Panasonic LUMIX FZ80 4K Point and Shoot Camera 2020 Detailed Review.
Panasonic LUMIX FZ80 4K Point and Shoot Camera: With the FZ80, low-quality video is a thing of the past. If you’re struggling to find 4K content to play on your brand new TV, Panasonic’s FZ80 will let you create your own.
Coupled with a beefy image sensor and 60x optical zoom, this point, and shoot camera looks like it’s competing against much more expensive DSLR cameras.
The Panasonic Lumix DC-FZ70 has a long zoom lens, low cost, and strong image quality. But it had some serious shortcomings in the bells and whistles department. The DC-FZ80 ($399.99) keeps the same lens and ticks up the price, but for the extra money, you get Wi-Fi, a better EVF, a touch LCD, and 4K video capture. It’s a better overall camera, though not quite our favorite bridge superzoom.
The FZ80 is your typical bridge point-and-shoot. It marries a small (1/2.3-inch) image sensor to a big zoom lens, putting the two together in a body that’s about the size of a small SLR. Putting that glass in front of a sensor type developed for pocket-friendly cameras allows for an incredible zoom range, much more than you’d get from any SLR lens, in a package that measures 3.7 by 5.1 by 4.7 inches (HWD) and weighs about 1.4 pounds
The fixed lens covers scenes from an ultra-wide (20mm full-frame equivalent) perspective when zoomed all the way out. It extends to a beyond-extreme telephoto (1,200mm) at its maximum extension.
It not only has an advantage in telephoto reach over pocket cameras—models like the Sony HX90V reach about 720mm—but it also covers a wider angle. The FZ80’s 20mm lens is significantly wider than the more typical 24mm at which most compact cameras start.
The FZ80 has Wi-Fi for image transfer and remote control. It works with the Panasonic Image App, a free download for Android and iOS. It lets you copy photos from the camera to your phone for editing and sharing, and also offers full manual control and a live feed so you can use your phone as a remote control.
There are micro HDMI and micro USB ports on the body, the latter of which is used for in-camera charging. The camera is rated to nab about 330 shots using the rear LCD or 240 shots using the EVF, both solid marks for a bridge model.
The ability to add juice via a USB power bank is certainly a benefit for travelers, though if you’re the type of photographer to carry a spare battery, it’s wise to invest in an external charger as well so you can charge one in the camera and one out of camera concurrently.
Performance and Imaging
The FZ80 takes a little while to turn on, focus, and fire—about 1.8 seconds—due to its lens having to move in position to grab an image. But once it’s on and ready to go it’s quite speedy. The autofocus system locks on in about 0.05-second at both the wide and telephoto end in bright light.
In dim conditions it takes some time, about 0.9-second, to focus and fire at the wide end, and tends to hunt when acquiring focus at 1,200mm. A bridge camera isn’t the best choice for shooting in dim conditions, unless you opt for a model with a larger 1-inch sensor and shorter zoom lens, like the Panasonic FZ1000.
- Huge 60x zoom range.
- Fast autofocus.
- 10fps Raw capture.
- 30fps 4K Photo capture.
- Touch LCD.
- Sharp EVF.
- No EVF eye sensor.
- Fixed rear LCD.
- Limited Raw buffer.
- Omits 24fps video capture.
- The telephoto video shows a wobble effect.
The Panasonic FZ80 sits in between the top most popular camera styles. It’s a bit more expensive than your standard point and shoot but provides some major improvements. 4K video is rare to find at this price point, and the image sensor is well above what we expected to see in this price range.
The camera has a lot of different imaging settings, making it suitable for experienced photographers. But most impressive was the optics. 60x optical zoom is among the best on the market, something that wildlife or sports photographers will really appreciate.