Originally Posted by ZZFan
... It has, in my opinion, the best image quality even if the zoom is only 18x compared to the longer zooms of the other two.
Zoom range is becoming the new marketing-oriented feature (as the number of megapixels was until recently when some manufacturers stated that 10-12 MP should suffice). Proof of that is Canon's new G11, which replaces the somewhat popular G10. The G11 is a 10 MP camera while the G10 is a 14 MP. Panasonic is hardly ever the first to jump to new grounds when it comes to zoom range. The reason IMO is that they want to be sure that IQ remain as high with a lens that has longer FL as with the existing lens. Most other brands feel that it is better to be at the leading edge even though IQ is degraded. Olympus is a good example. They are usually the first to come up with new models introducing longer and longer zoom lenses. However, those cameras produce soft images at the long end of the zoom, tons of PF and CA, focus inaccuracy, and the list goes on and on. So, with Panasonic you know that when a 24x zoom camera gets released, it is a good one.