Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ38 Review

July 27, 2009 | Mark Goldstein | |

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#201 Mohit

Thanks Peter, so which would be best card for this camera, as FZ35 can take video upto 17mbps
I am very much confused about which card should a choose :(

9:52 am - Monday, April 12, 2010

#202 Peter Biddlecombe

I can tell you two things for sure:

1. That Panasonic recommend Class 6 cards for video.
2. That I have Bytestor 16 and 4 Gb class 6 cards and am perfectly happy with them.

I can’t tell you that any particular card is best because I don’t have the different cards to compare, and I don’t know your individual requirements - if you’re never going to need space for more than 1000 12megapixel photos or the video equivalent, getting 16Gb instead of 8 is a waste of money.  I’d just get a 16 or 8 Gb class 6 and a 4 Gb one as a spare, at a price that suits you.  If speed is important then read up on the technical details of the more expensive cards from people like SanDisk.

10:15 am - Monday, April 12, 2010

#203 odette

I just want to confirm the difference between the “FZ35” and the “FZ38”. If I’m correct, the “FZ38” is for the European market where video redording is restricted to 29mins 59secs, and the “FZ35” doesn’t have this recording restriction on it. Am I correct?

5:33 pm - Wednesday, April 14, 2010

#204 Lily

You are right Odette, the FZ35 is an American version where you can record as long as the SD is full.

What I want to ask In case I’m going to buy shall I get the FZ25 Or the FZ35, what’d the difference between them??? Does the different in Price $80 means that FZ25 is better?????

Please help

12:37 am - Thursday, April 15, 2010

#205 Peter Biddlecombe

The comparison is between FZ35 and FZ28 - the different numbers for ‘region versions’ were not used for the previous models.  Good reviews of the FZ35/38 should mention the differences.  Quote from one FZ35 review: “The biggest changes are an improved image stabilizer, faster autofocus system, and an enhanced movie mode [...]”.  Whether the differences are worth $80 to you, only you can say.

8:07 am - Thursday, April 15, 2010

#206 Fred33

It’s very intuitive and powerfull, so much more confortable in my (high-)mountain hikes than my older DSLR! It is also very resistant: it fell and rolled downwards the glacier of Bertol here, in Switzerland. Just scratched around the outerbox, it works perfectly since.

five stars!

4:59 pm - Friday, April 16, 2010

#207 dilbarzani

I booked this camera and hopefully recieve it with in 1 week. I’d like to buy TRANSCEND 16GB SDHC Ultimate, SD 3.0, Class 10 20MB/s card. My query is if big memory card runs slower than smaller exp. 8GB card.I’m very new here so need good recommendation.
Thanx in advance.

7:35 pm - Friday, April 30, 2010

#208 dilbarzani

I booked this camera and hopefully receive it with in 1 week. I’d like to buy TRANSCEND 16GB SDHC Ultimate, SD 3.0, Class 10 20MB/s card. My query is if big memory card runs slower than smaller (8GB or 4GB) card.I’m very new here so need good recommendation.
Thanx in advance.

7:39 pm - Friday, April 30, 2010

#209 Javier Vega

Photos whit my Panasonic FZ38

9:46 pm - Sunday, May 9, 2010

#210 Nashot

I wanted to use filters & telescopic lenses by using “LENSE ADAPTER TUBE”, But I dont know the size(mm) of adapter tube.

Can anyone please tell me that which size adapter tube fits for FZ-38 ???


4:28 pm - Saturday, May 15, 2010

#211 Peter Biddlecombe

The thread on the lens is 46mm.

But unless you purchase the Lumix accessories designed for this camera (in which case getting the sizes right is their problem), I would be very wary of expecting benefits from stuff on the end of an adapter tube.

For filters, I can’t see the gain compared to just buying 46mm filters.

5:03 pm - Saturday, May 15, 2010

#212 PauL

@Grace… you just need to download a codec which supports HD video files and you`ll be able to see the movies without any problems on your computer.

