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Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8

7.2-megapixel digital camera
with 12X optical zoom (Silver)

1 Review

Item # 133FZ8S

This item is no longer available.

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Our take on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8

A powerful 12X optical zoom lens gives Panasonic's DMC-FZ8 exceptional long-range shooting capability. You can really zero in to take brilliant close-ups — capture shots of a distant sailboat or the Statue of Liberty's solemn profile. Advanced optical image stabilization minimizes the effects of shaky hands, for crisp, blur-free photos.

A powerful 12X optical zoom lens gives Panasonic's DMC-FZ8 exceptional long-range shooting capability. You can really zero in to take brilliant close-ups — capture shots of a distant sailboat or the Statue of Liberty's solemn profile. Advanced optical image stabilization minimizes the effects of shaky hands, for crisp, blur-free photos.

You get a wide array of shooting options, from simple point-and-shoot to full manual operation. An intuitive, thumb-operated joystick lets you quickly adjust focus and exposure settings for easier creative control. And your pictures will have plenty of detail for making large colorful prints, thanks to this cam's 7.2-megapixel recording capability.

Built-in 27MB memory holds approximately seven shots at the top resolution — add optional SD™ cards for more storage.

Product Highlights:

  • 7.2-megapixel effective recording
  • Leica DC Vario-Elmarit zoom lens
  • 12X optical/4X digital/48X total zoom
  • 35mm equivalent focal length of 36-432mm
  • Mega Optical Image Stabilizer
  • joystick control for easy manual focus and exposure operation
  • Venus Engine III LSI for speedy image processing (up to 3 shots per second at top resolution)
  • 2-1/2" LCD viewscreen
  • electronic viewfinder
  • top JPEG resolution: 3072 x 2304
  • 16:9 widescreen photo mode (3072 x 1728)
  • Raw mode
  • movie mode with audio (top resolution of 640 x 480 in 4:3 mode; 848 X 480 in 16:9 widescreen mode; shoot at 30fps or 10fps)
  • autofocus
  • exposure modes including, full auto, aperture priority, shutter priority, and full manual
  • manual focus
  • 20 scene modes including Sports, Night Portrait, Fireworks, Beach, and Aerial Photo
  • sensitivity control settings
  • white balance settings
  • PictBridge-compatible
  • built-in pop-up flash
  • USB interface
  • NTSC/PAL audio/video output
  • SD™ Card slot for use with standard 8MB to 2GB SD™ cards and 4GB SD High Capacity (SDHC™) memory cards
  • 4-7/16"W x 2-7/8"H x 3-1/8"D
  • weight: 10.9 oz. without battery and memory card
  • warranty: 1 year parts (6 months CCD), 90 days labor
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
Supplied Accessories:
  • rechargeable battery pack
  • battery charger
  • audio/video & USB cables
  • lens cap and lens hood
  • strap
  • software CD-ROM (PC & Mac)

What's in the Box:

  • Digital camera (silver)
  • CGR-S006A Lithium-Ion battery (7.2V/710 mAh)
  • DE-A43 Battery charger
  • Lens cap
  • Lens cap string
  • Shoulder strap
  • Lens hood
  • Lens hood adapter
  • 5' Audio/Video cable (has proprietary plug on one end and mono RCA audio and RCA composite video plug on the other)
  • 5' USB cable (with a proprietary connector on one end and a USB-A connector on the other)
  • LUMIX CD-ROM software
  • Operating Instructions (English)
  • Operating Instructions (Spanish)
  • PC connection instructions
  • Supplied Software instruction book (English/French)
  • List of customer recommendations
  • Owner Information Card
  • Accessory brochure

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8 Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(1 Review)

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8

Gary from San Antonio, TX on 3/11/2008

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I'm very pleased with this camera. As a one-time 35mm SLR enthusiast, I really missed the control offered by a SLR when I purchased my first digital compact. The photos were so poor, I basically quit shooting photos. Although the FZ8 is not an SLR, it does allow a myrid of shooting options that allow creativity. The photos are crisp and the manual white balance allows very good control. The flash is much stronger than many small compact digital cameras and allows decent flash photos inside. Although some reviews have complained about camera "noise" I have not found it to be objectionable, especially if shot in "Raw" mode. The zoom lens and stablization feature work great. The menu system is very easy to understand and the camera is easy to use. This camera is a great price to performance value. Are there better cameras - yes. Are there better cameras for this price- I seriously doubt it.




