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The 4 Best Panasonic Cameras of 2022 Reviews

Updated
Best Panasonic Cameras

We've tested seven Panasonic cameras. Panasonic produces a range of cameras under its Lumix brand, from point-and-shoots to DSLRs and mirrorless cameras. The company is known for standardizing and developing the Micro Four Thirds (MFT) system of cameras and lenses in collaboration with Olympus. In 2018, Panasonic entered into the L-Mount Alliance with Sigma and Leica to begin producing cameras using the latter's L-mount standard. Under this alliance, Panasonic has begun to move into full-frame cameras, though it continues to offer many MFT, bridge, and compact cameras to suit a variety of styles and experience levels.

Updates

Best Panasonic Cameras


  1. Best Full-Frame Panasonic Camera

    While Panasonic is newer to the full-frame camera market, they knocked it out of the park with the Panasonic Lumix DC-S5. Aimed at enthusiasts, this interchangeable-lens mirrorless camera is the best Panasonic camera for hybrid shooters interested in both photography and video. Since it uses the L-mount, there are plenty of Lumix, Sigma, and Leica lenses to choose from. Inside the camera is a 24-megapixel full-frame sensor that delivers amazing image quality, with sharp, color-accurate photos straight out of the camera. It also has outstanding RAW noise handling, so it's well-suited to low-light photography at high ISO settings. As far as video goes, the camera can shoot 4k and 1080p video at up to 60 fps, though shooting in 4k / 60 fps incurs a significant 1.5x crop. Still, it has fantastic internal recording capability, as it can record 10-bit 4:2:2 video internally for more precise colors and tones, giving you more latitude when processing videos. It also comes with two SD card slots and a full set of inputs and outputs, including a headphone jack, microphone output, and micro HDMI port. To top it off, it has in-body image stabilization, which does a great job of reducing camera shake when taking photos or recording video without a tripod.

    Unfortunately, it isn't the best option for sports and wildlife photographers since it can only shoot at a max of 6 fps in its high-speed drive mode, which is a little underwhelming. It's still serviceable for capturing bursts of fast movement, especially if your timing is right, but it's still slower than many competitors in this price range. It also has a long buffer empty time, and its RAW photo buffer is a bit small, which can interrupt your shooting and slow you down further if you manage to fill it up. The camera's autofocus system can also be inconsistent when tracking moving objects in video, though it generally does a great job with subject tracking in photos. Despite its shortcomings, this is one of the best 4k cameras we've tested, thanks to its advanced video features and excellent low-light performance.

    See our review

  2. Best Micro Four Thirds Panasonic Camera

    The best Micro Four Thirds camera we've tested from Panasonic is the Panasonic LUMIX GH5 II. This interchangeable-lens mirrorless camera is a video and filmmaking powerhouse that also offers respectable performance in still photography. Its 20.33-megapixel sensor delivers excellent overall image quality with amazing dynamic range and decent noise handling capability. It has several frame rate options in video mode, including 4k and 1080p video at up to 60 fps, so you can capture everything from more cinematic-looking footage to smooth, fast action. It also supports cinematic 4k and anamorphic 6k resolutions, with a range of video recording formats and codecs to choose from and V-Log support to take full advantage of the camera's dynamic range. Depending on your settings, it can also record 10-bit color with 4:2:2 subsampling internally, giving you more leeway when processing your videos. It also delivers fantastic video quality in brighter lighting conditions and doesn't have a recording time limit.

    It doesn't perform as well in low light due to its smaller sensor size. Its autofocus system also isn't the most reliable, and its face-tracking performance, in particular, is mediocre. This camera is also on the bulkier and heavier side, so it's not the most convenient to take on the go. On the upside, it features five-axis in-body image stabilization, and it has an excellent battery life that can last throughout long shooting sessions. It also has a full suite of inputs and outputs, including a full-sized HDMI port, meaning you don't need to use an adapter when connecting an external recorder. All in all, this is one of the best cameras for filmmaking that we've tested, and its robust feature set is well-suited to a wide range of video and photo work.

    See our review

  3. Best Panasonic Point-And-Shoot Camera

    If you're looking for a camera that you can easily pick up and start shooting with, the best Panasonic LUMIX camera we've tested with a compact fixed-lens design is the Panasonic LUMIX LX100 II. This premium point-and-shoot camera is uniquely designed with a Micro Four Thirds sensor and a smaller lens opening that allows it to crop photos down to various aspect ratios without reducing its field of view. It delivers amazing image quality and has great RAW noise handling capability, meaning it performs relatively well in low light, with minimal luminance noise at higher ISO settings. While its design can feel cramped for those with larger hands, with many buttons and dials packed onto a compact camera, having dedicated exposure controls is a nice touch for enthusiasts who prefer to make manual adjustments on the fly.

    Unfortunately, its autofocus system is sub-par. It supports both face- and eye-tracking, but it performs inconsistently, and it struggles with keeping moving faces in focus, though it's better at tracking moving objects when shooting video. Its fixed screen can also make it difficult to compose shots from different angles. While it doesn't have the superzoom capabilities of a bridge-style camera like the Panasonic LUMIX FZ1000 II, its built-in lens still has a 24-75mm full-frame equivalent focal length that gives you the flexibility to adjust your framing without having to move. Overall, this is a uniquely designed compact camera with a dense feature set and excellent image quality.

