Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ28 Review

September 15, 2008 | Mark Goldstein | PhotographyBLOG | 26 Comments |

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ28The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ28 is a new 10 megapixel super-zoom digital camera with an 18x optical zoom lens. Successor to the popular FZ18 model, the Panasonic FZ28 now offers a 10 megapixel sensor, 2.7-inch LCD screen, Venus Engine IV processing engine, updated iA (intelligent auto) mode with newly added AF Tracking function, and high-definition 1280 x 720p video. With a suggested retail price of £329.99 / $399.95, Mark Goldstein found out if the Lumix DMC-FZ28 is a worthy successor to the FZ18 or just a modest upgrade…

Website: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ28 Review



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#1 Jim Bennett

One thing you could have mentioned in the FZ28 review is the improvement in the EVF. I use an FZ18 and would Love to have a better EVF; I don't use the LCD at all.
From the review I gather that I will be able to do everything that the FZ18 can do, plus have slightly wider lens view, plus have somewhat better image quality.
Add in the superior viewfinder, and I think I may well upgrade. Subtle composition on the FZ18 is tough, so should be easier on the FZ28.
AND, thanks for a good and clear review.

12:22 am - Thursday, September 18, 2008

#2 Charles Gray

I find it hard to believe that you have done your best photographic work while using the Panasonic FZ 28. I have a Panasonic FZ 10 with only 4 mp (about 4 years old) and it takes vastly superior pictures to those you took. It is clear (pun intended) that you took the pictures on cloudy days, probably at ISO 100, so that none are sharp, and the one of the East Indian woman is actually smudged. If you are at all honest and objective, you should admit the terrible hachet job you did on this camera and take all new photos on sunny days. Your crack about this camera not being in the same league as 'even the cheapest D SLR' is very telling. The way your pictures turned out (How did you make the images on two or three actually look twisted?)even I would agree if I didn't know that the FZ 28 can do much better. I'll stick with the only other review of the FZ 28 for now.

3:16 am - Thursday, September 18, 2008

#3 Jim Bennett

I've never posted any FZ18 pictures, so I don't have any idea what you're commenting on. Interesting to be defecated on for something non-existent.
(I do have 20*30 inch enlargements up, from FZ18, Xti, film, and various other digitals. imho the FZ18 is a bit less quality than the Xti, but nobody who'se looked at the shots notices any difference in quality. )
I keep the FZ18 at iso 100 and have added to the sharpness setting. In my test shots it did improve the iq slightly to do this.

3:59 am - Thursday, September 18, 2008

#4 Steve McDonald

Mark, I appreciate the thoroughness of your review and the unyielding critical comments you made. It's obvious that the sample pictures were made on an overcast and smoggy day. It leaves us to imagine what the camera could do out in the clear sunshine of a countryside location. I also would like to see more pictures from the FZ28 taken under better conditions and also some indoor shots. More HD video would also be good. I downloaded Quicktime 8.0 and the video playback was smooth and improved over any of the other players, although WMP 11 was a close second. I will make a point to read future reviews you do, as I know you will not overrate cameras. Nor will you lead us into buying anything that can't give the results we want for our money. I will especially be interested in your reviews of the Canon SX1 and SX10.

Steve McDonald

11:38 am - Friday, September 19, 2008

#5 Steve McDonald

Mark, I've found that the HD video from the FZ28 you provided has a bit-rate of only about 62% of the original file that the camera produces. It runs at about 22 Mbps compared to 32 Mbps of the original. The HD video on Panasonic's website from this model also has this same, smaller bit-rate. Is there any explanation for this? These videos look fairly good, but it would be nice to look at some examples that had the full bit-rate.

Steve McDonald

8:04 am - Sunday, September 21, 2008

#6 HARIKRISHNAN P.K

I was quite impressed by your reveiw, which exactly suites my purpose. I was on the look out for a similar camera and the review precisely have given me all the information I want.

1:02 pm - Tuesday, September 30, 2008

#7 norman hobson

Like your site.
Can you answer me a couple of questions.
1. Can you tell me if the optical zoom works in the video mode?
2. Does the camera have eye correction on the view finder?
The camera in question is the "Panasonic DMC FZ28.

Many thanks

Norman Hobson

11:51 am - Wednesday, October 1, 2008

#8 carmen

Thanks for the review (I've found reviews quite scarce on this model).

