Panasonic have broken the mould with this superzoom camera and have produced something unique. It doesn’t have the longest zoom range but it still offers a very healthy full frame equivalent of 25mm, great for group phots, to 600mm, perfect for wildlife and sports. What it does offer though is a great f/2.8 lens that lets in a lot of light throughout the zoom range.
Distance and Light
Ultrazooms usually come with one big drawback, and that is the amount of light that the lens can capture at full zoom. The FZ300 starts out with a bright lens at the wide angle and maintains that aperture the whole way to 600mm. That allows you to use a lower ISO or a faster shutter speed and also provides shots with a shallow depth of field and lovely background blur, especially at the longer end of the zoom.
A Bag of 4K Tricks
One of the very best features of this camera stems from the way it utilises its 4K video capabilities to provide unique, and useful, photo features.
Ever taken a photo of an important event, like a family get together, only to find that the camera missed the focus and the picture is useless? Well that could be a thing of the past. The FZ300 can take a 4K image and let you choose the focus point after you’ve taken the photo…brilliant!
There are so many times where I’ve wanted to take an action shot but my timing’s been off and I click the shutter too late. Well this camera has that covered too with something called 4K Pre-Burst. Amazingly, this feature gives you a selection of 60 frames to choose from, 30 are taken within the second after you clicked the shutter button and 30 are taken from the second before you clicked it!
One of the problems with using stills from video footage has always been the poor image quality of the resulting photo. Well that’s a thing of the past, 4k images are the equivalent of 8MP photos. They display perfectly on 4K tv screens but can also produce good A3 and excellent A4 printed photos. That’s as much as most of us ever want.
A Wealth of additional Features
The FZ300 has a weather sealed body so, unlike many of its competitors, this camera should be able to withstand light showers and dusty conditions.
Sometimes the light is too bright to use F/2.8 and to counter that, Panasonic have provided a thread on the end of the lens barrel so that it can accept screw in filters.
As well as having a pop up flash (which can wirelessly control off camera flashes), there is a flash hot show mount. These are features rarely seen in any superzooms.
This camera not only features an articulated touch screen panel but also provides you with an electronic viewfinder, great in our often-harsh sunlight where even the best screens are difficult to see.