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Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ30 Review

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ30 Review - The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ30 is a bridge camera with 35x optical zoom, Daniel Bell reviews.

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Category : Compact Cameras
Product : Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ30
Price : £133
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Features
Handling
Performance
Verdict
Specification

Panasonic Lumix Dmc Lz30 3

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ30 was launched in January 2013 and is a mid-range ultra-zoom bridge camera, with 35x optical zoom lens, manual controls, optical image stabilisation and it uses AA batteries. It is available for £149.00.

Panasonic Lumix Dmc Lz30 8

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ30 Features

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ30 has a 16 megapixel CCD sensor and 35x optical zoom lens which is a 35mm equivalent of 25-875mm. To help reduce blur and help you take the sharpest pictures possible there is optical image stabilisation.

To make picture taking as easy as possible there is iA (Intelligent Auto), where the camera will change the settings automatically for the detected scene. There are a number of other modes including the option to use full manual controls where you can change both the aperture and shutter speed. You'll also find a number of scene modes and also a panorama mode. You can make your pictures unique by using Creative Control and Creative Retouch where you're able to add a filter with before or after shooting.

Videos are recorded in 720p HD.

Panasonic Lumix Dmc Lz30 10

Key Features

  • 16.1 megapixel CCD sensor
  • 35x optical zoom lens (35mm equiv: 25-875mm)
  • Optical image stabilisation
  • 3.0 inch 460K LCD screen
  • Manual controls
  • Creative control with 10 effects
  • 720p HD video recording
  • ISO 100-6400
  • 1cm minimum focusing distance
  • Panorama shot
  • 1 fps continuous shooting
Panasonic Lumix Dmc Lz30 12

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ30 Handling

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ30 looks and feels like a small DSLR, it has a plastic body, with a rubberised hand grip and square on the rear where your thumb rests. It's not small enough to carry in your pocket so a small camera bag may be required for carrying it around. There is a 3 inch screen with a decent 460k dot resolution, which is bright and easy to see in all light.

The flash is popped up by pressing a button on the side of the camera. On top of the camera is a mode dial, zoom rocker and shutter release as well as movie record and on / off buttons. On the rear are exposure, playback, display and delete buttons and a d-pad for cycling through the menus. You also have quick access to exposure compensation, self-timer, flash and macro mode. The exposure button allows you to set the aperture and shutter speed when in manual mode.

The menu system is easy to use - there is big text with a sentence to explain what each option does. To quickly change the picture settings for the mode you're in, the delete button also gives access to the q. menu. From here you can change options such as image size, ISO, white balance and more.

Battery life is rated at an excellent 380 shots according to CIPA test results 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   0.175 secs
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response   0.5 secs
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response   1.15 secs
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo   1.9 secs
Shot to Shot without Flash   3.4 secs
Shot to Shot with Flash   6.0 secs
Continuous Shooting - Burst   0.9 fps
Continuous Shooting - Hi Speed Burst   2.0 fps

Burst mode records in full resolution, whereas Hi Speed Burst is limited to 3 megapixels.

Panasonic Lumix Dmc Lz30 13

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ30 Performance

Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ30 Sample Photos


Sample Photos - The LZ30 is capable of well exposed images with decent colour reproduction. When shooting portraits skin tones are pleasant enough with no red-eye when using the flash.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ30 Lens test images


Lens Performance - Detail is good in the centre of the images, but are softer in the corners. Detail is poor in the shadows and there is purple fringing in contrasting areas of the images. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of just 1cm which allows for a decent macro shot.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ30 ISO test images


ISO Noise Performance - Noise is low at ISO 100 with small increases at ISO 200 and 400, with images remaining sharp. At ISO 800 images become soft in places with noise causing images to become very soft at ISO 1600 with detail lost in places. You can shoot up to ISO 6400 using high sensitivity mode but the maximum image size possible is just 3 megapixels.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ30 White-balance test images


White Balance Performance - The Auto White Balance (AWB) excels under both the incandescent and fluorescent lights. The incandescent preset also performs well, there isn't a fluorescent preset on the LZ30.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ30 Digital filters


Digital Filters - There are a number of colour modes and creative options to help take unique and creative pictures, there are a number of examples above.

