The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8 is a 7.2 Megapixel super-zoom camera with a 12x stabilised lens. Announced in January 2007, it’s the successor to Panasonic’s earlier Lumix FZ7.
The FZ8 represents a subtle upgrade over its predecessor, but the new features are certainly worth talking about. Both the screen and the electronic viewfinder have been upgraded and there’s now welcome support for recording images in a RAW format – something which is rarely seen in a product at this price point, not to mention a number of higher-end models which should know better. There’s also the obligatory increase in resolution from 6 to 7.2 Megapixels.
The Lumix FZ8 is clearly identifiable as a Panasonic FZ series camera, but as you’ll see in our main review it’s a lot smaller than it looks, and surprisingly light too. As such it’s an ideal superzoom for anyone who desires a powerful optical range, but doesn’t want to lug around a bigger model, nor compromise their grip on a flat-fronted compact.
The FZ8’s lens offers an equivalent range of 36-432mm and makes the longer end perfectly usable with Optical Image Stabilisation, OIS. Like Panasonic’s current range, the FZ8 also features very quick and easy access to settings using a neat dropdown menu system, and there’s also the ability to record good quality video in a genuine widescreen aspect ratio. There’s additionally full manual control including Aperture and Shutter priority modes.
All in all it represents a compelling package especially when you consider its price, which comes in comfortably below rival superzooms from the likes of Sony and Olympus. So the big question is how it compares to these models, along with its bigger brother, the Lumix FZ50? Is there any compromise in the FZ8’s handling, lens range or image quality, or is it now the ultimate affordable super-zoom?
Find out in our Panasonic FZ8 review where we’ll compare it against the models mentioned above, while also demonstrating its key features including lens range and stabilisation in our FZ8 video tour.
The FZ8 model tested was a final production unit. Following our convention of using default factory and best quality JPEG settings to test camera bodies unless otherwise stated, the FZ8 was set to 7M Fine JPEG mode with Auto White Balance, Multiple metering and the Standard Colour mode. The FZ8 does however offer the choice of noise reduction settings and we’ve included samples of each in our Outdoor Results page.