Customer Review

20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I adore this camera, December 15, 2011
This review is from: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ47K 12.1 MP Digital Camera with 24xOptical Zoom - Black (Camera)
I am a long time Panasonic Superzoom user.

My first Panasonic camera was a DMC-FZ10, way back in the dark ages of 2004. In fact, I may have even purchased it in late 2003, actually -- since I purchased it, in part, to prepare for the birth of my son (who was a New Year's baby in 2004). Before that, my household was purely filmstock, and this (the FZ10) was my very first proper digital camera.

I loved that camera -- mostly. The zoom, a mind boggling (at the time) 12x was great, and in bright sunlight it took truly stellar shots. Indoors? Well, those, for lack of a better term, sucked. Unless you used a flash (and for any kind of distance, you needed some vast external flash, which I purchased and used, thanks to the camera's built-in hotshoe, but it was ungainly to say the least), you simply couldn't take shots in low to moderate light environments. Just wasn't in the cards.

Flash forward to 2011. My 7 year old (heck, more than that) FZ10 died a year or two ago (power switch quit working) but I'd moved on before then. My second Panasonic was one of the supercompact superzooms. A zs7, I believe. Again, I *loved* it. An amazing zoom in a tiny package, with picture quality that beat my old, hulking FZ10. Maybe not as sturdy feeling. And maybe just a bit less sharp, although that could be my imagination. (And bear in mind we're talking vastly different resolutions -- my FZ10 was 4.0 megapixels, while everything today is 12+). It did better in low light, it took high definition video (albeit at, I believe, 720p) and overall I was very pleased with it. It also logged GPS locations, something I haven't really made use of, but it's handy that those pictures are all geotagged if I ever get around to using any software that could take advantage of that fact to go and trace/track where I went when I took them. (I'm also not paranoid about such things -- if you care to stalk me, feel free. My photos will tell you where I go, when I get around to uploading them. I'm also in the phone book. So if you really want to stalk, murder, and molest me, my pictures will be happy to assist you in my location. I'm a big guy, and I don't think I look cuddly, though, so maybe when you see them you'll look elsewhere. Anyway, I loved it. But it was little. Which turned into a major liability when, first, I lost it by putting it on a shelf and then not being able to find it for three months. Then I found it. Er, my daughter did. Because she needed it/wanted it for a field trip. So after three months lost, my daughter finds it for her field trip, takes it with her.

And promptly loses it on the field trip.

It was found for precisely one day. Sigh.

Got a replacement. A ZS10. It has a better zoom, probably better video, buuuuuut... Photo quality fell off a lot from that little FZ7. Still nice, but not perfect. So I did the impossible. I asked my wife if it'd be okay, maybe, if I blew yet more of our hard-earned money on yet *another* camera. I was hoping for the FZ150, but the FZ47 came up on an amazing sale around Black Friday at another site which shall remain nameless. Eventually the price was matched here in another sale, but I had already made my purchase.

I was a little afraid that I might not love the FZ47 because it's a lower end entry in the lineup, sort of. I thought perhaps the picture quality might not be as good. Who knows. Price was amazing, though, and even without those Black Friday deals, I think the price it seems to fetch is pretty good for what you get. This thing is ten times the camera I bought for close to half a grand, way back in late 2003. Yes, that ancient FZ10 had a metal body, where the new FZ47 is plastic instead... But the optics are great, the autofocus is great, the low light is very, very good, the bright light is superb, the speed is blazing, and the zoom is friggin' awesome... I just love it. The videos it takes are great (although I haven't played them on a TV, so please don't quote me on that -- could be the videos are awful if you see them on the big screen, hehe) I'm serious, I just like everything about this camera. The only thing I find I wasn't immediately on board with was the in-screen menu navigation system. I just found it counterintuitive. But that's a small complaint, yeah? I also find that, sometimes, it's hard to convince the camera to go ahead and take a photo. Not sure what's up with that -- my ancient FZ10 did the same thing -- could be it's a power cycle issue charging the flash? Maybe not, as it also happens in low light with the flash closed. Guess no matter how cool the technology, sometimes you have to wait for it to do its thing.

Yes, there are other cameras out there better at certain things. I don't want to get in trouble for mentioning other brands, but, I do remember often envying my Canon owners for their amazing powers of low-light photography. I'm sure they're still better than my FZ47 at low-light photos. But it's not like it used to be -- where they could take amazing pictures and I couldn't take *any*, unless I wanted a one second exposure of a bunch of blurry vague shapes.

Every situation where I've tried this camera, it has given me good results. Period. I am practically giddy with joy. I paid little for it (compared to my initial, half-grand entry into the digital camera world, at the dawn of time). Yet for that little, I've gotten what I feel to be a whole heck of a lot.

Cons:

Okay, using a wifi-enabled SD card (Eye-Fi), I had the camera crud out, give me a weird error, and refuse to write to the chip for a couple of photos until I shut it down and powered it back up.

If I don't pre-focus (softly depress the shutter button to get ready to take a photo) the shutter lag can sometimes vary, which can result in missing shots.

As I mentioned, I wasn't totally pumped about how the camera's menu system works. That's a personal preference issue, however.

I found some of the default noises a bit loud. I spent a frustrating ten minutes trying to figure out the in-camera menu system to turn off all the beeps 'n such when you used the menu system (talk about irony) as well as when you snap a photo. Once they were turned off, its natural "click" sound was very modest.

Pros:

Great zoom. Panasonic pretty much established the Superzoom segment, and while I'm no expert on all the entries, the zoom this camera packs has yet to let me down in any way.

Great picture quality. Very happy with the images I've took. I will admit, I haven't done a lot of blown-up work with them, or cropping, so I don't know for sure how it will look when I start peering at pixels.

Good battery life. Again, no expert, dunno how it compares to other cameras. But I've yet to go, "Dangit, why's the battery low already? In fact, I've yet to notice the battery get low, period, except for the first time I took it to my daughter's harp recital, lost my mind, and took four hundred pictures over the course of an hour).

Good built-in flash performance (which is good, as they no longer include such old-fogey things as a hot shoe, nowadays.)

Good built-in screen, both through the viewfinder and on the back of the camera. (This was true even back with my FZ10, however, so perhaps I'm just not picky?)

Hope some of that information helps!
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 24, 2011 3:54:25 PM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Apr 30, 2012 1:12:05 AM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 24, 2011 4:52:46 PM PST
J. Kendall says:
The search feature lets you see all the reviews I've made, but as someone too stupid to do more than glance at the first few words you stumble your way through, I'm sure that's asking a bit much.
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