The FZ80 is in fact an update of the company’s existing FZ70 and houses the same 60x DC VARIO superzoom, but includes a new 18.1-megapixel 1/2.3-inch High Sensitivity MOS sensor.
The lens itself is capable of 20mm wide-angle for landscapes while the 60x optic equates to a super long 1200mm. The maximum aperture range is f/2.8-5.9.
The array of 4K options is impressive for such a compact (130.2 x 94.3 x 119.2mm / weight 616 grams) and affordable imager. It shoots 8 megapixel JPEGs in multiple burst modes in 4K Photo mode. Switching to video it will capture 4K at 30p with a 100Mbps bitrate or Full-HD 1920x1080 videos at 60p.
There’s an interesting 4K Live Cropping function, familiar to top-end outside broadcasters, which allows you to pan and zoom in HD from the 4K frame. This is complemented by a pair of high speed video modes: 1280 x 720 video at 120p and 640 x 480 at 240p.
Panasonic says the inbuilt POWER O.I.S. (optical image stabilisation) system reduces image blur with both still and video shooting. An electronic shutter ranges in speed from 1s to 1/16,000s. There’s also a mechanical shutter.
The 3-inch rear LCD is the same size as its predecessor but is now a touchscreen with a resolution of 1.04 million dots (up from 460,000) and there’s a superior 1.17 million dot electronic viewfinder. Panasonic says this is five times sharper than the one on the FZ70.
The Lumix FZ80 also boasts a high-speed autofocus system delivering an AF time of 0.09 seconds. The ISO range is bumped up from 100-6400 to 80-6400.
A ‘Post Focus’ feature allows you set focus points after capture. Selecting several focus points via the Focus Stacking feature offers the ability to create a final image with an increased depth of field.
There’s a time-lapse mode and burst shooting at 10p (AFS) and 6p (AFC). Other modes include Panorama Shot, Intelligent Auto, and Creative Control with 22 different filters. Artistic Nightscape mode offers a 60-second exposure.
There’s built-in WiFi for sharing to mobile devices. With no onboard storage, files are recorded to SD/SDHC/SDXC cards.
Current release date, as with the GH5, is March.