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Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ7 | Digital Camera Review | Camera
The Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ7 is neatly finished and lies pleasantly in your hand right away. The material used feels rigid, and the combination with the handgrip gives it a comfortable touch. The design of the Panasonic FZ7 greatly resembles that of its predecessors, such as the Lumix FZ5, although it has been submitted to a certain degree of restyling. The compact size has not affected the way the camera lies in your hand. The combination of the optical stabiliser enables you to hold the camera in one hand, even with a 12x optical zoom, without a large risk of blur due to movement of the photographer's hand.
Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ7 | Digital Camera Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ7 | Digital Camera
Panasonic FZ7 - Leica DC Vario Elmarit ASPH lens
The front side of the camera is taken up primarily by the beautiful Leica DC Vario Elmarit ASPH lens. This lens, which has a brightness of f/2.8 (W) - f/3.3 (T) offers a fantastic range of an impressive 12x optical zoom. This is the equivalent of a 36 - 432 range with a 35mm camera. On the right side of the lens there is a bright orange shining LED which holds a double function as a self timer indicator and AF assistance illuminator. Next to it you find two minuscule holes that serve as the built-in microphone. The built-in flash is located on top of the lens. On the left, you find the handgrip, which comes with a rubber layer to ensure a better grip.

Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ7 - Camera strap
When looking at the camera from the side, we see the rubber layer, which partly extends so that the palm of the hand is also covered. A metal eyelet for the camera strap completes this side. The opposite side is also equipped with an eyelet for the strap. Below, you find a small lid, behind which the USB interface and the A/C power adapter are located. The solidly designed lid ensures the compartment can be closed securely

Panasonic Lumix FZ7 digital camera - LCD screen
The back side of the Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ7 features a large 2.5 inch LCD monitor. Compared to its predecessor, the monitor has been significantly enlarged; from 1.8 to 2.5 inch, but strangely enough the resolution has decreased; from 130,000 to 114,000 pixels. Above the monitor we find the electronic viewfinder. A small dioptre setting allows glass-wearing users to adjust the viewfinder to their eye. A small speaker is located next to the viewfinder, with below it a small button to switch between the electronic viewfinder and the monitor. These cannot be activated at the same time. The on/off switch is small but easy to operate. A new feature is the small joystick, which allows you to set the manual focus and the manual exposure. Below it we find the multi-controller, which is a familiar feature in many digital camera types these days. It offers a variety of functions, such as the flash settings, self timer, etc. Furthermore, the back side of the DMC FZ7 digital camera comes with a small opening where the right thumb is placed. This small detail offers a great amount of additional stability.
Panasonic Lumix FZ7 - Built-in flash
The top side of the Panasonic Lumix FZ7 is kept clear and neat. A large part of it is taken up by the built-in flash, which can be flipped out by a switch on the back of the camera. Beside the flash you find the mode dial, which holds the main programmes. The dial can be turned 360 degrees in both ways. A soft click is heard at each setting. The shutter release button is located on the far front of the handgrip. It is surrounded by a ring that serves to zoom in optically and digitally. That leaves us with two buttons; one to set the optical image stabiliser (MEGA O.I.S.) and one to manage the setting for the focus (AF or MF).

Panasonic DMC FZ7 - Universal tripod connection
The bottom side of the Panasonic FZ7 is even and features a universal (metal) tripod connection. It is placed in the centre of the camera, but the weight of the lens throws the camera a little off-balance, and causes it to tilt to the front. Right beside this connection you will find the compartment in which the Lithium Ion battery and the Secure Digital memory card are stored. Both are kept in place by a small security lock, ensuring they cannot fall out by accident upon opening the compartment. The lid is solid and guarantees the compartment closes properly.

Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ7 - Secure Digital memory card
Panasonic standard deliver the camera with a 16MB Secure Digital memory card, battery charger, Lithium Ion battery, USB and A/V cable, CD-ROM with software, camera strap, lens cap and lens hood with lens hood adapter. The design of the Panasonic FZ7 is pleasantly compact; nothing reminds you of the fact that you are holding a camera with a 12x optical zoom! If we are talking mega zoom cameras in their most compact form, Panasonic's latest gem simply demands attention!
Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ7 Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ7
   
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