A good camera, not a great one

Aug 17, 2006 (Updated Aug 17, 2006)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:battery life, settings, easy to operate out of the box, Panasonic customer service, zoom lens

Cons:focus in low light, weak macro, graininess (keep in mind I'm picky

The Bottom Line: A good digital camera for someone who wants quality snapshots

My husband chose this camera for me for my birthday. It was a great started camera for me. I'd never have learned how to take good pictures without a digital camera. It is pretty quick to save to the card and be ready for another photo plus you can take 3 or 5 shots in quick succession automatically, which is good for action shots.

The rear lcd viewer is certainly adequate, especially since you can zoom in on your photo to check focus. The built in flash is nothing to write home about, but it does have a hot shoe for better flash capability. There are lots of settings you can adjust including automatically warming and cooling 'filters'. There are many settings available from full auto to full manual.

The zoom is also a wonderful thing, but keep in mind it is only and 8x digital zoom. It has 12x zoom but after 8x it is digital zoom, not optical.

My husband and I have a photography business, selling fine art photos and we do mostly nature and macro work. This is my first camera and I've learned a lot on it. I love it, but I've outgrown it already (after about 3 years). I still love it, but I want something that does better macro work. On the macro setting, this camera can't focus on something as small as a fingernail when it is close enough to 1/2 fill a frame. Another big downfall is the graininess in the photos. I have yet to find a setting to bring it down to an acceptable level. But I am very picky here.

I'm also happy with the Panasonic customer service. I'd had the camera only a few weeks when the LCD and viewfinder quit working. I called Panasonic and after a few tech-directed checks, I had approval to send the camera back for repair. I can't speak to the length of time it took to return the camera because we went on vacation and had them hold it. But they were happy to repair and hold the camera until we called them to ship it back.

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