Have you been longing for the perfect digital camera with all the features you ever wanted at a price that was affordable?
I'm sorry – it does NOT exist. Not even cameras costing thousands of dollars have every feature that professional photographers want.
BUT, there is a camera that comes close. You can even get it used for under $250! BONUS ALERT: It can even record high definition videos – all in the same camera body.
I purchased the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7 last December (Merry Christmas to me) as a great camera to take on vacations, throw in the car's glove box or stash in my briefcase. It fits comfortably in my pants pocket so I don't have to hang it from my neck when out-and-about!
So what criteria do I use for selecting the perfect camera?
My top complaint with consumer point-and-shoots is what's called “shutter lag.” That's the amount of time it takes for the camera to actually snap the photo from the moment you push the shutter button. Low-end cameras have a delay or lag as long as one second. That means you'll ALWAYS miss your toddler's first jump into the pool, your little leaguer hitting a home run or any other moment that passes within a second from when you click the shutter.
Other key features of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7:
– Solid metal body – should withstand more of a “beating” than a plastic camera body.
– Big 3″ colorful, sharp LCD display makes viewing photos easier in direct sunlight.
– 12 megapixel sensor allows for beautiful enlargements up to 8×10 inches.
– Amazing 12x optical zoom lens (up to 300 mm equivalent if you’re from the “old school” 35mm camera era). This makes taking photos of birds or animals better without having to get as close to them. (SPECIAL NOTE: When shopping for a camera, always ignore the “digital zoom” numbers on a camera. The picture quality of a digital zoom compared to an optical zoom is ALWAYS poor because the camera is just magnifying the photo’s pixels to give the zoomed-in look.
– Smooth and quiet auto focus
– Optical image stabilization – lessens blurriness from camera movement under low-light situations.
– “Intelligent Resolution” feature greatly improves photo quality.
– Automatic exposure and full manual modes
– Built-in flash
– Built-in GPS feature that records where you are when you take a photo. That’s great for those who travel a lot and forget the name of the place they took the photo.
– Very good movie quality in 720p AVCHD which looks as good as video recorded in full 1080 HD.
– Accepts SD/SDHC and new SDXC huge capacity memory cards.
To get the full specifications and current prices for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7, click here.
What camera do you use? What do you like best about it? What features would you like to have in your next camera? Please leave your comments on this post.