The Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7 is a "great little camera, due in part to the 'little' factor," says Jim Keenan at DigitalCameraReview.com. At 6.9 ounces, this compact ultra-zoom is small enough to slip into a pocket, yet packs a 12x zoom lens capable of close-ups and wide-angle shots. The ZS7 has straightforward buttons and menus, automatic settings and gorgeous 3-inch LCD that adjusts to sunlight. It also adds a few key features not seen in this product line: manual aperture and shutter priority settings for more control, and integrated GPS for tagging photos when you travel. "Creative photographers will love the extra flexibility," says Mark Goldstein at PhotographyBlog.com, even though the GPS feature drains battery life.
Critics praise the ZS7's 25 mm to 300 mm zoom range and optical image stabilization. The zoom also works in video mode, a rare feature. However, Keenan reports some barrel distortion at the telephoto end, and CNET's Joshua Goldman pegs shooting performance as "pretty average" for its class. Image quality earns high scores, though critics agree the ZS7 isn't the best for low-light conditions. The camera lacks an optical viewfinder and RAW (uncompressed image file) support, and the 300-shot battery life is a bit short. Nevertheless, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7 ranks among the top 10 ultra-zooms at CNET and is named an Editor's Choice at DigitalCameraReview.com. If you're not interested in the GPS feature, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS5 (Discontinued) is a great alternative.
Professional photography sites offer comprehensive reviews of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7. PhotographyBlog.com, Imaging-Resource.com and DCResource.com conduct in-depth testing paired with meticulous write-ups and sample photos. Brief reviews at CNET and DigitalCameraReview.com are easier to digest yet still cover key features and performance issues.
Mark Goldstein praises the manual shooting modes on the DMC-ZS7 (also known as the TZ10), but he's disappointed there isn't RAW mode "to really sweeten the deal." Nevertheless, he places the versatile ZS7 ahead of rivals.
Review: Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10 Review, Mark Goldstein, March 10, 2010
When compared, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7 and Sony HXV5 are "both intelligent -- but their personalities are very different," say Mike Pasini and Zig Weidelich. The Panasonic offers more control with an easier-to-read GPS, although both cameras place the flash where it's prone to being blocked by large hands.
Review: Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7, Mike Pasini and Zig Weidelich, March 12, 2010
Jeff Keller compares the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7 to its predecessor, the DMC-ZS3, and its "little brother," the DMC-ZS5. While the ZS7 benefits from manual controls, improved image stabilization and GPS, he says the reduction from 40 MB to 15 MB of internal memory is a "step backward," given that it holds "just two photos" at the highest-quality setting.
Review: Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7, Jeff Keller, March 22, 2010
Jim Keenan finds little to dislike on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7. The versatile lens and the camera's ability to crank out solid images earn it the coveted Editor's Choice status despite the omission of an optical viewfinder and some pincushion barrel distortion in the telephoto lens range.
Review: Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7 Review, Jim Keenan, March 24, 2010
CNET's Joshua Goldman says the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7 is a "very good, fully loaded compact megazoom," with plenty of features for experimenting. While photo quality ranges from very good to excellent, he concedes that the ZS7 will "disappoint" when it comes to low-light levels and shutter lag is a "bit long."
Review: Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7 (Blue), Joshua Goldman, March 9, 2010
Over 300 owners have posted reviews at Amazon.com. While most users give the Panasonic ZS7 a high rating, about 10 percent are not pleased with their purchase. Those in favor like the manual settings and GPS, but other owners are disappointed by battery issues and poor image quality.
Review: Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7 12.1 MP Digital Camera, Contributors to Amazon.com