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Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ3

alaTest has collected and analyzed 150 reviews from magazines and websites. Reviewers are impressed by the performance and value for money. The usability and lens also get good views. There are some negative views about the contrast and energy efficiency, and the viewfinder and exposure get mixed comments.

portability, lens, usability, value for money, performance

flash, screen, focus, energy, contrast

We analyzed user and expert ratings, product age and more factors. Compared to other Digital Compact Cameras the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ3 is awarded an overall alaScore™ of 83/100 = Very good quality.

See all Panasonic Digital Compact Cameras

Review analysis

(Based on 150 reviews)

Expert Reviews  

User Reviews  

Showing 60 review(s)

Expert Reviews User Reviews
Showing 1 - 10 of 60 Show Reviews: in English | in other languages (53)

Expert review by:

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ3 Digital Camera Review


The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ3 is an attractive SLR-shaped camera with 3.1 effective megapixels and a 12x optical zoom lens. At a retail price of $399, this camera is one of the cheapest offered models carrying image stabilization. This is a great option...

-Incredible 35-420mm (equivalent)12x optical zoom lens -image stabilization eliminates camera shake -attractive SLR-shaped camera body -Extensive white balance options -easy to use -versatile shooting modes

-Poor handling of noise -Incredibly slow start-up -plastic body feels cheap -bulky and awkward -movie mode lacks audio -no manual focus -small viewfinder -terrible noise scores

The body of the Panasonic Lumix FZ3 has a simple design that belies its advanced features. There is an exposure mode for everyone: a "simple" mode for point-and-shooters and a manual mode for more advanced users. The large 12x optical zoom lens with...

Expert review by:

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ3


Announced at the end of July 2004, the DMC-FZ3 is part of the third generation of 'super zoom' cameras from electronics giant Panasonic. Like its predecessors (and the simultaneously announced DMC-FZ20) the FZ3 sports a Leica-branded DC Vario-Elmarit...

Excellent resolution and detail capture ; Sharp results ; Good, natural color ; Superb 12x optical zoom ; Very effective image stabilization ; Small and light, but well built ; Comprehensive range of controls ; Very fast operation ; Well designed menu...

Some vignetting at wide end of the zoom and in macro mode ; Occasional exposure problems ; Occasional clipping of highlights and shadows in high contrast scenes ; Focus at extreme telephoto sometimes hunts, sometimes misses ; Visible noise at high ISO...

It may be the baby of Panasonic's super zoom range, but the FZ3 is a mature, feature-rich product with a stunning lens, powerful processor and outstanding performance. It's fast, reliable, easy to use and packed with useful and powerful features and...

Expert review by:

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ3


The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ3 is an affordable 3.1-megapixel digital camera with a high- quality Leica 12x optical zoom. The high precision Leica DC Vario-Elmarit 12x zoom is equivalent to a 35 - 420mm zoom on a 35mm camera and has a constant F2.8 brightnes

Bottom line - The Lumix DMC-FZ3 will make an excellent choice for the family or tourist user, especially if you're going on safari or attending sporting events. With its 12x optical zoom lens, you are rarely going to be too far away from a subject. And it


Expert review by:

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ3 Digital Camera Review: Intro and Highlights


Panasonic's been a player in the digicam market for the last couple of years, but until now, we've not managed to get hands on any of their cameras to test. The 3-megapixel Panasonic FZ3 is now the second of their cameras that I've reviewed, and I was...

To see how the DMC-FZ3's images compare to other cameras you may be considering

Expert review by:

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ3


And speaking of which, let's start the review! Do note that since the cameras are so similar, I'll be reusing some text from the FZ20 review here

Very good photo quality (though see issues below) ; F2.8, 12X optical zoom lens ; Image stabilization system ; Very little purple fringing; unusual for an ultra zoom camera ; Full manual controls including ability to fine-tune white balance ; AF-assist...

Occasional vignetting (dark corners) in images ; Above average redeye and barrel distortion ; LCD and EVF don't "gain up" in low light ; Can't remove memory card while camera is on tripod ; A VGA movie mode would've been nice ; Slowest shutter speed in...

Despite its flaws, the FZ3 is a great choice for a low cost ultra zoom camera. The lens and stabilizer alone should make you forget about the other ultra zooms in this price range. The FZ20 is without a doubt a better camera, but the FZ3 is not far...

Consumer review by:

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ3


This was my second digicam, 4 yrs ago. I'd have preferred a higher resolution but went for the megazoom anyway... then the 4 and 5 Mpx versions came out two months later. Ah well... I've been very happy with it anyway, only lately the lack of...

Lately, I sometimes got the feeling that the FZ3 had become slower then it was originally. It may be just subjective, I don't think electronics get to wear or anything... just hope my new G1 won't suffer from the same thing

Consumer review by:

Owners Opinion: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ3 (PsiBurn, 21 Jun 06)


My first foray into the world of megazooms was thanks to the FZ-3, and I couldn't have been any more happier with the results. The biggest selling point for me was the constant f2.8 lens and small size, even despite its low resolution [although now it...

I wish the battery life were longer ; it didn't seem to last more than 300 shots and didn't respond well if it wasn't used for longer than one week ; I also would have liked if the NR were a lot less harsh, and from what I read, the NR on the FZ-3 is...

