Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50 Review

 
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Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50 Performance


Timing and Performance

Good to average speed for a consumer camera.

Startup/Shutdown

Power on
to first shot

1.4 seconds

 

Shutdown

1.8 seconds

 

Buffer clearing time

5 seconds
(2 seconds buffer clearing in LF JPEG)

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

0.7 seconds

Time until first shot is captured

Record to play

2.9 seconds

Time to display a large/fine file immediately after capture

Display
recorded image

1.2 second

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

Shutter response (Lag Time):

Full Autofocus Wide

0.44 second

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

Full Autofocus Tele

0.52 second

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

Prefocus

0.024 second

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

Continuous AF

0.45 second

This mode usually shows no speed increase with our static subject; we have no way to measure performance with moving subjects

Manual Focus

0.29 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
1.25 seconds

Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots.

Single Shot mode
640x480 JPEG

1.08 seconds

Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots.

Single Shot mode
RAW
4.98 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 High mode
Large Fine JPEG

0.44 second (2.30 frames per second);
3 frames total;
2 seconds to clear

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first

Continuous High mode
640x480 JPEG

0.44 second (2.30 frames per second);
5 frames total;
2 seconds to clear

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first

Continuous Low mode
Large Fine JPEG

0.80 second (1.25 frames per second);
3 frames total;
2 seconds to clear

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first

Continuous Unlimited mode
Large Fine JPEG
0.57 second (1.76 frames per second);
2 seconds to clear
Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first

Flash recycling

4.5 seconds

Flash at maximum output.

Download speed

Windows Computer, USB 2.0

607 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.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50's performance is good to average, depending on what you're trying to do. Start-up time is a little slow, considering that the lens doesn't extend or retract. Shutter lag at wide angle and telephoto zoom settings is good, but "prefocus" times (half-pressing and holding down the shutter button before the final exposure) are impressive, with a shutter delay of only 0.024 second. Shot-to-shot cycle times are a little better than average, at about 1.25 seconds for large/fine JPEGs, and the camera captures frames continuously at this rate. Continuous-mode speed is good, especially at the high setting, at a bit over two frames per second, for up to three shots in succession for large/fine JPEGs. An Unlimited Continuous mode captures at a slower rate (about 1.75 fps), but is only limited by memory card capacity. The flash is fairly quick to recycle at 4.5 seconds after a full-power shot. Connected to a computer, download speeds are on the slow side, so you might consider a separate card reader. Bottom line, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50 is responsive enough for most family photo opportunities, and may keep up with wiggly kids fairly well, though some performance areas are just average.

Battery and Storage Capacity

Battery
Moderate battery life with the rechargeable LiIon battery pack.

Operating Mode Number of Shots
LiIon rechargeable battery 360

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50 uses a custom rechargeable LiIon battery for power, and a charger is included with the camera. Though runtimes are moderate, I strongly recommend picking up a spare battery and keeping it freshly charged and on-hand for extended outings. (See our battery shootout page for information on actual measured capacities of various NiMH brands and capacity markings.)

The table above shows the number of shots the camera is capable of (on a fully-charged rechargeable battery), 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 Lumix DMC-FZ50 accepts SD/MMC memory cards, and a 32MB card is included with the camera.

Image Capacity with
32MB Memory Card
Fine Normal RAW
3,648 x 2,736 Images 6 12 1
File Size 5.2MB 2.6MB 24.4MB
3,264 x 2,448 Images 7 15 -
File Size 4.1MB 2.1MB -
2,560 x 1,920 Images 12 24 -
File Size 2.6MB 1.3MB -
2,048 x 1,536 Images 19 37 -
File Size 1.7MB 850KB -
1,600 x 1,200 Images 30 60 -
File Size 1.0MB 533KB -

We strongly recommend buying a large capacity SD/MMC memory card at least a 512MB card, preferably a 1GB one, to give yourself extra space for extended outings. (Check the shopping link above, cards are really cheap these days, so no reason to skimp.)

 

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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.

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