Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ330 Review

August 27, 2015 | Mark Goldstein | |

Image Quality

All of the sample images in this review were taken using the 12 megapixel Fine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 5Mb.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ330 produced images of very good quality during the review period. Noise is well-controlled until ISO 1600, which exhibits some artifacts, blurring of detail and slight colour desaturation. The noise and loss of detail get progressively worse as you go from ISO 1600 to the fastest 6400 setting, which isn't really very usable at all.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ330 dealt very well with chromatic aberrations, with limited purple fringing effects appearing only in high contrast situations. The pop-up flash worked well indoors, with no red-eye and adequate exposure. The night photograph was excellent, with the maximum shutter speed of 60 seconds allowing you to capture plenty of light. Anti-shake is a feature that works very well when hand-holding the camera in low-light conditions or when using the telephoto end of the zoom range.

Macro performance is amazing, allowing you to focus as close as 1cm away from the subject (although it's difficult to get the lighting correct at such a close distance). The images were a little soft straight out of the camera at the default sharpening setting and ideally require further sharpening in an application like Adobe Photoshop, or you can change the in-camera setting if you don't like the default results. The Intelligent Resolution feature either makes a standard image look sharper, albeit with some unwanted artefacts appearing, or it digitally increases the 24x optical zoom to 48x, again with a slight loss in quality. Intelligent Dynamic Range and HDR both successfully adjusts the exposure to record more detail in both the highlights and shadows.

Noise

There are 7 ISO settings available on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ330. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting for both JPEG and RAW formats.

JPEG RAW

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

iso100.jpg iso100raw.jpg
   

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

iso200.jpg iso200raw.jpg
   

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

iso400.jpg iso400raw.jpg
   

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

iso800.jpg iso800raw.jpg
   

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

iso1600.jpg iso1600raw.jpg
   

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

iso3200.jpg iso3200raw.jpg
   

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

iso6400.jpg iso6400raw.jpg

Focal Range

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ330's 24x zoom lens provides a focal length of 25-600mm in 35mm terms, as demonstrated below.

25mm

600mm

focal_range1.jpg focal_range2.jpg

Sharpening

Here are two 100% crops which have been Saved as Web - Quality 50 in Photoshop. The right-hand image has had some sharpening applied in Photoshop. The out-of-the camera images are a little soft at the default sharpening setting. You can change the in-camera sharpening level if you don't like the default look.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

sharpen1.jpg sharpen1a.jpg
   
sharpen2.jpg sharpen2a.jpg

File Quality

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ330 has 2 different JPEG image quality settings available, with Fine being the highest quality option. Here are some 100% crops which show the quality of the various options, with the file size shown in brackets.

12M Fine (5.92Mb) (100% Crop) 12M Normal (2.66Mb) (100% Crop)
quality_fine.jpg quality_standard.jpg
   
12M RAW (14.3Mb) (100% Crop)  
quality_raw.jpg  

Chromatic Aberrations

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ330 handled chromatic aberrations excellently during the review. There's some slight purple fringing between areas of high contrast, but it's only noticeable on close inspection, as shown in the examples below.

Chromatic Aberrations 1 (100% Crop)

Chromatic Aberrations 2 (100% Crop)

chromatic1.jpg chromatic2.jpg

Macro

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ330 offers a Macro setting that allows you to focus on a subject that is 1cm away from the camera when the lens is set to wide-angle. The first image shows how close you can get to the subject (in this case a compact flash card). The second image is a 100% crop.

Macro

Macro (100% Crop)

macro1.jpg macro1a.jpg

Flash

The flash settings on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ330 are Auto, Auto/Red-eye Reduction, Forced On, Slow Sync./Red-eye Reduction, Forced Off, and Flash Synchro. These shots of a white coloured wall were taken at a distance of 1.5m.

Flash Off - Wide Angle (25mm)

Flash On - Wide Angle (25mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64
   

Flash Off - Telephoto (600mm)

Flash On - Telephoto (600mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

And here are a couple of portrait shots. As you can see, neither the Forced On setting or the Auto/Red-eye Reduction option caused any amount of red-eye.

