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Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH27 review:Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH27

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Typical Price: $349.00
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The Good "Intelligent LCD" automatically adjusts screen brightness. Leica-branded lens. 8x optical zoom.

The Bad Too many megapixels crammed onto the sensor. Touchscreen implementation can be confusing. No HDMI connectivity. HD video quality is very average.

The Bottom Line Looking for an 8x optical zoom touchscreen camera? The FH27 could fit the bill, providing you're not too fussed about physical buttons and exemplary image quality.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

7.5 Overall

Review Sections

Design and features

Editor's note: this camera is identical in specifications to the FH25, released at the same time, except it has a larger 3-inch screen compared to the 2.7-inch version on the FH25.

The FH27 won't be winning too much kudos in the design stakes, favouring utilitarian over stylish with its solid exterior and lone silver accent-cum-handgrip down one side. With the standard controls one would expect to find on any compact camera, like a shutter button, zoom rocker and power switch located at the top, it's fortunate that the FH27 has a 3-inch, 230,000-dot touchscreen at the back to provide a point of interest. The intelligent LCD automatically adjusts the screen brightness depending on the ambient light situation.

It's a resistive screen, which means that touch control isn't as responsive as other devices using capacitive versions. The lack of physical buttons on the side also indicate the extent to which Panasonic is committing itself to this being a wholly immersive touch experience.

As for lens specifications that comes down to a Leica-branded, 28mm wide-angle 8x optical zoom, with a maximum aperture range of f/3.3-5.9. The FH27 also sports Mega OIS (optical image stabilisation) and intelligent zoom, a feature that acts like digital zoom to extend the reach to 10x when activated. It's the same technology that first made an appearance on the TZ10. This is effectively digital zoom, though Panasonic claims it is superior to the digital zooms of old. It works by first determining the outlines of objects, detecting detailed texture and soft gradation areas within the image, then enhancing them to add clarity and accentuate this detail.

Shooting modes are rather simple, with intelligent auto, standard automatic, a range of scene modes and video available. Video is recorded in HD, 720p at 24fps in Motion JPEG. Connectivity is down to just one digital-out port, no mini HDMI here. The E-Zoom button at the top of the camera extends the zoom from the full wide angle to telephoto extreme.

Performance

General shooting metrics (in seconds)

  • Time to first shot
  • JPEG shot-to-shot time
  • Shutter lag
  • Panasonic Lumix FH272.31.90.5

 

Continuous shooting speed (longer bars indicate better performance)

  • Panasonic Lumix FH271

Panasonic rates the battery at 250 shots. Though the screen turns on very soon after the power switch has been activated, the touch menu takes a second or two to display its options.

Image quality

Like most other 16-megapixel compacts we've tested, the FH27 exhibits classic megapixel overloading — that is, too many megapixels for the lens to be able to resolve. Most images at full magnification look crunchy, with digital noise and artefacts, even at low ISO levels. Best results are obtained at ISO 200 and below.

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