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Digital Camera Review, Lumix DMC-FZ28 10.1MP CCD Digital Bridge Camera

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ28,  Upping The CCD Sensor Ante
A retro digital look back, looking at what was updated with the 10.1MP CCD sensor Lumix DMC-FZ28 over the 8MP CCD DMC-FZ18.

My interest in the cameras and in the series is centered around the image quality of the CCD sensors these cameras are fitted with. CCD sensors, the standard for digital cameras from the mid-90s to early 2010s, are known for their high-quality, accurate colors, and low noise images they generate. The DMC-FZ28, launched in 2008, had a 10MP CCD sensor fitted and also came with a newer Venus Engine IV image processor.

The camera is fitted with a 1:2.8~4.4 27mm Leica DC Vario-Elmarit wide-angle lens with an 18X optical zoom for a full-frame equivalent range of 27-486 mm and features intelligent scene detection, 15x face recognition, intelligence ISO, intelligent exposure, and a macro mode that allows image capture at 1 centimeter. The in-line EVF (Electronic Viewfinder) of the FZ28 is now a 201,600-dot equivalent unit, and the LCD screen is 2.7-inch with 230,000 dots high resolution.

Images can be set to three different aspect ratios at 4:3, 3:2, and 16:9, the output format can be set to JPEG and RAW (in .RW2 format), with both JPEG and RAW recordings produced simultaneously. An intelligent LCD function, with a pixel-mixed readout method to maintain clarity, automatically boosts the LCD backlighting by up to 40% in bright sunshine and adjusts the frame rate when shooting in low-light situations.

Under The Hood

Though having an almost identical body form to the FZ18, with both having the same !:2.8-4.4 27mm wide angle Leica DC Vario-Elmarit 18x optical zoom (equivalent to 27-486mm on a 35mm film camera) lens, and sharing the same body dimensions of 117.6 x 75.3 x 88.9 mm, the FZ28 is definitely on the upper edge when it comes to handling and functional specification.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ28,  Front

The FZ28 has a bigger 10MP sensor (8MP on the FZ18), a 2.7-inch 230,000 pixels LCD screen (compared to 2.5-inch 207,000 pixels), and the high-speed, high-performance, Venus Engine IV, a top shutter speed of 1/2000 second (same as the FZ18), come with image stabilization (not available on the FZ18), a new AF Tracking function to iA (Intelligent Auto) mode that can 'lock' the focus onto a moving subject.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ28,  Back

The Face Detection function of the FZ28 can find up to 15 faces in the frame and adjust the focus and exposure to capture them clearly and in sharp focus. The FZ28 also features 5 scene modes – Portrait, Sports, Scenery, Night Scenery, and a new Close-up that provides optimal settings for shooting flowers or other small objects with fine detail.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ28,  Record/Playback

One of the idiosyncrasies with the DMC-FZ18 (which I am quite frustrated with), the option to only use either the EV or LCD display with no in-between, has now been addressed. The Record/Playback selector, located on the shoulder of the thumb rest, can be function set to Review. This permits playback of images on the LCD regardless of whether your display is set to EV or LCD.

Early Images

As always, early images with my test cameras or with vintage lens tests, are always out on the front porch, which is conveniently facing a small community park and children's play area right across the street. The green palm is the mainstay of our lot, and the neighbor's papaya tree is ever-growing taller...

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ28,  Early Images 01
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ28,  Early Images 02

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ28,  Early Images 03
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ28,  Early Images 04
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Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ28,  Early Images 07
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ28,  Early Images 08
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ28,  Early Images 09
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Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ28,  Early Images 12
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ28,  Early Images 13

Very impressive images, no doubt.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ28,  From the top

One up for the choice of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ28 for photographers who are enthusiastic about CCD imagery.

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