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Old Jun 22, 2005, 8:57 AM   #1
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Hi all, forgive me - a Pana user;-) popping into your forum, but I'm seeking a bit of advice.

I have a friend who is on the lookout for a new Camera. His budget is VERY tight. He requires a reasonable zoom, GOOD macro, able to take pics in low light (poss night), and it must be fairly small and light and possible offer a bit of versatililty.

After racking my brains I rememberd the Dimage Z10. Would this meet his requirements do you think?At the moment they are going for a good price on Ebay and with a bit of help he can just about afford one.

Any comments very welcome indeed.

many thanks, Woody
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Old Jun 22, 2005, 4:18 PM   #2
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If he needs a decent zoom, then the Z10 might be the only game in town at that price point. It doesn't have a focus assist lamp so low light shots might be troublesome ( I haven't taken many). The macro mode is great and it's very good on batteries. Steve's sample pics show a lot of reddishness ( using auto white balance) but I haven't noticed this in my shotsexcept when taking pictures around dawn. The Imaging Resource review mentions this:
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Night Shots: Good low-light performance, with bright, usable images in almost total darkness, autofocus and EVF both work down to a bit darker than half typical city street lighting. The Z10 produced clear, bright, usable images down to the 1/16 foot-candle (0.67 lux) limit of my test, at all four ISO settings. Color balance was reddish with the Auto white balance setting, and the red cast increased as the light level decreased.

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Old Jun 23, 2005, 8:52 AM   #3
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ukwoody wrote:
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Hi all, forgive me - a Pana user;-) popping into your forum, but I'm seeking a bit of advice.

I have a friend who is on the lookout for a new Camera. His budget is VERY tight. He requires a reasonable zoom, GOOD macro, able to take pics in low light (poss night), and it must be fairly small and light and possible offer a bit of versatililty.

After racking my brains I rememberd the Dimage Z10. Would this meet his requirements do you think?At the moment they are going for a good price on Ebay and with a bit of help he can just about afford one.

Any comments very welcome indeed.

many thanks, Woody
Well, I'm a UK-based Panasonic user too (FZ20) - and I just bought a K-M Z10 on impulse as a backup (well, that's how I'm justifying it))! Your friend might not need to go to eBay - Boots were selling the Z10 at £89.99 when I spotted it and although they're rapidly running out of stock, Jessops Photo are now doing it at that price too. Both shops are very good about helping if a camera proves unsuitable.

However, I'm rather impressed with it. The weird looks become less frightening after a while(!) and the results are good - the spec is amazingly complete (especially given the price) - the only obvious cost-savings are that the movies are silent and "only" 15 fps, and of course that there's no hotshoe or image stablizer. Surprisingly, the 8x zoom doesn't immediately strike you as noticeably less powerful than a 10x or even 12x zoom, though of course it doesn't have quite the reach. The camera is very fast to switch on (almost instant), largely because its lens doesn't extend at all from the body, which also makes it feel more robust thanmany other superzoom cameras. Similarly the flash doesn't need to pop up either, again making it feel fast and robust to handle. Optical performance is good - excellent white balance, low noise and sharp lens (a bit of barrel distortion at the wide end and a vulnerability to flare in the middle of the zoom range are the negatives I've noticed). However, it has a 43mm filter thread so an appropriate hood would solve the latter - if not a hand held up in the right position cures it! The flash is powerful and well-controlled, macro ability is good, and all the little luxuries are still there (live histogram, dioptre control, +/-2 eV flash output control, bracketing, etc.). It also manages to run longer on 4 AA Duracell Ultra M3 batteries than many cameras do on 4 AA NiMH rechargeables!

Saving of images is a bit more sedate than the rest of the camera's speed leads you to expect, but not bad. No need to try speeding it up by searching out a fast SD card, it seems to stay the same.


It's easy to hold and use one-handed and doesn't feel heavy. It is plasticky, but doesn't feel fragile at all. The switch-finder sounds better (smoother and better-damped) than I recall it did on the Z1 and so far (fingers crossed) it hasn't got stuck which I Z1 I tried did. At this price, highly recommended.

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Old Jun 23, 2005, 10:29 AM   #4
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many thanks guys for your responses especially digigal for such an in depth review!

It looks like the way to go, so I'll let you know in a week or so.

many thanks again, Woody
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Old Jun 23, 2005, 11:32 PM   #5
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Now I have used my Z10 a little more I believe I did not make a bad choice - excellent value for money!! For such a low price you get a long telephoto zoom! I also really like the fact the lens does NOT extend when the camera is switched on - good for attaching third-party lens converters (my Canon tele and wide converters for camcorders work very well on this camera!!) Battery life is excellent! Startup time is excellent! Image quality is decent to good. I am not bashing this camera, however, comparing with my trusty ol' Coopix 990, the optical quality of the Z10 is not up to par - I guess the Z10 may use plastic elements, that could also explain the light weight. Well, what you pay is what you get! Still the word is good value! The Z20 is basically the same camera with more pixel (4MP), and a little more expensive, but you are right: Z10 is on the way out so grab the bargains while you can!!
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Old Jun 25, 2005, 3:40 AM   #6
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Well, I've just ordered him one off ebay £75 (3 months old) (Note, Boots had sold out thanks). I'll let you all know how he's got on in a week or so.

Once again thanks all

Woody
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Old Jun 25, 2005, 10:43 PM   #7
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Pana user here too. FZ1v2, FZ10, FZ20, LC40s

I have the Z10 and very impressed with its focus speed. It does leave a reddish cast using Auto Modeand using PP has been a bit troublesome is the only drawback I see.

Fast start-up and takes good pictures. I like it due the lightness and the ergonomics.

Excellent camera for the price.
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Old Jun 30, 2005, 2:25 PM   #8
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Hi all, well my friend got his Z10, andseems to be very happy with it. Thanks once again for all your input.

Kind regards

Woody
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