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Showing 1-10 of 96 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 194 reviews
VINE VOICEon August 17, 2007
I have used quite a variety of point and shoot digital cameras over the years and for not much more money this camera is infinitely better than all of them. I really appreciate the size and quality feel of this camera's construction, the intuitive controls, and all of the included accessories (Leica lens, lens adapter, lens hood, etc). I was able to figure out the controls and start taking great pictures within a half hour of opening the box.

As a novice but "improving" photographer, I love the adaptability of this camera. Many light conditions can be overcome with just a few tweaks to the settings. The shutter speed is also a godsend as compared to the Canon point-and-shoot models. Just hold the button down and the rapid-fire shots pour into this camera. I am also absolutely thrilled with the battery life - hundreds of pics on one charge! This is a crucial improvement over the older cameras that absolutely devoured AA batteries.

On the downside, this camera is bigger than a point and shoot so carrying it can be an issue. Also, the internal memory is a joke, so I recommend that you buy a 2 gig memory card immediately. With that card installed I can store well over 500 high quality shots.

Basically if you are a no-fuss user, set it on simple mode and take a lot of great pics. If you are more advanced and take the time to figure out ISO seetings, you can set up some VERY good shots with this camera. I would never call it the be-all end-all digital camera but you will not find an equally good set of features without spending hundreds more. Highly recommended!
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on September 11, 2007
I was going to give this camera 4 stars because it does collect noise in shadows even at ISO 200 (100 isn't so bad). However, I decided to give it 5 stars for value.

When I bought this camera, I put it head-to-head with the Kodak Z712 IS. The kodak is a good camera with comparable quality and features. I eventually decided that I enjoyed using the panasonic more because of its high quality LCD screen, included rechargeable long-lasting battery, variable speed zoom, better feel (IMHO), and manual focus (a feature I could not find on the kodak and do not believe it has). I also like that the ISO is hidden away in the menu; I don't accidentally change it while I am taking pictures in manual mode. The kodak takes less-noisy pictures but uses a longer shutter speed to do it.

I really enjoy the portability of this camera. It weighs less than a pound and has a ton of features and options not found in a regular point and shoot. I like its intuitive controls. In the end, I decided the noise wasn't as big of an issue for me because I usually only print 4x6 photos. If I need to print bigger pictures, I can use Gimp (photo-editor) to easily soften the noise while preserving most of the detail. One major lacking feature in the panasonic is the inability to zoom (or shoot photos) during movie mode. If you cannot live without these features, do not get the panasonic. You could get these features in either the Canon S3 IS (zoom and photos) or the Kodak Z712 IS (zoom only).
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on September 7, 2009
This is a really great camera for those wanting a little more quality than you get with the pocket models.

I am by no means a photography expert, I just enjoy getting the best pics I can of my children, so I can only offer you my opinion as a click happy soccer mom. But in my experience this Lumix takes great shots in all conditions. It does, however, take a little getting used to and I highly suggest you read the manual in order to truly get everything you can out of it.

It is by far my favorite camera (I also have a 35 mm Fuji and a Kodak digital) and not only would I recommend it to a friend but I have, and two of my friends have also bought Lumix cameras with no regrets.
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on January 30, 2016
I have a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ5 that takes excellent photos. I thought an FZ8 would take even better photos. Wrong. They're horrible. My iPhone 6 takes better photos than this camera. Don't waste your money. Get an FZ4 or FZ5 instead of you want a camera that takes excellent photos and you want to save some money. I bought a Panasonic Lumix fz70 to replace this. I love my FZ70.
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on October 13, 2007
Upgraded to this after a few years with a Canon G2 and a Powershot 500, and have now had it for six months. Looked at all the various compacts with zooms, and this one continued to impress. The only other serious contender was the Olympus which just didn't sit right in my hands for some reason, and cost almost twice as much. Quick, little digital delay, excellent, low noise (once you change the default setting on the noise reduction to low from normal). My brother, by chance, had just bought the Olympus and we were comparing pictures taken at the same time side by side, and he was very depressed afterwards. This may look like a DSLR, but it is not. For really fast action sports photography and high speed continuous shooting it gets very jerky and hard to track the object as the screen refresh rate is too slow. However, between the long zoom with a nice wide angle, the overall picture quality and ease of use (from "basic settings for dummies, to very advanced) this camera gives you almost everything you possibly ask for. Very happy, great camera for overall travel and family shooting. My most recent camera is an Olympus E-510 and of course, a real DSLR is much better in pretty much every way, but the Lumix makes for a great all round camera.
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on March 12, 2010
This was a great camera for $300. I loved the shots I took with it and so did everyone that saw them. Especially viewing the whole image.

