Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ48 Review
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ48 (also known as the DMC-FZ47) is a new super-zoom camera featuring a wide-angle 24x zoom lens and 12 megapixel CCD image sensor. Successor to the year-old FZ45 model, the bridge-style Panasonic FZ48 compact also offers a 3-inch, 460K-pixel LCD screen, 1080p Full HD movie recording in AVCHD format at 25fps, Venus Engine FHD processing engine, Intelligent Resolution technology, 3.7fps burst shooting, 3D stills, a range of creative effects and a built-in stereo microphone. The FZ48 retains the Power O.I.S anti-shake system (now with Active mode), Intelligent Auto mode, manual shooting modes and highest sensitivity of ISO 1600 from its predecessor. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ48 is available in black and retails for £329.99 / $399.99.
Ease of Use
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ48 shares a lot in common in terms of its external design with its predecessor, the FZ45, with a few key improvements that make an already very capable camera even better. The FZ48 looks to all intents and purposes just like a proper DSLR camera, albeit one with a fixed lens and an electronic viewfinder. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ48 is dominated by the non-interchangeable 24x zoom lens that provides an incredibly versatile focal range of 25-600mm. While this isn't quite as big as the class-leading 36x zoom of the Olympus SP-810UZ, in real-world use it provides enough width and enough reach to satisfy most photographer's needs.
Panasonic's effective Power O.I.S (Optical Image Stabilization) is on-board to help combat any unwanted camera shake, although you'll still need to use either a fast shutter speed or a tripod at the telephoto end of that massive zoom. When shooting video, Active Mode is automatically added to the POWER O.I.S. system. This compensates for the extra blur that can occur when you're walking and shooting video at the same time. The lens' maximum apertures of F/2.8 at 25mm and F/5.2 at 600mm are pretty good for this class of camera. A stubby barrel with chrome detailing encases and protects the optic when not in use. Note that the lens extends by 6cms when it's fully zoomed and the camera measures almost 15cms in depth, making it quite conspicuous. To help avoid unwanted flare and ghosting, the lens now has a special Nano Surface coating, and a detachable lens hood is supplied in the box. There's also a clip-on lens cap that you can attach via a thread to one of the available catches for a shoulder strap.
In being dominated by that big lens, the front of the FZ48 is very sparse looking, save for a lamp for the AF assist light/self timer to the left of the lens (if viewed head on). A good-sized hand-grip with tactile, leather-effect detailing houses the battery pack in its base. It's good to see a chunky lithium-ion rechargeable battery fitted as standard when some bridge models seem to think that four standard-quality AAs will suffice to get you going out of the box. Above the lens is a swift access pop up flash with a dedicated activation button sitting just behind it at the rear, but there's no hot shoe as on the FZ100. The flash coverage is the same as the FZ45, offering a maximum range of 9.5m at wide-angle. On top of the pop-up flash is a very useful built-in stereo microphone which is retained from the FZ45.
While this is not a camera for slipping into a pocket by any means, measuring 120.3 x 79.8 x 91.9 mm (slightly smaller than the FZ100) and being more at home in a small shoulder bag, the all-plastic Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ48 certainly feels like it could withstand the odd knock and scrape of daily life. The camera feels solid and rugged in the palm, while at the same time portably lightweight at just under 500g – a slightly contradictory sounding summation that translates as build quality being 'just as it should be'. It's also pleasing also to find a viewfinder – here electronic (EVF) – which is 0.20" in size, offers 100% field of view and 201K dots, although disappointing that it doesn't improve in any way on the FZ45's viewfinder. There's also a prominent eye relief that juts out clear of the LCD so that you don't automatically smear your nose all over the monitor when you put your eye close to it. A dioptre adjustment wheel is immediately adjacent, enabling the short sighted to use it without clashing spectacles.
