Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ38 Review

4.5
July 27, 2009 | Mark Goldstein |

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#101 Carlcall

Thanks for the reply Betmar!

Carl

2:59 pm - Friday, September 18, 2009

#102 Carlcall

And thanks to you also Peter!

Carl.

3:05 pm - Friday, September 18, 2009

#103 AJ

For all people who are not sure about FZ35 Picture clarity the below link will ans all your queries

http://www.flickr.com/groups/fz35/pool/

Have fun,
AJ

3:54 am - Saturday, September 19, 2009

#104 pepys

Hi, I’m thinking to buy a FZ-38 camera. What online shop do you recomand me to buy it? Thanks..

1:42 am - Sunday, September 20, 2009

#105 sandra

I have been checking out bridge cameras for a month or so and came to the conclusion this is the one for me and hubby very kindly surprised me with one! Oooh it’s dinky! Very light too.
My last camera was a Nikon compact, 3x optical zoom, a recent model but I wanted something more,(without going to an SLR) so I am certainly the target consumer for the FZ38. Younger son was sceptical that an 18x zoom would be useable without a tripod. I can assure you, it is. Like many, I seldom print pics, but use them on the Mac. Photos taken yesterday both in bright sun and at dusk, landscape and sunset shots have all come out well, just being hand held. Will hopefully be trying it out on burning statues tonight (fiestas!)
Indoor shots have been great, with realistic natural colour. High speed shooting is incredibly fast! So far I have not used the manual settings, but the menu system is clear and explained on the display. The little joystick on the back is great and allows easy control of menus.  The electronic view finder is just as good and has adjustment for those with imperfect sight. The telephoto is quick and smooth and easily controlled. I love it!

10:29 am - Sunday, September 20, 2009

#106 JoeS

Unlike many here. I have not been too quick to buy new digital cameras.  I have been a Konica-Minolta guy, and my 1st camera was a 3.3 megapix, the S304.  It was an early “bridge” of sorts with both optical & digital zoom, and a fair amount of manual control. In its day, it was a class leader.

Some years back, I upgraded to the 6 megapix DiMage Z6.  It too was a an early bridge.  I grew up learning old school 35mm, complete with light meter, f-stop, and ISO, but I do not need a DLSR, and I do like a good auto system.  My main frustration with the Minoltas is color accuracy.  They offer a great proprietary finishing software, but I have grown TIRED of tweaking all of my photos, and I am ready for something new.

Should I pull the trigger, and will I be glad I did?

11:46 pm - Sunday, September 20, 2009

#107 sandra

Well so far, I have been impressed, and so has my husband (who does use a DSLR).
Went out last night to a Fallas (burning of statues). Took pics all on automatic mode to see what would happen. I was able to take shots at night at full optical zoom with the FZ35/38, held by hand and still get good results. The only colour problem I found was yellowing in one case because of the florescent street lights being directly above and in close range to the statue I was shooting, if I had been fussed enough to play with settings, I’m sure I could have found a solution. The macro zoom is brilliant, just looked at the skin of my forearm (scary!), it does what it says on the box! If you are still unsure, certain well known web sites sell them with a good return policy if you are unhappy. I don’t think you will be.

12:49 pm - Monday, September 21, 2009

#108 JoeS

Thanks Sandra.  I suppose my question was somewhat thinking out loud.  I have been doing the research because I know it IS time!

I almost did pull the trigger (prematurely) on a Nikon P90 a few weeks ago, but it was a review on the Lumix that caught my attention.

I will be ordering mine this week in prep for our roadtrip/vacation in October.  From everything I can tell, it will be a significant update from the Z6.

2:13 pm - Monday, September 21, 2009

#109 Harsha

All,

this is my 3rd post here… have started learning “photography” with this great tool called FZ35….

here are some of ‘em :

http://www.flickr.com/photos/15247981@N00/sets/72157622289953087/

Regards,
Harsha

2:20 pm - Monday, September 21, 2009

#110 sandra

Harsha - very pretty! Well done. Not easy to capture insects like that, they have a habit of flying off!

3:23 pm - Monday, September 21, 2009

#111 pepys

Do you know if this SDHC http://www.amazon.com/SanDisk-16GB-Ultra-SDSDH-016G-Packaging/dp/B0017VRGXU/ref=wl_it_dp_o?ie=UTF8&coliid=I3MGYE8NC2TPP0&colid=2CFZ4JV142UUA is a good one for FZ-38?

10:53 am - Tuesday, September 22, 2009

#112 pepys

Some really nice FZ-38 videos:

http://www.youtube.com/user/nikkorito

10:55 am - Tuesday, September 22, 2009

#113 Peter Biddlecombe

The SDHC card: For photographs, it should be fine.  But if you want to make any films, Panasonic’s recommendation is to use a Class 6 SDHC card - the 2 in a C on the picture shows that your possible card is a class 2.

I’m getting on OK with a Btyestor class 6 card of the same size -
http://www.amazon.co.uk/ByteStor-16GB-SDHC-Class-Memory/dp/B0013JBS8K/ref=cm_cr-mr-title

The SanDisk equivalent costs more than three times as much, though it does have a faster transfer rate - http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sandisk-Extreme-lll-16GB-30MBPS/dp/B001ENL5RY/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1253613585&sr=1-6

16Gb equates to about 2300 12megapixel photos at the high quality JPG size.

