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Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50

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

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50

Editor's Review

If you loved Panasonic's FZ30 (and who didn't?), you'll want to get your hands on the all-new Lumix FX50 with 12x optical zoom. With such a long zoom, image stabilization is key, and Panasonics lauded Mega O.I.S. technology helps to reduce the shake and jitter of unsteady hands that can often blur your photos. This sturdy, attractive camera also can take video at 30 frams per second in a 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio, perfect for modern widescreen TVs and computer displays.

Specifications

  • 10.1 megapixels
  • 12x optical zoom / 2-4x digital zoom
  • Auto and manual focus
  • Auto and manual exposure
  • JPEG and RAW file formats
  • ISO 80-3200
  • Secure Digital storage (32MB SD card included)
  • Movie mode, with sound
  • Lithium-ion battery
  • Part Number: DMCFZ50K/c
  • UPC: 021331374462
  • Release Date: Jul 30, 2006

Shop for FZ50 Accessories

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50 Reviews

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50 Reviews by Digital Camera-HQ Users

  • 5.0 out of 5
Buy it if you can find one! (Jim Robbins — 11/13/2009)

This is my third digital camera and is by far the best. I'm not that experienced as a photographer but I do know how to do my research on the internet. After months of studying all available cameras, except SLRs, I decided the FZ50 was the one I needed. This camera, together with Scott Kelty's book "The Digital Photography Book", has family and friends in awe of my "talents" as a Photographer. I love this camera and I can't see anything available on the market today which I'd rather have. My uninformed guess is that it's the manual zoom Leica lens that makes the difference here.

  • 5.0 out of 5
An excellent camera for the money!! (Ben — 06/23/2009)

For those who cannot afford a D-SLR, this camera ranks up there as one of the best cameras you can get. Its solidly built, and takes fantastic pictures. It's strongest point for me is black and white. It seems to pick up amazing contrast and clarity and can make for some absolutely stunning photos. On color it works very well too, however, it isn't as vivid as in b&w mode. It's by no means bad in color mode, it just seems to be a tad better at black and white. As a beginner camera this works great too. Through trial and error you can slowly wean yourself off the auto mode. With a little time, a beginner could learn to take better photos in manual mode. As i mentioned earlier, the build quality is excellent too. I can't tell you how many times i've dropped this thing, yet it still is solid as a rock. Excellent for traveling.

  • 5.0 out of 5
a wonderful camera (howard s.mendelsohn — 06/14/2009)

this is a great camera,it takes beautiful photo,s .it has everything one needs.did not find anything to complain about.

  • 4.0 out of 5
Great for beginners (corina — 02/28/2009)

Just got it. I'm a beginner. Easy to use for beginners. Takes great pics!

  • 5.0 out of 5
You need not buy a SLR (Richard — 02/19/2009)

This camera does the JOB of SLR
this built in zoom has advantage of not going for other zoom lense
Its ZOOM can pick up far objects with good resolution.
I would like to buy a flash for this camera please suggest me compatible for this.

  • 5.0 out of 5
I love this camera (Mick Webb — 11/20/2008)

I have allways been at best, a point and shoot photographer.
My wife is a shutterbug however and owns a quality DSLR.

On a recent whale watching trip, she "borrowed" My Panasonic and loved it more than her own high end job.

I am still learning to use this camera, but so far, it does all that I could ask for and much more.

I would not hesitate to recommend this camera to any keen hobby photographer who wants that little bit more than a pocket camera.

Regards,
Mick,
Queensland,
Australia

  • 3.0 out of 5
Camera (Keri — 10/14/2008)

This camera is a good camera for beginners. I really liked it when i first got it but am now ready for a more proffessional camera. One complaint I have is that it is a bit on the slow side. Its hard to get pictures of children with the way they move and all. But overall it does a good job and the pics are pretty good quality because of the high megapixels.

  • 4.0 out of 5
good product, great value. (Bruce B — 09/15/2008)

This camera was, in the end, a compromise for me. i have been shooting for 35 years and went to digital media in 2002. My old 35mm cameras - an Olympus OM2-SP and a Leica IIIF - were quickly determined to be obsolete. I have owned several digital cameras over the last 6 years and have to say they were all good at doing what they were supposed to do. The DMC-FZ50 is what I decided to replace my stolen Olympus E-1 with.

