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Panasonic launches a new 60x optical superzoom camera

by Mark Tyson on 18 July 2013, 11:45

Tags: Panasonic (TYO:6752)

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Today Panasonic has announced a new 'compact superzoom' camera, a format also sometimes described as a 'bridge camera'. The new camera is called the Panasonic  Lumix DMC-FZ70, it features a 60x optical zoom, equivalent to 20-1200mm, which is the "largest zoom lens available in a consumer compact" according to DPReview.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ70 with 60x optical zoom

The FZ70 offers users an extremely long 60x optical zoom ranging from the very wide 20mm equivalent to 1,200mm. Over this zoom range the maximum aperture ranges between F2.8-5.9. Panasonic says this camera offers "the widest and longest zoom in its class". The FZ70 has a "new 16.1-Megapixel High Sensitivity MOS Sensor" (1/2.3-inch) and uses Panasonic's Venus Engine image processing chip. The camera is capable of 9fps full resolution burst shooting. Pictures can be saved as JPEGs (standard, fine) or RAW images. Camera start-up takes under a second and zooming the full range, to 1,200mm equivalent, took under four seconds in a quick hands-on test by DPReview staff.

The long zoom on offer in turn offers up a huge amount of shooting opportunities from super-wide cityscapes and landscapes to capturing timid wildlife that would otherwise be difficult to get a clear shot of. Panasonic says its optics deliver "exceptional optical performance by suppressing distortion at the wide end and colour bleeding at the tele end". These are problems often highly evident at the extremes of zoom ranges on consumer cameras. The FZ70 features optical image stabilization (OIS) to reduce camera shake induced blur in images, especially evident at the longer zoom ranges.

Turning to the video capability of the FZ70, it is capable of recording full-HD video footage in either AVCHD or MP4 formats, the zoom still operates while recording is taking place. Also a 'Creative Video Mode' lets you adjust the shutter speed and aperture any way you like when shooting videos. A 'Wind Shield Zoom Microphone' with Dolby Digital quality is built-in.

You can find the full spec list for this camera on DPReview here. The estimated launch price for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ70 is $399 in the US, availability is scheduled for the beginning of August.

HEXUS Forums :: 9 Comments

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You'd definitely need a tripod to make use of that zoom, no way you would get stable pictures at 60x zoom otherwise no matter how good image-stabilization it may have.

But still thats pretty awesome :)
The 20MM wide end is more interesting.

Maybe some of the prosumer compacts can have a 20-105MM instead of the less useful 28MM-105MM ranges most seem to have ATM.
You'd definitely need a tripod to make use of that zoom, no way you would get stable pictures at 60x zoom otherwise no matter how good image-stabilization it may have.

But still thats pretty awesome :)

I've got an old FZ18 which is a similar 18x zoom camera. The image stability is exceptional - I've never seeb saw blur no matter how quick the shot was - I use to take a lot of car racing photos and never missed a single shot due to blurring no matter how quickly I took them - even single handed snap shots! I'm sure at 60x its not going to perfect but I'd still love to see it in action as I bet its pretty good. Would love an upgrade….
That 1200mm (approx) should be interesting if combined with their optional DMW-LA8 teleconverter, which at 1.7x gives 2000mm +.

If it's even half decent, that's a heck of a zoom.

And, according to reports, the IS is progressive (more at longer ranges) and twice as effective at 1200 as the FZ50 was at much shorter focal lengths.

Ultimately though, the proof is in the pudding. I want too see a proper, detailed a competent test done to look at image quality, noise levels, aberration, etc, before deciding if it is half-decent or not.
I'm guessing they had to cut a lot of corners to make it that cheap.

And, kind of off topic, but 60x optical zoom is not necessarily equivalent to a 20-1200mm lens (this statement should be reversed). It could have been 10-600mm for all we know, or any other range with a multiple of 60. I wish they would just stop the use of “somenumber”x since it holds no value other than being a marketing strategy.