Search, download and install the K-lite Mega Codec Pack (ITS FREE) and you`ll be 100% sure able to watch the HD movies directly on you Pc without any other conversion.

i hope i`m not breaking any rules, here is the link for the codecpack:

5:37 pm - Saturday, May 15, 2010

#213 katy

Does anyone know if this tripod would be alright for the camera?
Thank you in advance :)

8:34 pm - Tuesday, May 18, 2010

#214 Peter Biddlecombe

Well, as the title of the Amazon item ends with “DMC-FZ35 / DMC-FZ38”, I’d say YES!  But as all tripods and cameras use a standard screw thread for connecting the camera to the tripod, I can’t see what makes this tripod any better for this camera than any other tripod of similar design.  The tripod I bought years ago for a film SLR is perfectly OK for the occasions when I want to use a tripod with the FZ-35/38 (filming myself, for example).

If you search Amazon for [DURAGADGET 125cm size professional tripod stand], you’ll see that the same tripod is there as 24 different products, claiming to be intended for hundreds of cameras.  If on the other hand, you search for [Velbon tripod] (Velbon made mine) you’ll find lots of different tripods, each with no claim to be designed for anything other than a camera.  Personally, I’d always go with the maker whose product is marketed accurately, rather than the one which at appears to pretend than one product is dozens of products.

I can’t tell you for certain that a Velbon tripod would be better (never mind whether it would be the best) - just that I’m still happy with one I bought 20+ years ago.  Which tripod is best probably depends as much on your needs as the manufacturer.

8:59 pm - Tuesday, May 18, 2010

#215 robijr

Is that true that the fz38 has a 30 minute recording limit?

3:22 pm - Thursday, May 20, 2010

#216 dilbarzani

I tried to see the display om my cam on my HDTV while cam was in shooting mode like a camcoder. I couldn’t see anything. TV screen was black. I wonder if it’s possible or not.

6:47 pm - Thursday, May 20, 2010

#217 Paul Ellis

I’m thinking of buying the FZ38. It has been out for just under a year and Panasonics seem to upgrade after a year. I am looking for higher magnification, dumped the Nikon Coolpix P100 because it would not produce raw photos and I just wonder whether Panasonic will produce a higher magnification extension of the series in the next few months. Has anyone heard of any rumours?

11:39 pm - Saturday, May 22, 2010

#218 jess

I want to purchase a hybrid camera because Im not sure if I want to commit the time and money to an SLR. I dont know a whole amount about cameras but could anyone recommend a camera that produced good vivid colour. With my last camera which was a sony cybershot I had to do photoshop with a lot of the images in order to increase the colour intensity. I was travelling with a girl in Africa and on comparison the colours in her shots were much more vivid, problem is I cant remember the name of the camera!

9:26 pm - Sunday, May 23, 2010

#219 Dave Cheshire

Having thought long and hard about which camera to ‘upgrade to’ from my former Canon Powershot A640 I took delivery of my DMC-FZ38 a couple of weeks ago. I have not been disappointed.  So far the camera has performed very well in every situation I have asked of it, macro, wide angle, indoors and outdoors. I am particularly impressed with the camera’s ability to deal with low light situations (such as dimly lit churches etc.)where the image stabilisation enables crisp well lit shots full of detail. I am still learning about the impressive range of settings / controls but I have no regets on my purchase.

4:22 pm - Tuesday, May 25, 2010

#220 Edson Wruck

Dave, did you see some yelow dots in your low light pics? I saw some pics in DCResource review with ISO 400 and there’s a lot of yelow dots in the image. Mainly in a church indoor.

I am thinking to buy the FZ35 next month and I am grateful for your comments.

2:34 am - Wednesday, May 26, 2010

#221 Lazy Lens

I’m holding out for the next FZ model. If Panasonic holds true to form, they’ll release the successor to the FZ35/38 in a couple of months.

I’m waiting to see what upgrades it boasts, such as possibly full 1080p HD video, perhaps longer zoom (not necessarily a good thing), hotshoe, articulating LCD (or at least AMOLED for longer battery life), and so on.

6:33 am - Wednesday, May 26, 2010

#222 Bjorn, Sweden

Edson Wruck, I mentioned the yellow dots or stains in a comment in September last year. Since I have seen only few other people mentioning it, I am beginning to think that maybe only some units have this problem or, rather, that the extent of the problem varies, so that not everybody notices it. That noise in general is not the best feature of this camera is however clear from many reviews.

