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282 of 287 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good pictures and movies, convenient size and easy to use.
I am very satisfied with Lumix DMC-SZ7 digital camera. Its small size makes it easy to slip into a pocket. The 10x zoom works well in both still and movie mode. Unlike other cameras I have used I hear no noise from the zoom mechanism in the movie audio during the replay. Auto focus and image stabilization work well. Previously I used the physically larger DMC-ZS7...
Published on April 30, 2012 by D. R. Sossamon

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99 of 110 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Yes, but no.
In my search for a pocket camera, I so wanted this to be "the one." Unfortunately, it was not. There is so much good in this camera. I love the feel and heft of it, the set-up of the controls (you don't have to search around for the on/off button or the view button), and the ease of use. There is a good selection of scene options, including "glass through" which I...
Published on July 7, 2012 by dj


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect small camera, October 19, 2012
This review is from: Panasonic Lumix SZ7 14.1 MP High Sensitivity MOS Digital Camera with 10x Optical Zoom (Black) (Electronics)
I'm so happy with my other Panasonic camera Panasonic DMC-FZ150K 12.1 MP Digital Camera with CMOS Sensor and 24x Optical Zoom (Black) that I wanted a smaller model to carry around more easily, on an everyday basis. My FZ150 is a nice camera but a little too heavy sometimes.

This camera easily fits into a pocket, it's built sturdy (aluminum body) and takes very good photos. 1080p video with optical zoom is good quality.

Focusing is EXTREMELY QUICK! Good for those of you trying to take photos of children and pets.

One feature most forget to mention is the in-camera HDR which is only available deep down in the iA (Intelligent Auto) mode menu. (It took me awhile to find it). HDR means it takes 3 successive images and combines them into one photo - for instance on a landscape shot with clouds, the clouds will be more highly defined as well as the landscape in areas where it needs contrast. Makes for a striking photo.

The SZ7 is a fantastic camera for the price, in fact, I can't believe what this is currently selling for since this is one of Panasonic's latest models.
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31 of 37 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great features! Having to return for charging problem., April 4, 2012
By 
This review is from: Panasonic Lumix SZ7 14.1 MP High Sensitivity MOS Digital Camera with 10x Optical Zoom (Black) (Electronics)
Really loved this camera's features. I wasn't able to try it out though. The unit I received does not charge the battery. I am having to return for a replacement. Hopefully it is just fluke and not a bigger problem with the first production of these new cameras.

Also, be aware that this camera does NOT come with an external battery charger, like previous Lumix cameras. The only way to charge the battery is inside the camera, by connecting the mini-USB cable. I don't really like this method, as the door to the charging port on the camera is really flimsy and likely to break pretty quickly if I have to open it every time to charge.

It may be possible to find 3rd-party charges that work for this battery, but I have not looked yet.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exactly what I was looking for., February 1, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Panasonic Lumix SZ7 14.1 MP High Sensitivity MOS Digital Camera with 10x Optical Zoom (Black) (Electronics)
I did a ton of research before I settled on this camera. I was not looking for DSLR quality, I just wanted a camera that was simple to operate (very important for the wife) and took quick, quality pictures. Our current Sony camera took good pictures but the lens would randomly freeze up and we kept missing shots; so it was important to get something that works when I want it to.

These are the things that were important for me:
Quick picture taking, with or without flash
Quick turn on to first picture
Something that consistently works
Quality pictures
Good optical zoom (beyond 5x)
User friendly
MOS/CMOS sensor

I have a 2 year old and I was looking for a camera that I could grab quick, turn on and take a picture before I lost the shot. We have had this camera for about a month now and taken pictures inside and outside. I have no complaints at all about it, it is doing everything I ask of it. The pictures have been great, this camera meets every criteria above.

Random pro's:
The having a separate record button to push to record video - it really is a simple way to catch video.
The camera feels substantial/is a quality build. Simply put it doesn't feel cheap, I notice that every time I use it.
Simple stuff like you can't disable the digital zoom; but the zoom stops at 10X before it goes into digital - so you don't need
to have it disabled, you know if you are about it use it. That may be common, but I thought it was a nice touch.

Only con's:
The buttons on the back are not centered in the holes (not a big deal, they work fine; just something I noticed).
Zoom - you have to be very steady to take a picture at 10X. I would expect that out of any camera this
size; this isn't a knock on this camera, just something to keep in mind for any high zoom pocket camera.
It is a little heavy, I'm OK with that for how solid it feels.

