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I spent a long time researching and researching various camera's and kept coming back to the FZ45, for the price & specifications it takes a lot of beating. NOTE this is not a camera for the faint hearted or the "happy snapper", but more for the serious "hobby" photographer who wants professional looking photo's without paying for a "professional" priced camera.
I've had this fantastic camera since January 2012. It took a bit of getting use to regarding the size & handling compared to my old Yashica TL-Electro X with a 85-170mm lens attached.
What has blown me away is the versatility of this little gem, on the right settings and with a tripod, I was able to zoom in on a view several miles away and pick out people walking up a footpath. Fantastic!
The "IA" setting is really clever & very intelligent, I like doing night shots but without a "flash", you can set the camera manually to a max of 8seconds in shutter priority or use the starry night pre-set which can go from 15-30 or 60seconds! And using a 2second timer, just press the button stand back and the camera does the rest.
The "Optical Image Stabiliser" is definitely a life saver in these situations too.
I had the opportunity of buying the FZ48 which was only a few pounds more, but the difference between the two is 1080HD in Record mode and only 12mp compared to the 14mp on the FZ45.
A second battery is a must, although the original will last a long time, when you get the red warning you've probably got enough left for 4-5shots. Another "must have" are clear LCD screen protectors.
The supplied software is Okay, but it is very clunky, be aware of how & where you store your photos'. For photo editing I would go for Adobe Photoshop or Magix Photo Designer/Manager. Connection to a PC or Laptop is a doddle.
I have a 4Gb SD card which will store.....wait for it..... 670 images in 14mp mode and much more in lesser resolution's.
The built in Flash is a bit, well, bright! There is scope for someone out there to produce a diffuser to clip over it otherwise it has a reasonably good range compared to some.
And did I mention the Macro setting? This is where the camera proves its' versatility, haven't used it much "in anger" but all the same quite impressive.
To sum up If you're keen on photography sell all your lenses and buy a camera that has it ALL built in, is light to carry, if you leave it switched on it will go into "sleep mode" & unlike the Misses, will wake at the touch of a button. Buy & Enjoy! Simples!
I bought this camera for use in my month travelling across Europe the summer just gone. I wanted something better than a point and shoot but my budget couldn't stretch to a full blown SLR so after much deliberation i opted for the hybrid. All i can say is WOW! I am a beginner when it comes to photography but even i noticed the functional capability of the FZ45. The lens is made by a well known and prestigious company Leica so quality is guaranteed.
The camera itself has many different programs on the dial which i had to spend a good two days of playing around with the camera to really appreciate. It has a 24x optical zoom and then on top of that the intelligent zoom kicks in and brings it to 32x. This will produce a 14.1 Megapixel photograph which can then be zoomed in on further to incredible detail; enough to see a piece of pollen on a leaf from standing 15ft away. It is versatile in many different light settings as well as still or moving shots. Once the menu is opened for the settings, nearly anything can be changed to exactly how you want it for instance ISO, face recognition/detection etc.
It also takes HD quality movies as well which are accompanied by a powerful microphone that is very sensitive to noise.
Hardware-wise the camera has a 3inch screen on the back and a pop-up flash which can get a bit annoying sometimes and feels quite flimsy. The big downside to this camera i feel is that the lens cannot be removed so if it gets scratched then you will have to buy a new camera... This is not good news and so as i was on a budget i bought a UV filter for 5 pounds to attach onto the front of the lens to prevent any scratching. This also makes it easier to clean. You can buy lenses to attach onto the existing lens however these, like all lenses, are expensive. I think this is the main thing which differentiates this hybrid from the full blown SLR cameras.
Back on to the plus side, the camera is small enough to carry round on your person without being too much of a hassle and quick to turn on when taking the photos. If you feel as though you will be taking lots of moving shots and you want the biggest file format RAW, then i would highly recommend splashing out on a good class 10 SDHC memory card as this will be able to handle the shots. If you get anything lower then you will find a lag when trying to take the second or third fast shot and the moment will have gone as i experienced with my cheap £17 memory card.
