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Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ30
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ30
3.4
1

Hey! You should know that this product has been discontinued. Here are our current recommended cameras in the Extended Zoom Digital Cameras category.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ30

D+
We've given the DMC-FZ30 a grade of D+.

Editor's Review

How much more detailed can a photo get? Panasonic wants to show you. As the successor to their FZ20 model, the Panasonic Lumix FZ30 carries the same extended zoom power and image stabilization while enhancing the total resolution of the camera. This camera is for serious users, with a slew of advanced features that will please aficionados but frustrate the uninitiated. If the 12x zoom wasn't enough, the camera can reach 15.3x and 19.1x zooms, provided the photographer can deal with a reduction in megapixels (down to 5 and 3 respectively).

Specifications

  • 8 megapixels
  • 12x optical zoom / 4x digital zoom
  • Leica DC lens
  • manual focus
  • program and manual exposure
  • RAW
  • TIFF
  • or JPEG file format
  • ISO 80-400
  • lithium ion battery
  • movie mode with sound
  • Part Number: DMC-FZ30S
  • UPC: 037988985203
  • Release Date: Jul 20, 2005

Shop for DMC-FZ30 Accessories

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ30 Reviews

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ30 Reviews by Digital Camera-HQ Users

  • 5.0 out of 5
my best camera ever (Bert — 05/26/2011)
on my way to alaska i stopped off in s'pore and shopped around for a good camera. i finally settled on a fz30. its the best thing i did to improve my photo skills.last year i went to antarctica and boy i took 6400 photos. this is some camera.
  • 1.0 out of 5
Panasonic Died (Louise Lester — 11/14/2009)

Have owned camera for 3 yrs. Pd. 748.88. It will not take pictures now - will cost $492.99 to repair after I have spent $50.85 to tell me to send it to Mississauga, and $20.00 shipping. Not sure what I will have to pay to have Misssissauga tell me they want $492.00 to repair. Will not repair or ever purchase Panasonic again.

  • 5.0 out of 5
One Must Own This (Darshan — 11/24/2007)

Its really superb like any means.
One must own this.
I have never seen results like its before!

  • 5.0 out of 5
Incredible (Bob — 02/05/2007)

I recently lost my wife; and decided to dabble in photography again. I had as a young man. My best freinds wife introduced me to the FZ20. Wow! I ran out and bought the FZ30 [Always outdo your best freind] for a trip to europe. People are stil raving about my pictures. And though I did have some hand in them ; the camera did all the work. It makes you feel like a professional. I cam back from europe with 1000 pictures. I recommend this camera very , very highly. As well as being an exceptional product ; it has brought some joy back into my life. Lifes too short : Buy it! Enjoy it!

  • 4.0 out of 5
Expected a better product (Gerald Davies — 12/28/2006)

Pros: I purchased this camera in May 2006 because I was taking a trip to Europe and wanted a reliable camera with a long zoom and a high Megapixel count. I liked the idea of a the quality Leica lens too. Since May I have taken over 400 pictures with this camera and overall it takes great pictures e.g. I took a picture of a person 30 feet away from me and when I zoomed into the picture on my computer I could see myself in his glasses taking the picture..impressive. All the pictures taken outside were very good, clean, crisp and showing great detail.
Cons: Taking pictures indoors with flash is another story. The flash is not strong enough for anything longer away than a few feet, and yes there is noise. This was a big diasppointment. Details lost in the background, etc. I had read this in reviews before my purchase but chose to ignore it. My wife was using a Canon D620 which beat me hands down with indoor shots. I am going to purchase the flash unit that fits the shoe. I am giving this camera a good rating because the anti-shake worked great and the 12x zoom gave me shots that I would never have been able to get any other way without it. I hope this helps other people in making a decision one way or the other. For me the pros outweigh the cons so I would buy this camera again

  • 5.0 out of 5
Excellent Camera (Ben Othman — 11/13/2006)

Very good camera and excellent lenses (obvious as made by Leica!). Shooting in 8M pixels and raw format gives wonderful results specially in natural light.

