Panasonic Lumix FZ50 Sample Photos

The Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ50 is one of a few great older bridge cameras. The FZ50 is somewhat of a legend in some photography circles. It was way ahead of its time when it was first released well over a decade ago. But despite its age, it can still hold its own against much newer bridge cameras that people rave about today. Don't get me wrong, its not perfect, no camera is. But overall it's a very capable camera that has an excellent lens, lots of features, and is nice and easy to use.

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Reviews are also extremely positive from end-users. I've got the silver version. Some people prefer this model, as I think its considered as a bit more rare, a limited edition. But I would have preferred the black version to be honest. They are both nice, though, so no big deal.

These are some sample photos taken by me with the Panasonic FZ50, which are not enhanced or edited in any way other than made smaller. Most are me just snapping away in "P" mode using autofocus. Of course, there is manual focus options. However, from my experience, I can hardly ever get the same level of sharpness from using the manual focus ring on the lens barrel than I could get from using the autofocus. The autofocus is very good on this camera, and its definitely the preferred option for me under most circumstances.

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If you're not aware, the FZ50 has manual focus and zoom rings on the actual lens barrel. It's quite a unique feature for a bridge camera, and it mostly works very well. The manual zoom ring is convenient, and the zoom itself is very good. Images remain sharp at respectable zoom lengths. Image stability is also very good.

Some of the main things I like about the FZ50


Build Quality: While it is a big camera it sits quite nice in the hand and feels quite professional to use with its manual zoom ring, like a DSLR.

Good image quality: There's even the option to further sharpen the image quality, or decrease it. As well as other settings for image adjustment like contrast and saturation etc.

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Close up of a flower - Indoors using flash

Long battery life: Battery life has been excellent. I usually use a higher capacity 950mAh after-market (non-original) Li-ion in mine and its lasts a long time. I suspect one of the reasons for this with the FZ50 is due to the fact that the lens does not physically pop out when the camera is powered up, like most cameras do. It's already out, fixed in position.

Auto Focus: Very fast and most of the time very precise.

Lens: Excellent Leica lens. And a nice, clear EVF (view finder).

Zoom: The zoom is very good, and the images retain a good level clarity even when the zoom is almost maxed out. See below for an absolute full zoom example. Not the clearest at full zoom, but its gets better to any less zoom than this.

Absolute full zoom example - by hand (no tripod)

Modes: Lots of custom / auto modes and settings to choose between, including RAW shooting option, full auto, shutter priority (up to 1/2000), manual exposure, aperture priority, sports mode (as well as many others), macro and video recording.

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Zooming in on a bird feeder

Flash: Decent flash, with hot shoe attachment rail for adding an external flash.

Some things I don't like


Like so many Panasonic cameras, in low light image quality is not that great. This one is no exception. Even on dull cloudy days, the image quality becomes fairly average. Same as indoors. If shooting indoors with no flash the image quality is on par with many of my normal point and shoots, such as the TZ3 (Review), TZ1 and Samsung WB500.

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Dull day pale purple Alder Catkins - Macro

ISO: High ISO is also very grainy. In fact, anything above ISO 400 (and I'm being generous) and the quality is severely diminished.

The size: This is a big camera. And yes, that does add a feeling of quality and professionalism. However, it can be cumbersome and a bit of a pain to travel with. A camera bag is definitely needed.

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Empty road in Black & White

The flip out screen: The screen itself is excellent, but the hinge has been designed so it flips out downward rather than to the side. This has proved to be a bit of a hazard for me, and I would have preferred it if it flipped to the side like the Canon S2 IS. No big deal though, just a minor niggle. Overall the FZ50 is such a good camera, and despite its shortcomings its such a good camera, and I'm certainly happy to own one. Didn't pay much for it either.

Strange-Angle-Pylon-England

Buy one if you can find one for sale. Well worth the money. I've seen some people asking what the maximum size of SD memory card can it hold. Mine is packing a 8GB card and that is working fine. I did try a 16GB SD card and it would not register in the camera, so pretty sure 8GB is the most it will hold.
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Baked Decks Graffiti UK

Stoned on the decks. He looks close to having a whitey! This is from the back of a community centre in Birmingham UK. I believe its a commissioned piece by artist unknown. There is a web address for Graffiti Supplies that you can just see a little bit in the lower right hand corner.

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However, I have checked the link (Graphsupplies.com) and the site is long gone. Doesn't exist anymore. If it did I would have included a live link here to give credit to the artist. See another graffiti character from the same location, and taken on the same day here. Camera taken with (FZ50).
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