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on January 4, 2013
This is a real nice camera for the price, but the wifi, which is the reason I got it, was kind of a pain to set up. There is a button for a wifi "wizard," which should make things easier, but it didn't. That's because, at least for the average buyer, there's not enough information in the box to guide you through some of the things you need to know or have questions on. (I think most users are like me; you set up a wifi connection with a device, pray that it works, and then, thorugh trial and error, you're not even sure what you did that got you to the end result! And then you forget all that until you need to do it again.) I tried on line help at Panasonic and emailed their customer service, and got no where. Finally, I called their 800 number. Talked to a nice techie, but I think he was figuring it out on the fly, just as I was.

Here are two (I think) big helps for others who run into similar problems: 1. You CAN'T use the wifi until after you load the software and set up a folder where the wifi will transfer your pictures to. (Embedded in the directions, it does tell you to do that first, but it's far from apparent that things just won't work until then!) Second, once you load the software, you actually get a window that tells you exactly what you need to input in the final stage of wifi set up (but the nomenclature is slightly different, and that helpful fact was never made clear!), and this is where my problem occurred. BEWARE: if you have a computer that doesn't have a password, the final step WILL NOT WORK! (I never bothered with a password on my laptop:one extra step, and I've never worried about it: you need a password.) Apparently, the code is written so you HAVE TO input a password; you can't just leave it blank (At least their software program listed my password as "NONE," and that's what gave me the idea to try again once I added a password. The Panasonic techie had no clue as he walked me through exactly what I had done in the wifi set up (again), and he should have known about this issue since in my original email, I asked if that was the problem.

I can imagine all kinds of people returning this camera over frustration with the wifi (I mean, why would you keep it if you can't make this higher end feature doesn't work? Too bad, because I think I'm really going to like the camera itself. What I've seen so far, the menu choices are much easier to deal with that my older digital, an Olympus Zoom. I would strongly suggest to Panasonic that they put better "Quick Start" instructions in the box, ones that are consumer tested by ordinary people who are a little unsure of terminology and need the hand-holding. It's actually a 4 or 5 star camera with 2 star directions.
33 comments29 of 32 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 25, 2012
I bought this camera to replace an IP video camera, in order to be able to watch for expected visitors without being tied to the front window, allowing me to get other things done while waiting. It works very well for that purpose. In fact it is considerably better than the IP video camera purpose-built for that. This camera is particularly good for that that because it is small and unobtrusive, it can auto-focus and auto-adjust for the light conditions, and be remotely zoomed if desired. Because it is battery-powered, I didn't expect it to have much WiFi range, and it doesn't, but it is good enough be to useful for me. Working by remote control from my Android phone or tablet, the battery lasts for a couple hours. For more time, I also purchased a DMW-DCC10/DMW-AC5 AC adapter, which works well.

The camera also takes good still pictures, and because of its small, easily pocketable size, it has been very useful to take along when I go out just in case an unexpected photo opportunity arises. The SZ5 doesn't have a mode dial or touch screen, but none-the-less, is quite useable.

For improvements, I'd like to see the WiFi remote control range increased. Perhaps that could be done by also allowing a remote control mode that works through an existing WiFi channel.

The WiFi remote control experiment Panasonic tried with this camera is very successful. I think they have done a good job of it, and I find it very useful. I wish my FZ150 and GH2 had it as well, and suspect it'll be a highly prized feature on the GH3. I'm glad I purchased this camera.
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on January 30, 2013
I bought this my camera for my wife because she mentioned that it would be nice to have a camera that the pictures would automatically be transferred to our computer or phones so they didn't just reside in the camera until we erase them to make room for more pictures. It is a little tricky, the first couple of times, to connect the wifi. It is so easy now, that we set the camera up and surprise people by taking their picture remotely and transfer the pictures, to our external hard drive, automatically, every time we plug in to charge.
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on May 2, 2013
this is my third Panasonic camera, love all of them. this one is TRUE point and shoot. all pictures, no matter the light situation, come out perfect. indoors or out. you get a lot for your money.
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on January 1, 2013
The camera is just what I wanted. It is small and very easy to use. I purchased for a friend, who also loves it. The only drawback is that there is apparently no fill flash setting. This is a bit upsetting. However, when using the customized SCN settings, there is a setting which I think would substitute.
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on February 15, 2013
great camera, the wifi was an important feature and it works awesome. love being able to snap shots from afar with my smartphone. im not that into specs but this thing shoots photos well enough for me and mine. would reccommend.
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on November 6, 2012
Compact camera. Great pictures. Wi-Fi function easy to setup. Awesome new way of taking pictures and sending them online. Love this camera.
33 comments12 of 15 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 16, 2013
Have been working with it for a short while. But have a lot of problems with WiFi connection when on the Mac OS
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on May 14, 2013
Purchased for college age daughter who needed a new compact camera to go with her more advanced digital SLR's, etc. Love the quality of photos and the wifi capability that allows her to control the camera from her IPhone for self portraits, etc.
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on April 14, 2013
Quality pictures. Lots of options and user friendly. Competitive price. Convenient size with large LCD monitor. Would highly recommend this camera!
0Comment3 of 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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