Panasonic Lumix FZ70 – The Best Bridge Camera For Travel Under $400

Panasonic Lumix FZ70 review Best Bridge Camera Under $400

Are you looking for a new camera and not sure where to start? Have you always used a point and shoot but feel pressured to switch to a DSLR in order to improve? And all this you’ve read about mirrorless lens’ being the new in thing.. it can be a little bit daunting. But don’t worry. I have made the switch myself and am here to guide you through it!

Panasonic Lumix FZ70 Review- The Best Bridge Camera For Travel Under $400

Panasonic Lumix FZ70 – The Best Bridge Camera For Travel Under $400

I loved my point and shoot. Like I really really loved it. And I didn’t have time (or the inclination!) to learn how to use a DSLR. Nor could I justify the inevitable expense of owning one. First you buy the body and a basic lens, then another lens for distance, or a wide angle for.. well, whatever. I have seen more than one person carrying a DSLR and changing lens between shots. It just doesn’t work for me. The weight, the space, the ‘faffing’.. not for me thank you.

Don’t get me wrong, if you own/can use a DSLR – good for you – this is in no way a post against those people who have taken their photography to that level. Big congrats to all your DSLR-ers who have taught yourself an awesome skill!

But this post is for those who are not necessarily beginners (although it is a fantastic beginner camera). It is a post for those who want to upgrade their camera but don’t have enough cause to spend $500+ on the latest tech.

Maybe you only travel once or twice a year and just want great quality images for those short trips. And you know you won’t get the use out of the camera at home (even with the best of intentions!) Maybe you just want to up your game from a traditional point and shoot but don’t want the added weight or space needs of a DSLR? Or maybe you’re like me and just don’t have the time (that you are willing to give) to learn how to use a DSLR? If any of these things sound like you then the Panasonic Lumix FZ70 is exactly what you are looking for.

This Camera had it’s maiden voyage on my Overland African Safari. Want to know what else you should take, click through to The Ultimate Overland Safari Packing List

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The Panasonic Lumix FZ70 – Overview

Panasonic Lumix FZ70 Review - The Best Bridge Camera For Travel Under $300

I am totally head over heels in love with this camera. With a 16.1 Megapixel sensor, Full HD video recording, 20-1200mm ultra wide angle lens and x60 optical zoom – it is a versatile powerhouse of a camera that makes me happy each and every time I use it. Measuring 130.2 x 97 x118.2 mm and weighing in at 600g, it’s both compact and light and is not going to break your neck carrying it round all day!

 

Features:

That Zoom!!

Panasonic Lumix FZ70 - The Best Bridge Camera For Travel Under 400

The zoom is the reason I bought this camera, and it did not disappoint. Usually when you see a camera offering a high level of zoom, you get to the end of the range and find your shots come out blurry and pixelated. Not with the Lumix FZ70. Images remain clear, sharp and focused even when all the way out to 1200mm, aided by its built in image stabilisation technology. The fact that there is no difference in the quality of shots whether it is a full zoom or no zoom absolutely blows my mind. And that the zoom also moves really fast between zoom depths means you can quickly refocus and grab that perfect shot even if the subject is not static. I mentioned this was the perfect camera for a safari, right?!

This was taken with no zoom from the window of our truck..

This is one of the lions under the tree on the far right. See what I mean about the zoom?!

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Screen or Viewfinder?

Panasonic Lumix FZ70 - The Best Bridge Camera For Travel Under 400

You can have both! When you are used to using a digital point and shoot it can take a bit of getting used to to switch to a viewfiender, but you don’t have to make the switch with the FZ70. Boasting a 3 inch 460k-dot LCD screen it means you can always see the ‘bigger picture’ with awesome clarity.

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Shooting Modes

Panasonic Lumix FZ70 - The Best Bridge Camera Under 400

Taken Using ‘Starry Sky’ Mode on 60s – no post-production

The FZ70 has a variety of shooting modes including Intelligent Auto (perfect for when you first start to use it), Program, Manual, Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority, Creative Control (where you can use filters) and a Scene Mode. The Scene Mode is great for a range of shooting scenarios, with my favorites being the starry sky mode which allows for long exposure shots at 15, 30 or 60 seconds; sunset mode which brings out some beautiful colours; 3D photo which is insanely cool and Sport – which is great for capturing animals on the move (or kids, pets, active people.. etc)

For the techie’s among you, click here for the full tech specs.

Panasonic Lumix FZ70 - The Best Bridge Camera Under 400

Taken with ‘Sunset Mode’ (no post-production)

Panasonic Lumix FZ70 - The Best Bridge Camera Under $400

Sport Mode (this Cheetah was trotting off at the time!) – again, no post-production necessary

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Video

Purely for illustrative purposes! I won't be making a move to vlogging anytime soon!

