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Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ35 -- Super Zooooom!

Panasonic recently released the Lumix DMC-FZ35 super-zoom camera. The camera is tagged as the FZ38 in some regions. Panasonic has always flummoxed me with their naming conventions ;-) But then, a rose is a rose by any other name and call it a FS35 or a FS38, it is still a great camera.

The FZ35 is an improvement over its popular predecessor the FZ28 and features an 18x optical zoom LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT lens, capable of 27mm at the wide angle setting; which translates to a range of 27mm to 486mm in 35mm equivalent. The CCD sensor is capable of 12.1 million effective pixels. Also built-in are a 0.20" view finder and a 2.7" TFT LCD Display. The heart of this system is the high-speed, high-performance Venus Engine HD which uses twin CPUs to realize more than twice the image processing capabilities as the previous versions. The Lumix FZ35's processing engine uses parallel processing techniques to achieve super quick start-up of around 1.2 seconds.

Continuing with Panasonic's trend of packing HD video capabilities into many of their newer models, the FZ35 can record HD video in the AVCHD-Lite format and the icing on the cake is the Dolby Digital Stereo Creator which can record high quality audio, while the 'wind-cut' feature reduces the wind noise while shooting in outdoor situations.

Having used the IA (Intelligent Auto) mode in some of the older models, I can say that the IA mode in the FZ35 is atleast a couple of generations ahead. Though I would have preferred to have the IA mode with a couple of manual override options, the images in IA mode are quite good.

First there was a OIS (Optical Image Stabilization), then Panasonic showcased the Mega OIS and now the FZ35 comes with a 'Power' OIS mode that is significantly more effective than the previous versions. Another improvement in the FZ35 over the FZ28 is the ultra high-speed auto-focus, which is almost twice as fast now.

If you prefer not to be bound by the IA system and prefer to go fully manual, the FZ35 allows you to do just that. Try the 'Manual' mode or the 'My Color' mode and the camera allows you to play around with all sorts of permutations and combinations with the exposure, shutter speed, aperture, color and other settings to fine tune images to precisely what you want... and when you are tired or just plain confused, just switch back to the IA mode to just point and shoot. The FZ35 offers almost 20 modes in both still and motion picture modes.

One last thing I would like to add about the FZ35 is the amazing battery life, capable of up to 470 shots (CIPA) per a single charge, which would mean atleast 400+ shots in real world situations. Go check out the FZ35/38 and you sure will be happy you did.

Ricky
Mon, 24 Aug 2009 20:41:39 +0000

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