  • 5.0 out of 5
fz30 review (jeffvu — 08/28/2006)

im the owner of fz10, fz15, fz20, fz7 and now fz30..i can say about the fz series, im not working for panasonic nor anybody else, im just camera lover.
for a point and shoot camera, these fz can do all..with leica lens mounted on it, it can produces very sharp images.plus OIS, its really helps on tele shooting or late in evenings.for fz30 it got more features than the rest, for most is the manual zoom ring, well build, long last batt life.with fz30 you will lose 1 f stop at tele end.as of fz20, fz15,got f2.8 all the way.images are very pretty, great contrast.sharp , sharp..i got it used from RITZ camera for 398$, in great condi..for its price range, its the best bang for the buxs..
now came fz50, im not sure about it yet, ill wait and see the reviews on it before i buy it used.
in my opinion fz30 can out do most of consumer dslr out there..besides its price justify a big different..
i use an adapter ring to use with my raynox wide and tele, now i can shoot from 26mm to 646mm. with f2.8 - f3.7.did i mention with leica lens?
i know this fz30 out do my no longer own canon d300, and olympus e300 dslr.
cheers.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Some comments on 2 people that gave bad reviews (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I read about one persons FZ30 having a bad fuse, and then another that sounded like the same thing. I have not heard of anyone having this problem, I called Panasonic and they said that a couple of bad fuses could turn up but rarely and they have not had any major problems. What I want to know is why these people who complained about having to spend 1/3 the cost of the camera to get it fixed did not pay the $50 or so extra to get a 3 year waranty? If I was going on a month long trip to another country, I would think I would have taken a back up camera just in case. I have never had on minutes problem with my FZ30 or the one we use at work, which gets a workout. To give a camera a bad review simply because some people do not think ahead and plan on something maybe going wrong is simply not doing the camera justice. The person bragging about Nikon's well in the same price range they suck. My FZ30 has outdone my friends D50 consistently to the point he wished he purchased the FZ30. Come on people use your brains, always buy extended warranties, you can get the ones from the place you purchased them or on line from a 3rd party vendor and from Panasonic. But to go to Vietnam and only take one camera? I have a bridge in San Francisco I would like to see this person.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Best overall digital camera (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I've been a Sony digital person for yrs. They are great cameras with awesome lens.
But the FZ30 has them beat.
All the reviews shown are great. Add my love of this camera to all the others.
All should look on the web before purchasing tho'. I paid $429.00 for mine and the next week they were on sale for $395 at the same place.
There ARE aftermarket batteries available that give up to 5 hrs recording. And 5X MD SB cards available out there. I have one. Extremely fast cards that lose no pixels no matter how fast you shoot.
This camera has all the features that a photographer could want. And more than most can use.
I have not experienced any of the noise some speak about. But I an going to just get a NeatImage program just in case. I could use that program anyway along with my PhotoShoppe.
Try this camera. You WILL like it.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Just what I've been looking for! (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I've been an amateur photographer for many years, used to own a pretty decent 35mm camera with an incredible wide-angle telephoto zoom lens (cost more than all the rest of my equipment), and when it was stolen, decided to go digital...I bought almost all of the Nikon Coolpix cameras, but wasn't really happy with any of them...although I took them to Europe two times and got some pretty nice picture...I happened to read in PC Magazine about a bunch of computer geeks at a convention all taking pictures of each other with the same camera...the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ30, and decided to give it a try...WOW!! I am totally impressed with this camera, I think I've found a camera I will be happy with for a while...I live in the Eastern Sierra Nevada mountains in California, and have incredible scenery all around me to photograph. I haven't mastered all the bells and whistles of this camera, I have a 1.0gb card and think I would like two 2.0gb cards for my next trip to Europe, I just ordered a protective filter for the camera, and already have a spare battery...I can't say enough good things about this camera, for the price, I think it is just about the best digital camera on the market right now.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Hard to beat for family and vacation pics! (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

We just got back from our vacation to the Great Smoky Mountains. And I couldn't be happier with our pictures and the quality of them. I am no photographer, but my wife and I took really good pictures with this camera. Red eye is minimal and the color quality is great. We were taking the bypass by Gatlinburg and pulled over to at an over look of Gatlinburg. I took a picture at 35mm and them zoomed in at 420mm. We were impressed! The quality didn't suffer from the long zoom. And the noise everyone is talking about is above my head. I suppose if you try to use this for professional work, then you will notice it. But it's a $500 camera, not one of those four digit priced cameras. Come on, let's be reasonable. My wife loves it for scrapbooking as well. I couldn't be more happy thus far. We will have many memories of our two boys as they grow up from there current ages of 6 and 2. I can't wait to get some time and really see what this camera is fully capable of doing. There are so many options you can chose from, and they aren't difficult to figure out. Like I said earlier, this is a great armature or family camera and fully recommend it. My biggest gripe is that the lens cap doesn't have a tether to the camera. Other than that, I give it an A+!

