Display and menus contd...

As well as the ability to choose from any of the 11 focus points manually you can also choose from one of several 'groups'. The intelligent ISO mode (which sets a higher ISO if motion is detected in the scene you are shooting) allows you to select a limit to how high it will go.
Metered manual mode As before there is a useful program shift option when shooting in P mode.
The FZ18 offers fairly comprehensive picture adjustments (including noise reduction). In Intelligent Auto mode menus are reduced and there are fewer options on offer to trip up the inexperienced user.
As when in record mode you can choose the amount of information displayed in playback mode - from nothing at all to full data and histogram (as shown here). Moving the zoom lever to the left ('zoom out') to view nine or 25 thumbnails.
Another option is a calendar type display for browsing images by date Moving the zoom to the right enlarges the playback image. There are only four steps (2x, 4x, 8x and 16x), but it's very quick. The four arrow keys are used to scroll around enlarged images.
The three page playback menu offers the usual array of printing, erasing, protecting and slideshow options. The setup menu - accessible from either playback or record mode - has five pages of basic camera-related settings, from monitor brightness and power management settings to language, sounds and date and time settings.