11:04 am - Tuesday, September 22, 2009

#114 pepys

Thank you! Do you know the speed data transfer for http://www.amazon.co.uk/ByteStor-16GB-SDHC-Class-Memory/dp/B0013JBS8K/ref=cm_cr-mr-title ?

11:16 am - Tuesday, September 22, 2009

#115 JoeS

You do need to look at more than memory capacity.  Here is a 4gb card for about the same cost.  This is what I just ordered, as I don’t work with such large amounts of files at one time, or any HD video - yet. 

http://www.memorysuppliers.com/sa4gbexiiisd.html

Tip: Once you go to check out at this site, attempt to back out of the page, and they offer an additional 10% discount if you order within 10 minutes!

1:58 pm - Tuesday, September 22, 2009

#116 Peter Biddlecombe

Spped of the Bytestor card: the Amazon page says nothing, and I couldn’t see it on Bytestor’s web site either.  So I assume it’s 6Mb/sec compared to the SanDisk’s 30.  If I’ve understood things right, classes 2/4/6 just mean 2/4/6 Mb/sec or faster.  As the Bytestor goes fast enough to record movies and gets data to other devices like my PC plenty fast enough for me, I can’t see that the extra speed of the SanDisk card would justify an extra £65.

I guess the factors you should take into account are: size, speed, price, and some assessment of reliability - though how you do the last seems to be anybody’s guess.  Some folk recommend using a few small cards rather than one so that if one fails you haven’t lost everything.  Personally I favour copying from card to PC as regularly as possible. (And yes that does mean the chances of me ever filling up my card are very small - if I’d been able to get the same card at 8Gb from Amazon I’d have done so.)

3:16 pm - Tuesday, September 22, 2009

#117 jrj073000

If I were to be making the transition from this camera:
http://adwido.com/view_content?vkey=fc4b107964d4529b76953226fe1abf0d
would you suggest the Lumix?

8:11 pm - Wednesday, September 23, 2009

#118 sandra

Without a doubt I would go for the FZ 35/38. I had an Olympus Pen years ago as it happens!
These two cameras are different animals though. You need to decide what features you want and then look at the specs and as many reviews as possible.
The zoom on the FZ35 is built into the camera, so you are not comparing like with like.

9:18 pm - Wednesday, September 23, 2009

#119 Peter Biddlecombe

If you’re making a transition from the old Pen, the FZ35/38 seems as good as any current camera, but follow Sandra’s advice.  The new Pen supposedly preserves the spirit of the old, but I missed the old one’s glory days, starting out with an OM-10, so I don’t know whether the old Pen was as forbiddingly expensive as the new one.  The idea of SLR lens swapping at a near-compact size is very appealing, but both the Pen and its Lumix rivals in the “micro four-thirds” format are just too expensive for me to consider.

8:30 am - Thursday, September 24, 2009

#120 Andrew C Jackson

I was disappointed that your sample shots did not include any close up and macro work an area that I am especially interested in. I’ll have to go and look elsewhere now. Any ideas where I can find some?
Many thanks Andrew

3:29 pm - Saturday, September 26, 2009

#121 Peter Biddlecombe

For more samples, try this Panasonic cameras forum

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/forum.asp?forum=1033

6:11 pm - Saturday, September 26, 2009

#122 AJ

For all people who are not sure about FZ35 Picture clarity the below link will ans all your queries

http://www.flickr.com/groups/fz35/pool/

Have fun,
AJ

4:57 am - Sunday, September 27, 2009

#123 sandra

I’ve got the camera (brilliant!) -  now I want the raspberry cheesecake ( see post above)!

9:02 am - Sunday, September 27, 2009

#124 Luke Dixon

I see that people have said filter size is 46mm, would i still need the adapter DMW-LA3(?)for any filter I wish to use?

Thanks

8:30 pm - Monday, September 28, 2009

#125 Peter Biddlecombe

Luke: you don’t need the adapter for filters.  It’s for use with the Panasonic telephoto or close-up converters which attach to the front of the lens.

8:36 pm - Monday, September 28, 2009

#126 pepys

Hi again,

First I was very impressed about Canon SX20, but after that I begin to know more things about Panasonic FZ-35, and after 2-3 weeks of research on the internet, I choose FZ-35! :)

So I’m very happy now, 3 days ago I just bought the Panasonic video camera from

http://fz-35.co.cc/

for just $326.07, a really price!!!

Also, I bought a case, a equivalent replacement Li Ion battery, a 16 GB SDHC card and a tripod, all with just $420!!

Now I’m waiting for my camera, thanks everyone for any review, was very helpfully for me..

11:35 pm - Monday, September 28, 2009

#127 Luke Dixon

Peter,

Thanks for that, think i will go for this… i currently have an FZ8 and that has been a good camera!

Thanks again for the quick reply!

Luke

#125 Peter Biddlecombe

Luke: you don’t need the adapter for filters.  It’s for use with the Panasonic telephoto or close-up converters which attach to the front of the lens.


8:36 pm - Monday, September 28, 200

12:25 am - Tuesday, September 29, 2009

#128 Luke Dixon

Can anyone suggest a suitable Circular PL filter for the FZ38, dont want to spend a fortune as this will be my 1st one but I am off to the caribean in 2 weeks and thought it would be good to have.

