Panasonic DMC FS7 Review

Ultra Compact

Picture
Panasonic DMC FS7 Ease of Use 8
Features 8
Movie Mode 8
Build Quality9
Colours 8
Photo Quality 9
Style 9
Lowlight 9
Macro 8
Value for Money 9
10 Megapixels
4x Zoom
2.7 inch LCD Screen
97 x 54.4 x 21.7 mm
117g

Overview

The Panasonic Lumix DMC FS7 is a point and shoot, pocket digital camera. It has 10 megapixels and a 4x zoom lens. The amount of zoom can be increased when shooting at lower resolutions to a maximum of 7.1x magnification.

Why Buy The Panasonic DMC FS7

First and foremost the Lumix DMC FS7 offers excellent value for money. It can cope with most photo opportunities and is also relatively easy to use. On top of this you will find a few extra features thrown in for the money.

Main Features

Megapixels:
Zoom:
LCD Screen:
Dimensions:
Weight:

10
4x
2.7 inches
97 x 54.4 x 21.7 mm
117g

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

5cm
No
No
Lithium-ion Rechargeable
SD/SDHC

Image Quality - See Sample Images Below

Outdoor Scenic Shots in Good Light

Outdoor 1 (Medium Zoom): The high levels of contrast make this shot a difficult test for any compact digital camera. The Lumix DMC FS7 does very well in a number of key areas. To start with there is plenty of detail showing in the lightest areas of the picture. Colours are accurate with none of the purple tinge I am used to seeing on the blue lines of the boats. Finally the name on the boat on the left hand side of the photo is easy to make out with larger prints. This is impressive as it is in a shady area.

Outdoor 2 (No Zoom): Colours are strong in this shot with plenty of depth to the blue sky. With much of the scene distant focusing is a challenge, but the Lumix DMC FS7 manages to meet expectations.

Outdoor 3 (Maximum Zoom): I am happy with the sharpness of this photo. Even as you move away from the centre of the shot the levels of detail remain impressive. Plenty of detail can be seen in the small tree towards the right hand side of the photo.

Outdoor 4 (Building): The level of sharpness in all my outdoor shots is above average. I also like the fact that focusing retains its sharpness as you move out towards the edges of the photos.

Portraits

Outdoor Portrait: Although it is fair to say this is the easiest of my test shots I still like the result produced by the Lumix DMC FS7. By using the shady white balance setting I have produced a portrait showing warm colours. Focusing is sharp too.

Indoor Portrait with Flash: There are two main points I look out for when using flash indoors. The first is to make sure the lighting is even and bright enough without blowing away all colour. The second is that the colours retain a natural feel. I think the Lumix DMC FS7 does well on both counts.

Indoor Portrait without Flash: Here the camera manages to keep noise levels under control and bring out more detail in the shot than most cameras manage to do. As with any digital camera you still need a high level of natural light to get a photo without resorting to flash, but you should be able to take window light portraits.

Macro, Colours and Noise

Macro: Panasonic are one of the better brands for close up shots. The camera is able to focus from 5cm and brings out a high level of detail.

Colours: As with other cameras in this range colours are vivid. In my view they manage to stay within the boundaries and do not become overpowering. You should be able to shoot plenty of colourful scenic photos.

ISO 400 and ISO 1600: Whenever you push up the ISO rating there is a compromise in picture quality. This camera manages to keep colours true apart from in darker recesses.

Summary

Picture quality is impressive for a camera with this price tag. You would have to pay quite a bit more to see any significant increase in quality.

See sample images link arrow

Style

This is a fairly typical small, lightweight digital camera. It is available in black, silver, pink and green.

Shutter Lag Times

Shutter Lag Rating Par

Single Shot
Five Shots
Single Shot With Flash
Five Shots With Flash
Turn on Time

0.42 seconds
8.01 seconds
0.56 seconds
10.17 seconds
3.86 seconds


Shutter Lag Table link arrow

Ease of Use

Ease of Use - Par I have always found Panasonic digital cameras easy to use. The fact you can increase the size of the menu text can help to make it easier to read.

Points I Like

Picture quality - simple design - value for money

Where it Could Improve

Start up times could be a bit faster

Verdict

The Panasonic Lumix DMC FS7 and other models in this part of the Panasonic range offer some of the best value around. As well as the headline features I like the little additions such as increasing the zoom available at lower resolutions and image stabilisation, as well as general ease of use.

Product Shots

Front View

Front View

Back View

Back View

Top View

Top View

Sample Menus

menu 1 menu 2

setup menu 3

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 FS7 Review Panasonic DMC FS7 Specification Panasonic DMC FS7 Sample Images Panasonic DMC FS7 Features Panasonic Lumix DMC FS7 vs Sony Cybershot DSC W210 Panasonic Digital Cameras

Review Date

March 2009

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