Most helpful positive review
239 of 242 people found the following review helpful
Good lightweight compact, slim and sleek design, fairly priced Lumix super zoom with Leica lens
on 26 May 2013
I wanted a long travel zoom (I know 10 x is not a long zoom but I wanted this model of Lumix specifically SZ1 or SZ3 - the SZ1 had very good reviews on Amazon and I could hardly see a difference between the two apart from slight appearance modifications, so my purchase got brought forward as Amazon dropped this to under £100 and it was therefore cheaper than it's predecessor. Firstly brown was not an option with the SZ1 and it is cool in colour and design, it is sleek, compact and stylish and it's controls are user friendly.
My likes are: This model though comparatively cheap comes with a Leica lens! It takes very good photos outside in sunny blue sky weather, the colours produced are vibrant and rich. There are a plethora of scene modes and also the useful auto intelligent mode allowing both the budding amateur, the enthusiast and the non photographer to snap happy. The LCD display is bright and performs well in sunny weather compared to my last digital camera. As I mentioned it is sleek compact and light.
My dislikes are: I now see why comparison sites say '10 x' is a poor zoom for a travel zoom camera (but to be fair to Lumix, this camera is in their super-zoom range not travel zoom). I tested the camera against a Nikon s6300, the only noticeable difference showed up in the picture quality in low light conditions, the SZ3 definitely did struggle somewhat but this is fair as now having read more and realised the CMOS sensor in the Nikon would always out perform the CCD sensor in the SZ3 in low lighting. The zoom factor for me is not an issue as '10 x' is still ideal and an upgrade from what I had and if you're looking to increase your zoom beyond this in the Lumix range, prepare to increase your spend. My only real dislike was the notable difference in sensor quality when the cameras are similarly priced but the Nikon is heavier and bulkier and which goes against my likes of the SZ3 which is ideally weighted and sized as a compact.
So in short if your looking to buy into the Lumix range as I was this camera is fairly priced around the hundred mark, with lots of modes and user friendly options to experiment with incl. 'through glass scene mode' and 'starry sky mode' which allows the shutter to stay open for longer.
If your looking at upgrading and you are still not sure as to what you want, make sure you know what you are buying the camera for, many of the Lumix range also contain CMOS censors and so if you are shooting in low light make sure you pick the right camera for you and don't be afraid to ask questions.