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இ Fuzzy Wuzzy's Summary:
ѾѾѾѾѾ Highly recommended with warm fuzzies (great camera for a first-time photographer).

What is in the box package?

✵ DMC-S3 digital camera
✵ Panasonic NCA-YN101G 3.6V rechargeable lithium ion battery pack (NCA-YN101G)
✵ Battery charger (DE-A91B)
✵ USB cable to connect the camera to your computer
✵ Hand strap
✵ Software CD with Panasonic "PHOTOfunSTUDIO 6.0" and "Super LoiLoScope" 30-day trial (both software only run on Windows XP/Vista/7, no Mac version)
✵ 27-page "Basic Owner's Manual" (and 26-page Spanish version in the same booklet). A separate 81-page "Owner's Manual for advanced features" is included as a PDF file on the included CD-ROM disc. The printed "Basic Owner's Manual" is great as a quick-start guide, but you should also read the "Owner's Manual for advanced features" that is included on the CD.

The software installation CD gives you the option to install a URL link shortcut that merely accesses a Web site using your browser. From that Web site, you can either download a 30-day trial version or purchase the Super LoiLoScope software. Super LoiLoScope is third-party software that offers a bundle of video editing functions for creating videos, adding text, images, music, and special effects to videos, burning DVDs of your videos, etc. This was the only part of the camera package that I did not try out since I already use other software to edit my videos with.

Although I am a serious amateur photographer with 3 Canon dSLR cameras and 7 nice Canon lenses, I can appreciate the amount of features that are packed into this very affordable camera. The S3 comes in five color options: black, white, purple, red, and violet. This camera is aimed at value-for-money simplicity, specifically designed to be easy to use by beginning photographers. While the photos that you take using this camera will not always be perfect, they tend to be quite idiot-proof, which makes this camera an excellent choice for a first-time photographer or as a camera for a teenager. Someone who is college-age or older may potentially become very interested in digital photography and then outgrow this camera and want something better. But for a teenager, or for someone looking for a good basic and very affordable point-and-shoot camera, this is a pretty good choice.

Some of the DMC-S3's noteworthy features are described and rated below.

ѾѾѾѾѾ Excellent 5-fuzzies feature ratings:

ѾѾѾѾѾ There is an excellent set of features packaged in a very easy-to-use camera. The ergonomics of the controls and the on-screen menus are excellent and seem to be aimed at first-time digital photography novices.

ѾѾѾѾѾ 720P (1280x720) at 30fps HD video recording in a $120 camera is currently quite rare! If you look at all of the competing point-and-shoot cameras in this price range (or even out to $150), nearly all of the video capabilities of cameras by Nikon, Canon, Olympus, and other only go up to 640x480 at 30fps. It is not until you get closer to the $200 camera pricing that 720P is currently being offered for most camera brands (Amazon currently sells a Kodak 14MP with 720P or a Sony 16MP with 720P, both for $160)... and then at the $200 price point, Panasonic offers 1080P HD video in its Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX700 14.1 MP Digital Camera with 5x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 3.0-Inch LCD (Black). So it is currently very rare to get 720P video capability in a camera of this price range.

ѾѾѾѾѾ The "Mega O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer) Shake Detection" works very well. This is a good thing since this camera is so slim in style and slippery in feel that your hands may move the camera during the focusing process more than cameras whose bodies are molded with more edges to grip onto. On the right side of the top of the camera, where the shutter button is, that top right corner has a grooved indentation where your right index finger rests. I really wished that this camera also had a similar grooved indentation on the top left corner of the body so that my left index finger could get a better grip on the camera when holding it steady for either photos or video. The camera is housed in a plastic casing that can give it a toy-like feel, but its construction feels fairly precise, so I expect its exterior to have good long-term durability *** AS LONG AS THE CAMERA IS NOT DROPPED ONTO HARD FLOORING OR SIDEWALKS ***. The slim camera body with all of its rounded corners makes it more slippery to hold (like a bar of soap) than most point-and-shoot cameras, so make sure that you use the included hand strap when carrying and holding this camera.

