Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18 review: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
  • Overall: 7.2
  • Design: 7.0
  • Features: 8.0
  • Performance: 7.0
  • Image quality: 7.0
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Wide-angle, long zoom lens; nice set of shooting features.

The Bad Camera's JPEG processing choices can produce suboptimal results; no zoom in movie capture; sluggish LCD/EVF update.

The Bottom Line A decent but not great camera, the megazoom Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18 still manages to outdo its few competitors.

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Though far from perfect, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18 shapes up to be the best of the cameras promising 18x-zoom Nirvana we've reviewed so far, a trio rounded out by the slow Fujifilm FinePix S8000fd and the slower Olympus SP-550 UZ. Like those models, the FZ18 incorporates a wide aperture, wide-angle lens, specifically f/2.8-to-f/4.2 28mm-to-504mm, and like the S8000fd, incorporates an 8-megapixel sensor.

Its design looks quite similar to its 7-megapixel, 12x-zoom line mate, the

Panasonic doesn't skimp on shooting options here. In addition to a full set of manual, semi-manual, automatic, and scene program exposure modes, and the standard three metering choices--spot, center and multiple--the FZ18 includes six autofocus algorithm options: Face, 1-point, 1-point high speed, 3-point high speed, Multi-point, and Spot. It also offers automatic scene detection, rather sluggish face-detection, and Intelligent Auto mode, which enables the image stabilizer, uses Intelligent ISO (automatic up to the user set cap), face detection, automatic scene mode detection, and continuous AF. The three-shot self-timer provides a retro photo-booth experience. And not only does the FZ18 offer raw mode, it also supplies a raw-plus-JPEG option, which we generally see only in midrange and higher dSLRs.

Photos and image samples from the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18

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Where to Buy See all prices

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18 (Black)

Part Number: DMC-FZ18K Released: Aug 27, 2007
Low Price: $599.99 See all prices

Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date Aug 27, 2007
  • Digital camera type Full body
  • Optical Zoom 18 x
  • Optical Sensor Type CCD
  • Sensor Resolution 8.1 Megapixel
  • Image Stabilizer optical
  • Optical Sensor Size 1/2.5"
  • Lens 28 - 504mm F/2.8