Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH27 Review

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH27 has some good things going for it with a compact body and a versatile 8x optical zoom, but it's video is behind the times.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH27 has some good things going for it with a compact body and a versatile 8x optical zoom, but it's video is behind the times.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH27 has some good things going for it with a compact body and a versatile 8x optical zoom, but it's video is behind the times.


  • 8x wide-angle zoom (28-224mm)
  • 3-inch screen touch screen
  • Battery lasts 250 shots


  • Very noisy above ISO 400
  • No mini HDMI out
  • GUI dated compared to competition

DT Editors' Rating

How do you tell if one 16-megapixel point-and-shoot camera is better than the other? We’re here to help you find out before you drop 200 bucks.

Features and Design

The Lumix DMC-FH27 is a very compact digicam with a potent 8x zoom, potentially making it a good choice for vacationers. There’s nothing as convenient as having a pocket camera with a range of 28-224mm for grabbing nice wide-angle landscapes and group shots along with the ability to zoom in on subjects far away. This camera is hardly unique as Nikon’s new Coolpix S6100 ($199) also has 16MP resolution and a 7x 28-196mm zoom. And we recently reviewed the Sony DSC-WX9, another 16-megapixel aim-and-forget camera but that Editor’s Choice winner has a 5x 25-125mm lens. As we’ll see, cameras don’t live or die on megapixels and focal length alone.

The FH27 is available in black, red or silver and it looks just fine—nothing too cutting edge or dull (our review sample was black). It measures 3.9 x 2.2 x 1.1 and weighs 5.6 ounces with battery and card. When powered off, the lens has a nice silver accent while on the far left is a silvery bar that acts as the grip – super sturdy it’s not, but at least it adds a bit of stability. The front fascia is dotted with icons and logos, so it’s a bit much for our taste. Also on the front is the flash and AF Assist/self-timer lamp. The key feature here is the extending 8x Leica DC Vario-Elmar lens. The widest aperture is f/3.3 (w) and f/5.9 (t) so right off the bat you know this baby needs lots of light for best results. The top digicams now have f/1.8 and f/2.0 lenses but they’re a lot more expensive—and mega zooms are never that wide open.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH27

The top of the camera has a silver accent and here you see the four pinhole speaker, single pinhole mic for mono sound, on/off switch, shutter surrounded by a zoom toggle and Extended Zoom (E.Zoom) button. This is handy as it lets you zoom quickly out from wide angle to 10x then again to 22x. Tap it once more and you’re back to wide angle. At these higher numbers, resolution drops. Think of it as a tool for quickly grabbing a faraway subject. If you have a moment, just ratchet it back with the toggle to the 8x of the optical zoom to get the full 16MP.

The rear of the FH27 has a few raised bumps on the top right that act as a thumb rest, a 3-inch LCD screen rated a decent 230K pixels and that’s it. There’s no mode dial or four-way controller with center set/OK key or anything else. You’ll make all of your changes using your fingertips or the stylus on the touch screen, just like the new Canon PowerShot 500 HS. Whether this is a good thing, we’ll let you know shortly.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH27

On the right side is the eyelet for the wrist strap and a compartment with USB-A/V out. Here’s where Panasonic should take a look at the competition such as the $299 Canon ELPH 500 HS – this touch screen camera is supplied with a stylus but it’s integrated with the strap so you’ll never lose it. Knowing our propensity for misplacing small objects, we attached Panasonic’s stylus to the strap. It looked like something from a locker room but at least we knew where it was! A much more important issue was the fact the camera only has an A/V out. Where the heck is the mini HDMI out for the 720p video? The Nikon Coolpix S6100 has one as do many new cameras with HD movie capability, but no luck here. This is a big strike one for the FH27.

The bottom of the Made In China digicam has a metal tripod mount and compartments for an optional DC coupler and the battery/SD card. The battery is rated 250 shots per CIPA which is good for a touch screen model. The Canon 500 HS with a slightly larger and better screen (3.2-inches, 461K pixels) lasts for 180. The Panasonic accepts newer SDXC media and you should use Class 6 or higher for best results.


OnePlus 6T vs. Honor View 20: We compare the cameras in these ‘flagship killers’

For less than $600, you can buy either the OnePlus 6T or the Honor View 20, two extremely capable smartphones with plenty of exciting features. But which one has the best camera? We found out on a recent trip to France.

From DSLRs to mirrorless, these are the best cameras you can buy right now

From entry-level models to full-frame flagships, many cameras take great photos and video. The best digital cameras, however, push the industry forward with innovative sensors and improved usability, among other things. Here are our…
Product Review

Canon democratizes full-frame with the EOS RP, but keep your expectations low

At just $1,300, the RP is Canon's least expensive full-frame camera yet, but it was born into a world of high-end, high-cost lenses where it doesn't yet feel at home.

Moto G7 vs. Nokia 7.1: The battle for budget smartphone supremacy

If you're hunting for a reasonably priced smartphone, then you should definitely be checking out the latest devices from Nokia and Motorola. We compare the Moto G7 to the Nokia 7.1 to find out how they differ and which is better.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Hi-viz bike reflectors and a tiny flashlight

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world will take your breath away

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.

Using A.I., Lightroom can now boost the resolution of RAW photos

Need to eek a bit more resolution out of a RAW file? Adobe Lightroom and Camera Raw can help with a new feature called Detail Enhance. The tool uses A.I. in the demosaicing process to enhance details and reduce artifacts.

Tight on space? Here’s how to transfer photos from an iPhone to a computer

Never lose any of your cherished selfies or family vacation photos from your iPhone again by learning how to transfer photos from your iPhone to a computer, whether you want to use a cable or wireless transfer.

Corel VideoStudio adds tools for customizing color in simple video edits

VideoStudio is Corel's more consumer-oriented video editor but the software recently gained advanced color correction tools. The update adds custom transitions, along with speeding up performance, and adding new shortcuts.

500px reveals almost 15 million users are caught up in security breach

Almost 15 million members of portfolio website 500px have been caught up in a security breach. The hack occurred in 2018 but was only discovered last week. Users are being told to change their 500px password as soon as possible.

Olympus packs an enormous zoom ability in its latest interchangeable lens

The Olympus Digital ED M.Zuiko 12-200mm F/3.5-6.3 has the widest zoom range of any interchangeable lens with a 16.6x zoom. The lens, which covers a 24-400mm equivalent, is also weather sealed.

Nikon brings a classic workhorse lens to the Z series with new 24-70mm f/2.8 S

The Nikon Z series finally has a bright zoom available without an adapter. The Nikkor Z 24-70mm F/2.8 S offers new coatings and more customizable controls in a smaller, lighter body than the comparable F-mount lens.

Nikon will bring eye-detection autofocus to the Z6 and Z7 in May

An upcoming firmware update will bring Eye AF to the Nikon Z6 and Z7 -- along with improved autofocus performance in low light. The update will also give the cameras support for the CFexpress format.

Fujifilm’s X-T30 is a semi-pro, feature-rich camera that’s affordable to boot

Fujifilm's newest mirrorless camera delivers the premium features of the X-T3 without the premium price, giving aspiring enthusiasts a lower-cost option that can still match the image quality of Fuji's flagship.