Top positive review
102 people found this helpful
Good travel camera
on March 21, 2011
Excellent little camera for travelers. Bought this for an upcoming trip, and I've been testing it for the last few days on walks around a local lake. One day I took about 150 shots, and the battery was starting to wear down. No way this will shoot 200 without a recharge, which takes a couple hours. Realistically tho, how often do you shoot more than 100 shots in one day?
On the other hand, this is the first camera I've owned that makes me look like I'm not a terrible photographer. The Intelligent Auto mode is everything a point-and-shoot idiot could wish for. It focuses quickly, sets all the settings, and all you do is shoot. The Lumix sensor gets the colors just about right, with a little kick to make the world look just a bit more vivid. It's also fun to fiddle with the focus point, which you can pick by touching a spot on the viewer.
28 "Scene Modes" are available in groups of four, but you probably won't use more than a few. I wish I could rearrange the order of the Scene Modes so my favorites were in front. I also wish Panasonic's PhotoFunStudio 6.0 software didn't crash every time I try to offload photos to my PC, but I'm sure that bug will be fixed fairly soon. Meanwhile I copy photos using Windows Explorer to see the camera's SD card as a folder. Drag and Drop will do for now.
The touch screen has decent contrast, but could be brighter in daylight (as could all LCD's). In Playback Mode you can slide your finger left or right to go to the next or previous photo. Some of the menu icons are really cryptic, so be sure to get the PDF of the full user's manual so you can decipher them. It also takes awhile to get used to how the menus work in different modes. I'm still puzzling over some of that.
Best thing about this camera is the quick performance, excellent zoom and surprisingly good anti-shake. I could stand and snap a zoomed in stop sign from half a block away with no noticeable blurring. That's impressive in a camera this size. The worst knock is probably the battery, which is not going to get 200 shots, but will get more than most people will shoot in a day. An extra battery would come in handy, but at the moment (22 Mar) they aren't available.
All in all it's hard to imagine a better pocket travel camera at this price point.