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I bought this camera recently because I need to take good close-up photos of things I've made (I do all sorts of crafts - jewellery making, card making, woodwork, needlework, etc), and my old camera just wasn't up to the job. In two years of practise I haven't been able to get a good close-up photo of anything! My boyfriend had the Z700, I'd actually read about it when he was thinking of buying it and asked my opinion of it and I thought it sounded a good camera, but didn't buy one then. Recently I got fed up of not being able to take clear photos of my crafts, as I participate in an online forum and wanted to show off my work, not to mention get my website up and running and selling stuff.
So I tried out my boyfriend's camera, and he tried mine, just in case it was the photographer at fault rather than the camera. He couldn't get a good picture from my camera. I, meanwhile, picked up his camera and took crisp, clear photos straight away. I found the camera very easy to use, when you switch to each different mode it tells you on the screen what that mode is suited to. Also useful is that it says on-screen how close is considered "close-up" (up to 70cm).
So I decided to treat myself. After a search on ebay and a couple of failed bids, I got myself an as-new Z700 with SD memory card, printer dock and carry case for less than £90. It arrived on Friday just as I was about to leave the house for a meeting, so I fidgeted my way through the meeting counting down the hours til I could get home and play! I soon discovered the printer dock was also a charging station, so I charged the batteries. This camera can take 2xAA batteries but I didn't have any charged up so I waited for the dock to do its thing. Didn't take too long but I can't give a figure as I dozed off! I haven't actually used the dock for printing as I'm a digi-gal at heart, but I'm sure it prints great photos if the camera is anything to go by. Maybe I'll try it if I take a photo of anything I want to scrapbook...
I have taken lots of photos of my creations, and a couple of pics of my kitchen just to try it out. I am impressed with how easy it is to take a good photo with this camera, it was well worth splashing out on (I'm on a very low budget), I just wish I'd done it sooner! It's twice the depth of my old camera, and heavier, but as the extra size and weight is down to the lens gubbins and ergonomic handgrip it doesn't feel bulky or heavy when you're using it, and it fits my (girly female) hands as easily as my old one. It's actually a step down from my old camera megapixel-wise (4MP instead of "5MP-boostable-to-7MP"), but in my opinion it is a far better camera. There are many features on this camera that I haven't used yet, but it's getting on for midnight and I want to go to bed. Maybe I'll update this review sometime when I've used all the features and can comment on them properly.
If anyone is wondering whether to get this camera I would say, without hesitation, BUY IT NOW!!!
had this camera about 12 months now, excellent all round. video resolution is great and on a 1 gig card (SD)which are as little as £12 you get 1 hour's video. there are loads of features, night shot, museum, too light, not enough light. overall, if you are an amateur like me then the auto mode is perfect, point and press. i have a small tripod which is perfect to just rest on a wall or dashboard. so far have taken about 2000 shots with it. one important thing is use nimh batteries thehigher the better and they will last for ever. normal alkaline batteries are done afetr about 2 mins.