I have now had this camera for about 9 months and I still feel the same about it, happy about all the sharp crisp pictures and its ability to use full zoom handheld, provided the light is good and unhappy about low light performance. But I have not seen any similar camera that I would like to exchange it for. As for waiting for the next model, I would do that if there is any chance for a better noise performance, but I would not risk the current sharp lens for a few more steps of zoom. Also, about 1080p full HD, I know that a lot of people want this, but my personal view is that it is so difficult to shoot good, steady video clips with this type of camera as opposed to a regular camcorder, that the extra resolution doesn´t improve general impression much.

8:40 am - Wednesday, May 26, 2010

#223 John

I was just about to order the FZ-35K but discovered that Pentax has just released the X-90; it seems to be a definite technical and price competitor for the 35. But I’m not an expert so comparing the two is hard for me. My use will be non-pro and casual for home and travel. Has anyone looked at the X-90 and what are your thoughts re the 35K? Which would you choose now or should I wait more? Thanks.

3:01 pm - Friday, May 28, 2010

#224 Lazy Lens

Your choice really depends on what you want most, performance/features or image quality.

There’s usually a tradeoff between the two, particularly where zoom ability (range) is concerned.  You’ll find more troubling lens characteristics the higher up in magnification the lens goes, at least with these pro-sumer models.
I won’t go into detail, as that could fill volumes.  There’s plenty of material on the net about lens design to explain why this is so.

I’d be very surprised if the X-90 lens produces images comparable to the Leica DC Vario Elmarit lens used in the FZ28-38 series, across the zoom and f-stop ranges.

Again, it depends on what you want from the camera.

2:22 am - Saturday, May 29, 2010

#225 Lazy Lens

Also, I see that, according to Pentax’s specs, the X90 doesn’t offer RAW mode.  That’s a deal killer for me, as I’ve come to rely heavily on RAW to correct white balance anomalies in unusual lighting situations, as well as achieving the cleanest (least noise) and sharpest (while keeping noise limited) images possible.

The Panasonic FZ does an excellent job of correcting chromatic aberration in-camera with JPG, but this, too, can be easily fixed while in the RAW editor.
A lot of people don’t care for RAW and are satisfied with the JPG results.

As I said before, it all depends on what you want from the camera and how you’ll be using it.
If you want the ultimate in control over developing your images, you want RAW capability.
There are some things you just cannot effectively “repair” in JPG.

2:43 am - Saturday, May 29, 2010

#226 Mark

In one YouTube video I’ve heard the zoom lens making substantial audible sounds while zooming out/in while recording video. Looks like the cam’s microphone picked up the sounds.

Any thoughts on whether the Canon SX20 IS’s zoom is quieter compared to this camera’s zoom?

2:18 pm - Wednesday, June 2, 2010

#227 Linda

I got the FZ35 this past week for my upcoming trip to Alaska.  Almost every photo I’ve taken appears to be overexposed.  I have tried the iA mode and many of the preset scene modes as well as manual.  In manual I can get an acceptable image by decreasing the apeture or increasing the ISO, but I definitely want to be able to use the iA and preset.  I’ve only looked at the images on the LCD - haven’t uploaded.  It seems like something must be set wrong, but I’ve even tried resetting everything - same results.  Does anyone have any tips?  I’ve read the manual and searched the web, but haven’t seen this particular problem anywhere.  Any help is appreciated.  I leave for Alaska in 4 days !

4:00 pm - Sunday, June 6, 2010

#228 Lazy Lens

These camera’s use ultrasonic motors, so motor noise shouldn’t be captured.  It must be a different noise in the video that you’re hearing.
Perhaps they are scraping/scuffing noises due to a dirty lens barrel assembly or dirt having gotten inside the camera.  Or, the owner could have damaged the camera and you’re hearing the result.

You said you increase the ISO in manual mode.  That effectively brightens the image, so I’m confused.  The image is too bright in iA mode but you try to make it brighter in manual mode?
I think it would help to know what the subject is and the lighting you’re using.  If your image is too bright in iA mode, it could be a result of the backlight compensation.
Quoting the FZ35 manual:
“Backlight refers to when light comes from the back of a subject.  In this case, the subject will become dark, so this function compensates the backlight by brightening the whole of the picture automatically.”

