Review posted for Panasonic FZ7|
(Monday, April 24, 2006 - 18:15 EDT)
The Panasonic FZ7 is the latest in what's become a long line of long-zoom, optically-stabilized digital cameras from Panasonic.
Like other recent members of the line, the FZ7 combines good image quality, responsive handling, and very effective optical image stabilization in a very attractively-priced digital camera. Its range of exposure control and image adjustments will be appealing to experienced users, while its ease of use in Program and its various Scene modes make it approachable for even rank beginners.
The FZ series of Panasonic long-zoom digital cameras have been very popular, with good reason, as they've offered great value and image quality for the money. With the FZ7, Panasonic made a number of improvements over previous models, including better viewfinder visibility in dim lighting, greater flash range, a larger LCD display, and a much-improved movie mode.
The biggest weaknesses we found were high noise levels at ISO 400 and high chromatic aberration in the corners of the frame at telephoto focal lengths. (While noise is high though, it's worth noting that ISO 400 shots from the FZ7 look just fine at print sizes as large as 5x7.)
All things considered, while we'd like to see lower levels of image noise, the Panasonic FZ7 delivers a lot of performance and image quality for the money, clearly deserving of recognition as a Dave's Pick. If you're looking for a good deal on a long-zoom camera with image stabilization, the Panasonic FZ7 deserves your serious consideration. (Read our Panasonic FZ7 review for full details.)