Consumer review by:

Owners Opinion: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ3 (KlausMP, 2 Apr 06)


Have had the camera for nearly 2 years now, and is really happy with it and it great stabilized zoom - it really makes the big difference. The number of 'shakken' pictures is dramatically reduced - even at very high zoom. Have convinced others also to...

Dropped the camera after 3 month, and the lens was 'stuck' (did not react after a power-down). I 're-bended' the lens without using too much force, and it was just a 'click' on the mechanism that was out-of-sync, and the camera worked well again. It...

Consumer review by:

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ3


Have had the camera for nearly 2 years now, and is really happy with it and it great stabilized zoom - it really makes the big difference. The number of 'shakken' pictures is dramatically reduced - even at very high zoom. Have convinced others also to...

Dropped the camera after 3 month, and the lens was 'stuck' (did not react after a power-down). I 're-bended' the lens without using too much force, and it was just a 'click' on the mechanism that was out-of-sync, and the camera worked well again. It...

Consumer review by:

Owners Opinion: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ3 (Mark J Kopczewski, 30 Jan 06)


I've owned my FZ3 for about a year now. An excellent piece of kit for novice and keen amateur alike. The IS and 12x zoom are a real boon. I've added a Yoshida adapter to mine to connect additional lenses (which is the mutts nuts) and bought an extra...

Not really

Product Specifications

The DMC-FZ3 has a 12x optical lens system that is equivalent to 36mm to 432mm in a 35mm film camera. It comprises 13 lenses in eight groups, including three aspherical lenses and boasts F2.8 brightness across the entire zoom range. Plus, the DMC-FZ3 also provides 4x digital zooming - combine that with the 12x optical zoom to get up to 48x zoom power for ultra-long-distance telephoto shots. Jitter from shaky hands is one of the main reasons why cameras produce blurry images. Everyone can't have hands of stone when taking pictures - that's why Lumix cameras help solve the problem of unsteady hands with advanced MEGA Optical Image Stabilizer technology. The DMC-FZ3 has a built-in gyrosensor that detects any hand movement and relays a signal to a tiny microcomputer inside the camera, which instantly calculates the compensation needed. A linear motor then shifts the Optical Image Stabilizer lens as necessary to guide incoming light from the image straight to the CCD. You won't even notice it working - all you'll see are the outstanding results! The LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT lens on the DMC-FZ3 follows in the Leica tradition of excellence. Although it is small in size, it has a large, bright aperture, meeting Leica's stringent quality standards. A Leica multi-coating process applied to the lens helps to prevent the fogging caused by flare, and ghosts that can result from excessive light. Even enlarged images captured by the DMC-FZ3 are crisp and clear - right to the edges. Thanks to the high-performance Venus Engine II LSI, shutter release time lag is reduced to approximately 0.008 seconds and the shutter interval to only around 0.3 seconds. This gives the DMC-FZ3 a super-fast response that lets you snap off consecutive shots at 3 frames per second with full resolution. And the Unlimited Consecutive Shooting function allows unlimited consecutive shooting up to the capacity of the SD Memory Card in the camera - ideal for capturing fast-moving objects in high resolution. Like doing things for yourself? The Manual Exposure Mode allows you to select the aperture and shutter speed of your choice. You can even see how much your setting differs from the setting the camera considers optimal with the Manual Exposure Assist function.

Audio Input

Microphone Operation Mode:Mono
Microphone Technology:Electret condenser

Camera Flash

Red Eye Reduction: Yes
Type:Pop-up flash

Digital Camera

Supported Flash Memory:MultiMediaCard / SD Memory Card

Dimensions & Weight


Display (Projector)

Diagonal Size:1.5in
Diagonal Size (metric):3.8cm
Display Form Factor:Built-in
Technology:TFT active matrix
Type:LCD display

Exposure Parameters

Shooting Programs:Fireworks / Night portrait / Night scene / Panning / Party/indoor / Portrait mode / Scenery / Sports mode / Surf & snow

Flash Memory

Form Factor:SD Memory Card
Storage Capacity:8MB


Packaged Quantity:1
Product Line:Panasonic Lumix

Lens System

Lens Aperture:F/2.8
Max Focal Length:55.2mm
Min Focal Length:4.6mm
Optical Zoom:12
Type:Zoom lens

Optical Sensor

Optical Sensor Size:1/3.2"
Optical Sensor Size (metric):7.9 mm ( 1/3.2 ) / 7.9 mm ( 1/3.2" )
Optical Sensor Type:CCD
Sensor Resolution:3.1Megapixel

Optical System

Built-in Optical Image Stabilizer: Yes
Image Stabilizer:Optical

Storage Floppy Drive

Type: None

Video Input

Digital Video Format:QuickTime
Digital Zoom:4
ISO (Max):400
Light Sensitivity:ISO 100 / ISO 200 / ISO 400 / ISO 80
Shooting Modes:Frame movie mode
Special Effects:Black & White / Cool / Sepia / Warm
Still Image Format:JPEG / TIFF
Type:Digital camera


Viewfinder Color Support:Color
Viewfinder Type:Electronic