Moving to the top of the FZ48, controls start to get a little busier, but not overwhelmingly so. Here you find a comprehensively featured black mode wheel with 14 shooting options. This demonstrates a nice firm action as you twist it around to your chosen setting, and a definite click as you line up each. Ranged around the wheel are the usual suspects of program, aperture priority, shutter priority and manual modes, movie mode, scene modes, night scene, sports, landscape, portrait, plus one for attributing your own custom settings, and Panasonic's much talked about and copied Intelligent Auto Mode.
Panasonic have tried to make things as easy as possible for the complete beginner by providing this shooting mode, which allows you to point and shoot the camera without having to worry about choosing the right mode or settings. Intelligent Auto Mode automatically determines a number of key criteria when taking a picture, including selecting the most appropriate scene mode (from 5 commonly used presets) and ISO speed, and turning face detection (up to 15 faces, even sideways on), image stabilization and quick auto-focus on. The Intelligent Auto Mode includes Intelligent Exposure, which increases exposure only in the under-exposed areas of the image, Digital Red-eye, which automatically detects and removes red-eye, and AF Tracking, which continually tracks a moving subject and keeps it in focus, without you having to hold the shutter button halfway down as on most other cameras.
Face Recognition is a fun and genuinely useful new feature which "remembers" up to 6 registered faces and then always prioritizes the focus and exposure for that person in future pictures. Very useful for group shots where you want your loved ones to be the centre of attention. You can specify the age of the registered subject, stamp the age of the subject onto your photos, change the focus icon for a particular person, and playback only the photos that contain a certain face. The camera will even automatically switch to Baby mode if someone registered as less than 3 years old appears in the frame!
The Motion Deblur mode is an automatic combination of Intelligent ISO Control and Intelligent Exposure. The former automatically adjusts ISO setting and shutter speed according to the subject’s movement while the latter optimizes the exposure. The camera then sets the appropriate shutter speed to keep the subject sharp, raising the ISO speed if necessary. Three different Colour Effects are available in iA mode, including the rather curious Happy mode, which optimizes color, saturation and brightness to make both photos and movies more vivid. Note that the camera's Intelligent Resolution technology is always activated in the iA mode. This makes a standard image look like a higher resolution one by processing the contour areas, texture areas and smooth areas individually, and it also digitally boosts the zoom magnification from 24x to 32x.
In practice the Intelligent Auto Mode system works very well, with the camera seamlessly choosing the most appropriate combination of settings for the current situation. The 6 available scene modes are Macro, Portrait, Scenery, Night Portrait, Night Scenery and Sunset, so obviously not all situations are covered by Intelligent Auto Mode, but it does work for the majority of the time. It makes it possible for the less experienced photographer to easily take well-exposed, sharp pictures of people, scenery and close-ups by simply pointing and shooting the camera. In addition to Intelligent Auto, also catering for the beginner are a total of 22 scene modes.
Intelligent Resolution performs two main functions - it 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 32x with minimal loss of quality and no reduction in resolution. In both cases, it's easy tell which image was taken with Intelligent Resolution turned on and which ones with it turned off, particularly if viewing onscreen at 100% magnification, as our test shots on the Image Quality page show. The difference isn't quite so apparent on a print up to A3 in size, but I'm not convinced enough to recommend it except when you really need the extra reach - it undoubtedly improves on the digital zoom, but not so much that I'd regularly use it.
Also worthy of mention are the white-balance options. As well as the usual range of presets and Auto options, you can set the camera using two measured white balance settings, providing useful shortcuts if you commonly shoot in mixed lighting conditions not covered by the presets. In addition, the Colour Temperature option allows you to dial-in an exact Kelvin value - you effectively get a white-balance preview via the LCD screen.
The useful Motion Picture button is found on top of the FZ48, a logical position that can be easily operated with your forefinger while holding the camera at eye-level. As you'd expect, it allows you to start recording a movie with a single push of a button, and then stop recording by pressing the same button, regardless of which shooting mode is currently selected. This is much quicker and more intuitive than having to select the movie mode then press the shutter button, as on most cameras.
