Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ40 Review

December 7, 2015 | Amy Davies | |
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Image Quality

If you’re only going to be using the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ40 in good, bright light, such as while on holiday, then you’ll probably be pleased with its results. In those kind of conditions, colours are bright and punchy, showing a good level of vibrance and saturation.

However, if you intend to shoot anything in even slightly dim light, then it’s a bit of a different story. From ISO 800, image smoothing is visible, with areas of the image displaying a slight painterly effect. Move up to ISO 1600 and there’s quite a drastic drop in image clarity, even when viewing an image at relatively small sizes.

Another problem is with a relatively limited top sensitivity speed of ISO 1600, and a maximum aperture (at the wide angle end of the lens) of f/3.5, in dim conditions it’s difficult to take a blur free image as slower shutter speeds are required to let the light in.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ40’s zoom lens is fairly impressive. For the price, you get a decent zoom range, and images taken at the far end of the 42x telephoto optic display the same amount of detail and clarity as those taken at the wide angle end of the lens.

Automatic white balance copes well with artificial lighting conditions, producing images with accurate colours. Meanwhile, for the most part, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ40’s metering system does a decent job of producing accurate exposures.

Noise

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ40 has 5 ISO settings. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting.

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

iso100.jpg iso200.jpg
   

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

iso400.jpg iso800.jpg
   

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

 
iso1600.jpg  

Focal Range

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ40 offers an incredibly versatile focal range of 22-924mm.

22mm

924mm

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 at the default setting are soft and benefit from some further sharpening in a program like Adobe Photoshop.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

sharpness1.jpg sharpness1a.jpg
   
sharpness2.jpg sharpness2a.jpg

Chromatic Aberrations

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ40 suffered from obvious chromatic aberrations during the review, with purple fringing present around the edges of objects in most high-contrast situations. Here are some 100% crops which show the typical chromatic aberrations that you can expect.

Chromatic Aberrations 1 (100% Crop)

Chromatic Aberrations 2 (100% Crop)

chromatic1.jpg chromatic2.jpg

Macro

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ40 offers a Macro setting that allows you to focus on a subject that is 1cm away from the camera. The first image shows how close you can get to the subject in Macro mode (in this case a compact flash card). The second image is a 100% crop.

Macro

Macro (100% Crop)

macro1.jpg macro1a.jpg

Flash

Here are some portrait shots. As you can see, neither the Auto and Red-Eye Reduction options 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-LZ40 maximum shutter speed is 60 seconds in the Starry Sky Mode, which is excellent news if you're interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 15 seconds, aperture of f/8.6 at ISO 1000.

Night

Night (100% Crop)

night1.jpg night1a.jpg