If you do not want to deal with changing lenses all the time then check out the mega zoom Panasonic lumix FZ35. This is the newest from Panasonic and is a completely revamped new camera from Panasonic. This has even better resolution than any other camera and the image stabilization is some of the best. Mega zoom cameras are normally heavy but the Lumix is actually very light and has a comfortable grip.
This zoom is not the greatest of the mega zoom digital cameras as it only has an 18x zoom. But this zoom is more than enough for everyday use. You also have the choice of several different modes such as PASM, preset scenes and intelligent auto. You can also shoot short movies on the Lumix.
Some of the AF options you can choose from include intelligent exposure mode, white balance, ISO sensitivity, light metering, 1 area, tracking, 11 area mode, face detection and narrower spot. The back panel makes it easy to view the photos you have just taken.
Users have found that if you do not read the directions and instruction manual then you will have big problems using the camera. This is mainly because several settings and options do not go by the normal names found on other cameras, they are called something different. In order to know what is what you should take the time to read the manual. You will have a lot more fun with your camera if you are using it properly.
This camera has some of the best performance of any from Panasonic as you can take a photo in just 0.4 seconds. This includes focus and shooting. It takes a little longer to take a picture in low light settings, 0.9 seconds. Also waking up your camera when it has not been in use for a while and taking that first picture only takes 1.6 seconds.
You will be quite pleased with how realistic your photos look as the sharpness is great and the color is true. The main issue is that around the borders yellow splotches can occur due to blue channel processing issues. However this is common with mega zoom cameras and easily fixed with photo editing on your computer. The JPEG compression is also not the best though easily workable. Otherwise there are no other image issues.
The AAVCHD Lite codec makes it possible to shoot short movies using your camera and they are all recorded using stereo sound. All the video controls are strong though you do have a minimum shutter speed of 1/30sec. The only problem with the stereo recording is that the microphone is placed above the flash. Even with a wind filter it does pick up quite a bit of noise from wind.
The big issue with mega zoom as you need good figure control to use the auto focus. To focus you have to compress the shutter button halfway and if you are not use to this you may take a picture before you focus. If you find this very frustrating just turn off the auto focus.