The FZ70 is set up for HD video with an MP4 and AVCHD Output at a maximum size of 1920×1080 pixels. If you love your video and it is your primary medium, a GoPro may well be worth the investment, but if not, FZ70 can satisfy most people’s needs. The added bonus here is that the mega optical zoom works whilst shooting video too!

I’ve attached a little 30s compilation of a few videos I took for illustrative purposes. It turns out the free trial of the video software wasn’t so ‘free’ as I can’t seem to remove the watermark. Sorry guys!

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Battery Life

Panasonic Lumix FZ70 Review - The Best Bridge Camera Under $400

Standard is around 400 shots per battery – less if you focus on video. So if you are a bit of a shutterbug like me, be sure to grab yourself a couple of extra battery packs to pop in your bag. They hardly weigh a thing and will ensure you don’t run out of battery as you take that all important shot!

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Summary

I love it. I love it. I love it. Did I mention I love it, because I really do. It’s compact size, 16.1 megapixel image quality, ridiculously powerful zoom and range of shooting modes make this – in my mind – the best bridge camera on the market. And absolutely perfect for a safari.

If you’re a seasoned pro with a full DSLR, the Lumix FZ70 might seem a bit basic. But as a step up from a point and shoot for those you don’t have time (or use the camera enough to justify purchasing a DSLR) it is fantastic.

If you think the Lumix FZ70 might be the camera for you – you can purchase the camera through Amazon from the links below. Just click the country nearest to you… and don’t worry – you can thank me later! 😉

Amazon USA   Panasonic Lumix FZ70 - The Best Bridge Camera Under $300   Panasonic Lumix FZ70 - The Best Bridge Camera Under $400

RELATED: WANT TO GET ALL THE ACCESSORIES TO GO WITH YOUR NEW CAMERA – HEAD ON OVER TO THE things I love page TO PICK UP SPARE BATTERIES, MEMORY CARDS, TRIPODS AND MORE!

These links are affiliate links. This means that if you were to purchase this awesome camera via these links, I will receive a small commission from the sale (at NO extra cost to you). These affiliate links help me run this site, so a huge THANK YOU in advance!


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Panasonic Lumix FZ70 Review - The Best Bridge Camera For Travel Under $400   Panasonic Lumix FZ70 Review - The Best Bridge Camera For Travel Under $400

Panasonic Lumix FZ70 - The Best Bridge Camera For Travel Under $400

Panasonic Lumix FZ70 - The Best Bridge Camera For Travel Under $400

Panasonic Lumix FZ70 - The Best Bridge Camera Under $400


  MakeTimeToSeeTheWorld


72 thoughts on “Panasonic Lumix FZ70 – The Best Bridge Camera For Travel Under $400

  1. Ticker Eats The World says:

    Thanks for the informative post. Although I do have a DSLR I agree that for amateur photographers and travellers, deciding on a camera can be very daunting. I went back and forth for a whole year before buying the DSLR. The so called “bridge cameras”are more of a new category and a nice one at that to help ease people into more expensive cameras. Cheers

    • Vicki says:

      Thanks Ticker! And I agree, the bridge has the ease of use like a point and shoot and the quality of a DSLR – at a fraction of the price! Perfect!

  2. Sarah Ebner says:

    Wow, this is a very inspiring review – makes me want to go and buy a new camera right now! I love that zoom, it would really appeal to me, and it sounds like it’s not even that tricky to use…..Even for someone who’s not very tecchy (like me!)

  3. Debra Schroeder says:

    Always good to have another option. I had a point and shoot Panasonic Lumix but it died. But this model looks pretty tricked out and for under $400 that’s an awesome price point. Love the photo you took in Sunset Mode. Gorgeous colors!

  4. Mellissa Williams says:

    I am a Panasonic bridge camera, I think it’s an older version of this one. It was really good value for money and takes excellent photos. Panasonic make brilliant cameras, I also have a compact Lumix too and that is great as well.

  5. Alina Popescu says:

    Oh, wow, this sounds like a great camera! I am trying to gather as much info as I can, as I am thinking of replacing my old DSLR next year. I still haven’t decided on what I want, but this looks like a really cool option.

  6. Alice Cardy says:

    I always thought that bridge cameras weren’t good because they were synonym of basic DSLR without all the possibilities. But you may as well have convinced me to buy one ! Not now though because I can’t afford it, but I will definitely think about one as my next camera buy !

    • Vicki says:

      I think that may have been the case with the first bridge cameras – but they have really stepped up their game in recent years!

  7. Chrysoula says:

    It looks like a great camera. I don’t want to use a dslr when I travel. It’s too big for me. This has a great zoom as well! Thanks for sahring!

  8. Jimmy and Tina says:

    oh yes, thanks for this! I was just complaining about traveling and carrying my big old camera bag with all the lenses for my Nikon and it sucks so I usually use a lesser quality of camera for easy carry and point and shoot. But this camera looks fantastic and will have to look into getting one. problem solved 🙂

  9. Megan says:

    Looks like a great option for people looking to step up the photography. Basically, anything that lets you start shooting in auto is a big step forward. I’ve got a Sony Mirrorless that I love for similar reasons.

