Why Buy A Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7

Panasonic ZS7 - Surprising Quality At A Low Price

The two big boys need to watch their backs in the Compact Digital Camera arena. Panasonic is making things very interesting.

There is much talk about Canon and Nikon, and they are without a doubt the big two in digital camera sales. Just check the Amazon best sellers. They dominate that list of most popular cameras off the online shelves.

However, I have been really watching the sales of Panasonic digital cameras, especially the compact digital models. Reviews by experts and buyers alike have been pushing the popularity of Panasonic to the top of the point and shoot market. In fact, many experts and pros think that the Panasonic Lumix LX5 is the best compact camera on the market. Many others are competing for the top spots in categories such as travel and family cameras.

I chose the Panasonic Lumix ZS7 for a couple of reasons, which I will explain below. First, take a look at the sample photos below.


Sample Images and a Digital SLR comparison

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Colby was watching me take the new Panasonic Lumix ZS7 out of the box, so he was my first subject... uncut and unedited.Snow is very difficult to get right, but this camera did pretty well. This was taken at widest angle - 25mm. Color is excellent.This is taken from the same position as the above photo, zoomed in at 12x (300mm equivalent). I was extremely surprised (and pleased) at the quality.I love macro photography, so one of my first photos was this close up of some rocks in the ice. I was again pleasantly surprised.Night photography is the hardest.. but this one turned out great using "intelligent auto". Another challenge.. inside the doctor's office, moving fish, low light. A few didn't turn out because the fish moved out of the focal area, but this one did.City Place "Dancing Waters". I set the camera on the edge of the concrete pool for this one. Great color and a nice effect of water flowing.
Colby was watching me take the new Panasonic Lumix ZS7 out of the box, so he was my first subject... uncut and unedited.
Colby was watching me take the new Panasonic Lumix ZS7 out of the box, so he was my first subject... uncut and unedited.
Snow is very difficult to get right, but this camera did pretty well. This was taken at widest angle - 25mm. Color is excellent.
Snow is very difficult to get right, but this camera did pretty well. This was taken at widest angle - 25mm. Color is excellent.
This is taken from the same position as the above photo, zoomed in at 12x (300mm equivalent). I was extremely surprised (and pleased) at the quality.
This is taken from the same position as the above photo, zoomed in at 12x (300mm equivalent). I was extremely surprised (and pleased) at the quality.
I love macro photography, so one of my first photos was this close up of some rocks in the ice. I was again pleasantly surprised.
I love macro photography, so one of my first photos was this close up of some rocks in the ice. I was again pleasantly surprised.
Night photography is the hardest.. but this one turned out great using "intelligent auto".
Night photography is the hardest.. but this one turned out great using "intelligent auto".
Another challenge.. inside the doctor's office, moving fish, low light. A few didn't turn out because the fish moved out of the focal area, but this one did.
Another challenge.. inside the doctor's office, moving fish, low light. A few didn't turn out because the fish moved out of the focal area, but this one did.
City Place "Dancing Waters". I set the camera on the edge of the concrete pool for this one. Great color and a nice effect of water flowing.
City Place "Dancing Waters". I set the camera on the edge of the concrete pool for this one. Great color and a nice effect of water flowing.

Why Did I Buy The Panasonic Lumix ZS7?

I write a lot about cameras because I love photography AND I love those things that make the pictures. Cameras intrigue me, the digital kind, that is. Film cameras are awesome in the right hands, but my hands are not the right ones.

I spent way too much money on horrid prints from my film camera for years. The cost is what kept the camera in the drawer. Then when I had to use it again for a birthday, the battery would be dead. It just wasn't a good experience.

The Digital Age solved those problems. Now, I take tons and tons of pictures, and I am even getting better at it, just from practicing.

I ended up buying a Canon Rebel, then a Canon 30D, both are digital SLRs. These are awesome cameras, but I wanted something that I could carry everywhere without the bulk and heft of the camera equipment case.

When the research started, I was drawn to Panasonic in spite of my love for Canon because of the great reviews their Compact Digital Cameras were getting. I waited a long time before finally making my decision to get the Lumix ZS7. In fact, I waited 2 model releases. First, there was the Lumix ZS3, then the ZS5. For me, that is a remarkable amount of patience.

But I am glad I waited. Camera technology has advanced by leaps and bounds. The Panasonic Lumix ZS7 has all the features I wanted with the exception of the movable LCD screen. I just didn't want to spend an extra $50-$100 to get that one item.

