7 expert reviews - 0 user reviews
We have collected 7 reviews of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ7. Experts rate Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ7 7.4/10. Reviewsor.com helps you find reviews, best prices, user reviews of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ7 and Panasonic Digital cameras.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ7 is a smart, snazzy digital compact camera with a 14.1 megapixel MOS sensor, Leica DC Vario-Elmar lens which sports a 10x optical zoom (25-250mm in 35mm terms) and a bright 3 inch LCD screen. One of the main features of the camera is that it records in FullHD (1920x1080) incorporating the AVCHD format. Another is the 10fps continuous shooting at full resolution. Priced at £219.99, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ7 is available in white, black or brown. When it comes to camera design, Panasonic have got it pretty much nailed. It's like they can't make an ugly camera - and that kind of makes our life difficult. You see, because the cameras are so nice looking, we tend to fawn over them when they arrive in the office. Then when we're writing the reviews, we have to remain unbiased while not actually finding anything wrong with how it looks. The same can be said for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ7. It's a simple box with an enlarged lens barrel that makes the top of the camera bow out slightly. This is to incorporate the large 10x optical zoom in a small body.
For such a small camera, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ7 has a lot going for it. The ultracompact point-and-shoot weighs about the same as a smartphone, but has a 10x zoom lens and a 14-megapixel MOS sensor that supports full HD movie capture at 60i in AVCHD (it'll shoot MP4, too), and it shoots fast thanks in part to Panasonic's latest autofocus system, which keeps shutter lag very low. All of that, very good photo and video results, and a reasonably low price make it a nice choice as a grab-and-go camera for automatic snapshots. However, you probably won't want to go without a fully charged battery, and, while I liked its photo quality overall, it might not meet everyone's needs and expectations. Depending on what your plans are for its photos, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ7's shots are either very good to excellent or unusable. If you're looking to use its 14-megapixel resolution to enlarge pictures to full size and heavily crop in, don't buy this camera (or most other point-and-shoots). Things just don't look great when viewed at 100 percent. However, those viewing on a screen at less than 100 percent or making prints up to 8.5x11, which is probably the majority of buyers, will be really happy with the results.
Panasonic has always kept a low profile when it came to their cameras, especially when compared to the likes of Canon, Nikon and Sony. However, there is no doubt that Panasonic has earned quite a reputation in the imaging product segment, especially with the likes of the FZ-150. In fact, Panasonic was the first company to launch a true \"travel-zoom” camera, the DMC-TZ1, which ruled the roost for a while, at least till the other camera makers, could play catch up. Today, we look at the Panasonic DMC-SZ7, a long departure from the TZ1 of 2006, but yet, very similar in many regards. The first thing you'll notice about the Lumix SZ7 when it is pulled out of its cardboard box, is its ridiculously thin and small form factor. For a minute, we scratched our heads, wondering if the claim of the 10x optical zoom was real or not. It is also extremely lightweight (we played a 15 minute game of basketball without realizing the camera was in the pocket of our shorts) despite the battery and the SD card being in the camera. The body of the Panasonic Lumix SZ7 is made of high-grade plastic, which feels rather sturdy.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ7 ($199.99 direct) manages to squeeze a 10x zoom lens into a very svelte body. The 14-megapixel camera is light on bells and whistles—it records 1080p video and has a good number of scene modes, but lacks GPS, Wi-Fi, or other extras to set it apart. This wouldn't be an issue if the camera's images were sharper or it had a higher-quality LCD, but the the SZ7 struggles a bit in those areas too. So you have a camera that is adequate and unexciting, and just not quite as good as the compact Canon PowerShot A4000 IS ($199.99, 3.5 stars) or long-zooming Olympus SZ-12 ($199.99, 3.5 stars)—both of which are available for the same price. Design and Features At just 2.4 by 3.9 by 0.9 inches (HWD) and 4.8 ounces, the SZ7 is slim and light, especially when you remember that it squeezes a 10x (25-250mm) zoom lens into its body. The Canon PowerShot Elph 320 HS ($279.99, 3.5 stars) is a bit smaller at 2.2 by 3.7 by 0.8 inches, but only has a 5x zoom lens. Unlike the 320 HS, the SZ7 doesn't have a touch-screen interface. Its 3-inch LCD occupies much of the rear of the camera, but there's room for physical controls to its right.
What Digital Camera
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ7 is part of the 2012 range of compact cameras, combining a 10x optical zoom with a 14MP sensor as well as the ability to record HD movies. With a slender body this new compact looks the part, offering an impressive aesthetic and feature set.There's plenty to admire from a technical perspective within the Panasonic DMC-SZ7. The 14MP MOS sensor can shoot at up to ISO 3200 without needing to reduce resolution, and is capable of shooting up to 10fps at full quality. Using the continuous AF mode does affect this somewhat, knocking the burst rate down to 5fps, but having such a high constant rate is still an achievement. The autofocus has been quoted taking 0.1 seconds to achieve sharpness, which has been dubbed ‘Lightspeed AF'. Although difficult to test to ascertain whether the 0.1 second claim is accurate, the focus speed at the wide angle of the lens is extremely rapid. Further down the focal range reduces this somewhat, but general the time taken to find sharpness is very quick.The lens ranges from 25-250mm, which gives an extremely useful level of scope for landscape, macro and action photography.
Big numbers in a small case are what the Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ7 is all about. Under the hood is an impressive set of specs, including a 14.1-megapixel sensor and a 10x optical zoom, equivalent to 25-250mm in a 35mm camera. To put that into context, most consumer-grade dSLRs are bundled with kit lenses of around 18-55mm.Despite these impressive features, the DMC-SZ7 is keenly priced at £200. There's optical stabilisation to help you hand-hold the longest zoom, and a 4x optical zoom on top if you need to get closer and don't mind resorting to cropping and enhancing the central part of your image. The closest focusing distance at wide angle is 10cm, and at full telephoto zoom, it stands at 150cm. Both of these are fairly pedestrian, but the macro setting takes you as close as 5cm. At this level, the extent of captured detail is truly impressive, with plenty of texture and an attractive drop-off in the level of focus outside of the focal sweet spot. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ7's self-selected macro mode did a great job of capturing the grain in this cut log. The level of detail at the core of the trunk is very impressive (click image to enlarge). The Leica lens is sharp and quick to find focus, with 23 focus points and optional face tracking.
The Lumix DMC-SZ7 is a mid-range point and shoot camera that offers a good range of features, but still keeps the camera small. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ7 has a sleek, simple design that is functional, but still looks attractive. It is only available in black, but the similar SX1 model is available in black, silver, red and blue. The lens of the DMC-SZ7 offers a 10X zoom range, with the wide angle starting at a 25mm focal length. That’s a pretty good wide angle that should work well for general shooting. It offers an aperture range of f/3.1 to F5.9 at the wide angle setting, and f/4.5 to f/45 at the telephoto end of the zoom range. The image sensor is a MOS sensor that captures 14.1 megapixel images. The size of the sensor was not available at the time this review was written. The 3-inch LCD screen on the back of this camera uses Panasonics Power LCD technology, which adjusts the backlight to compensate for the ambient light conditions. We found that this worked well, but the image did get somewhat washed out in direct sunlight. A small flash is located on the front of the camera. We were unable to test this, byt the small size likely means that it will not be able to deliver a huge amount of light.