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Product details

  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 11.8 x 7.5 cm ; 372 g
  • Boxed-product Weight: 1.1 Kg
  • Item model number: DMC-FZ28 Black
  • Date first available at Amazon.co.uk: 21 Aug 2008
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 323,249 in Electronics (See Top 100 in Electronics)

Product Description

Panasonic's new DMC-FZ28 boasts a premium 27mm wide-angle LEICA lens with an 18x optical zoom, ideal for tight indoor shots and long-distance action photos. The 10.1 megapixel digital camera also features an enhanced Intelligent Auto Mode (iA), with the new AF (auto focus) Tracking function, making it easier for photographers at any level to shoot sharp, well-focused photos, even when the subject is moving -- making it ideal for action shots.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Prof Jose Duarte on 3 July 2009
Verified Purchase
Excellent relation price quality.
Good quality of image and versatility in the use. Great creative potentialities. Set of great quality. Bundle with nice price.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 369 reviews
395 of 400 people found the following review helpful
Fantastic camera! Incredible photos! 6 Sep 2008
By Zhi Chang - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I have been using a Panasonic TZ1 for a little over two years. That's a nice 10x zoom pocket camera. But its ISO is a bit low for indoor use. The shutter lag of TZ1 also cannot keep up with my growing two-year-old twins. They move too fast for the camera to chase.

My main use for the new camera is to record my kids life. From time to time, I extend my artistic interest to scenes, buildings, animals, insects, flowers...

I've had this camera for a week and took over 1000 photos. It's simply fantastic.

Things I like:
1. The shutter response is much much better than my old camera. In most cases, it will focus quickly and accurately. I use iA mode occasionally. Most time, I set it at program mode with Fn(Function)button programmed to select different focus mode. Contrary to one of the reviewers, I feel it's very responsive. And Face Recognition really works on this Camera.
2. The lens is great. You can capture incredible photos far and near.
3. Wonderful IQ! I constantly mess around with different shooting modes and do comparison shot. I have to say that the iA(intelligent auto) mode in many cases is doing a better job in focusing, exposure, white balance, etc than I do(Hard to admit a machine is smart than I am. :-D). I'm still trying and learning. But I feel eventually I might give up and let the iA totally controls me.
4. The menu system is well-written. I'm only half-way through the manual(Probably I'll never finish the other half). But there's not a function I hesitate to use or feel frustrated when maneuvering through the menu system.
5. The lay-out of the buttons is well thought-out. I especially like the dedicated record/playback button. Why no one else thought about it. So convenient! Love it.
6. LCD. This is perhaps the brightest LCD I ever had. Everything is nicely detailed.

Things I think the next gen Panasonic FZ should improve:
1. ISO. I have very usable photos which are shot at ISO 400. But there are several times I hope the ISO will be even higher for low-light conditions.
2. Ghost-band(Purple/blue vertical lines) on LCD in strong direct light condition. This happens to many digital camera system. But I feel it shows a bit more on this camera.

I frequent dpreview. A few people there(Plenty never set their fingers on the camera) complain about the small EVF of this camera. I primarily use LCD for taking pictures. So I don't really care about EVF. But to be fair and objective, I tried EVF with about 100 photos. It's clear, bright and nice.

Conclusion: It's a fantastic super-zoom camera which can take incredible photos. A nice step-up from simple P&S. What are you waiting for? (Panasonic didn't pay me to say the last line)

Update 09/30/2008: I've been using this camera for about one month. Literally thousands photos taken. Again and again I'm impressed by this camera. This is truly a versatile camera. It takes excellent photos under a broad range conditions. It's hard to go wrong with this camera.

Update 12/27/2008: It's been four months since I got the camera. The more I use it, the more I appreciate its functionality, features and build quality. Best buy ever.

Update 04/14/2009: I found out that my computer/camera illiterate wife uses this camera much more than I do. (Of course, she spends more time with the twins too. )She was intimated by all the buttons at the time when I bought it. Now she just leaves the setting at AI and doesn't bother to mess with anything else. Photos almost always turn out to be perfect. Nothing says more of the camera than this. Great job Panasonic!!!
209 of 211 people found the following review helpful
By NeuroSplicer - Published on Amazon.com
UltraZooms have came to bridge the gap between Point-&-Shoot cameras and DSLRs. They may not be the easiest to carry in a pocket (especially in the summer) but offer much better lenses, sensors and features than their cell-phone sized cousins. This is what has came to be known as the CREATIVITY segment of the camera market - and the PANASONIC FZ28 is the its absolute leader.