  • 4.0 out of 5
potentially a great camera (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

takes good day-light shots, though sometimes a little bit undersaturated...nothing photoshop cant fix though. the only complaint is the low ISO sensitivity, which makes it hard to take pictures in low light, without sacrificing image quality as the photo's taken at anything higher than ISO100, are as noisy as a metalliva concert. all-in-all good camera, lots of great functions, easy to use amd a good alternative to an SLR.

  • 2.0 out of 5
Malfunction after 3.5 months! (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I used the camera in January on a five week vacation. Then I tried to use it in MAy on another international vacation. After taking five pictures, it would not work. The warranty is 90 days. A fuse gave out! I had to spend 25% of its purchase price to get it fixed! A fuse giving out in a few months~!???

  • 1.0 out of 5
Never should have purchased it.... (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I had Nikon cameras for 30 years with absolutely no problems. I have had a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ30 for less than 6 months and already have to spend at least one quarter of its purchase price to get it fixed. Bad choice!!! I definitely should have purchased the Nikon D50 or 60.

I used the Panasonic on a month's vacation to Vietnam in January and it worked well. Although I must say a non Panasonic battery, a Mercury, would not change in the Panasonic battery charger! Three days into a month's trip to Venezuela in late April the entire camera failed to turn on. I was not able to take pictures for a month.

Of course the warrantee is only good for 90 days and there is a minimum $105 labor charge to get it fixed. I never, never should have purchased this versus buying a Nikon.

  • 5.0 out of 5
After a long decision process (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I bought my FZ30 after many months of searching for a camera that would suit me. TOp of the list was the Nikon D200. Finances being what they are, it isn't in the cards at this time. I had a Minolta and for a smaller one it worked fine in that it got me to try the digital route. That is until the strap broke and it took a 15 foot drop on concrete.

A professional friend suggested looking at a FZ7 for an interim camera. I had never thought about Pana until then and started researching this maker. I found the FZ30 and decided this was the one I wanted to try out and am I glad I did.

I bought her 2 days ago and since then have shot about 250 pictures. In San Diego I went to Balboa Park and went to the Air and Space museum and the Automobile one too. Then Old Town in the evening. The lighting isn't the greatest and decided to see what she could do. I stuck mainly with avaliable light and used the flash only occasionally. I kept the iso to 80 or 100 and tried 200 a couple of times.

I was astounded as to the quality of the finished product. The colors were spot on and rich. Not overblown but more natural than I expected. The sharpness and clarity were fantastic also.

On two shots I went back to compare colors and textures. One was of a motorcycle that was a deep robin egg blue. I had set the balance for the lighting and the blue of the photo matched the blue on the bike perfectly.
The other one was in Old Town at one of the shops. There were three silken scarves hanging on a wooden door. All three were of differing colors, hues and textures and again the match was perfect.

I think that if the photographer does his job, the FZ30 will do it's job. Very well.

The only criticism I can level is with the on-board flash. But , it has a shoe and I'll break out one of my strobes to use on it. Since I'm very used to a flash it's no biggie for me. Might be for others.

I found the menu easy to move around in and make your settings.

I think it's and excellent camera at a very good price.

If you want a point and shoot you might want to look elsewhere. To get the full benefits you need to learn it.

To those who complain about noise. How do you spell Pzzzzzzt.

Good luck

  • 5.0 out of 5
professional shots (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

i just bought this cam 5 days ago. took pictures of my family and some places that i have been and they are amazed by my wonderful shots! i dont even know a single thing about photography! but with this camera, it makes me look like im a real professional

  • 5.0 out of 5
Great camera (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I have used my camera everyday since I bought it.. I love it, pictures are great.. Few things I would change but overall I think its a great buy.

