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I have had the camera for nearly two years now and I absolutely love it! It is small, compact, light weight with amazing features. I use this camera at least once a week to take pictures of various events. The picture quality is great and this is down to two things - The 12 mega pixels and the Leica lenses. I was recommended this camera by a friend and would recommend to anyone! It is hardwearing, I have dropped it many of times and no real damage has been caused. It is incredibly simple to use and function even a child could use it.
There are 31 modes which include - Soft skin, baby mode, and night scenery. There is also the intelligent auto mode which Panasonic have created which is where the camera can detect and optimise shots you take. This is things like face detection and intelligent scene selector.
The only downfall with this product I have found is the built in memory is quite low. It can only hold around 30 pictures. This is fine as most people will be an SD card however I have been caught without my SD card where I have left it in my computer and haven't been able to take as many pictures as I would have liked.
Definitely recommend this product!!!!
I got this camera about a year back for taking on holiday and occasional day trips and have would recommend it to anyone. The build quality is very high, all the buttons have a nice feel to them and the camera feels really nicely made. It has all your basic digital camera functions, review, macro, auto, manual, video mode. However it also has the option to shoot in 16:9 wide-screen, thanks to a wide angle lens, which is really cool. It's 12.1 mega pixel but you can chose a lower setting if you don't want to use up as much memory. It came with a small SD card but you can buy a larger 8Gb card fairly cheap, which is a must in my opinion. For someone like myself, who's not particularly knowledgeable about cameras or how to use them, this camera was ideal. It was easy to use, took great looking shots and was very good value for what you get out of the box.
I have had digital cameras for a few years now and they have completely changed the way I view photography. When cameras were all film, I rarely took any photos, usually only on special occasions. Then my Mum ought me a digital camera, a basic one made be Benq and I was off!
Photography is now one of my favourite hobbies and I tend to get a new digital camera each year, as I "outgrow" them and want an improved version. I have had a Samsung, a Canon and I am now onto my second Panasonic Lumix.
I had a metallic pink 10MP Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS5, but it got damaged. One of my daughters took it out to a party and when they returned it, the screen was damaged. It still took photos, but you couldn't see what you were photographing.
I had to get a replacement and as I had been impressed with the Panasonic Lumix up to that point, I stuck with that brand but still wanted an upgrade. This time, I got a 12MP DMC-FS15 in a beautiful metallic blue. (I like my cameras to have a pretty colour!)
I demand quite a lot from my cameras. I want them to be sturdy, available in pretty colours (of course!), a good brand name and to take large photos of good quality in a variety of situations. I use my camera to take photos of my kids and pets, but also scenery, wildlife in macro (close up) and anything I fancy photographing.
I need it to be reliable because we meet quite a few famous people and often just get one attempt to get a pic of us with them. The last thing you want as a souvenir of meeting an actor is a blurry blob you can't recognise.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS15 has several ways you can change the photo you are taking. The quickest is the Intelligent Auto facility, which - as it suggests - does most of the work for you. You can also choose between Normal Picture, Night Portrait, Scene Mode and Motion Picture. The video facility is a good quality actually and easy to use.
In the Intelligent Auto options, you can choose to take a photo of varying sizes - 2M, 3M, 5M, 10.5M or 12M. For some reason though, the actual photo you end up with will be quite a bit smaller than the maximum. I usually opt for the 3M as you can fit more photos on the memory card, but they are still good quality at that size.
You can choose to set the flash to 'forced flash off' which I find useful at the live gymnastics events we go to. You aren't allowed to use a flash there, as it distracts the gymnasts, but an Intelligent Auto might still want to use one.
Another feature I use quite often is the one to change the colour aspect to the photos. As well as the Standard 'Color Mode' (Bleurgh at the American spelling!), you can change it to Natural, Vivid, Black and White, Sepia, Cool and Warm. I have tried out all of these and it can be fun using the effects in different ways.
The Vivid setting is good fun, as it really brings out the bright colours. I took some nice pictures of my daughter posing with a bright pink balloon and this worked very well. If you have lots of time to experiment, you can discover the best ways to use the colour modes to give your pictures different tones and atmospheres.
