Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18 Review

 
Camera Reviews / Panasonic Lumix Cameras i Review

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18 Performance


Timing and Performance

Good to average speed for a consumer camera.

Startup/Shutdown

Power on
to first shot

3.1 seconds

Time it takes for LCD to turn on and lens to deploy.

Shutdown

1.3 seconds

How long it takes to retract lens.

Buffer clearing time

2.5 seconds after each RAW frame
(2 seconds after 20 LF JPEG frames)

Worst case buffer clearing time. -- This is the delay after a set of shots before you can remove the card. Some cameras won't retract their lenses and shut down until the buffer is cleared.

Mode switching

Play to Record,
first shot

1.8 seconds

Time until first shot is captured.

Record to play

0.9 second

Time to display a large/fine file immediately after capture.

Display
recorded image

1.3 seconds

Time to display a large/fine file already on the memory card.

Shutter response (Lag Time)

Full Autofocus Wide

0.40 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, zoom lens at wide angle position.

Full Autofocus Tele

0.50 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, zoom lens at telephoto position.

Full Autofocus,
flash enabled

0.55 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, zoom lens at wide angle position, flash enabled.

Prefocused

0.019 second

Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

Continuous AF
0.42 second
This mode usually shows no speed increase with our static subject; we have no way to measure performance with moving subjects.
Manual focus
0.26 second
For most cameras, shutter lag is less in manual focus than autofocus, but usually not as fast as when the camera is "prefocused"
Cycle time (shot to shot)
Single Shot mode
Large Fine JPEG
1.87 seconds

Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots.

Single Shot mode
640x480 JPEG

1.42 seconds

Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots.

Single Shot mode
RAW

2.77 seconds

Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots.

Early shutter
penalty?

Yes

Some cameras refuse to snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer.

Continuous unlimited mode
Large Fine JPEG

0.50 second (2.01 frames per second);
>20 frames
2 seconds to clear

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first. Slows to 0.80s or 1.25 fps at ISO 400.

Continuous unlimited mode
640x480 JPEG

0.57 second (1.76 frames per second);
>20 frames
1 second to clear

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first. Slows to 0.70s or 1.43 fps at ISO 400.

Continuous burst mode
Large Fine JPEG
0.33 second (3.00 frames per second);
4 frames total;
1 second to clear
Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first. Slows to 0.80s or 1.25 fps for 4 frames at ISO 400.
Continuous burst mode
640x480 JPEG
0.33 second (3.00 frames per second);
7 frames total;
1 second to clear
Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first. Slows to 0.47s or 2.14 fps for 7 frames at ISO 400.

Flash recycling

4.25 seconds

Flash at maximum output.

Download speed

Windows Computer, USB 2.0

666 KBytes/sec

Typical Values:
Less than 600=USB 1.1;
600-769=USB 2.0 Low;
Above 770=USB 2.0 High

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a Kingston Ultimate 133x SD memory card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity also affects cycle times and burst mode performance, with higher ISOs generally increasing cycle times and reducing burst performance.

The Lumix DMC-FZ18's performance ranges from quite fast to about average, depending on what you're trying to do. It starts up fairly quickly considering its large 18x optical zoom lens, which extends forward on power-up. Shutter response is good at both wide angle and telephoto, at 0.40s and 0.50s respectively. "Prefocusing" the camera by half-pressing and holding down the shutter button before the final exposure results in a blistering lag time of only 0.019 second. The Panasonic FZ18's shot-to-shot cycle times are slightly better than average for a long zoom, at about 1.87 seconds for large/fine JPEGs, and the camera appears to capture shots continuously in single-shot mode without having to stop and clear the buffer. Continuous unlimited mode is average, at 2 frames-per-second for large/fine JPEG frames, and captures frames at that rate without any limitation on the number of files (apart from card capacity). Continuous burst mode is on the faster side of average at 3 large/fine JPEG frames per second, though limited to 4 frames at that rate. (Continuous modes are not supported when shooting RAW.) The flash takes 4.25 seconds to recharge after a full-power shot, which is better than average. Connected to a computer or printer with USB 2.0, download speeds are slower than most cameras in 2007. Bottom line, the DMC-FZ18 is responsive enough to handle most family photo opportunities, and even some sporting events with its continuous mode, though you'll want a card reader for quicker file downloading.

Battery and Storage Capacity

Battery
Above average battery life for a lithium-ion design.

Operating Mode Number of Shots
Lithium-ion Rechargeable Battery, LCD
(CIPA standard)
400
Lithium-ion Rechargeable Battery, EVF
(CIPA standard)
400

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18 uses a custom rechargeable lithium-ion battery for power, and ships with a charger. Although battery life is well above average, we recommend you pick up a spare battery and keep it freshly charged and on-hand for extended outings.

The table above shows the number of shots the camera is capable of (on either a fresh set of disposable batteries or a fully-charged rechargeable battery as appropriate), based on CIPA battery-life and/or manufacturer standard test conditions.

(Interested readers can find an English translation of the CIPA DC-002 standards document here. (180K PDF document))

Storage
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18 accepts SD/MMC memory cards, and includes about 27MB of internal memory.

Image Capacity with
27MB Internal Memory
Fine Normal RAW
3,264 x 2,448
Images
6
12
1
File Size
4.2 MB
2.1 MB
18.3 MB
2,560 x 1,920
Images
10
20
-
File Size
2.6 MB
1.3 MB
-
2,048 x 1,536
Images
16
31
-
File Size
1.6 MB
865 KB
-
1,600 x 1,200
Images
25
49
-
File Size
1.0 MB
542 KB
-
640 x 480
Images
122
199
-
File Size
220 KB
136 KB
-

We strongly recommend buying a large capacity SDHC or SD memory card with the Panasonic FZ18, at least a 1GB card, and preferably a 4GB one, to give yourself extra space for extended outings and video. (Check the shopping link above, cards are really cheap these days, so no reason to skimp.)

 

Print the perform page for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18 digital camera reviewPrint this Page

Note: For details, test results, and analysis of the many tests done with this camera, please click on the tabs at the beginning of the review or below.

Follow Imaging Resource

Purchase memory card for Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18 digital camera
Enter this month to win:

1 $300 Adorama Gift Certificate

2 $200 Adorama Gift Certificate

3 $100 Adorama Gift Certificate