Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ30
- Great design, full set of features, big zoom
- Image noise is a problem, pricey considering the cost of SLRs
The FZ30 is a joy to take pictures with. If not for the price tag, and the image noise problem, this would be one of our favourites. As it stands, it is a solid entry by Panasonic, and will satisfy most users.
Price$ 1,099.00 (AUD)
The current flagship model for Panasonic's camera range, the FZ30 is an impressive piece of imaging hardware. Built like an SLR, the FZ30 is a bulky, solid camera with a non retractable lens and a full manual zoom ring. The only thing lacking is the detachable lens.
The build quality of this camera is fantastic. To some people, the sizeable weight the FZ30 brings to the table would be considered a major flaw, but when buying such an advanced camera one cannot really expect it to be too much smaller, and we found the weight really added to our ability to take a steady shot. With lighter cameras we often found ourselves getting shaky images, but not so with this model.
The body is built from a standard combination of plastic and light metal, but also has leather pads incorporated around key grip areas, which we think is an excellent idea. They keep the camera from slipping, and give you a little extra comfort throughout long shooting sessions. The LCD is also rotatable to some degree, but it doesn't offer enough axes of movement to be really useful.
The 12X zoom lens is what will really attract buyers. As a high end prosumer camera, this model offers powerful shooting from a great distance. Combine that with the optical image stabilising, and you definitely have a winner on your hands. Landscape photographers in particular will love the strong lens.
The FZ30 is equipped with a mammoth amount of buttons, however Panasonic hasn't fallen into the trap of creating a cluttered interface, as most of the controls are easily accessible. The layout is largely the same as prior models (the FZ20 and FZ25) with two additions, in the form of two scroll wheels, one on the front and one of the back of the right hand grip. These allow easy navigation through options such as shutter speed and aperture and are definitely a nice addition. We did find however, that they are not as sensitive as we would have liked. It takes a good ten to fifteen seconds to navigate from a fast shutter speed to a slow one for example, which could get frustrating in the long term.
One of the big problems with most advanced cameras is the on screen display is extremely intimidating to most users, which discourages them from making the leap into more complex photography. Whilst obviously advanced models are meant for those that know what they're doing, there must be a point of intersection to make the transition easier. The FZ30's interface is definitely a step in the right direction. Little things like images showing the correct way to turn to adjust various settings, and the countdown timer showing how much longer the shutter is open were a very nice touch.
Image quality was a little worse than we would have liked, but was still better than average. The eight megapixel sensor captures extremely sharp images with crisp edges and extremely fine detail. Colour balance was quite good, except for a tendency to oversaturate reds. What really disappointed us was the massive image noise, clearly noticeable across almost all of our shots. We shoot many of our pictures under a soft light, which really brought out a lot of graininess. This was particularly evident on the black background in our shots, which were horribly speckled. For such a high quality camera, this was a big let down.
The feature-set was also a mixed bag. We loved the fact that aperture goes all the way up to 11 f/stops, however shutter speed stops at a mere 8 seconds, and ISO sensitivity is capped at 400. There are 14 pre-set shooting modes, which is about average, and a full set of white balance presets and manual settings. The continuous shooting mode was quite robust, at about 1.5 images a second. Rounding out the features is the video recording mode which records what is now a fairly standard 640x480 video file at 30 fps.
Battery life is listed as roughly 280 shots by CIPA standards, and we found this to be accurate, taking about 290 shots before it powered down. Considering the high quality LCD, and the bulk and featureset of the FZ30, this is a fairly appropriate result, although it won't compete with smaller models that manage 400 or 500 shots to a charge.
Join the newsletter!
Apple iPhone X
WD MY PASSPORT™ X Gaming Storage
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-55EZ950U
SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™
WD MY PASSPORT™ Gaming Storage
Bang and Olufsen BeoVision 14
cloudandco Smart Cane
Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer Fuchsia/Iron
Nespresso Creatista Coffee Machine
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-77EZ1000U
Toys for Boys
Google Daydream View VR Headset
LaCie Rugged USB-C Portable Hard Drive
Lego Mindstorms EV3
Leica M10 Digital Rangefinder Camera
Ubiquiti Network’s Front Row Camera
Onyx Smart Walkie Talkie
Bose SoundLink Micro
Propel Star Wars T-65 X-Wing Drone
Amazon Echo Bluetooth Speaker
PETKIG Go Smart Dog Leash
Belkin Pocket Power 10,000mAh
Xbox One X
Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K
Dearear Endear In-ear Wireless Earphones
iRobot Roomba 980 Vaccum Cleaning Robot
WD MY CLOUD™ HOME Personal Cloud Storage
Nest Protect Smart Smoke Alarm
Toffee Bags Commuter Satchel
Panasonic Hi-Fi - SC-UA7GS-K
Ikea NORDMÄRKE Wireless Charging Pad
Tile Pro Bluetooth Tracker
Kogan Bluetooth Soundbar
Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse
Logitech Doodle Collection Wireless Mouse
Lexon Flip Alarm Clock
3SIXT 3-in-1 Smartphone Lens Kit
Raspberry Pi Starter Kit
Urbanworx Full HD Action Camera
Panasonic Portable Splashproof Fun - RF-D20U
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Hisense takes the fight to home entertainment heavyweights with flagship Series 8 and 9 ULED TVs
- 2 Sony's latest Ultra HD OLED debuts in Australia
- 3 Panasonic Ultra HD OLED TV Review
- 4 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
- 5 Oppo A77 smartphone: Full in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Panasonic Announces Compact, Lightweight ultra-telephoto LEICA Lens
- Panasonic announce still-shooter flagship G9
- Sony Announces Development of New G Master Super-Telephoto Full-Frame E-Mount Lens
- Sony Expands Full-frame E-mount lens lineup
- Sony’s New Full-Frame α7R III Interchangeable Lens Camera promises to delivers both resolution and speed
PCW Evaluation Team
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.
- Huawei Mate 10 Pro Review
- The Best Australian Black Friday Tech Deals That Aren't On Amazon
- Wolfenstein The New Colossus Review
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- CCCyber Security Analyst - TelcoVIC
- FTBackend Java DevelopersNSW
- FTSystem AnalystQLD
- FTSAP Lead Solution ArchitectOther
- FTHadoop DeveloperACT
- CCProject Manager - Unified Communications - TelcoVIC
- FTJuniper EngineerOther
- FTTableau DeveloperOther
- FTJava Software Engineers wanted (Melbourne CBD location)VIC
- FTSenior iOS DeveloperQLD
- CCData Center Operations EngineerWA
- TPIntegration Developer. Cloud SolutionsNSW
- CCScrum Master - BrisbaneNSW
- FTProject ManagerACT
- CCDeployment ManagerACT
- CCPega LSA - Banking IndustryVIC
- CCDevelopers ? Multiple opportunitiesQLD
- FTData Centre Support Engineer -| 6mth ContractOther
- FTAdvice Trainer / AdministratorOther
- FTSenior Business AnalystOther
- CCScrum MasterQLD
- CCMid - Level SAP Test Analyst (Brisbane)WA
- FTPHP Team LeadNSW
- FTDigital Marketing Executive - PersonalisationOther
- TPBusiness Analysis, Design and Configuration ManagerQLD