Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18S 8.1 Megapixel Digital Camera Review

 After using the Olympus SP-550UZ, the Canon Powershot S3 IS, the Sony DSC-H9 and the Nikon Coolpix S10 Super Zoom Digital Cameras, I have come to the conclusion that the new Panasonic DMC-FZ18K beats them all on features, performance and quality. I bought mine about a week ago and I am amazed at the quality and sharpness of the photos taken with this camera. Even at the full 18X zoom, the results are spectacular. It starts up quickly and shot to shot times are very fast. Exposures are accurate and being able to quickly access the manual controls and settings is really useful when you want total control over the aperture and shutter speed settings.

The Panasonic Mega OIS image stabilization system is superior to all of the other super zoom cameras. Hand held 18X zoom shots are crystal clear thanks to this stabilization system.

The camera is a little bigger than the DMC-FZ8K but still easy to hold and still retains a nice solid feel when aiming and using the camera.

I will add/update this review after I have had more time using the camera in outdoor and indoor lighting situations.

Feb 2008 Update
I've taken about 400 pictures since acquiring this camera and the image quality at low ISO settings (below 400) is excellent. This camera excels with hand-held long zoom shots attributed to te excellent OIS (optical Image Stabilization) system. In a pinch, you can shoot higher ISO (800-1600) but artifacts still appear and though sharper than the older super-zooms, you can still obtain a decent photo albeit with some graininess.

I have found the flash to be powerful with adequate coverage for up to 25 feet in range. Color balance and white balance are very accurate and the factory settings for sharpness are more than acceptable.

I think the Leica Lens contributes a lot to the sharpness of the image. The latest generation of the Venus Imaging engine makes the camera much more responsive (than competing Super zooms and earlier Lumix Models) with minimal shutter lag and snappy menus and image playback.

For the money, I think this camera is worth every penny. If you want a fast responsive super zoom that can capture those fleeting once in a lifetime photo ops, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18K will handle any photographic challenge you can throw at it swiftly and efficiently.

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