Product Type: Panasonic digital cameras
Newest Review: ... modern cameras don't have this setting. 2. Nice and compact design. The camera is convenient to hold and use the main controls. Having ... more
The best value for money 12x zoom camera on the market today
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ7
Member Name: alvinlwh
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ7
Advantages: 12 x zoom with a reasonable size, Comes with filter adaptor, Mega OIS, Manual controls
Disadvantages: No custom bag, Uses own battery (non AA), Slightly poor control placement, and can I say size again?
I was looking for a 12 x camera with OIS, and I was considering a FZ5 when I come across the Panasonic DMCFZ7BS. For just £30 more, I thought it would be better to get a newer camera.
This camera was great; a big improvement over my LZ1. The best thing (and selling point) about this camera is its 12 x zoom. What it did not say on the box is that it becomes 16.5 x zoom if the picture is taken below 6MP, which is over 450mm! The OIS works to cancel out hand shake at such huge zoom numbers. There are bags of controls for you to fool around with. You can even set/fine tune your own white balance, the weakest point of most digital cameras. Although having said that, the flash is not neutral, and if you are using the flash, you must set it to flash wb, unlike Canon cameras. But that has not been a problem yet.
Some digicams can have filters fitted to them, but you need to buy an adaptor. Not with the FZ7. The lens hood adaptor also works with 52mm filters. Although I am not an expert with filters, this allows me to play around with them. I have a UV filter permently fitted to it these days to protect the lens.
With any cameras, the most important thing is the image quality. The FZ7 is fairly good in this aspect. The Leica lens helps a lot here. There are some complaints with noise on this camera, but with OIS, I can be using ISO80 most of the time and the pictures will turn out perfectly fine.
Macro mode is meaningless on this camera. It can successfully focus down to 5cm from the lens. I had never found the need for switching to Macro mode.
What I do not like (but have to live with it) is it does not use AA batteries. This means I have to make sure my main and spare are fully charged before going on a long trip.
Another thing is that Panasonic does not make a custom bag for it. I had to use a SLR bag, but this camera is not really SLR size. I can fit this AND my LZ1 in the bag nicely, which says a lot about the small size of this camera.
The main design fault of this camera is the joystick control thing. Most people do not find it easy to use, as it is not in the most natural position. The IR assist lamp tends to be blocked by the other hand, but it still managed to focus correctly without the light (at most times).
As a whole, this camera is perfect for a serious amateur who wants to play a little with SLR like controls but also wants to have a point and shoot when he does not feel like it.
Summary: Low price, great features, reasonable size makes this a winner.
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