The 12-megapixel Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ35 has a lot going for it. Although its 18x Leica lens is not quite as long as some of the other leading ultra-zoom models, it takes consistently excellent images throughout the full 27 mm to 486 mm range. It has a maximum aperture of 2.8 that permits faster shutter speeds for night shooting, and auto focus is super fast. The DMC-FZ35 also boasts an improved optical image-stabilization system that reviewers say reduces image blur at most zoom ranges. The camera is also more compact than other ultra-zooms, making it handy to throw in a coat pocket or purse.
The DMC-FZ35 has both an electronic viewfinder and a 2.7-inch LCD with 230k resolution, which is on the small side for cameras in this class. It can store images in RAW format, which is handier for photo editing than the regular JPEG format. There is a fully automatic Intelligent mode that chooses the best scene, but the camera also comes with a range of manual controls that allow you to set shutter or aperture priority, white balance and focus. One of the DMC-FZ35's greatest strengths is its video capabilities. It records HD at 720p resolution and features AVCHD Lite recording, which is great for showing on an HDTV. Most reviewers praise the camera for having consistently sharp images, even in low light. "For those of you who want a full-featured super zoom camera with elaborate movie recording features, the FZ35 should be high on your list," DCResource.com editors write.
The DMC-FZ35 has been widely reviewed. The most comprehensive looks are at Imaging-Resource.com, DCResource.com and CNET.com. This camera also has been extensively evaluated by users on Amazon.com, who verify many of the judgments of the professional testers.
Jeff Keller calls the DMC-FZ35 "a very capable super zoom camera/camcorder hybrid." He especially likes the wide variety of exposure options, including a comprehensive auto mode and full manual controls.
Review: DCRP Review: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ35, Jeff Keller, Updated Nov. 10, 2010
The DMC-FZ35 is not as well built as the Canon PowerShot SX10 IS, but the camera handles very nicely, reviewers say. They don't like the lens hood or the stiffness of the buttons, but overall image quality is "up to snuff."
Review: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ35, Mike Tomkins, Mike Pasini and Zig Weidelich, Oct. 2, 2009
Although she ranks the DMC-FZ35 as "very good," reviewer Lori Grunin says the camera suffers from "weak photo quality." Limitations in the electronic viewfinder make the Panasonic a poor choice for shooting kids, pets and sports.
Review: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ35, Lori Grunin, Oct. 8, 2009
This reviewer likes the fact that the DMC-FZ35 is light and compact and that its weight allows you to operate it with one hand. The camera's ability to handle low light situations is very good, although images above ISO 400 start to lose detail.
Review: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ35 Review, Editors of Steves-Digicams.com, March 29, 2010
Amazon.com features over 250 customer reviews of the DMC-FZ35, many of which are glowingly positive. One dissenter complains that the camera is too small and too light, while a few others are dissatisfied with image quality.
Review: Untitled, Contributors to Amazon.com