The Panasonic FZ100 is the company’s latest superzoom, offering a 24x optical zoom lens (25-600mm equivalent). But at over £400 is the FZ100 worth the cash? The What Digital Camera Panasonic FZ100 review...
Panasonic Lumix FZ100 review – Design
The Panasonic Lumix FZ100 looks much like a small DSLR system though, of course, the lens here isn’t removable. With a 25-600mm range covering the majority of all conceivable shooting scenarios, prospective purchasers are unlikely to ever need a much greater range than is offered. The lens tie-in design is part and parcel of a superzoom or ‘bridge’ camera’s very benefit.
Although the Lumix FZ100 is fairly chunky, it’s actually quite small when considering the considerable lens in play. It never feels imposing in the hand and, actually, I felt like a bit of a taller body or grip would assist with extended use and stop my little finger curling around the camera’s base.
As well as a top jogwheel to access shooting modes, there’s a one-touch movie button to dive into capturing moving images and, next to this, another one-touch button for adjusting high speed shooting. The rear has a singular thumbwheel for cycling through settings and can ‘double up’ its use by being pressed to toggle between options – such as aperture and shutter control when in Manual mode.
Menu access is always appropriately proportioned to the mode that the top jogwheel is positioned to, meaning that only a few menu options need to be seen when in iA (intelligent Auto) mode, compared to all available options when in the Manual setting, for example. Quick-access options are also only ever a few button presses away thanks to the Q.Menu button on the rear, next to the standard D-pad which opens up ISO, exposure compensation, timer and user-assignable Function (Fn) settings.
There’s very little to complain about in terms of the FZ100’s design, bar the lack of an eye-level sensor to effortlessly toggle between using the LCD and EVF. Although not a major problem, this has been an ongoing feature omission in Panasonic’s otherwise excellent superzoom lineup. Toggling between using the viewfinder and previewing images on the LCD screen suffers from the same setback as button-pressing is required to see the image on screen (rather than in the EVF) after taking the shot.