Panasonic Lumix LZ40 Review
|Full model name:||Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ40|
|Dimensions:||5.0 x 3.4 x 3.7 in.
(126 x 87 x 94 mm)
|Weight:||18.5 oz (524 g)
Panasonic LZ40 Review -- First Impressions
by Mike Tomkins
Preview posted 01/06/2014
If you're looking for a new, simple, and approachable long-zoom camera, the 20-megapixel Panasonic LZ40 could be deserving of a spot on your short list. The LZ40's SLR-like body sports a powerful 42x optical zoom lens that covers all the bases, from a very generous 22mm-equivalent wide angle to a shoot-the-whites-of-their-eyes 924mm-equivalent telephoto.
Admittedly, the maximum aperture falls from f/3.0 to f/6.5 across that range, but in exchange for that compromise, the LZ40's compact 5.0 x 3.4 x 3.7-inch dimensions mean you'll take it to with you when other cameras -- especially bulky interchangeable-lens models -- would've been left at home sitting on the shelf.
The LZ40's high-res 20-megapixel sensor is, unusually, a CCD rather than the more typical CMOS chips found in most cameras these days. That, unfortunately, results in lackadaisical burst performance -- you'll manage just 1.1 frames per second at full resolution, and even slashing the resolution to just three megapixels will only net you a rate of three frames per second.
Sensitivity is also rather limited: only ISO 100 to 1600 equivalents are available ordinarily, with anything up to ISO 6400 available in High Sensitivity mode. And detailed exposure control isn't something Panasonic is apparently expecting of LZ40 owners anyway -- only Program and Manual shooting are available, with no priority modes on offer.
You'll likewise only find HD (1,280 x 720 pixel; 720p) video capture on this model, and even then only at a rate of 30 frames per second with Motion JPEG compression. But if you're willing to live with the limited performance, we'd also expect a more affordable pricetag than most.
On the LZ40's rear deck is an LCD monitor with a 3.0-inch diagonal and 460k dot resolution. Up top, there's a popup flash strobe, which with Auto ISO control is good for a range of 10.8 meters at wide angle, or 4.9 meters at telephoto. Sadly, despite the SLR-like aesthetic, there's no external flash connectivity on the Panasonic LZ40.
Those looking for a bit of handholding will be happy to see an Intelligent Auto mode, as well as a variety of scene modes. There are also creative control, creative retouch, and creative panorama functions.
Catering to your need to get photos and videos off the camera, there's a USB port which doubles as a charging terminal for in-camera recharging, and a standard-definition NTSC composite video output. The Panasonic LZ40 includes a Secure Digital card slot on which to store your photos and movies, compatible with higher-capacity SDHC and SDXC cards. Power comes courtesy of a 1,250mAh, 4.5Wh lithium ion rechargeable battery which is said to be good for as many as 320 shots on a charge, not too shabby by fixed-lens camera standards.
Pricing and availability for the Panasonic LZ40 hadn't been disclosed at press time.
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