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Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ70 Review | Best Cameras for the Money

Photography is an art that requires the right equipment to get the best shots. These instruments can range from relatively cheap to quite expensive, depending on your camera choice. You should consider your experience level, the options available, and the price of the camera when choosing which is right for you. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-fz70 is a great choice for anyone looking to take great photographs.

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What is the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ70?

via: imaging-resource.com

There is a lot to like about the Panasonic Lumix brand. Because of their recent entry to the camera game, they have been able to push the limits of the available technologies. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ70 is a 16.1 megapixel DSLR-like bridge camera (a camera that has a long range zoom camera without interchangeable lenses.) The camera has many amazing features, but the main focus of this camera is its stunning 20-1200 mm F2.8-5.9 zoom lens with optical stabilization. This means that if you are looking to take a photograph from a very far distance, you can get the subject in view, so it takes up the entire frame while remaining stable and not bouncing up and down with minute muscle movements.

Product Specs

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ70s features don’t stop at the zoom and stabilization though. Even though the camera has great zoom features at up to 60x optical zoom, the 200K dot electronic view finder also helps get the subject into perfect alignment for more difficult shots. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ70 has many things to like about it, such as the 16MP – 1/2.3″ CMOS Sensor, the 9 fps continuous shooting, and the 1920×1080 video resolution. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ70 doesn’t focus on image quality alone. It also addresses sound, implementing Dolby quality sound recording which shuts out excess ambient noise for an enhanced audio quality.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ70 also shoots in raw, which is a larger file format, allowing for more data to be captured in any particular shot. You also get full manual control for those who want to have more control over minute settings, or if you want to shoot in that classic manual way. With its battery, the Lumix DMC-FZ70 can shoot up to 400 shots per charge.

Pricing

When it comes down to pricing, this is where many super-zoom cameras really show their colors, coming in at upwards of $500 at the cheapest. However, this Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ70 has a price of around $300. There are also deals you can find on this camera, like sales or buying one used, where you can find the camera for cheaper prices.

How it Compares

We picked a few similar products available on the market to see how they compare.     

  • Canon PowerShot SX60 HS
  • Nikon COOLPIX P610 Digital Camera with 60x Optical Zoom and Built-In Wi-Fi
  • Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-HX400V Wi-Fi Digital Camera

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ70

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PRICE

We found the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ70 on Amazon for around $300.

EASE OF USE

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ70 is an easy camera to use. Many point-and-shoots cameras hide features within the settings, and make it difficult to get what you want out of the camera. However, with the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ70 this is not an issue. We had no problem figuring out the settings. With the dial on the top panel being very clear and the simplified layout of the display on the back, this camera is simple and easy to use with a small learning curve.

PHYSICAL SPECS

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ70e has a solid build. With its hand grip and slightly heavy feel, you come away feeling as if you got a lot of bang for your buck. The lens is very nice overall although the sensor is noticeably small at 1/2.3 inch. This is necessary when it comes down to the zoom. You can only get such a zoom with a smaller sensor, so there are drawbacks for the specs you get.

DESIGN QUALITY

The shape of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ70 is a classic DSLR design, which many photographers seem to like. The camera also has a long lens, which is adjustable through automatic zooming for ultra distance photography.  The camera has a spot on the top for an external flash and many manual features, making it more accessible for everyone, whatever level photographer they are.

WARRANTY

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ70 has a very nice Digital Still camera Limited Warranty that covers for up to 1 year and 90 days for things like the rechargeable battery pack and the SD card memory.

PROS   

  • Manual abilities
  • 60x Optical Zoom
  • Raw shooting
  • EVF (Electronic Viewfinder)

   CONS

  • No wireless
  • No touch screen/articulating screen

Canon PowerShot SX60 HS

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The Canon PowerShot SX60 HS is a 16.1 MP Digital Camera with a 65x Optical Zoom lens. This camera, though more expensive than the Lumix, has a few extra features to go along with the price. The Canon PowerShot SX60 HS can connect to Wi-Fi via an NFC connection. NFC, or Near Frequency Communication allows you to transfer images and videos via touch. The camera also has a better 1/2.3 inch CMOS sensor than the Lumix with a DIGIC 6 image processor, allowing for the images you shoot to be of a slightly higher caliber than otherwise.

PRICE

We found the Canon PowerShot SX60 HS at Amazon for around $450.

EASE OF USE

The main benefit of using a camera with so many features is its multiple-use options. The more options available, the more control you have over what the final image looks like, and with the Canon PowerShot SX60 HS, there are many options available. However, options are not everything; ease of use is definitely an added benefit, which is lacking with this camera.

The Canon PowerShot SX60 HS has some trouble locking on to subjects when fully zoomed in. The image sometimes stays fuzzy until you zoom back out again. There is also quite a bit of lag with switching between the viewfinder and the display; so when you need to switch to your viewfinder quickly to get that awesome shot, you might be disappointed with your final result, or even miss the shot altogether.

PHYSICAL SPECS

The build of this camera feels very nice in the hands. Lighter than the Lumix, if not by much, still is noticeable when carrying it around during the day. The camera also has a high 922K dot resolution which tops that of the Lumix and is noticeably better in daylight. Also, the camera has a Vari-angle display, which is always nice when shooting in hard to reach places. The button layout is nice and simple, with a good tactile response.

