Customer Review

791 of 801 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Almost Perfect 4.9 stars!, May 17, 2010
This review is from: Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7 12.1 MP Digital Camera with 12x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 3.0-Inch LCD - Black (Camera)
After using this camera for a few weeks I am amending my rating and giving it 5 stars. This camera is truly incredible. The intelligent automatic is amazing---I only move it to manual for a few special situations. The only real complaint is that I occasionally inadvertently hit the video button. Otherwise it is simply amazing.

It handles difficult situations with grace. Sunset with sky and foreground properly exposed. Delivery room newborn with no flash and low ambient lighting. Black and white is fantastic. Couldn't be happier.

This is a great camera for a beginner---Point and shoot. Lots of control for advance photographers. I'm sorry to say I don't lug around a camera bag and tripod anymore. Just slip this in my purse.

I waited a long time to upgrade from the first generation Panasonic Lumix TZ1 (complete with dangling lens cover & 5MP) Glad I did. The best improvements are the quick power-up and lack of a shutter delay for catching fast action. If you leave it in the completely automatic mode it does an impressive job---and if you need control there's plenty and then some. Lots of programs plus aperture and shutter priority or complete control.

Other notable improvements are in the macro end of things where capturing very fine close-ups are greatly improved---my TZ1 was always focusing on the background if I could get it to focus at all. This does an incredible job! Almost too much detail (if that's possible) Every speck on the petal of a flower is exposed. This camera is slightly smaller and has a larger display screen. Most of the functions and dials are similar and I find easy to use but that may be because they are familiar.

Flash is improved over the first generation.
The zoom on the original was 10X. 12X even better. I took incredible photos of bullfrogs 15 feet away. Unbelievable detail.

This camera isn't perfect and no camera will ever be. It would be nice to have a more powerful flash and nice if you could shoot in lower light with less noise without flash and it would be nice if it had a 20X optical zoom and a faster lens but for what it is its an incredible piece of engineering. AND don't forget the Leica lens which is just plain beautiful.

All cameras have limitations and this is no exception. However it will get you a great photo most of the time. The wide angle to long telephoto range is why I bought my first Lumix. This flexibility makes for great travel photos. I did side by side comparisons of a Sony, Canon, Nikon and the first Lumix in the store and then we printed them out on the spot. No comparison. No ghosting, better color correction, better macro. And I like the ergonomics. I always place the wrist band over my wrist and hold onto the camera with fingers and pad of thumb and it feels secure. Some of the ultra small cameras are almost too small for me. (Didn't compare to current models)

What is truly awful about this camera is that the manual is on a disk and covers this camera and its 2 predecessors making it a bit (if Not totally confusing at times). It also does not come with MAC compatible editing software which is really not a big deal for me. One person asked if it is MAC OSX 10.6.3 compatible and it is. The only problem I've encountered is in using Aperture (a MAC program)it doesn't want to import directly into a project that has other images from my other Lumix camera. Make a new project and problem is solved but irritating. (Manual software and downloading from card to MAC is compatible)

Haven't tried uploading video yet.

DO purchase an extra Panasonic Battery DMW-BCG 10PP. Make sure it has the PP (It won't work without it) Also you'll need a SD Card. It's not necessary to go to the Class 6 cards unless you are shooting HD video. A SDHC 4GB card will hold 700+ photos at full MP.For most people this will be more than adequate. I carry two cards in case one goes south. You can always find them on sale for under $20. I also like the Caselogic TBC-302 Ultra Compact Camera Case for under $8.
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Tracked by 9 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 27 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 31, 2010 11:09:07 PM PDT
Thanks for your great tips!

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 26, 2010 10:24:37 AM PDT
Nice job on your evaluation. I did want to comment on your choice of case, the Caselogic TBC-302. I have seen several folks on here mention they use the same case but that it was a very tight fit or caused the on-off switched to be triggered accidently. I just purchased this same camera. I visited the Caselogic website. They have an electronics case recommendation guide whereby folks input the type, make and model of their piece of electronics, be it a camera, phone, etc and it tells you which of their bags properly fit the device.

