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I am not an expert photographer but I have done amateur photography for about 9 years. I have been using the best semi-SLR camera that i have seen for about 4 years. i can not tell you how satisfied i am with this product. Panasonic has done a fine job in making this good-looking and well performance camera. However the weight of it is quiet annoying for the user and makes it hard to carry it for them specially for travelling purposes, but the pictures look stunning. i bought this product for about 500$ 4 years ago. 10 megapixel camera with a 12X zoom.
I used my Panasonic for family and leisure purposes. mostly it performed well in any situation. be it a family meeting, a trip with friends or a wedding. i have found it very helping for taking videos as well. the quality is nearly as good as a HD video that can be found in new cameras and you get the chance to zoom in and out manually while recording the video. Once i was filming a major event in my city (Sydney) and i realised the only camera that was able to zoom in and out while recording videos was mine.
Have owned this camera for about six months now and very happy! Got it for about 130 pound on ebay. First off it is trying to do the same job a high end SLR camera which it does well with exposure control, iso control, aperture and lots more, but rest assured if your not the next David bailey there is the reliable click and shoot setting for one button photos, my only criticism of that is the overuse of the iso boost which really shows image noise at iso 400 plus, the optical image stabilization is adequate but not the best ive used, 10 million pixels is really to much would like to see a 6 million version with a bigger sensor but don't we all. I could go on about functions but you can just read the specs, so the good points for me are, a great zoom range, a proper full English manual (if buying second hand try to get one with the manual), loads of options, a full 1 minute exposure for night shots, great battery life. On the downside obviously can't change lens's, iso boost to high on auto mode, image sensor could be bigger, low resolution on motion recording. Overall for someone that is toying with the idea of taking photography seriously this is a good place to start before moving on to higher end cameras, I love mine and it wont be being sold soon, it takes very good pics and I love some of the results I have achieved!
I purchased this camera in 2007 and I wasn't disappointed. I wanted a camera that allowed me to point and shoot but also learn the basics of manual photography. The FZ50 allows this.
The camera has a Leica lens that is truly superb with a 55mm threading for add on lenses etc. I keep a clear Hama lens attached at all times as the Leica lens built in to the camera is not removable, so one tiny scratch and it's dead.
The functions for manual, auto and macro focus are great, with the manual allowing you to alter the focus to suit yourself.
The best feature by far is the viewer at the back as this flips out and rotates, meaning you can turn it away and protect it from scratching when you're finished using it, or simply angle it so you can have the camera above your head or at the edge of a corner etc.
The amount of settings for the display on the viewer are really comprehensive, allowing you to set the focus off centre, have multiple focus points or have pinpoint focus spots. You can also manually choose were to auto focus on the screen with the help of a handy 3x3 grid. You can also select a light chart to show you how bright the light is in the scene you are shooting so you can adjust the exposure or settings to suit the shot.
The pictures are amazing quality and the camera is very robust and comfortable to use. To date this is the best camera I've owned, and I'm a minor enthusiast that's had a few cameras to date.
I have owned this camera for almost two years now, and mainly use it for nature shots and the occasional portrait. It contains most of the features found in an SLR but for a fraction of the price. The lens range means you can go from shooting landscape to macro in seconds, to get the same range of shots with an SLR would cost thousands. I particularly like the manual focusing and zoom ring found on the lens itself, I find this a lot easier to use than those cameras with buttons. The only downside that I have come across is its performance in low light levels, anything higher than an ISO of 200 has some visible noise, and I never go higher than 400. Therefore if you are looking for a crisp picture in low light levels then an SLR may be more for you, but for a great all round performer at a great price, this is definitely worth a look!
For SLR-like results but without removable lenses, this is well worth a look. It has a full range of manual control, if you want it as well as program and auto modes, with a particularly well thought-out user interface that means you do not have to go through menus to get to the commonly used functions.
It's as heavy and bulky as an SLR, but as the 12x zoom lens is fixed it is impossible to get dust on the CCD sensor.
It has an electronic viewfinder, so you see what the sensor sees and you can use it in bright sunlight. It is not as bright and clear as the viewfinder on a genuine SLR, but I find it totally acceptable.
The image quality is superb, easily up to printing on A3. I have just ordered an add-on wide angle lens, so will report on that in due course.
Thkis review is my own personal experience of this camera, which I bought a year ago. It replaced my Minolta A1 (which I dropped) and overall I've been very happy with it.
Mostly I use the high-res jpeg setting and ASA 100, to get the best out of the rather dodgy built-in noise reduction. So, low lighting can be a problem but the optical steady-shot really does help.
I could get much better results with RAW - the lens seems to be pretty perfect - but then can't review in-camera of course. Since I'm still experimenting with the digital process (printing via Photobox works for me) I like to see the results ASAP after I take the picture.
- steadyshot really works
- love the "magnify" on manual focus
- easy to customise setting
- great little viewing screen that twists & turns
- the lens hood supplied obscures the more than adequate built-in flash
- wide angle tends to vignette, even with the low-profile Hoya super pro polarising filter
- the 12x zoom is great but doesn't focus close enough (approx 2m minimum), so using macro more often than I'd expect
- Panasonic spares v costly (and hard to get at airports!) - get the Olympus FL50 flash, the Uniross battery etc
- custom settings should be easier to alter: "set from what I'm using" would be good
- multi-frame rather clunky
- wide angle not very wide
This Panasonic camera has been well reviewed at Digital Photography Review of course, where there's a good Panasonic user forum too.