The reason to downgrade was simple. the sheer magnitude of all the gear and accessories for the E-1 was too much for a traveling camera system. I travel a lot... and of course the package was heavy! One of the selling points of the FZ-50 was the Olympus strobe system was compatible - saving 100's of dollars. The camera also has a built in flash which mean I can use it in a pinch... something I loved on the E-20 and missed on the E-1

There are many complaints of the noise reduction system and to some extent I have to agree with most of them but, when you learn the system and how it operates most of the obstacles will be overcome. I have to admit for a couple of months I constantly complained about the FZ-50. My biggest problem was the controls all seemed to be in the wrong places. Now I have to say that my results satisfactorily compare to the pro grade SLR's I have used for years. I'd say it is not a complete replacement for a pro grade camera with lenses tuned for specific jobs but, at the price as sold. It is a very powerful photographic tool at a reasonable price. Not perfect but, very good! Good enough I am not planning another $4000 investment.

Of course, never forget to carry your pocket camera... LOL!

  • 4.0 out of 5
Good and bad (Glenn Rosander — 08/01/2008)

Last Christmas I decided to really learn how to use a digital camera. I had a 3 megapixel Cannon point and shoot. I signed up for a camera class and a Photoshop Elements class and bought a Panasonic FZ-50. The FZ-50 was a huge improvement over the Cannon S30, both indoors and out of doors, mainly due to the lens and ISO capabilites. It was also wonderful in that I could take indoor snapshots of my Grandson without a flash to distract him from playing. This was a great camera for learning on but I have come to understand that it has it's limitations also. I very seldom get a really crisp focus. I can really see this in Photoshop. If i'm in sunlight and hold the camera very still then it seems good but it still has noticeable "noise". The macro mode is also poor. I think the camera was a great learning tool for me but I will definitely upgrade to a DLSR in about 1-2 years. The good news is that I now have a good idea of how to use a digital camera and what I personally like. In retrospect I would have obtained a Nikon D-40 but I did not know that last year. I have taken about 3000 shots since christmas (you tend to do that with your first Grandson). It's those 3000 pics that taught me what I can do, what the camera can do, and what I personally like. If I had to do it over again (without the learning of the last year) I would probably pick the FZ-50 again because it has wonderful capabilities. Especiallly the lens, the manual focusing, the RAW capabilities, and the feel of the camera. On the other had you can now get agreat DLSR for the same I paid for the FZ-50 ($550).
Good luck in deciding!!

Still learning.

  • 5.0 out of 5
you get what you pay for (Alan — 07/06/2008)

I have used fujii f601 and F810 cameras with excellent results and found them easy to slip into ones pocket, so they were always with me bbuit the draw back was that when shooting in poor light on automatic, the results were to say the least poor!!!. Yes, I know you can fiddle with the settings but usually don't have the time or photographic abillity to do this. As you can tell, I am not a photographer nor do I have the time or inclination to become one!!!
I decided that I needed something with a bigger and better lens to give me the better results in poor light. I have found this with the FZ50. I know it is a Leica lens and is bigger than my Fuji 810(which I still carry) The results are really good and the 12xx zoom is excellent. Poor light is no obstacle for this camera and the quallity matches my friends very expensive Sigma, yes more expensive cameras have more to offer but as usual the extras are very, very expensive, so if you are like me and have limited funds, you will find this camera all you need.

  • 2.0 out of 5
engineer (Bart — 05/14/2008)

This is not a point and shoot. It will take some time to get good at using this camera. Many shots are blurry even outside. One in ten photos come out good. Took it to a family reunion and more than half of the photos were a little bit blurry. Tried using the manuel focus and the lcd in the view finder was not clear enough. Hard to see if the picture was in focus.My daughter has a cannon xti and it blows this camera away. She tried to tell me to get the cannon but I didn't want to spend the bucks. Wish I would have know.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Best Like-slr (zafar — 02/18/2008)

very good camera for a nice price

  • 5.0 out of 5
fantastic camera (howard s. mendelsohn — 01/05/2008)

this camera takes great pictures,no problems with grain or any thing else ,this is my 5th digtal camera and this one beats them all.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Love my FZ50 (Loren C Powers Jr. — 01/03/2008)

This is a great camera. I love the 12X zoom and it's versatility. It will take pictures in almost any conditions.
I've taken pix's of a bonfire in the dark. Zoomed to capture small animals / birds at max zoom and gotten sharp images.
The barral zoom adjustment works great.
Close ups give sharp images with good focus control.

