Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18S 8.1MP Digital Camera with 18x Wide Angle MEGA Optical Image Stabilized Zoom (Silver)
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- 8.1-megapixel CCD captures enough detail for photo-quality 16 x 22-inch prints
- 18x wide-angle image-stabilized optical zoom; 2.5-inch LCD display; 0.44-inch electric viewfinder
- Intelligent Auto Mode with Face Detection and Intelligent Scene Selector
- Shooting at ISO 1600 in normal recording mode; 6 autofocusing modes
- Stores images on SD memory cards (includes 27MB of internal memory; powered by lithium-ion battery (battery and charger included)
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The DMC-FZ18 Lumix 8.1-Megapixel Digital Camera can take photos from vast landscapes to super telephoto shots thanks to its 18x optical 28mm Wide-Angle Leica Zoom Lens. For macro shots, the wide-angle setting lets you shoot all the way down to one centimeter from your subject, while the telephoto setting can be used up to one meter (3.28 feet). Combined with Mega O.I.S. Optical Image Stabilization, the DMC-FZ18 can detect even the tiniest camera movement and automatically adjust the lens to compensate for any handshake. Intelligent ISO suppresses motion blur as you shoot, to capture crisp, clear images, making it easier to shoot scenes with fast moving action. The Face Detection function can automatically detect up to 15 faces in a scene and re-adjust the settings if their positions change. The Intelligent Scene Selector will sense the ambient conditions and automatically select either the Scenery, Portrait, Macro, Night Portrait or Night Scenery mode accordingly, getting beautiful results every time you shoot, no matter what the scene or subject. White Balance - Auto / Daylight / Cloudy / Shade / Halogen / White Set Program AE Shutter Speed - 1-1/2000 seconds Self Timer - 2 seconds / 10 seconds Burst Shooting Mode - Full-Resolution Image, 3 frames/sec Max. 7 images (Standard Mode), Max 4 images (Fine Mode) Built-in Flash Mode - Auto, Auto/Red-eye Reduction, Forced On, Forced On/Red-eye Reduction, Slow Sync/Red-eye Reduction and Forced Off Viewfinder - 0.44 diagonal Color EVF (188k pixels) Power Supply - Lithium-ion Battery Pack (7.2V, 710 mAh), Up to 400 pictures Dimensions - Height 2.96'' x Width 4.63'' x Depth 3.47'' Weight - 0.79 pounds
From the Manufacturer
Panasonic has expanded its Lumix family of digital still cameras with the introduction of the Lumix DMC-FZ18, an 8.1-megapixel compact camera with an impressive 18x optical zoom. In addition to a premium 28mm wide-angle Leica D C lens, the DMC-FX18 is one of the first Panasonic digital cameras to offer the revolutionary Intelligent Auto Mode, which includes Face De tection, Intelligent Scene Selector, and Continuous Autofocus functions, allowing users t o easily capture clear, professional-quality images in any situation or setting.
When this powerful camera--which features image-stabilized optical zoom up to 18 x--is put into Intelligent Auto Mode, the multifaceted functions engage automatically, so there is no need to adjust s ettings every time conditions change. The DMC-FZ18's intuitive Intelligent Auto Mode comprises :
- Intelligent Scene Selector, which automatically selects the appropriate scene mode from the most frequently-used modes such as Portrait, Scenery, Macro, Night Scen ery, and Night Portrait;
- Face Detection System, which helps the camera to focus, set autoexposure, an d detects up to 15 human faces, capturing them clearly and brightly; and
- Continuous Autofocus, which allows the camera to keep focus on the subject w ithout having to press the shutter button halfway and allowing for the best results out of a shutter chance by minimizing the autofocus time.
The Lumix DMC-FZ18 also is equipped with a 2.5-inch large, high-resolution LCD w ith 207,000 pixels, a 0.44-inch electric viewfinder with 188,000 pixels and f2.8 brightness, and is powered by the high-quality, high-performance Venus Engine III, which boasts shooting at IS O 1600 in normal recording mode.
The DMC-FZ18 has been redesigned to make the camera more stylish and easier to u se. The autofocus, autoexposure lock, and Macro buttons are now independent, to allow qu ick and direct operation. A metal-finished mode dial adds design strength, and an enhanc ed rubber grip makes the camera easier to hold. The redesigned body also incorporates the joyst ick made popular by the DMC-FZ8 model, which enables a host of settings, such as manual f ocusing and exposure, to be done quickly and easily.
Other advanced features of the Lumix DMC-FZ18 include:
- Custom Setting Mode that memorizes your frequent setting patterns for in stance use applied by simply selecting this function on the mode dial.
- 1920 x 1080 pixel photos ideal for full-screen viewing on a wide-screen HDTV .
