PANASONIC LUMIX DMC-FZ300
The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ300 is a very interesting proposition, being the smallest and lightest camera of the group. The camera comes with a nice, deep handgrip but the real standout feature is its 25600mm f/2.8 lens. That’s matched with a 12-megapixel BSI CMOS sensor and an updated Venus Engine processor that allows for a native ISO of 6,400.
The main control dials are nicely knurled for better feel, and the function buttons are very nicely spread out overall so that everything remains within reach. Zooming is achieved either by the lever in front, or via a slide lever on the lens. While there is also a rotary dial on the lens that’s used for the selection of macro focus modes (AF Macro, Macro Zoom, or Macro off), and for manual focusing, during which the central portion of the frame is enlarged to help you better judge sharpness.
Unlike the other two, the DMC-FZ300 utilizes in-body image stabilization as compared to lensbased image stabilization. And the difference is immediately visible just in terms of how much smoother the image on the rear LCD is when the camera is zoomed in to the extremes. Where the G3 X and the COOLPIX P900 would almost leave you with a headache due to the jerkiness, the LUMIX DMC-FZ300 remains stable enough for you to pan and search for your target without having to zoom out.
Worthy of mention is the touch interface on the LUMIX DMC-FZ300. Everything is organized neatly into ‘drawers’, which you can assign almost all of the camera’s functions to, letting you set the camera up just as you would like it. That’s taking advantage of touch capabilities, and offers a degree of customization that heavy users will definitely appreciate.
The FZ300’s vari-angle LCD is highly convenient.