Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ7
- Sharp pictures, Lots of features
- Poor colour representation, Fickle lighting response
A bit of a let down compared to Panasonic's earlier models. If they could fix the camera's colour response they'd have a winner on their hands, but as it stands this mode isn't quite up to the high Panasonic standard.
Price$ 769.00 (AUD)
To employ an already grossly overused cliche, size does matter. Being that you already know this is a camera review and that the site is family friendly, we can only be talking in relation to zoom (we know a few of you are closing the review in disappointment at this point). Recently we've had a rush of 10X zoom models through the office, so when Panasonic's latest advanced camera offering, the FZ7 waltzed into the office and trumped them all with its massive 12X lens, we couldn't help but take notice. Panasonic has generally provided some very competent advanced models, and whilst the FZ7 takes a decent stab at it, it falls down in a few key areas.
But first, a few of the good things; the FZ7 is packed with a nice set of features. It has three continuous shot modes that operate from 1.8 to 3 frames per second, perfect for all of those unpredictable moments. Shutter speed extends all the way from 1/2000th of a second to 60 seconds, and whilst a bulb mode would have been nice, 60 seconds is really all most people will need. White balance and focus can both be adjusted manually and there are 16 pre-set shooting modes for the slightly less confident photographer. We also loved the little exposure meter that appears when you are taking a shot, indicating whether or not your settings are correct for that particular lighting. The closer to zero, the more balanced the shot.
However despite our attempts to make full use of this feature, we struggled, because the FZ7 is one of the most fickle cameras we've seen recently. Under lighting conditions which normally work perfectly, we were receiving constant Imatest (our photo testing software) errors. It took several hours to get our photographs looking normal, and that required the use of a higher ISO setting than normal. This was the key problem with this model, and something you must keep in mind when purchasing.
When we did finally get Imatest operating properly with this model it revealed a second flaw, probably linked to the first; colour reproduction. No matter how hard we tried, the best colour score we could get was 16.8. Considering most good models fall in the range between 5 and 8, with 12 being a poor result, the FZ7 really struggled here. You can see it in the test shots, a lot of the leaves don't look particularly natural, and our block shades were horribly askew. As stated, this probably has something to do with the camera's fickle nature. In perfect conditions it may score a little better, but we tried over 50 different configurations and failed to improve on it.
This is really unfortunate as the rest of the camera's qualities were more than above par. It received a robust 1387 score for sharpness, which is above average for a six megapixel point and shoot and will be enough to take shots at least up to A4 and perhaps even larger. Imatest revealed a small amount of oversharpening, roughly 9%, but we felt it had no noticeable impact on the pictures, which came out vibrant and full of detail. Image noise, which was a big problem on the FZ7s predecessor, was a little more controlled here. It scored .95%, which is a decent if not exceptional score. Most scores under 1% will not have a significant impact on the quality of your shots. We did however notice a little purple fringing rear its ugly head in our outdoors shots, so be careful to keep your exposure settings under control in those circumstances.
Speed wise, the FZ7 is an average performer. Shutter speed clocks in at roughly .09 of a second whilst the unit takes about three seconds to power up (on account of the extra large lens). Shot to shot time was a little disappointing at 2.5 seconds, but the infinite continuous shot mode mentioned earlier does help rectify this somewhat.
Panasonic has stuck with their standard design on this model and it is a bit of a mixed bag. It sports a hefty structure that almost feels suited to a full D-SLR, with a jutting side grip and a massive lens. The wide yet squat body means many of the controls are also a little difficult to access. Compared to the taller yet thinner models, it is a little uncomfortable to operate as everything feels crammed together. That said, the rubberized grip is a nice touch, and it has just enough weight behind it to feel solid, without requiring an Olympic weightlifter to get it off the ground.
Battery life was a little improved from previous Panasonic models. We managed over 400 shots this time on a single charge of the included lithium ion battery. It isn't the best model we've looked at in this regard, but 400 shots is more than adequate, and the use of a lithium battery rather than AAs will save you money in the long run.
Join the newsletter!
Apple iPhone X
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-55EZ950U
SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™
Nespresso Creatista Coffee Machine
Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44
Bang and Olufsen BeoVision 14
cloudandco Smart Cane
WD MY PASSPORT™ X Gaming Storage
WD MY PASSPORT™ Gaming Storage
Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer Fuchsia/Iron
Toys for Boys
Propel Star Wars T-65 X-Wing Drone
Onyx Smart Walkie Talkie
Lego Mindstorms EV3
Leica M10 Digital Rangefinder Camera
LaCie Rugged USB-C Portable Hard Drive
Google Daydream View VR Headset
Ubiquiti Network’s Front Row Camera
Bose SoundLink Micro
Panasonic Hi-Fi - SC-UA7GS-K
iRobot Roomba 980 Vaccum Cleaning Robot
PETKIG Go Smart Dog Leash
Dearear Endear In-ear Wireless Earphones
Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K
Amazon Echo Bluetooth Speaker
Belkin Pocket Power 10,000mAh
Xbox One X
Toffee Bags Commuter Satchel
Nest Protect Smart Smoke Alarm
WD MY CLOUD™ HOME Personal Cloud Storage
Ikea NORDMÄRKE Wireless Charging Pad
Urbanworx Full HD Action Camera
Logitech Doodle Collection Wireless Mouse
3SIXT 3-in-1 Smartphone Lens Kit
Lexon Flip Alarm Clock
Tile Pro Bluetooth Tracker
Raspberry Pi Starter Kit
Kogan Bluetooth Soundbar
Panasonic Portable Splashproof Fun - RF-D20U
Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 10 Pro Review: A solid winter flagship that cribs from the best
- 2 Google Pixel 2 review: not quite 'pixel perfect' but damn close
- 3 Huawei Nova 2i review: Flagship features get smuggled into the mid-tier
- 4 Moto X4 review: This is what a world without MotoMods looks like
- 5 Giabyte Aorus X9 Gaming Laptop review: 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
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
Product Launch Showcase
- CCChange ManagerNSW
- CCScrum MasterNSW
- CCArchitect ? Office 365 MigrationQLD
- CCMicrosoft Dynamics AX Project ManagerQLD
- FTBusiness AnalystOther
- CCInfrastructure Solution Designer - Financial Services - Contract - Sydney CBDNSW
- CCSenior Business Analyst - Telco - Melbourne CBDVIC
- FTLevel 1 Application Support (POS)QLD
- TPSenior Developer/Technical AnalystNSW
- FTHR Business PartnerOther
- CCDevOps Automation SME - Telco ClientVIC
- FTAgile Business AnalystOther
- TPTechnical Project CoordinatorVIC
- FTSenior Business Analyst - AdviceOther
- CCData Center Infrastructure Specialist - Wintel / VMwareWA
- FTManual Tester - Accounting & FinanceOther
- FTJava Software Engineers wanted (Melbourne CBD location)VIC
- FTService Desk EngineerOther
- FTMurex DeveloperVIC
- TPTest Automation EngineerQLD
- FTCUSTOMER SUPPORT OPERATOR - NOC ENVIRONMENTSA
- FTSenior Business Analyst - WealthOther
- FTAccount Management/Customer Service - MULTIPLE ROLESSA
- FTInfrastructure Migration EngineerOther
- CCIseries Analyst ProgrammerNSW