2:38 pm - Wednesday, June 9, 2010

#229 Linda

Lazy Lens,  thanks for the response.  I meant ‘decrease the ISO’ (my photog speak is a little rusty).  In any case, I ended up calling Panasonic customer service and after walking me through several resettings and tests they concluded that the camera was defective.  They were happy to have me take it to be repaired, but that really wasn’t the response I was looking for.  I called the online retailer where I ordered the camera, and fortunately they were VERY helpful and immediately sent out a replacement camera, FedEx express, at their expense.  I received the camera today and it appears to work just fine !  I won’t have much time to try it out much before leaving for Alaska, but I at least got familar with most of the settings while trying to figure out the problem with the first camera. I’ll post some pix when I get back and let everyone know how it worked out for a relative amature.

2:14 am - Thursday, June 10, 2010

#230 Peter Biddlecombe

Glad to hear that Panasonic and your retailer did the right thing.  Ironically, trying to fix the problems probably taught you more about some of the settings than many people will ever need to know.  Just make sure you take the right one to Alaska!

10:44 am - Thursday, June 10, 2010

#231 Frederic Charriere

Do never trust the LCD panel, it is to bright and contrasted in comparison of the printed or screen result, so don’t worry too much if they look brighter than usual, and you can underexpose the picture even in the iA mode and scenes modes (joystick left and down).

7:22 am - Friday, June 11, 2010

#232 madenengland

I’m a long time Panasonic fan using earlier TZ1, FZ5, FS15 and others and Like Lazy Lens, am waiting for Panasonic next version to purchase if better (or drive this current FZ38 price lower). Any news of an update soon?

3:48 pm - Sunday, June 13, 2010

#233 Bill Perkins

While I presently use a Canon 7D for most local work, my Lumix is a near perfect carry-around camera.  It produces wonderful RAW or JPG images from extreme maro to extreme telephoto, even with digital plus optical telephoto at full resolution.  Its many features give it great versatility, and its images at normal ISOs are surprisingly good.  Very highly recommended.

2:35 pm - Tuesday, June 15, 2010

#234 george

fz38 i think is a very good price- quality product, i buoght it just a week ago and after seen the videos both in mov jpeg and avchd i made with it ,i decided i sold my old videocamera canon fs100,this photocamera produces better video quality than my ex videocamera canonfs100. the photo quality are also fine but when it comes to compare the photos of my fz38 with the photos of my canon eos 450D or REBEL the eos 450D MAKES the real deferences ,as a conclusion the bridge cameras are still far from the performance of any entry level eos digital ,but enyhow im satisfied with this bridge camera .sorry for my poor english it,s not my native, cause im from albania and live in italy

5:04 am - Saturday, July 3, 2010

#235 Edmund T

Been using this camera for the last 3 days, everything is good apart from these:

1. The On/off, Rec/Play switches are sliding switches, don’t really trust these as most sliding switches I have come across fails, just hoping these will last.

2. The flash do not pop out if the camera thinks flash is required. I have to press a release switch to enable flash.

3. The software given do not have video editing functions, something like Windows Movie Maker should do the trick.

4. I have never heard of .mst files, but this is the HD video files generated by the camera, have to convert it to avi by other software before it can be recognised by other media players. The other kind of file is a Quicktime .mov file. Why don’t they stick to a simple .avi file I don’t know. Should give us the choice of what kind of file it saves in.

5. Do not like where the video record on/off button is, awkward to use.

8:54 pm - Friday, July 9, 2010

#236 Motty Levi

I’m a learnt photographer, although, I didn’t exercise as such for some decades, but one hardly forgets certain things. On a visit to Cologne, meeting with some relatives, I went to the local MediaMarket (in Italy it’s called MediaWorld) in order to compare some local DigiCam prices with the Italian ones, I had in mind and found the FZ38 a very good value for 269.00 Euros. I, too, got a 16 GB class 2 Memory card for under 30 Euros
and started shooting, without really getting into the manual, and found out that the FZ38 is not oonly a very handy and lightweight camera, but is is, in many ways, a compliment, if not a valid substitution for heavyweight 6X9 Photogear to carry around, especially for B&W Panorama shots (using the software going with it, and, naturally, using a tripod, or even an ashtray, as a support. The only black point in this Panasonic-Leica marvel is the fact that one should buy an original Lumix Filter either UV or Pol, in order to screw it onto the lens and having the advantage to use the lens cover without having to unscrew it. Well the circular and very very good Lumix 46 Polarization-Filter cost me nearly a third of the whole camera cost! But I absolutely do not regret the expenses, hence the camera paid itself after a week. It is extremely versatile in architectural panorama photography because of its asymetric Leica lenses that that tend to reduce perspective fall-lines even in wide-angle mode. I’ve tested the video quality, too, although I’m only a 3D-Engineer who produces videos only using 3D-Software. The quality was thrilling in manual focus mode.