DESIGN QUALITY

The design of the camera is not bad, with its textured plastic and a nice handheld grip, the camera feels natural in the hand. The only thing that might be a personal issue to some is that the record button is on the back of the camera, not the top.

WARRANTY

The PowerShot Digital Camera Limited Warranty is wide ranging and comprehensive. The Warranty is only for the US and Canada, though.

PROS   

  • Lightweight
  • NFC capability
  • Large 65x optical zoom

   CONS

  • Not the easiest to use

Nikon COOLPIX P610 Digital Camera with 60x Optical Zoom and Built-In Wi-Fi

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The Nikon CoolPix P610 is another 16MP digital camera with a 60x optical zoom. This camera has a few tricks up its sleeve, though nothing that the other cameras on this list already can’t do. The camera has your basic telephoto 60x zoom with a swiveling Vari-angle display and a high-res viewfinder. The camera has built in Wi-Fi and NFC for instant transfers. A nice camera for a beginner to be sure, the CoolPix P610 doesn’t aim for professionalism, but it doesn’t skimp on quality.

PRICE

We found the COOLPIX P610 Digital Camera on Amazon for about $260.

EASE OF USE

From first picking up this camera, we noticed how easy it was to use. Understanding the OS onboard was as easy as a quick 3 minute scroll, and the button layout was nice and comfortable. The only issue we saw was that the screen, though omni directional, which helps when you are outside and in the sun, is only 2 inches, which is small compared to the rest of the cameras in the same class.

PHYSICAL SPECS

The COOLPIX P610 had a decent EVF, and its optical zoom of 60x was nice, although it gets a little fuzzy at its extreme zoom. Overall, the feel was just okay, nothing special.

DESIGN QUALITY

The design of this camera has a nice plastic feeling grip that allows you to have a nice hold on the camera when shooting, but it was not very comfortable, and we found ourselves not wanting to hold on to it long even when not shooting. Adding NFC was a good touch and with its full HD capabilities transferring photos was easy. We found that larger videos took a substantially longer amount of time when transferring from device to device, so we would suggest to not use Wi-Fi to transfer videos, and instead only use it to transfer photographs.

WARRANTY

Nikon has a very good warranty on their cameras, lenses, speed lights, and other accessories. They have a two year extended service coverage and even their refurbished products carry a 90 day limited warranty against all defects in material and workmanship.

PROS   

  • Warranty is comprehensive
  • Easy to use

   CONS

  • Heavy
  • Bulky and awkward

Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-HX400V Wi-Fi Digital Camera

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The Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-HX400V is a mid-tier 20.4 MP Exmor RCMOS sensor camera. This camera uses clear Image Zoom ZEISS lenses, and features Intelligent Sweep Panorama shooting. The Camera, which is Wi-Fi enabled with NFC and GPS tagged, has too many features to fully cover in a review like this. Suffice it to say though, it is a fantastic camera.

The  Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-HX400V has a few things that the others don’t have, such as the ability to shoot in 1080p at 60 fps. This allows you to get very smooth shots. That paired with the image stabilization makes this camera the smoothest out of all the cameras on this list. The BIONZ X processor in this camera uses Optical SteadyShot (Intelligent Active Mode) to stabilize all the noise, delivering a sharp image, even when zoomed in. This camera also uses a 20.4 MP CMOS sensor, which is also the highest quality out of all the others on this list.

PRICE

We found the Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-HX400V on Amazon for around $400. This camera is one of the most expensive on this list but has a few extra things it can do. When you pay for more, you get more, and with the Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-HX400V, the feature list is extensive.

EASE OF USE

This camera has many layers to it. To learn about all the features would take a substantial amount of time. However, nothing about this camera is too complex, which is a good thing when you have so many features. We were able to work our way around this camera with minimal issues, most being that of human error. It is a very personable interface, making dealing with the learning process a very inviting experience.

PHYSICAL SPECS

The design of the grip, with its soft touch material and finger grasp, makes it comfortable and easy to hold with one hand. The camera’s optical grip ring around the lens makes for easy use and a sleek design. The build overall screams quality.

DESIGN QUALITY

The Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-HX400V has great design elements. The way the buttons are laid out on the top panel is intuitive and comfortable. We had no issues working around the function keys, and the articulating screen was a handy bonus.

The battery life is one major drawback. While you will enjoy fiddling with all the settings and functions that the camera holds, you can only do it for so long until you need to charge it again. The battery was only getting around 250 shots for us. The camera’s internal software also seems to use an aggressive JPEG compression making for sometimes slightly noisy photographs. This is something you could fix with a firmware update, making this camera infinitely better.

WARRANTY

The Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-HX400V offers a limited warranty in the United States. It states that for one year from purchase Sony will repair or replace defected parts of the camera or camera products.

PROS   

  • Lightweight
  • Good OS
  • Ergonomic design

   CONS

  • JPEG compression
  • Battery

​Conclusion

Overall, there are many good camera options out there that will meet a variety of uses. We found that if you are looking for the best bang for your buck, you will want to go with Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ70 or the Nikon Coolpix. Both cameras are priced low and give you many great features, including great zoom. The Canon was undoubtedly a great camera, but it was slightly over the amount we would consider as a great buy.