As is mentioned most places the noise reduction is overly heavy handed and when you zoom in and view the images at 100% (view pixels) they don't look so hot. Detail is smeared etc. BUT, you can shoot RAW files with this camera and therefore control the noise reduction, sharpening, white balance, and exposure tweaks on your computer.

The more you master this camera the more it will make you want a true digital SLR, to take care of the few things that this camera is not great at. Examples: not fast enough autofocus for fast-moving subjects (birds in flight); shutter lag, while not terrible I still got the back of my child's head rather than the front more often than not; depth of field: there's too much! With the aperture wide open everything still seems pretty sharp. I was unable to get much background blur, and bokeh is more or less nonexistent. High ISO (film speed): this camera really doesn't look very good shot at faster than 400, and not very good at 400 either. The shots really only look good at 100 ISO.

If I had it to do over again I would have tried to get at least the cheapest Canon Digital Rebel, which NOW are easily less than $600. Instead, last year I upgraded to a Canon EOS 40D, and there's really no comparison. If you're old enough to have used a film SLR well, then you HAVE to get a DSLR. Everything will feel natural again. If you're not that old, or don't care about those things and just want a long lens, then this is, or was, hard to beat.

If you are really interested in photography and want to learn and study the art form, then you really want a digital SLR. You can take great photos with this camera, but I don't think you can learn how and why to make better photos with it. But if you do, you'll also soon learn the limitations of this camera.

I'm using it as my backpacking camera, or anywhere I don't want to take the heavy and expensive DSLR. And shooting only in RAW.
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on November 5, 2007
A lot of reviews have complained about the noise levels of this camera, but I haven't found it to be that major of a problem. The fact of the matter is that the lens is amazing, and in low light you can't expect too much more than what you'll get from this camera...at least not for anywhere near the price. I wound up landing the camera, two spare batteries and a 2 gig memory card for just over $300, and it's been worth every penny.
The best part of the whole camera is its lens, far and away. The 35mm equivalent of 36-436mm just can't be beat, especially with an aperture like this. I sometimes wish it went a little wider, but that's a minor complaint.
The noise is, in fact, pretty bad above ISO 800, but what do you expect with a sensitivity like that? At high ISOs you're always going to have noise in a digital camera, just like you'll always have grain with film. With this camera, though, the colors are still true and bright, even if you lose detail to the noise reduction. You have to make sure to set the white balance manually a lot of the time though, because just like most cameras it is easily confused under indoor lighting. That's easy though, and it pains me that so few people can be bothered to spend 10 seconds pointing their camera at something white to set the white balance.
The camera is extremely compact and light, and the screen is great. The extra modes on the screen are also quite helpful, particularly the high angle mode. In high angle mode it adjusts the colors so that they look more natural when you're holding the camera above your head, very handy. The one problem with a camera so small, though, is that I can imagine it being a problem for anyone with extra-large hands. Mine are pretty big, and sometimes it does feel kind of dainty and hard to use.
Probably my favorite thing about this camera, other than the lens, is the battery life. The day I got it I charged all three batteries, and since then I've taken over 1000 pictures without using up even two of them. Granted, I take a lot of outdoor pictures and hate to use the flash (I prefer grainy to flat from a camera-mounted flash), but that's still an impressive number of pictures to get out of not even two full charges.
I highly recommend this camera to anyone who's looking for a full-featured camera but doesn't want to spring for a full-on DSLR.
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on March 27, 2008
My first impression of the Panasonic DMC-FZ8K was it is a small camera. After playing around with some of the features I was impressed with this camera. The FZ-8K takes fantastic pictures that are truly very sharp. What I'm most surprised with is the feature for close ups or macro. I was taking pictures of coins that were as good as my Canon D20. So small but packed with so many features that blows your mind. I have taken this camera FZ8K outside and ran some test of my own to see what I could do with it. I took some pictures of some Finches that feed at one of my bird feeders. Took many pictures of some buildings and even went to the Zoo. Every picture came out perfect the bird pictures were so good that I had one made into a 5x7 and framed it. I have never used a Panasonic camera and I would have to say I'm impressed. I was so Impressed with the FZ8K
that I also purchased a Panasonice DMC-L1.The image stabalizer works great it's not perfect but it will get the job done. I took a picture of the moon with out the use of a tripod came out nice. To sum this up if your in the market for a great camera that is easy to use and with more features for more advanced users look no farther. This can be a simple point and shoot or you are able to change many features to be more creative. I was never a fan of point and shoot cameras but when I saw
this camera on Amazon and did my home work. I read many reviews on the internet and made up my mind to give it a chance. I figured if I didn't like it I would sent it back to Amazon. After about an hour of playing with the camera the day it arrived. I new that this was a keeper in my book. It is small and I have big hands but fits me just fine. All controls for the FZ8K are easy to work when holding the camera. I bought a four gb memory card for it and a card reader. I no that this will never take the place of DSLR but the cost is a fraction and the results are and will amaze you what this little FZ8K can do. One thing maybe I can pass on is no matter what camera you are interested in read some reviews. I have never read a review on any camera that they have not found something wrong with it in some way. What I'm saying is there is no perfect camera out there. But I will say the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8K is as close to perfect as I will ever find. You have to handle the camera fill all the controls the make your own mind up. For me one that has a couple DSLR I'm very happy with my little Panasonic FZ8K. Also Amazon also had the best price on the net. And they shipped it lighting fast. I have used a Fugi point and shoot and a couple Canon point and shoot. My brother owns a Sony camera and loves it till he saw what the FZ8K can do and do it better. My pictures come out sharper more vivid and my zoom is a so much better. The Sony my brother uses cost 245.00 and is a little smaller and
he is able to put in a shirt pocket. Mine I can't but feature for feature mine blows his away. I'm very happy with the performance and features that are on this Panasonic. Give this camera a chance and it to will make you as happy as it has made me. A fantastic camera for not allot of money. Gizmo
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on November 12, 2007
For what it's worth, I do have background experience messing with digital cameras. I found myself continually trying to move up the digital camera ladder due to the lack of performance offered from previous cameras. I've come to some sort of agreement with myself now. I'm willing to give up ultra compactness, and other fine features offered in a point and shoot for more performance. And this camera by far exceeds my expectations. Considering the fact that this camera is a bit bulky (but not so much as to bare a huge burden of lugging this thing around) you wouldn't mind carrying it around due to what it can do.