There are a wide range of features to this camera and although I have had this for around nine months now, I still don't think I have tried every single feature. To be honest, it can all be a bit confusing which button to press, especially if you are stressed. If I know I am likely to need my camera, I will check it is set up correctly (right size, right colour mode, right scene setting, etc.) in advance. Then I can just turn it on and click!
The screen is a very good size, so you can check your pictures straight after you have taken it and if need be, you can hopefully have a second go to get it right. This is useful when photographing celebrities, especially when some of them want to have a look to check they look okay! (No, really!)
There are some problems with it though. When I was at the European Gymnastics Championships, I took 1176 photos over two days. I was very impressed with how these looked on the screen, but once I got home and put them on the computer, they were quite pixelated. I assume I must have used the wrong settings somewhere along the way, but it was very disappointing and I had no way to take them again.
I realise a lot of the disadvantages with this camera are probably down to me and how I use it, so I still recommend this camera. This is the fourth brand of digital camera I have used and the only one I have bought a second time.
I can't remember exactly how much this camera cost when I got it, but you can currently buy it from Amazon UK for £180 in black. I know the blue version was slightly more expensive than the standard silver or black, but I felt it was worth the extra.
This is my first attempt at this kind of technical review and I have kept it simple. If you want a more technical review, I suggest someone like 'thebigc1690' who writes excellent reviews on digital cameras. Hopefully my review will be of some use though.
To sum up...
Good sized screen
Choice of pretty colours
Usually takes good quality photographs
Good variety of colour modes
Big choice of scenes
Video is good quality and easy to use
A confusing array of options
Photos end up much less than the MP you take them at
Some options don't produce such good quality images
This is a slimline camera which feels a bit like taking a photo with a credit card. It is a little bit slippy to hold on to and it is worth adding a wrist strap on as its saved it hitting the floor a few times. Despite the small size and delicate appearance it is a robust camera. It comes in different colours - I have the black one which has a nice finish and a smart appearance.
It doesnt have a view finder, which I think is a shame. Although the screen is a good size and good quality, it is very hard to see in daylight. Although most screens can be hard to see if its bright, I used it outdoors in January and it was hard to see. Indoors its great.
The features themselves are fantastic. There is a huge choice of different settings, which works for and against it. as an amateur I found confusing to remember whats what and choose which setting. Mostly I leave it on the artificial intelligence, which is amazing, but when I accidentally changed this I struggled to reset it without the manual. The AF tracking is great fun to play with!
Picture quality appears excellent on a computer, but I haven't tested a print quality yet.
Overall, it takes a bit of getting used to, but once you have this is a fantastic camera to have.
The FS15 is an affordable priced wide-angled camera. Although not technically being wide angle at 29mm more and more manufactures are saying their cameras are wide angle because they're wider than the standard 35mm. This aside the features of the camera are brilliant; the AF tracking picks up motion so any fast images are captured without blur, the lens is a Leica so is a high qualiy glass lens giving rich colours and good in indoor conditions. The 5x optical is what attracted me to the camera as for the price it was either paying another £30 for a Fuji which looking at the specifications was inferior or looking more into what the FS15 offered. The iA makes everything simple, all you have to do is zoom in on the subject and the lens automatically focuses and it selects the best scene mode for you. The sleek body means you can carry it in your pocket, the screen is a mid-range size at 2.7" but is great for taking shots of fast moving cars or if you have kids. I'd especially rate this if you're after an afordable compact camera for landscape shots or group pictures as the wide angled lens helps to get more into the shot without having to step back and with 12mp you can really blow the picture up if you want extra large prints. The whole camera is easy to use with the switch on the right of screen to change between recording and playback and the mode button if you want to switch to programme or video mode. You don't really have to use anything else.
Since upgrading our digital camera around six months ago to this Panasonic Lumix FS15, I've been intending to write a review about it. My husband advised me against it, telling me that I don't know enough about the technical details to do the camera justice. That is probably true - accordiing to the technical blurb this camera has almost everything about it classed as 'intelligent' and, if truth be told, I don't understand a word of it. All I wanted, and what I got, was a camera that I can point and click and which produces a good quality photograph at the end of it, without needing to be a professional photographer.