For months now I kept borrowing my brother's FZ18 as I was researching the market for my own UltraZoom. Since this could not go on indefinitely (and my summer vacation was coming up), I decided on the NIKON P80. Although a very good camera I found it fickle and unpredictable if left on full Auto. My belief that NIKON would never put out an inferior product was confirmed but I am not a professional photographer: I missed the simplified perfection of my brother's FZ18.
Luckily the Internet merchant I had bought my NIKON from offers an upgrade insurance option: for a small percentage of the total cost I bought the option of returning the camera within 12 months (provided in perfect working condition) and having it replaced with a latest model (from the same merchant of course). So, when FZ28 became available, I did just that.

As with the FZ18, the Intelligent Auto (iA) setting is a dream! Perfect crystal clear pictures under (almost) any conditions, EVERY TIME. There are more tweaking options than one could desire of course, but elusive scenes often do not allow for minute setting fidgeting: a reliable Auto is a good friend in a tight moment.
The older model was reported to sometimes have a problem when there were intense sunlight and shaded areas in the same shot: nothing of this sort with the FZ28. I have posted some sample photos to illustrate exactly this.

The new features of FZ28 include a new sensor (10.1MP/2.33") coupled with the also new Venus IV engine; an enlarged high quality LCD (2.7" from 2.5"); a wider lens system (starting from 27 instead of 28mm - but also ending at 486 instead of 504mm); a new auto-tracking focus feature; an auto backlight compensation function (missing from FZ18) and (finally!) zooming while taking video.
The cherry on this cake: FZ28 comes also with a leveling function which helps align buildings or the horizon with the subject - even after taking the picture! (OK, essentially it is cropping but still...)

My only gripe: as with FZ18, FZ28's zooming control is counterintuitive! One zooms IN the picture by pushing in it, whereas zooms OUT by pulling back. Well, as with the FZ18, the direction of the zooming control is in the opposite directions. (If someone knows how to contact Panasonic-Japan by email please let me know, I would like to offer them my opinion).

204 of 206 people found the following review helpful
An Excellent buy! 6 Sep 2008
By SkyLight - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Let me state for the record that I am a Canon lover and I bought this camera just because I was looking for a high zoom camera and Canon just refuses to go higher! Sorry Canon, I still love you, but now I love my FZ28 better!

Here are my (more than) 2 cents:

>> 27 mm Wide angle - No more asking people to squeeze in so they can all fit in the frame! I have a Canon S5 IS too and I took shots of the same place with both cameras and the difference was striking! FZ28 wins hands down!

>> 18x Zoom - Yes its only 486mm, not that much of a difference as compared to S5 IS's 432mm, but if I choose the 3MP mode instead of 10MP mode, I get 32.1x zoom, i.e. 866 mm. That's just awesome. Yes, some of you will freak at "only 3MP resolution", but hey, my first camera was a Canon A80 at 4MP and I have awesome 8x10 prints from that camera, so for sizes like 4x6, a 3MP resolution is sufficient unless you want to crop the image.

>> HD movie recording with zoom - Note that the resolution is 720p and not 1080p. (FYI, I recorded a 4min 36 sec video today and it came to 735 MB. So its a memory hog, but with that resolution, you can't complain)

>> Light weight - Yes its bulky, but at least its light

>> The iA mode worked wonderfully! I took several low lighting shots without the flash and the results were amongst the best I have seen. Admittedly there was some noise (there always is at high ISO), but it was very bearable given the low lighting.

>> Face recognition

>> Orientation Sensor - I don't know why dpreview.com says 'no' for this. The camera DOES have an orientation sensor.

>> Minimum shutter of 60 sec - I can now take some night scenes at low ISO = low noise!

>> RAW mode

>> Smooth opening covers for all the ports. On the S5 IS, I had to pry them open.

>> No external flash - Not really a con for me because I don't use an external flash, but I know that many of you do, hence this comment.

>> No 2 second self timer in iA (auto) mode. The 2 second timer is available for other modes.

>> No flip out and twist LCD (Argh! I really like this feature on the Canon models)

>> Custom battery. I much prefer using standard AA batteries that I can buy easily and cheaply in case of a battery emergency

>> I took away 0.5 points for construction because I felt that the camera's exterior looked cheap when compared with that of the S5 IS. The buttons are very plastic looking and the shooting mode dial also doesn't look as sophisticated as that of the S5 IS although it functions just as well.