I have a Panasonice TZ3 which I love, but am thinking of getting an FZ28 to increase my creativity as I'm starting to get into photography but can't really afford to go the whole hog and get a DSLR and all the lenses I'd need to compete with the lens range even of the TZ3!!

The FZ28 appears to do all I wish, except I have one requirement which the review didn't really cover. My partner is a mobile DJ and we'd like to get some shots of the lights/people dancing to give as part of the package or to use on the website. The TZ3 can't quite cope with this situation as a highish ISO is required. Would the FZ28 do any better than the TZ3?

My dilemma is that I have looked at Fuji bridge cameras that seem to do a better job in low light, but the FZ28 seems to beat them in every other situation. Would I get away with using the FZ28? I'd like to see some example photo's taken indoors at parties without flash to see!!

11:51 am - Friday, October 3, 2008

#9 The_Gooze!

Norman.

In answer to your 2 questions - yes and yes!

It's a fine camera. Just updated from my five year old Fuji S5000!

11:44 am - Tuesday, October 7, 2008

#10 Aveesh Kumar

Thanks for a great review. It has all that I needed to make a decision to own one.

One small question is - does the battery charger work on 220V too or just USA's 110V?

6:12 am - Sunday, October 26, 2008

#11 carmen

Dear Aveesh Kumar,

My FZ28 charger is a US two prong but it came with a straight 3 pin adaptor for use in the UK so it's fine on 220V. On the back of the US style adaptor it says 110V-240V.

1:22 pm - Sunday, October 26, 2008

#12 Aveesh Kumar

Thanks Carmen....now I have no reason not to buy this camera...my only dilemma is should I get this or wait for the just announced Canon SX1 IS?

Thanks a bunch - Carmen and all you great people out here.....

5:09 pm - Sunday, October 26, 2008

#13 Steve McDonald

Aveesh, if you can wait for the Canon SX1, I advise you to not buy a Panasonic FZ28. The FZ28 has unsteady autofocus in video mode and poor audio. Its colors and image sharpness are only mediocre and its noise-reduction system causes a loss of resolution in anything but good daylight. I came to these conclusions after viewing over 1,000 photos and a dozen videos from the FZ28. It's too bad, because it has many good qualities.
The SX1 may have the best HD video ever put into a digital camera, but only after it is released and tested, will we know for sure. The FZ28 review here on Photography Blog did not seem favorable to me, as it pointed out many of the deficiencies I've mentioned. Good luck in making a choice.

Steve McDonald

4:21 am - Monday, October 27, 2008

#14 Aveesh Kumar

Steve, Thanks for your comments. I just want to move up from my current Sony 8M megapixel (which I curently set to 5 M) to a good zoom (5x currently) and good video (640x480 grainy MPEG1 currently)

A big zoom (15 x), decent pics and good video (with noise free zoom during video) are my priorities.

I would have bought the Canon SX5 IS except for its video.

After reading countless reviews, user reviews, specs I had zeroed in on the Lumix FZ28 if I was to buy something today.

HD video is not important to me but good video is - perhaps with Canon's SX10 (if SX1 is too expensive).

Thanks for your comment on Photo quality - you seem to have compared a lot. For me it is important but I am OK if they are not the best. Noise during video is far worse for me and this is where I have heard - even current Canon models excel - no noise, stereo sound but no/little compression

And I can wait a couple months - perhaps post christmas - so will be watching....

5:24 am - Monday, October 27, 2008

#15 carmen

I agree the audio is poor on video mode, but I haven't had a problem with the autofocus. I've been pleased with the quality of the small clips I've taken but I tend not to use HD mode as the file sizes are ridiculous, so I use WVGA instead. As video is a priority then the FZ may not be the best choice.

The Canon SX10, looks like a great camera, but you will sacrifice a bit of zoom capability and it is more expensive.

It really depends where you came from and what you want from the camera. I came from another Panasonic compact which I was very happy with, and I'm very pleased with the ability of the FZ it is getting better shots than I expected.

As for picture quality, I took some shots at the weekend of animals at a wildlife park near me. I got one shot of a lion taken at close to max zoom on the FZ (414mm equivalent) and handheld, the photo is very crisp, the focus is very sharp - you can see every hair on the lion's head. This is an example http://tinyurl.com/67yt2w and is as it came off the camera, I did not alter it in anyway. I'm only a beginner photographer but I was very pleased with the image, especially as I'm only just getting used to the camera. It lacks a little contrast, but it was a grey day with little sunlight so not ideal lighting for a dramatic contrasty shot!

