Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ72

July 18, 2013 | Mark Goldstein | Digital Compact Cameras | 17 Comments |
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The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ72 has a 60x optical zoom, the highest of any compact camera. Offering a focal length of 20-1200mm, the 60x optical zoom of the FZ72 can be increased to an incredible 102x optical zoom using the 1.7x Tele Conversion Lens DMW-LT55, enough to capture the cratered surface of the moon. The Panasonic FZ72 also has a 16.1-megapixel High Sensitivity MOS sensor, full-HD 1,920 x 1,080 60i/50i videos, 9fps burst shooting, P/A/S/M modes, and a hotshoe. The Panasonic DMC-FZ72 will be available from August, price to be announced.

Panasonic UK Press Release

Panasonic’s DMC-FZ72 Super Wide-angle & Super Zoom Camera

Featuring the Industry’s Highest 60x Optical Zoom

Continuing to push the boundaries, Panasonic is pleased to announce a new addition to the award winning and well renowned FZ series of cameras. Offering an outstanding zoom range with a 20mm ultra wide-angle lens and the industry’s highest 60x optical zoom, the DMC-FZ72 is set to be a firm favourite.

Super Wide-angle & Super Zoom
The FZ72 boasts the industry’s highest 60x optical zoom (35mm camera equivalent: 20-1200mm) making it possible to capture wild animals or birds far in the distance. Thanks to the exceptionally long zoom, users can confidently capture shots in the distance that are not possible with alternative zoom cameras. Exceptionally versatile, the FZ72 also features a stunning LUMIX DC VARIO 20mm ultra wide-angle lens, which captures approx. 140% wider angle of view compared with a 24mm lens, allowing users to capture dynamic and expressive landscapes.  With the ultra wide-angle lens and super zoom, the FZ72 covers virtually all shooting angles.

Comprising 14 elements in 12 groups, including 6 aspherical lenses with 9 aspherical surfaces and 3 ED (Extra-Low Dispersion) lenses, this advanced lens unit realizes the outstandingly compact body while delivering exceptional optical performance suppressing distortion at wide end and colour bleeding at tele end.

The zoom ratio can be further extended up to 120x equivalent, maintaining the picture quality even when combining a digital zoom thanks to the Intelligent Zoom and the Intelligent Resolution technology. If this wasn’t enough, the optical zoom ratio can further be extended with a 1.7x Tele Conversion Lens DMW-LT55 (sold separately). The 1.7x zoom of the DMW-LT55 telephoto lens transforms the 60x optical zoom of the FZ72 to an incredible 102x optical zoom, which is so powerful it can even capture the cratered surface of the moon clearly.

POWER O.I.S With Active Mode
The DMC-FZ72 is equipped with POWER O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer) with Active Mode – a feature enjoyed by the high-end DMC-FZ200 model.  Providing approx. twice the correction angle at the tele-end setting, and blurless zoom shots and night shots, this feature ensures stable framing and blurless shots with powerful zooming.

The Active Mode is also fully functional in video recording, allowing active video recording at wide angle such as shooting while walking without causing deterioration of image quality.

Full HD Video with Stunningly Clear Sound
The FZ72 is versatile not only in its optical performance but also in its photo/video hybrid shooting capability . The DMC-FZ72 records high-resolution full-HD 1,920 x 1,080 60i (NTSC, sensor output 30p) / 50i (PAL, sensor output 25p) videos in AVCHD (MPEG-4 / H.264) format. The AVCHD format excels in the compatibility with AV equipment like HDTVs or Blu-ray Disc players and the video can be played back by simply inserting an SDXC/SDHC/SD Memory Card or by connecting with a mini HDMI cable. Alternately, users can choose MP4 at 30p (NTSC) / 25p (PAL) for video recording, which has a higher compatibility with PCs.

Further highlighting its technical competence, the FZ72 boasts the highly realistic Dolby® Digital Stereo Creator for superior video sound. The FZ72 also features the newly developed Wind Shield Zoom Microphone that minimizes wind noise by approx.70% compared with the predecessor DMC-FZ62, resulting in clear sound, even if it was recorded on a windy day. With a substantial increase in volume by approx.50%, the microphone boasts better S/N ratio to suppress noise in quiet circumstances to catch the target sound.

