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Ok, I bought this camera a few months ago and decided to choose panasonic due to the fact they probably make the best compact cameras in my opinion. I was looking for a camera that could be used for many occasions as well as shooting the odd video. The camera is very suitable for what I needed; having the ability to shoot video in 720p (standard Hi-definition) and to select from a vast list of presets including landscape, portrait, night, sunset as well as some very interesting original ones including food, party, pet, candle light etc.
Viewing photos and videos is very easy with the flick of a switch located on the top right hand side of the camera and in almost an instant. The quality is superb due to a Leica 28mm lens, and provides very, very clear photos; better than a your standard camera and almost at basic DSLR level.
The camera also provides a manual setting which can be fun to use if you are new to manual photography and have no or little experience with DSLR's. It is a good way to improve on standard automatic mode which doesn't always get things perfect, but I would say 95% of the time does!! This is thanks to a feature on all panasonic cameras and camcorders called Intelligent Auto(iA). Put it on this, and you'll end the day with some superb looking shots. Half pressing the shutter button, and the camera will bring the subject into focus and can be finalised by completely pressing the shutter button down. This also helps with face detection, which is very useful, and almost certainly improves and people in the picture.
The optical zoom is very useful at 3.6X, which is nothing special in compact camera terms but it still maintains its high picture quality whilst in optical zoom mode. The camera can also extend this to 7.7X, but this reduces the picture quality to only 3 megapixels, compromising the quality quite a lot.
Although the camera has a massive Megapixel count, I would not buy the camera solely on this feature. Any camera around 8/9 megapixels should produce good clear images as long as there is a good lens present!