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This camera is great. Its the closet it can be to being a SLR without actually being a SLR! It comes with a leica lens (the best lense manaffacture around), and its best feature of all, 12x Optical zoom, which means not having to buy Zoom Lenses for the camera. I have taking this camera hill walking for around 8 months now, and have taking some great photos, and the picture quality is amazing. There are low level of noise on the pictures and the Image Stabilizer really does help when your zooming in at 12x! Also, changing Aperture and Exposure times are easy to do with the cameras easy-to-use menus which help all ages to use this camera and through the ease of menus, it helps this camera be a great asset to even beginners into the world of Digital Photography. So many pre-settings on this camera help you to be able to really get the most of the camera through a mode dial on the camera helping you switch from manual to video with a turn of a dial. Using a Lith-ion battey, fully charged using the provided charger, you will get about 200-300 shots, which is pretty good, but unfortunately there is no way to get this camera to be able to use good old AA batterys.
There are a couple of things which let this camera down. The manual focus feature is not great. The LCD screen does not help you to clearly tell between focused and un-focused, while the EVF still does not help this function to be any better. Also, there could be a better start-up time for the camera and batter life if there were a manual zoom, as everytime you start up the camera, you have to wait for the lense to retract from 12x to 1x. Its a great camera if you are an enthusiastic in the art of photography and being 5 megapixels it means photos can be printed at A4 with a breeze and just about A3 size.
Overall, 5 Megapixels, Built-In Flash, EVF, Manual Focus, Video, Image Stabilizer, Easy-to-use menus are just a handful of great features this camera offers, and for under £400, its a bargain.
Full Technical Specifications :-
Resolution: 5 megapixels (2560x1920) Viewfinders: EVF (electronic viewfinder) and 2.0" color LCD Lens: f2.8/36-432mm (35mm equivalent) all-glass Leica DC-VARIO ELMARIT zoom (13 elements in 8 groups with 3 aspherical surfaces to control optical distortion and one ED element to improve contrast and color). Auto Focus: 9 AF point Contrast Detection Exposure Modes: Auto, Program, Scene modes, Shutter priority, Aperture priority, and full Manual modes. Flash: Built-in Multi Mode Hot Shoe: Yes Metering: Multi-Segment Evaluative, Center-Weighted, and Spot Exposure Compensation: Yes /-2EV in 1/3EV increments Noise Reduction: Yes-Automatic on shutter speeds of one second or longer Image Formats: TIFF and JPEG Sensitivity: TTL Auto, 80, 100, 200, & 400 ISO equivalents White Balance: TTL auto, Pre-sets (Daylight, Cloudy, Halogen, and flash) plus a retrieve prior WB setting and a Manual WB setting Image Storage: SD/MMC Connectivity: USB, A/V out, DC in, Audio in Power: Panasonic CGA-S002E 7.2v/680mAh Li-ion battery pack