Manufacturers are taking superzooms to new lengths—literally. Any shooter interested in capturing distant wildlife (or their neighbors) with a compact cam should take note of this Lumix, which betters Canon’s best current effort in the compact, long-shot stakes—a 50x optical zoom model—with its own 60x optical zoom mode, carrying the equivalent of a 20-1,200mm f/2.8-f/5.9 lens. The 14-element, 12-group glass is paired with a 1/2.3, 16.1-megapixel, CMOS sensor, and power optical image stabilization is used to negate the hand shake intrinsic to shooting at such focal lengths. (It remains to be seen, though, if usable shots taken from a 1,200mm equivalent focal length are possible shooting handheld.) The camera shoots in bursts as quick as 9 frames per second, while startup time is less than a second. Panasonic put effort into the camera’s moving picture cred, too: The FZ70 records 1080i video at 60 frames per second, and a separate button allows you to shoot stills at the same time as you’re filming. Panasonic claims that the Dolby-certified, top-mounted microphone cuts wind noise by 70 percent (compared to previous models) thanks to a sealed structure that prevents internal air movement. Meaning you’ll capture more of a wolf’s howl, less of the wind’s.
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