The FZ48 can now record full 1080i video at 1920x1080 pixels or 1280x720 at 30/25fps in the AVCHD format, or 1920x1080, 1280x720, or 640x480 at 30/25fps in the space-saving MP4 format. AVCHD features almost double the recording time in HD quality compared with Motion JPEG, but software support is currently a bit thin on the ground. Panasonic describe it as the best mode for playing back on a HD TV direct from the camera, and MP4 best for email and playing on a computer.
The Creative Movie shooting mode allows you to set the shutter speed, aperture or both settings manually during recording (a Program option is also available). Changing the shutter speed is especially suitable for shooting fast-moving subjects, whilst the ability to control the aperture is convenient when there are several subjects at different distances. In practice this system works well, allowing some really creative effects, but there are a couple of major drawbacks. Firstly the operating sound of the control dial is very audible in the movie, so you'll need to edit the soundtrack later to remove it. Secondly, you can't set the shutter speed to below 1/30 seconds, instantly ruling out more creative slow shutter-speed effects.
The Panasonic FZ48's Intelligent Auto mode also works in movies as well as for still photos. Simply select iA on the mode dial and press the Motion Picture button. The Intelligent Scene Selector automatically determines the most suitable Scene mode from Normal, Portrait, Macro, Scenery, and Low Light, Face Detection automatically detects a face in the frame and adjusts the focus, exposure, contrast, and skin complexion, Intelligent Exposure continually checks the ambient light level and adjusts the exposure setting as conditions change to prevent blown highlights and blocked shadows, and the POWER O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer) and Motion Deblur mode help prevent blurring from hand-shake when using the zoom lens.
Stereo sound is recorded during video capture via the large internal mic on top of the camera, which is a big improvement on the rather muffled noises recorded by most digital cameras, helped by the automatic wind cut function which blocks out most of the noise from background wind. The HDMI port allows you to connect the FZ48 to a high-def TV set, but only if you purchase the optional HDMI mini-cable. You can simultaneously take still images while recording movies, although only at a reduced resolution of 3.5-megapixels, while the Video Divide function divides the video into two sections to shorten or delete them in-camera.
You can use the zoom lens during recording and really make the most of that versatile 25-600mm focal range, although the zoom speed is unfortunately much slower than for still images and you can hear the zoom mechanism during recording. On the negative side, you'll find that if you choose continuous auto-focus, areas of the video will be blurred before becoming sharp again as the camera tries to refocus. On a more positive note, the the FZ48 is quite fast at re-focusing, and having this system is much better than not being able to auto-focus at all. Hand-holding the FZ48 during movie recording inevitably leads to obvious shake, despite the optical image stabilizer, so for best results you'll need a dedicated video tripod.
Adjacent to the shooting mode wheel is an Off/On slider switch. Flick this to On and the camera powers up in just over 1 second, the rear LCD bursting into life and that zoom extending to maximum wide angle setting, slightly proud of its protective barrel. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ48's auto-focus system is even faster to determine focus than the already speedy FZ45, and there's no shutter delay to speak of when you take a shot, with full 12 megapixel resolution JPEGs committed to memory in a second. Just in front of this is a dedicated Focus button that lets you set the focus point anywhere in the frame – useful should you be shooting for example in anything other than Intelligent Auto mode. Located on the the slope that forms the top of the camera grip is the main shutter button. Springy to the touch, this is encircled by a lever for operating the zoom, the action of which is impressively smooth and mechanically quiet.
The FZ48's new hi-speed CCD image sensor means that continuous shooting speeds are pretty good for this class of camera. You can take 3.7 frames per second for up to 7 images in the highest quality Fine Mode, although this still compares quite badly to the more expensive FZ100's headline-grabbing 11fps rate. Faster rates of 7fps (image priority) and 10fps (speed priority) are available, albeit at a reduced resolution of 3 megapixels. Disappointingly support for RAW images has been completely dropped from the FZ48, now a feature reserved for the range-topping FZ100.
