Wootalyzer’s Pricing Post! - The price of today’s woot item is saved here for future reference
Panasonic Lumix 12.1MP Digital Camera with 4x Optical Zoom
$69.99 + $5 Shipping
DISCLAIMER Wootalyzer! is in no way affiliated with Woot!, and this post may not always be here!
I’m always leery of technology that comes in a bevy of colors.
3.5 stars on Amazon…
How is it compared to: “Panasonic DMC-F2K Lumix 10.1MP Digital Camera with 4x Optical Zoom”
I loved that camera.
sub $100 cameras make up about 35 percent of the point and shoot camera market, but there is a reason these cameras are under $100.
Don’t expect good performance unless you are outside in normal daylight. The tiny sensor, paired with a zoom lens that doesn’t have a very fast aperture, is going to give you very grainy and noisy pictures in low light, every time.
“Extra Optical Zoom” is pretty much a gimmick: Wikipedia explains it’s done by cropping to lower resolution, which is very similar to digital zoom. That is, not optical zoom.
Beware this does not have the Leica lens like the better Panasonic’s have!
It’s “Lesley”—other than that, superb write-up!
I like that these are smaller but still have a 28mm equiv lens. the Panasonics have proved to be good quality cameras. I have the bigger one, and might like a smaller one for my pocket.
I wonder if it’s wi-fi card compatible though…
Ah interesting. people don’t like th quality of the casios at low light either but I found i got good pics on the utra lo-ight setting, if not the highest contrast! So I wonder if anyone’s actually tried this out at low light?
Guys and Gals: It’s $69. The flash unit will cover for most low-light situations and I’ll bet lunch money most buyers can’t see the difference of a Leica lens. Remember - $69 dollars for a brand name camera for taking reasonable point-and-shoot pictures. The best practical feature is the 28mm wide angle - great for parties and outdoors. It should be fine for most casual photographers.
$69 for a NEW Lumix is pretty amazing.
The specs are pretty much standard for a camera of this class. The lens, for example, are standard lens and not the Leicas used in higher end Lumixes. There are two highlights, however.
- Mega Optical Image Stabilizer
REALLY??? A $69 [New] camera with OPTICAL stabilization is pretty much unheard of. Most use electronic stabilization, which is inferior. The latter simply ramps up the ISO and increase shutter speed, which adds a lot of noise. Optical stabilization actually shifts the sensor mechanically to adjust for camera shake. I;m not sure what “Mega” means but it sure sounds nice…
I’m so skeptical about this $69 camera having true Optical stabilization that I’d suggest buyers verify this claim.
- 4x Optical Zoom
Although 5x zoom exists for this class of cameras, 3x is more common. So 4x is pretty nice. And as above, Optical Zoom is better than electronic (digital) zoom
- M-JPEG movie file format records movies in 720p HD format
MJPEG compression is old technology. It is 1/4 as efficient as H.264 compression, which most newer cameras use. However, MJPEG may still be common in a cheap camera of this class. Being less efficient means that you can only hold about 1/4 as much video in the same amount of memory as compared to H.264. For example, a H.264 camera may hold 16 mins of video while this will hold only 4 mins, given the same memory.
Furthermore, it also means that each video clip may be shorter. These cameras limit each clip to a length that the buffer can process (aka compress), while it simultaneously dumps data onto your SD card. In general, clips are limited to about 8-20 mins. Panasonic clips are generally near the low end, so your video clips will be short. That means that it may stop recording during an important scene. And there’s a pause before you can start recording again.
Don’t feel too bad though because even the high end mega-zoom Lumixes use MJPEG. It looks like Panasonic is behind other manufacturers, in terms of video technology.
Low-end optical stabilization usually involved mechanically moving the SENSOR to adjust for camera shake. This saves on battery power as well. This is still considered optical; definitely not electronic which is inferior.
My old Olympus E-100RS had true optical stabilization and it ate up batteries like no tomorrow.
I stand corrected. In my defense, I actually meant to type sensor shift, but Anderson Cooper was making me laugh.
Yes, lens shift is usually only done on high end SLRs, not these point-and-shoots.
You don’t think people will be able to tell when their pictures are two stops darker than they should be?
Maybe not because “should be” assumes that there is an objective point of reference. Speaking for myself as a very casual photographer, I know that I often can’t remember the lighting conditions of when a photo was taken. And of course, people who weren’t there would have no idea whether the camera darkened the scene.
So you’re saying that a cheaper lens would make “their pictures…two stops darker than they should be” as compared to a Leica lens? Why? Aren’t chromatic aberrations and geometric distortions more of an issue than light collection?
Darkness aside, I personally can’t tell the difference of a Leica lens vs some quality no-name glass lens (not plastic!) in a point-and-shoot.
Commenting on a previous post that said
“Guys and Gals: It’s $69. The flash unit will cover for most low-light situations and I’ll bet lunch money most buyers can’t see the difference of a Leica lens.”
??? First of all, a Leica lens isn’t necessarily two stops faster than this one. The Panasonic ZS5/6/7 cameras have Leica lenses with a maximum aperture of 3.3, which is (very slightly) slower than this camera.
And second, of course, that’s not how it works anyway. A slower lens doesn’t get you darker pictures; it just gets you pictures with slower shutter speeds or higher ISOs. The Image Stabilization should help with the former, though the latter may be a problem since these high megapixel/small sensor Panasonics really don’t work well at high ISOs.
Not really seeing much in the way of aftermarket replacement batteries for the model that works with this particular Lumix. The Panasonic branded replacement battery might have to be the way to go this time.
We are talking about a $69 digital camera here. What is everyone expectation here? I think that this unit will do justice for $69. If I have paid $300 for a digital camera, and get image quality that isn’t any better than the $69 one, then I have something to complaint about. I think for $69 most of us will be satisfied with the image quality. Just don’t expect that indoor photos of group will be good or comparing the image quality to that of a much more expensive digital camera with a lot more features set.