If you are looking for a simple camera to take great quick pictures with I highly recommend this one.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Close to ideal for personal uses, August 30, 2012
This review is from: Panasonic Lumix SZ7 14.1 MP High Sensitivity MOS Digital Camera with 10x Optical Zoom (Black) (Electronics)
I recently upgraded to this camera (SZ7) from my trusty TZ5 which had served me very well for several years and had cost nearly twice as much.

The bang for the buck on this model is awesome as far as I'm concerned. It has almost all the features of the higher priced models plus the next generation MOS technology which is super fast and so allows for a lot of sophisticated enhancements to your shots which are largely handled behind the scenes.

I was glad to see the addition of the panoramic scan option ....even tho it is clunky and not very well executed. I also miss the aerial setting for shooting out the window of an airliner. But otherwise the options and settings are pretty broad and comprehensive and of course the Ia intelligent auto setting is just great for those of us who don't care to fuss with F stops and all that stuff to get a decent photo.

One of the biggest pluses is the form factor or size. It is roughly the size of a deck of cards...and only slightly larger with the case. It fits easily in any pocket without making a bulge. That makes it very easy to carry anywhere, anytime...a huge advantage as far as I'm concerned. I also find that it is so small, light and automated that I can easily shoot with it in one hand if I need to - like while driving or something. The size is nearly perfect...small enough to carry in any pocket and yet not so small that the controls are hard to use and the view-screen is still big enough to let you see what you are doing. It is also sturdy. I accidentally dropped mine about 3' to the ground after taking a shot and there was no harm done.

Probably the biggest negative so far is the battery. Mine ran down after only about 90 photos...altho granted I was also doing a lot of exploring of the menus and a number of flash shots. That's not horrible in itself....except that it really does take nearly 3 hours as they spec it to recharge the battery...and it has to be in the camera. Who has 3 hours to wait for a recharge if you're on vacation or whatever? Clearly any serious users will need to buy some replacement batteries and probably also a stand alone recharger. They are available and reasonably priced but the batteries are coded and the camera will not accept cheap imitations so be careful to get only certified compatible products.

All that said, I don't see anything else around that's even close to offering the bang for the buck of this camera and so far I'm very pleased with mine!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unimpressed, June 14, 2013
This review is from: Panasonic Lumix SZ7 14.1 MP High Sensitivity MOS Digital Camera with 10x Optical Zoom (Black) (Electronics)
Purchased this to replace an aging Dimage X60. The main reason for upgrading was wanting something that would autofocus faster since I primarily take pictures of animals and a faster shot-to-shot speed. A longer reach would be a bonus too. The SZ7 promised 10x zoom, 1/10 of a second "Light-speed Auto Focus" and 10 frames per second.

Overall, I'm underwhelmed. I haven't had the camera too long; maybe it'll grow on me more. Here we go.

Pros:
Small size: Only marginally larger than my dimage despite a much larger zoom.

Zoom: 10x in a tiny camera is a very usable range. Really, much longer than 10x handheld is
fairly unrealistic, and who really uses a tripod on a point and shoot? The wide angle is very nice too.

Video quality: I don't do much video recording, but I tried it out and it works well. I do notice that it doesn't adjust exposure when zooming but it does focus ok. I have a dedicated camcorder anyway, but it's still a nice feature to have.

Startup: despite having to zoom out the lens, it starts up fast and is ready to go right away. The Dimage claimed .5 second startup, but it was never really ready to fire at 1/2 a second. This one is a little slower, but by no means sluggish.

Build quality: solid and rugged.

High ISO: surprisingly good. Pictures are usable even in less than ideal lighting. Doesn't work miracles, but considerably less noisy than my Dimage was.

Battery life: quite good. Even with the flash going hard the battery holds up well. My dimage had piss-poor battery life.

Zoom speed: smooth, fast, and quiet.

Image Quality: decent. Not excellent, but not as bad as some reviews make it out to be even at full 10x zoom. No, it isn't a DSLR, but the photos are very usable by P&S standards. I'm not looking to pixel-peep or print posters with this camera.

Neutral:
Ergonomics: the button configuration and layout takes a little getting used to. There are no less than 3 different buttons labeled "MENU" on the back. The Record/Play button is an odd design choice. I do like the dedicated movie button though.

Battery: not a fan of in-camera charging, but an external charger is cheap to add (aftermarket anyway) so I won't knock points for it.

