Panasonic DMC LS6 Review

Simple and Easy

14 Megapixels    5x Zoom

Dimensions: 96.5 x 62 x 27.2mm    Weight: 172g

Good Points: Ease of use, handling

Bad Points: Macro mode, shutter lag


Panasonic DMC LS6 Shutter Lag Rating slow Ease of Use easy Camera Name Rating

Overview

The Panasonic Lumix DMC LS6 is one of the cheapest digital cameras available from a known brand. Looking at the features on offer from other cameras available at around this price point the Lumix DMC LS6 has a fairly standard set of features. Not a lot of extras have been added in by Panasonic and at the same time there is not a lot missing.

Features include 14 megapixels, High Definition Movies, a 5x wide angle lens and a 2.7 inch LCD screen. Power is supplied by two AA batteries.

Compared with other digital cameras at this price point the Lumix DMC LS6 has the following:

Plus Points

  • High Definition Movies

Negative Points

  • 15cm Macro Mode Focusing

Why Buy the Panasonic DMC LS6

You are likely to buy this camera if you are on a really tight budget and would like a camera that is easy to use.

Features

Megapixels and Zoom

The Lumix DMC LS6 has 14 megapixels. That is more than enough pixels to make extra large prints. It has a 5x zoom lens. The focal length of the lens is equivalent to 26 - 130mm in 35mm format. This means you should be able to create photos of fairly wide scenes.

Memory Cards

You can use SD, SDHC and SDXC memory cards to store your photos and movie clips.

Batteries

The Lumix DMC LS6 runs on AA batteries.

Movie Mode

You can shoot High Definition Movies with a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels.

LCD Screen

The LCD screen is 2.7 inches in size.

Scene Modes

Panasonic have included 15 pre programmed scene modes. When you select a scene mode the camera knows the type of photo you are about to take and can select what it believes to be the optimum settings for the shot. The scene modes are: Portrait, Self- Portrait, Scenery, Panorama Assist, Sports, Night Portrait, Night Scenery, Food, Party, Baby, Sunset, High sensitivity, Fireworks, Beach and Snow.

Macro Mode

You need to be at least 15cm away from your subject for the Lumix DMC LS6 to focus. This is further away than you need to be with most digital cameras.

Image Quality

Picture Quality Summary

As you might expect from a camera in this price bracket picture quality has one or two noticeable issues. To sum up the camera is at its best in natural light where scenes are not too distant.

Outdoor Scenic Shot 1

There are three main points to make about the first test shot.

The first is that the sharpness of the shot is very impressive. The way that focusing is retained right across the shot also compares very favourably against a lot of direct competitor cameras.

The next point is the camera finds it hard to show a lot of detail in the lightest areas of the shot. This is a common issue, especially when the sun is shining on reflective surfaces such as the boats in this picture. This may or may not be something that is of great concern as how much it affects you will depend on the type of pictures you will take.

The third point is that it can be hard to find just the right amount of zoom to get your perfect composition. This is not a problem if you are able to move backwards or forwards to get a better position, but this is not always possible.

Outdoor Scenic Shot 2

With large parts of this scene somewhat distant this test always proves to be a tough one. The Lumix DMC LS6 does what a lot of digital cameras do. It manages to produce a sharp look in the centre of the shot, but as you move out towards the edges the picture starts to look much softer.

Outdoor Scenic Shot 3

Zooming in appears to be much easier for the camera. The picture is much sharper even as you reach the edges of the shot. The quality of this shot is surprisingly good for a camera at this price. As with the first photo the boat near the centre of the shot lacks a bit of detail as the sun shines down directly onto it.

Outdoor Building

There is a very small fall off in sharpness as you reach the edges of this photo. It is not to the level where it is likely to show up unless you make extremely large prints.

Outdoor Portrait

Focusing is sharp with the subject close to the camera. Ideally I would like to have seen a brighter photo.

Indoor Portrait With Flash

With flash turned on there are no problems with the brightness of the photo. The light is also evenly spread across the picture. Areas that other cameras can find difficult to light such as the hair are lit successfully by the Lumix DMC LS6.

Indoor Portrait Without Flash

Working with artificial lighting the camera produces a photo with a clear blue tinge to it. You can try to neutralise this by adjusting white balance, but you may also expect the camera to produce a whiter background without changing controls.

Macro

If you are looking to take many close up shots of small subjects this is not the camera to buy. There are a lot of cameras available for a similar price that can focus from much closer to your subject than the 15cm away that the Lumix DMC LS6 needs to be to focus.