For this camera, Caselogic recommends the Caselogic TBC-303, not the 302. I purchased the 303 and it is a nice case, plenty of room in the case for the camera to slip in easily without rubbing and easily holds spare batteries and flash cards.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 26, 2010 12:15:44 PM PDT
K. Wheaton says:
I agree Christopher it is a snug fit. I haven't had the on off problem but it may just be the way I put it in. I wanted something that would protect in as small of a package as possible. this fits in my pocket and purse easily. However I think your feedback is good. Just depends on what your needs are.

Posted on Aug 31, 2010 12:03:27 PM PDT
You mention going from a ZS3 to the ZS7. Do you know if the batteries are the same for both models? It would be nice of Panasonic to make the batteries the same so we don't have to buy another spare battery & charger (which is why I'm guessing they did not).

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 31, 2010 12:43:15 PM PDT
K. Wheaton says:
Unfortunately not, in fact make sure you by the Panasonic Battery as non-proprietary batteries WILL NOT Work. See my review.

Posted on Sep 8, 2010 8:55:30 AM PDT
C. Caldwell says:
Hi, K.Wheaton. You'll find when you try to upload video to a Mac (I have the 24" core2 duo iMac), that you'll get a bunch of executable files on the screen that read "file not compatible". I discovered why this is (after initially being horrified that I couldn't successfully upload HD videos to my Mac). You have to go into record mode on the ZS7, and where it lists AVCHD Lite GPS, AVCHD Lite, and Motion JPEG, choose MOTION JPEG. You can choose qualities of WVGA, QVGA, VGA, OR HD. Choose your quality & save that setting. The videos will import just fine (with an iconic pic of the 1st frame of each video to boot). Choose one of the other modes & you get executable files that read "file not compatible". I think the camera is defaulted to AVCHD Lite, so I didn't want you to try to import videos to your Mac only to come up with "nada". Enjoyed the review (I'm still reading them even though I own the ZS7 now--just like to hear how others feel about this great camera).

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 9, 2010 8:07:20 AM PDT
K. Wheaton says:
Thanks for the info. I did figure out I can download through Imovie with no problem. I have snow leopard and I don't know if that makes a difference. I have not run into any "file not compatible issues." If you haven't upgraded perhaps this might help.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 10, 2010 9:48:45 AM PDT
C. Caldwell says:
Hi, K. Thanks for commenting back. I DO have Mac OSX Snow Leopard, version 10.6.4. I miss ver. 10.5. There's annoying li'l "glitches"with Snow (more unexpected behavior with some browsers and apps than actual technical malfunctions), and I see no appreciable speed/performance increase. There are some noticeable, IMO, mostly minor tweaks & fixes, and there supposedly is better 64-bit compatibility (I have the Intel core 2 duo 3.06 ghZ model, 4gB of RAM). I heard/read that many seek to purchase old ver. 10.5 discs for upwards of $200+ because of their overall dissatisfaction with version 10.6+...
I hadn't thought to upload my videos to iMovie. So used to doing it with iPhoto with no issues. I'll try AVCHD Lite recordings as well as Motion JPEG recordings with iMovie, and see how that works. I can't help but notice how seamlessly imported recordings work (with the included Panasonic photo program) on my Windows 7 laptop. But then again, I notice the "Compatible with Windows 7" logo on the black box the ZS7 arrived in....
Also, I successfully imported the PDF Advanced Instructions Manual from the included disc onto the iMac, but could not get the Photofun STUDIO 5.1 to import/work. I don't think trying iMovie is going to help me with this one....uhh-ohh......
Thanks again.

Posted on Oct 3, 2010 4:16:14 PM PDT
cb says:
Your May, 2010 review of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10 / ZS7 included a recommendation to purchase a Panasonic Battery DMW-BCG 10PP, with an emphasis on the "PP." However, the camera description recommends a Panasonic DMW-BCG10 ID. Would you explain the difference? And, yes, I am a seriously "camera-challenged" novice, considering purchasing this particular camera on the recommendation of a friend.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 3, 2010 6:21:18 PM PDT
K. Wheaton says:
Perhaps this is a newer battery. Mine specifically required the PP and if you bought a DMW-BCG 10 it won't work. I would call or email Panasonic directly for clarification.
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