Panasonic Lumix SZ5 Compact Camera - Black (14.1MP, 10x Optical Zoom) 3 inch LCD with Wi-Fi Connectivity
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- With built in Wi-Fi Connectivity
- Easy Camera operation via smartphone
- Auto Image transfer
- Wireless playback via viera
High-Quality Pictures with 14-megapixel CCD
Panasonic's high resolution 14.1 megapixel imaging chip provides high quality pictures with the flexibility to print out large sized photographs or crop into parts of the image while still retaining a good pixel count.
Powerful 10x Optical Zoom Lens
For a camera so slim it seems incredible that a 10x optical zoom lens can be included. But Panasonic's expertise in lens manufacturing means they have cleverly engineered the lens array to provide a 10 times magnification that takes you in close to your subject just when you need it.
25mm (Equivalent) Wide-angle Lens
Of course sometimes you want to photograph wide vistas or just fit a large group of people into the shot. This is where the 25mm equivalent wide angle lens on board this camera comes into its own. Its wide angle of view allows more of your subject into the photograph, which is great for those times when you can't step back far enough to fit it all in.
Mega Optical Image Stabilisation For Blur Free Pictures
Image stabilisation is essential when taking high zoom pictures without the use of a tripod. Optical stabilisation is the best method as it counteracts the blur that normally occurs by hand holding the camera but does not degrade the image. With Panasonic's Mega O.I.S pictures are sharp and blur free even when the shooting conditions are tricky.
MP4 HD Lite Video Recording
Movie record mode is MP4 (H.264) format. High Definition video at 1280x720 can be shot at 25 Progressive frames per second. MP4 format is compatible with many video editing software packages, but is also compatible with iTunes for playback on smart phone or tablet devices.
Functionality & Ease of Use
3.0 Inch LCD With High Angle & Auto Brightness Mode
A 3.0 inch LCD is offered that works well in bright light due to the Auto Brightness sensor that automatically increases brightness by up to 40% when in sunny conditions. It also has a "high angle" mode that enables you to still see the image when holding the camera up high.
Revolutionary Wireless Camera Control
The SZ5 is one of the exciting new generation of Wi-Fi enabled digital cameras. It offers amazing new functionality, previously unavailable, that brings a whole new level of convenient control. Features like: Remote Monitor and Shooting - Use your smart phone to see the live image through the camera lens and then take the shot. Remote Browsing - play back images saved on your camera wirelessly on your smart phone display. Remote Sharing - upload images and share with Social Network sites. Pictures can even be automatically transferred to a PC or cloud storage whenever the camera is charging.
iA (Intelligent Auto) Shooting Mode
The art of taking interesting photographs is to have a camera that is ready to shoot when the moment arises. iA mode is a feature of all Lumix models and it lets you take the picture without you having to worry about what settings to use. The camera intelligently works out the type of scene that you are trying to capture. Whether it is a picture of a person's face (using Auto Portrait mode), a dramatic landscape (using Auto Landscape mode), a close up of a beautiful flower (using Auto Macro mode) or a group of friends (using Auto Face Detection & Recognition). All the most commonly used shooting scenarios are programmed in to the camera and the camera makes all the internal settings automatically, leaving you to just press the button.
Auto Retouch In-camera
While reviewing your pictures, just press the auto retouch button and the appropriate contrast and brightness is added to improve your shot.
180 Degree Panorama Shooting Mode
New for 2012 is the Panorama mode. Just select it in the scene menu and position yourself to take a wide 180 degree panoramic photo. By holding down the shutter button while slowly swivelling your hips or turning around, a beautiful panoramic image can be made. The camera takes pictures consecutively while you turn. When the shooting ends, consecutively shot images are joined together to produce a single panoramic picture.
Multiple Scene Setting Auto Shooting Modes
Up to 18 pre-programmed scene modes can be offered (number varies depending on model) giving you the choice of a wide range of shooting scenarios. Just select the one that best describes the scene you are taking, and the camera makes the best settings automatically.
