Good image quality
No shutter lag
A little too light
Screen could be nicer
Not the most desirable design
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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.
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 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.
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.
Dave is a professional photographer whose work has appeared everywhere from National Geographic to the Guardian. Along the way he’s been commissioned to shoot zoo animals, luxury tech, the occasional car, countless headshots and the Northern Lights. As a videographer he’s filmed gorillas, talking heads, corporate events and the occasional penguin. He loves a good gadget but his favourite bit of kit (at the moment) is a Canon EOS T80 35mm film camera he picked up on eBay for £18.