>> I also took away 0.5 points for ease of use because I felt the menus were more cumbersome to use than Canon menus. Of course, this is a matter of personal preference but I feel Canon has done better in this regard by simple things such as putting some commonly used features as buttons, for instance, the ISO selection button.

>> 2 GB limit on video recording - Argh! I still need to buy a camcorder!

>> MOV format for movies - Again, personal preference. I personally prefer avi.

That's all folks. I will update this review if I find more things worth sharing.

Bottom Line:
An EXCELLENT purchase!
82 of 82 people found the following review helpful
a great DSLR-like camera 8 Sep 2008
By vic - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I bought a Panasonic fz18 last year and finally returned it and waited its upgrade.
I bought fz28 from Amazon a week ago. I must say Panasonic fz28 is a great upgrade.
1 I can change the zoom when using video function, fz18 cannot. I suggest turn off the continuous AF function if you want to have a clear HD video (fz18 doesn't have HD mode).
2 Set ISO Mix to 800, I got beautiful pictures with acceptable noise (better than fz18).
3 The battery life is superb. I shot 380 pictures and 40+ seconds video, the battery indicator didn't turn to red yet (better than fz18).
4 iA function is more intelligent than fz18, I hardly miss the scene that I want to shoot.
5 LCD is larger and clearer than fz18.
Finally I have to emphasize the lens again. Leica lens with 18x optical zoom, equals 27mm-486mm (10 mp), and 27m-866mm (3mp). WOW. You can shoot anything far away from you and get nice pictures (better to use tripod 12x and up).
This fz28 suits all my leisure travel or family event needs. It's little bit bulky but very light, better than carrying small P&S+ bulky DSLR + heavy camcorder bundle.
I recommend fz28 to everyone.
58 of 58 people found the following review helpful
Great Alternative To Pricey SLRs 16 Nov 2008
By Mark Trine - Published on Amazon.com
I bought this camera in lieu of spending the extra money on a digital SLR. I had several reasons for this, not the least of which being the fact that digital SLRs add so many new features and enhancements to their quality each year while dropping in price. The notion of investing a good $700 or more on something that will be quickly replaced by a much more powerful model within only a year or two just didn't sit well with me. So in my search for something to get me a step up from totally novice point and shoot photography, the superzooms looked like a good option. I will eventually purchase a digital SLR, but my advice to anyone who is uncertain if they're willing to part with that much money just yet is to wait it out. Look at some of the models from only three or four years ago - they offered an average of around 7 or 8 megapixels, lacked features like image stabilization and live view LCD, and cost a few hundred dollars more than today's units. I know that if I had invested a good thousand dollars into something that is noticeably less powerful and feature laden than today's units costing hundreds less, I might be kicking myself pretty hard.

This unit may be just a point and shoot but it has one of the best lenses available. It is almost comparable to an SLR in many respects. It shoots in RAW mode as well as offering one of the longest zooms in its class. I would have wished it offered a lower minimum ISO than 100 (my old Canon Powershot A610 compact offers a 50 setting) but with such a high quality CCD, the long zooming Leica lens and twice the megapixels of my old Canon it seemed a far trade off when all things were considered.

The features and modes are quite numerous and of very good quality. They do well to guide even the most inexperienced users to get some great shots in various situations. I have to especially praise the intelligent auto mode above all others when it comes to beginners' usage. The camera does a surprisingly effective job at recognizing the situations in which it finds itself. (One gripe I have with this setting however is that it doesn't allow you to shoot in RAW format - it's JPEG only - more on that later.) Being more of a photo geek than the average person, I use the manual setting most often; and it's a true manual setting rather than semi-manual like many other manufacturers offer. I have full control of everything just like on an SLR. One of the features I liked best while shooting in the manual mode is that the camera's metering is active and gives you feedback for the best setting. Say for example your shutter speed or your aperture needs to be raised or lowered - the camera's meter will show that as you're focusing. Following this electronic advice gives near perfect exposures every time; but you're still free to make your own creative judgments since it is a manual mode.

