Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ7 Review
Externally the FZ7 is bears a close family resemblance to its predecessors, the FZ3 and FZ4/FZ5, though it's a lot curvier and a little larger. That said, as with the FZ5, the first thing you notice is how small it is - especially compared to big brother the FZ30. Some of the external controls have been moved - partly to make way for the larger (2.5-inch) LCD, partly because of the welcome addition of the joystick (first seen on the LX1), which offers quick access to important features not covered by other buttons (as well as controlling the FZ7's new manual focus option).
Side by side
Next to the FZ5 the FZ7 looks a little bigger (because it is), and a whole lot prettier. The lens, from what we can tell, is exactly the same as on the previous model.
In your hand
The small size doesn't harm the FZ7's handling one bit. Quite the opposite in fact; the camera feels stable, safe and solid, and operation of the main controls (zoom and shutter release) is very easy. The excellent handling - along with the image stabilization - means the FZ7 feels perfectly safe to use with one hand. It is very well balanced and not too heavy (though inevitably you'll get less camera shake if you support the right side of the camera with your 'spare' hand).
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