Also can i use a UV filter just to protect the lens all the time?

12:35 am - Tuesday, September 29, 2009

#129 EBL

Hi,

A lot of great comments about the camera and some
great pictures too.

So, how about the software?  Has anyone used the
panoramic capabilities?  Even with a 28 mm lens
(equivalent), the ability to stitch together
several photos is great!

Thanks in advance for your feedback on the SW.

Regards,
EBL

3:23 am - Tuesday, September 29, 2009

#130 Knocked up

Luke:
You can leave a UV filter on, but unless you want lens flares showing up in your pics, best make use a MC (multi-coated) one.  You wouldn’t want to ruin quality images provided by the excellent Leica lens by put a non-MC filter in front of it—some say putting any chunk of glass in front of it damages IQ (image quality).

I won’t get into the age-old debate of protective filter vs. bare lens, as people get passionate about it.  Just keep in mind that modern lenses aren’t nearly as soft as those of decades ago.

I have the FZ28 and discovered, by accident, that it’s not as flimsy as I’d worried about.  The lens took a pretty good knock (hence my nick this time) when a tripod platform flipped and my Z rotated with the lens landing firmly against a plastic tripod adjustment knob.  I cringed and felt faint from the shock, as the cam wasn’t very old.
I examined the lens thoroughly with 7.5x magnification and found no damage whatsoever.  I pixel-peeped many images, including solid color frames, for any anomalies and found the impact had no effect.
So, a filter is entirely a matter of personal preference.  But, since the FZ38 uses the same Leica lens as the FZ28, you can be assured that it isn’t easily damaged by dull items or even fingernails—obviously sharp objects are more likely to result in streams of profanity and/or not tears.

4:48 am - Tuesday, September 29, 2009

#131 LazyLens

re: lowest price source as shown.  I bought my FZ28 from Buydig.com and wouldn’t hesitate to buy an FZ35 from them.  They may try to politely upsell ONCE with extra batteries and the like, but if refused they give no further grief.  It takes them a few days to ship, so if you’re in a hurry, I’d recommend you buy from someone else (you’ll pay more for speed, of course).

4:56 am - Tuesday, September 29, 2009

#132 david shankland

I OWN A Z38 LUMIC CAMERA .HOW CAN I TAKE GOOD INDOOR PICS IN ELETRIC LIGHTING.PICTURE LOOKS DIFFERENT ON THE LCD THAN IN THE ROOM.COULD YOU ADVISE CORRECT SETTING PLEASE .THANKS DAVE

7:58 pm - Tuesday, September 29, 2009

#133 Luke Dixon

Hi again, 

I was going to order the following bag for the FZ38…  Lowepro Apex 100AW, will this be ok for just the camera?  also going to order Hama Circular PL filter, 00072546.  Is this a good option for my 1st filter?

8:41 pm - Tuesday, September 29, 2009

#134 Lazy Lens

This blog is getting bloated with common usage Q&A.

Those who seek such advice about this camera would be better served by participating in Panasonic forums such as http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/forum.asp?forum=1033 and http://forums.steves-digicams.com/panasonic-leica-29/

You’ll get responses from a wide base of knowledgeable Pan users, many of whom own the FZ35/38.

6:42 am - Wednesday, September 30, 2009

#135 sandra

Been out today to shoot pics of a local church, a good subject for trying out the camera, as it is set high up, so scene shots; indoor shots, outdoor and indoor, telephoto, etc. I was deliberately using the fully auto mode, just wanted to see how it would cope. There was also strong wind, making it hard to hold still.
Results -  very good indeed. All shots clear and focused. The only thing I had was some flare when shooting church with sun behind top spire, and that was because I was (deliberately) not using the hood.
Also took shots from back of moving motorbike (hubby, who uses SLR, said they’d be blurred) - they are not!
As far as I can tell, this camera will cope with whatever you are likely to do with it!

11:27 am - Friday, October 2, 2009

#136 Jane Thaw

Hi, I read the full review and comments about this camera and it seems to leave a good impression with almost everyone that tries it. I would have like a 3” screen but it’s not essential.

I am thinking of getting a “super zoom” camera and this might be the “one” at the moment I have a Canon G9, had it for almost 2 years it is classed as an “advanced” point and shoot camera and the photo quality is fantastic.

Not mentioning the zoom, would the FZ38 give me the photo quality the G9 gives me?

Thanks
Jane

1:46 pm - Friday, October 2, 2009

#137 Saumya Chakrabarti

I have purchased a FZ-35.The quality of the pictures are stunning!

7:49 am - Monday, October 5, 2009

#138 Lazy Lens

re: current low price vendor..

I noticed Best Price Electronics is not even listed on resellerratings.com (not a good sign), and their website gives no physical address (even worse sign).
I’m betting it’s somewhere in New York, probably Brooklyn.  Be wary ordering from New York camera shops.  A number of them are bait & switch scam operations, each of whom operate multiple websites under various names.  Google “Brooklyn camera bait and switch” and see for yourself.

4:43 am - Tuesday, October 6, 2009

#139 Genius Ignoramus

Thanks for the great review!

Also want to say thanks to the people posting their opinions. Sandra’s been posting quite a few great positive comments on her experiences with the FZ38. All great posts!

