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Panasonic 60x zoom camera: Incredible reach, with some sacrifices
December 30, 2013   //   Tech   //   Comments are off

Though digital cameras once trailed camcorders by a wide margin in terms of zoom range, the gap has steadily narrowed over the past couple years. Where 24x zooms were the extreme limit of optical reach just a couple years ago, today’s cameras have already pushed to 50x and beyond.
Armed with a market-leading 60x zoom and a 16-megapixel sensor, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ70 (MSRP $399.99) is a camera that looks to bridge the gap once and for all. For that reason alone, it’s sure to capture the interest of soccer moms, wildlife enthusiasts, and frequent travelers. But those same users may be dismayed at some of the tradeoffs caused by the optical design.
Shaped like a DSLR, the FZ70 has a deep, textured grip that really helps when lining up a shot at full telephoto. For the most part, the camera is well-built, but the buttons feel chintzy and the camera seems a bit too light for its size—more like a toy than a high-end camera. A $400 price tag is quite competitive for a camera of this type, but it’s clear some corners had to be cut to make it so affordable.

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