    See our review

  4. Best Budget Panasonic Camera

    The Panasonic LUMIX G100 is the best budget Panasonic camera that we've tested. Though it's aimed primarily at vloggers, it also delivers solid performance as a stills camera, especially considering its affordable price point. The camera is highly portable, feels solidly built, and comes equipped with a fully articulated touchscreen and built-in flash. It also has a fairly large EVF with a higher-than-average resolution for a crisp image through the viewfinder. When you flip the screen around to face you, the camera automatically goes into 'Self Shot' mode, enabling face/eye detection, audio tracking, and a three-second recording start timer to make vlogging easier. Out-of-camera image quality is excellent, as is video quality when shooting in brighter lighting conditions. While it's limited to 4k recording up to 30 fps with a noticeable crop, the camera can shoot at up to 60 fps in 1080p and includes a slow-motion mode that records 1080p at 120 fps for slow-motion playback.

    That said, because of the 2x crop factor of the camera's Four Thirds sensor, vlogging in 4k, which comes with an additional crop, can bring the frame uncomfortably tight on your face. The camera also lacks in-body image stabilization, which is unfortunate since the camera does a poor job of reducing camera shake even with its optically stabilized kit lens attached. The camera does have an electronic stabilization feature, but it introduces an additional crop. It also isn't the best option for low light since its sensor only has adequate noise handling capability as you raise the ISO. Still, if you're looking for something lightweight and portable that won't break the bank, the G100 is the best LUMIX camera for the price.

    See our review

Compared to other brands


  • Advanced video features. Panasonic cameras typically have sophisticated video features like support for Log picture profiles and excellent internal recording capability.
  • Micro Four Thirds system. Along with Olympus, Panasonic standardized the Micro Four Thirds system, featuring 4/3 sensors and MFT-mount lenses. MFT cameras have some advantages, like smaller camera bodies, longer focal reach, and generally cheaper cameras and lenses.
  • Portable designs. Many Panasonic cameras have smaller bodies for greater portability and simple, uncluttered designs.
  • Autofocus lags behind some of its competitors. While Panasonic has continued to improve autofocus performance on its cameras, it isn't quite as effective or reliable as some competitors like Sony.
  • Fewer full-frame options. Panasonic is a relative newcomer to the full-frame camera market, so the company has fewer full-frame models to choose from.
  • Cameras tend to have slower continuous shooting speeds. Some of Panasonic's higher-end cameras have slower continuous shooting speeds than cameras from competing brands.

While Panasonic has a shorter history of making cameras than some of its competitors, it's still managed to produce a variety of innovative cameras that are sometimes ahead of the curve, particularly when it comes to video specs. Panasonic cameras tend to have less reliable autofocus and slower continuous shooting speeds compared to Sony or Canon, but the company is a mainstay in the realm of Micro Four Thirds cameras and a good fit for those who want a more portable camera system or a camera with powerhouse video features.

Lineup

Panasonic offers a range of mirrorless, MFT, bridge, and compact cameras, with most models beginning with the prefix 'DMC' and its newer line of full-frame mirrorless cameras beginning with the prefix 'DC'. The following are some but not all of the most popular series in Panasonic's full lineup.

Full-Frame Interchangeable Lens Cameras

  • S series = Full-frame mirrorless cameras with L-mount lenses. Smaller numbers (S1) indicate higher-end cameras, while larger numbers (Panasonic Lumix DC-S5) sit lower in the lineup.

Micro Four Thirds Interchangeable Lens Cameras

  • G series = Mid-range SLR-style mirrorless cameras, with some models, like the G9, falling towards high-end. Higher single-digit model numbers typically indicate higher-end cameras, while the newer triple-digit G(xxx) model is the brand's entry-level vlogging camera.
  • GH series = High-end SLR-style mirrorless cameras with advanced video features. Higher model numbers indicate the latest models in the series.
  • GX series = A newer lineup of rangefinder-style mirrorless cameras that sit between entry-level and mid-level. These generally have smaller bodies but offer some higher-end features that you might find on G or GH series cameras.
  • GF series = Entry-level rangefinder-style mirrorless cameras.

Bridge/Compact/Point-and-Shoot Cameras

  • FZ series = DSLR-style bridge cameras with small sensors and fixed long-zoom lenses. Smaller model numbers, like the FZ80, are more budget-friendly, while larger model numbers, like the FZ1000 II, are higher-end models that feature larger 1-inch sensors.
  • LX series = Premium compact cameras with manual controls. The latest triple-digit models in the series utilize Micro Four Thirds sensors but use a smaller lens opening, allowing the camera to shoot at various aspect ratios natively without reducing the field of view.
  • TZ/ZS series = 'Travel Zoom' compact point-and-shoot cameras.

Recent Updates

  1. Feb 18, 2022: Reviewed article for accuracy with no change to recommendations.

Conclusion

Panasonic cameras are some of the best consumer options for advanced video and filmmaking features. While the brand is relatively new to the full-frame camera market, it's already become a viable competitor to brands like Sony and Fujifilm in the mirrorless market. If you're looking to invest in the Micro Four Thirds system, Panasonic is still one of the few brands to look at. Its collaboration with Olympus in the MFT arena and its entry into the L-Mount Alliance also means that investing in one of these systems opens up your lens options, making Panasonic a cost-effective camera brand to invest in.

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