As the Panasonic FZ80 doesn’t start shipping to everyone until mid-March, we got our practical an early on production model and after posting First Shots, we immediately sent it out to photographer and writer Jeremy Gray in Maine to check on it out. To observe how this affordable superzoom fared in real life, see Jeremy’s Gallery images and just click here to learn his detailed Panasonic FZ80 Field Test!


Back 2013, Panasonic launched the FZ70. The all-in-one superzoom camera offered a then unprecedented 60x optical zoom. Since that time, many new superzooms have entered the marketplace, but Panasonic hasn’t had any reply, at least not in the superzoom category. Which has changed with the introduction of the Panasonic FZ80.

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Sporting the same 60x contact lens, the Lumix FZ80 brings with it a fresh higher-resolution image sensor, new processor and a bevy of new features, including 4K UHD video recording. Let’s observe how the Panasonic FZ80 fares in the field.

FZ80 includes a good touchscreen interface
The Panasonic FZ80 shares similar styling using its predecessor, the FZ70. It really is an SLR-styled superzoom camera that gives an enormous 60x optical zoom range, and therefore it is not a concise camera. The FZ80’s dimensions are about 5.1 x 3.7 x 4.7 inches (130 x 94 x 119 millimeters) and it weighs 21.7 ounces (616 grams) with card and battery, which is merely somewhat shorter and somewhat heavier than its predecessor.

Priced at $400, that is a great bargain for a 4K-capable superzoom camera, it really is hard to be overly critical of the construction of the FZ80. There are ample physical controls on the camera, which is great. When compared to $1200 Panasonic FZ2500, that i used recently, the FZ80, as will be expected, feels like a lot more of an economical camera and the FZ80 certainly feels less robust used. The image stabilization and the autofocus system both work very well but I did so notice some noise from both systems when used.

The Panasonic FZ80’s controls are very good overall, and the touchscreen interface performs nicely. The shutter release feels fine and the zoom toggle switch around the release is effective. The FZ80 only has one control dial, but it’s pressable that allows it to quickly change functions. For instance in manual exposure mode, you can switch between controlling the shutter speed and the aperture simply by clicking the dial. Also you can press it switch to/from exposure compensation in aperture- or shutter-priority mode, etc.

The built-in electronic viewfinder is a 0.2-inch color LCD with 1,166k dots and approximately 100% coverage. The 35mm equivalent magnification of the EVF is merely 0.46x — still useful, but it’s small, as is par for the course because of this class of camera. There is no built-in eye sensor, but instead switching between your EVF and the trunk display requires you to press a button to the proper of the EVF; which is troublesome when attempting to shoot through the EVF and review images on the trunk display. A issue I’ve with the EVF is that the diopter adjustment dial to the proper of the eyecup is simple to adapt accidentally. I occasionally had to tweak the diopter back again to my desired setting after carrying the camera around my neck because my jacket would move the dial.

The trunk display on the camera is good and I often found myself opting to make utilization of it instead of the EVF in lots of situations. The 3-inch touchscreen LCD has 1,040,000 dots and is a set display. A tilting display will be welcome, especially for the reason that display could be difficult to see in bright conditions.

Having less quality useful features such as for example an eye sensor for the viewfinder and a tilting display are notable. Having said that, in other more important ways, the FZ80 doesn’t feel just like a $400 camera, but instead such as a quite capable enthusiast-oriented superzoom. The quantity of physical controls is great and the touchscreen functionality is effective to help make the camera more approachable for newer photographers while also accelerating the procedure of changing settings in the field for more complex users.