Colours

The colours for the outdoor scenes have a natural look to them. Although blues and greens in those shots have a vivid look to them no colours get overpowered. Looking at the indoor portrait the camera can find producing accurate colours difficult under artificial lighting.

Noise

For a cheaper camera noise is controlled very well.

Top Rated Cameras in this Category

Canon Powershot A4000 IS Rating 84/100

You get quite a lot for your money with the Canon Powershot A4000 IS. If you only plan to make small sized prints or share your photos on the Internet you may not see a great deal of difference between the photos taken with this camera and those taken with other models available at around the same price. What you might notice is that the pictures have a touch more clarity. This is likely to become more evident if you make larger prints. To sum up, if you are looking for a handy compact camera, at a reasonable price, that can cope very well with most photo opportunities this camera is hard to beat.

Read Review: Canon Powershot A4000 IS Review

Panasonic DMC S5 Rating 84/100

If you are looking for a cheap pocket sized digital camera it is difficult to find one offering better picture quality than the Panasonic Lumix DMC S5. It is such a small camera and very easy to use. It is almost the ideal snapshot camera if you do not want to spend a great deal of money.

Read Review: Panasonic DMC S5 Review

Panasonic DMC S3 Rating 84/100

The Panasonic Lumix DMC S3 is an excellent value for money pocket camera. It is very hard to beat when compared alongside its direct rivals. Picture quality and features have an edge over many of its competitors while the rapid response times are also a big plus point. If you are looking for a cheaper compact digital camera then you can’t go far wrong with the Lumix DMC S3.

Read Review: Panasonic DMC S3 Review

Related Pages

Panasonic DMC LS6 Specification

Panasonic DMC LS6 Sample Images

Digital Camera Reviews

Panasonic Digital Cameras

Review Date

Review Date: July 2012

Verdict

On the whole the Panasonic Lumix DMC LS6 performs well. Any low priced digital camera is likely to have one or two areas where it could do better. My concern is that one of the areas where this camera struggles is with shutter response. This can cause a gap between pressing the shutter button and a picture being taken, so you could miss out on photos. As this may be a significant issue for you it is hard for me to recommend this camera.

Ratings

Ease of Use:
Features:
Movie Mode:
Build Quality:
Colours:

9
7
8
8
7

Photo Quality:
Style:
Indoors:
Macro:
Value for Money:

Total:

8
7
7
6
8

75

Main Features

Megapixels:
Zoom:
LCD Screen:
Dimensions:
Weight:
Macro:
HD Movies:
Manual Controls:
Batteries:
Memory Cards:

14
5x
2.7 inches
96.5 x 62 x 27.2mm
172g
5cm
Yes
No
AA
SD / SDHC / SDXC

Shutter Lag Times

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

1.6 seconds
15.09 seconds
1.11 seconds
24.53 seconds
3.33 seconds

Shutter Lag Table

Handling

General Handling

Panasonic seem to have put everything in the right place. There is plenty of room for fingers and thumbs. The grip area on the front of the camera helps you to take a steady hold.

Flash Positioning

The flash unit is positioned more or less perfectly. It is just to the left of centre as you look at the camera. This positioning makes it very difficult to block out light from the flash with a finger when taking a picture.

LCD Screen Quality

Unless you are using the camera in direct sunlight you should find the screen easy to view. 2.7 inches is the smallest size screen, but you will find it difficult to buy a camera with a larger screen at this price.

Turn on Time and Shutter Delay

This is an area where the Lumix DMC LS6 struggled. I would like to think my results were too bad to be true and that you will achieve faster response times. This is one of the few digital cameras where response times recorded using flash were faster than times without it.

Build Quality

The camera is made of plastic, but it feels a fairly solid piece of kit. Like any digital camera you need to take good care of it, but as long as you do that you should not have any problems.

Camera Controls

There are two buttons on the top of the camera. These are the on / off button and the shutter button. On the back are buttons to zoom in and out, change the shooting mode, review images and delete images. The main control area gives you access to exposure compensation, flash settings, changing the information displayed on the LCD screen and the self timer. In the centre of this area is a button to access the menu system and confirm a setting.

Product Shots

Front View

Panasonic DMC LS6 Front View

Back View

Panasonic DMC LS6 Back View

Top View

Panasonic DMC LS6 Top View

Sample Menus

menu 1 menu 2

menu 3 menu 4

Buy the Panasonic DMC LS6

Buy Now
GBP 59.99
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