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A first look at the Panasonic Lumix ZR1 as a real estate camera

Just a real quick look at the Panasonic Lumix ZR1, in use with the dogs this week as a real estate camera. When I get time, I’ll do some side-by-side comparisons. This is just a quick look at some photos and a demo movie.

First some pix:

These are good, nice and wide, nice and bright. No distortion on the straight lines. A little bit of lens flare, but this ain’t Life magazine.

Here’s a huge benefit: Even with the flash on, the ZR1 is fast. Refresh time is maybe two seconds, essentially no delay at all. The auto-focus/auto-exposure systems need a little time to do their calculations, so it’s possible to rush the camera. But a wide lens has a huge depth of focus, so it’s hard to get into real trouble.

The movie is not so pleasing. The wide lens is great, but the AF/AE issue is much more serious on-the-fly. I don’t like house videos, anyway, but, if you plan to do them with the ZR1, you need to make sure you have a lot of light.

Here’s the video as recompressed by YouTube:

Not great. The original is better. You can see it by clicking “Play in Popup” in the links at the bottom of the post.

My one complaint with the camera, so far, is that it’s so tiny. I have big hands, so it’s taking some getting used to. But it’s wicked easy to get a lot of very good photos very quickly. And the 25mm lens is very, very wide for a point-and-shoot camera.

Further thoughts when I’ve had more time to play.


7 Comments so far

  1. Robert Worthington December 4th, 2009 2:19 pm

    sweet camera Greg! I’m currently looking to upgrade my camera however not for real estate. Anyways, the ZR takes awesome photos, and for my color blind eyes, your pictures are spot on.

  2. Greg Swann December 4th, 2009 6:36 pm

    To get a larger sample of photos, here are one, two, three houses I previewed this week with the Lumix ZR1.

  3. James Boyer December 4th, 2009 3:19 pm

    Looks like a really good camera Greg. I would be investing in one but I tend to use a professional to take the pictures.

  4. Thomas Johnson December 4th, 2009 4:05 pm

    The wide angle lens for our purposes is the feature that makes all the difference. As you pointed out last time, wide angle glass is more expensive. Since all the camera marketing efforts go to the megapixel count, there are a few older models with wide angle lenses that get sold to upgrade the megapixel count, so, I buy my cameras used or refurbed on ebay. Panasonic seems to have figured out that there is a very deep market for wide angle lenses.

  5. Ashlee December 4th, 2009 7:44 pm

    Great camera Greg! I currently have a Nikon D50 and am just about ready to upgrade myself!

  6. Allison Ables December 6th, 2009 11:10 am

    Good review on the camera. I think it’s important to remember that the video editing / photo software is just as important as the camera. We had problems getting the touch-up results ourselves, so now we outsource most of our photos.

  7. teresa boardman December 12th, 2009 12:33 pm

    The lens is wide enough but your verticals need to be straightened