It's a little heavy but that's no problem for me.
Colors are quite accurate. There's also a good manual focus ( barrall adjust) that (maginifies) the center of viewfinder.
I find more accurate focus using the Auto-Focus.

Very satisfied with this camera.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50 - BUY IT! (Rick Schwartz — 12/08/2007)

I love this camera. I purchased a Canon Rebel XT DSLR and took quite a few shots with it. To say the least, I was underwhelmed! My Olympus SP-500 (6mp) took better/sharper pictures than the Rebel. After reading nearly every review on the internet I finally decided to try the FZ50 even though a lot of people didn't like the "noise" issue. Long story short, this is by far the best camera I've ever used. It has the quality and feel of an SLR without the need for thousands of dollars of extra bulky lenses. BUY IT!

  • 5.0 out of 5
Just Superb (W. Allen — 08/16/2007)

Selecting cameras is a trade-off. What is important is ensuring that the trade-off you make are best for you. I have been a film SLR user for 40 years and looked long and hard before buying the FZ50. Here is what I liked and still like about it. It feels like a familiar SLR. Manual Zoom using a zoom ring provides excellent creative control. You can use an external flash with it like the high output Sunpak 433 for great coverage. The RAW mode obviates any concerns about noise. It has the best image stabilization I have ever used and I don't have to lug around multiple lenses. The pictures are highly detailed and all the noise hype is simply that...hype. I shoot at ASA 100 and 200 with no noticeable noise and the image stabilization does a great job. I would buy it again.
What are the negatives?...The EVR could be brighter with more detail and the 2" LCD could be larger.

  • 5.0 out of 5
the bees knees (alan — 07/11/2007)

Pretty well as good as all the reviews said it would be. the main thing missing for me is an 'instant infinity' focus setting. it has proved superb and amazed some of my fellow photographers. if only had a wider angle lens. otherwise I love it.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Great Purpose Cmaera (BillT — 06/30/2007)

I have had my Lumix for 3 months and I enjoy using it every time I pick it up. I am an amateur photographer and this is my first "serious" digital camera. I paid $430 for it new in the box. I still use my 35mm Chinon when the mood strikes. For most general photography I highly recommend the FZ-50. It is a pleasure to use and all of the manual features make it easy to use for experimental purposes. The lower ISO images have eye-popping color and clarity. The higher ISO images are OK. They are fine for typical album prints.

I keep a UV filter attached at all times, except when I use a polarizing filter outdoors as needed. Having the hot shoe for external flash is a great advanatge for the FZ-50. I recommend getting a high-speed memory card for action photography or burst-mode shots. I use a SanDisk Ultra III.

Overall, I am very pleased with performance, features and price.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Terrific camera for the price (Nancy — 06/06/2007)

I own a Nikon D200 but find I use the Lumx FZ50 almost exclusively. It's light weight and has a wonderful zoom, precise auto focusing but, also, a simple manual focus with a neat magnifying tool that pops on the screen as an aid. I have cropped my pictures extensively and find the Leica lens and 10 megapixels keep clarity superb. For the money this camera is a wonderful value—it has everything an ordinary photographer could want. I highly recommend it.

  • 5.0 out of 5
A good bridge between an amateur and an expert (aharol — 05/29/2007)

This camera is a good intermediate one between being an experienced amateur and being an expert photographer. It lets you try out a

lot of stuff but helps you if you're not sure what to do.

1. Deciding on the camera
I read a lot of reviews before deciding on this camera. Considered Olympus and Canon cameras before zeroing in on this one.

2. Features I liked:
A. Design:
I really loved the look of this camera. The fact that the zoom is controlled by a ring (like a regular SLR) and not by a electornic

switch makes it a lot more controllable and feels good in the hand.

B. LCD screen:
The LCD screen is one that rotates and flips. That way, when it is stowed away, the LCD screen is protected. The other benefit is

that it's position can be adjusted for tricky angle shots.

C. Picture taking modes:
The auto mode does everything for you. If you want to start experimenting just a little then the Program mode ('P') is great. Read

the manual a few times to understand what all can be adjusted and what it does. It's a continuous learning process. A convenient

'Function' button allows you to adjust 6 primary attributes (white balance, ISO, picture MP, picture quality etc.) while taking a

picture.

