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.
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).
Summary: I bought mine as a clearance model from a camera store in 2008. I LOVE this camera, but there are a few caveats of which one must be aware. These will be listed first, then I'll get to the good stuff... - Many RAW conversion software packages of the time did not read the earlier versions of the Panasonic Raw files (".raw," ironically enough), and many will still not read these files (Capture One is one of these that don't read them).
Summary: I ran across one of these in good condition and at a very low price and so picked it up. It is an excellent camera. The zoom ring and manual focus ring are superb. Also, the quick "AF Macro" switch on the lens is a great feature. I do a lot of macro shots and this camera is excellent at that. It's also an excellent 12x zoom everyday camera. A bit big and heavy by today's standards, but I like that, more stable. And I use SLR's a lot, so it feels better to me.