The Panasonic DMC FS20 is a 10 megapixel digital camera with a 4x optical zoom lens. It has a wider than standard 30mm lens. There is also a large 3 inch LCD screen.
Why Buy The Panasonic DMC FS20
The DMC FS20 is just about small enough to slip into a pocket. I like the simple, but effective design of the camera. It is easy to use and picture quality is towards the top end of the market. There are also a few extra features thrown in such as widescreen movies, an intelligent automatic mode and image stabilisation. All in all it is a very impressive package.
It also has a feature that increases the amount of zoom available when you shoot at lower resolutions.
94.9 x 57.1 x 22.9 m
Image Quality - See Sample Images Below
Outdoor Scenic Shots in Good Light
Outdoor 1 (Medium Zoom):
The combination of sharpness and brightness produces a pleasing photo. The camera handles glare from the sun well and the level of detail on the lighter areas of the boats is impressive. The colours have also remained true to the scene on the day.
Outdoor 2 (No Zoom): I like the way the colours complement each other in this picture. The blue of the sky and the water work well with the greens of the foliage. There is some noise in the picture and this stops the photo from really hitting the mark.
Outdoor 3 (Maximum Zoom): This is a better effort than the second outdoor shot. It is another bright shot and demonstrates how well the DMC FS20 uses the light. Sharpness levels are good.
Outdoor 4 (Building): With all the brickwork in this picture it makes it a good test for sharpness. This Panasonic digital cameras does well and there is only a small amount of sharpness lost as you move towards the edges of the shot.
The outdoor portrait has a bit of an orange glow to it. This is due to me selecting the white balance setting of shady to match the shooting conditions. Without using the shady setting the picture look on the dull side, so although the warmth is a bit overdone here I prefer this result.
Indoor Portrait with Flash: This is my favourite portrait shot. The main reason is the colour in the photo. The flash unit provides plenty of even lighting without swamping the colours.
Indoor Portrait without Flash: With just natural light the DMC FS20 produces another good portrait shot. Once again the colours are about right.
Macro, Colours and Noise
I am very happy with macro test result. It is above average and suggests that this Panasonic digital cameras should be able to produce decent quality close up shots in most situations.
Colours: As with other cameras in this range the DMC FS20 is capable of producing strong colours. On occasion these can be a bit over the top for my own personal taste.
ISO 400 and ISO 1600: When using higher ISO settings the current batch of Panasonic digital cameras perform fairly well. Noise inevitably kicks in, but Panasonic handles this as well as any other brand apart from perhaps Fuji.
Overall I am very happy with my test pictures. The DMC FS20 is able to take a decent shot in most situations.
The rounded ends of the camera stop it from looking plain and ordinary. The DMC FS20 has an unfussy design, but a design that works well in my opinion. It just about slips into most pockets.
Shutter Lag Times
Single Shot With Flash
Five Shots With Flash
Ease of Use
I find the menu system used by Panasonic to be one of the most straightforward of any brand. The easy zoom button on the top of the camera gives you immediate maximum zoom.
Points I Like
Ease of use - design and build quality - automatic features - overall picture quality - wide screen movies
Where it Could Improve
Shutter delay could be that little bit faster
The Panasonic DMC FS20 is a high quality point and shoot camera. It has a few extra features included that make it a clear step up from the more basic, entry level models. I found the camera easy to use and it is well worth adding to your shortlist.
Top Rated Cameras in this Category
Canon IXUS 510 HS Rating 86/100
If you are prepared to pay a bit more for extra quality then the Canon IXUS 510 HS is likely to be of interest to you. For a pocket camera picture quality is very good. Add in the impressive set of features including a touch screen and Wi-Fi and you can start to see that you do get more for your money compared to a lot of digital cameras. The power of the lens also gives you plenty of scope for capturing a wide range of photo opportunities. It is true you pay a little extra than with more standard pocket cameras, but if you also include the stylish look of this model there is a lot on offer for the price tag.
Read Review: Canon IXUS 510 HS Review
Canon IXUS 125 HS Rating 86/100
If you are looking for a pocket camera and you are prepared to pay extra for picture quality and build quality then the Canon IXUS 125 HS is a good choice. Although it doesn’t have all the latest features like 360 degree panoramas it does an excellent job when it comes to taking pictures. It is straightforward, easy to use and will fit into just about any pocket.
Read Review: Canon IXUS 125 HS Review
Canon IXUS 1100 HS Rating 85/100
The Canon IXUS 1100 HS is a very good choice if you are looking for a pocket digital camera with a combination of a longer zoom lens and touch control. Once you get used to the screen and improve your touch accuracy it responds well. Picture quality compares favourably with other pocket cameras. The style and build suggest a bit of extra class too. The IXUS 1100 HS ticks most of the boxes for a camera in this category.
Read Review: Canon IXUS 1100 HS Review