ѾѾѾѾѾ The camera offers four flexible 'Recording Modes', three Recording Modes for photography and the fourth mode being the "Motion Picture" video mode. The "Scene Mode" covers an above-average number of shooting situations, with 16 scenes that you can select from: Portrait, Soft Skin, Self Portrait, Scenery, Panorama Assist, Sports, Night Portrait, Night Scenery, Food, Party, Baby, Sunset, High ISO Sensitivity, Fireworks, Beach, Snow. As you select each of the 16 scene modes on the LCD monitor screen, a description of that scene mode scrolls as text at the bottom of the screen, a nice touch instead of requiring you to memorize each scene mode just based on a graphical icon. Another photography mode is called "iA", or "Intelligent Auto", mode. This is the most automated mode and is great for a total newbie who is just starting out in digital photography. In "iA" mode, the camera automatically configures the settings and scene mode used based on whether it detects peoples' faces, scenery, close-up focal lengths, people or scenery in a night environment, sunset, or movement in the scene. Under most conditions, its settings were fairly accurate. But with some subject matter, such as a busy scene where there are people, scenery, and objects all juxtaposed close together, the camera can get fooled into setting a wrong scene, and then you have to switch the 'Recording Mode' over to use either a "Scene Mode" or the "Normal Picture" mode. For a first-time camera user, the "iA" mode is perfect for a novice who mainly just points and shoots.

ѾѾѾѾѾ The camera offers three useful autofocus modes: automatic face detection, 11-zone autofocus, and 1-central-zone autofocus.

ѾѾѾѾѾ The camera has a better-than-average continuous burst shooting speed when compared to other compact point-and-shoot cameras like it. When I turned on the "Burst" option in either "Normal Picture" or "Scene" modes, keeping the shutter button pressed results in additional shots being taken right at about one frame each second. A 1 frame-per-second continuous burst shooting speed is excellent for a point-and-shoot camera like this.

ѾѾѾѾѾ The S3 model comes with about 70 MB of built-in memory so that you can either shoot and record to the built-in memory without needing to use a memory card, or use an SD, SDHC, or SDXC card.

ѾѾѾѾѾ With the camera connected to your computer, the handy "Upload Set" function lets you easily upload photos to your Facebook account or videos to your YouTube account.

ѾѾѾѾ Good 4-fuzzies feature ratings:

ѾѾѾѾ The S3 has a good 4X zoom range, going from a nice wide-angle 28mm (in 35mm equivalent) to a decent 112mm telephoto reach with an aperture of f/3.1 to f/6.5. The f/3.1 at the wide-angle end is quite respectable for a camera at this economy price level, but the f/6.5 at the telephoto end is not too good. If you keep this in mind, you can work around this camera's aperture limitations by not zooming in so much when shooting indoors or at night; e.g. move in closer to the child sitting at his birthday cake or move in closer to the people standing at night on the sidewalk before take the photograph. The standard 4X zoom can be increased to 6.8X by setting an "EX" Extended Optical Zoom, which also decreases the resolution to 5 megapixels, or increased to a maximum 8.4X optical zoom by decreasing the resolution to 3 megapixels. This is analogous to a crop sensor SLR camera's effective focal length when using a lens compared to a full frame camera. The camera also offers "Digital Zoom", which multiplies the zoom of Optical Zoom or Extended Optical Zoom up to 4 times. But in trying this camera's "Digital Zoom" under a variety of conditions, including bright clear outside environments with good contrast, I found that most of the outer reaches of the digital zoom were just way too pixelated and grainy in appearance. The "Digital Zoom" is an option that you can set, and my suggestion would be to leave this option turned off, just using it sparingly on an as-needed basis. If you leave the option turned on, you may inadvertently go into digital zoom while pressing the zoom button as it transitions from the much-clearer optical zoom to digital zoom.

ѾѾѾѾ The camera has good image quality from its Leica DC lens with good contrast and color saturation. The image quality is especially excellent with outdoor daytime shots. With night or indoor low-light photographs, the photos tend to get more noisy due to its ISO performance when using ISO 800 and higher (see below). But this ISO noisiness is common for cameras in the $100 to $150 price range.

