Panasonic have recently added a couple more digital cameras to their line up (or more specifically the FS series) — the DMC-FS7 and the DMC-FS15 — both of which look like they will continue the Lumix brand well with nice looks and functionality for taking a great digital photo.
Since they began in Osaka 1918 Panasonic has always been a very popular manufacturer of consumer electronics producing a whole range of things from microwaves to toothbrushes and doing (most) of them very well. However one thing that they have always excelled in is photography, and their Lumix range has been the pinnacle of their still camera achievements. Now they are continuing to move forward with that heritage with technological updates, much like Polaroid have with their Polaroid PoGo camera.
Let’s first look at the DMC-FS7, and the first thing that will strike you is the bright colour scheme which will give you the choice between green, black, blue and pink all of which manage to make a statement with their lively design without being overtly garish. The second thing you will notice is the very spacious 2.7 inch screen whose 230,000 dot resolution makes it very easy to view your shots before and after they are taken.
The screen also has a couple of clever little features namely the ‘intelligent LCD function’ which adjusts the amount of backlighting depending on how bright it is, and also a ‘high angle mode’ which means you can actually see what you are taking a photo of when you hold your camera up (e.g. over crowds).
Moving onto more photographic specifications it has a perfectly adequate 10.1 magapixel F2.8 Leica DC VARIO-ELMARIT lens which will be more than good enough for all but the expert photographer and when coupled with a 4x optical zoom it will cover everything that you would want to do with a camera.
One of the more interesting features is the ‘Intelligent Auto Mode’ which promises to allow even the novice photographer to produce good quality shots. This is done through a combination of technologies all working in tandem to create the best result – MEGA O.I.S, Intelligent ISO Control, Face Detection and Intelligent Scene Selector.
Mega O.I.S. is an image stabiliser (Optical Image Stabiliser) which will compensate for the hand shaking on these Panasonic digital cameras when taking photos meaning you won’t get the blur that some photos inevitably have. This works with the ISO control, which detects and suppresses any blur resulting from movement of the camera, meaning that photos when moving (such as in a car) are do-able without any lack of quality.
Moving onto the DMC-FS15 we see that this is a more sophisticated camera with its’ sleek grey, black or blue design, but also that it is aimed at the more ambitious photographer with a higher 12.1 megapixels and a marginally better Leica DC VARIO-ELMAR lens. Actually many of the features that the FS7 has are present on the FS15, but there are a few extra things to justify the higher price.
The most notable of these is the addition of AF tracking function to the Intelligent Auto Mode, which allows you to lock the focus onto a moving object or person, done by holding the shutter half way down. This makes taking moving shots even easier and will be great for sports or any other ‘spur of the moment action’.
All in all these are two great Panasonic digital cameras and with a price of £110 and £136 respectively they are affordable to even the tightest of photographers. With the FS7 offering slightly cheaper fun and the FS15 adding a little extra for the more adventurous this really does add to the range and offers itself as a serious candidate for the best sub £150 digital camera. With such a wide range of features these are well thought out and executed, and I haven’t even told you about its quick shooting mode…
Source – Panasonic