Panasonic Lumix FZ47 Brief Review

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REVIEW SUMMARY

Specifications

  • 12.1 megapixels
  • CCD sensor
  • 24x optical zoom
  • 25mm wide-angle
  • 3-inch LCD, 460k pixels
  • Electronic viewfinder
  • Optical image stabilization
  • 1080i/720p HD video (AVCHD/MPEG formats)
  • 3.7fps burst shooting
  • PASM manual control, including control in video mode
  • Captures to SD/SDHC/SDXC media cards
  • Rechargeable lithium-ion battery
  • Release Date: 2011-08-31
  • Final Grade: 88 4.4 Star Rating: Recommended

4.4 Star Rating: Recommended

Panasonic Lumix FZ47 Editor's Preview
A look at Panasonic's updated second-tier superzoom, the Lumix FZ47.
By , Last updated on: 5/18/2014

Panasonic just announced a new superzoom, the Lumix FZ47. The vital specs are a 25-600 (24x) zoom lens and a 12.1 megapixel CCD sensor, plus a respectable 3.7 fps burst mode, 1080i/720p HD video, and a set of PASM manual controls even in video mode. 

The FZ47 replaces last year's FZ40 model, which was the company's second-tier long-zoomer behind the flagship FZ100. The FZ100 looks like it's here to stay for at least another few months, and since the FZ47 brings just a few modest updates over its predecessor, it's still squarely second-best in Panny's FZ series.

Even so, the specs are pretty impressive for a camera with a CCD sensor. Most manufacturers have moved on to CMOS-type chips in their cameras (including Panasonic, in the FZ100) due faster performance and often better high-ISO image quality. Most CCD-based cameras can crank out about one shot per second, and top out at 720p video resolution. But Panasonic's Hi-Speed CCD (their words, not ours) is pushing the limits of the technology, it seems. What's more, we're hopeful that FZ47's JPEG quality will be a bit sharper than the FZ100's (though the FZ47 will not shoot RAW images). 

In the broad realm of superzooms, the FZ47 sits in a bit of an awkward spot. All the enthusiast interest gravitates toward the FZ100, mainly because it has "more" of everything. The 24x zoom range is, amazingly, on the low side compared to what else is out there. And with an MSRP of $400, it's going to cost much, much more than any of the budget superzooms that it kind of, sort of matches up with. Some photographers with an interest in shooting video might take a look at it, since as far as we know, it's one of the few consumer cameras with manual video exposure control.

We'll see how it fares when we can get our hands on a review unit, but we expect it to be a solid, if unspectacular addition to the crowded superzoom field.

Official Press Release:


PANASONIC EXPANDS POPULAR FZ-SERIES SUPER-ZOOM LINE, WITH 24X OPTICAL ZOOM AND FULL HD-CAPABLE MODEL

New Panasonic LUMIX FZ47 Digital Camera Packs a Powerful 24x Optical Zoom in High-Quality Leica Lens and Adds Creative Manual Control Options

SECAUCUS, NJ (July 21, 2011) - Panasonic today introduces the LUMIX DMC-FZ47 digital camera, the newest addition to the company's super-zoom FZ-Series. The LUMIX FZ47 packs a powerful 24x optical zoom in a 25mm ultra-wide angle LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT lens, full-High Definition 1080i video-recording capabilities and new creative controls while shooting both still and video images. The high-quality Leica lens features Panasonic's Nano Surface Coating technology to help minimize light reflection that causes ghosting and flare.

"The LUMIX FZ-Series is an extremely popular line for Panasonic and we expect this model to be another winner for users who not only want an impressive 24x optical zoom, but those that seek exceptional image quality, and thanks to the Leica lens and full HD video capabilities – the FZ47 delivers," said Darin Pepple, Senior Product Manager, Imaging, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company. "New to the FZ-Series are the improved AF speeds, 3D photo shooting and full 1080 HD video capabilities."

Powered by a 12.1-megapixel Hi-Speed CCD sensor, the LUMIX FZ47 can produce the high-speed, large-capacity signal processing required for 1920 x 1080 full-HD video recording in the AVCHD format, and high-speed continuous shooting. The Venus Engine FHD processor helps create superb image quality in both photo and video recording, while also powering the Intelligent Resolution technology to perform the optimum signal processing. With Intelligent Resolution, the LUMIX FZ47's zoom can be extended 1.3x times to a 32x zoom length. The LUMIX FZ47 can take high-resolution consecutive shots at 3.7 fps in 12.1-megapixel full-resolution and maximum 10 fps at 3-megapixel recording. With Panasonic's Sonic Speed AF (Auto Focus), the LUMIX FZ47 has a quick start-up time, approximately 35% faster than the Panasonic LUMIZ FZ40, and also has an incredibly fast response time, helping to catch any fast-action photo opportunity. Additionally, the LUMIX FZ47 has fast and accurate AF Tracking.

The LUMIX FZ47's 24x optical zoom optimized for video recording with a mechanism designed to minimize the noise of AF and zooming. The full-HD video capability is complemented with the high-quality stereo sound of Dolby® Digital Stereo Creator, to offer extremely realistic audio. And with a Wind Cut function, the LUMIX FZ47 reduces noise from background wind automatically. While shooting video, users can simultaneously take a 3.5-megapixel still photo.

Differentiating itself from most digital cameras that record video, the LUMIX FZ47 is unique in that it features a Creative Video mode, which lets the user set the shutter speed and aperture manually. Changing the shutter speed brings special effects to videos, which is especially suitable for shooting a fast-moving subject. The ability to control the aperture is convenient when there are several subjects at different distances and it is desired to have each of them stand out.

The creative mode is also available for still photos. For users seeking more creative freedom, the LUMIX FZ47 adds the new Creative Control and Photo Style that comes with a variety of options for artistic effect modes, including: Expressive, Retro, High Key, Sepia, High Dynamic, Miniature Effect, Film Grain and Pin Hole. Users can also adjust exposure compensation in the Creative Control mode. In addition, Photo Style is newly added to the LUMIX FZ47 to allow finer adjustment of contrast, sharpness, saturation and noise reduction in these settings: Standard, Vivid, Natural, Monochrome, Scenery and Portrait.

On the other hand, for those users who would prefer not to change any settings, the LUMIX FZ47 also features Panasonic's iA (Intelligent Auto) mode. When in iA mode, the LUMIX FZ47 automatically chooses the best setting based on the shooting environment and features include: POWER O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer), Motion Deblur*, Face Recognition, Face Detection, AF Tracking, Intelligent ISO Control and Intelligent Scene Selector. Additionally, iA is available during video mode, and the following features engage automatically: POWER O.I.S., Face Detection, Intelligent Scene Selector and Intelligent Exposure.

Other features of the Panasonic LUMIX FZ47 include:

  • 3D Photo Mode: Take 3D still photos** that can be played back on MPO-compatible 3D equipment, such as a Panasonic VIERA 3D HDTV
  • 3.0" Intelligent LCD: Features a 460,000-dot high resolution
  • Social Media Connection: The LUMIX FZ47 makes it extremely easy to share photos via Facebook and videos via YouTube. As soon as the camera is connected to the computer it will prompt the user with an easy-to-follow menu asking if they want to share the images – no software needed

The Panasonic LUMIX FZ47 will be available in black for a suggested retail price of $399.99, starting in August 2011. For more information on Panasonic LUMIX digital cameras, please visit www.panasonic.com/lumix.

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