The Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ7 is a very compact digital camera that enables you to capture a wide array of subjects. Despite the compact size of the camera, Panasonic manage to keep the concept clear and straightforward, from which the user-friendliness benefits significantly. Even though the Panasonic FZ7 is a digital camera for the amateur photographer, it also offers plenty to those who are looking for a camera that meets their slightly higher requirements, and does not confine their creativity. The amount of buttons is minimal, and if you allow yourself some time to become acquainted with the camera, you will soon feel right at home.
Panasonic Lumix FZ7 - Mode dial & Multi-controller
The amount of buttons on a camera is generally related to the time the user has to spend in its menu. On the Panasonic Lumix FZ7, the main settings such as aperture and shutter speed priority, manual or scenes can be accessed directly through the mode dial, after which the required setting can be selected via the multi-controller or the small joystick. This small joystick is a newly added feature to the series and proves pleasantly fast to work with in practice. The setting is changed swiftly with light taps. When using the multi-controller, small clicks can be heard to confirm a successful push of the button. The first image is quickly captured. Naturally, you can use your camera in the easiest setting, which is the Simple mode, but if you have even the slightest feel for photography, you are likely to resort to the P/A/S/M modes. The logic behind the buttons and functions does not take long to become clear to the user; which is why a manual isn't all that necessary when you first start working with the camera.
Panasonic FZ7 - 12x optical zoom & Mega O.I.S.
Despite the large zoom range, Panasonic have managed to design a compact size. The 12x optical zoom can only be operated electronically via the zoom ring on top of the camera. With such a large range it is virtually impossible to take a tele photo without movement. Generally, even the slightest form of jitter is immediately significantly enlarged, which will undoubtedly be noticeable as blur in the image later. Panasonic offer a truly powerful and stunning solution to this problem in the form of the MEGA O.I.S.; the optical image stabiliser. Once you have worked with it, you will simply never want to do without. It has such an impact on the preventing of blur caused by movement of the photographer's hand that the Panasonic Lumix FZ7 enables you to capture all your handheld photos effortlessly under practically every possible circumstance.
Panasonic DMC FZ7 - Electronic viewfinder
The camera features an electronic viewfinder with a resolution of approximately 114.000 pixels. This isn't a particularly high resolution, but does suffice to ensure a pleasant working experience. In practice, I made frequent use of the monitor, though the viewfinder offers a solution in situations where a lot of light shines directly on to the monitor.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ7 features a manual focus in addition to the automatic focus. The joystick enables you to focus on the subject both via the monitor and the electronic viewfinder. The area on which you focus is enlarged several times, so that you are able to focus swiftly and accurately by using the joystick. This proves excellent both via the monitor and the electronic viewfinder. There is a wide array of information given in the viewfinder and the LCD display; such as ISO, resolution, exposure, flash settings, aperture, shutter speed, etc.
Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ7 - Venus Engine II
The Panasonic Lumix FZ7 features a powerful image processor; the Venus Engine II. It is the image quality in particular that greatly benefits from this. Compared to its predecessor, the Venus Engine, the processor is able to improve horizontal and vertical resolution with more than 10%. The new Venus II processor is also particularly advantageous to the camera's response speed. The shutter release lag is negligible, which proves priceless in practice. It is primarily when capturing action images taken in a series that the processor is of particular value. It offers a speed of a constant 3 images per second in full resolution, which doesn't cause the Panasonic FZ7 any problems to process the data quickly.
Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ7 digital camera
Upon taking the camera into your hands for the first time, you immediately notice its light weight and compact size. This does however does not change the fact that it is the clever design that guarantees this actual feeling of stability, to which the handgrip greatly contributes. The camera lies pleasantly in your hand, and it is clear there have been no concessions where the stability in combination with the volume of the camera is concerned. The camera's menu has been logically arranged. A clear font, rich colours and swift navigation ensure the menu is pleasant to use. The functions can be easily accessed and set to your own liking. The Panasonic Lumix FZ7 camera offers a wide array of possibilities, whilst featuring a fairly low entry-level. All in all, it is a very enjoyable camera to work with.