 1/6 sec | f/3.9 | 9.5 mm | ISO 400
Creative Control High Key | 1/5 sec | f/3.9 | 9.5 mm | ISO 400
Creative Control Impressive Art | 1/13 sec | f/3.9 | 9.5 mm | ISO 400
Creative Control Low Key | 1/20 sec | f/3.9 | 9.5 mm | ISO 400
Creative Control Old Days | 1/13 sec | f/3.9 | 9.5 mm | ISO 400
Creative Control One Point Colour | 1/8 sec | f/5.6 | 8.2 mm | ISO 400
Creative Control Retro | 1/10 sec | f/3.9 | 9.5 mm | ISO 400
Creative Control Sepia | 1/15 sec | f/3.9 | 9.5 mm | ISO 400
Creative Control Soft Focus | 1/13 sec | f/3.9 | 9.5 mm | ISO 400
Creative Control Star Filter | 1/15 sec | f/3.9 | 9.5 mm | ISO 400
Creative Control Toy Effect | 1/6 sec | f/3.9 | 9.5 mm | ISO 400
Digital Filters - The FZ72 is packed with photo styles and creative controls so you can take a wide range of creative pictures. There are many examples above.
Video - Below is a video recorded in full 1080p HD. We have upload a video which uses the optical zoom during recoding on the ePHOTOzine Youtube page, as you can see when zooming in the focus is fairly quick but the video quality does reduce a little.
Value For MoneyThe Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ72 is available for approximately £330. In terms of optical zoom you won't find any cameras at the moment that have more. The nearest you'll find are the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS at £320, Sony Cybershot HX300 at £330 and Fujifilm FinePix SL1000 at £240 all with 50x optical zoom, or the Kodak Easyshare AZ521 with 52x optical zoom.
You'll also need to buy a memory card and a case or bag to keep your camera safe and protected - have a look at our complete guide to camera bags.
|The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ72 packs plenty of features and decent image quality in a well-built body.|
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ72 ProsLots of optical zoom
Excellent battery life
Decent image quality
Plenty of buttons for the experienced user
Teleconverter available for additional zoom
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ72 ConsShooting slows down after just a few shots in some of the continuous shooting modes
The number of buttons may overwhelm a novice
Video quality suffers as you zoom in
|VALUE FOR MONEY|
Panasonic Lumix FZ72 Specifications
|Max Aperture||f/2.8 - f/5.9|
|35mm equivalent||20mm - 1200mm|
|CCD pixels||16.1Mp (Megapixels)|
|Sensor Type||Live MOS Sensor|
|Sensor Size||1/2.3 inch|
|Sensor Size (width)||No Data|
|Sensor Size (height)||No Data|
|Screen resolution||460k dots|
|Shutter speeds shortest||1/2000sec|
|Shutter speeds longest||60sec|
|ISO sensitivity||100 - 6400|
|Video FPS||50i, 25p|
|Optical Zoom with Video||Yes|
|Battery Type||Li-ion Battery Pack|
|Box Contents||Battery Pack, Battery Charger, USB Cable, Shoulder Strap, CD-ROM, Lens Cap, Lens Cap String|