ѾѾѾѾ In some of the toughest tests for a basic point-and-shoot digital camera like this, I manually turned off the flash and tried photographing dark or even very dark night scenes in "Normal Picture" mode using ISO 800 and ISO 1600, "iA" mode, and the two night-scenery "Scene" modes. The "iA" and two night-scenery "Scene" modes kept the ISO at 800 for night shots, and the results were quite acceptable, again taking into account the price bracket for this camera. ISO 1600 had substantial sensor noise, but it was still comparable to other $100-$150 cameras. On a practical basis, ISO noise like this may not be that apparent for the novice photographer for whom this camera is targeted at. Once you start learning about digital camera technologies and you become more aware of what high-ISO noise is (or what problems like pincushion distortion and chromatic aberration are), you tend to notice that more in photos when you see it. But to novice photographers, moderate amounts of high-ISO noise may not always be noticed by them. Besides, high-ISO noise is very common for these small digital cameras anyway. If ISO 1600 is still not enough due to the darkness of your shooting environment, the camera's "High Sensitivity" scene mode can operate between ISO 1600 and ISO 6400 to allow for a faster shutter speed. But unless you are getting blurry images due to your subject moving in the darkness, I would strongly suggest sticking with ISO 800 since ISO 1600 and higher produces too much noise in photos. When I mounted this camera on a small Joby GorillaPod tripod, using either the two night-scenery "Scene" modes or the "High Sensitivity" scene mode, photos taken in dark outside settings were quite good. But because the ISO noise starts becoming apparent at ISO 800, and really gets noisy at ISO 1600 and beyond, avoid using the "High Sensitivity" scene mode unless you really have to photograph in near-total darkness. If you do not already have a camera tripod, I would recommend the affordable and very useful Joby GP1-0GEN Gorillapod Flexible Tripod (Green) for use with this camera. By using this camera with a small tripod, you may be able to stay within ISO 400 or ISO 800 for better less noisy photos. But if you do end up getting a lot of high-ISO sensor noise on some low-light photos, either with this camera or with any camera really, try converting the photos from color to black-and-white or sepia tone. I find that high-ISO noise sometimes looks more "noisy" on color photos than on black-and-white or sepia tone photos. In fact, with black-and-white and sepia tone photos, the high-ISO noise may also add a grainy vintage look to the photo which can have its own appeal.

ѾѾѾѾ The 230,000 dot TFT screen 2.7-inch LCD display is pretty clear and respectable for a low-end point-and-shoot camera like this.

ѾѾѾѾ The included 'PHOTOfunSTUDIO 6.0' software offers all of the basic functions that you would expect, including user-friendly tools to help you transfer the photos from the camera to your computer, delete sections of the recorded videos, capture still photo images from recorded videos, rotate/resize/crop photos, adjust brightness, contrast, hue, and saturation, sharpen photos, convert to sepia/negative/greyscale, etc.

ѾѾѾѾ When using the 'Panorama stitch' function on the 'PHOTOfunSTUDIO 6.0' software to align and stitch together a series of horizontally or vertically photographed shots, the software usually does a very good job at aligning, cropping, and merging the separate photos together. This is especially true if I either use the camera on a tripod with a panning head, or use the camera's very useful "Panorama Assist" Scene Mode. When in "Panorama Assist" Scene Mode, you tell the camera whether you are panning left-to-right, right-to-left, top-to-bottom, or bottom-to-top. Then as you take each photo, the camera's LCD display displays a grid and superimposes about 25% of the previous photo's right side, left side, bottom, or top and overlays that onto the current display to help you visually overlap and align about 25% of each photo to be used in the panorama. This Panorama Assist" Scene Mode is one feature of point-and-shoot cameras that I actually wished digital SLR cameras also had because, without using a tripod, it can alleviate the possibility of having photos being skewed and tilted between each other. However, when I photographed a series of five panned-and-overlapping shots indoors in subdued morning lighting while carefully holding the camera level, on three of the stitched photos, some of the seams where nicely merged together while other seams had jagged and distorted blocky shifts of the edges in objects within the photos. These misalignments seemed to always occur near the top or bottom of where two photos were merged, and never in the (vertical) middle two-thirds of the photos, and these alignment issues seem to happen because they were indoor photos with less edge contrast. The PHOTOfunSTUDIO software's 'Panorama stitch' function does a far better job at stitching when there is good light-dark contrast of edges (e.g. outdoor daytime photos).

ѾѾѾ Average not-good not-bad 3-fuzzies feature ratings:

ѾѾѾ The monophonic microphone that is used for video recordings is located behind two small holes that are below the camera lens. The audio sound quality of recorded videos is not that good. But given the inexpensive pricing of this camera with all of its other features, I cannot be too harsh about this shortcoming.

ѾѾ Bad 2-fuzzies feature ratings:

ѾѾ Using the 'PHOTOfunSTUDIO 6.0' software, when I tried to use the 'Delete SD card pictures' option to delete images from the DMC-S3 that was still properly attached to my computer via the supplied USB cord, I got repeated errors saying "Failed to delete the file. Cause: An unknown error has occurred." Regardless of how many images that I selected to be deleted, only one of the images would actually be deleted, and the rest of the images would not be deleted. I tried using the software's 'Delete SD card pictures' function repeatedly, and in conjunction with trying different SD cards (SanDisk 2GB SD cards), and I would always get the same error message, even though the images would actually be deleted one by one instead of deleting all of the images that I had selected. This is not a huge issue considering that the camera itself has very convenient 'Delete Multi' and 'Delete All' functions, but there is no reason why a simple software task like this should repeatedly fail.

