Support Cameralabs by shopping at my partner stores or buying me a coffee!
Buy me a coffee!

Follow my RSS feed at Camera Labs RSS Feed
  Latest camera reviews

Lumix G80 / G85
Olympus OMD EM1 II
Sony RX10 Mark III
Sony RX100 Mark V
Nikon COOLPIX B700
Sony A6500
Lumix FZ2000 / FZ2500
Nikon COOLPIX B500
Lumix LX10 / LX15
Fujifilm XT2
Nikon D3400
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
Ricoh GR II
Canon G7X Mark II
Canon SX720 HS
Canon EOS 80D
Olympus TG Tracker
Nikon D500 review
Canon EOS 1300D / T6
Lumix GX80 / GX85
Fujifilm X-Pro2
Fujifilm X70
Lumix TZ80 ZS60
Sony A6300
Canon PowerShot G5X
Lumix TZ100 ZS100
Sony A7s Mark II
Sony RX10 II
Lumix FZ330 / FZ300
Sony RX100 IV
Canon G9X
Fujifilm XT10
Nikon COOLPIX L840
Canon SX530 HS
Olympus OMD EM10 II
Canon SX410 IS
Panasonic Lumix GX8
Olympus TOUGH TG860
Sony A7r Mark II
Canon PowerShot D30
Olympus TOUGH TG4
Canon PowerShot G3X
Canon EOS 5Ds
Nikon COOLPIX S9900
Sony HX90V
Canon EOS T6s 760D
Panasonic Lumix G7
Panasonic Lumix SZ8
Canon EOS M3
Olympus EPL7
Samsung NX3000
Panasonic Lumix GM5
Nikon D5500
Panasonic Lumix GF7
Olympus OMD EM5 II
Nikon COOLPIX S9700
Canon SX710 HS
Panasonic TZ70 / ZS50
Sony Alpha A7 Mark II
Canon EOS 7D Mark II
Fujifilm X100T
Nikon COOLPIX S3600
Sony Alpha A5100
Sigma DP1 Quattro
Sony Cyber-shot W830
Nikon COOLPIX L830
Nikon D750
Canon SX400 IS
Sony Cyber-shot H400
Panasonic Lumix LX100
Canon SX60 HS
Canon ELPH 340 IXUS 265
Canon G7X
Nikon COOLPIX P530
Canon SX520 HS
Canon G1 X Mark II
Panasonic Lumix FZ1000
Panasonic TZ60 / ZS40
Sony RX100 III review
Sony A3000 review
Canon EOS 1200D T5
Sony WX350
Nikon P600
Sony Alpha A5000
Sony Cyber-shot HX400V
Panasonic Lumix GH4
Panasonic TS5 FT5
Sony Alpha A6000
Canon SX700 HS
Canon SX600 HS
Olympus TOUGH TG2
Nikon AW1
Nikon D3300
Fujifilm XT1
Olympus STYLUS 1
Sony Cyber-shot RX10
Olympus OMD EM1
Panasonic Lumix GM1
Nikon D610
Sony Alpha A7
Nikon D5300
Canon PowerShot A2500
Sony Alpha A7r
Canon ELPH 130 IXUS 140
Nikon COOLPIX P520
Nikon COOLPIX L820
Canon PowerShot S120
Panasonic Lumix GX7
Canon SX510 HS
Canon PowerShot G16
Fujifilm X20
Panasonic FZ70 / FZ72
Canon EOS 70D
Sony RX100 II
Canon ELPH 330 IXUS 255
Panasonic Lumix GF6
Fujifilm XM1
Olympus EP5
Panasonic Lumix LF1
Panasonic TZ35 / ZS25
Olympus XZ2
Sony HX300
Panasonic Lumix G6
Sony HX50V
Fujifilm X100S
Canon SX280 HS
Canon EOS SL1 / 100D
Panasonic TZ40 / ZS30
Nikon D7100
Fujifilm X-E1
Canon EOS 6D
Nikon D5200
Panasonic Lumix GH3
Canon PowerShot S110
Panasonic Lumix G5
Sony NEX-6
Panasonic Lumix FZ200
Canon PowerShot SX50 HS
Nikon COOLPIX P7700
Olympus E-PL5
Canon EOS M
Panasonic TS20 / FT20
Canon PowerShot G15
Nikon D600
Nikon COOLPIX L810
Canon PowerShot D20
Sony RX100
Panasonic Lumix LX7
Canon SX500 IS
Fujifilm HS30 EXR
Sony HX200V
Panasonic FZ60 / FZ62
Canon 520HS / 500HS
Canon 110HS / 125HS
Nikon D800
Canon EOS T4i / 650D
Canon PowerShot A3400
Panasonic ZS15 / TZ25
Olympus E-M5
Nikon D3200
Fujifilm X-Pro1
Canon PowerShot A2300
Canon SX240 / SX260
Samsung NX200
Sony Alpha SLT-A77
Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Panasonic ZS20 / TZ30
Canon PowerShot G1 X
Sony NEX-7
Panasonic GX1
Olympus E-PM1
Nikon V1
Sony NEX-5N
Canon EOS T3 / 1100D
Canon EOS 600D / T3i
Nikon D7000
Canon EOS 60D
Canon EOS 550D / T2i
Canon EOS 7D

All camera reviews
  Best Buys: our top models
  Best Canon lens
Best Nikon lens
Best Sony lens
Best budget DSLR
Best mid-range DSLR
Best semi-pro DSLR
Best point and shoot
Best superzoom
Best camera accessories

Camera Labs Forum

Any questions, comments or a great tip to share? Join my Camera forum and let everyone know!
  DSLR Tips

Free Shipping on ALL Products
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50 Gordon Laing, October 2006
Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ50 verdict

At Cameralabs we were very fond of the earlier Panasonic Lumix FZ30. Sporting a great quality 12x optical zoom lens with effective stabilisation along with SLR-styling and a decent level of manual control, there really wasn’t much to complain about.

Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ50

With this kind of heritage it would surely be hard for Panasonic to go wrong with the FZ50. Simply keep the things which made the FZ30 great and address the few concerns levelled against it. This is exactly what Panasonic’s done, but the end-result isn’t necessarily everything you hoped for.

Looking back at our FZ30 review, our biggest complaint was the relatively modest maximum sensitivity of 400 ISO. Panasonic’s certainly addressed this by increasing the FZ50’s maximum sensitivity to 1600 ISO and even offering 3200 ISO with a High Sensitivity preset. There’s also an intelligent ISO option which upon detecting subject motion can increase the sensitivity to allow a sufficiently fast shutter to freeze it.

While the earlier FZ30 enjoyed a broad degree of manual control, it was annoying to enter menus just to change the white balance or ISO. Now Panasonic’s also fixed that with the FZ50’s Function button which allows you to easily change these and other common settings. It’s even slightly improved on the positions capable with the flippable screen.

And finally because we’re a year or so further down the line, Panasonic’s increased the resolution from 8 to 10 Megapixels. This allows the FZ50 to compete, at least in terms of numbers anyway, with the latest raft of digital SLRs, while also leap-frogging its super-zoom rival, the 9 Megapixel Fujifilm S9500 / S9000.

While these are all admittedly modest enhancements, they are none-the-less enhancements to what was already an award-winning camera. On paper then the FZ50 should be a winner.

In reality though there’s some serious problems. The earlier FZ30’s maximum sensitivity may have only been 400 ISO, but at this point it was already suffering from above average noise levels. Since the FZ50’s sensor shares the same physical area but increases both the sensitivity and resolution, alarm bells inevitably start ringing.

And with good reason too: as seen on our outdoor noise results page, the FZ50 sadly runs into trouble at 200 ISO and above, where ultimate detail is smeared-out by aggressive noise reduction systems; you can turn the noise reduction down, but the results still leave much to be desired. At 400 ISO and above the images begin to resemble impressionistic paintings when viewed at 100%.

Of course you could argue the FZ50’s undesirable artefacts essentially disappear at lower screen magnifications or typical print sizes, but as far as we’re concerned, that’s missing the point. We believe every camera should stand-up to scrutiny at 100% and every single Megapixel should be usable – otherwise, what’s the point in going for such a high resolution sensor? Forcing yourself to shoot exclusively at 100 ISO or treating the camera as if it had half its actual resolution is no way to work.

There are those who’d disagree and say it’s reasonable to learn and work within a camera’s limitations, but where do you draw the line? When we accept working within restrictions this tight, it merely encourages the manufacturers to continue increasing resolutions for marketing purposes at the cost of overall quality. We’d say it’s already gone too far and has to stop.

In its defence though, the FZ50 still has a fantastic lens and excellent creative control, but apart from the new Function button, the best aspects are essentially the same as its predecessor. Sure, the FZ50 may resolve slightly more detail at its lowest ISO, but we’d happily swap this for better performance at higher sensitivities. Certainly if you demand better quality at high ISOs, you'll be better off with a budget DSLR.

Support this site by price checking below

We originally awarded the FZ30 a Highly Recommended, but feel the FZ50 with its compromised image quality above 100 ISO is arguably a step-backwards. For this reason, especially one year down the line, it cannot share the same rating as its predecessor. Indeed if remaining FZ30’s could be picked-up at cheaper prices we’d say go for it instead.

Click here for the FZ50 video tour

That said, we’re still awarding the FZ50 our Recommended rating simply because despite its problems, it remains one of the best super-zooms around and is available at a compelling price. The zoom range is massive, the optical quality of a very high standard, and thanks to effective stabilisation, it’s quite possible to shoot static subjects under low light at 100 ISO and enjoy excellent results. And remember it's smaller, lighter and cheaper than most DSLRs while thrashing kit lenses in terms of range, quality and stabilisation, not to mention having no worries over dust. In these respects it’s a great camera, but don’t kid yourself you’ve got 10 Megapixel quality at anything other than the lowest sensitivities.

Good points

Great quality lens with massive 12x range
Optical Image Stabilisation
Flip-out and twistable screen
Great build quality and manual control

Bad points
Noise levels high even at low sensitivities
Smearing from noise reduction
35mm equiv not as wide as Fujifilm's 28mm


(compared to super-zoom all-in-ones)

Build quality:
Image quality:


18 / 20
14 / 20
17 / 20
18 / 20
17 / 20

All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2017 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.

/ Best Cameras / Camera reviews / Supporting Camera Labs