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136 of 136 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic super zoom camera
The FZ18 sits in the increasingly popular "super zoom" category of compact cameras.
Whilst this is not an SLR (and doesn't pretend to be), it offers great picture quality, fantastic zoom and superb image stabilisation.
As a "point and shoot" camera, it's great. Just select "intelligent auto" mode and away you go, everything is done for you.
If you are more...
Published on 27 Nov. 2007 by CameraBadger

versus
32 of 38 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars let down by the autofocus
I went to Jessops having done my homework, set to buy either a Canon 450D or a Nikon D80. Unusually the assistant persuaded me to consider a bridge camera and I bought an FZ18. I was impressed by many of the camera's features, especially the zoom and the image stabilisation, but soon realised that the images were not as sharp as I would like, especially when enlarged...
Published on 22 July 2008 by Mr. Michael James


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136 of 136 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic super zoom camera, 27 Nov. 2007
The FZ18 sits in the increasingly popular "super zoom" category of compact cameras.
Whilst this is not an SLR (and doesn't pretend to be), it offers great picture quality, fantastic zoom and superb image stabilisation.
As a "point and shoot" camera, it's great. Just select "intelligent auto" mode and away you go, everything is done for you.
If you are more advanced, then you can really start to see the advantages of this camera. It has all of the manual tweaks for focus, aperture priority, ISO settings, etc.
There have been some reviews that seem to be concerned with the quality of the pictures in high ISO settings. Well, it is a cause for concern if you are regularly using the higher ISO settings, but for most of us, who tend to shoot in reasonably light conditions, or use the flash, it is not an issue.
Also, software like noise ninja can be used to fix this in post processing.
The fact that the image can be saved in RAW format, rather than just JPEG means that post processing holds a lot more options than most cameras in this price range.
Overall, an excellent camera that lets you get close to SLR quality without getting anywhere near SLR prices!
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118 of 118 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why did I wait so long before buying, 18 Feb. 2008
By 
Candle (Bournemouth, UK) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I read review after review on many many cameras like this one but always found myself coming back to the FZ18, some reviews worried me about night shots or indoor shots having lots of noise so I kept putting off buying this camera. I have now had this camera a couple of weeks and admit to being very much a novice about photography which is why this camera is so good. If you want to just use it as a point and shoot with a fantastic zoom, which will go to 23X when reduced to 5mp you can. You also then have all the manual controls to use if you want to, I was worried it would be to complicated but if you give the manual a good read you will soon master most things and can then explore what else the camera has to offer. As for indoor shots, yes with the flash off they can be a bit noisy but if like me you don't mind using the flash they are fine. I love this camera and am very pleased that I brought it. I have posted some picture examples on here, they include an indoor shot, some basic point and shoot and an example of the zoom but they come up in the wrong order. The shot of a barn and of a field are taken from the same spot but one zoomed out.
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111 of 112 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 31 Dec. 2007
I spent months looking through reviews and checking out the Fujifilm S8000, Olympus SP-560 and finally settled on the Panasonic. Fantastic - zoom is amazing, and image stabilisation really works. I was told to buy a tripod but there is really no need, even at max zoom. Fully auto mode is very intuitive and there are virtually zero lag times, as with others. You can do as much as you want too - making it fully manual is a flick of a switch. Batteries are their own, not AA, but don't let this put you off - they last a long time (way over an hour of CONSTANT use so days and days) and are fairly inexpensive when you need to replace them (each should last 4 or 5 years though).