௫ Fuzzy Wuzzy's Conclusion:

At its current $100-$120 price bracket, this camera is very competitive with its performance and features. Panasonic obviously had to cut corners in order to make this camera affordable. In particular, this camera's aperture of f/6.5 at its telephoto focal length and the inability to zoom in and out while filming video seem to be due to intentional cost-cutting measures. But these kinds of limitations are common for point-and-shoot cameras in this price range. For example, I have a comparably priced Fujifilm point-and-shoot camera that also cannot zoom in/out in movie mode, its video only goes to 640x480 (compared to this camera's 1280x720), pressing the Fujifilm camera's zoom button only gives me five distinct zoom levels (compared to this camera's finer gradations of zooming), and for low-light shooting, my Fujifilm only goes out to ISO 3200 whereas this camera's "High Sensitivity" scene mode will go up to ISO 6400 (and as mentioned, the extra amount of high-ISO noise in the photos as you go above ISO 3200 may not look as noisy if you convert some of those photos to black-and-white or sepia, which you can do using the supplied 'PHOTOfunSTUDIO 6.0' software). However, my similarly-priced Fujifilm camera uses more metal on its exterior and its camera body feels much more rigid, whereas the front panel of this DMC-S3 is made of plastic that flexes a bit if you squeeze on it. Perhaps using plastic instead of metal on the exterior panels was also a cost-cutting measure, but along with the camera's rounded corners and slippery feel, I think that the DMC-S3 is less likely to survive being dropped onto a sidewalk compared to a camera with a metal exterior. Just make sure that you (or the person that you are buying this for) always uses the included hand strap when holding and carrying the camera because this camera's plastic body is quite slippery. Panasonic should have added some texture to the plastic exterior, especially around its curved sides and corners where your hands and fingers would be gripping it.

While it is a pretty crowded playing field for digital point-and-shoot cameras priced around $100 to $120, I could find no other camera that currently has the combination of 14 megapixels and 720P video capabilities. I give this camera a 5-star rating because of all of the features that it has at a very affordable price. The ideal person that this camera is targeted at is a first-time camera user, especially a child or teenager, due to its very user-friendly foolproof design and layout. However, be aware that in this price bracket, you can get a substantially better camera, with better image quality and better higher-ISO (800+) noise performance, by spending $50 or $70 more. That contrasts with high-end digital SLR cameras where you may have to spend at least $400 or $800 more to get a substantially better SLR camera.
1515 comments|101 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
HALL OF FAMEon July 15, 2011
I purchased my white S3 at Costco for under 100 dollars, and the Costco bundle came with a very nice case and a Transcend 2GB SD memory card. The S3's own box included a LiIon battery pack, a one-piece battery charger (no cord needed), a hand strap, a USB cable, and the software CD-ROM.

The S3 weighs 4 oz. with battery and card and is what we used to call an idiot-proof camera. It has only 4 shooting modes: Panasonic's famous iA (intelligent auto) mode, which is simply the best automatic scene-dependent shooting mode on the compact digital camera market today, a normal mode that is similar to the program mode on other digital cameras, a scene mode that lets you pick from 16 presets (including high sensitivity, sports, portrait, baby, etc.), and a camcorder mode that shoots video in Quicktime format at 1280x720, 640x480 (VGA) or 320x240 (QVGA) resolutions. BTW, unlike more expensive Panasonic cameras, the S3 cannot zoom while shooting video, a pity.

The S3 comes in several colors; mine is white and looks very stylish. It feels good and light in the hand, although I also think it feels almost like a toy, but not in a bad way. The plastic casing seems durable (and fingerprint-friendly), and the buttons are all solid and easy to press.

Unlike other digicams in this price range or even more expensive, the S3 exhibits little shutter lag, that is, as soon as you press the shutter button, it takes the picture (unless it's really dark in the room). The S3 takes excellent outdoor pictures, with excellent color accuracy and contrast and good focus. Indoors, most of the no-flash pictures I have taken of my kids look good, but understandably the digital noise is higher. Indoor flash photography is not something I'd call good on any compact digital camera, including this one, although the flash does make a good fill-in flash outdoors when the subject's face has shadows.