Hands-on research

Features and Specs

LCD Screen Size 2.5"
Adjustable-angle LCD ---
Wi-Fi No
Touchscreen ---
Waterproof ---
GPS-enabled ---
Lens 35mm Equivalent 36mm-432mm
Optical Zoom 12x
Digital Zoom 4x
Filter Diameter 52
Manual Focusing Yes
Manual Exposure Yes
Built-in Flash Yes
HDMI Output ---
Internal Memory 27 MB
Memory Media SD Card
Sensor Size 7.182mm (1/2.5")
Megapixels 7.2e+006
Image Stabilization Mega Optical
Highest Resolution 3072 x 2304
4K Video No
Video Resolution ---
Width (inches) 4-7/8
Height (inches) 2-7/8
Depth (inches) 3-5/8
Weight With Battery (ounces) 12.6
Parts Warranty 1 Year/6 Months CCD
Labor Warranty 1 Year/90 Days CCD

Product Research

Supplied Software


LCD Monitor: The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8 digital camera features a clear, bright, high-resolution, 2.5" (diagonal), low-temperature polycrystalline TFT LCD monitor for framing shots and displaying your recorded images. The LCD monitor has approximately 207,000 pixels with a field of view of about 100% of the image being recorded. The Power LCD mode increases the brightness of the monitor, making it easier to see when taking pictures outdoors. The High Angle mode makes the monitor easier to see when the camera is held high above your head in order to shoot over an obstruction.

LCD Viewfinder: In addition to the LCD monitor, the camera has a color LCD viewfinder with approximately 188,000 pixels and a field of view of about 100% of the image. A diopter adjustment of -4 to +4 lets you adjust the image of the viewfinder to your vision. The battery life (between charges) is lengthened when using the viewfinder instead of the LCD monitor.

Image Sensor: The images are captured on the FZ8's 1/2.5" (7.182mm) CCD with 7,380,000 total pixels; 7,200,000 effective. The CCD features a primary color filter which ensures the correct extraction of color information from the CCD for vivid, rich color images.

Leica Lens: The FZ8 is equipped with a high-quality Leica DC Vario-Elmarit lens with a powerful 12x optical zoom (35mm film camera equivalent: 36mm to 432mm).

Digital Zoom: The camera has a digital zoom with a maximum of 4x. Combined with the 12x optical zoom, the total zoom is 48x. The digital zoom can be turned off if you prefer.

Extended Optical Zoom: When the resolution isn't set to the highest quality for a given aspect ratio, you can use the extra capacity to effectively increase the optical zoom power without picture quality deterioration. The Extended Optical Zoom function uses the center part of the high-resolution CCD and crops the picture to the size you've chosen. The result is an optical zoom power maximum of 18x (14.4x with 2560 x 1920 resolution). Combined with the 4x digital zoom, the total maximum zoom is 72x.

MEGA Optical Image Stabilization: To prevent blurry images caused by hand movement, you can activate the MEGA Optical Image Stabilization (MEGA O.I.S.). Inadvertent hand movement generally occurs during telephoto, macro, or self-portrait shooting, or when taking photos at night or in dim lighting. The MEGA O.I.S. system uses built-in gyrosensors to detect even tiny camera movement, then shifts a lens in the opposite direction to compensate. You can choose between two O.I.S. modes: continuous stabilization (Mode 1) or activated only when shutter is pressed (Mode 2).

Histogram Display: The histogram display shows the brightness on the horizontal axis (left side black, right side white) and the number of pixels at each brightness level on the vertical axis. This enables you to easily check a picture's exposure.

Recording Media: In addition to the 27 MB built-in memory, the FZ8 can record images on SD Memory Cards of 8 MB to 2 GB capacity, SDHC (High Capacity) Memory Cards larger than 2 GB, and MultiMediaCards (MMC).

