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This camera is a bridge between a Digital SLR and a compact camera, and it's a good choice if you want something more similar to an SLR but can't afford to buy one.
The plus side to it not being an SLR is that it's much easier to use. There are several settings including Macro and Auto, which is a very useful setting because it makes the camera easy for anyone to use in any situation.
There is also 'scene mode', which gives you lots of custom settings depending on what you're going to be taking photos of, which include Fireworks, Snow, Party, Candlelight, Baby, Pet, Sunset, High Sensitivity, Panning, Starry Sky, Beach, Aerial Photo and effects like Pinhole and Film grain. There are also black and white, and sepia settings.
You can also film things on this camera, though obviously it's not going to be good quality compared to a video camera.
One of the settings I've enjoyed using is 'High-speed burst'. You just keep pushing the button and it continuously takes photos. You can also use it with flash.
The photos come out looking very clear, though I've found that the zoom is pretty pointless as all the images I've ever taken on full zoom have been really blurry. The more you zoom, the blurrier it gets.
The great thing about this camera compared to a lot of digital cameras is that it has a viewfinder as well as a screen. This is really useful when you're outside, it's sunny, and you can't see the screen, which is a big problem with a lot of other cameras.
The camera seems sturdy but I'd recommend getting a case. It takes an SD card, which is easier to take out, as is the battery.
It's smaller than an SLR so easier to fit in a bag. However, if you're looking for something small, I'd go for a good compact camera, as I don't think this is actually much better than a compact camera and I often find my self wishing that I had either got one of those, or paid a bit more to get a DSLR. But it's the quality you'd expect for the price.
Although a reviewer should generally wait until the conclusion of a review to give their beliefs on a product, I just have to say what I think of this camera from the outset: I love it!
The Panasonic FZ28 is known as a bridge camera, due the fact it is the bridge between the easy to use compact cameras and the professional DSLR cameras. At first glance the Panasonic looks like a mini DSLR, and some may think it would be a difficult to use because of this, but actually it's as easy to use as any good compact. This is why I love it, it's so simple to use and because of the large quality lens it can also take very sharp and clear pictures. It's still not going to beat the professional gleam of a DSLR photograph, but it really can get very close sometimes.
There is an 18x optical zoom which means shots can be taken from some distance, and with the anti-shake feature a fair amount of hand-shake can be applied and you can still be left with a still picture. Add to that 10 mega-pixels and you've got yourself quite a tool.
The FZ28 is loaded with features within the classic design of the camera. A lot of these are very effective such as macro mode which can take exquisite close-up shots with the camera's wide-angle lens. Macro photography is becoming my favourite kind after using this camera. Other in-built pre-sets are sports, portrait, night portrait, scenery, and scene (which in itself contains 17 useful pre-sets). And of course there is also the option to do everything manually if you so desire.
The features are excellent, I cannot praise them enough, but you can actually get away with shooting most pictures on the automatic mode. This is good enough for general use, and depending on the lighting, objects, or faces present, it will choose any specific settings for you. Because of its simplicity it is just so much fun to use.
The fun won't stop either because the battery is the best I've ever used on a camera. While on holiday I managed to use it 5 days in a row without charging it up. While not being used intensively I can often leave the camera for a month or more without charging it. Even while the battery display is on one bar it still has a lot of power left. No need to go around lugging spare batteries with this camera, you'll never need them.
The movie mode is surprisingly good, in fact it's better than my DVD camcorder. Crisp picture and good audio. Again, it's not HD quality, but for an added bonus it's brilliant.
If I had to pick one problem with the FZ28, I would say indoor portraits are the weakest. The facial recognition is good, but sometimes the faces will be blurred even thought the background is crystal clear. It seems a lot of light is needed with this mode -- although night portrait mode helps with this sometimes. This is only a minor qualm, but when you have got used to taking crystal clear close-up shots for example, you can only be disappointed when other shots don't match that level.
Another thing to note is that the camera does not come with a case or bag. You will have to buy your own (I can recommend the Lowerpro Apex 100 camera bag for this camera, it's a perfect fit and very high quality).
I've owned the FZ28 for a year and a half now, it's travelled a fair distance around the world with me, and is still as exciting to take shots on as it was when I bought it. This is primarily because it's such a joy to use. You can just rely on your eye to find good pictures now, there's no need to spend 5 minutes setting it up, just see it and shoot it.