Overall, I find the S3 *very* pleasant to use. Its good performance in shutter lag and excellent outdoor picture quality and good indoor quality make it a winner for a low-cost, no-brainer take-it-anywhere camera. It even comes with date stamp (with or without time), something many casual photographers love.

Note: I posted a sample video and some sample images on the black Panasonic Lumix DMC-S3 14.1 MP Digital Camera with 4x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom with 2.7-Inch LCD (Black) product page.
11 comment|37 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on September 12, 2011
My 8yr old Grand daughter was using a child's camera I had purchased for her years ago and wanted something better. She has used my big digital many times but needless to say a $1000 camera isn't for an 8yr old. I looked long and hard for something easier and almost fool proof. When given to her, she listened very carefully to what she needed to know and then went off and had a ball. She has taken beautiful pics of flowers, animals, faces and so on. I got her a red case and a 4g sd card. If you are wanting another camera or just starting off and don't want or can't put a lot of money into it, this is the camera for you.
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VINE VOICEon June 13, 2011
Color: Black|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I compared this Panasonic Lumix camera with the Nikon Coolpix L22, which is a 12.0 camera, as opposed to the Lumix which is a 14.1 MP camera. The image quality is excellent with the Lumix. Similar shots, one shot at the wide end of the lens, and the other at the zoom end of the lens. I then magnified the image to 100% on the computer and compared them. What was pleasantly surprising was that the photos did not show any purple fringing that is usually the norm for low end Point-and-Shoot cameras. None whatsoever.

Secondly, the photo came out sharp and without the hazing that can sometimes become visible up when viewing a photo at 100% magnification.

The flash is small and like most in-built flashes, quite useless at long range and washes everything out at close range. However, when you do manage to take a photo at that exact zoom range that is ideal, the results are quite acceptable. Just make sure to view the results on the camera's LCD screen in case you need to make adjustments and shoot again.

The menu is clear and uncluttered. You can even set the timezone via an interactive world map, similar to what you find on Windows computers. Nice touch.

The camera itself is very light. The black color lends it a stylish look, and the chrome adds to the appeal. Yes, this is a good looking camera.

And yes, it is sleek.

All in all, a very good package, value-for-money, and thus far, a highly recommended compact camera.
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on December 1, 2011
Panasonic Lumix DMC-S3 14.1 MP Digital Camera with 4x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom with 2.7-Inch LCD (Black)

Product came very quickly.

Definitely just a point and shoot.
Clear images
Many SCN options
Very simple to use
Light weight
Small - can fit comfy in pocket

Pic quality inside not as good
Small zoom
Small flash
But then again, it's worth it for the price and the type of camera

Good buy over all if you are looking for a basic camera that's inexpensive and will give you quality products for cheap
I gave it 4 Stars only because I wanted some better indoor quality, but it will serve the purpose I'm using it for
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VINE VOICEon June 17, 2011
Color: Black|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
My husband is the primary photographer in the family. He uses a digital SLR and has different lenses and set-ups. I was simply looking for a small camera that I could carry in my purse that would allow me to quickly take my own photos or videos without needing to learn a lot of photography stuff like f-stops and ISOs and all that. I think the Panasonic Lumix S3 fit the bill wonderfully!

Size and Weight and Appearance: The camera is compact and light and fits easily into my purse without adding much bulk. The camera looks like a basic point and shoot. It does have rounded corners, which make it comfortable to hold and appear a bit more "stylish" than a rectangular camera. The design is pretty basic but seemed fine to me.

Screen and Controls: The screen was very clear and big enough for me to navigate around. I thought the controls were pretty intuitive and easy to use. I like that you can use "Intelligent Auto" to take your photos. This is great for an amateur like myself who doesn't want to have to think about what settings I need. I also like that they had choices of different scenes (scenery, baby, party, sunset, snow, sports) that you can select to automatically change the settings on the camera to best suit the environment that you are shooting in. There are 16 different scenes to choose from. The motion picture option was easy to find and select.

Photos: I thought the quality of the photos was just fine and I was pleased with the results. I think I need to work more with the optical image stablizer to get used to using it in "action" sequences but I'm sure the learning curve will be pretty short. The menu and navigation around the camera and its various controls was intuitive and helpful. Once you get used to the basic layout of the camera, you can move around and find the features you want to use pretty easily.

Videos: You can easily choose the motion picture mode and begin shooting a little movie in seconds. The quality of the videos seemed great to me. I shot a video of my son's Lego game playing on the TV using only natural light and the quality was just fine. I was able to download the video from my memory card and post it on YouTube within minutes without having to make any adjustments. Quick and easy and ideal for sharing -- just what I was looking for!

