Feeds
86%

Panasonic DMC-FZ30

Massive zoom range

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

Composition and screen

Like other all-in-one cameras with long zooms, the FZ30 offers the choice of composition using either a colour LCD screen or electronic viewfinder (EVF). The EVF is larger and more detailed than its predecessor and many rivals, measuring 0.44in and sporting 235,000 pixels. The main 2in display is also very detailed for its size, boasting 230,000 pixels.

panasonic dmc-fz30 digital camera

The EVF is automatically activated if the display is flipped into the body, face-inwards for protection. With the display facing outwards though, you can manually switch between it and the EVF using a button.

The main display itself is a flip-out and twist design, with the hinge at the bottom of the camera. While this allows a more sensible waist-level shooting configuration without the screen poking out to one side, it does mean the screen can in some instances fold out below the body. It's still preferred to the limited tilting (and smaller) screen of Fujifilm's S9500 / S9000 though.

In use the FZ30's screen is bright and detailed, and pressing the display button cycles between five options: no information, shooting information, shooting information with live histogram, a slightly reduced view with information in the right and bottom edge, and a three by three grid pattern to aid composition.

Lens

The FZ30 is equipped with a long 12x optical zoom with an equivalent range of 35-420mm and an optically fast focal ratio of f2.8~3.7; the actual focal length is 7.4-88.8mm. Following a welcome trend in high-end all-in-ones, the zoom is operated by a tactile mechanically-linked ring, although unlike most of its rivals, the lens barrel doesn't physically extend. The FZ30 may be set to wide-angle, but the barrel does not extend when zoomed-in. A lens hood is supplied and the front lens element doesn't rotate during focussing, allowing the easy use of polarising filters.

The FZ30's 12x optical range is truly impressive in practice, with the telephoto end really pulling in distant detail, or throwing backgrounds out of focus on portraits. The wide-angle end is usable at 35mm, although many may prefer sacrificing the extreme long end for something wider, such as the 28mm option on the Fujifilm S9500/S9000 or the impressive 24mm of Sony's R1.

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

More from The Register

next story
Report: American tech firms charge Britons a thumping nationality tax
Without representation, too. Time for a Boston (Lincs) Macbook Party?
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple ran off to IBM
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Apple gets patent for WRIST-PUTER: iTime for a smartwatch
It does everything a smartwatch should do ... but Apple owns it
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
Child diagnosed as allergic to iPad
Apple's fondleslab is the tablet dermatitis sufferers won't want to take
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
For Lenovo US, 8-inch Windows tablets are DEAD – long live 8-inch Windows tablets
Reports it's killing off smaller slabs are greatly exaggerated
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.