Customer Review

53 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent camera for the money, 2 July 2013
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This review is from: Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ3EB-K Compact Digital Camera - Black (16.1MP, 10x Optical Zoom with Leica DC Lens, 25mm Wide Angle Lens, HD Video Recording) 2.7 inch LCD (Electronics)
I bought this camera as I was going on holidays as my last one (a Samsung) had finally given up. My trip was to the Southern Hemisphere and I was in all sorts of weather and light conditions and a wide range of location types. I was a little worried when it arrived in the post as it had been a bit squashed and the packaging was damaged but everything seemed to be in order.

In terms of the look and feel it is very light without being overly flimsy, however if you are accident prone I doubt it would survive a fall onto a hard surface. It is neat and flat when turned off so it will fit in jeans pockets although I would not recommend doing this for fear of the screen getting damaged. I did have a case but for the most part I have carried it in a coat pocket without any problems. It also comes with a lanyard which is very useful and sturdy.

On first use I found it extremely user friendly. I have never been a fan of touch screens (which seem to be finding their way into many competing models) so the buttons on this model are very welcome particularly given that they are well spaced apart so you do not hit the wrong one.

The Intelligent Auto feature will work for most things but changing the mode to suit particular conditions is very easy and there is a wide range of options to chose from. However, the camera is not especially good for night time conditions even with the correct mode switched on. The panoramic mode is also excellent for the most part but if you end up with direct sunlight in one of these types of shots it will mess up the picture (ends up looking like two different pictures pasted together). The video mode is not exceptional by any means but it is better than many previous cameras I have had. The 10x zoom is also excellent and that screen is clear, though in retrospect a 3 inch screen may have been a better idea. The battery will last more than a full day and night provided you are solely taking pictures and not video. It will also be fully recharged in 2-3 hours by means of mains/usb plug and cable (supplied). The same cable is also used to connect to the computer so the whole package is extremely neat for travelling. Transferring the photographs is very simple (just plug it into the computer, press the on button, press OK and there they all are!). All of the photographs are quite large in terms of their file size (4 to 6 mb) and so can take quite while to transfer if you have a full 16GB memory card, but these can be easily compressed for sending on to others without compromising on the photo quality.

Despite the few small issues above, which are more to do with my lack of skill as a photographer, I have been thoroughly impressed with this camera. In the few weeks that I have had it I have taken over 2,000 photographs and the majority have been excellent capturing all of the detail and colour that I wanted and experienced. I think one of the best complements I heard was from a tour guide. He was taking photographs of various families/groups who were on the tour, using the groups' cameras. Many of these had large high spec DSLR cameras, etc but when it came to taking a photo of our group he used mine. He said to me after that he was amazed that the pictures taken with my camera were of better quality.

If I had any criticism it is that it is difficult to tell when reviewing the day's snaps, which ones are photos and which are videos. This was a little annoying as what looked like a blurred photo was often the beginning of a video and so it was difficult to tell what to delete and what to save without having a computer to hand. Also the button that serves as the "back" button when in the options menu is the same button which is used to delete photos when in play mode. As a result I nearly deleted a photo a few times but luckily the "confirm delete" function is very good to avoid silly mistakes.

Overall I would have no hesitation in recommending this camera, particularly to those that are not so good with photography and/or technology but want high quality photos.
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