Panasonic DMC FS20 Review

Ultra Compact

Picture
Panasonic DMC FS20 Ease of Use 8
Features 8
Movie Mode 9
Build Quality8
Colours 8
Photo Quality 9
Style 9
Lowlight 9
Macro 8
Value for Money 8
10 Megapixels
4x Zoom
3 inch LCD Screen
94.9 x 57.1 x 22.9 m
132g

Overview

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.

Main Features

Megapixels:
Zoom:
LCD Screen:
Dimensions:
Weight:

10
4x
3 inches
94.9 x 57.1 x 22.9 m
132g

Macro:
HD Movies:
Manual Controls:
Batteries:
Memory Cards:

10cm
No
No
Lithium ion
SD/SDHC

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.

Portraits

Outdoor Portrait: 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

Macro: 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.

Summary

Overall I am very happy with my test pictures. The DMC FS20 is able to take a decent shot in most situations.

See sample images link arrow

Style

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

Shutter Lag Rating Slow

Single Shot
Five Shots
Single Shot With Flash
Five Shots With Flash

0.48 seconds
10.49 seconds
0.55 seconds
12.38 seconds


Shutter Lag Table link arrow

Ease of Use

Ease of Use - Par 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

Verdict

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.

Product Shots

Front View

Panasonic DMC FS20 Front View

Back View

Panasonic DMC FS20 Back View

Top View

Panasonic DMC FS20 Top View

Sample Menus

menu menu 1

setup iso

Top Rated Cameras in this Category

Sony DSC TX55 Rating 85/100

If the touch screen was perfect then the Sony Cybershot DSC TX55 would be a truly outstanding digital camera. As it is picture quality is hard to beat for such a small camera. Style and design is very impressive and the features on offer give you more or less everything you are likely to want in a point and shoot pocket camera and a bit more on top. It can be very hard to find the perfect touch screen so if touch control is important to you then this camera is well worth a place on your short list.

Read Review: Sony DSC TX55 Review

Panasonic DMC FX90 Rating 79/100

Panasonic offers some excellent digital cameras and can normally be replied upon to produce crystal clear photos. As with previous reviews of cameras in the FX part of the range the Panasonic Lumix DMC FX90 just does not match up to those usual high standards. Focusing is softer than it should be and you are likely to see the results of this even with relatively small sized prints.

Read Review: Panasonic DMC FX90 Review

Panasonic DMC FX70 Rating 79/100

The Panasonic Lumix DMC FX70 does not quite match up to the picture quality I am used to seeing from Panasonic digital cameras. It does have a lot of other plus points, but if you are looking for true clarity in your photos there are better pocket cameras around.

Read Review: Panasonic DMC FX70 Review

Related Pages

Panasonic DMC FS20 Review Panasonic DMC FS20 Specification Panasonic DMC FS20 Sample Images Panasonic DMC FS20 Features Panasonic Digital Cameras

Review Date

May 2008

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