Once you've seen how good it is to take quality pictures with this camera, it may lead you to wanting to step up to a DSLR in the future, I know it has for me (but that will have to wait). Therefore, this camera really is the perfect bridge.
I purchased this camera after reading various reviews on various websites. I wanted a great quality digital camera that was close to a DSLR, but without the need for extra lenses and the like. But I wanted it to be better than your average compact.
So far, this camera hasn't disappointed. It's very easy to use and the menus are easy to navigate and understand, it has some excellent features and auto pre-sets which help take those quick photos's when you haven't got time to use the manual setting.
The Manual setting however is my preference, as this is when you can use the camera like an SLR. You can alter the aperture, shutter speeds and ISO, you can view the histogram on the LCD screen whilst you take your shot and you can alter all the usual colour/brightness and saturation levels - these are the only functions I have experimented with so far, but the camera can offer a whole lot more.
The picture quality is also excellent, and when I put my images onto my TV they look fantastic - no pixelation is visible and the colours are bright and vibrant. The camera also has a video feature, and I was very impressed by the image quality on this too, much better than I had expected it to be.
I don't know much about cameras and photography, but I'm hoping this will be the camera that I learn with. If you are just starting out in photography, you can't go wrong with this one - it does everything you could want and more.
The Lumix FZ28 is an upgrade to the Lumix FZ18 and is almost identical on the surface. The LCD screen is now 2.7", compared with the 2.5" screen on the FZ18 and there is an extra switch on the back now to switch between Recording and Playback mode - which used to be handled via the mode-dial - a definite improvement in my opinion. I understand that not everyone will be upgrading from the earlier model so I will keep this comparison to a minimum from this point in.
The aforementioned LCD screen is the same size as you would find on comparable models such as the Fuji FinePix S1500 or the Canon Powershot SX10 IS, but it is very bright and easy to see, even in sunlight - certainly easier than the Fuji.
The appearance is SLR-like, as is the fashion with these super-zooms, and it feels reassuring to hold with its rubber-coated protruding grip. In terms of size and weight, it sits between the Fuji FinePix S1500 and the Canon PowerShot SX10 IS, measuring 118mm (4.6in) x 75mm (3in) x 89mm (3.5in) and weighing in at 417g (14.7oz) with battery fitted.
The controls are well situated and well labelled and the menus are easy to understand and navigate, having an additional superimposed Quick Menu feature that is controlled with a little multi-directional joystick on the back (a little small for my big hands if I'm honest).
Like most Lumix cameras, the strength of the FZ28, especially for those who are new to photography, is the all-encompassing Intelligent Auto mode, which handles Scene Selection, ISO, Exposure, Face-Detection, etc, and handles it all so well. Of course, for the more adventurous, there are 22 preset scene modes (5 of which are conveniently situated on the mode-dial) and even Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, Program AE and full Manual modes for those who want to walk unaided.
Picture quality is great but does suffer a little at smaller aperture settings. Of course, this can be offset by widening the aperture and increasing the shutter speed if depth-of-field is not a consideration.
The other two features that stand out are the mammoth zoom capability, which now covers a huge 27-486mm range in 35mm equivalent terms, and the clever autofocus tracking that allows you to keep an object in sharp focus even if it is moving around - yes I know I bang on about this but I still find running-water impressive :)
If I have to find a fault to pick with the FZ28, it would have to be the little EVF (electronic viewfinder) LCD, which seems to have shrunk in the evolution from FZ18 to FZ28, but in general, the features that aren't superb are still perfectly adequate.
I bought my Panasonic DMC FZ28 camera 5 months ago just before going on a Red Sea cruise. I decided on the FZ28 as I had used the FZ50 a few times and loved the feel of the camera, but the FZ28 has the added benefit of a fantastic 18x zoom and a wide-angle lens. It has 10.1 megapixels and face-detection capabilities. The camera is reasonably small (compared to Bridge and SLR cameras) and has a very nice shape that fits snugly in your hand. When it is in the camera case it is small enough not to get in your way while sightseeing.
The build quality is great and it has solid feel about it. The FZ28 has all the functions you would expect from a good SLR, but without being able to change lenses. I have only scratched the surface of all the various functions and custom settings, but for those who simply want to point-and-shoot the Intelligent Auto setting is fantastic.
