The FH7 was designed for beginners, casual photographers, and snap-shooters who want an easily pocketable point-and-shoot that is capable of consistently capturing excellent images with little or no effort on the part of the shooter. The FH7 almost perfectly meets the needs of that demographic – it is small enough to carry it with you all the time, Panasonic’s iAuto mode is absolutely the best auto exposure system in the business, the FH7 is unobtrusive and not intimidating to subjects, noise management is substantially better than average and the FH7’s AF system is faster than most of its competition.
The FH7 clearly wasn’t designed for photographers who want/need/demand some level of personal input into the exposure process, so if you fall into this group (and want an ultra-compact digicam with a 4x zoom) you may find the Canon S95 more to your liking. The FH7’s diminutive footprint makes this camera almost ideal for travelers and casual shooters. Here’s the bottom line on the FH7: for a hundred and eighty bucks ($150-$160 by the holidays) you’ll be hard pressed to do any better than this little point-and-shoot.