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 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.
16.1 megapixel CCD sensor
35x optical zoom lens (35mm equiv: 25-875mm)
Optical image stabilisation
3.0 inch 460K LCD screen
Creative control with 10 effects
720p HD video recording
1cm minimum focusing distance
1 fps continuous shooting
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.
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo
Shot to Shot without Flash
Shot to Shot with Flash
Continuous Shooting - Burst
Continuous Shooting - Hi Speed Burst
Burst mode records in full resolution, whereas Hi Speed Burst is limited to 3 megapixels.
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.
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
Excellent battery life
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ30 Cons
Focusing is slow
Continuous shooting isn't particularly fast
Panoramas aren't stitched well enough