How to buy the best Panasonic Lumix
By Ryan Shaw
Panasonic Lumix is a popular digital camera series sold in the UK and throughout the world. It has a rich photographic history, as the first products in the series were released in 2001. If you've been considering a Lumix camera, we talk you through the main things to think about before you buy, and how to save money on a Lumix model.
This guide includes the following sections. Skip straight to the one you're interested in, or keep reading:
- The Lumix range explained
- How much do Panasonic Lumix cameras cost?
- Are Lumix cameras reliable?
- Top tips for buying the best Lumix
While you may be familiar with the Panasonic brand for digital cameras, there are some differences between model lines.
In terms of aesthetics, some models are available in a choice of colours, indicated by a suffix letter (K is black, S silver, A blue, R red and W white).
- DMC-TZ: known as the Travel Zoom series, this compact point-and-shoot camera range includes image stabilisation and a large zoom. The TZ series stands out against other compact cameras by including a large optical zoom in a small, compact body.
- DMC-LX: a compact, high-end bridge camera line, with full manual exposure and focus controls (with joystick control rather than focus ring), and Raw file-format support.
- DMC-FZ: looking similar to a DSLR in many ways, but including a non-interchangeable zoom lens. Typical features include a wide 60x zoom range, extensive manual controls and zoom ring on the lens.
- DMC-G: a micro four thirds mirrorless camera series, with a wide range of compatible lenses.
- DMC-GF: differentiated from the DMC-G line by the lack of an integrated electronic viewfinder.
- DMC-GH: identified as Panasonic’s high-end mirrorless line, with increased video-recording capabilities.
- DMC-GM: marketed as the smallest interchangeable-lens camera.
Depending on the camera type, Panasonic Lumix models can be quite pricey. For example, a newly released Lumix compact camera is around £700. However, there are other top-rated models available for less than £300.
The price range for Lumix bridge cameras is similar – £300 to £900 – but the amount you need to spend will depend on the size of the camera. Some bridge cameras are sold as ‘superzoom cameras’ because of their huge zoom range and larger size, while others are sold as high-end digital compacts. Our Best Buy Lumix bridge cameras start at £500 and go up to £900.
At the other end of the spectrum, an entry-level Lumix mirrorless camera can cost as little as £350, while high-end models with 4K video recording and weather sealing will set you back more than £2,000.
But one key advantage of mirrorless cameras over compact and bridge cameras is the ability to change the lens. Depending on your level of experience, you can save some money and buy a lower-cost entry-level lens, typically called a kit lens, and expand your lens library as your photography confidence grows.
In addition to our independent lab testing, we also survey thousands of members each year to find out how long their cameras lasted, and, if they stopped working, what went wrong. This means we can tell you which brands are the most reliable, and which are the ones to avoid.
According to our most recent brand-reliability data gathered from camera owners in 2017, Panasonic cameras are generally pretty reliable. That said, they’re still not as reliable as some rival brands.
If you do encounter any issues with your camera, in the UK all Panasonic Lumix cameras come with a one-year parts-and-labour warranty. To obtain service under this warranty, you’ll need to produce a full purchase receipt and the relevant warranty documentation.
Keep an eye out for deals
Some high street retailers may provide cashback offers or money off the purchase price if you trade in an old camera.
Decide what camera type will suit your needs
Having such a wide range of cameras in the Lumix range can sometimes make it hard to choose. Check our reviews to see which cameras get the basics right, and which models have the specific features you’re keen on.
Consider the alternatives
There are some fantastic Lumix cameras available today, but there are also some that don’t live up to expectations. Our digital camera reviews can guide you to the best models to buy, and the alternatives worth considering.
Need help finding the best camera? Head straight to our top picks across all camera types with our guide to the top five cameras for 2018.