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You are hereHome > Best Digital Cameras > Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18 Review

Panasonic Digital Cameras


Panasonic FZ18 Review

Review Date: Sep 7, 2007

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18
Mouseover image for back view

Category: Beginner to Serious Amateur

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18 features a LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT lens with 18x wide-angle optical zoom (equivalent to 28 mm to 504 mm in a 35 mm film camera) to cover vast landscapes as well as bring far subjects close. Wide macro allows you to shoot all the way down to 1cm from your subject; Tele macro allows you to take close up shots from a safe 1m distance.

The FZ18 features the MEGA O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer) system to compensate against camera shake, the major cause of blurry images.

In addition, the FZ18 deals with the other major cause of blurry images --subject movement -- with the Intelligent ISO Control function which detects subject movement and adjusts the ISO setting and shutter speed to best suit the movement and light conditions automatically. Together, they form Intelligent Image Stabilizer.

Face Detection function detects up to 15 faces to ensure they are well-lit and in focus.

A new Intelligent Auto (iA) mode turns on MEGA O.I.S., Intelligent ISO, Face Detection, Continuous Auto-Focus and Intelligent Scene Selector for a beginner's point-and-shoot ease of use.

More advanced photographers have access to full exposure flexibility. Choose from Program AE, Aperture Priority AE, Shutter Speed Priority AE, and Manual Exposure.

Venus Engine III in the FZ8 allows high-sensitivity recording up to ISO 1250 at full resolution with an improved noise reduction system which maintains high resolution.

If your subjects are always laughing after the self-timer shot, you can now capture 3 consecuitive shots using the self-timer so you can choose from the best. Other practical features include composition guidelines and a real-time histogram.

For the advanced photographer, RAW file format is available and SILKYPIX® Developer Studio software utility is included to let you develop and edit RAW data files.

Battery life is approximately 400 pictures on a single charge (CIPA standard).

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18 offers a great package and should appeal to those desiring a wide-angle ultra zoom with image stabilization and full exposure flexibility.

Read our Panasonic FZ18 review...
Panasonic FZ18
QuickFact™ Sheet
  Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18US | CAN | UK | Lumix Site  
  Camera Effective Pixels 8.1 Megapixels  
  Image Sensor 1/2.5", 8.32 Mega Total Pixels CCD
Primary Color Filter
11 elements in 8 groups
(3 Aspherical lenses / 4 Aspherical surfaces)
  Optical Image Stabilizer MEGA O.I.S. (Mode1 / Mode2)  
  Focal Length f = 4.6 - 82.8 mm (35 mm Equivalent: 28 - 504 mm)  
  Optical Zoom 18x  
  Extra Optical Zoom

4:3 Aspect Ratio: 23x for 5 Mega, 28.7x for 3 / 2 / 0.3 Mega
3:2 Aspect Ratio: 23x for 4.5 Mega, 28.7x for 2.5 Mega
16:9 Aspect Ratio: 23x for 3.5 Mega, 28.7x for 2 Mega

