Panasonic Lumix FS30 review

New FS30 offers a sweet blend of image quality and performance

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  • Good image quality
  • No shutter lag
  • Crisp video


  • A little too light
  • Screen could be nicer
  • Not the most desirable design

The megapixel wars are over, or so they say.

In the ferocious market for sub-£200 compact cameras, precious few have a pixel count higher than 12 million.

The Canon 980IS has 14.7 megapixels but the Panasonic Lumix FS30 is joining otherwise rare company with its 14.1MP sensor.

It's easy to be sceptical, but all that resolution is - in theory - useful. The FS30's best-quality images are 4,320 x 3,240, which gives plenty of room for cropping in.

But the challenge is to balance the need for resolution with image quality - more megapixels equals more noise.

panasonic lumix fs30


Panasonic claims that the FS30's lens is "wide angle". Without conversion to 35mm focal lengths the lens is 5mm at its widest - after the conversion it's a more conservative 28mm.

It's on a par with entry-level DSLR lenses. It's got an 8x zoom lens, though, and nearly reaches telephoto lengths when zoomed in, at 224mm. However, the extra length can be difficult to use in low light.

panasonic lumix fs30

On an overcast February day we struggled to get a usable handheld shutter speed, suggesting would-be wildlife snappers would be well off investing in a lightweight tripod.

A final distinct drawback to the FS30 in our tests was the performance of the flash, which seemed a little underpowered with the lens zoomed in, despite Panasonic's claims of good coverage at nearly 10 feet.

Tech Specs

Product TypeCompact Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Green CompliantYes
Maximum Video Resolution1280 x 720
Effective Camera Resolution14.1 Megapixel
Wide AngleNo
Product FamilyLumix FS
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC)
Image StabilizationOptical
Optical Zoom8x
Digital Zoom4x
Brand NamePanasonic
FeaturesFace Detection
Screen Size6.9 cm (2.7")
Video FormatsQuickTime Motion JPEG
Viewfinder TypeNo
Weight (Approximate)138 g
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityREACH
Image Sensor Size1/2.33" (6.13 mm x 4.60 mm)
Maximum Image Resolution4320 x 3240
Display Screen TypeLCD
Height56.5 mm
Width100 mm
Depth27.8 mm
Product SeriesFS
Focal Length5 mm to 40 mm
Image FormatsJPEG
Focus ModesAuto
Product ModelDMC-FS30
Product NameLumix DMC-FS30 Compact Camera
Product LineLumix
Exposure Control

Program AE

Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberDMC-FS30EB-V
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

The DMC-FS30 features a 28mm wide-angle 8x optical zoom Lumix DC Vario lens (35mm camera equivalent: 28-224mm). 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 8x optical zoom lens captures beautiful shots of people or landscapes with 14.1-megapixel resolution. The Extra Optical Zoom function uses the center part of the CCD to extend this 8x zoom ratio to powerful 16.9x zoom at a resolution of 3-megapixel or less.

Package Contents
  • Lumix DMC-FS30 Compact Camera
  • Battery Charger
  • Battery Pack
  • Battery Case
  • AV Cable
  • USB Cable
  • AC Cable
  • Hand Strap
  • CD-ROM
Limited Warranty1 Year