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Customer Review

58 of 59 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Simple to use, takes "OK" photos - Panasonic SZ3, June 5, 2013
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This review is from: Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ3 16.1 MP Compact Digital Camera with 20x Intelligent Zoom (White) (OLD MODEL) (Electronics)
Although I love the styling of the new XS1 Panasonic camera Panasonic Lumix XS1 16.1 MP Compact Digital Camera with 8x Intelligent Zoom (White) and came close to ordering that model, I chose the SZ3 instead. The reason I chose this camera instead? The XS1 uses a micro-SD card, those little tiny cards smaller than a fingernail that are normally used in cell phones (and some Samsung cameras!). Since I like to remove my SDHC card to get my photos off via a card reader, I chose the SZ3 instead since it uses the normal SDHC card. I recommend getting a Class 10 card for this if you plan on shooting videos.

Even though this has a CCD sensor instead of the newer CMOS sensor found on more & more cameras nowadays, I can't see much difference in speed. It is quick to turn on and be ready for a photo, quick to recycle after taking a photo, burst speed is fast enough to keep me happy.

Photos are true to color, although similar to other Panasonic cameras, a little "soft". This can be remedied by keeping your setting on Vivid (normal setting) to increase sharpness. This has a Leica lens, known for being one of the best lenses available.

Plenty of scene settings, even for pets. Most of the time though, I can get a better pet photo with the setting iA (Intelligent Auto mode).

A *major* disappointment is the lack of the Quick Access Menu button as other Panasonic cameras have. It also falls a little short on macro shots. I get better close-ups with some of my other cameras; at the same time, those cameras cost more.

Low light: No matter what the camera manufacturers say, not only Panasonic, but the others, you can't expect a camera in this price range to be good in low light. It's just not gonna happen. Now if you're in a dimly-lit restaurant and use a night scene setting with the flash, yes, you'll get a decent photo, but if you expect anything more, you'll be disappointed. In that case you need a camera 4 to 5 times the price of this one such as the Sony RX100.

I love the Creative Control options with this camera, this seems to have more options than some of the other camera models. My friends and I are having a blast with the "Beauty Retouch" function! You can retouch a photo to give yourself a more glamorous look, even a smokey eye!

Battery life is decent, I can get around 200 photos and a couple videos before the battery needs recharged. As far as recharging, the battery is charged INSIDE the camera like a lot of others these days. You can charge it by your PC or by plugging the cord into a receptacle.

Build quality: It's plastic, but seems to be durable for a cheap camera. No matter how much one spends on a camera, the battery doors are always flimsy, so just take extra care when opening it. This camera is on the smaller side, but not "too small" and the controls/menus are easy to access even with chubby fingers. The LCD screen is a tad smaller than most, but seems to not have as much glare in the sun. One downside is this camera is made in China, while most of my other Panasonic cameras were made in Japan, even those that were similar in price.

As far as video, some may think it's a "con" that this only records 720p, not 1080p. Frankly, I can't tell much difference between the two when I view them on my computer on YouTube, however, you may see a small difference if you watch the video on a TV. My computer is 5 years old and doesn't handle 1080p very well, it's a little quirky.

I recommend this camera, even though it's a basic point & shoot with very little manual control. Sometimes I favor ease-of-use and the ability to easily carry a camera rather than carry around a heavy one. This camera fits inside my smallest purses. It's simple to use, takes good photos and it's a good price. I bought it in white (I have a thing for white cameras!) the back is charcoal gray though. It's stunning and you'd think white would show dirt more than the other colors, that doesn't seem to be the case here.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 18, 2013 10:26:55 PM PST
Yarii, I am currently very happy using a microSD-to-SD adapter for exactly what you wanted to do with the XS1. Curious? Enter "ASIN: B001GGL7Z4" in the Amazon search box. They're about $1.50 each. ;)

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 19, 2013 4:47:49 AM PST
Thanks, Patrick!
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