I, as well as some here, also previously wanted a Canon because they’ve been in the industry longer than Pana but apparently they’re the ones doing catch-up now. And for all the reviews, ratings and comments it seems that the FZ38 is better.

Was also looking at the Pana TZ7/ZS3. It got an ESSENTIAL rating here at photographyblogs.com but I’m thinking it might be rated as such only in the Mid-Range section and that the FZ38 may have more advantages over it even with the lower rating. I’m hoping the editors can clear this up.

I’ll be making my purchase sometime this month and am really torn between these two. For an additional $25 would you go for the FZ38 instead of the TZ7?

8:47 am - Tuesday, October 20, 2009

#140 Karl

Iv only got one thing to say about this camera and that is Dont waste your money on it ok its not one word but you get my drift.
Iv just brought this camera cost me 359 pounds my 10 megapixel camera takes better photos than this one im going to sell it and buy a better one as this one is rubbish the photos have to much noise in them (i have done the settings like the ISO)
The only good thing bout this camera is the video quality!!!

10:58 pm - Thursday, October 22, 2009

#141 Betmar England

This is a reply TO “KARL”  post 140, Oct 22nd.,
If you read my posts “85” and ” 91”, ANSWERING
“BJORN” his post ” 79 ” Sept 13., we all seem to have problems with quality, (everybody seems to be just concentrating, on the Video, aspect., if you read my post, Karl you will see, I did do a test, etc…....... but I could not get a proper answer,from where I bought it from,  there was something definitely wrong, SO it promptly went back. and owing to a few health problems, have so far have done nothing more, this is the longest time, I have ever been without a Camera !! Look forward to hearing from you, and anyone else who had problems, etc. I feel sure there are a few more of us.
  Best Wishes. “BETMAR”

4:22 pm - Friday, October 23, 2009

#142 Natalie

I am looking at taking a more serious approach to photography which includes taking classes. I am interesting mainly in landscape images but will need a good all round camera. Should I buy this or a Canon EOS Rebel XZ 1000D? I am looking to move to a professional level later on… Thanks

1:55 pm - Saturday, October 24, 2009

#143 Lisa

Please can you tell me if you think this model is suitable for sports photography, my teenage daughter wants a bridge camera where she wants to focus on cricket and rugby photos. If not any suggestions ? I am not a photographer !

12:59 pm - Wednesday, November 11, 2009

#144 Andrew

You would only buy this camera for the video quality but even then, in bright light, you get sold vertical shafts of color distortion from the image sensor. Also, where I am from, it is very hard find. The two biggest stockists have been out-of-sock for many months, which makes me think there might be a batch fault.

2:05 am - Friday, November 13, 2009

#145 Andrew

Solid, not ‘sold’. Sorry about that. Other cameras exhibit this effect, too, but the Panasonic is especially bad in that respect, it seems.

2:08 am - Friday, November 13, 2009

#146 AJ

@Lisa,
  For Sports photography its the better camera and the main Adv is its Zoom which can extend to even 32x for 3 to 4mp !! If you want the Heavy DSLR then you have to invest 1000$+ which is having good Zoom range. I thinks you should go for FZ35 its the Best for the price tag..

Regards,
Aj

4:42 am - Friday, November 13, 2009

#147 lisa dahl

AJ
Thanks for your comments. The other camera that has been recommended to me is the canon sx20is or sx1is. Both of these have 20x zoom. Any thoughts on these or should i go for the fz35 ?

8:39 am - Friday, November 13, 2009

#148 AJ

Lisa,

Canon sx20is is also a good camera but its little Heavy compared to FZ35 and I have read lot of -ve about the Image quality of SX20is so its better if you go for FZ35 which is lighter,Good Battery,Image Stabilization and HD Video ! if you want sample pics of FZ35 just chk out the below link:
http://www.flickr.com/groups/fz35/pool/

9:15 am - Friday, November 13, 2009

#149 lisa

Aj
as i originally explained she wants to take photos of her brothers playing rugby and cricket. Will the shutter speed be fast enough as some people have said these bridge cameras are not fast enough for sports photos ? These people however maybe pros and as long as my daughter manages to get some photos she will be happy ! I also dont want to start paying for slr cameras if its something she doesnt enjoy. Thanks for all your help

2:20 pm - Friday, November 13, 2009

#150 Peter Biddlecombe

The FX35/38 goes up to 1/1000 with a full range of apertures, then up to 1/2000 with progressively restricted ranges.  I suspect the biggest issues with this camera for rugby/cricket photos are (a) maximum focal length - the Olympus competitor with 26x zoom range might be worth considering on that point, and (b) lack of a movable LCD display - I think all the main bridge camera competitors have this.  (a) may matter most for cricket as the bowler, batsmen and wicket keeper are a fair distance from all spectators, and (b) for rugby, if it helps to be able to hold the camera in raised hands to help remove the crowd from the foreground.

It’s also worth looking at the ability of the various choices to take rapid bursts of pictures.  The Panny can take 10 a second, but at a reduced image size (good enough for 6 by 4 prints).  If it’s difficult to press the shutter button at exactly the right moment, burst shooting could be important.

