Third reason to buy is something called Intelligent Auto.

Before you buy your Panasonic Lumix ZS7 digital camera, there are a few things you need to consider. No, make that 5 things to consider.

Before getting to the list, let your mind be at ease about purchasing a camera that is not made by Canon or Nikon. They are obviously the leaders in camera sales, but that does not mean another brand does not match up to their quality. In fact, Panasonic has been a leader in the digital compact market for a few years now. They are a quiet leader, drawing attention to their products with quality and performance that is second to none.

I personally just bought a Panasonic Lumix ZS7, and I can assure you that it is an amazing piece of photographic equipment. I have been a long-time digital SLR owner, and I still contend that they are superior to point and shoot cameras in terms of image quality, but that is not an issue up for discussion. Practically everyone will admit that it is true. The sensor size is the determining factor in image quality, and until someone can figure out how to get a large sensor into a point and shoot camera, it will always be the case.

That being said, let’s get to the list of reasons for buying a Panasonic Lumix ZS7.

First, there is the ease of use. There are a couple of reasons to buy compact cameras, and the most popular one is that they are “point and shoot”. You want to be able to take out your camera and take the picture without fuss or fiddling with dials and settings. This little Panasonic will fill the bill.

Second is the image quality. If you realize that you will not get the pixel quality of a digital SLR, you will be far ahead of the game here. Truth is that compacts are getting better with every release. This one is no exception. I put mine through the paces and was extremely happy with the image results in every situation. With a 12-megapixel sensor, you get pictures that can be printed at 16×22 inches (at 180 ppi). Now, that’s a huge picture.

Third reason to buy is something called Intelligent Auto. I absolutely LOVE this feature. There is a setting on the top camera dial for this, and when set the camera does all the thinking for you. It recognizes the proper settings for lighting and composition. How the camera knows it’s a people picture as opposed to a landscape, I have no idea, and I don’t care. It’s simply amazing. It gets the lighting right at night, too. Another great facet of Intelligent Auto is that you can set it to No Flash and get excellent lighting in your photo. Did I say that I love this feature?

Fourth is the super zoom lens. The equivalent of 25mm to 300mm focal lengths are available. I did a little test in the snow to see how well this works with respect to image quality at 300mm. I took a picture at 25mm of a bird house in my yard, then zoomed to 300mm and took the same picture. Both were very good quality with no hint of distortion. I will say that they were not as sharp at my digital SLR image taken at the same time and place, but I already explained why this is true. I was quite happy with the results. Panasonic uses Leica lenses on their compact cameras, a very high quality result.

Fifth and finally is Price. I was looking for a great camera that I could carry everywhere without having to haul my massive camera bag along. With the Panasonic ZS7, I get great image quality with a camera that I can stick in a pocket. The price was only about $250. I feel that is very reasonable for what I got in this camera.