Panasonic DMC FZ45 vs Nikon Coolpix P100 Comparison

Panasonic DMC FZ45

Super Zoom / Bridge Digital Camera

14 Megapixels    24x Zoom

Dimensions: 120.3 x 79.8 x 91.9 mm    Weight: 498g

Good Points: Features, Handling, LCD Screen Quality, Picture Quality

Bad Points: Nothing obvious


Panasonic DMC FZ45 Shutter Lag Rating fast Ease of Use par Camera Name Rating

Nikon Coolpix P100

Super Zoom / Bridge Digital Camera

10 Megapixels    26x Zoom

Dimensions: 82.7 x 114.4 x 98.6mm    Weight: 481g

Good Points: Features, Burst Speed, Low Shutter Delay, Movie Mode

Bad Points: Wide angle shows barrel distortion when close in, colours


Nikon Coolpix P100 Shutter Lag Rating fast Ease of Use par Camera Name Rating

Introduction

The big attraction of the Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ45 and the Nikon Coolpix P100 is the length of lens they offer. The Lumix DMC FZ45 has a 24x zoom lens with the Coolpix P100 having a shade more zoom power with a 26x zoom. In addition to the long lens both cameras offer a wide range of features.

These are aimed primarily at the more experienced photographer, although this type of camera can also be a good starting point for someone who is developing an interest in photography. Fully automatic operation is available too if you would prefer to stay away from the more complex features and just take advantage of the lens power.

Basic Specification

Panasonic DMC FZ45

14 megapixels
24x Optical Zoom
3 inch LCD screen
Macro Focus: 1cm
Wide Angle Lens
High Definition Movies
Dimensions 120.3 x 79.8 x 91.9 mm
Weight: 498g

Nikon Coolpix P100

10 megapixels
26x Optical Zoom
3 inch LCD screen
Macro Focus: 1cm
Wide Angle Lens
High Definition Movies
Dimensions 82.7 x 114.4 x 98.6mm
Weight: 481g

Features

Looking through the features in the box above there is not a great deal of difference between the two cameras when it comes to main features. Both have the same LCD screen size and both can focus from 1cm away from the subject in macro mode.

One advantage the Lumix DMC FZ45 has that I like is extra zoom flexibility. This is available if you opt to reduce the number of megapixels you are shooting at in return for increased zoom. The extra zoom becomes available on a sliding scale to a maximum 50.6x zoom when shooting at 3 megapixels.

There are differences in the movie modes too. The Lumix DMC FZ45 offers the ability to record sound in stereo while the Coolpix P100 is able to capture footage at a higher resolution of 1080i compared to the more standard 720p with the Lumix DMC FZ45.

Overall the Lumix DMC FZ45 gives you more variety and choice when it comes to fine tuning your photos.

Design

This is another area where there are a number of similarities. Both cameras look like a small Digital SLR camera. As you might expect with this length of lens the cameras are quite bulky. Each has a grip on the front of the camera and this helps to make them easy to get a good hold of.

Power Supply

Lithium ion batteries are used to power the cameras. Batteries and chargers are supplied as standard.

Shutter Lag Times

This is an area where both cameras excel. The Coolpix P100 has a slight edge when it comes to single shots, but the Lumix DMC FZ45 is a shade faster if you are looking to fire off a couple of shots in quick succession. The times recorded by these two cameras were faster than most digital cameras can manage.

Picture Quality

The Coolpix P100 is up against some very stiff competition here. The Lumix DMC FZ45 performed very well in all my tests. In contrast there were areas where I felt the Coolpix P100 struggled.

Two key tests for this type of camera are where the zoom lens is fully extended and where no zoomed is used at all. I found when I pushed the Coolpix P100 to these extremes it suffered in comparison with other cameras in this category. Starting with the lens at its widest angle there is a softness about the photos the camera takes when the scenes are more distant. This is especially true away from the centre of the shot. There was also purple fringing in evidence.

The problem of purple fringing really rears its head when the lens is fully zoomed in. Although this is a common problem for super zoom digital cameras it was more prominent with this camera than I usually see.

On the other hand the Lumix DMC FZ45 produced a much stronger set of test shots. Pushing this camera to its limits caused far fewer problems and I was also impressed by the way it handled lowlight situations.

Ease of Use

With so many features on offer it will take time to master these cameras. If you do find you lose your way there is a fully automatic mode. The menu systems provided by Nikon and Panasonic are among the best around. I find the Nikon menu the easiest to read out of all the different brands available.

Handling is similar with both cameras. Various buttons and dials mean that many key controls are placed at your fingertips. This speeds up the time taken to select various settings, reducing the number of times you need to dip into the menu system.

Verdict

Taking a number of factors into account it is hard to find a super zoom camera that offers better value for money than the Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ45. Therefore I have a clear preference for this camera over the Nikon Coolpix P100. The Coolpix P100 is a fairly standard model whereas Panasonic have given the Lumix DMC FZ45 the edge in a number of areas.

As I mentioned above this camera really stands out when it comes to picture quality, but I also like the flexibility offered by the range of features it has. If a long lens is one of your top priorities when buying a digital camera then you will be hard pressed to find better value.

Product Shots

Front View
Panasonic DMC FZ45
Panasonic DMC FZ45 Front View


Nikon Coolpix P100
Nikon Coolpix P100 Front View

Back View
Panasonic DMC FZ45
Panasonic DMC FZ45 Back View


Nikon Coolpix P100
Nikon Coolpix P100 Back View

Top View
Panasonic DMC FZ45
Panasonic DMC FZ45 Top View


Nikon Coolpix P100
Nikon Coolpix P100 Top View