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Customer Review

782 of 788 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars good basic camera for those who want to point & shoot, April 21, 2012
This review is from: Panasonic DMC-FH25 16.1MP Digital Camera with 8X Wide Angle Image Stabilized Zoom and 2.7-Inch LCD - Silver (Camera)
I bought this for a family member who knows nothing about cameras or photography and who has no interest in learning more than just push the button. :) So, when shopping for a camera for her, my criteria was - how good will it do on full auto. It needed to focus quickly and accurately and I wanted it to have reasonably nice image quality. I bought this and tested it out for a few days.

The focus is fast and accurate just as I was expecting on a Panasonic - they usually have very good focus (accurate) on full auto in the point and shoot camera category. On the widest angle setting, outdoors, the picture quality is very nice. Once you start to zoom, picture quality is not the greatest but still OK. Macros are very good on this too. It's very easy to operate if you are a novice. You can set it on iA (intelligent auto) and the only buttons you have to operate are the shutter button (press half way down to focus; press the rest of the way down to take the picture) and the zoom toggle on the top of the camera.

I wasn't super happy that there was no dedicated movie button (it's in the menu) but I knew she would not likely use the movie function. I also knew that most of the photos she might take would be of her son and grandson, so mostly wide angle (better photo quality) would be fine for her and a little zoom on this still gets you a decent image in terms of quality. I liked the size and weight of this - slim and light weight. I liked the size and shape of it so much that I almost bought one for myself but I prefer different features and better image quality when fully zoomed out.

Bottom line is - she loves it and actually uses it! Before this, any camera was too complicated for her to even give it a try. This one is not intimidating. This camera has plenty of settings to try out too and I encourage you to try those (sports, portrait, landscape, etc) as you can often get even better results with those.

It was between this and Canon PowerShot ELPH 300 HS 12.1 MP CMOS Digital Camera with Full 1080p HD Video (Silver). I thought the Elph might actually be too small for her to be comfortable with AND you have to be willing to work the settings more to get the best photo. I find the full auto on the Elph does not consistently lock in on the right subject when focusing - so I knew any camera she had to "fiddle with" would not be the best choice for her. The image quality on the Elph is a bit better but ONLY if you work with the different settings and modes (it also didn't have 8x zoom).

If you want a budget camera that you can put on full auto and get the right subjects in focus, this is the one I would recommend. 16MP is too many for this small sensor. 9 or 10 would be much better in my opinion in terms of image quality BUT, in terms of what I was looking for and the budget P&S camera category, it is a 4.5 star rating. In terms of all point and shoot cameras in the world, I would say 3-ish so I gave this 3 stars. I wish camera manufacturers would stop playing the mega-pixel race game and concentrate on image quality.

I've uploaded several sample photos taken on iA too, so check those and others out for more of a feel of what you can expect from this camera.

I try to make my reviews as helpful as possible so please feel free to ask a questions in comments. I am happy to answer if I can. :)
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Showing 1-10 of 31 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 28, 2012 8:20:43 PM PDT
ajordan says:
how can I see the pics?

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 28, 2012 9:23:55 PM PDT
D-Squared says:
Look on the product page for the camera and look for the link that says view and share photos - you'll see lots of sample pics that people have uploaded to Amazon. Mine should be included there.

Posted on Jul 14, 2012 12:37:51 PM PDT
D-Squared... Review VERY VERY Helpful... My goal is much like your family member... I am looking at the DMC FH-8 which is cheaper ... only 5X telephoto.. but my interest is in refresh speed... the DMC-FH8 has the venus engine (fast reshoot optimizer) believe the FH25K has it as well. Any comments on the "venus engine"?

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 15, 2012 12:22:28 PM PDT
D-Squared says:
Hi Norma, glad this review has been helpful to you! As far as the speed of the FH25 and other Lumix models that I've used - I find them to be very fast and responsive.

Posted on Jul 30, 2012 1:26:36 PM PDT
Barbara K says:
Read your review with interest as I'm a novice like your friend and not interested in all the intriate workings of a camera. Want to point and shoot. I currently have a Canon Power Shot A570 IS and it's too slow. I foster dogs and need to take great pics of them and they're not usually cooperative at close range. So need a good zoom and great detail. I'm looking at some of the Lumix cameras but don't know what all the letters mean in the description. Any recommendations?

