Panasonic’s FZ series has long been one of their most popular product lines. Featuring powerful image sensors and above average ISO sensitivity, these cameras continue to remain one of the top choices for professional and amateur photographers alike. Our Panasonic FZ80 review is going to dive right in and explore all that their latest model has to offer.
Panasonic FZ80 Specs
To kickstart our Panasonic FZ80 review, we’re going to offer you a breakdown of the most important specifications that we could round up. To get a basic idea of what you should expect from this camera, here are the main technical details.
Type: Digital AF system with built-in flash
Resolution: 18.1 Megapixels
ISO: Native ISO: 80 – 3,200
ISO: Extended ISO: 100 – 6,400
Shutter Speed: up to 1/16,000 to 60 seconds
Continuous Shooting Rate: 10 frames per second
Size: 5.1 x 3.7 x 4.7 inch (130 x 94 x 119 mm)
Weight: 572g (body), 616 g including batteries
Media Storage: SD / SDXC / SDHC memory cards
Originally released in early 2017, the Panasonic FZ80 delighted users by offering several needed upgrades from its predecessor, the FZ70. Although the zoom remained the same, the FZ80 offered its users improved video recording and enhanced stability controls.
Image Quality & Performance
The bulk of our Panasonic FZ80 review is going to focus on the camera’s image quality and performance. Compared to the previous model, the FZ80 got a slight boost in image quality with its upgraded 18.1-megapixel sensor assembly. The previous version only had a 16-megapixel sensor for comparison.
Although not a huge boost, we did notice a decent improvement when dealing with photographs at higher resolutions. The average user is not likely to notice this small of a change. However, professional photographers will likely appreciate the extra resolution that this improvement offers.
In terms of handling, the camera is fairly responsive. This is mainly due to the high-precision image stabilization software that was incorporated into the design. For close shots, it does an excellent job reducing jitter and focusing on your subject with ease.
However, this performance does begin to decline at extended ranges. For longer distance shooting, we would strongly recommend the use of a tripod to reduce shaking and to help stabilize your image.
We couldn’t forget to briefly touch on ISO range in our Panasonic FZ80 review. Based on our testing, we believe that the FZ80 does a decent job in a wide range of lighting conditions. This is likely due to the impressive extended ISO range that goes from 100 to 6,400. The only issue we encountered was a bit of glare when using the included flash.
The last performance related spec that we wanted to mention was the camera’s video recording capability. This is one of the largest improvements it has over its predecessor. Offering full 4K video support, we found that it did a great job tracking and recording active scenes with little to no blurring.
Design & Controls
The next big portion of our Panasonic FZ80 review is going to closely look at its design and controls. If you already have a chance to try out the FZ70, you will likely notice many similarities in its controls and interface.
Located at the top of the camera is the pop-up flash mechanism. When not in use, it stays flush to the camera’s body helping to reduce its size slightly. Speaking of size, this camera is surprisingly lightweight weighing just 616 grams with memory card and battery inserted. This makes it an ideal fit for travel use and vacations.
The back of the camera is where you will find the majority of the other controls. The menu navigation is fairly standard and closely resembles that of most other digital cameras on the market today. As you got further up, you will notice a control that is used to adjust various additional settings like exposure.
The last design feature that is worth mentioning is the new LCD display. Measuring three inches, this display is fully touch compatible. It gives users another easy way to manually select autofocus points and make last minute adjustments. The only drawback is that the screen position stays fixed.
With its portable design and decent stats, the Panasonic FZ80 has a lot to offer its users. The things we loved most about this camera include the following:
- Above average image tracking.
- Low startup times.
- Full 4K video support.
- Touchscreen compatible display.
- Battery design is able to be charged via USB cable.
- ISO range is ideal for low light conditions.
While we did love most of what the FZ80 had to offer, there were also a few areas where it fell behind. The main issues we found with its design included:
- Having a fixed LCD display position.
- Image tracking falls off at higher distances.
- Lacks an EVF eye sensor.
- No 24 FPS videos setting support.
The FZ80 is a suitable choice for photographers who are on a tight budget and who still want a dependable camera. With its responsive image tracking, it’s ideal for recording live video and for taking high-quality shots. However, photographers who are looking for a primarily long-range camera may be disappointed by the slight wobble effect.
If you like what the FZ80 has to offer but need a bit more sensor strength, there are multiple choices available to consider. Our recommendation would be the Nikon Coolpix B700. It features a similar range with an improved 20.2-megapixel sensor strength.
With its blend of responsive image tracking and lightweight design, the FZ80 is an excellent choice for many photographers. We particularly loved the full 4K video support and found the touchscreen to be a great added bonus. If you already have had the chance to try out the FZ80, feel free to share your experience with us.