Playback: I like that you can choose to playback your photos in a slideshow or just show by date. The slideshow feature was really nifty because it plays music as it shows your photos. (Although my husband said he can't imagine using this feature, I thought it was still kind of cool!) You can also tag your photos as favorites and choose to just show them. It was easy to delete bad photos if you needed to get rid of photos to make more room on your memory card.

Zoom: There is a zoom on the camera but it doesn't zoom in too much as it is only a 4X zoom. However, this seemed OK to me. After all, you can't expect everything on a basic camera.

Final Thoughts: Overall, I thought this was a nifty little camera with a nice variety of features that would be perfect for an amateur photographer who is looking for a camera that is easy to use and takes both videos and photos. For a novice photographer like myself who just wants to keep a lightweight camera with them all the time to capture little moments in life, this camera is just perfect. Recommended.
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VINE VOICEon August 25, 2011
Color: Black|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I got this camera because I wanted to have an extra point and shoot around when my other point and shoot was being used by someone else. I was looking for something casual, cheap and easy. This camera fits them all.

There really isn't much to say about this camera, it's a standard digital camera with a reduced feature set. For the technologically clueless the features missing wont be missed. You turn it on, push the button, it takes a picture, you turn it off.

It only has 4 real modes.
The intelligent mode where the camera decides on the settings.
The scene mode where you pick the condition to optimize the picture (sports, night shot, portrait etc). It gives some good explanation of each selection in the camera. Some of the scenes are iffy at best (like the pano feature).
Then "normal" mode where no optimization is done except getting good exposure. Then there is the card eating video mode, a 2G card lasts less than 10 minutes.

That's about it for the feature set, not a lot of choices or controls, but for casual use it's not a problem.

The pictures are huge and contain all the flaws that any other point and shoot has, no surprises there. Its output is unremarkable from other cameras of its generation. Understand though that the output IS better than Point and shoots from yesteryear. If you have one that is several years old this will be an upgrade.

Battery life seems to be ok, a few hundred shots but I seldom push it.

Its small and handy which is what counts, I can take a picture while I'm riding my bike or throw it in my pocket. Can do that with my DSLR.

Who should buy this camera?
If you want a simple camera not to complicated and don't care about controls
Its cheap and you get what you pay for.

Why should you buy this camera vs another?
You like the Panasonic brand.

There isn't really anything to distinguish it from competing products.
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VINE VOICEon June 13, 2011
Color: Black|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I am surprised with all the +ve reviews on this camera. I have been a die-hard Panasonic camera fan and been using their Digital cameras for the last 5 years and utterly disappointed by the quality of images produced by this camera

Panasonic (along with Casio) was the first to pioneer optical image stabilization when Canon & Nikon were adding megapixels to their cameras. Panasonic also had one of the most simple to operate menu options for the camera.

But after having used 3 different Panasonic digital cameras - this particular model came as a disappointment and here is why:

(1) Compact size - easily fits in shirt/trouser pocket
(2) Shoots 14 MP pictures & HD Video

(1) Poor quality pictures - compare pictures from my 5 MP iPhone and 14 MP Panasonic - 5 MP iPhone pictures had better color contrast and than the 14 MP Panasonic

(2) Poor quality lens - the pictures are not sharp -looks like it is to do with the Lumix lens - Pls look for Panasonic camera with a Leica Lens

(3) No Zoom while shooting video - Panasonic cuts corners in some of the lower end cameras and does not include zoom while shooting videos - this is a major shortcoming and really feel crippled while shooting family videos.

If you are going for Panasonic cameras, look for something with a Leica lens. I believe in Panasonic for their electronics but not so much for optics. Most of the Panasonic Cameras in 200+ range are amazingly good and they are pioneering a new standard in high end cameras called micro four-thirds which will replace SLR cameras.

Overall, as far as this Camera is concerned - I would stay away from this.
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on November 25, 2011
For a point and shoot, this is a great cam a. I bought it for a trip to Guatemala and it worked great. I took about 300 pictures, the battery never failed, the camera always worked as it should and the pictures turned out great. For the money, it was a good buy.
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on October 9, 2012
Poor quality pictures. They have the snowy effect and have an orange hue. When using flash, everyone you take a picture of appears bruised around the eye area. Weird effect. Also, when pictures are taken indoors with flash turned off, they come out too dark even if there is warm light on in the room. Photos just don't come out good.
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