Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS18 review

An affordable introduction to simple, quality digital photography

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Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS18 Review: Performance

The Lumix DMC FS18 is aimed at the buyer who wants a fuss-free approach to their photography and the lightmeter, a standard evaluative type, analyses the scene well to give pleasing results. Some exposures can be on the light side, but this is not a real problem and if necessary, is easily remedied by use of exposure compensation.

Overall the dynamic range of the images is well controlled, but extreme scenes can suffer from clipping of either highlights or shadows. Generally images are rendered with a satisfactory exposure balance across the tonal range.

As you would expect with a camera in this class, the auto-white balance is very good and the camera was left at this setting most of the time. If you wish to choose a specific white balance setting for a lighting situation, there are a five pre-sets available to choose from, including an option to shoot a custom white balance for very tricky situations - it's a useful option to have.

The Lumix DMC FS18 has an sensitivity range from ISO 100 through to ISO 1600 that give pleasing results, even at the maximum value. There is a tendency for ISO1600 images to have a slight magenta cast, but it's not too dramatic and the results are more than acceptable.

The Leica DC Vario-Elmar Aspherical zoom (28mm-112mm) lens produces images with plenty of information at ISO 100, with fine detail being sharp and clear. It is only from ISO 800 onward that the finer detail begins to soften. Edge definition is clearly visible, but contrast appears reduced leading to a reduction in fine detail definition.

Image distortion is negligible and careful study is required to find the slightest hint of barrel distortion can be detected. In the real-world photographic situations the distortion would go unnoticed.

Chromatic aberration is well controlled, but there are some situations (such as areas of high contrast) where minor blue fringing is present, but even then the fringing is not too intrusive.

As you would expect from a camera in this class, JPEG is the only file type available. Raw files would create further work which the Lumix DMC FS18 is not about.

Tech Specs

Product TypeCompact Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Maximum Video Resolution1280 x 720
Effective Camera Resolution16.1 Megapixel
Wide AngleNo
Product FamilyLumix
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC)
Image StabilizationOptical
Optical Zoom4x
Digital Zoom4x
Brand NamePanasonic
FeaturesFace Detection, Continuous Shooting Mode
Screen Size6.9 cm (2.7")
Video FormatsQuickTime Motion JPEG
Viewfinder TypeNo
Weight (Approximate)104 g
Image Sensor Size1/2.33" (6.13 mm x 4.60 mm)
Maximum Image Resolution4608 x 3456
Display Screen TypeLCD
Height53.5 mm
Width94.3 mm
Depth18.8 mm
Focal Length5 mm to 20 mm
Image FormatsJPEG
Focus ModesAuto
Product ModelDMC-FS18
Product NameLumix DMC-FS18 Compact Camera
Product LineLumix
Exposure Control

Program AE

Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberDMC-FS18EB-V
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

The DMC-FS18 features a 28mm wide-angle 4x optical zoom LEICA DC VARIO-ELMAR lens (35mm camera equivalent: 28-112mm). The 28mm wide-angle lens lets you easily capture large groups of people indoors or expansive architectural structures and scenes with dynamic width and rich perspective. The 4x optical zoom lens captures beautiful shots of people or landscapes with 16.1-megapixel resolution. The Extra Optical Zoom function uses the center part of the CCD to extend this 4x zoom ratio to powerful 9x zoom at a resolution of 3-megapixel or less.

Package Contents
  • Lumix DMC-FS18 Compact Camera
  • Battery Charger
  • Battery Pack
  • AV Cable
  • USB Cable
  • AC Cable
  • Hand Strap
  • CD-ROM
Limited Warranty1 Year