Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ7 Review

 
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Panasonic DMC-FZ7 Performance


Timing and Performance

Average to excellent speed for a consumer camera.

Operation
Time
(secs)
Notes
Power On -> First shot
2.5
LCD turns on and lens extends forward.
Shutdown
3.3 - 5
First time is time to retract lens, second time is worst-case buffer-clearing time.
Play to Record, first shot
1.58
Time until first shot is captured.
Record to play
2.1 / 1.1
First time is that required to display a large/fine file immediately after capture, second time is that needed to display a large/fine file that has already been processed and stored on the memory card.
Shutter lag, full autofocus
0.58 / 0.60
First time is at full wide-angle, second is full telephoto.
Shutter lag, continuous autofocus
0.64
(Generally no increase in speed for static subjects, and we have no way to consistently measure performance with moving subjects.)
Shutter lag, manual focus
0.31
-
Shutter lag, prefocus
0.017
Time to capture, after half-pressing shutter button.
Cycle Time, TIFF, max resolution
3.59
Times are averages. Shoots this fast continuously, clearing the buffer after each shot.
Cycle Time, max/min resolution
0.83 /
0.91
First number is for large/fine files, second number is time for "TV" mode (640x480) images. Times are averages. In both modes, shoots this fast continuously, clearing the buffer after each shot.
Cycle Time, Flash exposures
4
(Flash at maximum power output)
Cycle Time, continuous High mode, max/min resolution
0.32
(3.16 fps)
Shoots large/fine images or small/basic images at the same speed. Times are averages. Shoots this fast for 7 images in large/fine mode, or for 13 images with smallest file size. Buffer clears in about 1.5 seconds regardless of resolution.
Cycle Time, continuous Low mode, max/min resolution
0.44
(2.26 fps)
Shoots large/fine images or small/basic images at the same speed. Times are averages. Shoots this fast for 7 images in large/fine mode, or for 13 images with smallest file size. Buffer clears in about 1.5 seconds regardless of resolution.
Cycle Time, continuous "infinite" mode, max/min resolution
0.44
(2.26 fps)
Shoots large/fine images or small/basic images at the same speed. Times are averages. Shoots this fast continuously, clearing the buffer after each shot.
Download speed
Windows Computer, USB 2.0
747 KBytes/sec
Typical Values:
Less than 600=USB 1.1;
600-770=USB 2.0 Low;
771-4000=USB 2.0 High

The Lumix DMC-FZ7'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 12x optical zoom lens, which extends forward on power-up. Shutter response is pretty good at both wide angle and telephoto, though "prefocusing" the camera by half-pressing and holding down the shutter button before the final exposure, results in a super-speedy time of only 0.017 second. Shot to shot cycle times are excellent, at about 0.83 seconds for large/fine JPEGs, and it can capture shots continuously in single-shot mode without having to stop and clear the buffer. Continuous-mode speed is also quite good, at both high and low speed settings, and an Infinite option captures frames at the slower 0.44-second rate without any limitation (apart from card capacity) on the number of files. The flash takes about four seconds to recharge after a full-power shot, better than average. Connected to a computer, download speeds are fast enough that you probably won't feel a need for a separate card reader, although they aren't as fast as those from cameras with a true High-Speed USB 2.0 interface. Bottom line, the DMC-FZ7 is a responsive camera, suitable for a wide range of shooting conditions from sporting events to family gatherings.

Battery and Storage Capacity

Battery
Very good battery life with both the EVF and LCD.

Operating Mode
Battery Life
Still-image capture mode
LCD on
159 minutes
Still-image capture mode
LCD off
167 minutes
Image playback
LCD on
347 minutes

The Lumix DMC-FZ7 uses a custom rechargeable LiIon battery for power. The table above shows maximum run times based on our power measurements and the rated performance of its battery. In practice, with the camera "sleeping" between periods of use, we found we could shoot for a surprisingly long time on a single battery charge.

Storage
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ7 stores images on SD/MMC memory cards, and comes with a 16MB starter card.

Image Capacity with
16MB Memory Card
TIFF Fine Normal
2,816 x 2,112 Images 0 5 10
File Size 20.5 MB 3.1 MB 1.6 MB
2,304 x 1,728 Images 1 7 14
File Size 13.5 MB 2.1 MB 1.1 MB
2,048 x 1,536 Images 1 9 18
File Size 10.1 MB 1.7 MB 850 KB
1,600 x 1,200
Images 2 15 30
File Size 6.5 MB 1.0 MB 533 KB
1,280 x 960
Images 3 23 43
File Size 4.2 MB 684 KB 366 KB
640 x 480
Images 14 73 120
File Size 1.1 MB 216 KB 133 KB

We strongly recommend buying at least a 256MB card, preferably a 512MB one, to give yourself extra space for extended outings. (The included 16 MB card is just about useless for a camera of this resolution.)

 

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