TODO alt text

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS15 review

A 12-megapixel digital compact camera packed with hi-tech features

fs15

In summary, the Panasonic FS15 is an affordable, reliable and responsive pocket-sized compact camera. With a 12-megapixel sensor you can capture good-sized images (4,000x3,000 pixels, fine for A4 prints, just about okay for A3 prints), the 5x optical zoom lens gives you a good range of focal lengths, while the 2.7-inch LCD is clear and quick enough to focus for a £130 compact.

We liked:

The Normal Picture mode as it enabled us to take control. You can't go as far as setting the aperture – budget compacts rarely provide this manual shooting option - so you're invariably shooting in the widest f/3.3-5.9 apertures (depending on if you're at the 1x or 5x optical zoom end of the lens).

This is ideal for blurring backgrounds when taking portraits of macro shots, and as long as the camera focused on something deep into the scene, these apertures were fine for capturing landscapes that are sharp from foreground to background.

It's quick to start up, nice to handle, the LCD is a good size and image results generally were good. We even liked the choice of music that played when watching slideshows of our images.

We didn't like

As with compacts at the cheaper end of the scale, focusing on the LCD could be slow, and the Panasonic FS15 can take a while to adjust the exposure when moving from bright to dark lighting conditions. And then when you press the shutter button, there's another slight delay which means you can sometimes miss the shot – so it's not perfect for photographing any sports or action.

There's no mode dial and this is more a camera for those who want to leave it full auto mode. All of the camera's buttons are very small, which might annoy some, although we did soon get used to them.

Although you can record 'motion pictures', they're low resolution at 848x480 WVGA size. Images also suffered from a lot of noise when the camera bumped up the ISO to anything over ISO 400 (and up to ISO 1600).

Conclusion:

At this price, you can't go far wrong with the Panasonic FS15. You're getting a reliable 12-megapixel camera with a 5x optical zoom that takes (mostly) top shots, and it'll fit unnoticed in your pocket making it ideal to take out wherever you go.

It's easy to operate and if you're feeling lazy, leave it in iA mode, if you want to take control switch to Normal Picture mode, either way the Panasonic FS15's a fun compact camera to own.

Tech Specs

Product TypeCompact Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Maximum Video Resolution640 x 480
Effective Camera Resolution12.1 Megapixel
USBYes
Product FamilyLumix FS
HD Movie ModeNo
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, MultiMediaCard (MMC)
Image StabilizationOptical
ColourSilver
Optical Zoom5x
Digital Zoom4x
Brand NamePanasonic
Screen Size6.9 cm (2.7")
Video FormatsQuickTime Motion JPEG
Viewfinder TypeNo
Weight (Approximate)116 g
Flash Memory Capacity50 MB
Minimum Focus Distance50 mm
Maximum Image Resolution4000 x 3000
Maximum Frame Rate30 fps
Number of Batteries Supported1
Battery Built-inNo
Battery IncludedYes
Display Screen TypeLCD
Total Camera Resolution12.7 Megapixel
Height54.4 mm
Width97 mm
Depth21.7 mm
Autofocus Points11
Product SeriesFS
Focal Length5.60 mm to 26 mm
Image FormatsJPEG
Focus ModesAuto
ManufacturerPanasonic
Product ModelDMC-FS15
Product NameLumix DMC-FS15 Compact Camera
Product LineLumix
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberDMC-FS15EB-S
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.panasonic.co.uk
Marketing Information

The DMC-FS15 features a 29mm wide-angle 5x optical zoom LEICA DC VARIO-ELMAR lens (35mm film camera equivalent: 29-145mm). Renowned in the film camera world for its superb performance and compact size, the LEICA DC VARIO-ELMAR lens inherits its outstanding quality and form. The 29mm wide-angle lens can be used to capture groups of people at parties and other indoor scenes, as well as magnificent architectural structures and landscapes. The 5x optical zoom allows you to capture distant subjects without degrading image quality.

Battery Life330 Shot
Package Contents
  • Lumix DMC-FS15 Compact Camera
  • Battery Charger
  • Battery Pack
  • Battery case
  • AV Cable
  • USB Connection Cable
  • AC Cable
  • Hand Strap
  • CD-ROM
Display Resolution230000 Pixel