HWM (Malaysia) - - TEST -

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.

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