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

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8 Gordon Laing, June 2007
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8 Verdict

The Panasonic Lumix FZ8 is one of the best value super-zoom cameras around right now, boasting a range of features comparable to models costing comfortably more. On the plus side you get a good quality 12x optical zoom with stabilisation, composition using either a great-looking 2.5in screen or decent electronic viewfinder, quick and easy control over all settings, and even RAW recording facilities, all in small, light and affordable form factor.

Panasonic FZ8 - front view Panasonic FZ8 - rear view

There are of course downsides. The FZ8’s optical range while huge, doesn’t zoom as wide as some other models, and the screen, while very sharp and bright, is fixed in position. The biggest problem facing the FZ8 though is one we’re sadly all too familiar with: noise and noise reduction.

Panasonic FZ8 with lens hood

Panasonic claims to have improved both with its latest Venus III processor, but there’s still some serious issues when you look closely at images. Viewed at 100%, the FZ8 exhibits smearing of fine detail even at its lowest sensitivities – and with the with noise reduction turned down. It’s certainly not the camera for someone who likes to examine images on-screen at 100%, but to be fair, this is becoming par for the course for non-DSLRs and we’ve actually seen worse examples. And in the FZ8’s favour, its support for RAW gives you some degree of flexibility at the post-processing stage. So before wrapping up, how does the FZ8 compare against its biggest super-zoom rivals?

Compared to Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3

For pretty much the same money as the FZ8, you could alternatively buy Panasonic’s own Lumix DMC-TZ3. As you may expect from its styling, the TZ3 doesn’t have anywhere the same manual control as the FZ8, but it does have several key advantages. First the lens, while ‘only’ offering a 10x range, starts at an equivalent of 28mm. This gives it proper wide angle capabilities and what you lose at the long end is more than made up for when zoomed-out. The TZ3’s sensor also allows it to maintain the full 28mm coverage even when set to wider 3:2 or 16:9 aspect ratios.

The TZ3’s screen is also much bigger at 3in (although there’s no electronic viewfinder) and the metallic body feels more substantial. Ultimately if you can live without manual exposure control, an electronic viewfinder or a grip to hold onto, then the TZ3 is arguably a better choice. See our Panasonic TZ3 review for more details.


Compared to Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50

The Lumix FZ50 is Panasonic’s flagship super-zoom and costing around 50% more than the FZ8, it offers a number of higher-end features. Most notably the 12x stabilised lens doesn’t physically extend and the zoom control is a tactile manual ring like a DSLR. The screen may be a little smaller, but it flips out and twists to any angle. The build quality is also superior, and it’s the only camera on this page to feature a proper flash hotshoe. Finally, with 10 Megapixels, it’s the highest resolution model here.

These are all worthy features, but in practice the resolution doesn’t make a massive difference and if you can live without the hotshoe, flip-out screen and manual zoom ring, then the FZ8 represents better value. If however these particular features are important to you then the FZ50 is hard to beat. See our Panasonic FZ50 review for more details.

Compared to Olympus SP-550UZ

Compared to Olympus SP-550UZ

The Olympus SP-550UZ also costs around 50% more than the FZ8, but offers a different proposition to the FZ50. It doesn’t have the FZ50’s flash hotshoe, flip-out screen or manual zoom ring, but it does have the biggest optical zoom range of all the cameras here: a whopping 18x range, which starts at a useful wide-angle equivalent of 28mm but still manages to zoom-in slightly closer than its rivals. This makes it optically much more flexible than either the FZ8 or FZ50, and we also felt the SP-550UZ’s build quality was more solid than the FZ8.

On the downside images from the SP-550UZ can be soft particularly when zoomed-in and there’s visible coloured fringing, again especially at the maximum focal length. The massive zoom range in a compact but solid body remains a compelling option though. See our Olympus SP-550UZ review for more details.

Compared to Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H9

Compared to Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H9

Like the Panasonic FZ50 and Olympus SP-550UZ, the Sony H9 costs around 50% more than the FZ8, and again offers a unique selection of features. On the upside it features a longer 15x optical range which is both wider and longer than the FZ8, although by not quite as much as the Olympus. Sony’s whopping 3in screen has no rivals though and offers great flexibility by tilting up or down. The H9’s focusing speed is also unparalleled for a non-DSLR.

While every model on this page suffers from overly-aggressive noise reduction though, the Sony H9 takes the biscuit. The smearing watercolour effect plagues images even at 100 ISO, and bizarrely there’s no option to adjust the compression, let alone support a RAW mode. These are serious omissions for the Sony, but if you can live with its quality issues, the lens, screen and handling are all very seductive. See our Sony H9 review for more details.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8 final verdict

It’s revealing three-quarters of the cameras we’ve compared the FZ8 against here all cost around 50% more. The simple fact is there’s no real competition for the FZ8 at its price range other than Panasonic’s own Lumix TZ3, which as discussed above is aimed at a different kind of market. In short the FZ8 represents excellent value for money and while it’s understandably missing some of the sophistication of these higher-end models, it really can compete – and in some respects even beat them.

Smearing at low sensitivities remains the biggest problem facing the FZ8, but it’s one which applies to almost any non-DSLR in today’s market – and as we’ve mentioned, models like the Sony H9 actually have it worse. So this aspect of image quality aside, there really wasn’t much we didn’t like about the FZ8.

Ultimately we’d have preferred better wide angle capabilities and a flip-out screen, but the latter is unlikely to make it onto the FZ8 line given it’s a key up-seller for the FZ50. 28mm wide angle capabilities though are something we’d expect to find in a successor given Panasonic’s almost global adoption of the feature and heavy marketing across its range.

Assuming flip-out screens are reserved for the flagship model and there’s nothing they can do about image quality, our only fair complaint against the FZ8 is lack of true wide angle. That’s really about it.

So if you’re seriously considering the FZ8, you need to ask yourself two questions: are you the kind of person who likes studying images on-screen at 100%, and will you find the 36mm wide angle restrictive? If you answer yes to either, then you’ll probably be disappointed by the FZ8, but if the answer to both is no, then the FZ8 offers a highly compelling proposition and almost unbeatable value. As such we can confidently award it our Highly Recommended rating and rank it as the best affordable super-zoom camera around. For a full demonstration, check out our FZ8 video tour.

Good points

12x optical zoom with OIS.
Decent quality 2.5in screen.
Quick access to settings.
Good manual control and RAW mode.

Bad points
Noise becomes a problem above 200 ISO.
Wide angle coverage 'only' 36mm.
No flip-out screen.
May be too small and light for some.


(relative to 2007 superzooms)

Build quality:
Image quality:


16 / 20
15 / 20
16 / 20
17 / 20
20 / 20


If you found this review useful, please support us by shopping below!
All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2017 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.

/ Best Cameras / Camera reviews / Supporting Camera Labs