Tuesday 17 October 2017

Adrian Weckler Tech Review: Lumix FZ2000

Good superzoom camera with 4K

Lumix FZ2000
Lumix FZ2000
Garmin Fenix 5
Samsung Gear 360
Adrian Weckler

Adrian Weckler

When buying a camera, many just want something they can pick up, switch on and rely upon to catch any kind of photo (or video) without reaching for lenses or having a master's degree in light-engineering.

Lumix FZ2000

Price: €1,299

Rating: 4 Stars

This is basically the deal with Panasonic's new FZ2000. It's a 'superzoom' camera with a lot of top-end video specifications that is ready to go the second you switch it on.

And what a zoom. It packs a 20x magnification, taking it from the equivalent of 24mm (which is quite wide, for landscapes and detailed indoor shots) to 480mm (which can turn a speck on the horizon into a recognisable feature). This flexibility makes the FZ2000 an very versatile and capable travel camera, in particular. I used it for almost a month and had great fun zooming into things I'd normally never get close to. (Long zooms are very underrated for landscape photography, by the way.)

But a zoom is no use unless the camera has something to stop blurry photos happening from the naturally occurring small wobbles in your hand. This camera has an incredibly impressive five-axis stabilisation feature on it that lets you zoom all the way out and still take a steady shot with clear details resulting.

As for the relative quality of those shots, I found them to be pretty good. This camera has a 1-inch sensor, which is a lot smaller than a professional 'full-frame' sensor but not that far off what you get in some DSLR cameras.

Other things of note with this camera include its flip-out, articulating touchscreen. This is a brilliant feature for flexibility, particularly if you want to use the video-recording features.

Speaking of this, the FZ2000 captures video in full 4K ('ultra-HD') resolution. As well as being the clearest, best grade you can get, this also allows you to take 8-megapixel still images from your 4K recordings. It's a really good back-up photo option if you didn't get to snap something at the right moment but videoed it instead.

There are other fairly advanced features on board, such as manual control over the camera's ND filter and burst modes of up to 12 frames per second. I found the autofocus to be excellent for a camera of this type. I really didn't miss any shots at all.

The bottom line is that this is an easy-to-use, do-everything camera that you can bring anywhere knowing you'll always get some kind of shot. It's not a specialist portrait device, but a capable all-rounder. Compare prices

Two to try

Samsung Gear 360

Samsung Gear 3.jpg
Samsung Gear 360
 

(€499, Argos)

Samsung’s new camera lets you film or photograph with 360-degree coverage thanks to its back-to-back wide lens cameras. You can watch the results on your phone or Gear VR headset. The New York Times and Wall Street Journal have some interesting 360 content on their mobile apps, while Sky has announced its intention to bring a lot more sport and documentary content to a VR platform. Compare prices

Garmin Fenix 5

(€650)

Garmin Fenix 5.jpg
Garmin Fenix 5

Garmin’s latest smartwatch-cum-health tracker, the Fenix 5, measures pace, distance, speed and other things when you’re exercising (running, biking or whatever you’re into). It’s waterproof to 100 metres and also gives social-media notifications. The watch lasts up to eight days on a single charge, although this is limited to 13 hours if you use the watch’s heart-rate tracking and active GPS signal. Compare prices

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