Note: MMC read and write speeds are slower than SD and they cannot be used to record motion video.

Mode Dial: Using the mode dial you can easily switch between modes; Program AE, Simple, Playback, Intelligent ISO sensitivity, Aperture priority, Shutter priority, Manual exposure, Scene, Motion picture, and Print.

Exposure Modes:

  • Program AE Mode: The camera automatically sets the shutter speed and the aperture value according to the brightness of the subject. By using the Program Shift feature, you can change the shutter speed and aperture settings under the same exposure to achieve an effect.
  • Aperture Priority AE: The shutter speed is automatically determined by the camera according to the aperture value you set.
  • Shutter Priority AE: The aperture value is automatically determined by the camera according to the shutter speed you set.
  • Manual Exposure: Manually adjust the aperture value and shutter speed to determine the exposure.

Simple Mode: The Simple Mode allows beginners to take pictures easily. Only the basic functions appear in the menu to make operation uncomplicated. All other operations and settings are preset.

Playback Features: Recorded images can be displayed on the LCD screen one at a time, or using multi-playback 9 or 25 at a time. From these screens, you can delete one or multiple images at a time. Playback zoom allows you to enlarge an image on the LCD screen by 1x, 2x, 4x, 8x or 16x.

ISO Sensitivity: The camera's sensitivity to light (ISO) can be set automatically, or you can manually select a sensitivity of ISO 100, ISO 200, ISO 400, ISO 800, or ISO 1250. When set to Auto, the camera automatically sets the optimal sensitivity based on the brightness of the scene. There is also an Intelligent ISO Sensitivity Mode which detects the movement of the subject near the center of the frame and sets the sensitivity and shutter speed according to the movement and brightness of the subject.

Scene Modes: When you select a scene mode to match the subject and recording situation, the camera sets the optimal exposure and hue to obtain the desired picture. Available scene modes include:

  • Portrait: subject stands out from the soft background and has natural facial tones
  • Soft Skin: camera detects the face or skin area to achieve a smoother appearance of the skin than the Portrait mode
  • Scenery: focuses preferentially on a distant subject, allowing you to take pictures of a wide landscape; the focus range is 16.4' to infinity.
  • Sports: allows you to take pictures of sports or other fast-moving subjects; the minimum focus range is 16.4'
  • Panning: the Panning Mode allows you to stay focused as you follow a subject moving in one direction, such as a runner or a car, while the background is blurred
  • Night Portrait: take pictures of a subject and a landscape at night with near real-life brightness by using the flash and slowing down the shutter speed; the focus range is approximately 4' to 16.4'
  • Night Scenery: vividly record nightscapes; the shutter speed is greatly reduced (up to 8 seconds) so a tripod is recommended; the focus range is 16.4' to infinity
  • Food: take pictures of food with a natural hue without being affected by the ambient light in restaurants
  • Party: record pictures at indoor gatherings, the party mode slows down the shutter speed and uses the flash so both the subjects and the background are recorded at natural brightness; subjects should be about 5 feet away and a tripod is recommended
  • Candle Light: take pictures in a candlelit atmosphere; a tripod is recommended
  • Baby 1 & 2: photograph babies with a healthy complexion, the effect of the flash is weakened, you can enter the birthdays of two babies and display the age of the baby in each picture; the focus Range is 2" (W)/6.5' (T) to infinity
  • Pet: like the Baby mode, you can set the birth date of your pet; the focus Range is 2" (W)/6.5' (T) to infinity
  • Sunset: take vivid pictures of the red setting sun; the flash and AF assist lamp are off and the white balance is fixed
  • High Sensitivity: sensitivity is set higher than usual, up to 3200, this mode helps minimize the blur of moving subjects in situations with inadequate lighting
  • Starry Sky: take vivid pictures of a starry sky or a dark subject; the shutter is open for 15, 30, or 60 seconds, so a tripod is necessary
  • Fireworks: photograph fireworks exploding in the night sky, a tripod is recommended, the focus Range is 16.4' to infinity
  • Beach: prevents under exposure of your subject in strong sunlight, emphasizes the vivid blue of the sea and sky
  • Snow: the exposure and white balance are adjusted to make the white color of the snow stand out
  • Aerial Photo: take pictures through an airplane window

Motion Pictures: The FZ8 can record motion pictures with audio at two speeds and at three picture sizes. You can record at 848 x 480 pixels in the 16:9 aspect ratio, and at 640 x 480 and 320 x 240 images in the 4:3 aspect ratio. For each size, you can record at 30 or 10 frames per second.

