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If you are looking for an excelent digital camera without the cost of a new one then I have to recommend the FZ30 with its powerful zoom and high MP count.
I've had my FZ30 for almost five years now and still I can't justify an upgrade. I know there are many more advanced cameras out there but for the extra zoom or MP they bring I'm not yet convinced they are worth the cost.
You can find out all the technical specs fron elsewhere but from a users perspective I can tell you that you will be very pleased with the options of very simple qutomatic use through to the full functioning manual use. I still take shots that I am very proud of and my walls are filling up with soe of these I have framed and want to display around the house.
I want to stress that I find the camera the easy to use but have also enjoyed all the buttons, dials and settings that it allows me to play with. Long exposures (limited to 60 secs) are great fun with led lights and tourches in the back garden, holiday walks and endless hours on a boring beach become far more interesting and macro shooting can make mundane subjects facinating.
If you would like a camera that has a lot but is still simple to use and will not now cost a fortune then go for it.
Panasonic's professional camera for amateurs!
I bought this camera for the sole reason that it had a 12x Optical Zoom. A higher optical zoom always creates better quality photos than digital zoom, and at the time this camera was the only one on the market with such a high optical zoom.
The camera is remarkably easy to use for one with such a bevvy of functions. Along with being able to manually manipulate the lens and shutter settings, there are pre-programmed "modes" to help the non skilled amateur like myself take professional quality photos.
Amongst the modes, are Night, Sport (excellent when also using the feature for taking pictures in rapid succession), Portrait (smoothing out the skin imperfections and lines of your subject; my mother is a massive fan of this one!!) and many many others.
The camera comes with an SD card slot, meaning that memory is virtually endless, and the process of downloading to a PC couldn't be easier, via either USB cable or simply by removing the SD card. I've also used the camera as a makeshift SD card reader when I've needed too.
The downside to this camera is that it's big. It looks expensive, fancy and professional (sometimes getting me into trouble at concerts where people think I'm a pap!!). So if you're just looking for a camera to take out on the town and snap your unsuspecting friends, this probably isn't the camera for you. If you are looking to expand your skills in photography, or looking for an excellent all-rounder, then this camera will keep you amused for a very long time.
This camera deserves a fancy name like that. The camera I have came with a 1gb memory card so that the camera could take about three hundren 8 mega byte pictures, thats good! The camera has a 12x zoom. This camera is especially good and has all the different settings for you to be able to take wildlife photography or pin-sharp nature photographs, you can use this camera to take pictures of bike rides or still pictures. Some of the settings are:
Baby - Photographing soft skin. The age can be displayed with the photograph.
Candle light - Photographing candle lit subjects and getting the atmosphere.
Party - For photographing indoors.
Firework - Photographing fireworks.
Snow - Photographing snow and making the snow look as white as it is.
Starry sky - For photographing dark subjects.
Panning - Photographing a fast running subject e.g. a bike race.
If you want a really good camera then I reccomend this.
When faced with the question whether to buy a digital camera or to buy a camcorder, many people get in a fix. Digital cameras offer high resolution while camcorders offer flexibility and steady performance. But the trade-off of resolution in still picture is sometimes too much to take. Panasonic Lumix FZ300 gives the users the ability to use the camera as a video recorder that obviously eliminates the need for having a camcorder. Of course, that is not the main feature of it, but surely it helps in deciding between digital camera and camcorder.
Now what does this Lumix FZ300 offer? It is a digital camera that has 8-mega pixel image resolution, built-in flash (with external flash option) and 12X optical zoom. It has the mega optical image stabilizer function that helps in taking good pictures in spite of the shaking of hands. Well, theoretically, it helps a lot, but in practice you need to keep the camera steady to get better picture. Specially, if you use zoom, it is better not to expect anything from the image stabiliser. But in any event, the option is handy in taking quick pictures in short distance.
The camera has one LCD display that can be rotated to any direction, which helps a lot in taking pictures. Also it provides an electrical viewfinder which functions almost the same like an optical viewfinder. The brightness of the electrical viewfinder is a little bit more than natural, but that does not effect the pictures much.
The camera runs on a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. It takes 2 hours to charge it fully but it does not take long to get it discharged if you are taking pictures with flash. But the good news is that you can keep one battery charging while using the other and the battery size is small enough to be placed inside the pocket of your trousers. The on screen display of charge helps you plan your battery replacements. If you are wondering if the pictures will be deleted from memory if you replace the battery, they won't.
The camera controls are incredibly user friendly (unless you are planning to go manual picture settings straight away) and you can manage the pictures in your memory card without having to connect the camera with your PC. In this connection, it can be said that you can see pictures from your camera either on your PC or on your TV using an AV cable (supplied with the camera).
The two step clicking option makes the camera best for focussing and image capturing. You can use this to customize your focus of the picture even when you are in an auto focus mode. The first half of the click focuses on the target and the second half takes the picture. If you target an object at certain distance and the camera gives you green signal, even if you move your focus from the target while keeping the button pressed the focus will not be changed. This is handy when you want to take blurry picture or a shot with blurry background.
The camera gives you two sets of preset modes that allows you to have pictures for the following conditions.
5. Night Portrait
6. Night Scenery
8. Soft Skin
9. Candle Night
13. Starry Sky
14. Panning (Following the motion of a subject)
These modes help to take pictures in difficult situations where taking a picture with normal camera may be difficult or impossible. You can mix and match some of these modes to get great pictures. For example, sitting in a dark room with only a dim light on you can take a portrait with the Starry Sky mode to see how you look in the dark. If you are more ambitious, you can set the aperture, exposure and shutter time on your own to get the best possible picture. Otherwise you may just play around with the different modes to see which one fits in for the best picture.
The camera comes with an image viewing software that makes life very easy for uploading images in your computer. If you are using Windows XP, you won't even need to install the driver as it would install the Camera on its own.
The pictures are saved on your PC by date the picture was taken which makes it even easier for you to keep track of when you took a picture. The baby mode allows you to keep track of the age of a baby in its pictures.
Although many of the shortcomings are already listed, some must be mentioned separately. Remember that the camera is not an digital SLR one, meaning the lens can not be replaced by another SLR lens. Also the memory supplied with the original package is too small for a camera with this much capacity. I recommend a memory of 1 gigabyte to use with this camera.
The price of this camera varies. You can always check the price of it at different stores. When I purchased it, its price ranged from 400 to 600 pounds in the market. I bought it online and would recommend others to do that as well, since there is little value added to shop a camera once you decide on the model.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ30 is in many ways the most valuable option for buyers with limited purchasing power. It looks great, gives good service, and is a good friend for those who want to learn photography. I would recommend it as a best-buy option for anything less than 380 pounds (without the memory card).
Thank you for reading the review.