Panasonic is said to have some of the best digital cameras out there - they use some of the best lenses (Leica) and have excellent image quality. I got camera buff friends to help me choose. I always choose what are termed 'hybrids' or 'bridge' cameras because they allow you a lot of manual flexibility, lots of shooting options, but all in a very small body that doesn't require any changing of lenses. This camera was great for what it was supposed to do - excellent zoom (16x optical) capacity, in-body flash, good metering, 16 MP for blowing photos up or using photoshop to crop, incredible abilities in macro modes (this was what the camera was best at). Here's the problem: from about the 6th month on, the zoom button was sticky and wouldn't work optimally. Henry's was not helpful - saying it always happens in inexpensive ($300) cameras. I also found that the colours in the photos were not as beautiful as on my old Canon. In zoom and even in regular mode, there was a lot of blur which I didn't get in prior cameras. Just when I was getting very good at using it, and past it's 1-year warranty, the seal of the lens gave way through no misuse. Dust got into the camera, and there is no way to clean it from the lens - and the cost of sending it to Panasonic to be assessed is the cost of a new camera. It's clearly not made well to have so many problems - and I've seen this Panasonic problem listed elsewhere too. I am SO careful with my cameras that I still own every camera I've ever bought.... and they all work. I was very angry - and won't buy unreliable Panasonic again.
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