Sunday, 7 October 2012

Panasonic DMC-ZS7 Lumix Review (part 1)

The Panasonic ZS7 is part of the very popular Lumix range from Panasonic, costing £348.88 from online retailers such as it's a high ask, however if that's in your digital camera budget then let's get into a review.

Colours Of ZS7 Lumix
The ZS7 comes in four colours; black, silver, red and dark blue and has many interesting features such as a GPs and touch screen. It looks good with the silver lens housing and the silver top plate-with most of the dials- sticking out from the body, but doesn't look spectacularly different from any other camera.

The front contains the external flash and also contains the lens

The Flash
The camera has a built in external flash which I’m assuming is a xenon bulb, I’m not sure, but it is very bright. The flash has four setting which can be combined in six different ways -
  • Auto mode/Red-eye reduction- Camera judges whether or not to flash, used when taking photos of people or animals in the dark
  • Auto mode- Automatically judges whether or not to flash
  • Flash on- always flashes
  • Flash on/red eye reduction- always flashes but camera judges whether to use red eye reduction or normal flash
  • Slow sync/ red eye reduction- camera judges whether to use red eye reduction or slow sync used against night back ground (slow sync is essentially a longer exposure time)
  • Flash of- The camera never flashes
The Lens
I've got to say the lens system is impressive. It has 12 times optical zoom (i.e. the better one) and 4 times digital zoom (i.e. the one that makes things pixelated), contains autofocus, has a lens shutter and with the macro focus can focus at as little as 2.5cm.

Top Of DCM-ZS7
From left to right of the picture above is the on/off switch to the left of that the shutter button (press half way to auto focus and fully to take a picture) then there is the "recording mode dial" which contains the functions (going clockwise from the red iA)-                                                       

  • Intelligent auto-The camera takes photos of faces when it decides the subjects are looking at the right spot (very nifty)
  • Program AE- Record pictures with setting you program in
  • Aperture Priority- Set the aperture manually
  • Shutter Priority- Set shutter speed yourself
  • Manuel Exposure- Set aperture and shutter speed yourself
  • Custom Mode- Use pre-registered settings
  • MS1/MS2- Commonly used scenes. Say mountains and beach can be programmed to these so that they can be accessed quickly
  • Scene Mode- An appropriate scene can be selected
  • Clip Board Mode- allows you to take pictures as memos
In the middle is the microphone which allows earphones to differentiate between right and left. And last but by no means least is a slightly stranger feature of the camera, the GPS. The GPS means that you will never forget where you took a picture again.

More of the features, of which there are many (the manual is 178 pages long) and usage will be covered in the next post.
So far the camera has a wide range of photographic features, looks good, and has an impressive lens system and a GPS, if it's within your budget it's defiantly worth it.

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