Forced On

Forced On (100% Crop)
flash_on.jpg flash_on1.jpg
   

Auto/Red-eye Reduction

Auto/Red-eye Reduction (100% Crop)

flash_redeye.jpg flash_redeye1.jpg

Night

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ330's maximum shutter speed is 60 seconds in the Manual shooting mode and the Starry Sky Mode scene mode, which is great news if you're seriously interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 15 seconds at ISO 100.

Night

Night (100% Crop)

night1.jpg night1a.jpg

Anti Shake

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ330 has an anti-shake mechanism, which allows you to take sharp photos at slower shutter speeds than other digital cameras. To test this, I took 2 handheld shots of the same subject with the same settings. The first shot was taken with anti shake turned off, the second with it turned on. Here are some 100% crops of the images to show the results. As you can see, with anti shake turned on, the images are much sharper than with anti shake turned off. This feature really does seem to make a difference and could mean capturing a successful, sharp shot or missing the opportunity altogether.

Shutter Speed / Focal Length

Anti Shake Off (100% Crop)

Anti Shake On (100% Crop)

1/15th / 25mm antishake1.jpg antishake1a.jpg
     
1/15th / 600mm antishake2.jpg antishake2a.jpg

Intelligent Resolution

The Intelligent Resolution feature either makes a standard image look like a higher resolution one by processing the contour areas, texture areas and smooth areas individually, or it digitally boosts the zoom magnification from 24x to 48x.

Off

Extended

ir_01.jpg ir_02.jpg
   

Low

Standard

ir_03.jpg ir_04.jpg
   

High

 
ir_05.jpg  

Intelligent Dynamic Range

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ330's Intelligent Dynamic Range feature adjusts the exposure setting to record more detail in the highlights and shadows, with three strengths available - low, standard and high.

Off

Low

idr_01.jpg idr_02.jpg
   

Standard

High

idr_03.jpg idr_04.jpg

HDR

In the HDR mode the Panasonic Lumix FZ330 combines 3 frames taken at different exposures to create a single image with increased dynamic range.

Off

+1EV

hdr_01.jpg hdr_02.jpg
   

+2EV

+3EV

hdr_03.jpg hdr_04.jpg

Multiple Exposure

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ330's Multiple Exposure mode combines two or three different pictures to create one composite image.

Multiple Exposure

multiple_exposure.jpg

Photo Styles

Panasonic's Photo Styles, similar to Nikon's Picture Styles, Canon's Picture Controls and Olympus' Picture Modes, are preset combinations of different sharpness, contrast, saturation and noise reduction settings. The six available Photo Styles are shown below in the following series, which demonstrates the differences. There is also a Custom option so that you can create your own look.

Standard

Vivid

photo_style_01.jpg photo_style_02.jpg
   

Natural

Monochrome

photo_style_03.jpg photo_style_04.jpg
   

Scenery

Portrait

photo_style_05.jpg photo_style_06.jpg

Creative Controls

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ330 has an expanded range of Creative Controls, denoted by an artist's palette on the shooting mode dial, with 22 different options on offer. You can also apply all of these effects to a JPEG image during playback via the Creative Retouch option (press up on the navigation pad).

Expressive

Retro

filter_01.jpg filter_02.jpg
   

Old Days

High Key

filter_03.jpg filter_04.jpg
   

Low Key

Sepia

filter_05.jpg filter_06.jpg
   

Monochrome

Dynamic Monochrome

filter_07.jpg filter_08.jpg
   

Rough Monochrome

Silky Monochrome

filter_09.jpg filter_10.jpg
   

Impressive Art

High Dynamic

filter_11.jpg filter_12.jpg
   

Cross Process

Toy Effect

filter_13.jpg filter_14.jpg
   

Toy Pop

Bleach Bypass

filter_15.jpg filter_16.jpg
   

Miniature Effect

Soft Focus

filter_17.jpg filter_18.jpg
   

Fantasy

Star Filter

filter_19.jpg filter_20.jpg
   

One Point Color

Sunshine

filter_21.jpg filter_22.jpg

Panoramas

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ330 allows you to take panoramic images very easily, by 'sweeping' with the camera while keeping the shutter release depressed. The camera does all the processing and stitching and even successfully compensates for moving subjects.

Standard

panorama1.jpg
 
Wide
panorama2.jpg