The other wonderful thing I discovered about the FZ28 is the excellent motion picture mode. The movie quality is really good and this means that I will not need to buy a separate digital camcorder.
The software that is included with the camera is great, especially when you are playing around with the photographs taken with the RAW picture setting.
The battery life of the rechargeable lithium-ion battery is good. I bought an additional battery that I always carry in the camera case as a precautionary measure. You can take hundreds of photographs before needing to charge the battery.
I would recommend that you buy a clear screen-protector for the camera as the 2.5in LCD screen will get scratched.
I managed to buy my FZ28 for £250 and got the camera bag added in for free.
After much deliberation, i chose this camera as the one that was going to (a) fit my price bracket and (b) take the best pictures from the top of the empire state building! I was extremely pleased with my choice. No doubt you will have already read about the main features about this camera, so i will tell you some of the less obvious ones...
It is impossible to underestimate how accurate and useful the "Intelligent Auto" setting is. This does not only adjust focus, exposure etc, it will physically change the mode of the camera, to what it feels best fits the situation and even tells you to push the flash opener button if needs be! Of the photos i have taken, this mode took the best!
Another neat feature is of course, the massive 18x Zoom. This becomes even more impressive when you realize that this can be fully utilized in the movie recording mode. This camera records in 720 (1280x720 resolution) High Definition and it is possible to change the zoom whilst physically recording. This movie mode is exceptional and almost as good as many camcorders.
For £250 this camera is better than an SLR if you are an amateur photographer or even if you have experience. The Intelligent Auto mode removes much hassle and the movie mode is exceptional.
See an example of this cameras High Definition movie mode here..............http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cimcJTrzMs8
Well i was looking for a new camera and did lots of research into many different brands and models. Eventually i cam across the Panasonic Leica lenses Lumix range.
I was instantly taken by the 18x optical zoom for such a small housed camera. Not many small cameras have such a large zoom, which can even be increased to a max of 32x optical zoom when using 3mp.
The camera itself has a really sturdy chunky feel to it, being extremely well built. It also feels nice in the hand and isnt too heavy, the rubber grip works well too.
The screen on the camera is super, you can view it easily and its very big and clear. Playing back photos couldnt be easier with easily accessible buttons to the right of the screen.
The jog wheel on the top of the camera is used to select the mode to ensure you get the best shot .
The camera can be selected to take pictures form 12mp down to 2mp.
It has tons of features, takes superb shots, records in HD and is priced amazingly.
If your looking for a new camera that can do a lot more than most and that gives you excellent quality images, this is for you.
You will not be dissappointed with the quality and size of the panasonic fz28.
My first proper camera.
My old one was a 2mp fujifilm, so maybe bear that in mind when reading this! Although I did a TON of research before spending all of that money!
I am studying to be a graphic designer, I can't spend too much money, but I needed a camera to take decent pics, I chose this one because the quality seemed almost as good as a DLR, which costs a lot more!
So far I've found it quick, easy to pick up, although there's still lots of options for me to learn, it's macro is pretty good! The main thing I have found is that the photos are very sharp!!!
The bad things are that it struggles a bit in low light, I am not sure how badly compared to other cameras though, I think they all do a bit! Also don't be expecting this to fit into any kind of coat pocket! Though there's a neck strap provided, which works fine!
I have found the massive zoom more useful than I thought! I have many beautiful wildlife shots because of this!
Also a tip is that you should always zoom in a little to get the best picture, as at the lowest zoom it is not quite as sharp!
I have had a Fuji Finepix 5000 for a couple of years now and I thought I that I needed a replacement for it. I wanted to buy a mirror reflex camera, but since my wife also likes to take pictures and she absolutely did not wanted to walk around with such a colossus camera. She does not like to walk with those heavy lenses. I waited until the Panasonic FZ28 was on the market, and now I bought it. I have it in my possession for over a month now and I am wildly enthusiastic about it. Especially when I see what I can capture with the 20x zoom. Phenomenal!
I occasionally feel like I am a paparazzi photographer. With the higher ISO values, it is almost as good as a mirror reflex camera.
Of course there are a couple of disadvantages: no integrated hood, not a rubber cap for the viewfinder to avoid damage to the glasses. I can live with these minor disadvantages, because the many advantages make it worth the money.