The Lumix FS15 comes in a range of colours; black, blue, red or silver. Ours is the silver model which has a classy, expensive look about it. Our camera was ordered online and, despite reading the dimensions beforehand, I was surprised by just how slimline and light this camera actually is. It weighs less than 140g, including the battery and a memory card and slips easily into jeans pockets which making so much as a bulge. I was a little wary about how resilient such a tiny camera would be, as it looks so fragile, so took the precaution of buying a leather case to protect it, although Panasonic do have a good reputation for making durable and well-built cameras.
The camera comes supplied with a USB cable to transfer your pictures to computer and an AV out lead which connects the camera to the TV, where it can perform its own little slideshow complete with music and special effects. It also has, as you'd expect, software, instructional manual and a battery charger. The camera takes an SD memory card, which has to be purchased seperately.
**Using the camera**
This camera is a major improvement on our previous model, particularly as it is ready for action within a few seconds of switching on. The shutter speed is also impressive as there is very little delay, meaning no more missed photo opportunities or blurred images.
There is no viewfinder on this camera but this is no real loss, especially as it features a very large 2.7 inch LCD screen which is incredibly clear, making picture taking a real pleasure. The picture quality on this camera is also impressive. It boasts 12.1 megapixels but, apparantly, even more crucial is the quality of the lens included. Panasonic have included a LEICA lens which is a well reputed lens manufacturer. The photos produced certainly appear sharp and crisp.
For amateur snappers such as myself, there is a button at the top of the camera called the 'Intelligent Auto' button which will automatically select the best settings according to the conditions at the time. For more advanced photographers, there are a range of features and modes to set to your individual liking but I haven't needed to change from the automatic settings and still manage to take excellent, clear photos every time. This camera really is idiot-proof, in spite of its daunting range of technical sounding features and it meets my desire for a straightforward 'point and click' camera completely. The other technical feature that I do really appreciate is the 'face recognition' technology, which automatically recognises and circles faces on the screen, so that it is easy to line up the shot perfectly.
As well as photos, this camera has a simple video recording function which lets us record for an impressive 15 minute maximum period per video (assuming you have enough memory left on the card.) Playback quality is great. The sound isn't at all 'tinny', as I would expect coming out of such a tiny little camera and the quality of the images recorded is also surprisingly good.
This is the first camera I've owned that uses its own rechargeable lithium battery. I was a little apprehensive about constantly needing to charge this up, as I found that our old camera used to eat its way through batteries. On its first major outing, our camera accompanied us to Butlins for a five day break and managed the entire holiday without needing to be recharged at all. I was pretty impressed by this as the camera saw a lot of action over the week and the battery life has performed consistently in the same fashion ever since.
**Price and availability**
We purchased this camera from Currys in June 2009 and paid £159, plus a tenner for a 4GB SD memory card as no memory card was included. The camera seems to have held its value reasonably well, which is always a good sign of a reputable brand and is currently available on Amazon for around the £130 mark, depending on the colour of choice.
I would recommend the Lumix FS15 for anybody wanting a camera that looks stylish, performs well and is straightforward to use. I'm sure I haven't done the technical details of the camera justice but, to be honest, I'm not really interested in the technical side - I just want something that fulfils its functions reliably. For anybody that is interested, I have included some of the technical specifications below.
iA (Intelligent Auto) Mode with AF Tracking and Dedicated iA Button
29mm Wide-angle 5x Optical Zoom LEICA DC Lens
1/2.33-inch 12.1-megapixel High-resolution CCD
2.7-inch High-resolution Intelligent LCD
Approx. 50MB built-in-memory
Camera Effective Pixels 12.1 Megapixels
Sensor Size / Total Pixels / Filter 1/2.33-inch / 12.7 Total Megapixels / Primary Colour Filter
Aperture F3.3 - 5.9 / Iris Diaphragm (F3.3 - 8 (W) / F5.9 - 8 (T))
Optical Zoom 5x