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:
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