The Camera performs very well and was able to do things that my previous camera could not. However when I switch the Camera on it has the annoying action of NOT switching on properly if the lens cap is in place. The system forces me to switch of and try again with the cap off. This is most annoying as, if I am in a hurry to take a picture the opportunity is missed and the split second of timing means I miss a good picture. The other annoying feature is the requirement for a particular variety of batteries to be fitted otherwise there are "error" style messages displayed and the battery life "statements" are out of synch.
Ok I got this for £80 from Amazon and it is a tremendous bit of kit especially for the money. Panasonic is a world class name and you do get quality for your outlay.
The zoom is great as is the image stabilising, you get plenty of auto modes and manual modes for you to play about with.
The quality of the image you end up with is higher than with a compact (even a more expensive compact) as the lens lets a LOT more light in, the light contrast is better controlled as a result e.g. when the sky is in the background it doesn't get whited out when the light reading is taken from an object in the foreground. All in all you get a lot better photos !
However there are some negatives....
Cycle and processing time - when you press the button to take a photo the processor has a zillion things to do, (image stabilising being one) this all takes time the result is twofold 1. the shutter lag from the button being pressed and the image being recorded on the card, even in sports mode this is noticeable 2. the cycle time between shots. Both of these times are slower (worse) than on my Panasonic DMC FS35 compact.
Battery usage - it is not like a compact, get some decent AA rechargeables and also take a spare set with you.
All in all in terms of image quality this IS a step up from a compact but it does not out perform in all areas. A great bit ok kit and worth the money but DON'T sell the compact
Hello All After reading several superb and informative reviews here my youngest daughter wished to buy this camera in red as with birthday money (camera cost £80) or at least all £50 of it. And quite simply my daughter and I must concur with the excellent reviews and conclusions. My youngest daughter, my son, and myself all have Panasonic compact cameras of the TZ range and they are 1st class, so with the LZ20 the general layout was very familiar. We also checked this camera on YouTube as well. Pros - easy to use, not complicated - solid build quality, feels more expensive than it is - excellent value for money at £80 all in - picture quality is absolutely superb - easy to set up straight out the box - excellent features available if required - looks beautiful, even better than the advertisement - comfortable strap - very economical on batteries (we have installed Energy rechargables) Cons - none to date Summary -Buy this camera and you will be mightlily impressed, in fact I would doubt you could get anythin better at this price (our TZ cameras cost between double and four times as much as this. The colour raspberry red is a real head turner, and the most important bit being the picture quality even left on auto intelligent is first rate.
I got this camera from Amazon less than 24 hours after ordering, great service, packed very very well. I have not used it as yet but I am having to watch the dvd to see how to use it. That's the only downside - Panasonic`s instruction book is too sketchy, I like things to be written down so I can refer back to them at any time, not always a dvd player and to hand when you are out or on holiday is there. Still, otherwise the camera looks well smart, is great to hold, the red colour is great too. Thanks Amazon you saved me £30 - that's how much they cost anywhere else. I think my high street shop is about £99.99 and they said they would give me a free bag, but I much prefer to shop where I know I will get great service.
I read the reviews of others and despite the zoom not working in cine mode and the short battery life decided to buy. You need a very steady hand to take pictures with this or else a tripod. I tried to take some wedding pictures and about half were out of focus because I moved the camera when pressing the button to take the photo. It stopped working on day 2 of my daughter's holiday. Lost all her pictures. Returned for a refund.
I used this at Whipsnade Zoo and the zoom was truly amazing. The quality of the images printed to A3 size was better than my Nikon F3 that I had for many years. The camera was delivered on time, was well padded and at £82, was a bargain. I like the red colour too, it's different.
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.