D. Scene modes ('SCN')
This camera has 16 pre-programmed scene modes (night scenery, night portrait, snow, sports, food etc.) that helps take some of the

tricky shots well.

E. Zoom:
At a 10MP resolution you get a 12X zoom. You can reduce the MP to 8 / 5 / 3 / 2 to extend your zoom to more than 30X.

F. Optical Stabilization:
Really helps to get the zoom shots stable. At very high zooms the stabiulization becomes a lot more difficult.

I'm still just exploring this camera hence this is it for now.

  • 5.0 out of 5
great slr-like (Hasim Canan — 04/27/2007)

First of all i am not a professional photographer, it is my hobby. Therefore you can understand that i can not buy quality lenses for a DSLR, and pay thousands of dollars for its equipment. That was the first factor that made my decision. I had a research for a week, and i saw that a slr-like camera was suitable for me. And found the FZ50. To be honest, the second factor was the focus ring and zoom ring in the camera. You feel like a professional when using hem. The camera is also recording the videos and 12x optic zoom is great. (nothing to tell about Leica lens). Looked at the samples from the net and that was enough for me. As i said i am using it for two months, and it seems i will use it for years. They all talk about the noise, however it is a professional thing It is a perfect camera to me with its functions... here you can see some samples; http://www.esnips.com/web/hasimcanan-photographs

Take care

  • 5.0 out of 5
Meets All Expectations (Jim Robbins — 04/25/2007)

I've taken 400+ pictures in various conditions and am still working through the many features of this fine piece of machinery. The Leica lens (which is the best), user friendliness, great feel, and crisp (no high ISO yet)pics make this a FUN camera for me. After shopping the competition carefully for two months, I'd say the FZ50 gives the best $ value. You won't be disappointed unless your comparing it to a much more expensive DSLR.

  • 5.0 out of 5
real bang for buck (winoseti — 04/25/2007)

the lense element is a bit long and really needs a tripod but it is enclosed so the sand at the beach doesnt go in....
with OIS and V3 the results can be a bit smeared.
The settings panasonic give as standard really cover common photographer errors. If you use the camera as manually as possible with a tripod and on the less intensive 8mp setting the results are really quite stunning.(contrast to high saturation to high, 8mp, manual control of aperture and shutter speed) My nikon and canon buddies are impressed with pix quality and get a vague look of displeasure when they find out the price of the camera having forked out twice as much for a marque camera.

  • 5.0 out of 5
great camera (bkbmom — 04/20/2007)

I've owned this camera for over 6 months now and taken it on 4 trips (NYC, Disney, Ireland, and Hilton Head) and used it extensively. It has performed to my expectations. The colors are crisp and clear. There is only the slightest redeye when using the flash and zoom in poor lighting. I even got great action shots throughout my son's basketball season (using a high speed card helps a lot). There are so many great features this camera has. I highly recommend it to anyone.

  • 3.0 out of 5
Not what I thought (Dexter B Jenkins — 04/15/2007)

The camera is good if you are into still/posed photos. However action photos are someone difficult not to mention the speed of the camera. For the price I can not complain, however knowing now what I know, I would have waited and bought a Canon XTI or something that’s faster than the Panasonic at least while here in Iraq.

  • 4.0 out of 5
so far so good! (Julie Smith — 03/26/2007)

I bought the camera about 2 weeks ago. I haven't really taken a whole lot of pics with it so far. However, the ones that I have taken have been pretty good. I did get my first pic of the Northern Light's! They came out dang good. I have tried before with my Canon S1 IS and it never worked out for me. I need to spend more time with the camera so I can give a better, more researched opinion. So far it has acted like most have mentioned. A little noisy at times. I seem to get missed focus but I like it better then my Canon. I can't wait to be able to spend some in-depth time with it.
I gave it a score of four due to my lack of research time.

