Panasonic Lumix FZ28 Brief Review


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  • 10.1 megapixels
  • 18x optical zoom, 27mm ultra wide-angle lens
  • JPEG and RAW file formats
  • 720p high-definition movie mode
  • Lens-shift MEGA O.I.S. image stabilizaion
  • 4:3, 3:2, 16:9 aspect ratios
  • ISO 100 - 1600 (6400 high sensitivity mode)
  • 2.7-inch LCD display
  • Lithium-ion battery
  • Secure Digital memory card storage (50MB internal)
  • Release Date: 2008-07-22
  • Final Grade: 82 4.1 Star Rating: Recommended

Panasonic Lumix FZ28 Digital Camera Review
An interesting extended zoom offering from Panasonic. See what we thought of it in our hands on review. <br/><B>By Michael Patrick Brady</B>
By , Last updated on: 9/29/2014

The FZ28 features a 27mm, 18x optical zoom lens that is also capable of shooting wide-angle shots. That's a lot of scope for such a compact camera, allowing users to capture highly-detailed long-range photographs as well as broad, inclusive close-up shots. The 18x optical zoom is a nice start, though slightly less powerful than the 20x zoom found on the Olympus SP-570 UZ from earlier in the year, or Canon's all new Powershot SX10 IS.

For me, any extended zoom camera must be compared to the superlative Olympus SP-570 UZ, which I reviewed a few months ago and was incredibly pleased with. The SP-570 UZ, with its 20x optical zoom and exceptional performance, sets the standard in the extended zoom category, and one can expect its updates (like this fall's SP-565 UZ) to follow closely to that winning formula.

The FZ28 is a well-designed, well thought out camera, and while it may not be as polished as the SP-570 UZ, it's an attractive (and slightly less expensive) option.


The first thing most people will notice when handling the FZ28 is how lightweight it is. The optics certainly adds some bulk, but it's well balanced. The FZ28 would make an excellent portable camera for travelers.

The FZ28 features both a large, 2.7-inch LCD display and an electronic viewfinder; while the LCD display is big and vivid enough to make previewing shots very comfortable, the viewfinder is narrow, cramped, and particularly difficult to utilize outdoors in bright environments. The EVF is also quite jittery and afflicted by image noise. The LCD is a user's best bet for hassle-free framing, as it can handle bright light fairly well.

There are a lot of buttons strewn about the back and top of the camera, but they're arranged in a very natural, easy-to-reach way. The big question is whether or not you can remember which of the many buttons does what without having to look at them constantly. The mode dial is solid and strong, sweeping in its orbit with a satisfyingly stable click.

The menus are clear and easy to understand, and each of the modes (Portrait, Macro, Landscape, etc) has a sub menu to account for different types of pictures. You can select Portrait for example, and then further optimize the mode by indicating that the subject has soft skin, is indoors, or outdoors. These refinements subtly alter the camera's settings to ensure a better photograph.


The Panasonic FZ28 is capable of taking still images in various aspect ratios: standard 4:3 photos are taken at 10 megapixels, smaller 3:2 photos at 9 megapixels and widescreen 16:9 photos at 7.5 megapixels. It provides a number of automatic modes (Profile, Landscape, Sports, Nighttime, Close-up), several manual priority modes (Shutter-Priority, Aperture-Priority, Program AE), and two custom slots on the mode dial (C1, C2) in which to save user-defined settings for quick, easy access, as well as a straight-up manual mode.

Overall, the FZ28 took great photos, though in some cases the colors appeared muted or dull. Our test photos are visible in the accompanying sidebar, so you can judge for yourself. The ability to make manual adjustments is very beneficial, with small refinements to aperture and shutter speed granting much more versatility in each photo.

High-Definition Video

The FZ28, like all of Panasonic's new slate of cameras, also has a high-definition movie mode that shoots video clips in 720p at 30 frames per second. The movie modes on digital cameras are great for quick clips, and the FZ28 performs adequately in this regard. While the video clips it shoots are technically high-definition, users shouldn't expect incredibly detailed footage coming from this camera. It's definitely an improvement, but not an adequate replacement for a dedicated video camcorder like Panasonic's SD100.


The Panasonic FZ28 isn't a blockbuster digital camera, but it's an excellent, reasonably priced option for consumers interested in a versatile, competent shooter. The FZ28's combination of a long-range zoom, wide-angle lens, and HD video mode (however slight) makes it a really strong contender for a great all-around option.

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As a manufacturer known just as well for their camcorders as their cameras, Panasonic was the first on scene to offer 4K video inside a dedicated camera. The Panasonic Lumix GH4 is the first mirrorless camera boasting the higher video resolution, with the FZ1000 as the first compact, bridge-style camera to do so.

Panasonic also produces cameras that provide both a longer zoom range and image stabilization at a price that's relatively cheap. For photographers that need versatility in a small package, Panasonic digital cameras can provide many selections that are suitable. Having something for amateurs and serious enthusiasts at the same time, Panasonic offers a great selection of digital cameras, from ultra compacts to mirrorless cameras. They can be hard to compare because every camera comes with its own unique features and traits.

Panasonic cameras are perfect for consumers that prefer to use automatic modes. Almost all Panasonic cameras currently produced come with a feature called iAuto, which will automatically select the best scene mode for any subject. This feature, in combination with image stabilization will make it very easy for someone just starting out to take excellent photos.

Panasonic cameras are designed to be easy to figure out, giving the user easy access to settings, and users that have reviewed Panasonic digital cameras are quick to confirm this fact. When you opt for a Panasonic camera, you'll discover that it comes with an LCD screen, an optical zoom lens which is very versatile, and is both lightweight and fairly compact.

Panasonic's most popular models are their super zooms and mirrorless, with models ranging from cameras with huge zooms to mirrorless cameras earning the “smallest yet” distinction like the GM-1. They've been more focused on their mirrorless line lately, without introducing budget point-and-shoots in quite some time.

We here at Digital Camera HQ offer unbiased, informative reviews and recommendations to guide you to the right camera. We're not an actual store; we're just here to help you find the perfect camera at the best price possible by using our camera grades. Let us know if you have any problems or questions, we're happy to help.