Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ40 digital camera

Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ40 review: This super-zoom digital camera takes amazing photographs

Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ40
  • Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ40
  • Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ40
  • Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ40
  • Expert Rating

    4.50 / 5

Pros

  • Excellent image quality, easy to use, good price, great battery life

Cons

  • Mild pixelation and digital distortion in photographs taken in dull lighting without the flash

Bottom Line

It is really refreshing to see a camera like this one on the market: The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ40 is a well-rounded digital camera equipped with an impressive 24x optical zoom.

Would you buy this?

  • Price

    $ 649.00 (AUD)

The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ40 super-zoom digital camera brings a healthy serving of awesome to the table. It's a feature-packed advanced compact camera that's perfect for everyday use, and also for travelling.

The LUMIX DMC-FX40 has a 14-megapixel sensor, a 25mm ultra-wide-angle Leica DC Vario-Elmarit f/2.8-5.2 lens, and a massive 24x optical zoom range. In layman's terms, it's a good camera.

The LUMIX DMC-FZ40 feels solid and sturdy, and it's surprisingly lightweight, too. Atop the LUMIX DMC-FZ40, there is a built-in pop-up flash and a stereo microphone for the camera's video mode. Right of the flash sit the mode dial, zoom rocker, record and focus buttons, and a power switch.

On the back of the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ40, you'll find a 3in LCD screen with a 230K dot resolution. Above it lies the electronic viewfinder, which we found somewhat painful to use due to its small size. We preferred the LCD. Beside the LCD screen are the obligatory navigational buttons, including delete/quick menu, timer, function, ISO, exposure compensation, menu/set, display, image play back, focus controls, EVF/LCD, AF/AE lock and a jog dial for manual control operation. There is nothing out of the ordinary.

The inner workings of this camera certainly come together to make a nice image. Unless you are a seasoned photographer used to something like a 5D Mark II or a Nikon D3x, you'll be blown away by how great the photos look. There is only mild pixelation and digital distortion in photographs taken in dull lighting without the flash, and noise can still be reduced either by using the flash or by using photo editing software like Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop CS5. Furthermore, chromatic aberration was almost nonexistent in most of out test photos.

outside_under_tree_building

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ40 makes it really hard not to take a decent photograph!

Images are crisp and vibrant, and you can choose from a wide range of excellent modes. We especially liked playing around with the 'my colour mode' where you can add colour filters to your shooting mode. For instance, when retro is selected the images are processed with an old-style filter over them, giving them that nostalgic look and feel.

examples_of_diff_filters_green

Some examples of different filters.

The powerful 24x optical zoom will do wonders for aspiring spies, stalkers or bird watchers, and even sports fans and concert goers who want to take shots close to the action without leaving their seat.

oh_what_brand_is_that_grill

"Hey, I wonder what brand that BBQ is? *zoom* Oh it's a grill master!"

With a lot of feature-loaded cameras out there on the market sacrificing the quality of one aspect of the unit in favour of another, it is really refreshing to see a camera like this one — everything seems to work wonderfully.

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