The menus are relatively easy to navigate considering the amount of settings and options available. I also really liked that I could choose between 4:3, 3:2, and 16:9 aspect ratios (SDTV, 35mm film, and widescreen TV respectively.) The HD video option is a nice little extra - but keep in mind you only get about eight minutes of video on that setting regardless of how large your memory card is. Then again I figure if shooting video is a priority you would buying a proper video camera. The image stabilization works very well as do the higher ISO settings should you find yourself wanting to take a shot in the dark without a tripod. Of course you shouldn't expect to make artist grade compositions in conditions like that, but if you need to snap a quick picture of something in low light it will serve you well. I'm actually excited to see what the future holds as technology improves upon the image stabilizing and the noise reduction at higher ISO speeds. Hopefully in a few years we will start to see models that shoot some very impressive images in low light conditions. As far as long shutter speeds if using a tripod, this unit offers up a full minute. I was able to take a close up shot of a rose last night in only the light of a waning moon, and it come out so bright I actually had to darken it a little in the post processing just because I wanted it to have a night time effect.

Physically speaking, this unit feels solid and employs good ergonomics. It is relatively lightweight but does pack some bulk and volume. (Don't expect to be pocketing this for everyday, everywhere random use - but that isn't the purpose of a superzoom or an SLR.) It fits nicely in the hands and has a very polished, professional appearance. Essentially it is a Panasonic SLR body with a fixed lens. Get yourself a nice bag and a few extras and you will have a very respectable hobbyist level outfit.

The superzoom (18x) is wonderful. Last night I took a picture of the moon and it came out very detailed and clear. It certainly helped that the lens is threaded for 46mm filters - allowing me to use a polarizer. The autofocus system also had no trouble at all which surprised me. I thought I was going to have to manually focus an object so far away and bright. I haven't yet been able to use the long zoom for things like bird photography but I have seen images taken by other users and it seems they are quite good.

But now the most important thing when it comes to investing in a camera like this: image quality. I hate having to say it, but I wasn't as impressed with the FZ28's JPEG images as I had hoped to be. I might have been spoiled by the super sharp, low noise imaging of my A610 at ISO 50, but for my money the FZ28 didn't measure up to that old Canon. The images were slightly soft, maybe a little jagged at close examination. Taking macro pictures of my corals, I noticed some artifacts that weren't present on the older images from my Canon. I was really hoping for tack-sharp details but didn't get them. The colors weren't as saturated as the Canon's, but at the same time many might welcome that fact because it gives greater post processing control, especially owing to the RAW format capability.

This is where the FZ28 really shines. After being a little disappointed in the JPEG processing (a bit too aggressive on noise reduction seems to be the problem making the images too soft) I tried the RAW format and started getting the results I wanted. Straight from the camera (SilkyPIX Developer comes with the package and does a decent job) the images were near perfect. Just a little bit of processing and then an export to either a TIFF (lossless) and/or JPEG (lossy) and I have some truly great pictures. RAW format will take up quite a bit of space on your memory card but these days memory is inexpensive so carrying a few 4g or 8g cards should not set you back too much, and considering the type of camera this is I'm assuming that anyone looking into its purchase would be concerned enough with the quality of their images that the extra investment is already being considered.

In conclusion, I highly recommend this unit to anyone looking to step up from their compact point and shoot digital camera to something a little more professional. While being a fixed lens unit and not entirely on par with the better SLR models, it certainly offers a very effective step in their direction for a far more reasonable price tag. Unless you're a professional or very advanced hobbyist who absolutely needs an SLR, this may be about one of the best camera choices on the market at this time. Naturally one can not future-proof themselves when it comes to digital technology, but the reasonable price of superzooms compared with SLRs makes a compelling case at this point in time. So until SLRs are closer to this price level (and they will be, albeit with more features, megapixels, and image quality than today's units) my advice is to go superzoom. Speaking for myself I would be a lot less disappointed to see something I bought for $300 or less go obsolete than I would something for which I paid upwards of $700. Canon and Nikon also have units in this class getting some great reviews. It's all a matter of choice I suppose. I went with a Panasonic, though I'm sure I would have been quite happy with the others as well.

Pros - Likely best lens quality in its class, 18x zoom, threads to use filters, great array of shooting modes, intelligent auto is wonderful for effortless use, manual mode offers full user control, great image quality in the RAW format, SilkyPIX included, professional look and feel. SLR-like capabilities at a point and shoot price point.

Cons - Noise reduction is a little too aggressive when it comes to in-camera image processing for JPEG format resulting in images that are a little soft and can appear a little frayed. No RAW format in auto mode. Some users may find the images less saturated than they would want. (But this is easily changed in post processing.)
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