  • 4.0 out of 5
awesome image quality! wilth rock stady image stabilization (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

Well this is the second panasonic I own, the earlier on being a FX9.The FZ is a quick responsive camera,colors are damm accurate! so is the stabilization!noise can be aproblem at higher ISO's especially at ISO200 and above.ensure to run the images through noise ninja or neat image

  • 4.0 out of 5
Excellent images, modest sensitivity, slow storage (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I like the excellent image quality, the zoom, and general ease of use. Autofocus is only adequate in the near and macro focus modes, but the manual focus ergonomics are excellent. The FZ30 has only adequate light sensitivity and limits you to ASA 400; the CCD noise is not an unusual problem and can be handled tolerably in post-production. At highest image quality in RAW or TIFF format, you wait about 8
or 11 seconds(respectively) for the image to store in the memory card. Such a long latency is an annoyance and nearly made me upgrade to a dSLR.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Wicked Frikken Sweet (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

Soooo cool and sweet camera

  • 5.0 out of 5
Wonderfully powerful but simple to use (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

Manual focus and diopter viewfinder adjustment make it possible to "see" shots as in an optical SLR. Tremendous zoom (~ 470mm), and shake stabilizer really works. Accessory lenses, wide and tele also available, but hard to tell whether after market ($99) pair has the quality of Lumix lenses (that sell for nearly $500). This latter nit is the only glitch I have found.

  • 5.0 out of 5
awesome camera even for a novice (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I have owned the panasonic dmc-fz30 and previously the fz10. I was happy with the fz10, but the fz30 is fantastic! The features are easy to use and it produces great pics. One thing that does annoy me though it is the fact that pana only give a tiny sd memory card as standard, making it a necessity to buy a big sd card (I bought a 1gig, apparently the fz30 can only handle up to a 2gig card). I have been impressed with the pana range that I have recommended them to family and friends (sold the fz10 to a friend, a mate bought the fz20 and my parents got the fz5) who have also been just as happy with the pics they have taken. I am looking forward to learning more about my fz30 and even keener to check out the replacement (fz40?) when it comes out here in australia in about september this year.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Fantastic camera but... (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I was looking at buying into the lower end (read affordable) of the digital .SLRs. Thankfully I was saved by a salesman who told me about the FZ30. It's a fabulous camera with enough bells and whistles to keep technophiles happy, whilst program and auto mode does all the thinking for you.

It's also fantastic not to experience the auto-focus lag of my FujiFinepix 4900. No more shots of bare trees where a flock of birds once sat while auto focus chugged away, or blurred shots of too active pets and kids.

The only minus: the instruction booklet - some parts are not easy to figure out, other than that owning the FZ30 is a slice of camera heaven.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Best Camera for the Price - Period (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

This camera is routinely compared to SLR cameras costing 2x-3x more. How is this fair? This is akin to comparing a Toyota to a Ferarri....hmmmmm a Ferarri at a Toyota price.

A fair comparrison would be to compare it to cameras in the same price catagory against similar features...Features people care about like image sharpness, ease of use, and functions like zoom, and manual control...not to mention image stabilization. Even the SLR cams can't compete with the image stabilization function.

After doing my homework and reading between the lines I selected this camera. The only thing I would recommend is that you go and buy a 1G memory card (I bought 2) and an extra battery while waiting for your camera to ship as you will want to keep shooting and shooting once you get it.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Feature rich and versatile. Lovely camera (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I was in the market for a new camera since my old Sony Cybershot DSCP52 was not really suitable for the kind of photos I wanted to take. I didn't want the bulk and cost of a dSLR and lenses plus I wanted a camera that could do video. I bought my FZ30 for around �330 brand new which was the cheapest I had found it. Some outlets wanted as much as �550 for it.

The day it arrived I began playing with my new toy and what an excellent camera it is. Zooming is smooth, the camera fits nicely in my hand and is simple to operate. I like the fact that it has full manual controls. The video mode is smooth and you can't beat the image stabilisation! I find the EVF nice to look at but prefer the tilt/swivel LCD panel. The EVF is bright and with 230k pixels does actually show a good amount of detail. Focussing is a breeze with the switch on the lens barrel. The camera feels solid and well constructed, performance is good and I haven't noticed any discernible shutter lag. I'd advise getting a larger and faster SD card though for burst shots since the camera slows down taking pictures if it's writing to a slow SD card.

