Panasonic FZ300 Performance


Timing and Performance

Generally excellent performance in our tests.

Startup/Play to Record

Power on
to first shot

~1.2 seconds

Time it takes to turn on and capture a shot.

Play to Record,
first shot

~0.9 second

Time until first shot is captured.

The Panasonic FZ300 took about 1.2 seconds to power on and take a shot in our tests. That's much faster than average for its class. Switching from Play to Record mode and taking a shot took almost as long, though, at just under a second.


Shutter Response (Lag Time)

Full Autofocus,
AF-S, Center AF,
Wide Angle

0.106 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, with the lens already at the proper focal distance setting, at the wide-angle end of the lens' range.

Full Autofocus,
AF-S, Center AF, Telephoto

0.153 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, with the lens already at the proper focal distance setting, at the telephoto end of the lens' range

Full AF with Flash
AF-S, Center AF,
Wide Angle

0.475 second

Using the flash slows the shutter release because the metering pre-flash has to occur before the shutter opens. Compare this number to the Full AF Wide Angle case above.

Manual Focus

0.127 second

For most cameras, shutter lag is less in manual focus than autofocus, but usually not as fast as when the camera is "prefocused".

Prefocused

0.028 second

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

Looking at the Panasonic FZ300's ability to determine that it's properly focused when shooting the same target multiple times using AF-S (single-shot AF) mode using the center AF point (our standard test), full autofocus shutter lag was very fast at 0.106 second at wide angle, and 0.153 second at telephoto. Enabling the flash increased full autofocus shutter lag to 0.475 second, which is still pretty good. Manual focus lag was a fast 0.127 second, and prefocused shutter lag was only 0.028 second, quite fast.

To minimize the effect of different lens' focusing speed, we test AF-active shutter lag with the lens already set to the correct focal distance.


Cycle Time (shot to shot)

Single Shot mode
Large/Fine JPEG

0.55 second

Time per shot, averaged over a few frames (we no longer test for buffer depths in single-shot mode).

Single Shot mode
RAW + L/F JPEG

0.52 second

Time per shot, averaged over a few frames (we no longer test for buffer depths in single-shot mode).

Early shutter
penalty?

YES

Some cameras don't snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer.

Continuous H mode
Large/Fine JPEG

0.08 second (12.3 frames per second);
100+ frames total;
5 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over 100 shots with no signs of slowing.

Continuous H mode
RAW

0.08 second (12.4 frames per second);
25 frames total;
9 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over 25 shots. (Sorry, we didn't measure buffer full rate.)

Continuous H mode
RAW + L/F JPEG

0.08 second (12.4 frames per second);
16 frames total;
16 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 16 frames, then slows to an average of 2.0 fps when buffer is full.

Continuous SH mode
~3MP
JPEG

0.02 second (58.8 frames per second);
60 frames total;
6 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over fixed buffer length of 60 shots.

Flash Recycling

3.7 seconds

Flash at maximum output.

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s UHS-I card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity and noise reduction settings can also affect cycle times and burst mode performance.

Single-shot cycle times were quite good, ranging from 0.55 second for best quality JPEGs to 0.52 second for RAW+JPEG, though accurate timing is not possible because of a pre-press penalty, so your mileage may vary. (Note that we no longer test just RAW files in single-shot mode, as its cycle-time is usually somewhere between JPEG and RAW+JPEG.) .

In Continuous H mode (the FZ300's highest-speed full-res burst mode), the FZ300 captured 100 Large/Fine JPEG frames at 12.3 frames-per-second with no signs of slowing, easily meeting Panasonic's spec. RAW and RAW+JPEG modes were actually a bit faster at 12.4 fps, but buffer size dropped to 25 and 16 frames respectively. Note that this is with AF locked at the first frame. With continuous AF, Panasonic says the FZ300 can shoot at up to 6 fps, however we did not test that in the lab. There is also a low-speed option rated at 2 fps.

Continuous SH mode which captures ~3MP JPEGs clocked in at almost 59 frames-per-second, pretty close to Panasonic's 60 fps spec, with a fixed buffer limit of 60 frames.

Buffer clearing was reasonably fast, ranging from 5 seconds after a burst of 100 JPEGs to 16 seconds after 16 RAW+JPEG files with a fast UHS-I card.

The Panasonic FZ300's flash recycled in about 3.7 seconds after a full-power discharge on average, which is fair.


Bottom line, the Panasonic FZ300's performance is generally excellent for a long-zoom camera. Startup time is very good for its class, autofocus speeds are faster than most DSLRs, prefocused shutter lag is very fast, single-shot cycle times are good, and Continuous Hi mode is faster than most DSLRs as well (though the FZ300 won't track focus in that mode). Buffer depths are excellent with full-res JPEGs at over 100 frames, though with RAW files buffer depth drops to 25 frames and to 16 RAW+JPEG frames. Buffer clearing speeds were reasonable with a fast UHS-I memory card.

Battery

Battery Life
Decent battery life for its class.

Operating Mode Battery Life
Still Capture,
(CIPA standard, LCD monitor)
380 shots
Still Capture,
(CIPA standard, EVF)
360 shots

The Panasonic FZ300 uses a custom rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack for power, and comes with a single battery and dedicated battery charger. Battery life is CIPA-rated for 380 shots per charge when using the LCD, which includes 50% flash shots. When using the electronic viewfinder, the number of shots per charge decreases slightly to 360. Battery life is not bad for its class, however it's not nearly as good as its predecessor (540 shots). We recommend getting a second battery for your FZ300 if you plan any extended outings or shoot a lot of video.

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))

 



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