  • 4.0 out of 5
SLR Like but..... (Alexander — 03/18/2007)

I have the FZ 50 for about 5 months now and have taken about 1200+ shots with it. Initially, I have chosen this camera based on the "looks" as well as all the manual controls and of course the O.I.S. system(anti shake) which in my opinion works the best on Panasonic digital. cameras.In the case of FZ50 "mode 2" works probably better than "mode 1" of the O.I.S.
Overall I am very satisfied with the camera.My only "bad experience" with it was the picture quality. In my opinion again: it might be due to panasonic sensors as well as new Venus III chip. Not so much of a noise as "smear" which makes the final picture in ISO 200 and up look like impressionistic painting.Although you are able to turn down the in-camera noise reduction which helps a little, "but" for someone who is viewing their "pics" 100% on their computer monitor ,these "artifacts" will be always visible.
And that is why I gave it a four star instead of five.

Pro:
*Huge 38-420mm LEICA lens
*O.I.S. (anti shake) works perfect
*Vivid colors !!
*decent manual focus
*SLR like styling
*user-friendly interface, easy access buttons ISO,WB,metering....

Cons:
*Picture (ISO)quality (chroma noise and artefacts visible in low ISO's) some even on ISO100!!
*Limited burst mode - fairly slow
*VENUS engine III is a mess(sorry Panasonic)

  • 4.0 out of 5
A great middle of the road camera (J smith — 03/01/2007)

I bought this camera with the intention of shooting my artwork, documenting my child's life and capturing small amounts of video to edit and get artsy with that. As I understand camcorders shoot video better, slrs shoot better pictures but this seems like a good attempt keep it all simple; offering the most for what I want without going swimming in the money pit. As far as swimming goes I compulsively bought a Pentax W20 (stated to be waterproof to 1.5 meters) that will leave my Lumix comfortably at home and myself less incumbered.

So this camera combo is as excellent as I can make it. Does it work for me? Yes.

If you bought one of everything this camera would still be good but there would be hardly any time to look through your minds own eye.

  • 1.0 out of 5
repair disaster - my new Lumix (Petra Paschek — 02/14/2007)

Within the first month the picture review mode got erratic.Occasional it would not go back to previous picture.

The shutter not always released.

The video recording was all grainy.
I send my Camera to Bigston Corp.for checking and repair.
That was 5 weeks [five] ago.
After phoning Panasonic directly I learned that the required spare part is on back order and I still have to wait.

I just fail to understand that a company like Panasonic does not just replace a camera once it is clear spare parts are not ready ly available and the customer would have to wait and wait and wait .

  • 4.0 out of 5
Very Good and User Friendly camera - A must for Camera fans (Sandeep Goswami — 01/20/2007)

Hi..I had a Sony digital camera and used it for a couple of years and I decided to go for a higher configured model and after researching for a couple of weeks I decided to buy this beauty, and m very satisfied with it, I'm still learning how to use it, but I'm very happy with what ever pictures I have taken till now, Battery backup is good, you would have to upgrade to at least 1 GB memory card(the default 32 MB is not enough at all) At full zoom its slightly difficult to take good clean pictures but again with practice you will get better, Flash works well in low light...but for long distance shots ...its a question mark..as with other flashes as well, Overall I'm happy with it, sturdy , feels strong in your hands.Buy it and you wont be disappointed.

  • 5.0 out of 5
true to life color (janet A Davis — 01/14/2007)

Increible camera. Crisp focus and real colors. Reds and pinks are not washed out. Beautiful pictures. Very happy with superb quality.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Awesome! (Bianca — 01/06/2007)

I got myself the Fz50 about 2 weeks ago. A very nice camera to handle, and the feeling of having the SLR look alike in your hands is just great. I am a bit disappointed with the ISO range, grainy above ISO 800.
I have got no other problems with the camera, I really like the LCD that you can flip and rotate around, and image quality in good light is stunning!

I definitely recommend this camera to anyone looking for a new one!!

  • 5.0 out of 5
Excellent DSLR at a quarter of the price (Michael M.D. — 01/02/2007)

