Conclusion: Maybe because my expectations have been lowered, maybe because no one else is doing it any better, I ended up liking the FZ8 more than I expected to. The FZ7 was a significant upgrade to the FZ5 (one of the most popular super zoom models ever), and the design, control and interface changes lifted it head and shoulders over most of its direct competitors. But the issue of noise (and Panasonic's 'watercolor' Venus II noise reduction) was hard to ignore.
Pros: Excellent resolution & sharp results, Good, natural color and excellent exposure, Superb 12x optical zoom, Smooth, almost stepless 2-speed zoom, Effective image stabilization, Small and light, but well built, Comprehensive range of controls, Very fast operation, Fast (and accurate) focus using 'High Speed' option, Well designed menu system, Nice handling and improved controls, Easy to use, Bright, clear, high resolution LCD screen, Excellent EVF, big improvement, Dece...
Cons: Some areas of performance actually worse than predecessor, Noise is, as usual, a bit of a problem at lower ISO settings, ISO 400+ noise reduction produces color bleeding and loss of low contrast detail, Default noise reduction too high at all ISO settings (use low NR setting), Limited dynamic range, highlight clipping in JPEGs, Default contrast a bit on the high side, Occasional (mild) fringing, Occasional focus hunting at long end of zoom in low light and in macro mo...
Conclusion: Although the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8 offers a powerful 12X optical zoom lens, manual modes, and a wealth of helpful features, its lack of a true wide-angle view prevents it from stripping the older Panasonic Lumix DMC TZ3 of its Editors' Choice crown.
Pros: 12X optical zoom. Full manual capabilities. Intelligent ISO mode. Variety of flash settings.
Excerpt: This camera first impressed me with the Extra Optical Zoom function that provides additional magnification up to 18x when taking photos with 3-megapixel resolution. Second thing to make you choose this camera is the and Intelligent Image Stabilization . Sensitivity setting as high as ISO 1250 is quite impressive for the noise reduction and the shutter release time lag as short as 0.005 seconds, shutter interval 0.6 second are brilliant.
Conclusion: Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ8 Megazoom digital camera Panasonic set the tone for the Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ8 when it won an international DIWA Gold Award for its predecessor. The results from our practical test soon showed that the Panasonic FZ8 is a worthy successor. Although there is still room for improvement, it looks as if the Panasonic Lumix FZ8 Megazoom camera has grown up. By providing RAW format, Panasonic is showing that it takes digital photography seriously.
Excerpt: A couple of weeks ago, in Paris, we were able to handle some pre production samples of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8, as well as the new DMC-TZ3. Although we were told we could publish samples online, I wasn't happy that the FZ8 sample I had was representative of the production version as it exhibited noticeably more graininess than the TZ3.
Excerpt: Serious photographers are a demanding lot, but camera manufacturers absolutely love them (because they buy a lot of digital cameras). A near perfect example of this corporate affection is the new Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8 ; an imaging tool that caters specifically (with a couple of important cautions) to photography enthusiasts.
Excerpt: The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8 ($350) is the updated version of the
popular DMC-FZ7 ultra zoom from last year (see our review). This latest model is an evolutionary
upgrade, providing these new features compared to the FZ7:
Pros: Very good photo quality (at lowest ISO setting and in good lighting), Superb 12X optical zoom Leica lens; lens can be precisely adjusted with new two speed zoom controller, Optical image stabilization, Well built for the price, Large, sharp 2.5" LCD display; screen visible outdoors and in low light; useful Power LCD and High Angle features;, Robust performance, especially in terms of focus and shot-to-shot speeds, AF-assist lamp; good (but somewhat sluggish) low light...
Cons: Heavy noise reduction smears/mottles details when ISO is above 100, or in low light, Some redeye, Useless high sensitivity mode, No USB 2.0 High Speed support, Can't swap memory cards while camera is on tripod, Manual leaves much to be desired
Summary: The Panasonic Lumix FZ8 is one of the best value super-zoom cameras around right now, boasting a range of features comparable to models costing comfortably more. On the plus side you get a good quality 12x optical zoom with stabilisation, composition using either a great-looking 2.5in screen or decent electronic viewfinder, quick and easy control over all settings, and even RAW recording facilities, all in small, light and affordable form factor.
Pros: 12x optical zoom with OIS., Decent quality 2.5in screen., Quick access to settings., Good manual control and RAW mode.
Cons: Noise becomes a problem above 200 ISO., Wide angle coverage 'only' 36mm., No flip-out screen., May be too small and light for some.