In the year 2006Lumix FZ50 became the new flagship of Panasonic zoom cameras, increasing the resolution to 10.2 megapixels and adding several new features. Unlike the previous model FZ30, which was a step forward in terms of design and functionality compared to the FZ20 and filled the niche between compacts and SLRs, it showed little progress. The purpose of this description of the camera Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50 - the answer to the question whether the model could become a worthy successor.
The main characteristics of Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50 are as follows:
- 10.1-Mp CCD-sensor;
- Optics Leica DC Vario-Elmarit with 12x optical zoom (35-420 mm in equiv.);
- the graphics engine Venus Engine ІІІ;
- optical image stabilization;
- full control over photography;
- 2.0 "display with a resolution of 207 thousand pixels;
- electronic viewfinder;
- sync contact TTL Flash.
The main differences from FZ30
If the previous model was aa significant update of the FZ20 both internally and externally, the changes in the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50 are more evolutionary than the revolutionary ones, and apart from the new image sensor, they are mostly insignificant. The main differences from the FZ30 are as follows:
- the resolution of the sensor increased from 8.3 to 10.1 Mp;
- the TIFF format is not supported;
- a new generation GPU;
- the maximum sensitivity of ISO increased from 400 to 1600;
- synchrocontact flash appeared;
- the screen resolution was reduced to 207 thousand pixels;
- the display can rotate 180 °;
- SDHC support appeared;
- the rate of continuous shooting decreased from 3 to 2 fps, and the maximum number of frames from 7 to 5;
- intelligent ISO function.
Like the FZ30, Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50It was created to look and work (as far as possible) as a traditional SLR camera. The mechanical zoom with the liquid damper works faster and more accurately than the electric one, and gives a feeling of such quality that most DLSR lenses will be ashamed. Several small but important changes have been made to the control system (including a new Function button for quick access to such a function as sensitivity adjustment). The combination of a deep grip and a molded rear notch for the thumb makes the FZ50 a very comfortable camera. And its stability is achieved through a balanced weight distribution. A large lens automatically becomes a handle for the left hand. You can shoot with one hand, but the weight of the optics makes the camera a bit unbalanced, and the camera shakes much less when it is supported by both.
The model is available in black and silver.
Battery for Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50Lithium-ion (7.2v, 710mAh), the same as the predecessor. The battery is located inside the handle behind the spring-loaded lid. Thanks to the energy-efficient Venus III engine and the lower resolution screen, the battery life has increased by almost a third to about 360 shots per charge.
Above the battery compartment is a card slotSD / MMC. The ports are grouped under a small spring-loaded lid on the side. There is a mini USB port, which also works as an AV connector, and a jack for connecting the AC adapter from the network. There is also an input for the remote control DMW-RS1.
A rather significant update was supportTTL flash. It is activated manually by a small switch on the left. The flash is quite powerful and high - it protrudes about 4 cm from the top of the lens, which should minimize the effect of "red eyes". With Auto ISO, you can use the flash at distances from 30 cm to 7 m. Recharging takes place very quickly. The usual flash functionality is available - on, off, slow sync, red-eye reduction.
Display and viewfinder
The FZ50 screen was a step back in resolution (from 230up to 207 thousand pixels), but this is invisible. The display is bright, clear and easily changes position. It seems a little better in low light, although it is difficult to see anything in bright, direct sunlight. The new Function button opens a mini-menu that offers access to ISO, white balance, exposure measurement and quality settings. The main improvement was the versatility offered by the tilt and turn mechanism. The screen from below is mounted on the hinge and rotated by 180 °, which allows you to shoot self-portraits.
Electronic viewfinder (EVF) with a resolution of 230thousands of pixels and clear optics make it very convenient, and a new wider eyecup is better to prevent the penetration of extraneous light. According to users, this is not a full replacement for a bright mirror viewfinder, but it's not bad either.
The manufacturer focuses on the huge12x optical zoom. The lens is identical to the well-proven FZ30 optics. This is perhaps the only reason why the FZ50 can compete with the entry-level digital SLR cameras. To cover the range of focal lengths of 35-420 mm, the use of interchangeable lenses would be very expensive and cumbersome.
Zoom Mechanism Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50 reviewsowners are called pleasant to use. It works smoothly, quickly and accurately, and is supplemented by a damped manual focus ring. On the side of the lens is a large focus mode selector (auto, Macros AF and manual). Also there is a Focus button for quick activation of autofocus.
Complete with a Panasonic Lumix cameraDMC-FZ50 manufacturer offers a blend lens hood, which is attached directly to the lens. It reduces glare in bright light, especially at the wide end of the zoom. However, it should not be used at all times, as this may interfere with the AF-assist illumination in low light and block the flash at short distances to the subject.
