Summary: had one and wore it out and couldn't find anything else that came close to this combination of performance, weight, and adaptability. The major point if the MANUAL zoom. I don't want a motorized zoom. I also value the full MANUAL capability - zoom, focus, shutter, aperture. Us old time picture snappers like this. Having a really good integrated (non-removable) lens makes it lighter and does not allow the sensor to get dirty.
Summary: This is an excellent camera for its time. Two distinguishing features are the zoom ring and manual focus ring which are not found on many other cameras if any. I've had two of them and loved them both however they lack the sharpness of the FZ47 and FZ150. If you can live with that and want the zoom ring go for it. Otherwise buy one of the newer models mentioned. I've had no trouble with either of mine.
Excerpt: I have never really owned a high quality digital camera, so I was really hesitant about spending $1000 on a camera, but it turns out that this Panasonic - Lumix DMC-FZ30 is a great investment and perfect for any picture taking experience. The digital camera is larger than a simple point and shoot device, but it has some great features and an interchangeable lens that makes your photos look professional.
About as close to an SLR as you can get for a lot less money.
9 September 2012
Excerpt: A bit bulky and heavy to carry around when on long trips; but, worth the effort for the pictures it'll capture for you, with a little practice - you'll be pleased with the results, once you learn to use ALL of the numerous features of this great camera. And there are a multitutde of them. You can only become prficient by practicing using the camera and varying the settings for your experimental shots.
Summary: I am not a camera expert, I was trying to find a camera that could capture my son's lack of desire to hold a pose for more than 2 seconds. This camera is a huge improvement over my Nikon point and shoot. I have really enjoyed this camera so far, the quality of the photos is good and the frames per second is great. I especially love having the option to switch between the LCD screen and the viewfinder.
Summary: Unfortunately there have been people that have had to rely on this camera to capture images of a UFO, but when published amongst their peers, have been seen possibly as a street light. That's obviously the fault of the camera, and it's no doubt when you consider that Panasonic doesn't want you to know about UFO's in the first place (which everyone knows).