"Good camera"4.0 starson by pk_john
Pros: It feels good to hold this camera.Super speed. Hold the button and it goes Tak, Tak, Tak as many as you require,and real quick. Turn it to Aperture mode and you get good shots. No complaints at all at ISO 100 in A/S/M modes with any light.
Cons: Manual focus buttons.
Summary: My brother bought this camera from Amazon this January and send it to me in India.
Some of the reviews in the Amazon and CNET sites were useful and help me decide on the purchase. I must say that the CNET review did address most points.
I am not a Professional photographer and am not associated with CNET or Panasonic. I had bought and used several cameras in the past. A Yashica and Russian made
Zenit SLR and years later a Sony Point and shoot DSC 85 Digital camera. The DSC 85 served me over 9 years and the picture quality was excellent. The built in flash of this Sony
decided to work as and when it feels like. And that is the time I took the camera a bit seriously. I never knew this Lumix earlier. The only experience I have with Panasonic is
the Video camera, a VHS 3000 model I bought in 1997 and still running fine. It gives me good video which I copy with a Pinnacle card. That very experience and the review on CNET lead to this purchase. Though only time would tell the quality of this product, I must say that buying is easy in India, but getting something serviced may be a little tricky. In most cases, the 'expert service' men would convince you that the product what you have with you can't be serviced at all and they will show you a much improved, new product that is much cheaper and you are forced to buy.
I was quite excited about the reviews on this camera and was waiting to arrive. With several reviews on my mind, I went out to take some manual shots. Some of them were very disappointing with shaky pictures and different colour and some were out of focus. It took me some time to figure out the settings for reasonable shots. Although most decisions may be taken by the camera itself, I wanted to try the Aperture and Shutter priority modes. Manual focus is not that easy with the buttons and I do not have a steady hand. I did use a tripod for most of the Aperture priority shots. If taken outdoors or with natural light indoors, it can give excellent results. I have used the flash only couple of times and it did not produce the desired colour. I have bought a 65 watts Philips CFL lamp ( cool day light), and used with a white lamp shade along with other tube lights in home and it gets real good. I thus avoid the flash when I take the shots in the night. Yes, I may require a tripod in most
cases. It works well upto ISO 400 and anything above this gets a bit grainy. Not that you can't get pictures, it is just a bit worse than what the CNET review shows. No complaints at all at ISO 100 in A/S/M modes with any light. I found the images are a bit softer than what I could get with the DSC 85 ( may I compare ?). With a proper white balance, excellent color reproduction is possible. I have made some prints and they are real good. I have taken on RAW and JPEG. The supplied Fotofun sofware is indeed good to process the RAW files. I believe it can run faster with good RAM.
JPEG should be okay with most daylight shots. I am no Lens expert, but this camera zooms and focuses real quick and I use the EVF for most of my shots. I have tried the other display only couple of times, and yes, to play a shot to my daughter. Super video. I had some trouble copying the sound to the PC when the Video file is copied or transferred with the explorer. I use the other AV cable and thanks to the Pinnacle card, I copy the files and edit them. The battery is good for hundreds of shots. With these file size one may need a higher capacity hard disk to copy all files.
A few days trial in morning light should convince you how good this camera is. It is worth the money indeed.