Before I spend hundreds of dollars on a piece of tech photo equipment that is destined to be outdated by next years new line up, I try and consider a multitude of variables. First, what are its stand alone capabilities? Second, for the price, how does it stack up against other cameras in that price range, and in its capability range?
After reading critical reviews and experiencing the FZ50's images, I am very impressed. The FZ50 puts a 35-420mm (equiv) image stabilized leica lens perfectly in front of a sturdy well built camera. It's resolution is on par with lower end DSLRs and competes with some mid-class and higher end DSLRs. Realize that these 'other' DSLRs also don't even come close to reaching the lens capabilities of the 'FZ' without a bag full of len's costing thousands more (in addition to the DSLR itself costing twice as must as the FZ50 package alone). Top the last thought with the idea of losing precious shots trying to swap lens and cleaning sensors. It has every common advanced feature you would need or want in a capable DSLR. In fact more pleasing features keep popping up everytime I 'dig in deeper'. I have been a serious amateur and small time semi-pro for over twenty years, so I am no stranger to the ins and outs of photo equipment. It also features a system that is not bothered by dust on your sensor. Its battery is capable of hundreds (360 aver) of shots per charge. The flip out screen not only offers an image that can be viewed from any perspective of the camera, but it also flips screen side in to protect your delicate panel while not in use (a feature rare in upper line DSLRs, why?). A non moving lens (all focusing and zooming takes place inside the Leia's lens barrell) non-rotating end element is a major convenience. Not only convenient for polarizers, but it also eliminates other 'cracks' and openings that further invite dust and moisture to contaminate your camera. High ISO do offer some limitations (1600-3200), but I have been extremely pleased with all over image quality with 800 ISO shots taken up to 8x10 and 11x14. A parameter which grumpy critics would put this setting as virtually useless. I'm sure I could push satisfactory prints larger at 800 ISO, and most certainly at lower ISO. Not to mention the resolution and quality at 100 ISO could certainly print out images larger than I would ever want. As an avid photographer who takes on some part time work here and there, I feel well equipped with this camera. With technology constantly on the rise and my pocket book not, I found a perfect partner in my pasion. It will not only satisfy my love for photography until another like product is improved, it will also have a useful spot in my camera bag even after it is updated with another camera.

  • 4.0 out of 5
great camera (Amit — 01/01/2007)

I love this camera. It has a great zoom and really fits nicely into both hands. Feels like an SLR minus the huge price. Everone talks about the noise in low light...but in a regular lit room, the picture quality is great. Again, a lot of the time, you can't blame the camera, the actual photographer is to blame. Glad I bought it.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Easiest camera to use with zoom feature (brooks — 12/15/2006)

Having owned a Fuji finepix and Sony 8 megapixel point and shoot I was expecting less, but found that the ease of use and photoquality was outstanding. I looked at Leica and found this instead. Leica lite.

  • 3.0 out of 5
How's FZ-20 compare with FZ-50 (Jeff — 12/09/2006)

I intend to buy the FZ-50 to replace my current FZ-20 due to it's smart ISO which enable me to take better picture in darker place. I would appreciate unbias comment and advice on the the FZ-50. Thank you

  • 5.0 out of 5
Great Images, Great Zoom (Matt Allmand — 12/05/2006)

This is my first real camera and I am having a blast. The images are incredibly clear. It takes great portraits as well as nature pics. If I would improve anything it would be the manual focus. Some of my best efforts have turned out blurry. But, I am now going to experiment with the ������spot������ auto focus to pick up on birds and other little things. A picture I took yesterday of an Eagle flying turned out great. I love it. The only bad thing has been getting hosed on accessories that did not fit or work by Butterfly Photo where I bought it.

  • 5.0 out of 5
No regrets, whatsoever (George Mayhew — 12/04/2006)

Until I bought the FZ50, my only digital camera was a 0.8 MP point and shoot that I used exclusively for web photos. If I wanted prints, I used film, and then only medium and large format. My medium format equipment is now headed for the auction block, and I'll use the large format only when I need very large, high quality prints, or the perspective control that can only be obtained with a view camera.

The FZ50 is versatile, easy to use, and produces incredibly sharp photographs. A larger chip would improve the camera, but I'm very satisfied with the image quality I get.

I was tempted to buy a DSLR body and two high-quality IS zoom lenses, but I'm glad I didn't. I saved $2,000, and I have a camera that I actually carry around with me. The lens I need is always on the camera; it isn't the one I left at home because I didn't feel like lugging a big camera bag.

In 30 years of photography, the FZ50 is one of the smartest purchases I've made. I'm having a lot of fun with this camera.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Excellent camera (lucibitai — 11/22/2006)

I have a FZ50 for four weeks now and I can tell you that there is nothing to regret after buying one of these. On the contrary! I like to experiment with night architecture photos. Of course, image stabilisations is not enough in a situation like this and you need a tripod, but the results I got were stunning. Highly recommended!

