The Lumix FZ300 abandons the classic curves of the FZ200 and borrows the big brother FZ1000 its very angular design. While it will be up to everyone to make his own opinion aesthetic side, impossible to disagree with the excellent grip, the handle very gripping, the finish almost irreproachable. Despite the slight overweight, the FZ300 remains very balanced in hand, reassures and quickly forget the not-so-distant era when bridges were the poor relation of the NPCs with, all too often, a large plastic toy finish. In any case, it was necessary at least to make the FZ300 one of the – too – rare tropicalized bridges of the market.
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For the maniacs of the grip and customization, there is almost nothing missing from the Lumix FZ300 except the zoom scale on the barrel of the lens: double zoom control (with zooming step-by-step or continuous) , double adjustment knobs, AFS / AFC / MC switch – with almost red peaking focus, 1040,000-dot touch-screen and touch screen display, many quick accesses, Q.Menu as always very complete and customizable. A grip as we would almost believe on an expert case, to the point of wondering why there is no physical diaphragm ring or, and it’s a shame, a programmable lens ring. Small complaint however for the use of the two wheels in PASM mode, since both have the same function. It is not possible, in mode M for example, to attribute the speed to one and the opening to the other. By simultaneously clicking Fn2, these two knobs adjust the sensitivity and white balance, but this is also customizable.
For a bridge, the 1,440,000 dot OLED viewfinder is of excellent quality, flicker-free, with good brightness, and for eyeglass wearers, comfortable eye relief. By going to Menu> Personal Settings> Key Setting> AF Touchpad, you can activate the function that allows you to change the AF point by touching the screen while keeping your eye on the viewfinder. A terribly effective and useful opportunity when, at the bottom of zoom, you do not want to lose your subject in the viewfinder.
With its expert Lumix GX8 hybrid, Panasonic has shown a nice progression in terms of definition, from 16 MP to 20.3 MP and thus catching up the gap that existed between the micro 4/3 and their APS- C or more. The definition of the BSI CMOS 1 / 2.3 “sensor of the FZ300 is 12 Mpx, which maintains the status quo compared to the FZ200.Similarly for the lens, which is the same 25-600mm f / 2.8 as before. On the other hand, the processor is new and now allows a maximum sensitivity of ISO 6,400 (ISO 3,200).
If there is one thing that is nice about Panasonic’s 4K movie cameras, it’s that they do not impose the use of SDXC memory cards to benefit from 4K via an “original” format – a little cuckoo at XAVC- S from Sony. With the Lumix FZ300, a simple UHS-I SDHC – it does not support the UHS-II but can read the UHS-II – is enough if it is fast enough. So you will film either in AVCHD Full HD (50p, 50i, 25p, 24p) or in MP4 Full HD (50p, 25p) and of course in MP4 4K (25p or 24p, both at 100 Mb / s). Note that only recording in 4K allows video to enjoy the maximum wide-angle recording in Full HD also reframes. Only the PAL is available and not the NTSC. Also note that in our region, the Lumix FZ300 is subject to the recording limitation of 29 minutes and 59 seconds per sequence.
Not surprisingly, the picture quality is very good, as is the sound; pity that there is no headphone jack. 5-axis stabilization works miracles and avoids jerks, even during strong zooms while filming. Depending on the PASM mode selected, it is possible to change the speed, aperture, sensitivity, exposure compensation, while filming. It is also possible to switch, on the fly, in manual focus, with focus peaking and zebra. It is not possible to take a picture during video recording.