3:33 pm - Friday, November 13, 2009

#151 lisa

Thanks for the reply, I wish i understood it better however given that she wants to expand her knowledge of photography but take kids sport photos would you go for panasonic fz38 canon sx20is,canon sx1is or olympus competitor. She is also only 14 !!

3:57 pm - Friday, November 13, 2009

#152 Gigi

Noise at ISO 80. Poor camera!!!

10:48 am - Sunday, November 15, 2009

#153 AJ

Lisa,
If your Daughter loves compact cameras then u can go for TZ7 which is also better choice but FZ38 is the best for sports,outdoor etc.. i saw FZ35 price today and it was 309$ !i think u can grab it now..
http://www.camerakings.com/products/DigitalCameras/11378071/Lumix_DMC-FZ35K/

i dnt think DSLR is a good choice for your Daughter as of now u can go for FZ35 with no hesitation.

4:46 am - Monday, November 16, 2009

#154 Losty

I’d like to know more about a Raynox macro lense attachment for my FZ38 (by the way, very nice camera too!!). Where can I get one, preferably a shop, and how much are they? Also, do I need an adapter to make it work?

Cheers.

1:36 am - Wednesday, November 18, 2009

#155 AJ

Losty,

  I guess the below link may help u in getting the lense:
http://www.don-sara-parsons.com/raynox/panasonic.html

6:25 am - Wednesday, November 18, 2009

#156 Losty

Thanks, but is there anyone in the UK??

9:11 am - Wednesday, November 18, 2009

#157 Rayaz

Hi,

Anyone who has a FZ35 who also has a Canon G11/S90 or compared it with a G11/s90 for indoor photography of people? 

If you have, please do share the compartive photos and your opinions.

I badly needed to get a P&S that can take indoor photos, and also provide some flexiblity of being a travel cam.

I got the TZ4 and then moved to a Sony h20 as i was not happy with the indoor photos of the TZ7/ZS3 with its poor flash.  The sony has a great flash, but its shutter lag is not ideal for me to take photos of my fast moving 1 year old!  Unfortunately non-flash photos under indoor lights are not good, though a lot better than the ZS3. 

If you have taken shots using the FZ35 and the Canon cams please do share them to make me close the decision, as its only the photo quality indoors thats stopping me from the FZ, as it has the canon trounced on zoom and video, and PRICE :) The extra bulk i can live with since the G11 is also a small brick (the s90 is nice, but seems fragile).

7:04 pm - Monday, November 23, 2009

#158 Mark

Losty, I don’t know of any shops that sell the Raynox gear. You might just have to buy online.
In any case, you’ll need the DMW-LA3E lens adaptor, which is about £20.

5:34 pm - Wednesday, November 25, 2009

#159 Mark

#140 Karl

You have got to be kidding!
The photo’s from this camera are excellent, as the flickr pool proves.
Maybe it’s not the camera, but yourself.

5:43 pm - Wednesday, November 25, 2009

#160 " Betmar " England

This is for “MARK” p159., re your “comment”  to “KARL” p140. I think Mark, you should go through, the several complaints,of which there are quite a few, re the fz 38, there could be more than one dodgy batch outhere, The video may be good, but most people are more interested in actual Photo`s. and the quality of same.  and no we do not “Kid” Mark.!!

6:20 pm - Thursday, November 26, 2009

#161 robin

Hi is this camera better than CANON POWERSHOT SX20IS ?? I’d hardly use the video option.. Im lookin out only on the photography part.. which one of these do I go for ?? Suggest

3:57 am - Saturday, November 28, 2009

#162 Bill Carson

Betmar, I don’t know what I’m talking about, but don’t know how to reconcile the poor results you and two others have with the high quality images on this Flicker group other than the FZ35 being inconsistently built:
http://www.flickr.com/groups/fz35/pool/ 

With that in mind I think this camera should be purchased from very dependable vendors that allow a 30 day return (like one named after a South American river). 

I’ve been going back and forth with buying the FX35 or prosumer DSLRs from Cannon and Nikon. I’d happily pay $1100 for an entry level DSLR with a couple of good kit lenses. But as much as I love their excellent pictures, our family is busy, and neither my wife nor I have dozens of hours to study how to get the most out of DSLRs. There are “For Dummies” books for the entry level DSLRs, but that’s still a project.  Also, I read the HD video on DSLRs is very cumbersome.

All we really need is a very good record of our vacations and kids growing up. Our last camera was a Cannon SD850.  It’s okay, but frequently mis-focuses, can’t focus in low outdoor light at all and has red-eye problem. The video is just barely acceptable at no zoom. If the FZ35 can’t blow that away, we’ll send it back and try again from a different vendor.

7:28 pm - Sunday, November 29, 2009

#163 Pete Denali

Hi all,

I bought a FZ38 (UK) a few days ago and I am still thinking of returning it.
The video quality is brilliant, outdoor pictures are very good BUT my pictures are horrendous in low light/indoors and some outdoor pics, when seen in full size, look distorted at the edges, as if photo elements on the left and right hand side of the pic leant inwards.

Other things I am not pleased with:
-Pictures in low light are very noisy above 200 ISO
-colors tend to be distorted, i.e. over saturated

Has anyone experienced the same problems?