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 17, 2012 11:22:45 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 17, 2012 11:27:43 AM PDT
D-Squared says:
Hi Barbara, if you need good zoom, I would look at one of the other models. I don't know what all of the Panasonic letters mean - it's their marketing designations. I do believe that the TZ series (an older series) stands for "travel zoom." I think the newer travel zoom models now have the "ZS" letters. You might look at the Panasonic Lumix ZS20 14.1 MP High Sensitivity MOS Digital Camera with 20x Optical Zoom (Black) camera for your needs and read the reviews about it to see if it might work better for what you want. Depending on how much good detail you want and what size of camera you need, you also might look at a basic dSLR camera like the Nikon D3200 24.2 MP CMOS Digital SLR with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S DX VR NIKKOR Zoom Lens (Black), which will give you much better detail that a point and shoot (P&S) or look at one of the mirror-less camera kits like the Olympus Olympus PEN E-PL2 12.3 MP CMOS Micro Four Thirds Interchangeable Lens Digital Camera with 14-42mm Lens (Silver), the Olympus PEN E-PL3 14-42mm 12.3 MP Interchangeable Lens Camera with CMOS Sensor and 3x Optical Zoom (Black) or the Sony NEX-F3K/B 16.1 MP Compact System Camera with 18-55mm Lens (Black). The dSLR and mirror-less camera suggestions I've included here come with a lens that gives you a 3x zoom. My personal favorites if you want to make a little bit more of an investment would be the Sony NEX F3 or the Nikon D3200 depending on the size of the camera you want to carry. If you want to stick with a P&S, check out the Panasonic ZS20.

Posted on Aug 24, 2012 10:51:24 AM PDT
M. DeMeo says:
Does this camera have a viewfinder as well as the screen to compose the picture? My current camera does not and taking pictures outdoors in the sunlight is a problem when you can't see the screen. Thanks.

Posted on Aug 27, 2012 2:35:50 PM PDT
mazy says:
greetings...thanks so much for the information, as a photographer i used to use film cameras, Nickons (F2 F3 ?) and Mamiya RB67 (sorry for spellings-just had surgery and am not all here-atleast in spelling)...any way...i just wanted a point and shoot, and was amazed at some of the reviews and how hard they seemed to be to operate...they don't look that hard on tv...anyway, i am a painter and just wanted something to throw in my purse and go...or in this case, limping along, and another review lead me here...this is going to be my computer used to be called a "pencil"...and i still don't really get it...i may be one of the last generations of artists that work by hand...although i greatly admire a lot of the images that i see...manymanymany infact...and all that time spent learning the "zone system", darkroom chemistry, now i need the techo. fairy to come and stay for a visit and teach me how to combine my computer,camera and printer...i have an interesting home, many books it could be amused by, my 3 blue birds of happiness, and art supplies galore...and am a good who knows, maybe a fairy may come my way and your camera review will make this possible for me...i am tenatious, so this will work for sound like you really know what you are talking about and i thank you for taking the time to write such a great review that addresses the issues that many of us pompassity here mate ! thanks again...and may God watch over all your Dreams...Peace, mazy

Posted on Aug 31, 2012 7:40:06 AM PDT
Thanks so much for this review!:-) Since you said you think this is a 3-ish in terms of all point and shoots ~ just wondering if you have suggestions for what you think is better/best? I will be traveling around southeast asia, south pacific, and hawaii for 6 months and I want to get a point and shoot that can take great image quality (fairly easy as well:-)
Waterproof would be great, BUT I am scared that the image quality just won't be there with a waterproof. I, and friends I know have had bad experiences with them in the past (like the image quality of land pics consistently coming out slightly blurred after the "waterproof" camera has been submerged).
Thanks for any advice!:-)

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 31, 2012 8:41:48 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 31, 2012 8:44:19 AM PDT
D-Squared says:
I would get the Panasonic Lumix ZS20 with 20x Optical Zoom. (It comes in black or silver.) Panasonic has the best auto (iA) mode and great video plus, from the reviews, this looks like it has good photo quality. It also has a nice range with a 20x zoom. I've used the previous versions of this Lumix travel camera and they have been great. Those are the best for simple but good results. If you want to make adjustments, or get more into the settings, you can grow into it and do that, or you can just set it on iA and get good results as well. Anyway, that's the one I would choose and the price has come down since it was released so it's an even better deal now. Part of it depends on what you like to photograph but that ZS20 is a really good all around selection. If your primary focus is night or low-light photography, you might want to get the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 instead as that is where it excels. The trade off is a shorter zoom but higher low light photos and over all image quality. The price on that one has also come down recently so another good deal. I agree - I wouldn't get a waterproof model - the image quality just isn't as good.
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