Quality of image is fantastic - much better than what I saw from the above two cameras. Hope this helps your choice.
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109 of 110 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely stunning results., 7 Oct. 2007
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I sold my recently purchased Olympus 550UZ which was only a few weeks old in favour of the Panasonic FZ-18 after reading the reviews and I have no regrets. The FZ-18 is a very versatile camera catering for both beginners and advanced amateurs producing excellent results every time. If I have any criticism I would say that the Olympus has the superior build quality and the FZ-18 is a little "plasticy" and on the light side, but there it ends. The auto focus is precise and accurate in mainly all lighting conditions and the ability for manual control is simple and straight forward if you read the manual. Added to this the excellent OIS anti-shake system is superb even at full zoom in low light. Of course, the Leica lens is as usual, exceptional and in a way makes the camera close to perfection for the price. The other plus for me is the ability to be able to attach filters which you cannot do on the 550UZ.
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110 of 111 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Camera I have Ever Owned..., 14 Nov. 2007
I was attracted to the camera for its powerful zoom,its high resolution and other features that make the shot more successful (the Leica lens, face recognition software, burst function, stabilizer.
Well, I was overwhelmed, many other features were available to improve the quality of my work/play (recording guide lines, large LCD screen or viewfinder, built-in flash, intelligent automode).
What else can I say, it is a great camera, either as point-and-shoot or great composition with manual settings for the more adventurous with a myriad of gadgets. Did I say the size is just right? Light, compact, yet handles firmly for more steady shots.
I would recommend strongly...
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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Consummate prosumer performer, 6 May 2008
I bought this camera to complement my two other digital cameras, a role for which it is ideally suited. It can't always match the quality of my Canon DSLR, but then it is light and small enough to take with me on ordinary days out and walks, whilst the wide zoom range and the ability to use manual settings means it can get those shots that my compact digital camera struggles with. The more I use it the more I like it, in fact it reminds me of my much loved Nikon EM film camera that I used for 25 years.

Many people will take perfectly good photos just using the various automatic settings, but this is a camera with multiple personalities and can operate in a variety of modes including full manual. This gives you lots of automatic controls, and I think this would be a great camera to learn about photography with whilst still providing the safety net of the automatic features. Note that the printed manual that comes with the camera is not the full operating manual - you'll find that on the cd-rom in the box and on the Panasonic website.

Yes there are some issues with noise and sharpening, but you won't notice it most of the time, and they are reduced if you shoot RAW, which I would do for any image I was expecting to reproduce at above A4 size.
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103 of 104 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantasic for creative photographers, 20 Dec. 2007
By 
A. Jones (Chelmsford, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I bought this camera just before going on holiday to Namibia. I was looking for a camera with a long zoom to take decent pictures of the wildlife, and this exceeded all expectations. Beyond the image quality (google for the professional lab tests that show how incredible the lens is) the most amazing thing is how enjoyable it was to use. It really reignited my passion for photography. I'd highly recommend this to anyone as an all round camera, especially for travel as it's smaller, lighter and more versatile than any SLR, but offers more creativity than a compact. I'd recommend you get the LowePro Apex 100 AW case to keep it safe, a spare battery or two, and a decent (e.g. Hoya) 46mm UV filter to protect the lens. (Also try experimenting with a circular polarizing filter).
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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars !!!!!!!!!!FANTASTIC!!!!!!!!!!, 30 April 2008
By 
Nick (Liverpool) - See all my reviews
I spent weeks thinking about purchasing this camera, and eventually i could not contain myself anymore. When it arrived I was dubivous as to the quality it would produce. I should not have worried. The camera is absoultly FANTASTIC. The detail is enormous, even at 18x zoom (See flower pic) I realy am so pleased that i bought this, it far exceed my expectations. It was this or the Fujifilm, and the Panasonic won.

The range of Lumixs, realy give credit to Panasonic, with my faith restored, I will be purchasing more Panasonic items. I recommend this camera 100%, you will not be disapointed.

Update

Read the user manual, it really does help in unserstanding the settings and maximising the picture quality. If you know how to use the setting, then taking pictures can be more enjoyable, when you view and share them!
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70 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy This one, 27 Jan. 2008
By 
J. H. C. Stevenson (GB) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I spent the last 6 months trying to decide between bridge or DSLR.
I have decided to go bridge to get away fron the multi lens thing. I have been stunned by the sharpness and colour balance on auto on this panasonic and I have'nt experimented with the manual settings yet.
It is a light camera but this is an advantage for me as I live in a rural area and it gets taken on long walks hung on the neck strap ready to shoot anything interesting. I nearly bought a Canon G9 but was put off by a few bad reviews. Having used the Panasonic now I would miss the super zoom.
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112 of 114 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awsome camera., 17 Nov. 2007
By 
Mr. G. Gamble (Notts. UK.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I specialise in taking photos of birds and wildlife, and I have been overwhelmed with the results from this camera. SLR cameras may just prove to have better picture quality, but you would be hard pushed to notice.
Lots of manual options available. Why bother with bulky SLR lenses when you can have this camera. In auto mode it is simple and idiot proof. Yes....I`m very happy with it.
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