  • 5.0 out of 5
White balance (Herb Flower — 11/19/2006)

I noticed a comment regarding white balance and that the pictures of a white card looked grey. This is normal to get that when you shoot something that is all white. Years ago they had to come up with some ideas for meters. The way I remember it is that they figured that the world reflected either 16% or 18% of the light on the average. That is what they base the meter sensitivity on. So, since a white object; like a bride's dress, wedding cake or whatever; is photographed, it is reflecting MORE than the 16% or 18% of the light. The meter, not knowing about cakes, bride's dresses and on, will underexpose. To solve this problem you have to move the exposure compensation up a click or two. The oposite happens when you try to photograph something that is all black, like the groom in a black tux. In theory the tux will come out grey, too. What you experienced was an exposure problem—not a color balance problem. And, the camera was functioning just fine; just work with these little things when they come along.

Herb in Utah

  • 5.0 out of 5
fz 50 (Graham — 11/13/2006)

Best digital camera I have ever had,Instructions could be more user freindly but otherwise delighted with quality of pics.

  • 4.0 out of 5
Bird pictures (Giovanni Fois — 11/12/2006)

I want to say, about taking photos from birds, that I can����t understand the review charged with BAD. I����m used to take photos of birds, but that isn����t an easy task. For long I got good results with an (early) Lumix FZ1, that is still in use. I own minolta Z3, Canon S2 IS and Lumix FZ20. The best for birds are the lumix for a simple reason, only them have a very selective focus to cath the bird and not the leaf behind or in front of it! But birds are quick, distant and small! So you need the long zoom (never the digital zoom), fast lens (f2.8 is great!) and fast shutter! Bright day help a lot, so you can reach all these conditions and use a low ISO for best results! Lens stabilization help a lot, freeing you from tripod even at full zoom, but you can����t slow down the shutter because birds are fast moving, even when apparently stopped. Good pictures!

  • 5.0 out of 5
FZ50 Silver (Loren C Powers Jr. — 11/11/2006)

Great camera. Everything previously said, I agree with. ( Except the one negative review.)

The only thing I'm questing is the White Balance.
I took several pix's using different light sources, same subject. ( A piece of white paper on a textured lt. blue background.)
The results were on the gray side of white.
Maybe I need more time playing with it?

Took a telephoto (Max Zoom) of a small animal, about 25" away, through a window, using AF in Program mode. You can see the individual hairs and detail in the eyes. Did I mention it was handheld?

Love this camera!!

  • 5.0 out of 5
Nice Camera (Ross Hayward — 11/08/2006)

I have had this camera for 2 months and am completely happy. After a great deal of research on various cameras in this class I decided on the FZ50. Certainly this is the best camera on the market without stepping up to a good DSLR. And I would bet after reading many reviews that the FZ50 would out perform many DSLRs anyway.

The FZ50 takes wonderful pictures in all lighting situations. I recently took a night shot of my fathers log cabin hoping to get a unique picture of the light emitting from inside. It turned out great and I wasn't evenusing a tripod - just holding the camera. Hurray for image stabilization!

If you want a camera that performs well, takes excellent pictures, has lots of features, has a fantastic zoom, and don't want to carry around a big bag full of lenses that you would have to do if you moved up to a DSLR - then the FZ50 should be seriously considered.

  • 5.0 out of 5
A step up from the FZ30 (Louie Gonsalves — 11/03/2006)

I'm a little skeptical of the negative reviews — I have the FZ30, and the FZ50, and without hesitation I'll say the 50 is the better camera, in terms of noise, sharpness, clarity, ergonomics and speed of response to input. ISO800 shots, with all picture adjust settings to "low" have yielded me 8x10 prints — real prints, not inkjets, without having to use noise reduction. I really suspect the reviewers saying "watercoloring" and "lack of details" don't actually have the 50, instead, they read some review in some site and are now parroting those words up and down the 'net — without having used the camera. I've been shooting for 20+ years, with film and digital, and I can highly recommend the FZ50. For all practical purposes it is good to iso800, beyond that, chroma noise does become a problem. To rebut one review here, I find no halos, no watercoloring. Trust your eyes, not some armchair photographer's take. This thing rocks.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Quality & Features galore (Phiroze B. Javeri — 10/10/2006)

Having used the FZ20, I bought the FZ50 without hesitation. With so many additional features and controls, it needed getting used to all over again.