  Digital Zoom 4x
(Max. 72x combined with Optical Zoom without Extra Optical Zoom)
(Max. 115x combined with Extra Optical Zoom)
  Aperture Wide: F2.8 - F8.0 Tele: F4.2 - F8.0  
  Focusing Area P / A / S / M / Intelligent AUTO / Motion Picture: Normal: Wide 30 cm (0.98 feet) / Tele 200 cm (6.56 feet) - infinity
Macro: Wide 1 cm (0.03 feet) / Tele (approx. 6x-11x) 200 cm (6.56 feet)- infinity
Tele Macro (approx. 12x-18x) : 100 cm (3.27 feet) - infinity
  AF Metering Face / 1-point / 1-point high speed / 3-point high speed / Multi-point / Spot  
  AF Assist Lamp Yes  
  Conversion Lens Compatibility Yes  
  Focus AF-Macro On / Off, AF / MF Switchable, Manual Focus (joystick), One Shot AF, Continuous AF On / Off  
  AF / AE Lock Yes  
  ISO Sensitivity Auto / 100 / 200 / 400 / 800 / 1250 / 1600
(High Sensitivity Mode: Auto(1600-6400))
  White Balance Auto / Daylight / Cloudy / Shade / Halogen / Flash / White Set1 / 2
White Balance Adjustment (2-axis adjustable, ± 9 steps each)(Selectable at Portrait(Normal, Soft Skin,Creative), Sports(Normal, Creative), Baby, Pet and High Sensitivity mode)
  Exposure Program AE, Aperture Priority AE, Shutter Priority AE, Manual, Program Shift(Program AE mode)  
  Scene Modes Dial: Intelligent AUTO, P(Program) Mode, A(Aperture Priority) Mode, S(Shutter Priority) Mode, M(Manual) Mode, Custom, Portrait Mode, Scenery Mode, Sports Mode, Night Portrait Mode, SCN (Panning, Food, Party, Candle Light, Baby1, Baby2, Pet, Sunset, High Sensitivity, Starry Sky, Fireworks, Beach, Snow, Aerial Photo),
Motion Picture, Playback, Print
  Advanced Scene Modes Portrait mode : Normal, Soft Skin, Outdoor, Indoor, Creative
Scenery mode : Normal, Nature, Architecture, Creative
Sports mode : Normal, Outdoor, Indoor, Creative
Night Portrait : Night Portrait, Night Scenery, Illuminations, Creative
  Light Metering Intelligent Multiple / Center Weighted / Spot  
  Exposure Compensation 1/3 EV step, -2 - +2 EV  
  Backlight Compensation Yes (at Intelligent AUTO Mode)  
  Auto (AE) Bracketing ±1/3 EV - 1 EV step, 3 frames  
  Shutter Speed Program AE: 1 - 1/2,000 sec
Aperture Priority AE / Shutter Priority AE: 8 - 1/2,000 sec
Manual: 60 - 1/2,000 sec
Starry Sky Mode: 15, 30, 60 sec
  Self Timer 2 sec / 10 sec / 10 sec / 3 images  
  Auto Review 1 sec / 3 sec / zoom  
  Review 1x / 4x / 8x  
  Picture Adjustment Contrast: ± 2steps
Sharpness: ± 2steps
Saturation: ± 2steps
Noise Reduction: ± 2steps
  Color Effect Mode Cool, Warm, Black & White, Sepia  
  Recording Format Still Image: JPEG (Design rule for Camera File system, based on Exif 2.21 standard), DPOF compatible
Image with audio: JPEG (Design rule for Camera File system, based on Exif 2.21 standard) + Quick Time
Motion Images: Quick Time Motion JPEG
  Image Quality Fine / Standard / RAW / RAW + JPEG  
  Recording Image Size Still Image
4:3 Aspect Ratio: 3,264 x 2,448 pixels,
2,560 x 1,920 pixels,
2,048 x 1,536 pixels,
1,600 x 1,200 pixels,
640 x 480 pixels
3:2 Aspect Ratio: 3,264 x 2,176 pixels,
2,560 x 1,712 pixels,
2,048 x 1,360 pixels
16:9 Aspect Ratio: 3,264 x 1,840 pixels,
2,560 x 1,440 pixels,
1,920 x 1,080 pixels

Motion Picture*
(QuickTime Motion JPEG)

4:3 Aspect Ratio: 640 x 480 pixels, 320 x 240 pixels 30 fps, 10 fps
16:9 Aspect Ratio: 848 x 480 pixels 30 fps, 10 fps
(Max. recording time depends on Memory Card Capacity, Max. 2 GB for a motion picture)
Creating still pictures from a motion picture
  Burst Shooting Mode Full-Resolution Image, 3 frames / sec
Max. 7 images (Standard Mode) / Max. 4 images (Fine Mode)
  Unlimited Consecutive Shooting Yes  
  Easy Zoom / Zoom Resume - / Yes  
  Still Image Rec. with Audio 5 sec  
  Audio Dubbing Max. 10 sec  
  Real-time Histogram Yes  
  Composition Guide Lines Yes (2 patterns)  
  Built-in Memory 27 MB  
  Scene Mode Help Screen Yes  
  Auto Angle Detection Yes  
  Flip Animation Yes  
  Travel Date / World Time Yes / Yes  
  Title Edit Yes  
  Text Stamp / Date Stamp Yes / Yes  
  Built-in Flash Auto, Auto / Red-eye Reduction, Forced On, Forced On / Red-eye Reduction,
Slow Sync. / Red-eye Reduction, Forced Off
Flash output Adjustment (1 / 3 EV step, -2 - +2 EV),
ISO AUTO: 0.3 - 6.0 m (W) / 1.0 - 4.0 m (T)
High Sensitivity Mode: 1.15 - 24.0 m (W) / 1.0-16.1 m (T)
  Viewfinder 0.44" Color EVF (188 K Pixels), Field of View : approx. 100%  
  LCD 2.5" Polycrystalline TFT LCD (207 K Pixels)
Field of View : approx. 100%
Auto Power LCD Mode, Power LCD Mode, High Angle Mode
  Playback Mode 25 - thumbnail display, 9 - thumbnail display, Calendar display, Zoomed playback (16x Max.), Image rotation, Slide show(duration is adjustable, also manual controllable), Category Playback (playback and slideshow of pictures in category), Playback of favorite pictures, Creating still pictures from a motion picture, Resizing (selectable number of pixels), Trimming, Protection, Aspect conversion, DPOF print setting  
  OSD Language English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Russian, Chinese (Traditional), Chinese (Simplified), Netherlandic, Thai, Korean, Turkish, Portuguese, Arabic, Persian, Japanese
*Varies according to the models of your sales area.
  Recording Media Built-in Memory (approx. 27MB), SD Memory Card, SDHC Memory Card, MultiMedia Card  
  Microphone Yes  
  Speaker Yes  
  Interface DC Input, AV Output (NTSC / PAL), USB 2.0 Full Speed  
  Direct Print PictBridge  
  Power Li-ion Battery Pack (7.2 V, 710 mAh) (Included)
AC Adaptor (Input: 110 - 240 V AC) (Optional)
  Battery Life (Approx.) 400 pictures (CIPA standard**) / 400 pictures (with EVF)  
  Included Accessories