As with all current Panasonic models, the FZ48 has an anti-shake system, on this model the Power O.I.S. variant. Turn it on via the Stabilizer option in the main menu and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ48 automatically compensates for camera shake, which is a slight blurring of the image that typically occurs at slow shutter speeds when the camera is hand held. There are three different modes, Mode 1 is on all the time including image composition, Mode 2 is only on when you press the shutter button, and there's also an Auto mode. In practice I found that it does make a noticeable difference, as shown in the examples on the Image Quality page. You don't notice that the camera is actually doing anything different when anti-shake is turned on, just that you can use slower shutter speeds than normal and still take sharp photos. The camera manages 400 shots using the supplied rechargeable Li-ion battery, on par with the FZ100 but significantly reduced from the 550 shot life of the FZ45.
The High Sensitivity mode also helps combat the effects of camera shake. When this scene mode is selected, the camera automatically raises the ISO speed from 1600 up to a maximum of 6400 and therefore allows for a faster shutter speed. This mode allows you to handhold the DMC-FZ48 without using the flash and get more natural results, whilst at the same time freezing subject movement more successfully. There are some obvious drawbacks with this special scene mode, principally a significant reduction in resolution to a maximum of 3 megapixels in the 4:3 aspect ratio, and the Quality is also set the the lowest level. The user guide states that "you can take pictures suitable for 4x6 inch printing" using the High Sensitivity mode. You also need to select the right scene mode and therefore have some idea about when it is applicable to your subject.
The Intelligent ISO menu option is the third way in which the DMC-FZ48 attempts to avoid subject blur in low-light conditions. The camera automatically sets the appropriate shutter speed AND ISO speed for the subject that you are taking pictures of. So if you're taking shots of a child indoors, the DMC-FZ48 automatically raises the ISO and in turn the shutter speed to avoid blurring the child's movement. If the subject is still, then the camera chooses a lower sensitivity and slower shutter speed. It's a clever idea that works well in practice, with the camera generally choosing an appropriate combination of shutter and ISO speed. You can also limit the maximum ISO speed that the camera can choose, which I'd strongly advise, as the fastest available setting of ISO 1600 produces very noisy images - ISO 800 is a better choice.
|Memory Card Slot
New to the DMC-FZ48 is the 3D Mode option. When selected, the camera instructs you to pan 10cms from left to right, during which it takes 20 consecutive shots at high-speed, another benefit of the high-speed sensor. It then automatically selects the best 2 shots from the sequence to create a 3D image. You can only view the results on a 3D TV (the FZ48 records standard MPO files), and although it isn't as effective as images taken with Panasonic's 3D Micro Four Thirds lens or the Fujifilm 3D W3, for example, it does create quite a convincing effect which particularly suits subjects that are close-up to the camera.
Moving to the rear of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ48, the left-hand side is dominated by the 3.0-inch, 460,000-dot fixed LCD screen, an improvement on the FZ45's lower resolution 230K dot LCD. The new screen is bright and clear as a means of composition whether shooting inside or out, and if visibility does suffer in sunlight there's the option to switch to the electronic viewfinder via the dual EVF/LCD button on the camera's rear, though 90% of the time the LCD was my preferred method of composition.
Above the LCD screen and to the right of the viewfinder, just like you'd find on a budget DSLR, is the aforementioned EVF/LCD and a useful AF/AE lock button. Alongside and falling naturally under your right thumb is a very welcome rear control dial for easily changing the aperture and shutter speed. Depending on which shooting mode is currently selected, this dial can also be pressed in to switch to setting the exposure compensation.
Beneath the control dial is the AF/AF Macro/MF button. When MF is selected the focus range can be manually set between 1ft and infinity with the central portion of the frame enlarged so sharpness can be more accurately determined. Underneath that is the Display button. A quick press either activates or deactivates the number of shooting settings displayed on screen, calls up a live histogram alongside them or displays a nine zone compositional grid for those experimenting with the Rule of Thirds. Next to this is a self-explanatory Playback button, and underneath a familiar four-way control pad that you'd expect to find on most digital cameras.
