Panasonic has been at the forefront when it comes to launching travel compact cameras and over the past few years has developed legendary cameras most notably of which, the TZ20 was launched last year. However, the brand is now pushing the envelope and are now placing aesthetics as high priority. This is most visible in one of their newest announcements, the Panasonic Lumix SZ1. Read on to know more about this compact camera which has some enticing features.
Single connectivity option at the side
Flap of the battery bay feels sturdy
The other buttons located here, include a four way navigational pad, the menu set button, quick menu and display button, all of which are found at the back. The top of the camera features the toggle switch for powering it on, shutter release button, zoom rocker and a dedicated video recording button. All the buttons are designed well and feel sturdy. The spacing between each option is good too and one may not accidentally press the wrong button. There is only one connectivity option found on this camera and it is a proprietary USB port that can be used for charging the camera as well as syncing with a PC. Like with most compact cameras, this model, too houses the memory card, along with the battery in the battery bay. The flap for the bay is spring loaded and it has a locking mechanism, so the battery does not accidentally pop out.
Summing up this bit of the review, the Lumix SZ1 is designed well and it has a build quality that is very sturdy. There were no complaints about anything in this department.
The Panasonic Lumix SZ1 is pretty loaded with features for a camera at this price point. The highlighted feature of this model is that it comes equipped with a large 10x optical zoom housed in a slim body. This will result in a 35mm camera equivalent of wide angle 25mm to 250mm telephoto. MEGA O.I.S., which is Panasonic's image stabilizing technology aims to reduce the amount of blur in shots used with zoom as well as macro. It also helps in reducing blur, due to accidental hand shaking as well.
Panasonic have added a 16 megapixel CCD sensor on this camera and this should be more than sufficient to print images on large format papers. The maximum resolution supported here is 4608 x 3456 with respect to a 4:3 aspect ratio. However, the addition of a CCD sensor usually results in lower quality images as those cameras that feature a CMOS sensor. This type of sensor does not have a great command over images shot in poor lighting.
The buttons are well spaced
The interface of the camera is extremely easy to use and it is great for those who are using digital cameras for the first time. The menu is well detailed and the text for the options is crisp. In the main menu, there are four major modes, which are normal, intelligent auto, miniature and settings. One can easily adjust the various settings by merely tapping the quick menu option, where one gets greeted with the different menu settings, such as the ability to adjust ISO sensitivity, white balance etc. After using this camera for a while, the only buttons one may find themselves using the most is the quick menu and set button and in the process reduces the need to go into the main menu option.
The brand has added a 3-inch display that sports a resolution of 230000 dots. In terms of quality, we feel that this display is not as great as some of the other cameras that feature resolutions of approximately 460000 dots. Fitted with this display, it should be more than sufficient though for reviewing images shot on the camera itself. Panasonic has loaded this camera with a range of presets that should be sufficient for shooting most subjects in a range of environments. These preset modes, include Portrait, Soft Skin, Scenery, Panorama, Sports, Night Portrait and a host of others. Apart from this, the different modes, which people can shoot in include, Black and white, sepia tone, vivid and a couple more. The camera can record videos in HD 720 at 24fps. Though this is not the best resolution of videos found on cameras, this is passable as the camera falls under the above entry-level segment of cameras. Content of this camera can be recorded on the internal memory as well as by attaching either an SD card, SDHC card or an SDXC card.
Dedicated video recording button at the top
Updated 24 May, 2013, 7:53 pm IST
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