Zoom raider: Panasonic’s new camera packs a long reach

60x optical lens makes the FZ82 a bridge camera that goes far

Here’s my main problem with photography, right: I can’t be bothered to walk up to everything I want to shoot.

Sounds like (a) you’re being lazy and (b) you need a camera with a more far-reaching zoom lens. I can’t help you with the first problem – that’s between you and your motivation, frankly – but Panasonic might be able to do something about the second.

How so?

The company’s new bridge camera, the FZ82, features an optical zoom range that could very well be described as gargantuan. It’s 60x, going from the equivalent of 20mm at the wide end (which is wider than most bridge cameras, letting you fit more in the frame) to 1200mm at the telephoto end. And crams that lens into a reasonably compact body, to boot.

OK, so a 60x zoom sounds impressive – but what does it mean in practical terms?

Well, the crux of it is, you can be taking a picture of a vast landscape or interior one moment using the 20mm wide setting, then zoom in to capture a far-off object or animal the next – and of course shoot anything that falls into the range between. Basically, it’s all about providing the flexibility and versatility of having a bag full of interchangeable lenses, but in a single, fairly small, camera.

Presumably performance doesn’t stretch to compact system camera or DSLR levels, though?

That’s right. Although, the FZ82 comes with a decent-sounding 18.1MP sensor that can handle 4K video recording and 10fps high-speed burst shooting, so it’s certainly no chump. There are full manual controls on board, as well as an electronic viewfinder and touchscreen, so it should be rather nice to use to boot.

And when can I buy this zoom merchant?

Unfortunately Panasonic hasn't announced Indian pricing and availability for now. But we're expecting it to launch around summer this year. We'll update you as soon as we get more details, maybe even a review piece.