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Panasonic Lumix FZ70 – The Best Bridge Camera For Travel 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 when I my interested in photography started 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.

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


The Panasonic Lumix FZ70 – Overview

panasonic lumix dcfz80 review

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!



That Zoom!!

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

The 60x optical zoom is the reason I bought this Panasonic 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 Panasonic Lumix dmcfz70. Images remain clear, sharp and focused even when all the way out to 1200mm, aided by its built in powerful ois (image stabilization 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 60x zoom lens?!


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 on via the electronic viewfiender screen.


Shooting Modes

Maximum aperature exposure compensation lumix dmcfz70

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

The FZ70 has a variety of shooting modes including Intelligent Auto ( complete with focus modeperfect 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. You can easily switch between each using the mode dial. 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 shutter speed in low light; 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.

Sony alpha a6000 - cannon powershot - panasonic fz70 image stabalization

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

Compact camera - panasonic digital camera - nikon coolpix

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



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, lumix dmcfz70 can satisfy most people’s needs. The added bonus here is that the mega optical digital zoom works whilst shooting video too in the movie modes!

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!


Battery Life

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 camera 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!



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. Just don’t forget your [easyazon_link identifier=”B0143RT8OY” locale=”US” tag=”mak018-20″]sd card[/easyazon_link] to capture all those incredible images!

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


I just wanted to let you know that this post contains affiliate links, which means if you purchase something after clicking a link, I may get a small commission – which is at absolutely no cost to you. If you enjoyed this article and are going to be searching for some of the things I mention anyway, I would love it if you could click through from the links above & thank you in advance! Read my full Disclosure here.


Charlie Spencer

Wednesday 24th of April 2019

I've had my FZ70 for about three years now. For the most part I'm pretty happy with it but I do have a couple of complaints. I selected the FZ70 because the 60x optical zoom is a killer for bird photos. The camera actually takes darn good photos in Auto mode. The problem is, in Auto mode the camera is programmed to display the image for two seconds after it's captured. You can turn that off in other modes, but not in Auto. Two seconds is plenty of time for a bird to hop to another branch, if not leave the area entirely, so I can only use Auto when shooting a bird that's either slow or stationary. My other gripe is when I need to manually focus. These times are usually when there's something in front of the bird that partially obscures it - branches, vines, etc. The autofocus is slow but to make up for it, the manual focus is cumbersome. It shares a wheel with the exposure, and it's clunky to switch between the two. Indeed, the icon for the two features seems counter-intuitive, displaying what click the wheel will switch to, not what's currently active. If I could just manually focus the camera quickly and easily, I'd be perfectly happy with the FZ70. If having to focus beyond what's in the foreground will never be an issue for you, I can recommend this camera without reservation.


Thursday 3rd of January 2019

Thanks for posting this! I'm trying to decide between upgrading my iPhone or getting a nice camera for travel blogging...and I may be convinced to try the Panasonic now! One thing I can't quite figure out though: how does it fit in purses? I wouldn't necessarily want to walk around with it around my neck in certain places...

Vicki Garside

Thursday 3rd of January 2019

Thanks Chelsea! I used to have a small(ish) crossbody bag that it fit into, and have recently got a larger bag as I also carry my drone and GoPro most of the time.

Mike Lee

Tuesday 12th of September 2017

I really like how Panasonic is making a comeback in cameras since they seemed to have lost the race to DSLRs in comparison to Nikon and Canon. Like you said this is the perfect example of a camera that works for those who don't want a DSLR or even someone like me who sometimes needs a smaller more compact version that is more than just a point-and-shoot. Will check it out for sure and let you know what I thought. Thanks

Prasad Np

Friday 2nd of December 2016

That is one big zoom and the night pictures with stars showcases the night ability very well


Friday 2nd of December 2016

Thanks Prasad - the zoom is just one of the reasons I love it!


Sunday 20th of November 2016

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!


Sunday 20th of November 2016

Thanks Sonja - the zoom is just incredible! Good luck on the camera hunt!

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