8:41 pm - Thursday, December 3, 2009

#164 " Betmar " England

Hello PETE DENALI,  Hope you can take the time to read this, you will see there are several of us,I will put the Post No`s…. Please see my Post 141. answering KARL post 140. also my othe two posts 85 and 91., answering BJORN post79. another Post 152 GIGI., AND one from MARK in reply Post 159..I just had to answer see Post 160.  Please read these,  you will see you are not alone,there
is a definite problem somewhere, could be some dodgy batches.  But nobody has said anything. PETE, do let me know what you think please.  all
best wishes.  Betmar.

6:07 pm - Friday, December 4, 2009

#165 Peter Biddlecombe

If you haven’t experienced problems that you count as significant, it’s hard to know how to respond to sweeping statements like “colors tend to be distorted”.  And when someone talks about images “distorted at the edges, as if photo elements on the left and right hand side of the pic leant inwards”, I just wonder how often they have used a wide-angle lens, which will cause this “distortion” on a huge range of cameras.  It is possible that some people have faulty cameras, but it’s also possible that some people have unrealistic expectations.  How you tell the difference from text messages, I don’t know.  If you can point us to sample pictures taken with the FZ35/38 and one of its rivals, showing clear superiority for the rival, bring ‘em on!

6:33 pm - Friday, December 4, 2009

#166 Pete Denali

Hi again

Took some pictures again today to see how many looked distorted: 2 or 3 very slight distortions (due to wide angle shots) out of 30something photos so I am pleased with that.

See 2 photos I posted http://www.flickr.com/photos/45259811@N05/?saved=1

the first of a church is a bit distorted but looks normal as it’s a wide-angle shot.
The pic of the tree concerns me a bit more as it was not a wide-angle shot.
When you look at the pic, check out how leaning the bandstand looks - same for the yellowish post on the left of the pic.

Just for the record, i didnt post a comment to bash the FZ38; all i want to know is whether you think my tree pic looks distorted beyond normal.

10:18 pm - Friday, December 4, 2009

#167 Peter Biddlecombe

The tree shot must have been taken with the camera tilted upwards - otherwise the top of the tree wouldn’t be in shot.  If you go into your bathroom or kitchen and photograph some tiles with the camera similarly tilted upwards, you’ll see similar leaning.

2:31 pm - Saturday, December 5, 2009

#168 Pete Denali

To Peter Biddlecombe

Took another pic in similar conditions (same Flickr address) : didn’t notice any distortion…
You’re right - camera must have been tilted upwards.

By the way, i took some videos with a class 2 SD card and they looked great.
What improvements does a class 6 SD bring to shooting videos?

3:50 pm - Saturday, December 5, 2009

#169 Peter Biddlecombe

All I know is that the manual says you need class 6.  Mind you, it also recommends Panasonic batteries as spares, though a third-party cheapo works fine for me.

4:42 pm - Saturday, December 5, 2009

#170 dg02660

I’m on my umpteenth compact camera and am struggling to take shots of fast moving kids in low light levels without it being blurred with no flash or a white out with flash. Will going for a camera ilke this help my plight????????

3:04 pm - Monday, December 7, 2009

#171 Peter Biddlecombe

Depending on exactly what you mean by “compact camera” and “a camera like this”, my guess is that ones like this will do better than compacts.  Whether the difference will be enough is very hard to say.  I can only suggest (a) borrowing a camera like this and an SLR with a wide-aperture lens and trying the same kind of shot, or (b) visiting a forum about one of the superzooms like this and asking if anyone has any sample shots for the appropriate light level and subject.

5:24 pm - Monday, December 7, 2009

#172 Ricky

I purchased the FZ35 a few weeks ago and so far, I find this camera excellent!  I’m just a regular guy who needs a camera for casual photography and for taking pictures and videos on special occasions.  But, I didn’t want a normal point-and-shoot and also wanted to have a good zoom capability.  After several weeks of research on the internet, I decided on this one and I don’t regret my decision.  Awesome camera at a great price! :)

4:34 am - Tuesday, December 8, 2009

#173 Jason

Can any one suggest me best Store in Atlanta where i can get FZ35 at lowest price (<=300$).

Jason

4:49 am - Tuesday, December 8, 2009

#174 Elizabeth

I love my FZ38, but am very frustrated by being unable to transfer the RAW photos to Photoshop elements 6. I downloaded an ad-in from the internet, but found it would only work in Vista or Windows7, but not in XP. Any suggestions?

8:18 pm - Friday, December 11, 2009

#175 Paul McBride

The Performance Ratings / Price ratio posted on this site said it all for me. I appreciate it’s not going to perform above ISO 800, when compared to film or DLSRs.

But what a buy at €290!
 
Thank you all at photogtaphyblog.com for your comments on this piece.

2:51 am - Saturday, January 9, 2010

#176 " Betmar " England

Perhaps someone can help me,  I have been trying to locate a “Hoya a MULTI COATED UV Filter 46m ”
for the 38”....... I have always had them on all my other previous Cameras, including SLR`s, mainly as a protector.I am now having a problem there are plenty of cheap ones, about, but the M.C. are much better, and have now been told that Hoya, are going to stop the 46m, (that came from a well Known Photograpic shop). So has anyone tried any others but still 46m. thread, please, (I am at the moment laid low, so can only phone shops etc.)  Best wishes to all.  Betty.