Yes, there is a bit of image noise with this camera - but only really with high ISO (200>) shots. People who say it's unacceptable have either never tried an FZ30 themselves, have listened to here'say or are expecting dSLR quality from a bridge camera. I expect people who dismiss this camera for the noise buy a different 'bridge' camera maybe without Image Stabilisation and find their pictures blurry. A blurry picture cannot be fixed - a noisy one can be post-processed in NeatImage or whatever. It's a trade off really, but having said that I'm very satisfied with the camera and what it can do.

  • 4.0 out of 5
great camera below 200 ISO (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

My FZ30 had taken excellent pictures until I went to San Francisco.Took images in the Northern CA area with camera set to 200 ISO.When I printed the pictures I was really disappointed with the noise levels.Ended up having to purchase Neat Image noise reduction software to clear up the problem and allow me to print quality images.Learned my lesson but still an amazing camera.

  • 5.0 out of 5
great camera (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

After I had bought the camera the reviews I read started complaining about noise I can honestly say that I have not had this problem. OK if I try to I can take a noisy picture but using the available functions it's easy to avoid. Images don't compare in ultimate quality with my Minolta SRT 101 and rokkor lenses but the ability to take one camera and lens mean that I don't leave it at home rather than lug about a heavy SLR and 5 or 6 lenses. Definitely great for the purpose I bought it for.

  • 4.0 out of 5
my first digital camera (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I have earned my living with photographs for 50+ years. Mainly with medium/large format in the comercial and industrial field, also news and public relations. I have used most of the topline cameras. I was after a digital for a change and liked the FZ30 more than others but its reputation for noise put me off and I decided I would get an SLR. I got 2 large prints done of the same subject, 1 from an SLR and the other from the FZ30. They were both good but the image quality of the FZ30 was better even though the SLR had a sensor over 4 times the area. I like the camera; it gives better quality than my 35mm film cameras(Canon;Olympus)and pushes my medium format(Zeiss/Mamiya). I set out to find the noise that everyone seems to complain about and I did; noise so bad that it was visible on the LCD screen. But, in general use there is no problem. I have the noise reduction set to low. I shoot at 80, (I rarely used faster than 100asa during my professional career and I photographed in all conditions). The people who have problems with noise would be better looking at themselves rather than the camera; a poor workman blames his tools.

  • 5.0 out of 5
20 years later (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I am a professional photographer and my pride and joy of several cameras is my Canon A1. I still use a large format camera as well that no digital camera in this world can beat (as far as I know)....at least in image quality. I bought this camera this week and it's simply amazing. I don't care what pirks cameras have....I only care about the finished product. I printed a 16 x 20 on Kodak paper and was truly amazed at the quality. But...I would like to see a one on one match with the best digital against my old 2 1/4 x 2 3/4 in terms of quality.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Bang for the buck (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

The FZ30 is a great value. The Leica lens is superb with the best image stabilization I've ever experienced. The lens also zooms (manual) and focuses (auto or manual) internally resulting in a same size lens regardless of the lens settings. Very versatile with many controls to give a broad spectrum of photographic capabilities. Noise at higher ISO levels can be saved a bit by shutting off the sharpen control. Image quality is superb in daylight and flash gives no redeye. Shutter is quick. I'd reccommend this camera to anyone who likes to play with controls or place on full auto and still get great shots.

  • 5.0 out of 5
What a camera! (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

For a long time I thought I wanted a digital SLR, but when I came across this camera, for half the price of an SLR.....I gave it serious thought, and I am so glad I did! I am not a professional photographer, and mainly use the camera for personal, fun use—-pictures of family events, the kids, etc. This camera is a dream! So easy to use, takes excellent photos and you can make it as technical, or as easy as you want it to be! The 12x optical zoom is incredible and the fact that you can still put a wide and telescopic lens on it was important to me, and it also comes with a hotshoe so you can add an extra flash if desired. This is the way to go! Plus....8 MPs! You will be happiest with buying at least a 512 MB SD card...I got a 1 GB. The card that comes with it only holds a few photos. Great camera!

