Panasonic FZ70

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FZ70 zoomHow steady are your hands? That’s the question you need to ask if you’re considering buying the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ70.

The new camera features the equivalent of a 20-1200 mm zoom lens. That’s 60X! Shooting at 1200 mm will require a caffeine-free diet, a slow heart rate and the stabilization turned up to 11.

At the other end of the scale, 20 mm is super-wide, with Panasonic noting that’s 140 percent wider than 24 mm, which is in itself wider than the more normal 28 mm wide angle coverage favoured by most camera makers.

So this is a camera of lens extremes.

Consisting of 14 elements in 12 groups, including six aspherical lenses with nine aspherical surfaces and three ED (Extra-Low Dispersion) lenses, this lens, says the company, delivers exceptional optical performance by suppressing distortion at the wide end and colour bleeding at the tele end.

If 60X still doesn’t unravel your socks, turn on the camera’s Intelligent Resolution technology and it will deliver up to 120X equivalent while maintaining the picture quality, says Panasonic.

The POWER O.I.S. (optical image stabilizer) effectively suppresses hand-shake vibration, according to Panasonic, delivering “superior” handheld 1,200 mm tele shooting. Active Mode allows for active video recording at a wide angle – such as shooting while walking, without causing deterioration of image quality.

A newly integrated 16.1-megapixel High Sensitivity MOS sensor and the advanced image processor Venus Engine feature high speed response and high quality image even in high sensitivity recording. This contributes to enabling high speed burst shooting at 9 fps in full resolution and the Light Speed AF to catch the most fleeting shooting opportunities together with a quick start-up time of less than a second.

FZ70The FZ70 records Full-HD 1920 x 1080 videos in both AVCHD and MP4 formats. A separate button on the camera top lets you instantly start recording videos while shooting photos without having to make any extra changes. Creative Video Mode lets you adjust the shutter speed and aperture any way you like when shooting videos. (And, yes, the full 60X lens range is available for video.)

A newly developed Wind Shield Zoom Microphone minimizes wind noise by approximately 70 percent compared to prior models. Externally, the sealed structure prevents wind from hitting the microphone directly and the draft structure suppresses retention of air internally. As a result, the sound is clear and comfortable to listen to even it if was recorded on a windy day, notes Panasonic.

Creative Control and Creative Retouch feature a total of 15 filter effects: Expressive, Retro, Old Days, High Key, Low Key, Sepia, Dynamic Monochrome, Impressive Art, High Dynamic, Cross Process, Toy Effect, Miniature Effect, Soft Focus, Star Filter, and One Point Colour. Creative Control lets users shoot with a filter effect while evaluating how it makes a difference in the picture: this can be used for video recording, as well. Creative Retouch enables applying a filter effect on the picture even after shooting.

With Creative Panorama, it is possible to shoot a horizontal or vertical panoramic image with consequent shots taken by overlaying the previous picture and to put on a filter effect of Retro, Expressive, High Key, Low Key, Sepia, Dynamic Monochrome, Impressive Art, High Dynamic, Old Days, Cross Process, and One Point Colour.

Panasonic says the combination of the (surprisingly bright considering the zoom range) f/2.8-5.9 lens and new sensor cuts noise by 10-15 percent and dramatically improves images in high-sensitivity shooting.

In iA (Intelligent Auto) Mode, the camera does all the work, leaving you free to compose shots and capture moments in both photo and video recording. In addition, iA Plus Mode enables you to adjust defocusing area, exposure compensation and white balance by just moving the slider.

Pricing and availability pf the FZ70 have not yet been announced.

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