The image quality of both the video and stills is above average compared to comparable cameras on the market. The auto controls are quite good, especially the Intelligent Scene Selector, which will automatically select one of six shooting presents depending on in what scene conditions you are shooting. And, generally the Intelligent Scene Selector got it right.
This feature is all part of Panasonics Intelligent Auto (IA) features, which includes Intelligent ISO selection, face detection, optical image stabilization and Quick AF. The Quick AF is quite a fun feature. Basically, in this setting the camera is set to focus continually. The only drawback is that it eats up battery power. The IA features allow amateur shooters to not have to worry about changing their settings often.
The face detection feature does an adequate job and seems to perform fairly well even in low-light. The optical image stabilization has two modes: shoot-only stabilization, which starts when you press the shutter, or continuous stabilization. It may be best to leave it in continuous stabilization since it will make your pictures come out better. With such a longer zoom lens (f/3.3-4.9) than many other similar cameras, you run the risk of your pictures being blurry.
One major drawback of all these features is that it may be confusing the intended target audience. The camera was made for amateurs and perhaps techie shooters. But, generally, this was made as an introductory camera. So, those new to photography may get overwhelmed by all the gadgets.
To control your own settings, use the Normal Picture mode. The metering choices are very accurate, and the white balance was near perfect.