Pros Price, Stabalization, Quiet Operation, Ease of Use
Cons Picture Quality when enlarged
Summary I give this camera an 8 even though it gets a bad rap for picture quality because, if you're like me, you don't need to view the picture at it's largest size. 5x7" looks phenominal, 8x10" looks just a bit grainy. For ~$250 I can handle that.
The four things that stand out to me on this camera as remarkable are; 1. Super quiet servos operating the lense. My Sony which cost $100 more sounds like a jet taking off every time I open the lense because of servo "whine". 2. It's very light. When it's in my pocket it doesn't weigh me down or feel like I am carrying around a rock. 3. I love the fact that it takes (as more and more cameras are doing these days) AA batteries vice some rediculous specialty battery only manufactured for that specific model, costs $50-$75 to replace and if it dies on you your out of luck until you get back to your hotel room to recharge it. AA's can be bought ANYWHERE. I will never buy another camera that takes any other kind of batteries (unless it's AAA's). 4. The stabalization feature works beautifully. I think I've managed one blurry picture (maybe two) since I purchased this camera. It's all it's cracked up to be and more.
I have also received a lot of compliments on this camera. People like how quiet it is, and how sleek it looks. And when you hand it to them they are always surprised at how light it is. All of these pros make up for the one con that I can see. And I almost forgot to mention the "rookie" setting (that's what I call it, not sure what Panasonic deems it). You just set the selection wheel to this setting and the only thing you need to change is the flash and stabalization settings for normal picture taking. I havn't used this feature much, but it seemed to work quite well the few times I have.Updated
This camera takes a rare type of USB connector to connect it to your computer, and I have managed to damage mine (got caught under my computer chair leg and pinched). Now I've searched the web for this type of USB and can only find it on Panasonics website. It's pretty cheap, ~$2.50, but costs $8 to ship. I guess it's a small price to pay for not looking when I park my fat butt in-front of my computer!
Pros Quite, Light, Great Image Stabilization, Easy to use!
Cons None noted yet
Summary Great camera, Great price. The 6x optical and Mega OIS sets this camera apart from most of it's competition. It's quite, light and takes AA batteries which is great if you ever travel out of the country. Great for anyone needing a camera with more then just 3 or 4x optical zoom, and OIS helps when zooming more then 3x optical, though a tripod is usually called for in those instances where zooming is greater then 3x. It's very simple to use and has a battery saving 'E" economy mode. Hosestly, for under $300, it's a top 5 camera.
Pros AA's, 2.5" viewfinder, very sharp lens, great flash, image stabilization really work!
Cons no onboard speaker for audio playback
Summary This camera works great! Breathtaking sharp well exposed pictures.
I will never buy another camera that doesn't use AA batteries! So many times I needed a camera quick for impromto shots only to find the proprietary rechargable battery depleted & the photo opportunity wasted. When knowing a day or 2 in advance that you will be taking pictures recharging in advance is fine. It's when you need a camera in a hurry that AA's save the day!
In this camera I use Sony 2200ma rechargeable AA's and they seem to last forever. In a pinch I can use off the shelf alkaline AA's and easily get around 50 shots. This is a very important feature.
The menus are so easy to use that I actually use them because I can quickly find what I'm looking for raher than scolling thru many unwanted options looking as I have in other camera I have owned.
Also this camera is so quiet! Even the auto focus servos are hard to hear. Everything works as advertised...especially the image stabilization.
I purchased and returned 2 cameras before finding this jewel. It's really superior.
The only thing it lacks is an onboard speaker. You can shoot full sound video or add up to 10 seconds worth or real time or dubbed audio to still pictures. However, the only way to hear what was recorded is to connect the camera to a TV or computer. There is no built-in speaker. Pana should have included at least a headphone jack. Just about all other cameras in this class have built-in speakers.
Still, the images and ease of use is the best I have seen anywhere!
Pros This camera has many many features.you MUST read the owners manual
to take advantage of the features.this is a camera for the average user,
it gives you an advance taste what will you be able to do if you buy a pro camera?
I RECOMMEND THIS CAMERA.
Cons Must Switch to the proper settings manualy
depending on the shot you are taking example (@ night or low light)
(moving objects long Zoom) e.t.c.
Summary Since you got an advance taste of a pro camera now you want to take pics
like a pro and that is not going to happen.Why?
The camera does not take good pictures when zooming in far images @ night.
at day light when zooming in there is a lot of backgound noise in the picture taken.
as i stated before this camera is for the average user.
taking pics at normal range pics are great no problems.
but taking pics to close (5 inches to object) the camera starts reacting weird
the lense can not adjust the image neither in auto or manual.
video uses the Qmovie format that is another disavantage,
if you like to edit your movies like i do,then you MUST buy additional software
to acomplish that,editing a Qmovie file is not that easy & the results are not so good.
but remember this is a camera to take pictures.
for video i use my Video recorder instead.
also the camera is a little bit too bulky for a pocket,
i recommend the us of a neck or waist camera case.
this camera has a feature called Stabilizer, use it if you have shaky hands
or when using the zoom feature,
it will help you take a picture with out many ghost (blurry) images.
i have own this camera for over 2 years i had no problems at the time i paid almost $400.00 with a 2 year extended warranty,
now days you can get this camera ONLINE
from 129.00 up to 280.00 excluding the extended warranty.
i believe this is an excelent starter camera,something like a training camera before buying that 1500.00 camera.
i did tried 3 differents brands before buying this camera,and in all fairness
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ5K was the best of all.
i love this camera and you will too.
again you MUST READ the owners manual
to take advantage of the full features of this camera.
if you don't then you will be very dissapointed with the pics results.
another great advantage i found in this camera,you can use AA alkaline batteries
no need to wait for a recharge just insert another set of fresh batteries
and ready to take more pictures,
battery life is excellent you can take up to 250 pictures with flash
before the need of fresh batteries,
also you can use a tripod on this camera if ever needed.
i give this camera 4 out of 5 stars
Pros Image stabilization, lens quality
Cons No viewfinder
Summary I got this camera for my wife. It replaced a much older Fuji. When I say "replaced", that is a massive understatement. 8 out of 10 images from the Fuji, for various reasons, were junk. That number might actually be 9.
By comparison, 8 out of 10 shots from the Panasonic are indescribably better. The lens stabilization on this thing is freakin' amazing, congrats Panasonic (they really are great at IS). That's the principal reason I got this particular camera for my wife.
The camera is small and fits nicely into her purse, and she is always ready to take shots.
The lack of viewfinder is, for me, a pain. I'm just used to looking at images that way. For my wife, and seemingly most newbies to photography, it's no big deal.
Does this camera take pristine images, no. You have to consider the size of the piece of glass you're shooting through. No camera in this range will do that.
If we need or want to get great pix of any particular subject, I use my Nikon D80.
So in conclusion, this is a perfect camera to have with you all the time, for those moments that just come up. My wife never leaves it at home.