Cons:
Autofocus: this is the biggest disappointment. The "lightspeed AF" is anything but. In full, broad daylight it is very fast but indoors, even under pretty good lighting, it is sluggish. Occasionally, I logged over 2 seconds to acquire focus on a few shots, and that is with an AF Assist Light! Most averaged near 1 second. Without an assist light, my 8 year old Dimage did virtually as well. Again, outdoors I am able to focus in about 1/4 second and would certainly be happy with that if it was the rule, rather than the exception. I understand that in "low lighting" every camera is going to focus slower but this isn't darkness. It's a living room, with average indoor lighting. The difference is profound.

"Intelligent Auto": here is the second biggest disappointment. The "Intelligent Auto" is anything but. Again, I primarily photograph animals and decided to leave it on IA to test it first. Consistently it tried to set a shutter speed way too slow to prevent subject movement. No problem, it has a an option for pets. Perfect! Except, not. I selected "Pet" and it still tried to set a shutter speed in some shots as slow as 1/8 of a second. 1/8. Seriously? What is this for, a pet turtle? Supposedly the Intelligent Auto was nearly psychic in it's ability to gauge things. If I was trying to take photos in pitch darkness that would have otherwise been impossible I would understand, except I wasn't because I was able to get decent photos by:
I ended up finally setting it to "Normal" which allows me to set a minimum shutter speed (1/60 works well). It also allows me to set the ISO if I choose, though the auto works well as does auto white balance. Just by setting the minimum shutter speed I was able to get decent shots even in poor lighting. The camera appears to try to slow the shutter speed rather than ramp up the ISO even though it does fairly well at higher ISOs. A clear but slightly noisy photo is far more useful than a clean, blurry one. It's unfortunate I can't set the ISO or minimum shutter under Auto. I guess I should have picked one of the ZS models with P,S,A,M options, but I already have a Sony DSLR and this camera will be used by my wife as much as me and she is going to expect to just "Point and Shoot" with it, as the saying goes.

Image stabilization: surprisingly poor, even at relatively short zoom ranges. At first I thought it was just a factor of the 10x zoom instead of the 3x of the Dimage I was used to, but even pulling back I had to try very hard to hold the camera steady (this was even after upping the shutter speed as mentioned above.) It took me a few shots to even realize it was my shakiness to blame (and I admit that I am shaky) - I finally sat the camera on a box to steady it and voila. I never had this problem with the Dimage which, to the best of my knowledge, had absolutely no image stabilization of any kind. My DSLR has no issues with shooting handheld either, but I don't expect this $130 camera to have the same level of stabilization as that.

Speed: the last disappointment is with the shot-to-shot performance. The advertised "10 FPS" does work but the poor ergonomics make it inconvenient to switch to and the 4-shot limit before the buffer is full means you can't really take 10 frames in a second. Or even 5 frames in half-a-second. This means that you have to have a really good guess at the exact moment you need to take the shot. Which kind of defeats the purpose of the fast burst mode. The flash-burst is somewhat useful, though it needs to badly underpower the flash in order to maintain it. Flash recharge speed after a full blast is painfully slow. Without flash and without the burst mode, shot-to-shot speed is good, but nothing to write home about. The burst mode would have been a lot more useful with a dial to select it quickly and easily when desired.

Overall, I'm not terribly impressed, though I should state that for the price point that the camera is at, it does pack a lot of features into a small, easy to carry package. I also wouldn't go as far as to say I wouldn't recommend it - for the price, I can't say that I know of a better alternative. Just that I expected a little more based on the reviews. I did find it surprising that the picture quality, which seemed to be the biggest overall complaint, I didn't really find that bad. There was just so many other items that didn't quite live up to their promises.

Update: I've used the camera for about a year now and pretty much everything still stands as my original review stated. I use it when size/convenience is important but stick to my 3 year old DSLR whenever they aren't.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Camera!, January 15, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Panasonic Lumix SZ7 14.1 MP High Sensitivity MOS Digital Camera with 10x Optical Zoom (Black) (Electronics)
I've been searching for a new Point and Shoot after my little Kodak stopped working. The Panasonic brand wasn't even one I was considering until a FB friend told me about the Lumix line of cams. I was stunned to find out that most of all the Panasonic Lumix line got ratings of 4-stars or higher. I took a gamble and went for it. I'm glad I did!
SUPER FAST! Locks in focus very quickly and takes the shot you want before you miss it. I mostly take pics of dogs, and this catches them in action. It does, however, take longer to focus when zoomed all the way out.

My work has just bought a new Nikon 3300 and I compared it with my Lumix SZ7.

The Nikon - It took more crisp clear pictures compared to Panasonic, BUT that was only when it took the longest time to focus. Even then, it was hard to get it to focus on the subject you wanted. I tried the Nikon indoors in very poor lighting and you get a very poor picture even with flash. When it uses the flash the recycle time is way too long.

The Panasonic - FAST, FAST, FAST! Very Nice indoors pictures, especially if you're closer to your subject and the flash has a chance to light it up. Indoors in poor lighting it still performed very well! Slight blurring if the subject is fast moving, but the flash recycles very fast. This little cam is packed with lots of stuff. I've only played with it for a few days, but I love it!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Fatal flaw with the Lumix SZ7, December 15, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Panasonic Lumix SZ7 14.1 MP High Sensitivity MOS Digital Camera with 10x Optical Zoom (Black) (Electronics)
I love the pictures it takes. I had one Lumix SZ7, and it developed spots -- from other reviews, I gather this is typical. I gave up on my first Lumix and bought a second one. This one I protected diligently so no dust would get into the camera and on to the sensor. Alas, six months later and every picture is ruined. I can edit them out with Photoshop, but that is time consuming. In short, the SZ7 is the last Lumix I will ever buy, despite the good pictures. Getting a new camera every six months isn't my idea of worthwhile!
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but not great, July 18, 2012
By 
Capt. Steve (Santa Clara, CA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Panasonic Lumix SZ7 14.1 MP High Sensitivity MOS Digital Camera with 10x Optical Zoom (Black) (Electronics)
My 4 year old Canon point and shoot had literally fallen apart from dropping it on accident and the iphone camera just isn't cutting it for my standards so I started looking for a new pocket camera. I was going to go back to Canon because I've always had luck with their products but the Lumix series came highly recommended by photographers I trusted.

I found this camera with pretty much every feature I wanted for an incredible price, so I went ahead and bought it. I've had it for about a month and have been using it in a variety of situations. The best summary I can offer is that it's really good FOR ITS PRICE. In a broader context, what this camera does for less than $180 is actually pretty incredible considering where the technology was 5+ years ago. It's also amazingly compact and light.

The result is that this camera will be more than adequate for the average photographer. Whatever it lacks in resolution or contrast or color can be mostly corrected in editing on your computer- which you should really be doing anyway if you claim to care about photo quality. So pretty good camera but especially good considering the price.

That said, here is a list of potential deal breakers for photographers:
- Autofocus pretty much sucks. It has 4 or 5 different modes and the manual does not clearly define the differences. It can take a few seconds to get the camera to figure out what you want to focus on in certain situations.
- Macro is garbage on this camera. It has 2 macro modes and neither will focus on anything less than 6 inches or so from the lens. That may be a physical limitation of the camera itself, but my old Canon could do macro shots at that distance quite well.
- Panorama mode is garbage. With about 20 or so attempts, I've only successfully taken 1 panoramic shot. It's done in a single, sweeping motion but if you go too fast or if the camera thinks you're not steady enough, it aborts the photo.
- No aperture priority mode [that I can find]. Not a big deal, but the first camera I've had that lacks this feature.

Those gripes aside, I can't say I regret my purchase because the price was so darn low.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as my old camera. Low light picture quality is terrible., December 29, 2013
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This review is from: Panasonic Lumix SZ7 14.1 MP High Sensitivity MOS Digital Camera with 10x Optical Zoom (Black) (Electronics)
I am very disappointed with the picture quality. I owned Panasonic before and was very happy with it. It look great pictures both outside in full light as well as indoors. This camera's picture quality outside on a sunny day is very good but low light and indoors pictures are terrible. I tried different settings but with no success. The only good thing about the camera is that it is small and great for travel. But that does not make up for the poor picture quality. I took two pictures of the same object with my old camera and this one to compare them side by side and it is like night and day. Clear picture, nice colors with the old camera, (which I bought for about the same price 4 years ago and has similar features), hazy pictures with distorted colors with this one. Do not recommend to buy.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great little camera, January 26, 2013
By 
M. Korte "mfk" (Calgary, AB Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Panasonic Lumix SZ7 14.1 MP High Sensitivity MOS Digital Camera with 10x Optical Zoom (Black) (Electronics)
What I like best about this camera is the ability to take photographs in low light conditions without using flash. The pictures are clear and crisp and it's so easy to use. I'm a fan of Panasonic products in general, they just work. I've had Sony, Fuji and Canon cameras in the past and I like this one much better all around.
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