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Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS5 review




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Panasonic has made some impressive cameras over the last few years and has been at the forefront of technology that now comes on many other manufacturers models, notably with the introduction of Image Stabilisation, which features on all its cameras as standard. It's no surprise then to see the technology employed on the FS5 from the company's latest range of digital compacts.

While it may look like just another digicam, albeit a small and attractive one, there's more to this 10MP compact than meets the eye. The FS range (also including the new FS20 which features a larger 3" LCD) is similar in most respects to Panasonic's FZ range, with the notable addition of a wider lens, offering the equivalent of 30mm in 35mm terms. This makes it ideal for those looking to shoot landscapes or large groups, or if you need to pictures in more cramped areas than usual. The wider angled lens is also ideal for adding drama to images, especially useful to the more creative photographer.

Panasonic hasn't reduced the telephoto end though, offering an equivalent of 120mm, ideal for portraits and close ups. The added advantage of the Panasonic lens is that the Image Stabilisation is there to reduce camera shake, caused by using slow shutter speeds when the light is poor or from simply holding the camera at arms length to take pictures.

Panasonic has added more to this than just a lens though. The sensor is new, as is the processor, now upgraded to the Venus Engine IV, which Panasonic claims offers better resolution and low image noise in low light.

Older technologies, grouped under the Intelligent auto menu, that we've seen before in Panasonic cameras include face recognition, so the auto focus can quickly identify a persons features and automatically lock onto them; as well as automatic scene recognition, where the camera recognises the subject to be photographed, for example landscape or portrait and so on and sets the camera setting accordingly. Incidentally the camera has a vast array of 20 scene modes.

Simon Hall

November 9, 2008, 9:44 pm

I recently bought this camera due to many positive reviews on other sites and on this one, and I have to say that I am very dissapointed with the camera. My previous Camera was an Advent MP8 (PC world/Currys own Brand) and the Advent camera produces images of far superior quality to this Panasonic. There are also other flaws with the Panasonic that I was not expecting, movies are created in quicktime (Why not Divx or other windows media viewer formats?)

The camera often fails to focus correctly on faces, especially indoors, whilst outdoor images lack detail, even with the lowest ISO100 setting. (a lower setting would be better for bright days)

The camera also requires the battery to be removed from the cemera to be charged, which is a pain.

In the end I returned the camera and got a refund. I am looking to replace with a different make of camera.

Martin 9

June 23, 2009, 8:41 pm

On the contrary, I'm very satisfied with my new Lumix FS5.

The battery charger is small, and it's really not that much job removing the battery from its slot. The battery also lasts quite a while, longer than I'd expected. The pictures are of (what I would call) high quality. As it is a 10 mpx camera, you can't expect more than the FS5 delivers.







To not miss any details when fx. outdoors, using the different scenery modes in different circumstances works out just about flawlessly. The camera is also stuffed with other modes, such as the High-speed burst mode (which I, as a 16-year-old find amusing when taking pictures in ie. a volleyball match).

The movies should indeed not be saved in QuickTime-format, but converting the movies isn't that hard, really. Also, if you're going to record film, using a digital still-image camera isn't the best choice in the first place.


July 4, 2009, 10:08 am

After much online searching, was leaning towards the FS5 - only to find out they're discontinuing it here (NZ) and replacing with the FS12. Struggling to find any reviews on the FS12. Anyone aware of it? Should go for it without the insight of other buyers' opinions? (alternative on the shortlist is the Canon A2000IS)? {Do the reviewers have any upcoming reviews maybe or is this not going to be on offer to the UK market?}. Many thanks.


July 27, 2009, 12:05 am

I've used the DMC-FS5 for a 'sketchbook'; excellent for slipping into the handbag or pocket. While it may not produce exhibition quality work, it has been a great workhorse all around. Sadly, a black sooty spot has developed on the LCD, after 8 months of use and not sure how to get rid of it. Anyone who knows please send advice...thanks.


September 2, 2009, 2:00 pm

I just got this cam (2 months) from my dad who's buying a new and more expensive cam. I like it very much this far, and I love the colours it captures on a pic. It's small, but not TO small,, I look forward to the winter and snow, to try it then.

Also today I'mgoing to visit a place where they got HUGE star telescope, and I'll try to take some pics into that :-)

And as Martin sayin his comment, it's just not right to complain about the video format, because it's made to take pics, not make movies. And in any case, if you just know a little bit about what you're doing, converting them to DivX or Xvid is very easy.

As for T.MILLER and the black spot on the LCD, you don't say how big it is, but it's my guess that it's just a dead pixel or two. You cannot do anything about that, but the warranty say something about how many dead pixels there can be before they change the screen for free. But if it'sreally in the way for your photographing, take it back to the shop, and baybe they'll do it for you for free.

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