The FZ30's front and rear mode dialsused to directly access the shutter speed and aperture settings. In the FZ50, they can be set to quickly access exposure compensation settings. The four-way navigation bar has also changed. Now there is a small key in the middle that performs the functions of the Menu button. The main control dial has been added to the Custom mode. You can define up to 3 user sets. Almost any camera setting (from exposure to ISO, white balance, focus and exposure metering to basic settings, such as display format) is saved, which makes the model a powerful tunable tool.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50 looks like a seriouscamera and works the same way, offering everything from scene modes of the compact to advanced manual controls with a high degree of customization. Two discs provide direct access to the aperture settings and shutter speeds, and some features of the FZ50 bring the camera closer to real SLR cameras. Panasonic seems to be the only company that listens to its users, since it introduced the Function button for quick access to the white balance and ISO, which eliminated the need to constantly access the menu.
All camera controls are located on the rightfrom the 2-inch display. Above is the AE lock, which also serves to lock the focus, the viewfinder / display switch, the screen, the control and delete buttons. A new function key copies the LX2 button, displaying a mini-menu that provides quick access to metering, focus, white balance, ISO, size and image quality. Next to the right is the four-way navigation bar. When shooting 3 of the 4 arrow keys perform the functions of quickly viewing the last saved picture, selecting the flash mode and the self-timer. The upper arrow cycles through the AE compensation, flash exposure compensation, AE bracketing and an unusual white balance setting in the form of a slider with 20 positions from "redder" to "blue". In the center is the new Set button.
This part in style resembles a mirror camera. The shutter release is located on the large handle. The basic controls for shooting are also here: selecting the exposure mode and shutter operation.
Camera Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50: user guide
The camera has a clear and intuitive menu system.The preview screen in the recording mode is completely free of any overlays or icons. When you press the Display button, a simple grid appears for more convenient framing. The other extreme is viewing all the information, including a histogram that clutters the already rather small screen. If you need to get the most information, but nothing should interfere with the preview, it's better to choose the "off-frame" mode, designed to simulate a professional specular viewfinder. Pressing the shutter button halfway activates the exposure calculation and focus, indicating the AF area used, the choice of aperture and shutter speed. If the camera shake is too high, a warning appears. In P mode, a neat menu of program switching is displayed.
Manual focus is relatively easy, given the screen resolution and the optional increase in the center of the frame. The user can move the enlarged area using the navigation keys.
The function menu works the same as Canon's.The Function button calls up a mini-list of options, after which you can use the control dials to quickly change the focus, metering, white balance, ISO, image size and quality. The settings are saved, which is a real boon for those who regularly change ISO or WB.
There is also a faster way to accessexposure compensation. To do this, just rotate one of the disks (it can be set in the recording menu), and the compensation scale AE appears. Pressing the up arrow cyclically causes exposure compensation, flash level and AE bracketing. Their values can be changed using the control dials. Fine-tuning the white balance has moved to the shooting menu.
In manual mode, the control dials change the shutter speed and aperture. Custom allows you to store 3 sets of user settings, covering virtually all aspects of the camera.
The mode switch now has only oneposition SCN, and the second is used for Custom. There are 16 scenes in total. As in all the latest Lumix cameras, they are all accompanied by brief descriptions.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50: overview of the menu
A five-page list of settings includesparameters like white balance, sensitivity, image size and quality, metering and focusing modes, and image parameters. Here you can find the unique Flip Animation function, which turns a series of photos into a QuickTime movie.
A three-page viewing menu offers the usualSet from setting print settings, delete, protect and slide show. You can add sound to saved files, as well as change their size or aspect ratio. You can also format the card here. As in the recording mode, when viewed, the user selects the amount of information displayed - from its absence to full data and a histogram.
If you turn the front control dial to the left,9 thumbnails will be displayed on the screen. The numbering of frames and menu lines are disabled by pressing the Disp button. You can "zoom out" and see at the same time 25 thumbnails and the date of the snapshot. Rotating the dial to the right enlarges the viewed image. There are only 4 zoom steps (16x, 8x, 4x and 2x), but they work very fast. The navigation keys allow you to scroll enlarged frames.
The setup menu is available both from the view mode,both shooting and shooting, and contains 4 pages of basic camera settings from monitor brightness and automatic viewing to power management, sound parameters, date and time.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50, as a rule, notis inferior to its predecessor. The camera is sympathetic and rarely makes itself wait. The high-speed focus works brilliantly (the only drawback is that the on-screen sight during freezing freezes for a fraction of a second, but this can be reconciled). The measured lag of the shutter (about 0.07 s) seems much higher than the 0.009 s specified in the Panasonic press release. This is due to the fact that the display has a slight lag for a fraction of a second. The actual delay of the shutter release is less than 0.01 s, but since the optical viewfinder is not available, this is a controversial issue. The only disappointment with performance is that continuous mode, although pretty decent, is not as good as the FZ30 because of larger files.
Camera Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50 reviewsusers are called one of the most equipped and convenient "bridge cameras" in 2006, which, under good conditions, provides excellent image quality. This is a useful and enjoyable tool that offers a compact solution for those who want to get a huge zoom range without changing the lens. True, we have to compromise. Lubrication of thin low-contrast details is a hallmark of Venus III. According to the owners, serious shots are possible only at low ISO values. For many, this is an acceptable compromise, but users instead of increasing the number of pixels would like to see an increase in image quality. The camera allows you to take great pictures, but only when the sensitivity does not exceed ISO 200.