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Panasonic Lumix DMC-F27

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The push in digital cameras is towards smaller, more compact cameras, and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-F27 is a trimmer version than its predecessor. While it is lightweight, it still feels solid and well constructed. Smaller size, however, doesn't mean fewer features; in fact, CNET found that the DMC-F27 packs a lot of punch in a small package. Its 6 megapixel resolution means good image quality and its 12x zoom brings even fairly distant shots into useable range. The F27's image stabilization comes in handy…

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The push in digital cameras is towards smaller, more compact cameras, and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-F27 is a trimmer version than its predecessor. While it is lightweight, it still feels solid and well constructed. Smaller size, however, doesn't mean fewer features; in fact, CNET found that the DMC-F27 packs a lot of punch in a small package. Its 6 megapixel resolution means good image quality and its 12x zoom brings even fairly distant shots into useable range. The F27's image stabilization comes in handy with zoom shots, where even the steadiest hands can cause significant blur. However, while it corrects for hand-shake, moving subjects still tend to be blurry. Digital Camera Info experienced significant noise in situations where higher ISOs were required, such as low light conditions. Even as low as ISO 800, there was significant noise. Similarly, while the LCD display is a comfortable 2.5 inches, the display resolution remains at the same 114,000 found on the previous model's smaller screen, making the display a bit blurry, and making it hard to gauge the true quality of actual shots.

However, Photography Review was pleased with the pixel-mixed readout, and the adjustable brightness level, which made low-lighting shooting easier. For hobbyists looking for the flexibility of a digital SLR but not quite ready for the expense typically associated with higher end cameras, the F27 is a reasonable compromise. Variable aperture settings (either f/2.8 or f/3.3) offer more flexibility in depth of field, and manual focus settings allow even more creative control. The movie mode is also a nice improvement over the previous model, with a Wide VGA mode to allow 16:9 widescreen viewing. 30fps allows for relatively smooth videos. Frame rate is also improved in continuous shooting mode, with burst shooting speeds of 3 frames per second, capturing up to 13 images. In the end, the DMC-F27 is a solid camera with impressive features for its class. Image stabilization improves the odds of getting those unexpected shots, and picture quality in normal conditions is good enough for most casual use.

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