My camera, thankfully, came with version 1.1 installed, look at this if you haven't for more info:
http://panasonic.jp/support/global/cs/d ... index.html
I just bought this camera on Wednesday, but haven't yet really been able to properly test it out. I can tell you though that the "Pinhole" and "Film Grain" Scene modes can produce very nice looking images if used in the right environment. I tried using the High Dynamic mode, but so far I don't think I have been in the proper environment to use it, as the photos come out looking...odd
Settings I prefer:
Not 100% sure what you mean, which settings are you referring to..this camera has quite a few..but I prefer raising the saturation a notch or two, specially for colorful photos.
Something fun to try:
I don't know if you are interested in cars, however, if you take a close up shot of a car at an angle, pointing it at one corner of the corner, you get a pretty neat fish eye effect due to the 25mm lens.
I was looking at the Sony HX5, and the Canon SX120 and the SX210, together with the ZS7. However every camera except the Panasonic had at least one detriment that I couldn't get over:
HX5 - The whole "2 aperture settings" thing threw me off..
SX210 - I couldn't get over the shape, tried it in the store and it was just way too flat, thin, no grip at all; 28mm widest setting.
SX120 - Felt flimsy, as well as no optical zoom while filming.
Of course the ZS7 seems to be infamous for the video streaks, which I HAVE tested out, and yes, it is annoying, but, remember, you are buying a CAMERA, the fact that it takes HD video is merely a plus, and hopefully it will suffice...I had a Panasonic before this with the same streaks, however in conditions that mattered to me, it usually pulled through ok.