The most popular camera in the world, is a smartphone, Almost all of us have a pretty decent camera in our pocket all the time these days and we use them, a lot. Photo-sharing website Flickr produce a list of the most popular cameras used to take the photos on their website and Apple and Samsung top the list. Smart-phone cameras have improved drastically in the last couple of years but for those special images they just can’t match the performance of a Digital SLR or Bridge camera.
Unpacking the Panasonic Lumix FZ2000 reveals a sturdy looking piece of hardware but at just over 2lbs it’s easy to hold. In the box there’s a battery and charger, a neck-strap and there’s also a lens hood included. After inserting the battery and an SD memory card I set the time and date and was ready to go.
The Lumix sports a 20x optical zoom Leica lens, which is the equivalent to 28mm to 480mm focal length. As well as various easy to reach function buttons including customizable F-buttons, on the back of the camera is a large, crystal clear OLED display that rotates, so you can see exactly what your capturing in real-time. The critical tech inside this gadget is also impressive, with a 20.1 megapixel, 1-inch MOS sensor that helps deliver high performance features like the impressive 12 frames per second burst-shooting mode.
As hi-tech as this gadget is, and the number of settings and buttons can initially seem a little daunting, it’s easy to get started immediately with this camera. I opted first for the fully Automatic exposure setting but soon found myself moving through the modes and on to Manual to experiment with exposure and lighting.
There are various Photo Style settings available, like Monochrome and Scenery and the Creative Control functionality is comprehensive. You can shoot in Retro or Sepia to tinge your photos with an old look and the Toy and Miniature effects provide fun, high-definition photos that will raise a smile later.
This camera is as comfortable shooting memorable holiday photos as it is artistic, moody landscapes. Reviewing, deleting or saving photos is easy to do on the OLED display and the FZ2000 has built-in wifi which makes sharing photos a snap. The FZ2000 also brings a remarkable feature to consumer cameras, Post Focus, allowing you to select what section of a photo is in focus, after you’ve taken your pictures. Features like this and the built in red-eye flash reduction let you focus on the image and the moment, rather than the technical detail.
As impressive as the Lumix is as a stills camera, its specifications for video reads like that of a pro-video camera. There is a Program exposure mode but also ample manual controls, letting you light a movie exactly as you’d like. You can record in a various formats including MOV and MP4 and even record Dolby Audio on your movies. There are various settings like slow-motion and the 4K video this camera captures is deeply rich in colour with beautiful clarity. If you’re filming a family event, like a christening or graduation there’s even an input for an external microphone and headphones ensuring you get high quality audio, to match the 4K pictures.
The price of this camera may mean that it remains an enthusiast’s choice, however there is something in this camera for every one interested in photography. It’s easy to use and lets the beginner produce beautiful, vivid images instantly but it has the complex features of higher end cameras for those who want to get arty. It’s video functionality outwits any camcorder I’ve used and it’s fixed, super-zoom lens and easy to handle body make it an easy traveling companion. Apart from engineering and design, the makers have added imagination to the equation. This camera is far more than buttons and pixels, it is creativity in your hands.