7:54 pm - Sunday, August 8, 2010

#237 Peter Biddlecombe

I’m a bit puzzled about the filters - I bought comparatively cheap Hama 46mm filters and although the Lumix ones might be better, these seem to do their job, and screw perfectly happily onto the lens, allowing use of the lens cover.  That said, I hardly ever bother with the UV one as a “protection” filter, because the combined effect of the lens cover and lens housing makes the risk of damage much less than it was with SLR lenses.

8:25 pm - Sunday, August 8, 2010

#238 John K.

Hello all,
i bought this camera about 2 months ago. I think there’s too much noise in the photos i shoot! Before buying it i’ve read the review and comments here (also in 2 other sites) and, from what i’ve read, the noise level isn’t that bad. I’m not a professional (maybe that’s why i think there’s too much noise) but when i take a shot and zoom in it (with the camera or with the pc) i can see noise like this foto:

I know this photo hasn’t been taken from with fz38. I only want to show you the noise level i get.
Is that normal? Same noise i get even with iso 80 and 100!
I don’t have photos right now but i’ll try to upload few later. Is there any possibility of defective camera like Linda’s?

ps: if i hadn’t read Linda’s post about defective camera, i think i wouldn’t have asked!

8:33 am - Monday, August 9, 2010

#239 Baz Rodgers

I have had a LOT of problems with this camera.
The autofocus will not work with any sort of filter fitted ...I have always used CPL and COKIN filters, and successfully do so on my Fuji and Canon cameras. The FZ38 just refuses to focus correctly.
Also, the manual focus is useless, with or without filters ... according to the viewfinder/rear screen, everything’s fine… not according to the recorded image. The camera has been back for repair ... no fault found (as you might expect)  Anybody else had these problems?

5:22 pm - Monday, August 9, 2010

#240 nas

how can we focus the lumix fz 35 on self timer mode? is der any remote control divice for that?

11:10 am - Sunday, August 15, 2010

#241 Peter Biddlecombe

I haven’t had the focusing problem with filters, but have only used screw-on 46mm filters.  I tried a Cokin attachment but it fouled the automatic withdrawal of the lens into its housing so I stopped using it. 

On the self-timer focusing, I think the best you can do is to choose the autofocus focusing area carefully - I believe autofocusing will continue until the shutter is released.

12:45 pm - Sunday, August 15, 2010

#242 Baz Rodgers

Thank you Peter .. I have now tried using a 46mm CPL, but the effect is the same. I would normally use a P COKIN holder onto a 77mm adaptor coupling on to an extension tube designed to allow full tele lens, whilst not causing vignetting at W/A.
It should be possible to circumvent any such auto-focusing problem by manually focusing, but, for some obscure reason, although one can set the focus in preview, it jumps to another setting during image capture. I am convinced that this camera is faulty, so have returned it, once more, to Panasonic’s Service agents ... we’ll see if they can fix it, otherwise, I shall be forced to return to my trusty, and faultless S3.
Meanwhile, can I ask you (if you have time) to try full zoom, then manually focus on infinity (as reported in the viewfinder), shoot a distant object, and send me the resulting image at full rez ... I just cannot believe that a 12mp Panachronic camera can produce such poor images.

7:53 am - Monday, August 16, 2010

#243 Peter Biddlecombe

Baz: I can do many things, but I can’t guess your e-mail address.

