Top positive review
5 people found this helpful
Nice shots from a very pocket-friendly camera
on 7 July 2010
Good value and functionality at the entry level for this metal-cased current-model Panasonic. Bought one for a friend's birthday and one for myself. After getting rid of a fuji Z5 a few years ago, missed having a discreet little 'top-pocket' cam - this is an ideal update on that unit.
Lens starts at 35mm so no luxe wide at this price point which is a shame as that would give it the perfect 'piste to party' lens, and only 4x optical zoom. The fuji z300 w 5x zoom is in the same bracket, but I'd heard varying things about the image quality on that one, and touchscreens can drive me to distraction. Please also note lens is Lumix not Leica, again as befitting its value-conscious credentials.
Pics come out sharp and with a bit of in-camera option-tweaking with nice warm colours too. Intelligent Auto works really well in most cases, producing in the main good shots. It's not going to set the world alight, but a very competent unit that can consistently give you happy results. Noise and noise reduction is what you'd expect from the latest generation of Panasonics - ok up to ISO 400, some small prints still possible (and pleasing) at 800. You can tweak settings, fixing ISO to a lower level than the IA mode might demand, and let the shutter-speed and flash compensate - I've found the flash produces very nice softly lit results, esp true with faces.
Surprise - video includes hi-def! Recorded in some old-style big-fat format so Eats memory - For me the WVGA option is perfectly adequete for pc playback.
The menus and user-interface isn't quite as intuitive as I'd like, this being my first Panasonic I'm constantly stumbling over what should be simple menu navigation and option-selections - Not sure if this is just green-hands and further familiarity will breed 'content'. Might have to *gasp* read the full pdf, which can't be any target-consumers' (esp of this entry-level unit's) idea of a good time. Compared to the menus of other P&Ss I've owned it could definitely do with some shaping up.