Bestest Christmas Gift Guide – The (utterly brilliant) Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ62

Like a lot of people, I LOVE my photography. I’m not serious about it (in the way my husband the professional photographer is), but I can never quite get enough of taking photographs, and I always want to make them better.

I have a really ‘good’ DSLR I was spoiled with a few Christmas’ ago, plus various lenses – but I find I rarely take it out as it’s cumbersome when I just want to play in the woods or on the beach, or when I’m walking the dog – and those are the times I want to take the photographs. I have a great little compact camera… but as good as it is, the fact that it fits into my pocket does mean it is limited in what it can do.

Apparently I’m not alone in this need for a middle ground, as the major camera manufacturers have started producing ‘bridge’ cameras – literally cameras that bridge the gap between a compact and an SLR.

When Panasonic asked if we’d like to try out their new Lumix bridge camera, the DMC-FZ62 (doesn’t that just trip off the tongue?), I may actually have snapped a couple of fingers as I bit their hand off.

And oh how glad I am that I did. I LOVE this little beast! It’s not MUCH bigger than a compact – except for the lens which makes it a much squarer shape. At 11cm wide, this is NOT a heavy cumbersome camera, though the similar 11cm depth does mean it won’t fit into your jeans pocket.

The controls are intuitive and simple, and everything you’d expect to find is where you’d expect to find it. There’s a pop up flash if you want one (I haven’t needed to use it yet, preferring to make the most of it’s brilliant low light capabilities.

There’s loads of pre-set auto options for those wanting to make the most of the truly fantastic Leica lenses, but allow the camera to do the work. But – equally as important – you can switch the whole lot off and make it entirely manual. And there’s no better way to improve your photography then learning how to do it yourself, rather than trusting the camera’s computer. So once you’ve got used to it, do take it off auto and explore your ISO range – it’s amazing.

Here’s how good it is:

The auto-macro lens makes taking really tight close-ups a breeze.

This is straight out of camera – look at how rich the colours are, even in the very very cold frosty rays of a December sunrise

Auto focussing isn’t an issue – it’s fast and slick, even when the subject is waving about and crowded by others

Fireworks? No problem! ( Just so’s you know, I used f/2.8, ISO 1250, Focal length 4.5mm)

Just… because it’s pretty, and I love the way I caught the sunburst on the hillside. So there.

The richness of the colours at sunset, with the deep reflections in the water were caught perfectly – and this was a quick snatch shot, leaping out of the car and leaving all the settings on auto.


And if you were wondering if the zoom is up to scratch, just take a look at these (and yes, if you look carefully the husband is in the first shot too – he’s the speck in the middle of the horizon line). All three were taken within a few seconds of each other, without me moving my feet.

I love the depth of field in this shot – just follow that line of the Cheviots going back – you can see all the way into Scotland from there (plus the three younger siblings hurtling down the track, wa-a–ay out in front with the dog).

Another great example of the zoom – this is from the church at Ladykirk, zooming way up high into the stained glass window. I simply LOVE the faces of three Kings.

And at the end of a (very) long, muddy (boggy), meandering (lost) walk, the light is slowly fading, but the trusty Lumix FZ still managed to catch this grab shot of the leaping 9yr old fooling around (note the camera is cleverly ignoring the collapsed mud-strewn 11yr old who is feeling far less enthusiastic at this point of the day).

I did find that there was a tendency towards a cold colouring to the shots, and I tended to stop down the exposure a stop or two as in bright sun highlights were blown more often than not. But these are small things, and easily adapted to on such a wonderful camera. And in a month of use I haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of what my new Best Friend can do.

So – do I recommend the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ62? Oh man, yes yes YES!
I would suggest you shop around though – we have found the pricing varies wildly. Best price we found this week was an astonishing £259 at WEX Photographic, which is almost £100 cheaper than other places, plus there’s an additional £40 cashback offer currently. Extra-handily, they also offer next day delivery.

 Here’s the Tech Bit for the geeks:

  • 24x Optical Zoom Lens from 25mm Ultra Wide-angle
  • 16.1-megapixel High Sensitivity MOS Sensor
  • High Speed Response – Approx. 0.9 sec Quick Start-up and Light Speed AF
  • 1,920 x 1,080 Full HD Video Recording in AVCHD / MP4 Format
  • 10 fps High Speed Burst Shooting in 16.1-megapixel Resolution
  • Creative Control and Creative Retouch with 14 Effects, HDR and iA Plus

Author: Laura

A 70's child, I’ve been married for a Very Long Time, and appear to have made four children, and collected one large and useless dog along the way. I work, I have four children, I have a dog… ergo, I do not do dusting or ironing. I began LittleStuff back in (gulp) 2004. I like huge mugs of tea. And Coffee. And Cake. And a steaming cone of crispy fresh fluffy chips, smothered in salt and vinegar. #healthyeater When I grow up I am going to be quietly graceful, organised and wear lipstick every day. In the meantime I *may* have a slight butterfly-brain issue.

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1 Comment

  1. I don’t get to KEEP it, sadly. *cries*
    I’m not hurrying them up to ask for it back, obviously…

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