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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Camera - Great Lens, 12 Jan. 2009
Graham Mccarthy "gmccarthy15" (Cheshire) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Panasonic DMCLZ8 Digital Camera - Silver (8.1MP, 5x Optical Zoom) 2.5" LCD (Electronics)
Panasonic has something of a reputation for quality and if the LZ8 is anything to go by, this reputation seems set to continue. This camera feels well made and has a host of features that one might expect to find only on supposedly higher specification models.

This is probably one of the larger `compact' cameras, which lets face it, unless you're in the habit of keeping your camera is your skintight jeans pocket, is probably an advantage. The additional bulk will be required to accommodate the remarkable 32-160mm x5 optical zoom lens, way out ahead of any of the competition in flexibility. 32mm is unusually wide (and useful) and 160mm is an unusually long local length on this class of camera. The find the two in one camera is remarkable. The lens also has optical image stabilisation and this is really useful (if not essential) for taking sharp pictures in low light conditions or at full zoom.

Picture quality is, as you would expect, excellent and at 8mp will scale up to A4 size without a problem. My experience of compact cameras is that they don't produce such good results at high ISO settings and the Panasonic is no different here and shots taken much above about 400ASA do not enlarge quite so well.

I do prefer optical viewfinders to the LCD only cameras such as the LZ8, the even here the LCD screed has a higher resolution than most at this price, making it very useable.

This is a really good camera and I have no hesitation recommending it. Is it better than the similarly priced Sony Cybershot W120? That's a tough call. If you need the greater focal length zoom to get closer to the subject, then I'd go for the LZ8, if you don't, I think the Sony W120 would shade it.

Seemingly, as with all compact cameras, the LZ8 does not come with a case, I got the Lowepro Rezo 40, that seems to do the job. You'll also need an SD card, 1GB will take around 300 photographs.
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