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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.
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on 8 September 2017
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on 27 November 2014
Nice camera and it pops in my pocket but still has all the facilities.
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on 12 October 2013
Bought this as a replacement for my Canon Ixus- found it is far easier to use controls are much more intuitively organised.
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on 20 April 2014
excellent product,very pleased
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on 14 June 2013
This camera was ordered via Amazon market place supplied by Lets Go Digital. It was delivered next day by courier although I had opted for free standard delivery. A good start.

There was very little to do on start up as there was some charge in the battery and the camera has on board memory. I was keen to try it out and took a shot of my garden but was alarmed when I saw the result. It made my lawn a brilliant almost fluorescent green whereas I like colour to be natural as produced by my 8 year old Sony. My immediate reaction was to return it. Amazon returns policy does not apply to marketplace transactions. Lets Go Digital said that if I was unhappy with it they would give a full refund, another plus for this Company! However, I find that in some light conditions this brightness is an advantage and I am getting used to it. Other features compensate well.

The brown and silver finish is superior although it is easy to lose the camera if you put it down anywhere! The combination of 16mp, 10x optical zoom and Leica lens is hard to beat in this price range and there are a host of features. I don't want to return it!!
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on 2 July 2013
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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on 24 November 2013
Basically an automated point and shoot camera with a variety of special scene modes. The Leica lens probably makes the vital difference here, giving good crisp images in a majority of circumstances. In difficult lighting conditions, manually selecting the correct scene mode allows this camera to produce good results that just wouldn't be possible in automatic mode. Usable flash range is limited to under 30 feet, although this isn't unusual for a small pocket camera of this size. The LCD viewfinder has a matt finish making it viewable in bright sunlight, an important aspect that many other cameras fail on. The camera is well made and fits easily into a trouser or jacket pocket. As an everyday ready-to-go point and shoot camera, this camera produces quality images most of the time and is probably best of breed in this price category.
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on 26 April 2013
Panasonic continue to produce best-in-class affordable compact cameras, and this one hits the mark perfectly - small and intuitive with a premium feel about it. And that Leica lens .... Can't recommend it highly enough.
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on 28 October 2014
I ordered one in April and whilst it seemed more flimsy than my daughters SZ1 and my beloved FS7. The picture quality was good and I get on well with these controls. Although the close range focus seems to struggle.

But after 4 months the photos started to get a black mark on them, dust behind the lens I could not get rid of. Amazon replaced it and I was happy but the replacement has developed exactly the same problem after 1 month. The dust mark is in almost exactly the same place too on the pictures. Amazon have refunded this time.

I'm really disappointed. I liked this camera but there is definitely a problem with the design of it that is causing this issue.
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