9:33 am - Monday, August 16, 2010

#244 Baz Rodgers

Peter ... if you wish, please reply to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

6:46 pm - Monday, August 16, 2010

#245 Baz Rodgers

Okay Peter, or anyone else !! Please try your FZ38 in manual focus mode, focused at infinity, and set camera to maximum quality and picture size. Go to maximum zoom, and photograph something a long way away. Is it out of focus? (quite obvious from any other blurring effect). Next, again at max zoom, try manually focusing on something distant, and check the result. If you find a problem with this,OR a focus problem caused by CPL or other filters, please let me know at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

6:23 am - Thursday, August 19, 2010

#246 Peter Biddlecombe

I just tried using manual focus for a distant object - trees on the skyline, 150-250 m away.  Using manual focus set to infinity on full zoom got me a blurred picture, but using the manual focus more intelligently (with the Q.MENU button) and setting it a notch or two closer than infinity got me a good picture.  My conclusion is that with a roughly 500mm lens, depth of field is tiny (but that was true when I had that kind of lens attached to a film camera too - distances that amounted to infinity with a standard lens were suddenly just that bit less than infinity).  So I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the camera.  [Unless there is some really compelling reason for using manual focus, I would always stick to Autofocus when using this camera.]

12:11 pm - Thursday, August 19, 2010

#247 edz27

hi im in the usual"what super zoom dilema"my daughter is into horses show jumping ect,so am wondering if the fz38 is a good camera for this sport,cheers edz

3:18 pm - Thursday, August 19, 2010

#248 Baz Rodgers

Thanks Peter ... as an ex-pro of over 45 years, I have naturally explored using the manual focus intelligently!! ... My original point about the auto-focus on MY camera, is that it produces fine results UNLESS any filter is juxtaposed twixt my camera and subject. In these circumstances, the normal procedure would be to manually focus. Again, on my FZ38, the image produced in the VF or back screen may show a sharp focus as far as it goes, but taken image is not correctly focused.
I say again, I have no problem with my Fuji, Sony or Canon cameras of similar ilk, under similar circumstances ... otherwise I would readily criticise myself for expecting a quart out of a pint pot. Thanks for your trouble though ... my problem is, I guess, a pro background using Angénieux lenses ... the camera is so good in most other respects, one tends to imagine it is all things to all people. I’ll close this thread now ... thanks again

5:45 pm - Thursday, August 19, 2010

#249 Miguel

This early post:

“I just want to confirm the difference between the “FZ35” and the “FZ38”. If I’m correct, the “FZ38” is for the European market where video redording is restricted to 29mins 59secs, and the “FZ35” doesn’t have this recording restriction on it.”

My question is:
How can I make my FZ38 work like a FZ35?
Is any “jailbreak” out there?

3:58 pm - Friday, August 20, 2010

#250 Lazy Lens

Not to cause yet another filtered vs. bare lens war, but I maintain that the “protective” UV filters are not necessary and in fact can be counterproductive, for the following reasons:

1. These lenses already have UV coating on them, at the precise level deemed necessary by the manufacturer for the specific camera they’re used on.

2. The coating on these lenses is very tough.  My FZ28 (same lens as FZ35) dropped on an untightened tripod platform (yes, it was a foolish mistake due to being in a hurry), causing the lens to impact an axis adjustment knob on the tripod, right in the center of the lens.  I nearly fainted, but careful examination at 8x and 30x magnification revealed no damage whatsoever.  Nor was the lens mechanism affected.

3. Filters can cause flaring.  This is true, though to a lesser degree, even with quality, double-sided MC filters.

4. Filters can, and usually do by design, reduce the amount of light entering the lens, thereby adversely affecting the camera’s performance and characteristics.

5. Clear/UV, protective filters have been known to shatter upon harsh impact, with shards folding inward and scarring the lens.  The filter ends up doing as much, if not more, damage than the offending object might have done to a bare lens.

If you’re worried about dust or dirt damaging your FZ lens, I suggest that this would only be a problem in truly severe environments, such as a sandstorm.  The vast majority of users won’t be troubled by dust/dirt in everyday usage, nor will repeated cleanings damage the lens (I’ve cleaned mine many many times and have yet to notice any wear under 30x magnification).
If you’re careful, you won’t likely allow a sharp object to impact your lens, either—the tripod knob was smooth at the impact point of my lens, so I was fortunate and have been much more careful since.

Obviously, the above is an argument directed solely against the so-called “protective” filters.  Other types of filters are, of course, required to achieve certain, desirable effects.

4:59 pm - Friday, August 20, 2010

#251 paolo

Hi Lazy Lens Im an amatuer in photografy, but i want to buy a good camera, i do like FZ38 and G10 what would you Suggest. Thanks.