  • 5.0 out of 5
from film to coolpix 5700 to fz30 uhhhhh suits me sir. (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

Bought the fz30 this afternoon, shot some pics, ate and drank a little, shot some more then went home installed software, eventually got some jpegs into photoshop cs and flash bang wow, amazing everthing, colour, sharp, saturation contrast, about 50 times better than coolpix, miles faster fireup, focus, exposure, etc,etc. I'm amazed. I agonized over which camera for weeks. made spot on decision with this one. I've heard about the noise in higher iso's so what for the money. My only concerns have been image quality, low light focus, manual focus, auto manual exposure settings. This camera has much much more. on image quality and ease of use for the money so far a massive yes. Go and test one.

  • 5.0 out of 5
So Impressed (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

This is the first decent digital camera I have owned. I have seen many that my friends and family own that come with printer docks and such but I wanted something a little better and so I took a look at the Panasonic Lumix FZ30. The price was well with in the range I was looking for so I made my purchase. I have had this camera for two months and am still amazed at the quality and speed of this camera. I think I will have to get it water proofed because everybody I know is drooling over it and they plan on buying one for themselves. I am not a professional or anything but I will tell you that two hours ago I took pictures of my kids in front of the christmas tree and the prints will be going out in christmas cards. If I didn't feel confident with the quality I would not be sending them out to everyone I know. I would love to go into detail about all of the qualities I love about this camera but there is not enough time to do that. Like I said it is fast and with a 2GB Ultra SD card you can get 499 pictures on a card. As far as taking movies when you put it on the highest quality you would not know that the footage came off a camera and not a video recorder. The lower quality movie options are still good they are just a little bit jerky but it comes in handy when you catch the quick little happenings of the kids or animals. The flash is nice and bright but it takes a little while to get ready before you can take the next picture but that is really only a problem when shooting in extreme darkness. The 12x zoom is real nice and the auto focusing does a great job. I can't say enough about how much I like this camera but like I said I just use it for family purposes and paranormal investigating but it is great for what I need it for.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Excellent (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

This was the best camara I have ever bought!!!

  • 5.0 out of 5
Incredible camera for the price (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I have used many different digital camera's, that I either owned or used a friends, and even compared to the Pro Rebel line of Canon SLR's this camera holds its own and as far as ease of use, I doubt there is a camera on the market other than Panasonic that comes even close to how easy this camera is to use. I have not found all the noise levels at high ISO settings that I have read about. No doubt with this size sensor, all digital camera's will have this problem, but what this camera has over all the competition is that fantastic 12X zoom (true) Leica lens. The sharpness of my pictures compared to other camera's including the Canon SLR's and even a Nikon SLR and Sony SLR has to be seen to believed. My pictures came out sharper then the other camera's I tested with some of my friends cameras. I cannot say enough about this excellent camera, and I got it for only $555 and a bonus I got was that all my 55mm filters that I used on my Minolta XE-7 all fit just fine. I highly recommend this camera to the high end amateur and amateur alike, even some pro's would love this camera for most shots. It is a very well made, good looking camera and looks more expensive than it is.

  • 5.0 out of 5
I do love it. (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I had a great little point and shot and shopped for ever for a Digital SLR. I do NOT like hauling a suitcase of lenses around and was dragging my feet. Meanwhile producing god awful pictures of my kid's soccer games....

I was ready for a 'real' camera and stumbled onto the Lumix FZ30. I am blown away by the image quality. GREAT GREAT focal lengths and excellent telephoto. Beautiful shots on the field and outdoors.

My main complaint....the manual is absurdly poorly written and the software provided with the camera just CHUGS along...really pathetic actually with such a high quality product.

Also, the flash is very lame and you have to be on top of your subject and then it pops way to high.

Overall an excellent choice if are someone who does not want to haul around a lot of stuff. I overpaid for mine at Ritz Camera ($700), so shop around (which I did not). But still packs a big punch for the price point....Leica lens for $700..not so bad.

  • 5.0 out of 5
This is really a great camera !!! (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

Sports its been more than great. Soccer pictures have been the best pictures I've ever taken, and the comments from friends & family confirms that 100%. The Battery power is the best I could have hoped for. The price has even come down since I got mine, that doesn't even bother me, I feel its worth a lot more. This camera will make you enjoy taking a lot of pictures and just get into photography. Simple to Manual Has it all!!!