At its heart is a Menu/Set button, for calling up the user-friendly if uninspired looking regular menus on the LCD screen. The menus comprise three separate folders; the first for shooting/playback options – dramatically pared down if you're using Intelligent Auto mode – the second for Motion Picture options and the third for the generic set up menu. A subsequent press when you've located the various options goes on to effect any changes, which are quick and precise. Ranged around this central menu/set button are four pads. Although these are used for tabbing through menu options or captured images, press them when in capture mode (and you haven't summoned up a menu) and, starting from the top, you find an exposure compensation button, one for accessing the ISO speed, a third for the Function option, which can be configured to activate one of seven key settings, while the fourth provides access to the self timer options.
Underneath the four-way control pad is a combined Quick Menu / Delete button. This opens a pull down Quick Menu containing a smattering of useful settings appears on screen to save you having to delve into the main menus for similar. This enables on-the-fly access to an Aladdin's cave of options, including the likes of film mode, flash modes, metering (spot, centre weighted and average), auto focus areas (or opt for face detection mode), white balance, aspect ratio, image resolution and image quality, movie recording quality and LCD mode. Like other Panasonic Lumix compacts you get the choice here to brighten the overall display ('power LCD' mode) or opt for the more useful high-angle setting, which aids screen visibility when you're holding the camera at arm's length for a shot over the heads of a crowd. The same button is also marked with the familiar trashcan icon for deleting unwanted shots quickly.
At the base of the FZ48 we find a metal screw thread for a tripod, alongside which is a sliding compartment that houses both the chunky rechargeable battery – necessarily providing a good long life as there's no optical viewfinder to fall back on as a power saver – and a slot for an optional SD / SDHC card. The right hand side of the camera has a slot for threading through a strap, as does the left, which also houses an AV out / Digital port and an HDMI socket for connecting the FZ48 to a HD television or monitor. Unfortunately, Panasonic have decided to cut costs and not include either a component or HDMI cable as standard in the box, which means that you'll have to purchase one separately to take advantage of this camera's HD connectivity.
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-FZ48 produced images of very good quality during the review period. The 1/2.33 inch, 12 megapixel CCD sensor used in the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ48 produces noise-free images at ISO 100-200, with limited noise and colour desaturation starting to appear at ISO 400. ISO 800 exhibits quite visible noise, smearing of fine detail and colour desaturation, and ISO 1600 is even noisier, although still usable for small prints.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ48 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 1 cm 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 32x, again with a slight loss in quality. The various Creative Controls and Photo Styles allow you to quickly and easily customise the look of the camera's JPEG images.
There are 6 ISO settings available on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ48. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting:
ISO 100 (100% Crop)
ISO 200 (100% Crop)
ISO 400 (100% Crop)
ISO 800 (100% Crop)
ISO 1600 (100% Crop)
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ48's 24x zoom lens provides a focal length of 25-600mm in 35mm terms, as demonstrated below.
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)
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ48 has 2 different 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 (5.04Mb) (100% Crop)
|12M Normal (3.03Mb) (100% Crop)
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ48 handled chromatic aberrations excellently during the review. There's very slight purple fringing between areas of high contrast, but it's only noticeable on really close inspection, as shown in the examples below.
Example 1 (100% Crop)
Example 2 (100% Crop)
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ48 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.
The flash settings on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ48 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)
Flash Off - Telephoto (600mm)
Flash On - Telephoto (600mm)
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 (100% Crop)
Auto/Red-eye Reduction (100% Crop)
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ48'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. I've included a 100% crop of the image to show what the quality is like.
Night Shot (100% Crop)
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ48 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)
|1/13th / 25mm
|1/10th / 600mm
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 32x.
Off (100% Crop)
On (100% Crop)
Intelligent Dynamic Range
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ48'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.
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.
The Panasonic FZ48 has an expanded range of Creative Controls, denoted by an artist's palette on the shooting mode dial, with 8 different options on offer.
