Digital camera help - Panny LZ7??

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eezip
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Digital camera help - Panny LZ7??

Postby eezip » Wed May 09, 2007 2:09 am

Hey guys, I asked about it before but I've got the money and I'm ready to buy so I'm checking in with a new camera that looks great to me: the Panasonic DMC-LZ7. 7.2MP, 6x optical zoom, image stabilization, adjustable ISO level. I just want a point & shoot camera that will take nice, clean close-up pics in addition to a good all-around camera for a photo novice. It doesn't have to be tiny and fit in a pocket.

It seems to have all the features that I want plus it's only $179 at Best Buy and I get a $30 gift card http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=8258459&st=lz7&type=product&id=1170290185110. I know Canon makes excellent cameras but I really want image stabilization and it costs a lot more to get that on a Canon plus we have a Panasonic FZ5 at work and it takes very good pictures.

There are a couple concerns:
1. It says 'no' for Vista ready. I don't see what that can possibly mean, but it makes me wonder...
2. Will the camera work fine with both NiMH and Li-ion batteries?

I know some of you guys have to know more than me :) Any help or suggestions?
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Postby flak_monkey » Wed May 09, 2007 9:05 am

a camera can need drivers to talk to your pc, but that doesn't matter if you buy a vista ready card reader. Don't be so quick to make the jump to vista either. Don't assume for one minute that DX10 is incompatible with XP for any other reason than microsoft's famous greed.

(end rant)

Any camera should work fine on those batteries, as long as it doesn't have it's own rechargeable li-ion battery like a camcorder.

I've not used any panasonic cameras at that level (though I do have a DVX-100AP sitting in front of me). I think that the Nikons are best in that price range, maybe look into them. I've been nothing but displeased with the image quality of my Canon. They've come a long way from having awesome metal body SLR's to cheap plastic crap.
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Postby Big Mack » Wed May 09, 2007 9:18 am

eezip wrote:There are a couple concerns:
1. It says 'no' for Vista ready. I don't see what that can possibly mean, but it makes me wonder...
2. Will the camera work fine with both NiMH and Li-ion batteries?

I know some of you guys have to know more than me :) Any help or suggestions?


It was released before Vista was available, so that would explain why it's not setup for it. But, I would be surprised if Vista wouldn't work with it, honestly.

It should work just fine on those batteries, but it comes with a rechargable pack already, so why buy more? From their site:

Batteries 2 AA Oxyride (included), 2 AA NiMH (not included), 2 AA alkaline (not included)

Looks like a pretty good choice.

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Postby Hobbes26 » Wed May 09, 2007 11:29 am

Image stabilization is mostly worth it if you're taking pictures at high zoom, or with low-lighting (where the exposure time is longer). If you're doing really close-up pics, check out reviews on the camera's Macro setting.

Most digital cameras, even the cheaper ones, have a lot of functions built-in and you can take great pics without too much fuss, but you gotta play around a bit and see what works with you. One thing to learn is to not use the AUTO setting on the camera all the time, and use the presets (Inside/Outside, Cloudy, Portrait, etc) or Programmed Auto.

I usually don't like using camera software on the computer. I download the pics using a CF/SD card reader, and then use another program to edit pics (Adobe... or there are some free programs around, and even basic stuff like resizing and image cropping and stuff is available in the MS Office Tools suite I think)
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Postby John » Wed May 09, 2007 11:32 am

I'll use the camera's program to load the pics, and that is about it...I head right for Adobe or a similar program from there. I tend to dislike some of those presets on our cameras at work, but they're better than auto.

eezip wrote:2. Will the camera work fine with both NiMH and Li-ion batteries?


I can't see why not (as long as you don't mix them :cwm12:) and it does list NiMH in the specs.
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Postby eezip » Wed May 09, 2007 11:59 pm

Thanks for all the suggestions guys!

I went to BB today and noticed that there was a camera there, another Panny which I can't find on BB's site, that was $229 but had 10x optical zoom in a similar body size and came with a Li-ion battery but it only has 5MP. Sound like a better deal?

I checked out the Nikons while I was there and didn't really care for them.

Will I notice a 7.2MP to 5MP difference in resolution when viewing pics on a computer either full size or when they're compressed?

One thing I want to do is take pics of electronic stuff. My current camera, an old Olympus, can't resolve 0.05" leads from any distance no matter what I do. The Panny at work is great in Macro mode and it's 5MP.

What are some good review sites? I've read a bit of Steve's Digicams and like it, but what else is out there? I couldn't find any full reviews for this camera either, just previews, which I assume is because it's so new.

To derail my own topic... I bought Vista the day after it came out and I really like it. There are some things that definitely feel like steps backward, and I'd be comfortable going back to XP as I don't see much of any real value in Vista, but to me it's a fine OS that not worth the extraordinary price, but good nonetheless. Now, back to cameras... :)
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Postby Shooter61 » Thu May 10, 2007 9:45 am

Looks like a decent camera for a novice wanting a p and s. A couple things to consider. When you go and play with it turn the flash off and snap a pick. Turning the flash off is gong to up your up the shutter speed so you can truly test the image stabalization. Also watch the shutter lag (how long it takes to go from click to focus to exposure) I hate shutter lag (That's why I bought a $400 cannon full featured) and I'm sure you would too. Also check the image stabalization in macro mode. Put it into Macro mode and hold the lens about an inch from somthing so there is little light, turn the flash off and shoot the picture. And finally the different from 7.2 to 5 MPX is only going to be noticable if you're blowing up a picture the size of your bedroom wall. 5 will be just plenty for any 8X10 photos that you may be printing. IMO camera companies use large mega pixel stickers to attract customers to a worse camera for a better price. So always check more than how many mega pixels you are getting. Also check the max resolution, both are important.

Just my 2 cents.

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Postby Hobbes26 » Thu May 10, 2007 9:59 am

http://www.imaging-resource.com/
http://www.dpreview.com
http://www.dcresource.com/

None of thes have a review on the LZ7... though you might want to look at their reviews on the previous gen or similar models, if the sensor is the same or if the interface is similar...

Also, take a read of this:
http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/notcamera.htm
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Postby John » Thu May 10, 2007 11:25 am

Shooter61 wrote:When you go and play with it turn the flash off and snap a pick. Turning the flash off is gong to up your up the shutter speed so you can truly test the image stabalization.


:cwm17: Wouldn't you want to reduce the shutter speed to test out the image stabilization?

Depending on the camera, the lighting, and with automatic settings, shutting off the flash is going to either reduce or increase the shutter speed...or it may just shut off the flash, with all other changes in setting being left up to the user. It depends on the camera, but if it would adjust automatically I would guess that it would most likely be primarily dependent on the amount of light.
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Postby Shooter61 » Fri May 11, 2007 6:14 pm

John wrote::cwm17: Wouldn't you want to reduce the shutter speed to test out the image stabilization?

Depending on the camera, the lighting, and with automatic settings, shutting off the flash is going to either reduce or increase the shutter speed...or it may just shut off the flash, with all other changes in setting being left up to the user. It depends on the camera, but if it would adjust automatically I would guess that it would most likely be primarily dependent on the amount of light.


Oh shut up you know what I meant.... I was at school so my mind wasn't working:cwm18:
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