Pros OIS, 6X Zoom, 5MP, great size, great pics, fast, easy
Cons no viewfinder, LCD off during flash recharge
Summary As a kid I went from a Kodak Instamatic to Nikon SLRs, using almost nothing else since. After buying my wife and two daughters Canon PowerShots in the same price range, this is the camera I chose for me, to carry with me almost every day; I couldn't be happier with my choice.
I miss a viewfinder, but it's not a big liability, and the LCD going blank during flash recharge really doesn't bother me, as I hardly use the flash. Having 5MP and 6X optical zoom (actually it goes to 7+ *optical* zoom, NOT digital) to play with, along with the wonderful optical image stabilization, I strongly prefer to almost always shoot without flash, using it mainly for fill so that close human subjects outdoors don't have to look into the sun and squint. [Everybody using flash in auditoriums and gymnasiums, you do realize that it only travels 10-15 feet, right? So it doesn't reach what you're taking pictures of, slows down your picture-taking, and eats up your batteries. Turn it off!]
Everybody says my pictures look great (probably because there aren't washed-out subjects with harsh shadows!), and without the flash going off, people often don't even realize that I'm taking pictures.
People are always complaining about the time lag between pressing the shutter button and when the picture is actually taken with their cameras, but this camera is fast enough that it’s rarely a problem for me. It’s *extremely* fast if you prefocus your shots by pressing the shutter button half way before final composition and pressing the shutter button the rest of the way, as I usually do. I haven't read the manual (and I almost always read manuals, ALL of them, BEFORE using something new), but knowing how to basically use the Canon PowerShot cameras in the family, this Panasonic was so easy to learn and use that I'm now taking probably 20 or more shots for every one that my wife or a daughter takes with their cameras.
I love this camera!
p.s. I really don’t understand the editor’s bad review of this camera. I don’t agree, and neither do the reviews at steves-digicams.com; cameras.co.uk; t3.co.uk; or image-resource.com (look at reviews of the very similar LZ1 it replaced and its $50 list more expensive "brother," the LZ5Silver or blacK (6MP, larger LCD, records sound with video). If you shoot at 5MP in lower light levels and realize that you won't be able to make great-quality prints larger than 4x6 or 5x7 of those pictures only, considering its price and its features, there are extremely few cameras that can compare favorably. If you search a little, you'll find it now for as low as about $175 shipped.
"Great Little Camera"on by amphoto
Pros Image Stabilization!
Cons Slow burst speed
Summary Comparing this to a Canon Powershot of its price class I have to say that after using both, the Panasonic wins hands down. Both image quality and color is better and the image stabilization really helps to make crisp clear pictures where the little Canons have a tendency of blurring easily.
I think in terms of value this is a terrific choice. 5 mega pix will give you pictures you are proud of and image stabilization is the icing on the cake.
Pros Great price, excellent features, comfortable build
Cons None so far
Summary The other reviewers have written fine critiques of this camera. I wanted to add though that the editor's review was unhelpful. By that I mean, after pursuing further reviews of this camera and others similarly priced at digital camera review web cites i was surprised to discover that the majority of those sites chose this camera as being amongst their editors' picks for best camera in its price range.
if you are at all interested in purchasing this camera ignore the editor's review herein and do a little more research. i have been completely satisfied with every aspect of this camera. it is well constructed, the features are easy to access and user friendly, and the picture quality is excellent.
Pros Picture quality, image stabilization, consecutive shooting feature, did I say PICTURE QUALITY?
Cons No mic for movie mode, LCD size could have been 2.5" but not a big deal
Summary Ive had and use some budget and some of the more expensive and popular models over the years, and I can say that the picture quality for this camera is excellent and hard to beat at the price. Try and get more reviews or audition this one before making up your mind.
"Great value"on by oscarcolorado
Pros 6x zoom, Image Stabilization, value for money
Cons Slow performance, some noise, not-that-great image quality
Summary OK, it's not a perfect camera, but I disagree with the editor's rating. The 6x optical zomm+Image stabilization in a low price tag is very attractive. For the average consumer the bang-for-the buck ratio is quite good. You can print 8x10s with good quality and it is a versatile camera. I found noise and JPG artifacts while cleaning some pics in Photoshop, also at a big zoom you'll notice that resolution isn't only a matter of megapixels, but how the microprocessor deals with light and detail. Purple fringe is notable.
Quality is good but not superb. I bought a Lumix FX8 for my wife and the differences are there: the FX8 looks and feels very solid. The LZ3 feels and looks cheaper. Well, no surprise, the camera IS cheaper.
Regarding size, it's not ultra-compact so don't expect it to fit in your jeans pockets, but it fits perfect in a jacket pocket. It is very well balanced and the weight helps to have more control and less undesired movemente. Add to this the image stabilization feature and you can obtain good pictures even with one hand.
The LZ3 is a very good consumer camera that looks for a good optical zoom, image stabilization and reasonable control over exposure.
I think this is a good everyday camera, a very capable and reasonable compact point and shot. I think that the price tag is very attractive and you can take some really nice pics. It's not a prosumer, nor an ultracompact, but I think that guys at Panasonic did not intended the LZ3 to be that. I guessed they give you a really good lens, pretty decent performance and very good value for the price you pay.
It's a good idea to check other manufacturers and a couple more options before buying it.