Reviews and Problems with Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18
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Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18K Digital Camera
TechGal8746, Rate it all!
5 December 2008
Summary: I'm a tech teacher for a high school and I've worked with lots of different cameras and the Panasonic Lumixes have always been my best buys for the price range. My students love the built in zoom lens (no need to change lenses on the run) and they feel like they're using something more sophisticated than a basic point and shoot. You also get a large number of pictures on one battery charge even if you constantly use the LCD.
Summary: Panasonic's partnership with Leica has created some real gems for photographers who want fast and fun cameras. The latest in their megazoom FZ line is this - the FZ 18, so called because of a 28mm-504mm 18x zoom. Those optics are the first of three great things about this camera. The lens is sharp and produces remarkably little distortion, a great achievement for a camera of this zoom range. Second is the optical image stabilization - as Panasonic calls it, MEGA OIS.
Summary: The image stabilization is JUST adequate for 18X shots, but only if you make an effort to hold the camera steady. And, due to the small chip size, the dynamic range is somewhat limited and noise is apparent on most shots using ISO above 200. Even with these limitations, this is by far the best digi camera I've owned (and that's a BUNCH). Very fast and accurate focus, wonderful lens, and well thought out menu/control system.
Summary: I've had this camera for over a month, have taken over 1000 pictures with it and I'm happy to say I like the camera. It is easy to use, simply put it in automatic mode and it takes nice pictures. The zoom is incredible, almost should be illegal. There are plenty of settings you can change, some can be a little confusing to find at first, but once you learn how things are set up in the menus, everything is easy to get at.
Summary: I normally use digital SLR cameras. However, they are not always ideal to travel with or taking out to friend's houses or nights on the town. I bought this Panasonic because it is small yet powerful enough to take more advanced pictures (not just the quick point and shoot). So far, I'm really impressed with the camera. The optics are top-notch. The glass is able to resolve the finest details.
Summary: I looked at the Lumix TZ5 and FZ18, because I wanted a camera with more zoom than the usual point & shoot zoom of 3x or 4x. I also reviewed the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ5K 9MP Digital Camera with 10x Wide Angle MEGA Optical Image Stabilized Zoom (Black) --a fine camera and my choice for a pocket sized camera that is ready to go. Neither camera is perfect, but overall I was pleased with these cameras.
Summary: I bought this camera for my beginning photography class. It met all the requirements I had and more. I spent some time reading all the possible reviews out there and compared it to many of the camera in its class. The Panasonic FZ18 has been rated the top of the the superzoom so that knocked out most of the competing cameras. It really came down to this camera or the Canon S5. However, Panasonic won me over because of several things; 1.
Summary: Got the camera with quick 2 day shipping. Details of pictures are phenomenal. Easy use in "IA" mode, no special skills required. No flash unless you manually flip it up(This is good). Unbeleivable detail at a block away. Numbers on utility pole can be read with digital enhancement. Please hold the camera still, the picture is as good as your stable hand. Took some good pictures of the moon with manual adjustment of film speed, aperature and shutter speed.
Summary: I own two other Lumix family cameras from Panasonic. One is more of a point and shoot while the other, the DMC-FZ20, is a fixed lens SLR. The FZ18 is an excellent camera for everyday use and also for those of you who may want to control your photos more directly. The main reason I got this camera was because of the massive zoom as well as the wide angle ability all in one fixed lens.
Summary: This was purchased as a gift for a tech-savy photographer. The main factor in determining this camera over others was the fact that it shoots in RAW and the optics are top-notch. We'd used various cameras before this, from SLR's to point-and-shoot's to the Nikon 4800 digital. We were trying for a camera that would give us the ease of use of a point-and-shoot with the superior results of a DSLR without the hassles, or costs, of having to lug and change lenses.