The industry leading 60x optical zoom with POWER O.I.S. is also available in video recording, allowing recording of events in the distance.  Designed to be user friendly, a dedicated button on the top of the camera enables users to instantly start recording videos while shooting photos without having to make any extra settings.

High Sensitivity MOS Sensor and Venus Engine for High Speed Response and High Picture Quality
The new 16.1-megapixel High Sensitivity MOS sensor and high performance image processing LSI Venus Engine elevate the response, sensitivity and image quality of the DMC-FZ72.  The FZ72 provides Light Speed AF, allowing users to quickly focus on moving subjects, such as when shooting sports scenes or animals. Incredibly responsive, the DMC-FZ72 shoots 9 fps in 16.1-megapixel full resolution  with mechanical shutter, and 5 fps with continuous AF.  Together with the quick start-up time of approx. 0.9 secs, the DMC-FZ72 never misses the most fleeting shooting opportunities.

Intuitive Control
Full manual control is available with DMC-FZ72 for advanced users to enjoy more creative photography. With its P/A/S/M mode, users can enjoy creative shooting, offering users unlimited ways of expression in both photo and video.

Adopting Hot Shoe and high compatibility with a host of optional accessories, the DMC-FZ72 pushes the boundaries of what a palm sizes digital compact camera can do. The DMC-FZ72 will be available from August.

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Your Comments

17 Comments | Newest Oldest First | Post a Comment

#1 Imagebloke

I am speechless! I know Panasonic were working on something. They kept the 24x for some time and now they did it. Absolutely amazing. I will just want for the first reviews to be publish and then I'll buy it.

5:43 pm - Thursday, July 18, 2013

#2 James

It is great that Panasonic were able to pull off the highest zoom camera to date, however, in terms of maximum focal length, it is virtually no different to the Canon SX50HS, Fujifilm SL1000 or Sony HX300 (1200mm). This is because the fz72's minimum focal length is 20mm, whereas the other three start off at 24mm. 24mmx50=1200mm, 20mmx60=1200mm. Therefore, unless the fz72 has some other unique feature(s), then unfortunately it can't do anything that the other 3 superzooms can't. How about putting an APS-C in one of these big boys...... now that WOULD be unique.

9:36 pm - Thursday, July 18, 2013

#3 cynic

@James
You state "Therefore, unless the fz72 has some other unique feature(s), then unfortunately it can't do anything that the other 3 superzooms can't."
But it starts at an equivalent 20mm. The others can't do that. Those extra 4mm are much more significant at the short end than another 100mm on a 1000mm lens.
And an APS-S size sensor would result in a camera that weighed about 20 kgs and a $20,000 dollar price tag. Can not be practically done.

10:06 pm - Thursday, July 18, 2013

#4 Wesly

This is great review, maybe the best for this camera. I am reading about this digital camera for 2 days. I want to buy it and it looks great.

11:52 am - Friday, July 19, 2013

#5 James

@cynic
I understand that the fz72 has an edge with wide angle photos, I'm just stating for those who don't know, that there is nothing new at the telephoto end of the range. Also, whilst such a camera would be extremely difficult to make, it has already been achieved with a 2.5x zoom camera that weighs 680g (Leica X Vario), so even with a 60x zoom, a camera with this type of sensor wouldn't even approach the 5kg mark, nor would any APS-C format camera surpass $5,000. For $20,000 it would make a lot more sense to just buy a Medium-format.

3:10 pm - Friday, July 19, 2013

#6 Trond

If Panasonic really would give us a breathtaking superduperultramegapanzergigazoom camera, they would have equipped FZ72 with a 6 or 8 MP sensor instead of running the megapixelrace, and let this one have a impressing noise-level at higher ISO due to larger pixels. Then this could have been a hit. Now I'm afraid we will get yet another superzoom with lousy low-light performance...

7:03 pm - Friday, July 19, 2013

#7 cynic

@James
But the Leica X Vario is only 2.5x and it starts at f3.5.
Compare the Pany FZ150 to Fuji XS-1.Similar lenses. 25-600mm f2.8-5.2 vs 24-624mm f2.8-F5.6. Sensor is 4.60x6.20 vs 6.60x8.80. Not much difference in physical size but the camera weights are 528g vs 945g.
What you are asking cannot be done in a manner that consumers would buy.