This is a selection of sample images from the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ48 camera, which were all taken using the 12 megapixel Fine JPEG setting. The thumbnails below link to the full-sized versions, which have not been altered in any way.
Sample Movie & Video
Front of the Camera
Front of the Camera / Turned On
Front of the Camera / Flash Raised
Rear of the Camera
Rear of the Camera / Image Displayed
Rear of the Camera / Turned On
|Rear of the Camera / Quick Menu
|Rear of the Camera / Main Menu
|Rear of the Camera / Function 2 Menu
|Top of the Camera
|Bottom of the Camera
|Side of the Camera
|Side of the Camera
|Front of the Camera
|Front of the Camera
|Memory Card Slot
At first glance the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ48 looks like a carbon copy of last year's FZ45 model, but underneath the hood there are some significant changes, most notably full 1080p movies, much faster burst shooting, higher-resolution screen and even snappier auto-focusing. The even more expensive FZ100 model still looks the better option, with its 11fps burst mode and free-angle screen, but the FZ48 has certainly narrowed the gap.
The capable FZ45 camera is a hard act to follow, but the FZ48 raises the bar principally by de-creasing the megapixel count in the interests of speeding up the operation, incorporating full HD movies, and thankfully increasing the resolution of the 3 inch LCD screen. Despite the more sensible megapixel count, though, the FZ48 still suffers from poor image quality at higher ISO speeds. Noise is apparent at ISO 400 but becomes much more obvious at ISO 800 along with smearing of fine details, with the fastest speed of ISO 1600 being something of a last resort.
This new model offers faster continuous shooting, with a respectable rate of 3.7fps, but the FZ100 does offer a blazingly fast rate of 11fps. We also still miss the FZ100's free-angle LCD screen, which allows for more creative composition, the external mic socket, and the flash hotshoe. Panasonic have also seen fit to quietly drop RAW format support from the FZ48, again something that will drive buyers either to the more expensive FZ100 or dare we say it a rival model.
Talking of money, the £329.99 / $399.95 launch price of the FZ48 / FZ47 is quite a lot to ask for what is essentially a fixed lens camera with a comparatively tiny image sensor, especially when more full-featured cameras like the FZ100 and Fujifilm Finepix HS20 are available for a little more outlay. Despite its few feature omissions and high price, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ48 remains an appealing super-zoom that has the speed, ease-of-use and image quality to more than satisfy anyone looking for an all-in-one, do-it-all camera.
|Ratings (out of 5)
|Value for money
Reviews of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ48 from around the web.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ47 is a 12 megapixels digital camera with an ultra-wide stabilized 24X optical zoom lens, equivalent to 25-600mm. This prosumer ultra-zoom uses a high-speed CCD with the ability to capture full 1080p video with stereo sound and shoot continuously at 3.7 FPS. It is ergonomically shaped like a miniature SLR and has plenty of external controls to access its expansive feature set.