More Experimental Shots With the Panasonic Lumix ZS7

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Taken in a Candy Store - night time with low light and NO flash. Ya gotta love "Intelligent Auto"Same Candy Store, using Intelligent Auto with the Flash on. (The color is correct here.. the candy store was very pink)Same picture as the previous, but this time the Flash was disabled. Hand held this one and no sign of blur - this is pretty amazing for a point and shoot camera!This one was taken with camera set to the Sepia mode. Again, indoors (low light) and hand-held. This time the flash was enabled, but still very impressive image quality.The camera again was impressive as this shot of a pine cone being coated in peanut butter and bird seed (got stolen by squirrels fairly soon after being put out) was taken in macro mode, indoors, no flash.This is NOT a mistake. There is a creative setting that allows you to take photos that will either slim you or make you wider. Colby was very cooperative as I took this shot of him at the widest setting. Kind of like a Carnival mirror.
Taken in a Candy Store - night time with low light and NO flash. Ya gotta love "Intelligent Auto"
Taken in a Candy Store - night time with low light and NO flash. Ya gotta love "Intelligent Auto"
Same Candy Store, using Intelligent Auto with the Flash on. (The color is correct here.. the candy store was very pink)
Same Candy Store, using Intelligent Auto with the Flash on. (The color is correct here.. the candy store was very pink)
Same picture as the previous, but this time the Flash was disabled. Hand held this one and no sign of blur - this is pretty amazing for a point and shoot camera!
Same picture as the previous, but this time the Flash was disabled. Hand held this one and no sign of blur - this is pretty amazing for a point and shoot camera!
This one was taken with camera set to the Sepia mode. Again, indoors (low light) and hand-held. This time the flash was enabled, but still very impressive image quality.
This one was taken with camera set to the Sepia mode. Again, indoors (low light) and hand-held. This time the flash was enabled, but still very impressive image quality.
The camera again was impressive as this shot of a pine cone being coated in peanut butter and bird seed (got stolen by squirrels fairly soon after being put out) was taken in macro mode, indoors, no flash.
The camera again was impressive as this shot of a pine cone being coated in peanut butter and bird seed (got stolen by squirrels fairly soon after being put out) was taken in macro mode, indoors, no flash.
This is NOT a mistake. There is a creative setting that allows you to take photos that will either slim you or make you wider. Colby was very cooperative as I took this shot of him at the widest setting. Kind of like a Carnival mirror.
This is NOT a mistake. There is a creative setting that allows you to take photos that will either slim you or make you wider. Colby was very cooperative as I took this shot of him at the widest setting. Kind of like a Carnival mirror.

Why Should You Buy A Panasonic Lumix ZS7?

You should buy a Panasonic Lumix ZS7 because I did. LOL

Really, there are some very compelling reasons for making this purchase when faced with such a wide variety of choices in the Compact Digital Camera market. This list may sound a bit like just another "feature list" but there are reasons attached to each of the items below. Be sure to pay attention to what makes that particular item stand out for the ZS7.

  1. Flexibility - this one camera can handle just about any situation you can throw at it. It has a great lens with 12x zoom so you can get wide angle shots or very up-close and personal from quite a distance. Intelligent Auto is just that - Intelligent AND automatic - no need to think about what settings are needed if in a hurry to get the shot. It will fit into a very small carrying case or a pocket or purse so that it is available any time you need it (no heavy bags to tote around).
  2. Image Quality - This is one area that is critical in any camera purchase. If the camera does everything but wash your windows, but it doesn't take good pictures, it is garbage. The Panasonic Lumix ZS7 gives excellent quality photos for a compact camera. Photos can be printed as large as 16" x 20".
  3. Ease Of Use - It is really important to be able to use a digital camera without having to sort through a bunch of menus to find what you want. The "Intelligent Auto" makes this camera really easy to get great photos at the drop of a hat. However, when you want to select your own settings, that is also quite easy and intuitive. The dial at the top for selecting the mode is very simple, and the rear navigation system is the same as it has been for quite awhile, making finding your way around very unintimidating. Keep in mind, though, that reading the camera manual is VERY important. There are things in there that you may find interesting and not know about unless you read the manual.
  4. Cost - All of this for under $300. Considering all the above mentioned benefits, this is a steal.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7

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