Where this camera shines:
1)It simply takes great shots. After the initial learning curve of tinkering around to see what this camera can do, it really takes off. The option to take raw pictures as well is fantastic (the programs included with the camera actually work) and as a side note... It also saves the picture as a jpeg plus the raw you just took so you can see how the camera did as well. Very nice feature. As goes for night pictures, well thats a tough question to answer. Even the most expensive cameras won't do as well as you like. But it's decent, and it works. In the end, it just matters how well you can play with the camera to get better night shots.
2)Movie clips it saves is high quality. It does a good job.
3)Zoom is very fast, quiet, and highly efficient
4)The electronic viewfinder is a very nice feature as well.
5)Comes with optional add-ons (which are purchased separately) such as lenses that increases zoom, widens picture, etc. And they work well.
6)It's no SLR but it takes pictures quickly when equipped with a ultra ii sd card
What I didnt like:
1)The buttons feel clunky and a bit awkward to use. Not as intuitive as say my previous nikon cameras that I have used.
2)The dial knob. Either you learn to love it, or you learn to hate it. I on the other hand hate it. It slows me down from switching from mode to mode since there is a slight lag when switching modes. Plus I don't know if in the long run its bad for the camera that I do that either. And since theres a slew of options that this camera has to run through, the dial mode has become a bit cumbersome for me.
3)I would like the option of adding a hotshoe of some sort to increase flash (and give you that cool photographer look)
4)Wish it actually had a mechanical lens cover rather than a clip on cover. But whatever. From the pictures that I have gotten from this thing so far, you tend to look past its faults.
5)Wish it was smaller (I have tiny hands heh) so it would fit in my pockets or something like that better. But as it stands, it holds well in your hand.
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on December 11, 2007
After wanting to upgrade from our 3.9MP Panasonic, this has many improvements. Other reviewers will get more technical, I was more concerned with the basics. I definately recommend a 2mb or higher card as the internal memory is only a couple of pictures. I was concerned with the battery as I prefer conventional batteries over proprietary ones. It is easier to find a gas station or drug store when the batteries go dead than carry a charger and look for an outlet. Therefore I did purchase a 2nd battery, but I have not been in a situation that I have run out of juice and needed to use it. The battery life is great and can get us through a weekend of heavy use or a week as an average tourist.

The upgrades I seeked from our previous was:
faster powerup
faster shutter
faster flash recharge
faster recovery between shots
easy to use
better lens.

This camera delivers on all the above.

A great camera for a beginner or spouse looking to point and shoot, and plenty of options for those wanting to experiment a little more before taking the big plunge into a true SLR. As with other cameras in this price range, the pictures can get noisy/grainy at the higher ISO settings. It is best to set it in auto mode unless you know what you are doing.

It is a great camera for the price. While other cameras offer 10+ megapixels, I would rather have the zoom. If the MP chip is not quality, all you get is noise and poor pictures. Most people don't need anything more than a 6-8MP camera because they will never print their pictures or print them larger than an 8x10. For those consumers, like myself, this is a terrific option. The pictures are clear and the colors bright. What more does the average person need?
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