Bridge cameras are still a popular choice, as our recent guide for the best models shows, and as soon as it was published, Panasonic presented a new model, the Lumix DMC-FZ300, extending their dominance when it comes to 4K video in this segment.
With Canon not offering 4K in their cameras for the general public segment, apparently for strategic reasons, and Nikon not being able to use 4K sensors in their models (except for the 1 J5, launched in April 2015) as they depend on others when it comes to sensors, Panasonic is the leader in the segment. The new model, which is based on the FZ200, enters the realm of 4K, incorporating Panasonic’s latest 4K photography and videography advances – including 4K Photo.
Panasonic presents the camera with the idea that they’re “putting 4K within your reach”, an interesting idea, as it seems their marketing department has a completely different position from Canon. Panasonic wants to put the technology in the palm of consumer’s hands, and the new bridge camera features new 4K Photo functionality that gives users the potential to totally change their photography. The 4K Pre-Burst, 4K Burst and 4K Burst Start&Stop modes allow users to extract an 8-megapixel still from 4K video footage with total control and precision.
Super-zoom compact digital cameras are sometimes associated with slow apertures, meaning that although the zoom extends to high values those are sometimes not usable for action photography. With the Lumix DMC-FZ300 Panasonic offers a Leica DC lens with f/2.8 aperture throughout the 25-600mm zoom (already present on the FZ200), meaning users can capture the most magical moments, from distant wildlife scenes to live sport. Associated with the 12-megapixel High Sensitivity MOS sensor and new Venus Engine able to work between ISO 100-6400, and Panasonic’s latest 5-Axis Hybrid O.I.S + (Optical Image Stabilization) technology, the DMC-FZ300 will give you crisp clean images in almost every situation, even when light levels are low. And it saves them in RAW, if that’s your choice.
The bridge camera’s Light Speed AF means you’ll never miss the shot, states Panasonic, while new Depth from Defocus (DFD) technology shortens the focusing time even further by calculating the distance to the subject by evaluating two images with different sharpness levels. Offering macro as close as 1cm on the wide-angle end and 1 meter at the long end of the zoom lens, this is a camera for outdoor adventurers wanting to do photography and video encompassing both distant and close up subjects.
One interesting aspect of the Lumix DMC-FZ300 is that it was conceived to be splashproof and dustproof, meaning the camera will let you go further in tough conditions so that you can always get the perfect shot. It’s an interesting proposition, especially if we consider the price, $599.99. If the quality is as Panasonic suggests, it could be used as a “disposable” camera for some situations when it comes to cinematography, if budgets allow.
Even for normal use, with a high-speed, 1440k-dot, 0.7x magnification OLED Live View Finder (LVF), 3 inch, 1040K free-angle Touch LCD and Dual Dial controls, you have the shooting flexibility you need to get the most from any scene. This can be a camera for your adventures, both in photography and video, offering a DSLR-like type of control in a small body with an impressive zoom lens.
The Lumix DMC-FZ300 also boasts a wide range of connectivity and shooting options that maximize the control and creativity of your photography and videography, as well as allowing you to share your work instantly. A wide range of manual and creative modes put the photographic control in your hands. The camera also has integrated Wi-Fi connectivity for fast and easy sharing online, as well as allowing you to use your mobile device as a remote control. With the ability to change settings such as focus, aperture, shutter speed and ISO remotely, as well as triggering the shutter, you will be able to capture even the most timid wildlife.
In terms of video the camera offers 3840 x 2160 (30p, 24p), 1920 x 1080 (60p, 60i, 30p, 24p), 1280 x 720 (30p), 640 x 480 (30p) in MPEG-4, AVCHD. A stereo microphone captures sound, but for better quality there is a 3.5mm microphone socket available.
Find more about the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ300