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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on February 6, 2012
I'm a former owner of a Canon point-n-shoot, and my motivation for buying this camera (which I've had ~2 months now) was to capture family events and hiking/boating excursions in North FL. I initially discovered this camera via a glowing article on Consumer Reports, when I began searching for a replacement for our deceased p&s with only 4x zoom. I pounced on a $240 sale after reading a few other glowing reviews, which you can easily find with Google. I won't bother repeating all of the wonderful features of this camera, but focus on why former p&s amateurs like me will really appreciate this camera, if you can get it for less than ~$250 (i.e. a true "sale" price). I love it.

This camera is a little heavier than most p&s cameras I've used, but is essentially just as easy to use and has FAR more zoom and picture-quality than any p&s. Because it's a "bridge" or "superzoom" camera, you really need to get/have a camera bag, an extra battery, a super-fast memory card, and a cheap 52mm U/V filter(s) (for lens protection and/or certain light filtering). The UHS1 memory card (for HD video) is speedy/pricey -> look for camera-shop bundling-deals e.g. in the Amazon vendor list, but don't skimp on UHS1 speed/performance.

The attendant software is a little cheesy, but functional. The manual and accessories are great. Freeware video conversion tools are available to convert to smaller formats.

Functionality: This camera has buttons/wheels and menu-options for fully-manual photography. It's more busy than I was used to, but easy to pick-up almost w/o instruction. The only disappointment for me is the placement of the video button (on top), which I have to fumble for at the end of a video session (a very minor issue, in my opinion). The "auto" modes are at least as good as my p&s, almost w/o thinking about it, as long as you aren't interested in necessarily pixel-peeping/large prints. But if you do want to pixel-peep e.g. to produce large prints, you only need to know some basic concepts of photography because all of the options are there to take truly exceptional photos. I already knew some of the really basic concepts in that regard, and thus learning to select the options proficiently only took me a few days of tinkering. Even if you don't know any basics of photography, it really shouldn't take you long to find the options while you're reading about the concepts (maybe a week). The key is to learn how to distinguish between interior/exterior options, and how to use flash in conjunction with most of the mode options to get better low-light photos. The color rendering and video quality impress me every time.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on December 19, 2011
I have tested a few long-zoom cameras, and for the sale price that Amazon had for the Black Friday week, this was an automatic buy!
There are similar, and better, long-zooms out there. I've tested SX40, FZ150, HS20 and HX100. The first two seemed to be marginally better performing, especially in low light, than FZ47. SX40 and FZ150 have more features and CMOS sensor, too. FZ150 is THE best long-zoom in the market now. But would I spend $140 more for just a little improvement in the image quality? I would not.

The pros and cons have already been discussed by other reviewers here at length. I will just mention a few notes here:
1. The default setting for video will result in an under-exposed video. Adjust it before taking videos.
2. The camera may sometimes refuse to focus on a small object at a distance of, say, 2 to 5 meters.
3. The iA mode is pretty darn good, excepting for low light conditions (such as night panorama of a city downtown etc)

I will update the review as I find more things to note.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on July 1, 2012
To begin with I'm no camera maven. I'm just a little ole lady that takes hundreds of pics on my travels. I do love ZOOMs and easy menus. That is why after finding Panasonic I have stuck with it. Good quality pictures, and zoom quality very good. I tried out this zoom because many time a zoom will get you close but the edges begin to blur. In my tests I was very pleased with the Zoom and no Zoom of the same scene. I remind you I'm no expert but we all want to have good clear pictures. With my Panasonics I have no learning curve because they are all the same. I like this camera also because it isn't a bulky as an ordinary SLR camera.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on May 4, 2012
After reading SEVERAL reviews it came down to the FZ47, FZ150 and Canon t3. I went with this one because of the price.
It simply fit my budget and the reviews were great. I have a Canon HD Camcorder so I didn't need the FZ150's video options.
I felt the FZ47 was a better deal than the Canon. Out of the box, in auto mode, the camera is pretty good. Noise is pronounced at higher ISO and telephoto at least in Auto. Can't wait to mess with the settings to get better results. For $300, it's worth it! Color is awesome, the focus is fast and lag time is nearly DSLR fast. One of the best point and shoots I have ever used.
UPDATE: as I have experimented more, this really is a good camera!!!!!!!! It's fast and the quality is great. Images can get a little noisy, but with all the setting options you can work on that...I highly recommend this camera!
UPDATE: buy this camera, only use iA sparingly. Though iA gives nice results, the true magnificent of this cameramen can be found in PASM settings. Experiment and explore. Learn about ISO and f/stop...aperture and shutter speed. Images can explode with the right settings.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on February 4, 2012
The DMC FZ 47 is a truly great camera, It's color accuaracy is way beyond anything else in it's class and even superior to camera's costing more than 3 times the price(and this fact is backed by professional reviews not just mine). It's far better than my two DSLR's . I am amazed at the quality of the photo's this camera is capable of. The image samples from around the web do not do justice to this camera, and real life images are far, far more detailed and sharper, especially up to ISO 400.. ,although to really get the best out of it you need to really take the time to know and use the mind boggling array of different modes and features. It is extensive to say the least.

I would not read into the negative comments to much because anybody who really knows how to utilize and understand all the manual controls and other settings would come to a completely different conclusion, for sure. Not only is it fast but it takes outstanding video as well (with manual control to boot).

The negatives of note are, Panasonic needs to move the speaker so your fingers don't cover it up, and a printed easier manual to understand for beginners would be a big plus. The advanced operation CD is poorly done and i can see how somebody would not bother trying to really understand it thus not giving the camera a fair shake. Make no mistake though, if you take the time to truly read and understand what this camera is capable of you should be very pleased and this coming from a long time DSLR user.
Go for it, it's more than worth the price at it's suggested list, if you can get it for less, like what amazon has it for it's an absolute steal.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on October 12, 2012
Purchased for my teenage daughter. This is the model before the FZ60 came out which added HDR, CMOS sensor, faster continuous shooting, other s/w features.

Decided to get this one when the price went down. We where looking for a super-zoom camera that was lightweight and takes great pictures. This camera fit the bill. This camera (and the FZ60) in my opinion is a great alternative to the Canon and Nikon super-zoom/bridge cameras. What still amazes me is the photo quality, the 25-600mm lens, and features for the price. We live in Montana so there are opportunities every day to zoom way in on wildlife, mountains, sunsets, etc and with it's image stabilization you don't need a tripod in most situations (only when it gets darker outside). With wide angle at 25mm you can get everybody in your photo on group shots, don't need to step back or squeeze everybody together like you do with many point and shoots. I have my daughter just leave the camera on iA (Intelligent Auto) and let the camera figure out the best settings and it works very well. When she's ready, the camera has excellent manual features.

If you're looking for a bridge camera why spend more, unless you need a flash hot shoe, raw capture capability, take a hard look at this one (or FZ60) it's a solid camera that takes outstanding photos with a boat load of features for a better price.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on June 25, 2012
After checking out various cameras in the class, I went with this Panasonic.
My reasons: 1. I loved my old Panasonic.
2. LEICA lenses on a camera in this price range is fantastic.
3. On/Off SWITCH, not a button that can be accidentally hit on or off at the wrong time (like Canon!)
4. The pictures are phenomenal without having to carry a camera case full of interchangeable lenses.
5. Settings are on a dial, you don't have to go through digital menus to switch between often-used settings.
6. Simple battery charger (unlike my children's Nikon that had too many pieces that ultimately got lost)
7. 24x Optical zoom.

I haven't used video yet, so there is no comment on it for that reason, not because it is an issue. Though I heard Walgreens would be able to burn DVDs from SD cards soon, so I am going to have to play with the video option soon, my old camera did not have video and I didn't want to use up space on my computer's memory to upload video onto it.

Cons: I haven't come across any. I've taken a couple hundred photos on this camera already, in the few weeks that I have had it and I am very happy with the camera.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on December 18, 2011
I got this camera during the Thanksgiving shopping from Amazon. The shipping was earlier than promised. Very easy to use. The picture quality is amazing. THe flash is so bright and lights up the entire room instead of only the focusing object. iA mode works for me right now, yet to explore the other settings and features. Flower mode is awesome! The battery life is very good. So far I have charged only once and I have shot more than 70 pics and 15 minute video. Still, it shows full battery. The battery charger is compact, directly plugs into the electrical socket, no wires. Video quality is very good, performs good in low light. In essence, I am very much impressed with this camera, upgrading from a Point and shoot!.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on January 31, 2012
I really didn't need another camera: I already have a Canon EOS Rebel T1i 15.1 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera and a brand new Canon ELPH 300 that I am very happy with.

I had been hearing great things about the Panasonic Lumix series for a long time and thought the current lowered price made it worth getting if only to experiment with... I'm glad I took the plunge.

The new ELPH is very tiny but has proved to be a very capable performer for both still shots and 1080p movies.
The Canon T1i is a full size SLR but takes very nice, clear images.

Sizewise, this Panasonic is in between the two Canon cameras. Performance wise, the Panasonic easily outperforms the Elph in terms of image clarity - particularly for telephoto and Macro pictures. In fact, the Panasonic has provided much sharper imaging than even the big Canon T1i when comparing telephoto shots. The SLR would most likely outperform the Lumix if it were equipped with something other than it's inexpensive stock lens... but since we are comparing the Lumix to a far more expensive camera the results were surprising.

Each camera has it's strong points: The ELPH can go anywhere and fits in a shirt pocket. The SLR can be used with telescopes and microscopes. The Lumix has the best telephoto capabilities while retaining a fairly compact size.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on June 19, 2012
Before I start I want to make it clear that I am not an expert or even an experienced photographer. In fact my only previous camera is a little point and shoot which really wasn't meeting my needs. That is the reason that I decided to take a step up into a bridge camera. I did a lot of research and discovered that this camera is the highest rated for its class and cost range.

The two things that really drove me nuts about my older camera was the fact that it only had 3x zoom which didn't really didn't work unless I was right on top of the subject. Also I couldn't adjust any of the settings to be able to photograph my jewelry. Both of these issues were addressed in the camera along with so much more. The 24x zoom is great especially when I am trying get some good animal pics and I have found that the burst mode really helps out there also. I haven't taken any jewelry pic yet but just knowing that I can do any adjustments needed to really make them shine is a weight off my mind.

There is just one thing that I have discovered that I would change about this camera and that is the owner's manual. It comes as a pdf on the cd enclosed with the camera. I would really have preferred it to be a printed manual. Oh and it would be great if you were told just what comes with the camera itself for those of us taking our first steps into real photography.
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