4:29 pm - Sunday, January 10, 2010

#177 Maggie

Hi Betty,

You are looking for the same filter as I.  I’m in Canada and have one on order here:

http://vistek.ca/

I’ve been told it’s back-ordered until Jan. 14th.  I hope they can still get inventory from their supplier.  I had a hard time locating one of these.

Good Luck
Maggie

5:51 pm - Monday, January 11, 2010

#178 Peter Biddlecombe

I bought myself a UV but have barely used it - in bright sunlight I prefer to put a polariser on, and the cheapness of the camera means that the lens isn’t as valuable as some expensive one for an SLR - which is probably where the “protective filter” idea started.  I usually have the gizmo for attaching the lens hood attached, and that plus a lens cap pemanently attached instead of rattling around somewhere in a bag seems enough protection for most purposes.

6:28 pm - Monday, January 11, 2010

#179 " Betmar " England

“MAGGIE”  Hello there, thanks for your reply, re UV Filter 46m., I expect you use one for the same reason as I do, beats any Haze and is a harmless Protector,as well, and I do prefer Hoya, but another good quality one, would suffice.

Anyway do let me know how you get on,and how are you getting on with the Panasonic 38., would be interested to know….
Best Wishes,  “BETMAR” England.  (Betty)

2:30 pm - Tuesday, January 12, 2010

#180 Joshua Royer

I have a question for all you photographers. I know that a DSLR would take better pictures but I’m not quite ready to make that kind of investment. I have been looking at the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ38. Any suggestions? What would be your choice in that price range with the ability to take decent photos, movies, and be somewhat durable, with a good zoom?

2:03 pm - Monday, January 18, 2010

#181 Peter Biddlecombe

I think the honest truth is that there are several contenders in the same price range as the FZ38, from well-established camera manufacturers.  Read online reviews and forums, after making a list of the things that matter most to you about your possible camera.  By all means ask specific questions here, but “what would be your choice?” is only going to get a really useful answer from someone who owns all the cameras concerned.

2:30 pm - Monday, January 18, 2010

#182 Joshua Royer

Peter—Thank you for your answer! I’m pretty new to photography so I’m still developing a real list of what I want and don’t need.

What I’m really looking for is the ability to take the best pictures possible for under $400 combined with (in order of importance):
1. A really good zoom so I won’t need to carry spare lenses.
2. Weather resistant. I know that’s kind of a hard topic, because what camera really is.
3. The ability to take decent movies. ( I know it’s not going to be as good as a dedicated video camera)
4. The ability to possible add adapters so that I could put different lenses on if I’m trying to get a specific picture.
5. Light Weight. I would like to keep the weight down but I’m a pretty big guy so lugging around a little extra weight isn’t going to be that much of a problem.

I travel overseas quite often and I’ve always been frustrated by ruined pictures because of some cheap camera. So I’m looking for an upgrade without breaking my $450 barrier. I’m trying to include an extra battery, SD card, and case in that cost as well. Does this help narrow down the options?

8:22 pm - Monday, January 18, 2010

#183 Dino Y

I Think i have a problem with my fz 35.
The pictures are really good but,
Exp.I have the camera on the tripod i focus and then put on the timer so i wont shake the camera at all and it shoots the picture automatically. When it previews the picture it is not as clear as it is when the camera is just ready to shoot.
I went back and forth and compare the picture that was taken with the live image on the camera and the live image(what is on the screen while waiting to shoot)is much more clearer.
I shoot with inteligent auto,manual,p and more but the same thing.
Am I doing something wrong?
Did anybody notice the same thing?

5:08 pm - Tuesday, January 19, 2010

#184 buy r4i

This is a great camera both for photos, and video. I bought it to take pictures since it takes real filters unlike the more-or-less equivalent Canon. But what really blew me away was the picture and sound quality of the video. All this for under four hundred bucks. So the manual’s on CD. It doesn’t cost much to print it out at 4 pages per sheet.

9:44 am - Thursday, January 21, 2010

#185 Dissertation

I am interested to know how the TZ 38 will perform with the Panasonic teleconverter. Not often the use of teleconverters is included in reviews of the superzooms

6:30 am - Monday, February 1, 2010

#186 Elizabeth

I have had several e-mails informing me that responses to my comment have been posted, but so far none have appeared on the blog. am I missing sometning, how do I access them?

10:09 am - Monday, February 1, 2010

#187 BillE

I have a question regarding the FZ35.  I wanted to use a polarizing filter but the listed size is 46 mm.  The issue is that that is a fairly internal mount that makes it difficult to adjust the polarizer direction.  Can you mount one to the fitting used for the hood mount and if so, what size is that?

4:06 pm - Monday, February 1, 2010

#188 Peter Biddlecombe

BillE: no you most definitely can’t, and you most definitely do not need to.  If you look at the picture at the top of this page you’ll see why: the lens protrudes past the fitting used for the hood mount (the bit with silver rings in the picture.  Polarisers with a hole in the middle aren’t much use!

I own a 46mm polar filter purchased for use with this camera, and can confrim that it is perfectly possible to adjust the fileter orientation at all focal lengths.  The only problem is that if your filter comes with a tiny little screw-in handle to help you rotate it (as the Hama 46 mm polariser does), you should not attach this unless you can be 100% certain of removing it before any retraction of the lens into the housing (e.g. when turning off the camera), as it blocks this retraction.  In theory you could achieve your “solution” with a tube about 4 cm long, but this would cause epic vignetting.