  10. Bob says:

    Sounds like a solid camera. Carrying a DSLR with all the stuff can be a pain. A good solid camera like this would be great. I had a photographer tell me one time. “It ain’t the camera, it’s the photographer”.

    • Vicki says:

      Thanks Bob and I totally agree with the theory it’s more the photographer than the camera – but it doesn’t hurt to have a little powerhouse like this to give you a helping hand 🙂

  11. Marianne Bush says:

    Perfect also for places like San Francisco where thugs are now ripping cameras off your neck, beating you to get your gear, holding you up, and breaking into your car. This one might just fly under their radar or at least you haven’t lost thousands of dollar’s worth of equipment and you’re still getting great images.

  12. Paul says:

    This does sound like a great compromise if you don’t want the hassle of carrying your DSLR when travelling! We will probably look into something like this one day to reduce the hassle! Thanks for sharing

    • Vicki says:

      Thank you! I mentioned in my review that the sport mode is great for wildlife photography (with my experiences on safari), but have gone back and added in an photo of a cheetah on the move so that you can see the clarity when photographing a moving subject. I hope this is helpful for you!

  13. Brianna says:

    Yes! Thank you for proving that great travel photography can be done outside of the DSLR realm! Those things are just too much for me. Thanks for making a great alternative suggestion!

    • Vicki says:

      Thank you Brianna! I just can’t be bothered with the techy aspects of a DSLR – especially when a bridge can give you the best of both worlds!

  14. Katie says:

    Thanks for the great review! I am awful at using a DSLR, I leave that all to my partner! Have been looking for a decent point and shoot camera for a while now so this is a great help – we are playing with the idea of blogging so this will really help!

    • Vicki says:

      This one is perfect for when you don’t want to carry everything that goes with your DSLR and would be a great addition to anyone’s kit!

  15. Clare says:

    I love Panasonic Lumix cameras. I currently have the TZ20 and it takes great pics. Will have to look into this version when I need to get a new one, see how the size compares 🙂

  16. Arnav @ Eat, Travel, Live and REPEAT says:

    Thanks a lot for such a lovely review of the product.I also face the same dilemma about which camera to use.I have a Sony 9HX V as well but I barely use it.I mostly use my mobile camera but there are times where I feel that a DSLR sort of thing would have been better.Am surely going to look into this camera.

  17. Christopher says:

    Great post. I’m more of a Canon fan and have definitely been through my share of cameras, point and shoots etc… this post has inspired me to write about my many Canon’s…thanks

  18. Elisa says:

    I had a panasonic bridge some years ago and it is true that I was super happy with the zoom and the leica lens, difficult to beat a bridge like this one!

  19. Sara Essop says:

    I’m so with you on this one. I don’t have the time or the inclination to learn how to use a DSLR either so my bridge camera has been one of my best investments – although mine is a Canon.

  20. Lisa says:

    Yes, I am shopping for a new camera and no I won’t be spending tons of cash. This one looks very user friendly and one I will consider. Thankyou for the honest post.

  21. Krysti says:

    This definitely sounds like a camera I need! I am a bit of a novice but I’m definitely looking into buying a better quality camera to travel with. This one sounds perfect for me so I will look into it more! Love all of your helpful descriptions.

    • Vicki says:

      Thanks Janine – the zoom is great at full range too and I managed to get the clearest picture of a White Rhino from over 50m away! We could barely see it off in the distance, but it was no problem for the camera!

  22. Vlad says:

    That’s a pretty impressive lens and your photos are great! I had a DSLR but switched to mirrorless this year especially because of I was tired of all the weight. I’m so happy I made the switch, a light camera bag is a lot better for travel.

  23. Carol Colborn says:

    My DSLR is 8 years old and is crying to be replaced. This came at the right time. My husband has been saying I should get a bridge camera.

  24. Trisha Velarmino says:

    You got a detailed and convincing review here for LUMIX FZ70. Its very timely since about Christmas and Im sure many travelers would love to have a new camera. I was amazed on the zoom capability of the this cam. Thats so awesome for the price of around 400usd. Totally, best value for money!

  25. Kevin Wagar says:

    This is a great tool for those looking for a little more control of their camera without moving to a full-on DSLR. Panasonic does a good job with their systems, and the price is spot on.

  26. Eliseo says:

    Hello There. I discovered your blog the use of msn. This is a really smartly written article. I’ll be sure to bookmark it and come back to read more of your useful information. Thank you for the post. I will definitely return.

  27. Sonja says:

    This looks like a really great option! I’m considering my next camera purchase at the moment so it’s great to see what’s out there. The zoom on this looks insane!

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