After the usual searches of the usual sources for info/recommendations on the usual brands, I ended up with something entirely different. Just happened across a review of the Lumix and was hooked. I haven't tried everything yet, but I mostly like what I have tried so far. The first thing I noticed on the camera was a real on/off switch, NOT a button! Love that. Then I noticed the lens was threaded for filters, just like a "real" camera. Nice thing is, it's 52mm, which is the filter size of my old 35mm camera, so I had a UV filter ready to be used. I like the view finder, I sometimes prefer to use same, and it's optically compensated. The digital display is large and clear and can be swiveled in various directions, making it easy to get those not-head-on shots. And when it's not being used, it can be flipped around so it's protected in transit. It can shoot RAW format which, while I rarely need it, is definitely nice to have for certain photos. Ditto for its 3D ability. It has all sorts of high-speed options and you can choose how long (or not at all) you want an image to display after you take the shot. I've found only a few annoyances so far. The big one is the (now standard) lack of a real manual. Hard to believe, Panasonic, but not everyone has a computer! And no computer is as handy to carry in my pocket as a manual would be. The other annoying thing is there's no play-only setting to look at your photos. In other words, you must power up the camera in record mode, have the lens extend and then press a button to switch to play mode. This extra in and out wastes battery power. Minor annoyances are interface related. The camera comes with a USB cable but it's too short to be very practical. And, while it has HDMI capability, the camera does not include a cable for same. I'll try to post a follow-up after I've used the camera for a while. I expect I'll be quite happy with it.
This camera is better than I imagined, still learning how to use it but it has exceeded my expectations. ONLY problem was with the charger, it was non USA compatible and trying to explain that to the service people was so frustrating I gave up and ordered the correct one from a different company along with a spare battery...which is a good idea to have.
This is my 3rd Sony P&S camera and by far the best.. I have owned SLR but wanted the versatility of the 50X zoom, and the CMOS chip. I just took pictures of my grandson 's graduation shooting from the stands about a hundred feet away for a close-up of his face and the image was great but what blew my mind was it picked up a single wild blond hair of the girl next to him. Amazing detail, excellent color, great viewfinder - I really like the camera. I shot a recent baseball game in which he pitched using the 11 frames per second and froze his pitch halfway between him and the batter. I also find the 11 F/S great for street photography with people for it allows you to catch some very interesting facial expressions. I belong to a camera club with some members using very expensive SLRs and lens. I have found I can compete with them because of the HX400V's versatility. Don't have to change lens to catch a changing scene so I have gotten shots others missed on field trips. Bugs some that my $450 camera competes with their $5-10K rigs. My first digital camera was a Minolta which Sony bought and has continually increased the quality and cutting edge features. I've found Nikon and Canon users are rally amazed at Sony's quality products. You can download the camera guide book from Sony's site to print out a larger easier to read instruction manual. Read the manual and you will be delighted with all this camera can do. I consistently print 11x17 inch inkjet images of my selected pictures that are very sharp and colorful with great quality and win club awards. So this camera is a real deal for the money.
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