- Six autofocusing methods including face detection, multi, three-point high-s peed, one-point high speed, one-point normal speed, and spot. With the one-point autofocus or spot autofocus method, the autofocusing area can be chosen from as many as 11 points with the joystick or cursor button.
- Advanced Scene Modes provide users more control over some frequently used sc ene modes, such as indoor and outdoor modes, when selecting portrait or sports mode and nature or architecture settings when selecting portrait mode.
- Bundled SILKYPIX Developer Studio 2.0SE software application for editing and developing images in the RAW file format.
- 27MB of built-in memory--perfect for backing up SDHC/SD memory card recordin g.
- Extra Optical Zoom feature extends zoom power to 28.7x at 3 megapixels.
- Compatibility with large-capacity SDHC memory cards.
- Title Edit Function allows inputting of text and additional picture informat ion.
- Picture Playback by category sorts images into categories such as portraits, landscapes, nightscapes, events, and motion pictures. Also, allows slideshow pla yback of images in the same category.
- Optional accessories including a teleconversion lens, close-up lens, ND filt er, MC protector, lens adapter, AC adapter, battery pack, soft case, and camera bag.
- Available in two colors: silver and black.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18 digital camera, ArcSoft MediaImpression and ArcSoft Pan oramaMaker software, USB driver, battery charger, battery pack, lens cap, lens h ood, lens hood adapter, AV cable, USB connection cable, strap, CD-ROM
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Price; Size; 18X Optical Zoom (Up to 28.7X available); Leica Lens; Numerous "Auto", "Manual", "Mode" settings; 2 Image Stabilization modes; "Joy Stick" control; RAW mode; Good battery life.
Fixed LCD Display (see comment); Universal Lens attachments not compatible (see comment); ISO noise (see comment).
Summary: (Edited December 18th by mighty18) When traveling on those exotic places where the Point and Shoot (P/S) cameras fail to capture the shots but you don't want to lug a full sized SLR with all the lens attachments, this is the PERFECT camera.
I learned this lesson last year while touring Ha Long Bay in Vietnam. From the cruise boat, I was not able to shoot the amazing scenery with the 3x zoom of my P/S camera. It was limited to mostly up close shots.
This year I debated over getting the SLR (Nikon D40x; Pentax K100D Super) or the Canon S5is (comparable to the Panasonic DMC-FZ18 but with a 12x zoom)).
I settled for the Panasonic for its price, features, and the Leica lens.
At first glance, this camera seems to be void of functions due to its 'lack' of buttons when compared to the Canon S5is. This is because it uses a very user-intuitive JOY STICK control that allows you to navigate to all the various settings of a menu in a particular shooting MODE. (Each mode has a different available menu settings).
While in China visiting historical sites, with its built-in WIDE LENS, I was able to take shots of entire buildings/structures within a confined space. The 18X OPTICAL ZOOM with the LEICA LENS and IMAGE STABILZER with fast auto-focusing proved to be the main star of this camera. Images were sharp.
NOTE: At 4.5 MP (mega pixel) settings the zoom can be extended to 23X (see photo) and at 2.5 MP to 28.7X. I am not a fan of 'Digital Zoom' but it enables it from 72X to 115X.
The BACKLIGHT feature came in handy when shooting against the sun was the only option.
It has a HIGH ANGLE LCD display feature for those "over-the-crowd" shots, although it's not as effective as the swivel-tilt type found on the Canon S5is, it was helpful.
Expert reviews stress its weakness of high ISO noise but I found it to be adequate for my 4x6 prints. Unless you plan to print large images you should not find this to be a major issue.
Besides JPEG, it also shoots in RAW mode that allows you to edit your images on a professional level. (The included software is easy to use). You can customize your settings to shoot in JPEG or RAW and in different resolutions.
Moving pics were also of high quality but I use a 'stand-alone' camcorder for that purpose.
Overall, I'm more than satisfied with this little compact that packs a big punch.
NOTE ON UNIVERSAL LENS ADAPTER RINGS/ATTACHMENTS:
You may find many merchants selling Adapter Rings that "fit" the DMC-FZ18. I called one to get the assurance that they really fit and was given a positive 'Yes'. So I ordered the adapter ring, 3 filters, a telephoto lens, and a wide lens.
The items arrived and I promptly screwed in the Ring and mounted the telephoto lens then the wide lens. The merchant wasn't lying. They all fitted nicely.
Only when I powered off the camera I realized the problem. If you notice the design of this camera, the lens retracts deep into the sheath when in the 'off' mode. Any lens attachments like the telephoto and the wide lenses would cause the unit to 'jam' as they are obstructed by the sheath. (Luckily, I was able to return all for a refund).
The ONLY adapter ring that prorperly fits this camera is the Panasonic DMW-LA3. (The included adapter is only for the hood and should not be used for other attachments).
Despite not using any additional Zoom or Wide attachments the camera's native 18x zoom and 28mm wide angle provided all I need.
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