The lens no longer has constant f/2.8 throughout the zoom range (FZ20 is unique in this), but it is more compact, and the movements are internal. Photographing insects at 5cm macro range is exciting, particularly with indoor available light at night, without flash. Versatile lens eliminates need for a vast and costly interchangeable collection, and the Leica name makes me feel at home, as I also own an M4.

Fine tuning of white balance, and quick exposure compensation and programme shift with convenient thumb wheels are helpful. But why the new 'Auto' setting; is it a sop for beginners to try out what might be an intimidating camera for them?

Extended optical zoom range when shooting at lower than max MP of 10 is also useful, but in spite of mega image stabilizer, a tripod is then required. Some features like auto world time zone setting for international tourists, and baby's growth record by age are entertaining. Unlike the FZ20, where variable and progressive digital zoom began after exhausting the optical zoom with the lever, in the FZ 50, one needs to preset the digital zoom factor, and then lose the wide-angle benefit at the lower end. But then, why use digital zoom at all?

Unlike some other brands in this price-range which feel crummy by comparison, this camera oozes quality and feels sexy in your hands as you manipulate the knobs and buttons, just like a Leica. And being shaped like a camera instead of like a pack of cigarettes, it will attract photographers rather than snap-shotters with their pocketable gizmos.

A worthy successor in the range. Recommended without hesitation.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Awesome camera! (Phil — 09/22/2006)

Shooting primarily high school sports (hundreds of images per game), I needed everything this camera offers. Fast auto focus. Instant shutter release. Manual zooming on a really big lens. Excellent outdoor light metering.
Solid controls and quality imagery. Set the noise reduction to low when using ISO 400 or above. Noisy at ISO 800 and above.

  • 2.0 out of 5
big time buyer regret (js51 — 09/07/2006)

the fz50 looked like a fine piece of gear, I mean that beautiful lens, stabilizer 10 megs, whats not to like? first snapshots looked good. A trip to Lake Erie to photograph water birds was a disaster! Careful focusing and proper handeling and settings and I thought I had something good to show for my trip. Wrong!!! 8x12 prints from the local minilab were poor to say the least. the noise was low all right, BUT where is the detail? the feathers on a large bird showed no detail! just a smear. I want to throw this piece of crap away but it costs 600 bucks. what a waste of money, don't buy one. If you do, don't say you were not warned. If you must buy a panasonic get a fz7, half the price and better results with only!! 6 megapixels. I say only 6 as a razz on the fz50 , 6 megs is all you need. 10 megs is too much for the small sensor. BOO PANASONIC!

  • 5.0 out of 5
sharp shooter (js43512 — 09/02/2006)

good noise free pretty much until ISO 400. fantastic optical stabilizer,lens is the best out there. nice size, about like a small slr, solid build quality,don't be afraid of this one, they got it 90% right. nothing, camera or otherwise is perfect. only thing I don't like is the fact that unlike a nikon slr on program the shutter speed does not increase when you zoom out, sometimes giving you pretty slow speeds. easy to overide by turning the dial to shift program.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Superb Camera (Steve Mathers — 08/31/2006)

I have upgraded from the FZ5 to the Fz50 and its now like going from a Mini to a Rolls Royce. This is a superb camera, excellent picture quality, super AF, anf the Zoom ring is a dream. I would recommend it to anyone who dosn't want to go to the expense of a DSLR, this is one SUPERB alround camera

  • 5.0 out of 5
FZ 50 Best I've ever owned! (Michael Kibby — 08/28/2006)

This one stunning camera, having owned an FZ20, I was a little anccious that the FZ50 would not live up to the FZ20 and FZ30, it doesn't always follow that the latest model is better than the previous ones, but this one is a big exception.
The quality and clarity of the photo's, the super easy manual zoom and focusing, the speed of the AF and speed of start up and shutter lag is staggering.
When I first recieved the camera, it being quite differant to the FZ20 I thought ,oh dear have I made a big mistake? I guess it took me about half an hour to find my way around the camera (I don't read instructions, more fool me! ) and what I found I fell in love with imidiately.
This camera is super easy to operate, yet has tons of facility to cover every imaginable combination or setup you could wish for.

As far as I'm concerned you cannot go wrong with the FZ50, believe me you will not be disapointed.

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