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Old Jan 16, 2011, 4:40 PM   #1
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Default GPS in Panasonic ZS7

I am planning to buy either a Panasonic ZS5 or ZS7. I have been leaning toward the ZS5 because it is cheaper. From what I can tell, the main difference is that the screen is smaller, no GPS and not quite as good video. I don't care about the video, because I doubt I'll use it much anyway. I'm not really sure how the GPS works or what I would do with it. Can someone tell me what you do with the GPS? And what exactly is geotagging? Is this something that I'll wish I had? Because if it really is worth the extra $40 or $50, I'll go for the ZS7. In general, I don't like to pay extra money for things that I wouldn't use, but if GPS in cameras is the "wave of the future", then maybe it's wise to go ahead and get it. Thanks for the help!
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Old Jan 16, 2011, 4:51 PM   #2
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Some people call it a gimmick, some call it a necessity ... For me it's a nice bonus but definitely not an essential. GPS tags can be used for example, with certain programs to display your photo locations on a map. The ZS7 has a number of improvements over the ZS5 so I think it's worth it for that alone. I think the ZS7 is quite the deal even at its regular price of ~$239.
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Old Jan 16, 2011, 9:39 PM   #3
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I bought the ZS7 and may never use the GPS, but it also has a 3" screen. I think the ZS7 is the way to go. When I bought mine it was 15 or 16 dollars cheaper than the ZS6.
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Old Jan 16, 2011, 9:58 PM   #4
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Thanks for the feedback. The ZS6 is about $20 cheaper than the ZS7 on Amazon, but I don't recognize the company that is selling it...Bargainhunters...I think I'll go for the ZS7 at $244. Seems like a good enough price, and who knows? Maybe I'll actually use the GPS someday!
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Old Jan 17, 2011, 12:21 PM   #5
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I believe the ZS5 has the same size LCD (3"), but with lower resolution. The ZS7 offers better LCD (much better actually) and dedicated video button (very handy) and to me, these two features alone are worth the difference in price.
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Old Jan 17, 2011, 3:06 PM   #6
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I am definitely getting the ZS7. In the past, I have been guilty of being "penny-wise, pound-foolish" so I think it'll be worthwhile to spend a little bit extra in order to gain the extra options. Plus, I have a credit on Amazon from a gift return, so that will more than make up the difference! :-)
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Old Jan 17, 2011, 3:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acscoggins View Post
Thanks for the feedback. The ZS6 is about $20 cheaper than the ZS7 on Amazon, but I don't recognize the company that is selling it...Bargainhunters...I think I'll go for the ZS7 at $244. Seems like a good enough price, and who knows? Maybe I'll actually use the GPS someday!
acscoggins, I'm in almost exactly the same position as you. Debating whether to get the ZS5 or the ZS7. But from what you wrote I think you may be confusing the ZS5 with the ZS6 (or was it just a typo?) The ZS6 is/was a special model, with features intermediate of those of the ZS5 and the ZS7, and it was sold exclusively by Costco. As far as I know the ZS6 is now out of stock and unlikely to be restocked.
Regarding Amazon's prices, I've just checked and the lowest price for the ZS5 is $ 180 (by a vendor with a 98% positive feedback). That's $ 70 cheaper than the ZS7 which is going for $ 250.
Considering this, I think I'll go with the ZS5. I don't think I can get a better camera than that for less than $ 200.
I just wanted to post this in case it's useful for you (or anyone else).
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Old Jan 17, 2011, 4:21 PM   #8
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$180 is from 6th Ave. The ZS7 is $237 from 6th Ave. So comparing apples to apples there is a $57 difference between the 2 cameras. If buying from 6th Ave though, keep in mind that you will most likely not be able to return the camera, even within the return period. I have been shopping with them for 16 years and they are extremely strict about returns.

- The ZS7 has a 3" screen with 460k resolution; the ZS5 has a 2.7" screen with 230k resolution
- The ZS7 has two custom "My Scene" settings; ZS5 has one.
- The ZS7 has a built-in GPS; ZS5 has none.
- ZS7 also has stereo sounds; ZS5 has mono.
- ZS7 has better video quality.
- ZS7 has a dedicated video button; ZS5 does not.
- ZS7 has a faster max shutter speed (1/2000 vs 1/1300)
- ZS7 has an HDMI connector; ZS5 has none.
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Old Jan 17, 2011, 4:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FiveO View Post
$180 is from 6th Ave. The ZS7 is $237 from 6th Ave. So comparing apples to apples there is a $57 difference between the 2 cameras. If buying from 6th Ave though, keep in mind that you will most likely not be able to return the camera, even within the return period. I have been shopping with them for 16 years and they are extremely strict about returns.

- The ZS7 has a 3" screen with 460k resolution; the ZS5 has a 2.7" screen with 230k resolution
- The ZS7 has two custom "My Scene" settings; ZS5 has one.
- The ZS7 has a built-in GPS; ZS5 has none.
- ZS7 also has stereo sounds; ZS5 has mono.
- ZS7 has better video quality.
- ZS7 has a dedicated video button; ZS5 does not.
- ZS7 has a faster max shutter speed (1/2000 vs 1/1300)
- ZS7 has an HDMI connector; ZS5 has none.
Thanks for your reply, FiveO. I wasn't aware of 6th Ave's strict return policy. However, in my case, it doesn't make much of a difference. I don't live in the USA (or even near it). I'm going to have it shipped to a friend's address in California who in turn will bring it with him when he comes visit us in February. So, in my particular case, returns were (unfortunately) out of the question from the get go.
Regarding the other points you mentioned, I'm weel aware of the differences between the two models. I've been doing a lot of research to narrow down my choice. Btw, this forum have been invaluably useful for that, particularly your posts and Sarah's. I'll use the camera mainly for taking pics, not video, so I don't care much about the video, sound and dedicated button differences. The GPS is of relative value to me, and I don't need the HDMI connector. Also, I don't think I'm a good enough photographer so that the 1/1300 shutter speed against the 1/2000 will limit my pictures (I wish it did!)
On the other hand, I'll probably miss the better screen and, maybe, the second custom "My scene" setting. But just those differences don't justify the price difference in my particular case, given that the two cameras have essentially the same photographic capabilities (same lens, same sensor, same processing unit)
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Old Jan 17, 2011, 5:44 PM   #10
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FiveO, since you have been shopping with 6th Ave for such a long time, would you recommend them? Amazon's price is just slightly higher than 6th Ave's, so I'll probably stick with Amazon anyway, but I'm curious as to your experience with 6th Ave.
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