Panasonic DMC FS3 Review

Ultra Compact

Picture
Panasonic DMC FS3 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
8 Megapixels
3x Zoom
2.5 inch LCD Screen
94.9 x 53.4 x 22.5 m
118g

Overview

The Panasonic DMC FS3 is a smart looking, pocket camera. It has 8 megapixels and a 3x optical zoom lens.

Why Buy The Panasonic DMC FS3

This is a simple, stylish digital camera. As well as the attraction of point and shoot simplicity you will have no problem slipping it into a pocket. When it comes to picture quality the camera will not let you down.

Main Features

Megapixels:
Zoom:
LCD Screen:
Dimensions:
Weight:

8
3x
2.5 inches
94.9 x 53.4 x 22.5 m
118g

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

5cm
No
No
Lithium ion
SD/SDHC

Image Quality - See Sample Images Below

Outdoor Scenic Shots in Good Light

Outdoor 1 (Medium Zoom): One area that digital cameras find difficult is where there are darker or shady areas in a scene. One of these areas in this shot is where the sun is unable to get to the names of the boats. So usually there is some loss of definition. The DMC FS3 by contrast manages to handle this problem very well. This suggests that the camera should handle well scenes where there is a degree of contrast.

I also like the colours as these are strong, but true. Focusing is also above average.

Outdoor 2 (No Zoom): There is plenty of colour in this shot. Focusing is good when compared to the majority of other brands without quite hitting the heights managed by some of the Canon digital cameras I have tested recently.

Outdoor 3 (Maximum Zoom): With the zoom lens at its maximum the DMC FS3 is able to produce a sharp shot. The focusing levels remain fairly constant throughout the photo.

Outdoor 4 (Building): This is a very good test for focusing. Once again the camera manages to show plenty of detail in the shaded area of the building. Overall I would mark the DMC FS3 at around 8 out of 10 for focusing across the first four outdoor shots.

Portraits

Outdoor Portrait: If you like portraits full of colour then you will find Panasonic digital cameras are capable of producing stronger colours than any other brand of camera. I have used a white balance setting of cloudy for this photo. If you would like the colours toned down you can do so by selecting a white balance setting of automatic.

Indoor Portrait with Flash: Both of the indoor portraits work well. This one with flash has the right level of lighting and pleasing colours.

Indoor Portrait without Flash: Without flash the DMC FS3 still manages to maintain plenty of detail in the shot. Once the light starts to get low you will need to turn on the flash, but if you like to take window light portraits this Panasonic digital cameras should be up to the job.

Macro, Colours and Noise

Macro: For a relatively inexpensive camera the macro test shot is impressive. Again the DMC FS3 is able to bring out plenty of definition in the photo. This bodes well for all kinds of close up photography.

Colours: As I mentioned above the camera is capable of strong, vivid colours. This works well in most cases, but now and again you may feel you need to adjust the colour settings to calm them down a notch or two.

ISO 400: This is an above average effort. Some noise inevitably creeps in, but all in all this is a decent photo.

ISO 1600: With most cameras by the time you boost the ISO rating to 1600 all picture quality has disappeared. With this camera the quality is surprisingly good. So much so in fact that I had to go back and check I had used ISO 1600!

Summary

The DMC FS3 handled all my test shots well. It is clearly above average in its class and can take a good snapshot in most situations.

See sample images link arrow

Style

As is now becoming the norm, Panasonic have made the DMC FS3 available in a choice of colours; black, blue, pink and silver. I like the look of the camera. There is just enough in the design to stop the camera from looking plain, while keeping a simple, unfussy look.

Shutter Lag Times

Shutter Lag Rating Par

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

0.39 seconds
7.58 seconds
0.55 seconds
13.99 seconds


Shutter Lag Table link arrow

Ease of Use

Ease of Use - Par This is a simple straightforward digital camera. Menus are bright and clear and all the key controls are at your fingertips.

Points I Like

Ease of use - design and build quality - automatic features - overall picture quality - wide screen movies

Where it Could Improve

There is nothing that stands out

Verdict

As you can see I am impressed with the overall quality produced by the camera. If I was looking for a small, neat, pocket camera I would seriously consider the Panasonic DMC FS3. I am struggling to come up with anything I don't like about the camera.

Product Shots

Front View

Panasonic DMC FS3 Front View

Back View

Panasonic DMC FS3 Back View

Top View

Panasonic DMC FS3 Top View

Sample Menus

menu menu 1

setup iso

Top Rated Cameras in this Category

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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

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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

Related Pages

Panasonic DMC FS3 Review Panasonic DMC FS3 Specification Panasonic DMC FS3 Sample Images Panasonic DMC FS3 Features Panasonic Digital Cameras

Review Date

April 2008

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