PictBridge: The FZ8 can be connected to any PictBridge-compatible printer via the supplied USB cable for direct printing. The print size, layout, date, and other settings can be made with the camera prior to printing.

Image Resolution You can record still images in 10 sizes, three aspect ratios (4:3, 3:2, and 16:9), and two quality settings (Fine or Standard). You can also choose RAW (uncompressed) image quality, which will automatically set the image size to the highest resolution available for the current aspect ratio. The number of images you can record is as follows:

Aspect Ratio Image Resolution Number of Recordable Images
27 MB built-in memory 512 MB SD Card 2 GB SD Card
RAW Fine Std RAW Fine Std RAW Fine Std
16:9 5.5M
(3072 x 1728)
2 9 19 38 180 350 155 730 1420
(1920 x 1080)
- 25 48 - 450 860 - 1800 3410
3:2 6M
(3072 x 2048)
1 8 16 32 150 300 130 620 1220
(2048 x 1360)
- 19 37 - 340 650 - 1360 2560
4:3 7M
(3072 x 2304)
1 7 14 29 135 270 115 550 1090
(2560 x 1920)
- 10 21 - 195 380 - 790 1530
(2048 x 1536)
- 16 33 - 300 590 - 1220 2360
(1600 x 1200)
- 27 53 - 480 940 - 1920 3610
(1280 x 960)
- 41 78 - 730 1370 - 2920 5120
(640 x 480)
- 130 210 - 2320 3770 - 8780 12290

Auto Focus: You can select any of five Auto Focus modes:

  • Multi-Area: the camera focuses on multiple areas, effective when the subject is not in the center of the frame
  • 3-Area (High Speed): the camera quickly focuses on any of 3 focus areas (left, right, or center)
  • 1-Area (High Speed): the camera quickly focuses on the subject in the AF area in the center of the screen
  • 1-Area: the camera focuses on the subject in the AF area in the center of the screen
  • Spot Focusing: the camera focuses on a limited narrow area in the screen

AF Assist Lamp: The camera has an AF Assist Lamp which provides extra lighting as a focusing aid for slightly dark situations where auto focusing would ordinarily be difficult.

Continuous Auto Focus: In the Continuous Focus mode, the camera is constantly focusing on the subject. When activated, the time required for focusing is greatly shortened when the AF mode is set to 1-area focusing, 1-area focusing (high speed), or spot focusing. The battery lasts longer between charges when Continuous AF is turned off.

Manual Focus: You can focus manually using the joystick (on the rear panel). There are two manual focus assistance modes; a portion of the screen is enlarged to make it easier to focus, and a bar shows the distance to the focal point.

Focus Range: The FZ8's focus range is approximately 1 foot to infinity (Wide), 6.5 feet to infinity (Tele), and 2 inches to 6.5 feet in Macro mode.

Exposure Compensation: If you cannot achieve the proper exposure due to the difference in brightness between the subject and background, exposure compensation allows you to adjust the exposure between -2EV and +2EV in steps of 1/3EV.

Light Metering: The FZ8 gives you three options for light metering:

  • Multiple: measures the amount of light across the entire image to achieve a balanced exposure setting
  • Center-Weighted: focuses on the subject in the center of the screen and measures the whole screen evenly
  • Spot: light is measured on the subject in the spot metering target

Auto Bracketing: If you are unsure of the proper exposure, you can use the Auto Bracketing feature to take multiple pictures with a single press of the shutter button, each using a different exposure. The camera will take three exposures, one using the average exposure, one over exposed and one under exposed. The amount of compensation can be set to +/-1/3EV, +/-2/3EV or +/-1EV.

