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Good camera for beginners who want a powerful zoom. Otherwise, it is better to look elsewhere:
Very good quality zoom lens and 24 times optical and up to 37-45 times for certain formats without losing too much image quality. Thereafter, up to about 150 times in total, but the image is very poor. Quite a lot of night shot opportunities (shutter speed to 60sec). Variety of settings, including the white scales, which also allow to obtain the dominant color of the photo. Running fast enough, good focus and great stabilizer - it is possible to take clear photos up 1/2sec freehand with timer and even zoom. The battery charges quickly and is well supported.
The cons :
Lack of sharpness (sharp detail) with closeups that are not worthy of a camera in this class, and similar to the results obtained using basic compact. You can see artifacts by increasing the photo sand even in good weather species of black gestures as in old oil paintings.
I was very attracted by so-called "compliance colors" announced by many internet tests on this unit. In fact, after 2 months of use and more than 300 photographs, I begin to think that either the testers are colorblind, or they are paid by Panasonic to announce such results. In fact, the shadows on sunny days are bluish and so blue while taking photos of snow, a light brown house becomes purple-brown, a red star on a black background becomes yellow, despite multiple white balance settings - there's nothing to do, measuring custom white balance can correct certain defects of shadows or colors, despite these flaws, the rendering is quite nice in pictures together.
The night shots are good and sharp, however, quite noisy, with spots on it, and there, even at ISO 100, long exposures.
In conclusion, I can say that this device works well, has a multitude of settings and suitable for use with zoom in good weather, night shot with low ISO, Astrophotography (Moon and others) and special color effects during sunsets for example, for everything else - look elsewhere ...
Overall: A good all-rounder.
Design: The design is also well laid out: The camera's top encompasses a mode dial for quick mode selection and a one-touch movie button to jump straight into motion recording; the rear has a four-way d-pad control, a thumbwheel to cycle through settings, a Q.Menu for accessing the all important options and a variety of other buttons including an AF/AE lock and AF/MF adjust. The grip position can get a little uncomfortable if shooting in rapid succession.
Performance: Switch the FZ48 on and it's ready to go in little time. The Sonic Speed AF keeps the onus on speed and delivers on its super-fast focusing promise when shooting at the wideangle end. Zoom in further, however, and there's a noticeable slow down in achieving focus, though it's still very swift. So long as you don't anticipate the same top-speed focusing from front to back of the zoom range you'll be pleased with the results overall.
Image Quality: The FZ48's images are well-exposed and vibrant in colour. The Auto White Balance can slip between colour casts rather quickly, however, even when shooting the same scene under subtly changing light. Detail is reasonable at low ISO settings but the level of processing does give pronounced texture to edges and details can appear over-compressed even at the lowest ISO 100 setting. This isn't surprising for a sensor of this size, though the downscaled 12.1MP sensor (the FZ45's 14.1MP sensor has more pixels) hasn't had as huge an impact on final quality as could be expected.
Value: The first FZ48 shipment is retailing for around £320 in a number of online stores, positioning the model at a similar or more affordable level to much of the competition. The Nikon P500 and Fuji HS20 are both available for a similar sum, while the Canon SX30 IS and Sony HX100V are available somewhere inside the £350-400 range. The Panasonic may not offer as long a zoom as those other models, yet its fast autofocus system provides an alternative value.
Overall: The Lumix FZ48's fast autofocus is its premier feature, capable of attaining focus in little time. Other features are equally impressive - the LCD screen looks great in playback and has a wide angle of view, plus the movie mode allows for a good level of recording control. Panasonic Lumix FZ48 product shotHowever the lack of Raw shooting does axe one of the top features from the previous FZ45 model, and the FZ48's final image quality, although well exposed and supported by an excellent image stabilisation system, isn't quite able to quite match up to the finer detail from the likes of the Fuji HS20. For images used at less than full size this will go largely unnoticed in most instances. For a compact superzoom with a long-reaching zoom the FZ48 has plenty on offer and is competitively prices. It's easy to use whatever your level, has an effective layout and an autofocus system that puts the majority of the competition to shame