Customer Reviews: Panasonic Lumix SZ7 14.1 MP High Sensitivity MOS Digital Camera with 10x Optical Zoom (Black)
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on July 18, 2012
My 4 year old Canon point and shoot had literally fallen apart from dropping it on accident and the iphone camera just isn't cutting it for my standards so I started looking for a new pocket camera. I was going to go back to Canon because I've always had luck with their products but the Lumix series came highly recommended by photographers I trusted.

I found this camera with pretty much every feature I wanted for an incredible price, so I went ahead and bought it. I've had it for about a month and have been using it in a variety of situations. The best summary I can offer is that it's really good FOR ITS PRICE. In a broader context, what this camera does for less than $180 is actually pretty incredible considering where the technology was 5+ years ago. It's also amazingly compact and light.

The result is that this camera will be more than adequate for the average photographer. Whatever it lacks in resolution or contrast or color can be mostly corrected in editing on your computer- which you should really be doing anyway if you claim to care about photo quality. So pretty good camera but especially good considering the price.

That said, here is a list of potential deal breakers for photographers:
- Autofocus pretty much sucks. It has 4 or 5 different modes and the manual does not clearly define the differences. It can take a few seconds to get the camera to figure out what you want to focus on in certain situations.
- Macro is garbage on this camera. It has 2 macro modes and neither will focus on anything less than 6 inches or so from the lens. That may be a physical limitation of the camera itself, but my old Canon could do macro shots at that distance quite well.
- Panorama mode is garbage. With about 20 or so attempts, I've only successfully taken 1 panoramic shot. It's done in a single, sweeping motion but if you go too fast or if the camera thinks you're not steady enough, it aborts the photo.
- No aperture priority mode [that I can find]. Not a big deal, but the first camera I've had that lacks this feature.

Those gripes aside, I can't say I regret my purchase because the price was so darn low.
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on February 17, 2013
I already own 2 other compact digital camera's and 1 large one. I wanted a small compact that not only would take good photos, but one that had capability of taking some good short video's. We were taking our first ever total family trip to Disney World and bringing home good photos/video was essential. I am so glad I followed the reviews on this camera. Do not judge by the low price. The photos are crisp & clear as are the videos. The photo reset response time is awesome and the burst setting is great for roller coasters. For the most part I kept mine on the Auto setting for the trip - but that's only because I received my camera only 2 days before leaving and I didn't have time to play with everything. I just wanted to be assured I'd get good photos. But now we're back and I'm looking forward to exploring all the options the camera offers. I am by no means a camera expert - but I feel I'll be able to confidently "work" all the settings and options available. I'm tempted to get another as I like to keep a compact in my car & one in the house and donate my other two. It's that good of a camera.
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on May 5, 2014
It should be said that I have owned three Panasonic Lumix cameras and this is by far the best of the lot.
The high-def videos are incredible, the photos I take are wonderful and the features on the camera...well, I'll never use them all.
Lightweight with a big display, I like being able to shoot a video and take a snapshot as the video is filming.
I take it everywhere.
I searched for this particular model based in a review I read somewhere and they were right.
I picked the Panasonic because the controls are all so similar to the other models I've owned and it was a great choice.
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on November 20, 2012
Bought this as a gift for my girlfriend. She needed something light and compact when traveling Eurpose. Takes really sharp pictures and has some decent battery life for a compact digital camera. She loved it and the pictures she has printed out look great.
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on February 22, 2013
I bought this camera for my wife. We are planning a trip to Europe and she wanted a small, pocket-size camera for the trip. I looked at a lot of these "point and shoots". The lens and features sold me. When it came, I checked it out and copied the manual from the supplied disc. She loves the size. I read the instructions first. Do this and be patient!! It takes little time and is worth it!! It is well-made, but DON'T BE HEAVY-HANDED! I did some test shots. I shot at the highest resolution, up-loaded the image to my graphics programs, and printed it at the highest quality settings. I was impressed and my wife wife was very pleased. Leica lens quality is evident. I did also buy a separate set of batteries and charger. For me, this is common sense. After these initial tests, etc., I looked at my huge camera bag and said to myself, "Do I want to lug that all over Europe?" After checking out the Panasonic Lumix, I am seriously thinking of getting one also.
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on December 13, 2013
I loved this camera - until it broke. :( Sadly I have had similar experiences with 2 other Panasonics. They are great little cameras but don't hold up. This one died about 2 months after the warranty ran out - a "system error" in the electronics that would cost more to repair than I paid to buy it.

So I have to say, it did its job for about a year but I really need to move on and find something a little hardier. I am careful with my cameras and it was never dropped, or wet, for example. And I'm tired of replacing them every year.
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on November 30, 2013
So many pictures, so much information in such a short time. Lumix SZ7 takes care of much of my reporting needs at work. No longer do I stick my head among pipelines, and get banged while obtaining a model number. When a vendor wants to know what happened, I take a video and send it to him (and his boss). Somebody screws up, out come my friend Lumix SZ7 and its no longer my word against his. Panasonic. The power of the picture, the majesty of the video!
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on December 4, 2012
Product is fantastic. Couldn't ask for a better camera with all of the features you would want. Like most- once you learn the navigation system you can get excellent quality photos. It's no iPhone- it's BETTER!
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on February 18, 2013
After a couple months experimenting with this camera, I am improving my review from 2 to 4 stars. The main problem with the camera is that the flash is weak. But, if you turn off the flash and turn on the many other automated options for High Dynamic Range and Hand Held Night shots, it does a good job in low light conditions. Many of our earlier problems were in situations where the flash would go off but was not strong enough to illuminate the main subject. There are a few other improvements I'd suggest (wider HDR exposure bracketing and explicit control for the HDR for example), but that goes beyond what we mainly wanted, namely a full featured but highly automated camera with a good zoom range. With the flash off, this Lumix SZ7 fits our requirements quite well and the price is right. It just took me a while to try turning off the flash in low light conditions. Definitely counter-intuitive.

Earlier 2-star review below:

We were looking forward to an automated point and shoot camera with powerful underlying capabilities like High Dynamic Range and high sensitivity MOS. So we expected sharp images in difficult lighting conditions. Unfortunately the "Intelligent Auto" mode never seems to figure out the proper settings. With backlit subjects, it almost never uses the flash to illuminate the subject focused on. Every once in a while, it uses the HDR mode, but with poor results. And there's no way to force it to use HDR. Overall though, the main problem is that, in spite of the advertised high sensitivity and name-brand lens, most of the photos come out fuzzy or blurry. It does have a plethora of "scene" modes, so, if you have the time to figure out which kind of "scene" you are faced with and manually choose that mode, it might take good pictures. But that was what I expected "Intelligent Auto" to do. Perhaps I expected to much from a relatively inexpensive camera, but it has been a disappointment so far.
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on July 14, 2013
We liked the camera until it was taken to the beach. It wasn't dropped or anything, but still a little sand got on the outside of the telescoping lens mechanism. The camera was shut off, the lens closed, and that sand or dirt went inside, breaking its ability to correctly telescope in and out. It will still open and close, but it is unable to focus, and thus generates an error message. I powered in off/on several times and even disassembled it. I was able to expose much of the lens assembly, but not enough to completely clean it. The dirt or sand is inside and probably can never be removed. If you get one, I recommend keeping it very clean, and if you're liable to take it anywhere it could get dirty, this may not be the camera for you.
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