Burst Mode: You can take multiple shots consecutively in the Burst Mode. Select from three Burst Mode settings; High Speed, Low Speed, and Unlimited. You can record up to 7 standard quality or 5 fine quality images at a speeds of 3 images per second (high speed) or 2 images per second (low speed). When set to Unlimited, the camera can record approximately 2 images per second until the memory is full.

White Balance: To reproduce colors accurately, you can set the White Balance to match the ambient light around the subject, or use the automatic setting. Manual settings include Daylight, Cloudy, Shade, Flash, and Halogen. You can use the White Balance Set mode to adjust the camera to the present lighting situation. Frequently used White Balance settings can be stored in one of two Preset White Balance memories. White balance can also be set automatically.

Built-in Flash: The built-in flash has the following modes:

  • Auto: the flash is automatically activated when recording conditions make it necessary
  • Auto/Red-eye Reduction: the flash is automatically activated when necessary, it is preceded by a pre-flash to reduce the red-eye effect
  • Forced On: the flash is activated regardless of the recording conditions
  • Forced On/Red-eye Reduction: the flash and pre-flash are always activated
  • Slow sync./Red-eye Reduction: with a dark background, the shutter is slowed down when the flash is activated so the background will brighten, simultaneously, the red-eye phenomenon is reduced
  • Forced Off: the flash is not activated under any recording conditions

    Note: The flash must be manually opened before use.

Self Timer: The camera has a self timer feature that delays the shutter release, allowing you take pictures of yourself. The self timer can be set for 2 seconds, 10 seconds, or it will take three pictures after 10 seconds.

Review: After taking a picture, Auto Review will display it on the LCD monitor. Setting options are off (no review), 1 second, 3 seconds, and zoom (the picture is enlarged after a brief display at original size). At any time you can view the last recorded picture for about 10 seconds without leaving the recording mode. While the picture is displayed, you can enlarge the picture 4x or 8x. The picture can be deleted (Quick Deletion) during the review, if desired.

Audio Recording: Five seconds of audio can be recorded using the built-in microphone when you record a still image.

Flip Animation: The camera allows you to create motion picture files up to 20 seconds long by connecting pictures recorded in the Flip Animation mode. When capturing pictures in sequence, moving the subject little by little and aligning the pictures makes the subject look as if it is moving. The images are 320 x 240 pixels.

Battery: The FZ8 uses a single CGR-S006A rechargeable Lithium Ion battery. The estimated battery life is 380 recordable pictures or approximately 190 minutes of recording, and approximately 420 minutes of playback time. Estimated charging time is approximately 120 minutes using the supplied DE-A43 battery charger. The battery is not charged inside the camera.

Backup Battery: When a fully charged battery has been inserted for more than 24 hours, the clock setting is stored in the camera for at least 3 months, even if the battery is removed.

Optional AC Adapter: You can operate the camera on AC power using the optional DMW-AC7PP AC adapter (available from the manufacturer). The adapter is recommended when the camera is connected to your PC or printer. Note: The camera's battery is not charged when the AC adapter is in use.

Power Save Mode: The Power Save mode allows you save battery power by automatically turning the camera off after a set amount of time without operation; 1, 2, 5, or 10 minutes, or Off.

Color Effect Mode: You can set a color effect for recorded pictures for a special touch:

  • Cool: picture becomes bluish
  • Warm: picture becomes reddish
  • B/W: picture is black and white
  • Sepia: picture becomes sepia

Picture Adjustments: Recorded pictures can be adjusted to match the recording situation. Picture Adjustments include:

  • Contrast: increase or decrease the difference between the brightness and the darkness in the picture
  • Sharpness: set the sharpness to High for more definition, or Low for a softer focus
  • Saturation: set the saturation to High for vivid colors, Low for more natural pictures
  • Noise Reduction: set the Noise Reduction to High for enhanced noise reduction, or Low to reduce the noise reduction effect (higher resolution)

Lens Hood: The included hood will minimize lens flare and ghosting in bright sunlight and backlight. For storage mount the lens hood backwards.

