Customer Review

222 of 235 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good value, well featured camera, with a few design flaws, 10 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Panasonic Lumix LZ20 Bridge Camera - Red (16.1MP, 21x Optical Zoom) 3 inch LCD (discontinued by manufacturer) (Electronics)
I bought this camera at the last minute before going on holiday and thanks to Amazon's rapid dispatch was able to play with it for a couple of days before using it intensively for a week. It mostly lived up to expectations, although there a few little irrtations that you need to get used to or work around.

My previous camera is a very simple Fuji which reliably takes good pictures but I wanted something a bit better with a good optical zoom,so, as I'm not expert (or rich) enough to go for an SLR, decided on this bridge camera.

To get started there are some basic paper instructions (in upteen languages) which are very basic indeed and tell you little that is not obvious. There is a CD with a bit more detail on it, but even this is very brief and left a few unanswered questions.Both these are also available online.

Using the camera was pretty straightforward although a bit more complicated than a basic digital camera.
You can select the various standard modes like Scenery, Portrait etc. and it also has an 'intelligent auto' mode which is the point and click option, meaning it selects scenary, portrait, or macro mode etc. automatically. This works pretty well although sometimes it takes a while to sort itself out and while it does so the display is a bit confusing with various symbols and green or red rectangles popping up.Presumably these latter are something to do with the focus but being a bit of a beginner I havent worked them out yet and the manual does not help much. For the advanced user there is the option to set exposure etc. yourself which is a good feature for this price bracket.

The minor irritations I mentioned are:
- The camera will not start up with the lens cap on. Fair enough; but surely it would be possible to tell you to remove the cap and then carry on with startup.Or simply bleep at you and refuse to start. What it actually does is makes a funny noise for 5 seconds, then tells you to remove the lens cap and start the camera again, then chunters for a further 15 (fifteen!) seconds and finally switches itself off. By which time you have lost the chance to take a quick photo, if not the will to live.
- The on/off switch is very easy to activate in error. In most devices it is recessed, or a 'push and hold'.
This one is prominent on top of the case so if you are not careful you can switch the camera off while trying to take a quick photo,or on as you are stowing it away.
- It has no viewfinder. Fair enough at this price, and the screen adjusts the brightness so you can see it in bright conditions.
But if the sun is very bright and in the wrong position all you can see on the screen is your own reflection so its impossible to
compose the picture.
- It goes thru batteries very quickly. There is a battery power indicator, but it is not terribly accurate, and the camera is liable to suddenly die at any time once it stops showing max power. However the AA batteries it uses are readily available and its not much trouble to carry some spares.

On the good side:
- The camera feels quite robust and although its early days, seems pretty well made and reliable.
- the zoom facility is excellent.
- The anti-shake option works well and enables some pretty sharp pictues even on full zoom.
- Macro close ups, e.g. of flowers, come out really well and the intelligent auto mode works fine here.
- It takes very good pictures of night scenes,fireworks etc. i.e.in dark conditions without using flash.
- Flash pictures with red-eye reduction are excellent although you need to warn people to hold the pose for the extra few seconds the camera takes to work things out in intelligent mode
- At this price the lens is not the superb Leica you get on upmarket Lumix models but is still pretty good.
- I havent done much with the movie mode but it seems to work OK
- The manual settings option is good to have at this price and I will definitely explore that further when I have time.

The irritations drove me mad at first and if I'd written this review at the beginning of the holiday it would have been lucky
to get any stars at all. However once you get used to them this camera is very good value for money. If they sort out the design flaws its a five star product.
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Comments

Tracked by 3 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 10 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 16 Apr 2013 13:24:35 BDT
Hi, I have just read your review on this camera....can you advise if it would be a good camera kit to use for a newby to the photography scene? I am keen to get a professional one but don't know where to start...this seems like a good midway point. I would like to take photos of people and landscapes but don't really know what to look for! Thanks for any advice. Lucia

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Apr 2013 15:36:07 BDT
S. Jaafar says:
panasonic is always great cameras using Leica lenses which are the best in the world.
I owned one of the earliest Lumix FZ10 and never disappointed for good 8 years
Now I own Canon SX 40. Amazing one with X35 optical zoom. excellent image quality. I needed a bigger optical zoom.
now there is the Lumix LZ20 you should not worry about getting it with X 21 optical zoom. Intelligent Auto should get you through all possible scenarios when shooting. still you can use other options as the P mode can give you lots of flexibility. It is less bulky than the Canon SX 40.
Canon is much more expensive, double the price. but for 99 for the Panasonic, you can not get wrong at all.

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Apr 2013 22:22:45 BDT
Cheapjack says:
The main advantage of bridge cameras is the 20X or more zoom at a reasonable price. So often the subject is too far away to get a good picture otherwise. They are a bit bulky though. Also it has a panorama feature which enables you to join up landscapes automatically. If the zoom is not so important you could buy a smaller Lumix with a better lens e.g. the Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ3EB-K which has a wide angle lens excellent for landscapes.

Posted on 20 Jun 2013 09:23:51 BDT
Last edited by the author on 20 Jun 2013 09:25:51 BDT
D. Winder says:
"Good value, well featured camera, with a few design flaws".......Must say it surprises me how many people complain about remembering to take off the lens cap first, it seems so many need to be prompted to do things these days, ah well!! anyway the point I want to make is that I found out after using a new tablet that the software and the battery are not always in tune. e.g. the hardware thinks it is empty when it still has power in reserve. The trick is the get them synchronised by waiting half an hour or so and turning it back on, and keep doing this every time it switches off until it will not switch on again. You then have the software sync'd with the batteries and future refills will be in tune with the indicator ......ok

Posted on 25 Jun 2013 23:21:00 BDT
peter says:
Has anyone used AA high power Lithium batteries yet?

In reply to an earlier post on 26 Jun 2013 09:01:30 BDT
Cheapjack says:
No I havent, because of the cost. I started using rechargables, which worked fine in my old camera, but did not last long at all in this one.
I now use supermarket alkaline batteries which last quite well. However the indicator is not terribly reliable, as mentioned in my review, so I always carry a spare set.

Posted on 9 Jul 2013 19:09:20 BDT
Eamonn. says:
I have the Nikon L810 and to turn it on without removing the lens cap I hold down the "play" button for a couple of seconds. Does this not work on your Panasonic?

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Jul 2013 21:57:56 BDT
Cheapjack says:
Yes it does. The point I was trying to make though, was that if you simply forget to take the lens cap off, or touch the on/off switch by mistake (easily done), the result is very irritating, as described in my review.

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Jul 2013 20:14:39 BDT
D. Winder says:
Well in my book it would be even more irritating if like the TTL Reflex of old you could hammer off shots of you special moment only to find it wasn't there when your prints came back........LOL

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Jul 2013 20:16:51 BDT
D. Winder says:
Why would you want to turn it on with the lens cap still on...bit mystified
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