Build complex toys and simple tools
by Tony Karp
My new Panasonic DMC-FZ35 - Part 1
 - A monarch butterfly caterpillar  - Tony Karp, design, art, photography, techno-impressionist, techno-impressionism, aerial photography , drone , drones , dji , mavic pro , video , 3D printing - Books -
A monarch butterfly caterpillar
DMC-FZ35 - 1/250 sec @ f4 - 80 ISO - 381mm equiv.
What's new? The FZ35 is pretty much the same as the DMC-FZ28, but with these new features and enhancements. And a few clunkers as well. But first, the good news.

New model number - The new model is called the DMC-FZ35 in the US and DMC-FZ38 in other parts of the world. Some will call it the "FZ35/38," but that's as strange-sounding as "Everyone take his or her raincoat." Correct, but awkward.

So I'll be calling it the FZ35. Takes me back to the good old days. Shooting in 35 again. (Note: there may actually be some real differences between the FZ35 and the FZ38, so I will only be writing about this version.)

More megapixels - Twelve megapixels. What can I say. The FZ35 has 20% more pixels than the FZ28 and 50% more than the FZ18. All using the same size sensor. But it's got nice round numbers -- 4000 x 3000 pixels.

New video features - The FZ35 does HD video (AVCHD Lite). It now has stereo microphones, and they're located towards the front of the camera, hopefully giving better sound recording than the single, ill-placed microphone on the FZ28. Other video features include a new, dedicated button for starting and stopping video recording, special effects available for video, and a new processor that makes all of this possible.

New image stabilizer - POWER O.I.S. replaces MEGA O.I.S., promising greater sharpness in low light scenes.

Faster response times - The FZ35 claims a faster start-up and faster focusing than its predecessors.

Lots more scene modes and effects

Venus Engine HD - A very important feature, as most of the other features are based on its enhanced processing power. This new version of the Venus engine does some of its magic transparently, fixing things like barrel distortion and color fringing. It also gives improved sharpness and improved noise reduction at the higher ISO settings.

Raw photography - Like the earlier models in the series, the FZ35 can produce files containing the raw sensor data from the camera. Panasonic provides software to process these files. (There may be a problem here because third-party raw software will have to support both the FZ35 and the FZ38 -- even though they are the same camera.)

The FZ35's battery - Normally, a camera's battery isn't that exciting an item. But Panasonic changed that in 2009 by introducing cameras that would only use Panasonic-branded batteries. They had a chip to identify them, like the chip in inkjet cartridges. One problem was that. even if you were willing to pay the higher price, Panasonic batteries were in short supply, which just made the situation worse.

You can relax. The FZ35 uses the same battery as the FZ28 and the FZ18. You can still use your Ebay-bought batteries in the FZ35.

What's the most interesting feature on the FZ35?

For most users, it will be the new video features, but I am not a video person. And most of the other "new" features are incremental enhancements of the features on earlier models.

For me, the most interesting feature on the FZ35 is the new LCD on the rear of the camera. It's the same size as the one on the FZ28 but the similarities end there.

It has the widest viewing angle I've ever seen on a digital camera. Tilting the camera up or down changes the view/brightness only slightly. The LCD works just as well side-to-side as up and down. Almost no change. This is important if you shoot with the LCD, and for reviewing pictures on the LCD or showing them to others.

With older models, you had to look at the LCD dead on to see the picture accurately. Using the FZ18 or the FZ28, tilting the camera only slightly makes the LCD go black or wash out.

They've removed the feature that gains-up the LCD for holding the camera overhead. It's not needed anymore.

It's almost as good as having a tilting LCD. It makes the camera usable in a lot more situations.

For me, it's the real "killer" feature of the FZ35. It's the one thing that changes the nature of the camera itself, opening the door to new possibilities.

And it almost makes up for the crummy viewfinder. It's the same tiny one that that we all know and love in the FZ28.

Stay tuned for the next exciting episode.
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