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:
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.
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.
You can use SD, SDHC and SDXC memory cards to store your photos and movie clips.
The Lumix DMC LS6 runs on AA batteries.
You can shoot High Definition Movies with a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels.
The LCD screen is 2.7 inches in size.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
For a cheaper camera noise is controlled very well.
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
Canon Powershot A2400 IS Rating 83/100
The Canon Powershot A2400 IS gives you a clear choice between a camera that has the edge when it comes to picture quality and ones with the latest bells and whistles. Picture quality is likely to be hard to beat at this price point.
Read Review: Canon Powershot A2400 IS Review
Review Date: July 2012
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.
Ease of Use:
Value for Money:
96.5 x 62 x 27.2mm
SD / SDHC / SDXC
Single Shot With Flash:
Five Shots With Flash:
Turn on Time:
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.
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.
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.
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.