While at first glance the FZ48 looks remarkably similar to the FZ45 model it supersedes, there are in fact several notable differences between the two models, some of which are clearly improvements, while others are more debatable.
Internally, the most major thing that has changed is the sensor. While both cameras use standard 1/2.3in size compact sensors, the one inside the FZ45 delivers 14.1MP of effective resolution, whereas the FZ48 takes a newly developed Hi-Speed CCD chip that is capable of outputting at 12.1MP. In addition, the newer model also gets the latest Venus Engine FHD II image processor.
Panasonic’s decision to reduce resolution strikes us as a manifestly sensible decision, and one that’s very much in keeping with the recent trend from manufacturers to scale back overall resolution to concentrate on improving other aspects of image quality, such as low-light performance. It’s worth bearing in mind that 12.1MP is still plenty enough to make decent enlargements of your images with, so you’re not really losing out.
Images are recorded in the default 4:3 aspect of the 1/2.3in sensor, with the maximum output at full resolution being 4000 x 3000 pixels. Other aspect options include 3:2, 16:9 and 1:1 all at slightly reduced maximum resolutions. Sensitivity stretches from ISO 100 to 1600 with no reduced resolution High Sensitivity options to call upon. This is a very narrow range for a camera of this price and type, with most of the FZ48’s direct competitors (and the Panasonic Lumix FZ150) offering at least ISO 3200 or beyond.