Panasonic DMC FS5 Review

Ultra Compact

Panasonic DMC FS5 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
2.5 inch LCD Screen
94.9 x 53.4 x 22.5 m


The Panasonic DMC FS5 digital camera is small enough to slip into a pocket and has a 10 megapixels with a 4x optical zoom lens. The lens is a wide angle lens. This helps you to squeeze extra width into a photo. This can be especially useful for landscape shots, groups of people and for taking pictures of buildings.

Why Buy The Panasonic DMC FS5

Panasonic have built a number of features into the DMC FS5 that are likely to appeal to someone looking for a digital camera that is easy to operate. The camera has a special intelligent auto mode where the camera is able to detect any hand shake, motion in the shot, what type of scene is being captured and whether or not there is a face in the picture. It can then optimise the shot automatically for best results.

The camera also has a smart, stylish design and is small enough to take anywhere.

Main Features

LCD Screen:

2.5 inches
94.9 x 53.4 x 22.5 m

HD Movies:
Manual Controls:
Memory Cards:

Lithium ion

Image Quality - See Sample Images Below

Outdoor Scenic Shots in Good Light

Outdoor 1 (Medium Zoom): The first thing that strikes me about this photo is the brightness this Panasonic digital camera manages to capture. It lifts the picture that bit out of the ordinary. I also like the sharp focus. This shows across the photo from the bricks on the building to the names on the boats. You should be able to produce crisp, bright prints from this camera.

Outdoor 2 (No Zoom): This is a good effort from a camera with a wide angle lens. You often see a greater loss of sharpness, but the DMC FS5 holds on to focusing well. There is some noise in the most distant area of the shot.

Outdoor 3 (Maximum Zoom): This is another photo that comes out well. Once more I am struck by the brightness of the photo. Sharpness is above average.

Outdoor 4 (Building): Looking at this shot I can see immediately that the picture produced is sharper than the one produced by the Sony DSC W120 I reviewed yesterday. The brickwork stands out well and I am impressed by the levels of sharpness across the entire picture.


Outdoor Portrait: With white balance set to shady the DMC FS5 produces quite strong colours. This gives the photo a warm glow. I like the result as I think it adds a bit more life to the photo than with some digital cameras I have tested recently.

Indoor Portrait with Flash: This is a very bright and clear photo. There is plenty of colour in the shot with the flash unit able to assess accurately the right amount of light to add to the picture.

Indoor Portrait without Flash: Even without flash the DMC FS5 digital camera is able to produce a bright photo. I must admit that the lighting used is not overly challenging and you may find you need to use flash for a lot of indoor and general lowlight photography.

Macro, Colours and Noise

Macro: The macro result is pleasing. There is plenty of definition in the photo and with this pocket digital camera you should be able to produce some good close up shots.

Colours: I would describe the colours produced by Panasonic digital cameras as more vivid than is the norm. It depends on your personal taste as to whether you feel this gives each photo that bit of extra pep or you would prefer something a little more natural. I personally like the colour levels.

ISO 400: Panasonic use a feature they call intelligent ISO. This means that you set the maximum ISO rating, but the camera will decide on the final ISO level to use. At ISO 400 the DMC FS5 still manages to produce a decent image with relatively low noise levels.

ISO 1600: There is less deterioration in this shot than I am used to seeing at this ISO level. More noise appears in darker areas as you would expect, but the DMC FS5 does a decent job overall.


One of the most impressive features that covers all my test shots is the brightness of the photos. This helps to give them a bit of extra life. On the whole picture quality is very good.

See sample images link arrow


The DMC FS5 has an unfussy design. Rounded ends stop the camera from looking plain. It is available in black, red and silver.

Shutter Lag Times

Shutter Lag Rating Par

Single Shot
Five Shots

0.39 seconds
12.38 seconds

Shutter Lag Table link arrow

Ease of Use

Ease of Use - Par One of the factors I like about Panasonic digital cameras is the fact that the menu system is so easy to read. The text is very clear. I had no problem finding my way around the camera.

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 FS5 is a very good digital camera. With 10 megapixels you can make extra large prints. The 4x optical zoom lens offers flexibility for wide shots. The camera is easy to use and takes bright, colourful photos. What more could you want from a camera you can slip into a pocket?

Product Shots

Front View

Panasonic DMC FS5 Front View

Back View

Panasonic DMC FS5 Back View

Top View

Panasonic DMC FS5 Top View

Sample Menus

menu menu 1

setup iso

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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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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.

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Related Pages

Panasonic DMC FS5 Review Panasonic DMC FS5 Specification Panasonic DMC FS5 Sample Images Panasonic DMC FS5 Features Panasonic Digital Cameras

Review Date

April 2008

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