  • 5.0 out of 5
I love this camera!!! (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

This camera is amazing!!!The colors are so realistic.It takes great closeups as well.I used Fuji digitals for the past 6 years and am very glad I tried someting different like the Panasonic lumix Z30.The price can't be beat for all you get.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Optical Zoom and great image quality however..... (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

The 12x optical zoom is by far the best selling point the camera has to offer. The EVF in low lighting is useless. Getting used to the EVF as opposed to an optical viewfinder is taking too long. I don't think I will be able to fully feel comfortable with the EVF. The next series of Lumix cameras must offer an ISO higher than 400. Other than that...image quality is superb. Sharp detail which creates sharp prints.
If the EVF and 400 ISO is not a problem for you than go for the Gold and buy the Lumix.

  • 4.0 out of 5
Action (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

This is an awesome machine. The 12X zoom is what i need to catch the action from the sidelines. I use this for rec center programs for athletics. The Manual setting lets me control the camera in ways that no others point and shoot can offer. My wife uses the video for her adult websight and wow...a Mons never looked better. Although this is not a true SLR it acts like one.
the pictures are the best quality I have seen. My associates have Nikon D50 and the Cannon Rebel SLR.....No movies guys..and for what? To take better pics? Not so.... My camera takes superior photos to theirs. By the way ... I bought this camera just for the 12X zoom and was willing to sacrifice other features. I have not had to.
Bunk

  • 5.0 out of 5
Photography has never been this much fun! (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

This is my third Panasonic Lumix. I have owned Canon, Nikon, Olympus digital and film; SLR, point and shoot and "pro-sumer".

Hallelujah! The FZ30 replaces them all - and offers something none of them can: This camera brings easy joy to the experience of photography. First: I am dazzled by the quality of the images. I am giddy over the relative ease of use and versatility of the FZ30. I have wanted a single camera that shoots near or equal to SLR/DSLR quality. I like a fast-to-the-shot camera - not one that requires fussing with lenses. (Been there - done that - the shots don't wait for you). I love a long, long zoom made of top quality glass that does not weigh 4 pounds and does not require months of practice to master. I require reliable image stabilization for nailing those long shots. I demand a camera whose design, ergonomics and controls make for intuitive use and an easy learning curve.

The FZ30 is it.

Any drawbacks? One. Very low light, hand-held shots without a flash are a challenge - but (better than the FZ20) they are possible.

Judging from posts on the web, a lot of DSLR owners have been buying the FZ20 and now the FZ30 as a "second" camera. I'll bet that many of them find that they can leave their "first" camera at home or in the trunk of their car.

What a pleasure!

  • 5.0 out of 5
The best camera I have ever owned (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I have been taking pictures since 1978, I own the Rebel XT, Digilux 2, Lumix FZ-5, and before that I owned the 10D, the FZ20, and many others. At the end of the day, this is the one I pick up the most, and that leica lens simply cannot be beat.

  • 5.0 out of 5
The Best Just got better! (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I own an DMC-FZ10 and was quite pleased with it but not delighted. It had a few shortcomings (dark focusing, sharpness of viewfinder and LCD, slow start-up, etc.) The FZ-30 has corrected those flaws totally and added a few new features that I didn't even know I needed. The FZ-10 was an adolescent of digital camera. The FZ-30 has matured into a great picture taking machine. It feels good, it looks good and it takes outstanding pictures! The only word of criticism I could offer is that Panasonic has not yet made available for purchase the unique battery required. ( I always carry a spare just in case). As this camera has been available on the world market (not in the US) for almost a year there is no reason for this shortage!

  • 5.0 out of 5
Don't care about those maniac noise guys (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

This is the best compact camera I have, also own a FZ20 and by comparision i only regret that the FZ30 does not have a F2.8 aperture trought all zoom range.
Image quality is great, even noise is not like i have read. It's on same level of FZ20 and pictures at 5 megapixels are much better now, 8 megapixels images are pure, sharp, detailed with lot's of definition, colors .. well it's all great i'm a happy user.
Thanks to Panasonic and Leica, i hope to see in future a 10 megapixel FZ 40 .. 50 ? Maybe with a 2/3 sensor or even more ? I keep dreaming of have a great compact camera like the FZ20 and FZ30 with sensors like DSLR cameras.
By far i think both FZ20 and FZ30 are the best compact cameras to buy, good build quality nice design excellent lens and electronic.
I'm happy to for this had been done by Panasonic that have de Force to beat Canon Nikon and other big manufactures like Sony.

