Well, what a turn-up for the books this camera is. If I remember rightly I recently mentioned these bridge cameras in one of my posts and I briefly thought about purchasing one. I looked at the pricing and they really were too expensive - especially the Sony offerings.
I was actually thinking about my trip to France again and know what I have ahead of me during our stay. I was wondering if I could actually live with just one camera that has about everything I need (apart from low light photography).
Lets look at the specs:
Size: 137 x 99 x 131mm
Lens: 25 - 400mm f2.8-4.0
Sensor: 20MP 1"
Just look at the range of that lens and it's f2.8-4.0. Weight less that kilo and I don't have to change lenses. It has a 1" sensor containing 20MP. Because this is going to be an experiment i don't think I will be able to leave my other cameras behind and just take this one. When I've taken it out and gone through a series of tests, maybe then. I looked into the Sony cameras but they didn't offer quite what Panasonic do and the latest from Panasonic, the Fz200/2500, is too expensive for what I want. I'm also not sure if it's an upgrade for this camera. Maybe if you're a videographer yes, but as a pure stills photographer, not so sure. So, for very little money (or a good bargain) I get to take this camera with me too and test the hell out of it for a couple of weeks.
Since I have the TZ101, which also has a 1" sensor, I'm not really worried after using that camera for awhile now. Yes, it doesn't have the DR of the top of the line cameras but hey, I think I can live with that. I've read quite a few reviews on this camera and there isn't one under 4 stars. Even if it doesn't work out the way I want it, I can sell it without losing too much money.
One drawback is that it takes a different battery that the cameras I'm taking to France but I'll take a couple of the BLG-12 with me. At least I already have of those and I don't need to purchase any more of them.
Some of you may be wondering why on earth I would purchase something like this, well, it's for those times that I don't want to take a bag full of photographic equipment that can weigh quite a bit, but I also don't want to miss out if I don't take my normal equipment with me. Sometimes, I just don't have the time to change lenses etc because I have the family with me. Something like this would be ideal for those occasions.
The images above were taken inside before I decided to go out instead for some real world images and how they look. The inside images impressed me enough to keep this camera as the images are really impressive. So is the focal range, it's enormous.
The following images were done on a nice sunny day so the shutter speed could be kept high. I am mightily impressed with this camera. Just to note for thos not following the market, there is a version II of this camera out there now, but I'm going to stick with this one. I don't use this type of camera vey often, but I must admit, it does have it's uses.
Note the two brown structures in the middle.
Same structures at full zoom.
Note the second arch from the right. A ship is just passing underneath
The ship at full zoom. Sharp too.
Note the center of the green tower.
At full zoom. Nice and sharp.
Note the smaller buildings near the waterfront.
Same buildings at full zoom.
Note the building on the right with the red and white mast on top.
At full zoom. You can even tell there are people up there.
Note to the left of the bridge is a cafe/bar/restaurant. Also
passing under the bridge is a speed boat.
The bar and speed boat at full zoom.
Note the building in the background.
At full zoom.
So what's my verdict on this camera, also being version I: I can thoroughly recommend it to anyone looking for a bridge camera. Just look at the images taken at full zoom. Very sharp and detailed. Image stabilisation is also nothing to be sniffed at. Works very well.