The colours reproduced by the FZ are a little dull as can be seen in the image, but they're very close to the natural colour of the scene, there is an option to boost the saturation of the image if the low levels of colour reproduced bother you.

Just my two-penny worth, as a beginner the FZ us a great introduction to the world of photography and good value to for such a capable lens.

11:14 am - Monday, October 27, 2008

#16 charles umana

Very good forum.

You mentioned alternatives . Canon SX1, for example.
May we have a test for this camera? I was obliged to stop my purchase.

Thanks.

4:52 pm - Monday, October 27, 2008

#17 Aveesh Kumar

Charles, The Canon SX10 IS (US) and SX1 (Europe Asia) have just been announced - I came across them quite by accident...the only info is on the website or google searches....

but they look good enough to wait (for me) - FZ28 has everything going for it but when I actually took it in my hands - the plastic casing looked cheap so i decided to hold off and wait....

3:20 am - Tuesday, October 28, 2008

#18 Suresh

A very nice review. If I may ask a question, I would like to know which camera currently sold can produce the low light performance of fuji F30 at high ISO?. I am wonder why fuji stopped this camera and the new replacements do not seem to match it either. I have been searching for a good low light compact but could not find one. Sorry if this is a wrong post.

12:43 pm - Tuesday, October 28, 2008

#19 Anil Sane

Hi,

How do you rate this camera as compared to Canon Powershot SX10 IS ?

Thanks

Anil

12:32 am - Saturday, December 6, 2008

#20 Allan Beattie

why all this fuss about video quality
if you want high quality video buy a video recorder, no way am I any professional butthe pictures I've taken so far are nothing but top quality excelent camera no qaulms buy one and see for yourselves

12:28 am - Wednesday, February 11, 2009

#21 Robin Barker

There is no doubt the FZ-28 is a fine camera, probably because of the sharpness and colour rendition of the Leica lens. I bought it for the range of the lens for wildlife but am shocked to find that in good light the quality of landscapes are better than my Canon G10 and on a par with my SLR 5D. What more could one want for a fraction of the cost of either. Please see http://www.robinbarkerphotography.com

1:29 pm - Saturday, June 6, 2009

#22 Robert

I heard this camera (in black?) has been discontinued??
Why? After all the great reviews I've been reading?
And less than a year old?
I've been trying to buy it in NYC, at 4 reputable stores I know, and none of them have it! I hate to order a camera by mail...
Has it been 'replaced' by a newer one?
Thanks
(now that I can't find it, I weant it more than ever! lol)

11:32 pm - Tuesday, June 16, 2009

#23 Steve McDonald

Robert, the FZ28 hasn't been discontinued, it was just out of stock at those stores you visited and they lied to you, hoping to sell you another model they have in stock. Never buy a camera from a store in NYC, unless it's B&H.

12:25 am - Wednesday, June 17, 2009

#24 Robert

Thanks Steve-
That's good news! I did e-mail Panasonic directly and was still waiting for a response.
I would ONLY, go to Adorama (have purchased, and easily returned 1 camera there before), J & R (have purchased cameras there before), Willoughby's or B & H.
I would NEVER go to a '42nd street' type store. I was born and raised in NYC and definitely have more street smarts than that, but Thanks for your concern.
Now, B & H's website (check it out) is the one that says it was Discontinued!
And I also stumbled upon it on the CNET Archive Beta website (don't know how I got there) which said it was discontinued:

http://reviews.cnet.com/digital-cameras/panasonic-lumix-dmc-fz28k/1707-6501_7-33214481.html

yet, the active CNET site says it's there, go figure.....

Adorama and J & R never said discontinued, and they have it in Silver, but yech...., they just said Black was out of stock, it was seeing that on B & H and the CNET site that panicked me.
Thanks again Steve!!

1:11 am - Wednesday, June 17, 2009

#25 Nathan

Great a review that is almost a year old. I hope nobody is taking your recommendation currently. There have been 6 new cameras to the market since this review. 18x isn't even a superzoom anymore.Let's get an update.

3:02 am - Wednesday, July 8, 2009

#26 r4ds

Let me state for the record that I am a Canon lover and I bought this camera just because I was looking for a high zoom camera and Canon just refuses to go higher! Sorry Canon, I still love you, but now I love my FZ28 better!

10:56 am - Thursday, January 7, 2010