I’ve spent some time shooting the Panasonic ZS-7 and will end the field review early for good reasons. First and foremost being that it is not a professional camera or even one of the super-high grade point and shoots. Second, it’s target audience will probably not care for some of the things mentioned previously such as noisy image quality. More on this all after the jump.
The Panasonic ZS-7 is a camera designed and made for an audience of people that will almost never take it off of Auto mode, point, shoot and upload to the computer. That’s it really. I’ve discovered this partially from my field testing and also partially from my experiences while bringing the camera around with me.
Allow me to explain: the other night when I posted the first field review, a young man a bit older than myself, who knows little to nothing about technology and cameras tried it out. When I explained lots of the features to him he made a good point. He said, “Why would I use GPS on my camera? If I’m taking a picture of the Eiffel Tower I’m going to remember that it was the Eiffel tower.”
It’s a fair criticism, but I went on to say that it’s the sorting factor when you upload it to your computer and that it is possible for programs to sort your photos by location. Additionally, it has some perks when uploading to someplace like Flickr. He still thought it was a bit crazy and also went on to say that he would never take it off Auto mode because all he wants is just a picture.
That got me thinking: I, a professional with years of training, would leave it exclusively on aperture or manual mode because of my own preferences. This is proof that the camera has versatility, but the image quality alone in low light is something to make me not want to purchase it. The D-Lux 4 and also essentially the LX-3 is much more tailored for my needs as I found in my field review.
The main and new features of this camera that are appealing to the audience (tourists and travelers) have already been tested. They are GPS, Intelligent Resolution, Intelligent Zoom, and Mega O.I.S. Day image quality is fine and low light is lacking, as is standard with almost every point and shoot. If Panasonic goes on to further improve intelligent zoom and resolution they may really, really be up to something.
The HD video quality of this camera was not tested for the mere reason that I personally feel that when you’re buying a point-and-shoot these days you will get comparable quality to some/most consumer grade camcorders.
Embedded below are a couple of more pictures that I shot today during the rain and that wrapped up the testing. My only realy criticisms of the camera are that I wish that it had better battery life, better low light image quality, the GPS would turn itself off automatically when the camera is off (or the battery would improve to keep up with this) and that’s it. Otherwise, you’ve got yourself a very solid camera for spring break or summer vacation.