12:23 pm - Sunday, August 22, 2010

#252 Peter Biddlecombe


The FZ38 and its successors the FZ45 and FZ100 are one-off purchases - if their image quality and range of focal lengths will suit you for the long term, they’re very good cameras. (In theory you can get a telephoto converter to extend the long end of the focal length range, but not many people seem to do this.

The G10 is similar to an SLR - it comes with a lens giving you a far smaller range of focal lengths, and you add other lenses to get the rangle of focal lengths you want.  I’m sure the G10 will take better pictures, but to get the same lens range as the Fx38 you’ll end up spending at least twice as much and carrying a much heavier bag.

Enough already: the real message here is that you need to understand the cameras well before you choose one.  Other people cannot tell you which is right for you, because they don’t know what you want to do.  Next step: reading lots of review websites, or getting an introductory book on digital photography.

1:26 pm - Sunday, August 22, 2010

#253 Lazy Lens


The proper choice really does depend on how you will be using the camera, as well as your specific needs in various situations, as Peter suggests.

Different cameras have their own unique qualities that can either enhance or detract from their usefulness, depending on the style or subject matter to be photographed.

I did quite a lot of research prior to purchasing my FZ28 and determined it fit my needs better than other options on the market at the time.

I’m not impressed with the new FZ45, as it doesn’t offer features I was hoping to see on the FZ35 successor.  It would be interesting to see how much more noise is introduced by the extra 4MP and how well it performs at its higher zoom, but I probably won’t be purchasing this camera, at least not until there’s a sharp drop in price.

My best advice is to visit the various manufacturer websites, read the specs of the models you’re interested in AND read the pdf manuals.  I had read the complete FZ28 manual prior to ordering it, just to ensure it did everything I would need it to do.
Don’t bother calling Panasonic tech support.  I received info which contradicted what was in Panasonic’s own manual—as well as my own experience after purchase—so you simply cannot trust Panasonic tech support to know what they’re talking about.

4:09 pm - Sunday, August 22, 2010

#254 paolo

Thanks a lot guys!!!

6:20 pm - Sunday, August 22, 2010

#255 sam

Hi, now that Panasonic has released FZ40 and FZ100, I want to ask how long will the FZ35 be in market? I have seen that once a camera is discontinued, its prices shoot up to ridiculous levels on sites like amazon, ebay.

I ask this because I will be buying my camera in late October and I am concerned if the FZ35 will be discontinued by then. Can anyone, based on previous trends, comment upon the expected time frame for FZ35 to remain in market? Much thanks in advance.

8:25 pm - Saturday, August 28, 2010

#256 Elvis

Anyone can you tell me if FZ 100 is better then the fz 38. i would like soon to get one of these two but i am still not able to decide which is better in quality of picture and video. thanks for the help!

12:51 pm - Wednesday, September 1, 2010

#257 stella

What is the difference between a panasonic lumix dmc-FZ38 and a TZ38?

12:38 am - Tuesday, September 28, 2010

#258 Peter Biddlecombe

Difference: one exists and the other doesn’t.  If you meant the TZ8, search for each one on the Panasonic website to see the differences.

6:59 am - Tuesday, September 28, 2010

#259 Tim


I decided on the FZ38 over the FZ45 purely down to the price - its currently only £219 at which after a bit of research I think is a bit of a bargain. I also considered the Canon SX20, but was put off by the fact it uses AA batteries. SX30 looked good, but at £360 a bit too expensive for my needs (step up from compact).

Can’t find the FZ38 cheaper anywhere else, including ebay. The price may come down at Christmas, but I’d get one at this price while you can!

12:17 pm - Wednesday, October 27, 2010

#260 Tony

BTW guys it states on the first page of this review that this camera does not have an optical viewfinder, well it does, an easy mistake I suppose when you do a lot of Copy and Paste.

8:05 pm - Saturday, October 30, 2010

#261 Ravvy

Fantastic camera!!!! Im using it for more than 1 year and the QUALITY I get is amazing.

