I spent some time researching on the internet before buying this brand new Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZZ8 Digital Camera. The camera has all the features I need and within 2 weeks of purchasing it I have taken tons of pictures with this one. The minimum focal length of the camera is 1 mm and this makes it pretty good for taking close-up snaps.
The telephoto feature is awesome the Image stabilization works perfectly. The camera provides high quality HD video similar to my dedicated HD camcorder. The menus and controls are self-explanatory and intuitive. For some of the trivial controls, I refered to the product manual and figured it out easily.
I have already used Fujifilm as well as Canon before purchasing this one, and once I got it I was thinking how I could get used to this new camera. The LCD screen provided with the camera is bright and clear at outdoors. The joystick provided is perfect for manual focus and it's easy to make very fine adjustments with it. The auto-focus feature also works pretty well. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ28 Digital Camera has good battery life.
Some of the cons of this camera include autofocus in short distance which does not work pretty well even when the spot AF feature is enabled. The same holds true for telephoto macro shots when the camera is placed very near to the minimum focal distance for the particular zoom distance. For taking these types of shots, I prefer using manual focus. These features worked pretty well with my old Nikon camera. The battery as well as memory card compartments are not accessible when we place this camera over a tripod. The raw image format for this camera is RW2 which can be read only with Panasonic software.
This camera is good for travel purposes as long as we carry it in nice soft pouch. It takes some time to active the quick menu feature which is to avoid the accidental pressing of buttons when we use joystick for focusing the camera. The burst mode does not have any significant usage in this camera.
For taking such snaps, I would suggest taking a video and then using the camera's review mode to take snaps from it. The shutter lag and repeat between the shots is quite long which is one small negative that I would say about this Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ28 Digital Camera.
The face detection works pretty well with priority mode and its good for capturing pictures of people especially friends and family. I haven't tried using the intelligent auto mode as I am not sure of its benefits.
The quick menu allows changing the exposure options swiftly so as to sharpen or blur the backgrounds very fast. I would suggest this Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZZ8 Digital Camera for people like me who expect some significant control over the pictures taken and capture anything on the go without having the need to take a bag full of lenses like the DSLR camera.