4:25 pm - Monday, February 1, 2010

#189 bille

Dear Peter,

Thanks for the quick answer.  Makes perfect sense now that I really consider it.  I am much more used to DSLR’s and this is a new camera format for me.  Your comments are sot on and definitely got me laughing about the hole in the polarizer.  Thanks again.

Bill

4:49 pm - Monday, February 1, 2010

#190 Alperian

I love my FZ38. Part of the reason I got it was this review and I think it is outstanding. I have a question though and forgive me if I appear a bit thick asking it. In intelligent Auto mode it provides me with a full 12 mega-pixel resolution. However, in AE program mode (P on the dial), it will only go up to 9 Mega-Pixels. Is there a good reason for this?

9:02 pm - Sunday, March 7, 2010

#191 john doubleday

I am thinking of buying a panasonic fz38 and have a few 2 gig sd cards, my question is how many pics/video can I expect to store on said cards, will it be enough or will I need to buy a bigger memory card?

John

12:34 am - Sunday, March 14, 2010

#192 Greg Gomez

Hi! Thanks for the review. I’ll buy FZ-35 this end of the month.

More power.

Follow-up question,
May i know when the Panasonic FZ-35/38 was launched?

12:51 pm - Saturday, March 20, 2010

#193 PauL

Hei…

I`m interested in macro photography and i`ve seen some amazing macro clips (not pictures) taken with the Canon Sx20. I`ve seen also the Panasonic has a better image quality score. So my question is, for macro shots, what do you suggest i buy? Canon Sx20 or Panasonic Fz35?

11:07 pm - Thursday, March 25, 2010

#194 cem

i would say that ,all peoples they seems have some confuse mind about f38 , panasonic how done it” low price” as this exelent quality digi machine?
  it s simple ansewerd a lot of product and selling so much unit but low price at the same time exelent quality.
  result winner panasonic and f38 realy so good compact a machine"MYBE BEST” in the megazoom market ” than more good some DSLR s"too.

1:46 pm - Wednesday, March 31, 2010

#195 Mohit

What’s the maximum data write speed required for FZ35/38?

which one of the below memory will be better?

SanDisk Ultra II 16 GB Class 4 SDHC Flash Memory Card SDSDRH-016G-A11

Sandisk 8GB EXTREME SDHC SD Card Class 6 (SDSDX3-008G, Static Pack)

Transcend 16 GB Class 6 SDHC Flash Memory Card TS16GSDHC6E

9:40 pm - Sunday, April 4, 2010

#196 Peter Biddlecombe

The camera’s documentation says that class 6 or higher is recommended when using the movie-making mode.  My understanding is that a card’s class indicates a minimum writing speed, and that as class 6 is the highest class usually indicated, some class 6 cards are much faster than others.  I purchased fairly cheap Bytestor class 6 cards and find them perfectly OK though I don’t use the movie mode much.  If you don’t use it at all, class 2 or 4 cards are probably fine for stills unless you’re short of time when transferring large sets of pictures onto a PC from the card.

10:11 am - Tuesday, April 6, 2010

#197 Peter Biddlecombe

192 / Greg Gomez:  The FZ-35/38 was launched last summer - reviews appeared in about July.  I bought one in September and got one of the earliest reviews up on the Amazon UK site.

11:13 am - Tuesday, April 6, 2010

#198 Grace

Bought this camera November last year for £240. Money well spent! The picture quality is amazing, and the ability to change Shutter Speed etc is really useful. It doesn’t cope particularly well in low-light or bad weather conditions, but this is expected in many cameras. The video quality is impecable, although I am unable to transfer the proper HD videos onto my computer due to the fact I do not have a HD converter, so I find it difficult to do anything with the videos once they are on my computer. For this reason I take videos on the other setting, which still produces extremely high quality videos, yet not as good quality as the HD setting.

I bought a 4GB memory card with the camera, but have found this is not enough - as I photograph and video horses every week, it won’t take as many photos/videos as I would have expected, yet this is easily solved by buying an 8GB+ memory card.

The camera works impecably, I have had no problems at all with it - and I haven’t exactly been the most caring of owners!

Overall it’s been completely worth the money, best £240 i’ve spent in a long time!

12:57 pm - Friday, April 9, 2010

#199 Mohit

Can anybody tell me whether
‘Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ38/35’ supports
‘Transcend Ultimate Class 10 SDHC Cards’

8:36 am - Monday, April 12, 2010

#200 Peter Biddlecombe

My understanding is that any SDHC card is supported.  Details for the card say that “Transcend’s SDHC cards perform at a transfer rate up to 20MB/s on devices supporting SD 3.0”.  I can’t tell from the camera documentation whether SD 3.0 is supported by the FZ35/38, but my guess is not - the Wikipedia article on SD/SDHC suggests this is a new standard.  So my GUESS is that the card will work, but possibly not at the speeds it could.

9:17 am - Monday, April 12, 2010

Entry Tags

hd video, review, 720p, 12 megapixel, movie, 2.7 inch LCD, super-zoom, Panasonic, Lumix, 18x, DMC-FZ38, dmc fz38, fz38

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