Read the full review »
|Dimensions (W x H x D)
|120.3 x 79.8 x 91.9 mm / (4.74 x 3.14 x 3.62 inch)
|Approx. 454 g without Battery and SD Memory Card (1.00 lb) / Approx. 498 g with Battery and SD Memory Card (1.10 lb)
|Camera Effective Pixels
|Sensor Size / Total Pixels / Filter
|1/2.33-type CCD sensor / 12.5 Total Megapixels / Primary Color Filter
|F2.8 - 5.2 / Multistage Iris Diaphragm / (F2.8 - 8.0 (W) / F5.2- 8.0 (T))
|f= 4.5 - 108 mm (25 - 600 mm in 35 mm equiv.) / (28-670mm in 35mm equiv. in video recording)
|Extra Optical Zoom (EZ)
|29.4x (4:3 / 8M), 37.5x (4:3 / 5M), 46.9x (4:3 / under 3M)
|LEICA DC VARIO- ELMARIT / 14 elements in 10 groups / (2 Aspherical Lenses / 3 Aspherical Surfaces / 3 ED Lenses / 1 Nano Surface Coating Lens)
|Optical Image Stabilizer
|Power O.I.S. (On / Off / Active mode (Only for Motion Picture) )
|Normal: Wide 30 cm - infinity / Tele 200 cm - infinity / Macro / Intelligent AUTO / Motion Picture : Wide 1 cm - infinity / Tele 100 cm - infinity
|AF Assist Lamp
|Normal / AF Macro / Zoom Macro / Quick AF On/Off (On in Intelligent Auto), Continuous AF On/Off / Manual Focus (Jog Dial and cursor key button), One Push AF, AF Area Select, AF Tracking
|Face / AF Tracking / 23 pt / 1 pt (Flexible / Scalable)
|Still: 60 - 1/2000 sec / Video Mode : 1/30 - 1/20,000 sec (1/8 - 1/20,000 sec on MF Operation on Creative video Mode) / Starry Sky Mode : 15, 30, 60 sec
|0.20" Color EVF (201.6K Pixels equiv.), Field of View : approx. 100%, Lens 19.6x
|Digital Red Eye Correction (Red-Eye Removal)
|Still Image: JPEG (DCF / Exif2.3) / 3D Image: MPO / Motion picture: AVCHD, MP4
|Creative Control mode
|Expressive, Retro, High Key, Sepia, High Dynamic, Pin Hole, Film Grain, Miniature Effect
|Mode Dial / Mode Button
|Intelligent AUTO, P (Program) mode, A (Aperture Priority) mode, S (Shutter Priority) mode, M (Manual) mode, Creative Video mode, Creative Control mode, Portrait mode, Scenery mode, Sports mode, Night Portrait mode, Close- up mode, Scene mode, Custom
|Still Image Scene Mode
|Panorama Assist,Party, Candle Light, Baby1, Baby2, Pet, Sunset, High Sensitivity, / High-Speed Burst, Flash Burst, Panning, Starry Sky, Fireworks, Beach, Snow, Aerial Photo, Photo Frame, 3D Photo
|Motion Picture Recording (*2)
|[HD Video] 1920 x 1080 pixels, 50i (FSH: 17Mbps / AVCHD) (Sensor output is 25p) / 1280 x 720 pixels, 50p (SH: 17Mbps / AVCHD) (Sensor output is 25p) / 1920 x 1080 pixels, 25 fps (FHD: 20Mbps / MP4) (Sensor output is 25p) / 1280 x 720 pixels, 25 fps (HD: 10Mbps / MP4) (Sensor output is 25p) / [STD Video] VGA: 640 x 480 pixels, 25 fps (4Mbps / MP4)
|Continuous Shooting Mode
|Full- Resolution Image, 3.7 frames/sec Max. 7 images (Standard mode), Max 7 images (Fine Mode) / High- speed Burst Mode: approx. 7 frames/sec (image priority) / approx. 10 frames/sec (speed priority) / (recorded in 3M for 4:3, 2.5M for 3:2, 2M for 16:9, 2.5M for 1:1)
|AVCHD (Continuous recordable time [motion pictures])
|approx. 140 min (FSH), 160 min (SH)
|MP4 (Continuous recordable time [motion pictures])
|approx. 140 min (FHD)
|AVCHD (Actual recordable time [motion pictures])
|approx. 80 min (FSH), 90 min (SH)
|MP4 (Actual recordable time [motion pictures])
|approx. 80 min (FHD)
