Amazon Review by Rolla Gravett
620 people found the following review helpful
Lots of Zoom! Low Noise! So far I am happy!
Update: 11/17/2014. I have used the camera for several months now and love it. I really like the zoom range of the camera from 20mm to 1200mm and it is my main daily carry camera. It takes great detailed photos and the noise levels are very good.
The is going to be a quick review on the camera and I will add more as time goes on. The FZ70 takes really good sharp photos, but hand held might be a problem in lower light levels. I went out yesterday evening and took some shots hand held and they all came out blurry. I should have paid more attention to the shutter speed.
The camera works fantastically in iA, which is the auto mode. I mainly use Aperture but was impressed with the auto settings.
It will go with a 60 second exposure in the Starry Sky Mode, which is under the SCN mode on the main dial.
The lens thread is 55mm so if you plan on using your filters from any other Pany camera, you will need a 55 to 52mm Step Down Adapter. Amazon has them for cheap. I don’t think vignetting will be a problem using 52mm filters as the lens is way smaller than the filter threads on the camera. Here is the 55 to 52mm Step Down Adapter.
Goja 55-52mm Step-Down Adapter Ring (55mm Lens to 52mm Accessory) + Bonus Ultra Fine Microfiber Lens Cleaning Cloth
The camera has no shutter remote cord jack, so a shutter release cable will not work. My Yongnuo YN-560 flash will not work on the camera either. It physically hits the camera flash housing, which is raised a little. The answer to that is to use a wireless flash trigger with the Yongnuo Flash and that works fine.
Addition: I looked at the Yongnuo flash again and it will fit on the camera, but it is a tight fit between the camera flash and the Yongnuo flash housing. I modified the Yongnuo flash by taking some of the plastic off the flash housing where the camera flash is hitting, with a pencil grinder. It doesn’t take much, and it is right in the middle of the housing. You could remove some of the plastic in the flash housing with sandpaper, but it would take longer, but will also give you more control of how much plastic you are taking off. Now my Yongnuo Flash works perfectly on the FZ70 camera!
The video does not have a progressive setting. Interpolated is the best you are going to get with this camera.
The FZ70 does not have a jack for a shutter release cable and does not have an infrared input either. The camera has to be set to a timer delay within the camera for 2 or 10 seconds. If it was a Sony or Canon, the timer is set and stays on till you shut it off. Unfortunately this camera requires you set the timer delay for each and every photo.
The longest the camera will go on exposure under the Shutter or Manual Mode is 8 seconds. In the Starry Sky Mode it will go 15, 30, and 60 seconds.
Like I said the lens thread is 55mm so your filters will have to be that size or use an adapter. The camera will use a teleconverter with the DMW-LA8 adapter, which is not available yet. Addition: Those LA8 adapters are available on Ebay now. They are being sold out of Japan though. I had that happen with the FZ200 camera as well and had no problem getting one from a Japanese Ebay member. There are several teleconverters that work well with this camera, but may not be needed as this lens rocks as far as zoom goes!
Update: An aftermarket adapter is now available for a good price.
Lens Adapter For Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ70 (55mm) (Alternative For DMW-LA8)
It will take Raw pictures, but no one is supporting the FZ70 Raw files yet. It will come. Added: I found that FastStone will support the Raw files from the FZ70 and it is much better than Silkypix, in my opinion. Just Google FastStone and download and install the software. It is free.
Upadate: Raw for the camera is now supported in Lightroom and Photoshop.
Start up time is very fast. I was able to take a picture in one second after turning the camera on.
The focus button is on the top of the camera now. The AF/MF/Macro button is on the right side of the LCD instead of on the camera lens.
One thing I have noticed with this camera is the noise, or should I say the lack of noise! The shots I took at ISO 800 and ISO 1600 still look pretty good, and at ISO 100 noise is hard to find.
The camera will zoom to 60X (1200mm 35mm Equivalent) in the 16mp picture size. Setting the picture size to 10mp will give you 75X zoom, setting the size to 7mp will give you 90X, at 5mp you get 108X and at 3mp is 135X. This is Extended Optical Zoom. If you need more zoom than that, under IResolution, use I-Zoom for an additional 2X at all picture sizes and digital will give another 2X, but image quality will suffer. I took some shots at the 10mp picture size with I-Zoom on, and the photos in my photo software are showing 3030mm zoom and they look amazingly good! I will post a link to some shots in the first comment on the review.
There are two FN buttons on the camera that can be set the way you want them to be. I set FN 1 button to Bracketing and FN 2 button to Flash Control. I may change them as time goes on, but I find it really great to be able to get Bracketing with the push of a button.
I don’t care much for the lens cap, and ordered a better 55mm one on Amazon.
eForCity 55mm Camera Lens Cap, Black
I use filters as it seems more often than not, I end up with my fingerprints on the lens filter. It also keeps dirt and grime from getting to the lens. It might offer some protection in an accident too. I would stay away from Hoya UV filters on this camera. I was using one for a while and noticed the photos look fuzzy at full zoom. I discovered it was the Hoya HMC filter I was using. I now use a Sigma UV filter on the camera and it works great with no distortion at high zoom.
Sigma EX DG 55mm Multi-Coated UV Filter
The camera does not come with a lens hood and none is available in the Accessories on the Panasonic web site either. It seems there is no lens hood for this camera at this time.
This is it for now. I will add to this review as time goes by, so check back often.
I had a chance to check out the high speed picture mode with the camera and found this: At 2 fps (frames per second) all works as advertised and it takes 2 fps for an extended period of time. 5 fps - it takes 5 frames per second for 3 shots and goes back to the 2 fps rate. I tried it in Auto Focus mode and the regular mode with the same results. 9 fps - Once again, 3 shots and then the 2 fps rate. H Mode - the camera took a very fast rate of speed (at least 9 frames per second) for 9 shots, or 1 second. I have since found in the manual that at that speed the picture size is 2.5 or 3 mp. I forgot which. That is excellent. The last mode is the Flash and it will take 5 quick photos with flash before stopping. That could come in very handy at times.
I really like this camera. I like the menu system on the Panasonic Cameras too. I have the Canon SX50 as well, and still have problems with the menu settings and I have had that camera for 6 months. The menu system just doesn’t make sense to me on that camera.
I did a shootout with the Canon SX50, the Pany FZ200, the FZ70, and a Sony Nex 6. The FZ70 images look about the same as the Canon SX50, and in my mind better than the Pany FZ200 camera. The last shot is a Raw shot from the FZ70 camera converted to JPG. The picture files can be seen in the Comments on page 12, the 7th post.
Added: After using this camera for a while now, I am even more impressed with it. It takes great pictures and I really like the Panasonic Menu, which is laid out well and easy to use. I am getting lots of keeper photos and the lack of noise in the shots is really appreciated!
Addition 10-29-13 I sent the first FZ70 back because the photos at high zoom were soft. To make a long story short, it turned out that the Hoya UV filter I was using on the camera was responsible for the soft photos. I have changed to a Sigma DG 55mm filter and the results are outstanding. Sharp clear photos at all zoom levels. This camera takes photos every bit as sharp and detailed as the Panasonic FZ150 or FZ200 camera and is as good as the Canon SX50 in sharpness as well.