5:17 am - Saturday, July 20, 2013

#8 James

@cynic
Yes, it's only 2.5x, but it's a start. 5 years ago no-one would have thought that a 50x zoom camera would be possible, regardless of sensor size. Besides, the sensor itself does not weight much at all; 100g at most. The real factor of a camera's weight is simply how the manufacturer wants the camera to be built. Many cameras have a lot of unnecessary weight in them just to make them feel more like a DSLR. I bet Fujifilm could have put everything of the X-S1 in a 600g body and Panasonic the fz150 in a 400g body. Still, if someone wanted a camera like I've said, enough, they probably wouldn't fret too much about the weight. I would never turn down an incredible camera just because it's a tad heavy. I don't think many other people would either.

12:14 pm - Saturday, July 20, 2013

#9 G.Fois


@James
About 10 years ago (I get a brochure of 2004) Panavision did a compound zoom of 300x, from 7 to 2100mm focal lenght, 8mm focal plane circle. So... 60x isn´t a record! But the Panavision zoom was made for broadcast and cinema for HD standards.
Panasonic did 60x zoom starting at an equivalent wide angle of 20mm (40% more image information than the 24mm equivalent focal)and for a 16.1MP sensor (so, it must cover this resolving power).
I´m happy with the Panasonic choise to expand into the wide angle field. The tele range is enough for pratical use (usually you need special climate conditions, no smog and dry air for example). If you need more than 1200mm you can install a tele-converter.
Now, no converter can give you 20mm equivalent wide-angle with good quality!!! And this focal is much more usefull than super-tele.

7:04 pm - Saturday, July 20, 2013

#10 James

@G.Fois
well everyone has their own tastes, some prefer a wider field of view, some prefer a greater max. focal length, it just depends on which one is more useful for whatever type of photography someone does most. wide angles are useless for candid/wildlife photography, telephotos are useless for landscapes. It's just what the user wants. You've probably gathered that I prefer telephoto.

9:57 pm - Saturday, July 20, 2013

#11 mart

@James

If you are questioning that 20mm isnt a big deal, then you have no right to own a camera! Jeez.

8:53 am - Monday, July 22, 2013

#12 cynic

@mart
Your ad hominem statement does nobody any service. James has already stated his personal preference for the long end.
@James
If you double the radius you square the area. I am saying that as sensor size increases the size of the lens (for a given aperture and focal length) increases at a exponential rate which leads to size and expense issues. There are the technical issues which can be resolved (yes they can do a 50x now ) then there are the "laws of nature" (I don't what to call them) which cannot be by passed; that is a bigger sensor equals bigger lens.

9:41 am - Monday, July 22, 2013

#13 Jan

Is this a permanent break with LEICA?
All former FZ-models had such lenses though?

5:01 pm - Monday, July 22, 2013

#14 Jan

No free-angle LCD screen???
Oeps... that's for me a big disadvantage...

5:15 pm - Monday, July 22, 2013

#15 Gordo

Not keen on extra wide angle for landscapes as it makes distant hills smaller than they really are.
Image quality, viewfinder, no focus hunting are important for me. Plus a zoom pullback button for a quick reframe if you lose the subject (good for birding,) as on canon SX50, is a must. Don't know if this pana has one.

7:36 pm - Monday, July 22, 2013

#16 James

@mart
I never said 20mm wasn't a big deal, it's absolutely perfect for those who want it, I'm just saying that not everyone DOES want it.
@cynic
Good point, I hadn't actually thought of that. Hopefully at some point they'll also introduce lenses which are smaller and lighter but work on a larger sensor. Just unlikely, wishful thinking but like I said, Things have been achieved which were once believed to be impossible. :)

10:07 pm - Monday, July 22, 2013

#17 Michael Edwards

Why cannot the manufacturers provide a bridge hcamera that does it all.
Shoots RAW
BIG ZOOM X40 to X60 range
GPS
WIFI
PANORAMA
Any angle SWIVEL VIEW SCREEN
HD MOVIES
++

4:08 am - Monday, August 5, 2013