Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ38 review


The Panasonic Lumix FZ38 is a top-performing superzoom compact at an affordable price point. In fact, for the money, you’d be stretched to find any better. The lens is great, as are the controls, and the overall feature set – including a wide-ranging 27-486mm zoom – successfully caters for the beginner right through to more advanced photographer. AVCHD Lite 720p movie recording, advanced manual controls, POWER O.I.S image stabilisation, exposure and focus lock, even manual focusing all feature, as do ‘pick up and go’ easy-to-use functions such as intelligent Auto (iA) and scene modes.

All in all, the FZ38 doesn’t pose many bad points at all, though as a ‘step up’ from the previous FZ28 model the advances are subtle rather than groundbreaking. The biggest moan would have to be high ISO sensitivity, which causes fairly destructive image noise – not ideal for handheld shooting in low light, though image stabilisation does go some way to provide a half-mast counter to this. For first time buyers looking for a superzoom-type compact the FZ38 propositions an excellent buy. Thoroughly recommended.

Digital SLR Reviews

Price as reviewed



Design 18/20
Image Quality 17/20
Performance 18/20
Value 18/20
Features 19/20
Overall Score 90%