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Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18

>> Monday, February 2, 2009

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 FZ8Sony Cybershot DSC-H3, the FZ18 retains an EVF (electronic viewfinder).

That's a good thing even with the optical image stabilizer, when shooting that long you really want the additional steadiness conferred by an eye level grip type of stance. 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 auto focus 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.

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