Panasonic FZ70 review: Hands-on with the camera whose stunning 60x zoom laps the competition


posted Wednesday, July 17, 2013 at 8:00 PM EDT

The Panasonic FZ70 superzoom digital camera has just been announced, and man does it ever have an attention-grabbing optic! We've been hands-on with the camera already, and while we'll reserve judgement until we've had the chance to run it through our labs -- and some extensive real-world shooting -- we're mighty impressed. The mighty 60x zoom of the FZ70 looks to be pay strong testament to Panasonic's in-house lens development chops.

As you'll see in our hands-on preview, the Panasonic FZ70's Lumix DC Vario-branded, 60x optical zoom lens hits all the bases from a 20mm-equivalent wide angle to a 1,200mm-equivalent telephoto. In plain English, that's everything you'll likely ever want in a superzoom camera, and more -- and yet somehow Panasonic has managed to fit it in without too much of a compromise on maximum aperture. (It varies from f/2.8 at wide angle to f/5.9 at telephoto.)

The Panasonic FZ70 digital camera is defined by its 60x optical zoom lens, which offers everything from a 20mm-equivalent wide angle to a 1,200mm-equivalent telephoto.

The lens is the attention-grabber, but it's far from the only important difference between the Panasonic FZ70 and its predecessor, the FZ60. There's also a new 16 megapixel CMOS sensor claimed to deliver 10-15% lower noise levels, a Venus Engine Processor that can offload images at nine frames per second (albeit for just three frames), support for raw file shooting, and a Full HD video mode with greatly-improved microphone setup that should be more wind resistant.

Available from September 2013, the Panasonic FZ70 is expected to cost just US$400. If you're in the market for a new superzoom camera, you'll definitely want to read our Panasonic FZ70 review for hands-on thoughts on this interesting new camera!