Video - Below is a video recorded in 720p HD. Quality is decent, you can't use the optical zoom during recording though.



Value For Money

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ30 is available for around £155, making it quite cheap for a camera with this amount of optical zoom. Other options are the Pentax X-5 with 26x zoom at £164.99, Fujfilm FinePix S4800 with 30x zoom at £139.00 and Sony CyberShot H200 with 26x zoom at £147.83. If you have a bigger budget, you can get the Canon PowerShot SX50 at £349.00 and Fujifilm FinePix SL1000 at £269.95 which both have 50x optical zoom, or the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ72 which has 60x optical zoom at £369.00.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ30 Verdict

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ30 is an excellent camera if you want lots of optical zoom, yet have a limited budget. You can shoot close-up objects with a 1cm minimum focusing distance, or zoom right in to distant objects. Photographers of all levels will find the camera easy to use - there's iAuto mode, scene modes and manual controls for more creative control. If you're going to be shooting moving objects you might find the focusing speed a little frustrating, but there is optical image stabilisation to help keep images sharp. The battery life is excellent, you can get around 380 shots from 4 AA batteries.


 

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ30 Pros

Excellent value for money
Decent screen resolution
Optical image stabilisation
Manual controls
Rubberised grip
Excellent battery life

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ30 Cons

No viewfinder
Focusing is slow
Continuous shooting isn't particularly fast
Panoramas aren't stitched well enough

FEATURES  
HANDLING  
PERFORMANCE  
VALUE FOR MONEY  
VERDICT  

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ30 Specifications

ManufacturerPanasonic
Lens
Max Aperturef/3 - f/5.9
35mm equivalent25mm - 875mm
Optical Zoom35x
Image Sensor
CCD pixels16.1Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)4608
Pixels (H)3456
Sensor TypeCCD
Sensor Size1/2.3
Sensor Size (width)No Data
Sensor Size (height)No Data
Aspect Ratio
  • 4:3
  • 3:2
  • 16:9
  • 1:1
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor3in
Screen resolution460k
Touch ScreenNo
Focusing
Min Focus1cm
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • Spot
  • Face Detection
  • AF Tracking
  • Multi
  • Centre
  • Zoom macro
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/2000sec
Shutter speeds longest15sec
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Manual
  • Scene modes
Metering
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Multi Pattern
  • Spot
ISO sensitivity100 - 1600
White balance
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Cloudy
  • Incandescent
  • Shade
Exposure Comp+/-3
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting1fps
Video
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution
  • 1280x720 720p
Video FPS30fps
Stereo SoundNo
Optical Zoom with VideoNo Data
Other Features
Image StabilisationYes
Interface
HDMINo
USBUSB 2
Wi-FiNo
Storage
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
File Type
  • JPG
Power Source
Battery TypeAA
CIPA Rating380
Box Contents
Box ContentsNo Data
Dimensions
Weight465g
Width123.8mm
Height83.7mm
Depth91.4mm

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Comments


kruns 1
13 Sep 2013 4:41PM

Join ePHOTOzine for free and remove these adverts.

30 Oct 2013 10:03PM
I've just purchased an LZ30. Initial reaction is positive, except for no-zoom when filming video Sad. What on earth were the designers thinking? I have a tripod for stability, and want to focus on wildlife (mainly), which doesn't usually wait around while video is switched off, lens zoomed (in hope), then video back on again. Live zoom is essential.

For Daniel Bell - box contents include camera, 4 x AA alkaline batteries, USB cable, AV cable, shoulder strap, lens cap and string; and CD-ROM of manual.
now 89 at Amazon. A no brainer? Smile

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