Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ5 Review

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ5 (starting at $150, Amazon) is a Wi-Fi camera, so you can quickly and wirelessly share your photos on social-networking sites. However, reviewers have found that this feature isn't enough to redeem the camera's lackluster image quality. A Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ5 review from Steve's Digicams notes the resolution of the 3-inch LCD, which is 230K dots -- no higher than you see on cameras more than $50 cheaper and lower than on one of our top budget picks. Like so many point-and-shoot cameras, this one struggles to snap good-looking photos in low light, according to reviews. The images generally lack sharpness, experts say, and digital noise or graininess shows up in the background. A reviewer from Digital Camera Info grants that the wireless feature is attractive and useful, but the camera proves slow and photos taken in low light look messy. The review concludes that this Wi-Fi camera is forgettable. An expert from Imaging Resource reaches a similar conclusion: Unless you absolutely must have a Wi-Fi camera, there are other, better cameras you can buy for about the same price.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ5 is a 14.1MP camera with 10x optical zoom and optical image stabilization. Its ISO range is the typical 100 to 1600, although it also has a "high sensitivity" mode that goes up to 6400 for shooting in very low light. This model features a 3-inch LCD. In addition to Wi-Fi support, the camera has a USB 2.0 connection for uploading images to a PC and uses SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards.

Overall the performance of the DMC-SZ5 disappoints and the wireless feature alone is not enough to sell the camera, especially when it costs so much more than the best budget models. You're better off saving some money or seeking a better camera in the same price range.

Michael Sweet

Michael Sweet writes about consumer electronics. If something runs on electricity or ones and zeroes, he's interested in it. Sweet has written about PC technology and consumer electronics for 14 years.

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