Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ47 digital camera

Panasonic’s super-zoom bridge camera is big, but versatile

Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ47
  • Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ47
  • Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ47
  • Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ47
  • Expert Rating

    3.50 / 5

Pros

  • Comfortable and easy to use
  • Good lens range and quality
  • Good video quality

Cons

  • Small viewfinder and low-resolution LCD
  • High recommended retail price
  • No RAW image capture

Bottom Line

The Panasonic LUMIX FZ47 is the little brother of the top-of-the-line FZ150, and it sacrifices a range of features like the FZ150’s Live MOS sensor and accessory hot-shoe to cut the price slightly. It’s still too expensive -- although street prices are much lower -- and the screen and viewfinder aren’t great, but it has a great lens with excellent zoom range and generally decent image quality.

Would you buy this?

The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ47 looks very similar to the more expensive LUMIX FZ150, albeit missing its flash hot-shoe and with a slightly squarer body. It’s $150 less expensive, too, but still has a reasonably high retail price of $649. If you need a camera with an extreme zoom range, the LUMIX DMC-FZ47 is a good choice: its 24x lens is sharp enough throughout the range to create clear pictures, with only a little resolution lost at maximum zoom. Its ‘bridge’ design also makes it easy to hold comfortably.

Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ47: Design and features

The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ47 is based on the tried-and-tested layout of larger digital SLR cameras like the Canon EOS 600D, Olympus E-5 and Nikon D7000, with a large handgrip, top-mounted viewfinder and large lens barrel. ‘Bridge’ cameras like these are usually good all-in-one models with versatile performances: their comparatively large size (for a compact digital camera, which houses a smaller imaging sensor than a digital SLR) means a large zoom lens can be built in, and controls can be generously laid out and labelled.

We think the shape of the LUMIX FZ47 is near-ideal, with the user’s hands able to rest comfortably around the grip and lens barrel. Controls are also easy to manipulate with thumb and forefinger, and all fall easily to hand without any stretching required.

Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ47 review

Less impressive is the camera’s LCD viewfinder and rear screen. Neither are bad, but you can find superior options available when stepping up to price-competitive Micro Four Thirds interchangeable lens cameras like Panasonic’s own LUMIX DMC-G3 and Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3. The electronic viewfinder is very small compared to these competitors, with only a small window that the viewer’s eye must be directly in front of for proper usage. The LCD screen is a good size at 3in, but its resolution is middling at 430K-pixels, with some other brands’ superzooms using 960K-pixel displays.

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