Supplied Software

Applications: The supplied CD-ROM software includes the following applications:

  • LUMIX Simple Viewer 1.2E (Windows): easily transfer pictures from the camera to the PC and view, print, and attach them to e-mails, etc.
  • PHOTOfunSTUDIO-viewer 1.2E (Windows): similar to Simple Viewer, except that it allows you to categorize the pictures by their recording date, model of the camera used, or a keyword, you can also resize the pictures and set their layout when printing, dates can be added to pictures if not set when photo was taken
  • SIKKYPIX Developer Studio 2.0 SE: edit higher quality RAW format images
  • ArcSoft Software Suite (Windows/Macintosh):
    • PhotoImpression: edit, process, print, and store pictures
    • Panorama Maker: combine several still pictures to make panoramic photos
  • QuickTime (Windows 2000/XP): required for playing back still pictures with audio or motion video (included with Macintosh OS)
  • Adobe Reader (Windows 2000 SP2 or later/XP): required to read PDF files (software instruction manuals on CD-ROM)
  • USB Driver 1.0: required for operating the digital camera using Windows 98/98SE (driver is included in later Windows versions)

Operating Environment:

  • LUMIX Simple Viewer:
CPU Intel Pentium III 450 MHz or faster/Intel Celeron 400 MHz or faster
Compatible OS Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition
Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition
Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional
Microsoft Windows XP Home or Professional
Memory 128 MB RAM (256 MB or more recommended)
Display High color (16-bit) or higher
Desktop resolution of 800 x 600 pixels or more
(1024 x 768 recommended)
Hard Disk 200 MB or more free hard disk space for installation
200 MB or more free hard disk space for use
Required Software QuickTime 6.1 or later
Sound Windows-compatible sound device
Drive CD-ROM drive (necessary for installation)
Sound Windows compatible sound device
Interface USB port (When devices are connected through USB hub or by using USB extension cable, operation is not guaranteed)
File Format JPEG, TIFF (still picture), RAW (pictures of this format can be acquired or written, but cannot be displayed), MOV (motion picture)
  • PHOTOfunSTUDIO-viewer-:

CPU Intel Pentium III 450 MHz or faster/Intel Celeron 400 MHz or faster
OS Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition
Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition
Microsoft Windows 2000
Microsoft Windows XP
Display High color (16-bit) or higher
Desktop resolution of 800 x 600 pixels or more
(1024 x 768 recommended)
RAM 128 MB (256 MB or more recommended)
(At least 384 MB or more for the conversion of RAW files)
Free Hard Disk Space 200 MB or more free hard disk space for installation
200 MB or more free hard disk space for use
Necessary Software QuickTime 6.1 or later
Drive CD-ROM drive (necessary for installation)
Sound Windows-compatible sound device
Interface USB port
Other Mouse or equivalent pointing device
  • ArcSoft Software Suite:

  Windows Macintosh
CPU Pentium III or higher Power PC G3 or higher

Windows 98SE
Windows Me
Windows 2000
Windows XP

Mac OS 9.x
Mac OS X

Graphics Display

High color (16-bit) or higher


128 MB or more

Hard Disk

500 MB or more free space

400 MB or more free space

Disk Drive CD ROM drive
Other Mouse or equivalent pointing device
  • SILKYPIX Developer Studio:

      Windows Macintosh
    CPU Pentium compatible (Pentium4 or higher recommended) Power PC G4 or its dual-processor (G5 or later recommended)/compatible with Intel Core Duo

    Windows 98SE
    Windows Me
    Windows 2000
    Windows XP

    Mac OS X v10.2 (v10.3 or later recommended)

    Graphics Display XGA (1024 x 768) and Full-Color (24-bit) or higher 1024 x 768 or more and 16-bit color or more
    RAM 128 MB (512 MB or more recommended) 256 MB (512 MB or more recommended)
    Hard Disk 100 MB or more free space 750 MB or more free space
    Disk Drive CD ROM drive
    Other Internet connection
  • USB-Connectable Environment:

Compatible OS

Microsoft Windows 98
Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition
Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition
Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional
Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
Microsoft Windows XP Professional
Mac OS 9.x/Mac OS X
(Windows Me/2000/XP and Mac OS 9.x/Mac OS X do not require the USB driver to be installed.)

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.