All in all this is a brilliant camera for anyone looking to bridge the gap between the point and shoot and the SLR but feels that they don't know enough about photography to be able to utilise the camera fully. The camera will do the work for you, and if you want to explore photography then the camera will let you do that too but at your own pace.
I purchased this product around a year ago and can honestly say it's one the best digital cameras I have ever used. It is perfect for those who are interested in taking pictures but don't necessary enjoy the technical side of it. Comparable to many SLR's on the market, with similar features such as the flash and viewfinder, but without the effort of different lenses. It isn't too large and is easy to carry around. Perfect for family days out and general picture taking. I have used this to take effective pictures of fireworks, close ups and sporting events. This camera is extremely easy to use with simple settings that are easy to understand and get a hold of, despite great pictures even on the auto settings. Overall a brilliant product that would be highly appreciated as a gift and great for everyday use. I would highly recommend this product!
Ever since holidaying in Thailand 3 years ago, I had been bitten by the photography bug. The breath taking scenery couldn't quite be captured as I would like on my point and shoot. Having explored the various options, I settled on this Bridge camera. I have now been using it for the past 6 months and I am absolutely delighted with it. The quality of pictures is fantastic and I haven't found a single fault with the camera to date.
The headline spec is that it's a 14.1 mega pixel camera with a 24x optical zoom lense. You can shoot HD quality video using the camera with the max video resolution of 1280 x 720.
The camera comes with a whole range of pre-set modes, which allows a fairly amateur photography take great pictures in different light conditions, such as sunset, night time etc and various different scenery settings, landscapes, architecture for example. I found these were great and allowed me to use the camera until I got up to speed with adjusting settings manually.
I believe that this camera is unrivaled in terms of price and quality. I doubt there is a better Bridge Camera on the market for the price. I would recommend it to any of my friends or family.
Last year, I decided to pursue my interest in photography. I spent quite a long time looking for a camera and finally decided on this over similar ones from Fujitsu and Canon. The reasons for this are picture quality, features, weight, dimensions, lens quality and ease of use. Some had a greater zoom, but the FZ45 has a Lecia lens (a company that has a reputation for producing very good lenses and cameras). The picture quality is very good, although not DSLR quality. However, for the price, it is not easy to find better.
It is essentially a point and shoot camera (a small sensor camera - DSLR's have a larger sensor), but with many features you might find in a higher end camera. There are various scene modes, an auto mode and it can also be programmed ("P"). "P" mode gives a lot of flexibility and is good for anyone who is learning more about photography, but does not yet want to go to the expense of a DSLR.
As the sensor is small, it is not the best at low light, however settings can be tweaked (such as exposure time) to allow for more detail to be taken in. Longer exposure times will require a steady hand (or a tripod) though. Or alternatively the camera can be placed on a solid (and secure surface). If using a tripod (or placing on a surface), I would recommend using the timer function to avoid any shake when pressing the shutter button. However, for those who want to quickly take a low light photo and have good quality it is no ideal. A bit more money will need to be spent on a larger sensor camera.
The camera's own internal memory is small, however SDHC card's are very cheap now and I managed to find a class 10 (fast) 8GB one for less than £10.
The battery life is pretty good. it depends on what you are using it for, but for photos you can get about 400 per charge.
The camera can also record HD video files and the zoom function can be used while recording. There is also a stereo mic for audio. While it might not be a professional set-up, the recording quality (audio and visual) is more than enough for most "home users". iIt can even be connected to a HDTV using a HDMI cable.
The optical zoom goes up to 24x and the inbuilt image stabilisation helps to compensate for shake at the maximum, however a tripod will help get the steadiest shots.
It is hard to fault the camera at that price.
I bought the Panasonic DMC-FZ45 just over 3 weeks ago and all I can say is FANTASTIC. I have for over 30 years bought and swore by SLR systems, Canon, Olympus etc, for their practicality, this one does everything...and more. I won't bore you with the technical details but for a Bridge camera it is a dream and so easy to use. Full specs and descriptions can be found on other review sites as well as Panasonics own site.