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Customer Review

84 of 92 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty d@mn good camera!, March 12, 2012
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This review is from: Panasonic LUMIX DMC-ZS15 12.1 MP High Sensitivity MOS Digital Camera with 16x Optical Zoom (Black) (Electronics)
I bought the Fuji F505/F550 EXR - nice camera to use, but soft in the corners and a lot of noise and noise reduction. Replaced it with a Nikon S9100 - POS as far as I'm concerned; couldn't focus at 18X no matter what the light, couldn't get anything other than a blurred, un-printable photos even at wide angle - likely the camera was not working right; I'm not sure. I don't think anyone would accept it's output; I sure hope it was defective.

So, I took a risk and ordered the ZS15 - no-one had even seen it at the time; it was an "unknown" - all I knew was that it had Panasonic's incredible Power OIS, which beats the cr@p out of any other IS system; and it had the same sensor as the FZ150 - which again, beat the cr@p out of any other current 12 mp sensor.

Well,... I am not disappointed. The pics are sharp, well exposed, and overall, infinitely better than the shite I was getting from the Nikon. Noise reduction is there, don't think you'll avoid it, but it's not an issue at normal print sizes; OIS is a marvel and even 1/4 second photos are sharp. Videos are quite good; no problems with the "jello", and the OIS works well. The user interface takes a bit of getting used to but it does everything I want it to.

I have found my jewel in the rough - it's going to be the companion to my dSLR from now on.....
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Tracked by 9 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 29 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 15, 2012 12:57:35 PM PDT
GJL says:
Thanks, these are just the comments I was looking for. We appreciate your taking the time to give us a comparison of those choices.

Posted on Mar 15, 2012 11:51:43 PM PDT
Thanks for the review. Would you mind explaining why you deducted a star?

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 16, 2012 10:55:54 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 16, 2012 10:56:53 AM PDT
E. McDougall says:
Image quality was not 5-star (I'd say 3-4 stars) - it was awfully good compared to the other pocket super-zooms I tried, but it wasn't "excellent"; I own several dSLRs and Mirrorless cameras that kick it's figurative patootie when it comes to image quality. Even my old (but top-notch) Olympus C-5060WZ gets significantly better results. Overall, as a pocket camera I love it, and as long as I pay attention to ISO I could print and frame the output from this camera up to about 11X14 (with careful sharpening). To me, 5 stars means "excellent, perfect"; this camera is very, very good, but not quite perfect....

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 16, 2012 7:45:55 PM PDT
mtlee204 says:
so it means this camera is already good enough for someone who doesn't know anything about photograph? :p

Posted on Mar 25, 2012 7:49:41 AM PDT
D-Squared says:
Could you post a few photo samples you've taken with this camera? Thanks for the good review too!

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 4, 2012 10:27:25 PM PDT
E. DeArmas says:
I'm torn between this, the zs20 and the new canon sx260...How does this one do in low light? The canon is said to take great shots, but not that responsive in lower light situations. The zs20 has pretty ok reviews, but I prefer the sensor in this camera. Any info would be appreciated.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 5, 2012 9:11:31 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 6, 2012 12:48:47 AM PDT
E. McDougall says:
It's better than previous generations of pocket cameras, but if high-ISO performance is important to you you should consider some of the mirrorless cameras or even a dSLR. If all you want to do is print at 4X6" or 5X7" this camera's fine up to ISO 1600; I have printed an ISO 400 image at 11X14" and it's perfectly acceptable. If you pixel-peep you'll note significant noise and a lot of smeared details due to noise reduction, so if you like to crop a lot you'll be disappointed. I will note that the noise is very fine-grained, so it's less intrusive and preserves detail far better than the Fuji or Nikon I mentioned in my review. I don't have other points of comparison, though; my last non-dSLR was a 2003 prosumer that I couldn't shoot at anything more than ISO 200.

I haven't owned the other cameras that you mention so I can't compare directly but I think that the ZS15 is getting better scores for image quality in reviews than the ZS20 especially in low light. I haven't seen any sample pics from the new Canon SX260, but the SX230 was an excellent camera image-wise; I just didn't like a lot of the choices they made with the body and controls. I've fondled an SX260 at the store and they've corrected several of my complaints, especially the flash; it wasn't available when I was buying for my vacation, though, so it wasn't in the running.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 5, 2012 9:27:44 PM PDT
E. DeArmas says:
Thanks so much for responding! I do have a dslr that I love using, I'm shopping for a solid vacation camera that I can also use around the house. I hate taking the slr around when on vacation (it's especially inconvenient whwn chasing a small child).
I'll try out both the sx260(although, it is said to be so so for locking onto to your subject in low light) and the zs15.

Posted on Apr 11, 2012 8:21:38 AM PDT
Zeriously says:
I've read that one of the camera's shortfalls is its propensity for redeye. Have you checked for this yet? Hard to believe that in this day and age, redeye is still an issue for some of these pocketcams. Most companies have learned how to deal with it already. Your experience with the ZS15??? thanks

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 11, 2012 12:17:56 PM PDT
E. McDougall says:
I don't use flash often (only for shadow fill outdoors, or when it's so dark nothing else will work) so I had to go back and look though my shots to see - and yes, redeye is definitely there. I'd point out that it's a function of how close the flash is to the lens; I expect to see it with all small cameras - I haven't seen any pocket camera that doesn't show at least some, and this camera is no worse than the others I've tried. The fix is dead easy in Picasa so I don't sweat it too much.
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