- Battery Charger, Battery Pack
- Lens Cap, Lens Hood(L)(S), Lens Hood Adaptor
- AV Cable, USB Connection Cable, AC Cable
- Strap
- CD ROM (LUMIX Simple Viewer, PhotofunStudio - viewer -, SILKYPIX® Developer Studio 2.1 SE, ArcSoft MediaImpression, ArcSoft PanoramaMaker, USB Driver)
*Check the website of the Panasonic sales company in your country or region for details on the standard accessories that are available in your market.
Europe | U.S.A. | UK | Other Countries

  Dimensions (Approx.) (W x H x D) 117.6 x 75.3 x 88.2 mm /
4.63 x 2.96 x 3.47 in
  Weight (Approx.) 360 g (0.79 lb)
407 g with Battery and SD Memory Card (0.90 lb)
  MSRP US $399.95 / CDN $549.99  

* In Motion Picture Mode, when you set the picture quality to [30 fps VGA], we recommend using a high speed SD/SDHC Memory Card with "10 MB/s" or greater displayed on the package.
** Shooting conditions: 23 °C (73.4°F) with 50 % humidity; LCD on; using Panasonic SD/SHDC Memory Card; starting to shoot 30 seconds after turning on the power; shooting once every 30 seconds with the flash in full operation for every other shot; changing the zoom setting from telephoto to wide, or wide to telephoto, for each shot; and temporarily turning the power off after each 10 shots (long enough to lower the battery temperature).

•The battery life differs depending on the condition stored or used or environment.
•The number of recordable pictures varies depending on the recording interval time. If the recording interval time becomes longer, the number of recordable pictures decreases.
•Operating Temperature:32 °F– 104 °F(0°C–40°C)
•Operating Humidity: 10%–40%
•Weight and dimensions shown are approximate.
•Design, functions, and specifications are subject to change without notice.
•Some sample images [on the Panasonic website] are simulated.
•Some accessories are not available in some countries.
•Availability of models and colors may differ depending on the country.
•Check the website of the Panasonic sales company in your country or region for details on the LUMIX models, colors, and optional accessories that are available in your market.

- Main Parts and Controls

- Sample Images

- 360° View

- Optional Accessories

- Press Release [ US | CAN ]

Product technical specifications (including MSRP and Included Accessories) are as represented by the manufacturer and subject to manufacturer's change without any notice or obligation on the part of the manufacturer. Product color availability and included accessories may also differ by country or area. Please verify the latest specs from the appropriate manufacturer's site.

Before you buy, do your homework and verify a seller's reputation. One source you may want to check with is Resellerratings.com. And remember, if a price seems to good to be true, it probably is.


Though we make every effort to strive for accuracy in reproducing these specs, we do occasionally make mistakes, so verify with the manufacturer's site for the latest specs. Also, in the early stages of a product introduction, you can almost guarantee there will be some errors from the manufacturers themselves as they update their sites. If you see any mistakes, please contact us. We do appreciate your writing in with the corrections and thank you in advance!

Panasonic FZ18


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