May the Force be with Panasonic Lumix cameras.

Note: Noise is natural in all compact cameras, I only felt the need to use my Neat Image and Noise Ninja on some 400ASA pictures and in low light.
Detail is excelent after the noise treatment

(forgive my english)

Aleo

  • 5.0 out of 5
Awesome Camera improves on FZ20. Incredible capability. (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I was a loyal Nikon user. Had an 8008S with all the accessory lenses. I was ready to get a Nikon Digital SLR, until I had a trip planned for Europe and did not want to drag a bag full of lenses. I bought a little Sony Cybershot, which was a good camera, but nothing but a point and shoot that I sold after two weeks of frustration. I was literally on the phone, ordering my Nikon digital, when a camera shop representative turned me on to the Panasonic FZ20. I took some of the finest photos in Europe that I could have imagined. Incredible close ups and super detail with the ZOOM and the Image Stabilization. I knew that the moment Panasonic came out with the "next" camera, I was ready to buy it..period. My FZ20 was SO, so good. Well, the moment the Panasonic website introduced the FZ30, I pre ordered it. I got it right at the beginning of September. WOW. The color, the detail on close ups and distant shots is unbelievable. In every way as good as my friends get with their Cannon Rebels and their Nikons. You give up nothing. I am still waiting to see that "noise" folks are writing about. Flash, indoor, outdoor, dark night, clear daylight, back lit, front lit....all my photos are clear, and colorful. I have no idea what these folks are looking at. The improvements from the FZ20, like the focus ring, are going to take some getting use to. They get me back to my 35 MM SLR days. I am not sure I like it better then the FZ20's finger zoom...but that is just a matter of taste. The additional features, including the movable screen, are a big, big plus and that new battery lasts forever (good thing, since no extra batteries are yet for sale...anywhere). The FZ20 was the right camera to wean me off of film forever. NO bad "prints" made. 2G memory cards offering me more photos then baskets of film, and photo quality of the highest level. Add to this the improvements in the FZ30 and I feel I have now gone BEYOND my old film 35 mm capability. For a while I went into "video mode" and never even dragged my big bag of 35 mm lenses around any more. NOW...the fun is back. Football games, vacations, out on the boat...my camera is there, and my photos are great! Photography is FUN again. Thanks Panasonic, Thanks Leika. This is a great camara and I am only beginning to explore it's potential. Oh...by the way, when Panasonic comes out with the NEXT Lumix....you can bet I will be ordering it, day one of availability...YES, these cameras are THAT good.(NO...I do NOT work for Panasonic, Thank you. I happen to do Anesthesia for a living. A field where RESULTS are critical and where a high value is placed on quality and reliable equipment. This camera provides the kind of quality I demand in the O.R. with my work equipment as well!)

  • 4.0 out of 5
High resolution and whopping 19 xzoom ratio(with extra optical zoom feature (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

Lens resolution and color rendition is excellent but noise starts to increase even at ISO 200. Solidly built with professional feel. It has better movie mode than previous models.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Image quality and macro settings blows them all away (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I own the fz20 and the fz30. The obvious changes are present, but the image quality is ten times better even at 5mp. I shot some close up and you would not believe the details. I'm siked about using this. I went crazy and lost a lot of sleep deciding which camera I was going to buy. I was torn between the Canon 20d, Rebel xt, or the nikon D70. There were crazy expensive and you don't have the live histogram to determine how the photo will turn out before you shoot. The slr's shows you the histogram after the fact. I see why so many people invest money in Adobe CCS or elements... you make a lot of mistakes. You don't know what you have until after the fact. I know I have a great picture before I click the picture. Also, I would have to spend at least $300-400 per lens (Macro, wide, telephoto) to do everything the fz30 can do.

1100 (canon rebel)
400 (close up)
400 (wide angle)
400 (macro)
_________
2300 + 1gb card
too much for me.

good luck.

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