The Lumix DMC-FZ35 is the update to Panasonic's popular FZ28 super zoom camera. While both cameras share the same basic design and 18X, 27 - 486 mm Leica lens, the differences are more than skin deep. The biggest changes are an improved image stabilizer, faster autofocus system, and an enhanced movie mode, though there's plenty more. Like most manufacturers, Panasonic has built memory right into the DMC-FZ35, instead of including a memory card. The FZ35 has 40MB of built in memory, which holds just five photos at the highest JPEG quality setting. That means that you'll need to go memory card shopping right away, unless you already have one. The FZ35 supports SD and SDHC memory cards, and a 4GB is suggested to start with. If you'll be recording a lot of movies, it may be worth going even larger. You'll want to use a card with a Class 4 or 6 speeds rating for best results.
Something else you'll find inside the box beside normal accessories is a lens hood, which comes in handy when you're shooting outdoors. The lens hood consists of two parts: a screw-on plastic ring for the lens barrel and the hood itself, which attaches to the ring via a thumb screw, Panasonic includes quite a bit of software with the DMC-FZ35. First up is PhotoFunStudio 4.0 HD, which is for Windows only. This software has the usual image viewing and organizing features, you can filter photos by things like scene mode or if faces are recognized.
Jumping to the video side of things, there are a couple of basic editing tools available in PhotoFunStudio. You can trim unwanted footage off the beginning or end of a clip (though the interface hurts my brain), burn your movies to a CD, DVD, or Blu-ray disc, or upload a video to YouTube. There aren't any serious editing tools here, and there's no way to convert AVCHD Lite files to another format. The FZ35 records HD movies with 1280 x 720-pixel resolution. It uses the AVCHD Lite format to achieve higher image quality while storing less data than the conventional Motion JPEG. Plus, the FZ35 is equipped with an HDMI output terminal for direct transmission of digital image and sound signals.