USB Charging Function
A USB AC adaptor is included in the box. This convenient accessory enables you to charge the battery inside the camera from any mains power outlet. It is compact and easy to carry around with you giving you a wide number of options to charge up the battery. Alternatively, you can use the supplied USB cable to charge the camera from a USB port on a computer, for example.
Wireless Image Playback on Viera TV
If you have a compatible Wi-Fi equipped Viera TV, you can view photos taken with the SZ5 directly over your wireless network. This means you no longer need to connect the camera to the TV with the AV cable or even take out the SD card and insert it in the TV. Just sit back with the family and enjoy a wireless slide show from camera to TV.
Extended Capacity SD Card Recording
Panasonic Lumix cameras are compatible with SD Memory Card, SDHC Memory Card and the new extra capacity SDXC Memory Cards. So whether it's 1GB, 4GB or 64GB capacity you require, Lumix can accommodate.
Top customer reviews
We had a play around with this beforehand and it seemed to take decent pictures.
In use, this has proven to be a great little camera, it has good battery life and the cold didn't bother it in the slightest, we used it in temperatures down to -35degc and it kept on snapping away. The battery life didn't drop noticeably either in the cold. There was also a little feature that turned out to be great fun. You can download an app onto your ipad, connect to the camera and you can use the ipad as a remote control, use it as a remote viewfinder and tke pictures remotely, we had great fun with this and even used it to capture close ups of wildlife, by positioning the camera and watching through the viewfinder from a distance, so as not to scare the animals by our presence!
To top it off, the pictures are even pretty good!
This little camera is well worth the money.
In Video mode this camera can be used on a tripod, mini-pod, car windscreen mount or hand-held due to the clever and effective "anti-shake" mechanism which smoothes out any "motion bumps". I chose black becaus eI want to use it in-car on a windscreen mount; also purchased via Amazon.
The camera holds a charge well, is easily charged by an optional mains charger unit, or via the supplied USB charger froma PC/Apple or via a mains adaptor. Spare batteries as well as chargers are also available for this model.
The other great feature, especially for the price, is the fact that you can control this via your Mobile Smart-Phone. I downloaded the Panasonic App and within minutes had the camera set-up on a windowsill, then viewd the bird on the bird table and took a few shots as they came in to feed. They did not see me as I was at the back of the room, but I could see them and could also focus and zoom!
All in all this is a bargain at around £90 and a multi-tasker.
So far, the camera performance looks good, with clear pictures of the quality one would expect with a Lumix compact.
The wifi capability, however, has been less than rewarding. It looks to me that the Panasonic software needs work.
1. Connection to a Windows network was not trivial. I had changed the default 'Workgroup' name, and only managed to make it see my PC by renaming this back to the default. I'm not convinced Windows 8 support is complete, transfer seemed a bit hit and miss, and the log entry produced by the camera is not helpful
2. Uploading photos to a computer requires a public share at the top level of a machine, the software does not allow drilling down to a specific directory (e.g Public Photos). I set this up through the Panasonic Photo Fun Studio supplied software, but a deep knowledge of Windows would be needed to do this manually (the product documentation implies its simple).
3. The LumixClub online sharing DOES work, but there is no way to see what has been uploaded (for Japanese users, there is an online editing app), and the only way to access it is via the Photo Fun Studio software. Also the download speed was very slow, and unreliable.
4. The integration with IOS (iPhone and iPad) and Android works well. The camera creates its own hotspot, and then remote control is possible. The User Interface could do with revision though, as it doesn't seem to follow standard Apple approaches for operations.
I'm still experimenting with the camera, currently trying to direct its output to a DLNA TV (another Panasonic, so you would hope it would work) but can't get it to find the TV yet.
Overall, the camera and its capabilities look good, but as I said earlier, the software needs to be improved before the camera is fully usable. I'm sure Panasonic will do this, but at the moment, for non-technical users, I think its too difficult to recommend until software is more stable.
If you do a websearch for "DMC-SZ5 firmware update", you should find the update available from Panasonic's Japanese website (panasonic.jp). The installation process takes longer than indicated in the instructions - at least a couple of minutes in my experience.