intelligent Auto feature on the TZ7
This mode is, in my understanding, targeted to persons that have little or no knowledge about the technical side of photography. So, in order to asses its quality, it has to be used by such a person, even a beginner's knowledge at photography can bias such a test.
The occasion to assess the iA mode came with my wife's 16 day trip to Romania. She is a doctor and, although she aptly uses very complex computerized equipment in the operating room, she has zero patience to learn the knobology of a "civilian" appliance that has more than a power switch. Also, beside the need to focus, zoom to compose, the need to use a flash in low light, she has no knowledge about the technical side of photography.
So, after I showed her where the power switch is, how to zoom, meter, focus and shoot, set the camera in the iA mode, she made a few test shots around the house and I declared her "good to go"
She came back with about 400 shots, and here are the results.
~90% of the shots with tilted horizon in various degrees
Otherwise good and balanced framing
~20% out of focus due to: camera shake in low light when flash didn't fire, foreground blurred and background in focus, subject movement in low light when flash didn't fire, and some few cases where I don’t have a clue about the reason, maybe she recomposed too much after focusing.
Portraits shots correctly focused even off center, it seems that face recognition works well enough
The rest in very sharp focus, no complaints.
~90% of the landscape shots with the sky completely blown white. After some tweaking in LR I've found in most of them some blue and clouds.
~50% of backlit portrait shots came underexposed, simply fill flash didn't fire. Even in consecutive shots, a few seconds between them, one with fill flash the other no.
All sunset, sunrise shots came out very good; the camera correctly chose the appropriate scene.
In low light, when some source of light is in the frame, the flash didn't fire underexposing and blurring the whole frame due to camera shake.
4) White balance
Outdoors good, indoors with tungsten light and no flash there is a pronounced yellow cast.
So, what's the conclusion?
All in all I think it works. But there is ample space for improvement. I think that such a camera would benefit from a meter that can show when the camera is held at a right angle. The low light situations caused the vast majority of the problems (as expected, I must say) and of course the high dynamic ranges where the sky was scarified for the good of the rest. But those are problems with fancier DSLRs and more experienced photographers too.
Canon PowerShot S100
Canon 50D , SIGMA 10-20 f3.5 ,Canon EF 24-105 L IS USM, Canon EF 100/2.8 macro Canon EF 50/1.4 ,Canon EF 85 f1.8,Canon EF-S17-85 4-5.6 Old Tamron 28-300 inherited from my Canon Rebel G film camera