|Program AE, Aperture Priority AE, Shutter Priority AE, Manual, Program Shift (Program AE mode)
|1/3 EV step, +/- 3 EV
|Auto (AE) Bracketing
|+/- 1/3~1EV step, 3 frames
|Intelligent Multiple / Center Weighted / Spot
|Auto / i.ISO / 100 / 200 / 400 / 800 / 1600 / High Sensitivity mode (ISO 1600-6400)
|Still Picture Recording
|[1:1] 2992 x 2992 (9M EZ) / 2448 x 2448 (6M EZ) / 1920 x 1920 (3.5M EZ) / 1536x 1536 (2.5M EZ) / 480 x 480 (0.2M EZ) / [4:3] 4000 x 3000 (12M) / 3264 x 2448 (8M EZ) / 2560 x 1920 (5M EZ) / 2048 x 1536 (3M EZ) / 1600 x 1200 (2M EZ) / 640 x 480 (0.3M EZ) / [3:2] 4000 x 2672 (10.5M) / 3264 x 2176 (7M EZ) / 2560 x 1712 (4.5M EZ) / 2048 x 1360 (2.5M EZ) / 640 x 424 (0.3M EZ) / [16:9] 4000 x 2248 (9M) / 3264 x 1840 (6M EZ) / 2560 x 1440 (3.5M EZ) / 1920 x 1080 (2M EZ) / 640 x 360 (0.2M)
|Fine / Standard
|Auto / Daylight / Cloudy / Shade / Incandescent / Flash / White Set 1 / White Set 2 / Color Temperature / White Balance Adjustment (2-axis adjustable, ±9steps each, Blue/Amber and Magenta/Green bias)
|Standard, Vivid, Natural, Monochrome, Scenery, Portrait, Custom ?Color Effect (only in iA Mode) : Standard, Black & White, Sepia, Happy
|Contrast, Sharpness, Saturation, Noise Reduction
|Optical Zoom in Motion Picture
|2 sec / 10 sec / 10 sec [3 pictures]
|Normal Playback, Slideshow, Category Playback, Mode Playback, Favorites Playback, / 2D/3D Settngs
|Thumbnails / Zoomed Playback
|12,30- thumbnails / Yes
|Calendar Display / Dual-Image Playback
|Yes / No
|Set Favorites / Rotate Image
|Yes / No
|DPOF Print Setting / Set Protection
|Yes / Yes
|Resize / Trim / Aspect Conv. / Leveling
|Yes / Yes / No / Yes
|Copy / Title Edit / Text Stamp
|Yes / Yes / Yes
|Single / Multi / All / Favourites / DPOF
|Japanese, English, German, French, Italian, Spanish
|7.5cm(3.0") TFT Screen LCD Display (460K dots) / Field of View : approx. 100% Wide Viewing Angle / AUTO Power LCD mode, Power LCD mode
|Auto, Auto/Red- eye Reduction, Forced On, Forced On/Red- eye Reduction, / Slow Sync./Red- eye Reduction, Forced Off / Flash Synchro; 1st / 2nd / 0.3 - 9.5m (Wide/ISO Auto), 1.0 - 5.1m (Tele/ISO Auto)
|Built- in Memory, SD Memory Card, SDHC Memory Card, SDXC Memory Card
|Microphone / Speaker
|Stereo / Yes
|mini HDMI, AV Output, USB2.0 High speed
|Li- ion Battery Pack (7.2V, Minimum: 895mAh) (Included)
|Battery life (approx.)
|400 pictures (CIPA Standard)*1
|PHOTOfunSTUDIO 6.3HD Lite Edition / QuickTime / Adobe Reader
|Battery Charger, Battery Pack, AV Cable, USB Cable, AC Cable, Shoulder Strap, CD-ROM, Lens Hood, Lens Cap, Lens Cap String
|*1. / Recording conditions by CIPA standard / - CIPA is an abbreviation of [Camera & Imaging Products Association]. / - Temperature: 23 oC (73.4 oF)/Humidity: 50% when LCD monitor is on. / - Using a Panasonic SD Memory Card (32 MB). / - Using the supplied battery. / - St / *2. / - These are standard times taken at a temperature of 23 oC (73.4 oF) and a humidity of 50%. / - The time available for recording varies depending on the environment, the interval between recordings, and the manner of use. / - Actual recordable time is the tim / - Motion pictures can be recorded continuously for up to 29 minutes 59 seconds. / - Also, motion picture recorded continuously in [MP4] is up to 4 GB.