11:17 pm - Wednesday, November 10, 2010

#262 Johnny

Hey Tony :)

There is no OPTICAL viewfinder…
It is an ELECTRONIC viewfinder(EVF), so the review is right :)

1:14 pm - Tuesday, November 16, 2010

#263 harty52

lost the lens cap at the British moto GP at silverstone can any one please advise where i may purchase a replacement

6:01 pm - Sunday, December 5, 2010

#264 Sal Bifulco

Can you tell me if the video shot with the FZ 38 can be transferred to the IMAC and iphoto, or do I have to use other software?

1:26 am - Saturday, December 11, 2010

#265 sandr

does anyone know of a fault with the panasonic fz38 and the flash cover and camera casing melting. I have owned this camera for 5 months and it has developed this fault!

10:22 pm - Tuesday, December 14, 2010

#266 William

Just bought a panasonic fz35 on ebay.  Took pictures in a community hall at night.  It was well lit but pictures turned out really noisy.  Was very disappointed.  Used a class 4 SDHC card.  Could it be that I need a higher class card to get rid of the noise???  Pictures taken inside living room at night were also quite noisy.  This is supposed to be a good camera so what am I doing wrong.  PS most pictures were take on automatic but some on P with max ISO set at 400

4:50 pm - Tuesday, December 21, 2010

#267 stephen B.

can you advise me the best setting for taking pictures of aircraft.

10:16 pm - Sunday, January 23, 2011

#268 Start Photography

another my wanted panasonic camera..
it’s very crunchy :D
thanks for reviewing

4:22 pm - Tuesday, February 15, 2011

#269 traveloggers

I have been using my Lumix Fz35 for a year now, n its simply amazing.. even in low lights. check out my pictures clicked in a music festival in low lights at night.

8:18 pm - Monday, June 13, 2011

#270 Nick (Romania)

Hi, guys!

I want to know wich are the difference between FZ38 and Fuji S3400 ??... I mean - the difference is big ?... I want to buy one of them and I don’t know wich. I wait an reply from somebody who knows thid kinf of stuff. The camera I will used on my work, I am journalist.

3:14 pm - Monday, August 15, 2011

#271 Dean

The ISO on this camera is CRAP! Anything higher than 80 ISO is unusable!

11:13 pm - Wednesday, October 26, 2011

#272 Compact Fluorescent

I think the things you covered through the post are quiet impressive, good job and great efforts. I found it very interesting and enjoyed reading all of it…keep it up, lovely job..

8:38 am - Monday, December 19, 2011

#273 Compact Fluorescent

Thanks for providing such useful information. I really appreciate your professional approach. I would like to thank you for the efforts you made in writing this post. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well.

8:41 am - Monday, December 26, 2011

#274 Jim Cary

nice but i rather prefer the sony HX100V

1:16 am - Friday, February 10, 2012

#275 led lighting

nice camera but i rather have the Sony HX100V

1:22 am - Friday, February 10, 2012

#276 george

the price of 499 for this bridge camera is very very high i bought it new for 200€ near 2 years ago, the video it makes is wonderful but the photos are very poor both in and outdoor ,i have a digital reflex canon d450 there is a very big difference of the photos from canon d450 and the lumix fz38 i use the fz38 only for making videos for making photo i prefer much more the d450 it produces really very nice photos,however im not sorry at all of buying the fz38 i needed a video camera and so this fz38 for me is much more like a wideo camera than a photo camera this is my opinion.

6:23 am - Friday, February 10, 2012

#277 led lighting

This is one of the most incredible blogs Ive read in a very long time. The amount of information in here is stunning, like you practically wrote the book on the subject. Your blog is great for anyone who wants to understand this subject more. Great stuff; please keep it up!

9:46 am - Saturday, February 11, 2012

#278 Sam

Hi !!! Do you know if there is a software (PC or Mac) that recognizes the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ38 as external camera device ?
So that I can use the computer screen to see what I’m filming.

7:55 am - Friday, March 23, 2012

#279 stephen butler

i would like to know the settings which it would be best for taking pictures of aircraft, i’ve been taking them in sport mode but the pictures are not good qualiy, could it possibly be something to do with the other settings i.e. picture quality, 9m,6m. currently on 9m.

9:02 pm - Tuesday, July 3, 2012

#280 MiCHEL

When I take the memory card out, I immediately get the message “built in memory full”. How can I clear it? Thank you.

2:39 pm - Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Entry Tags

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

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