At the rear you’ll find a dial control to select the record or playback mode. In the centre of the dial is a button that activates the burst mode – this allows you to take around three pictures per second. The results from the burst mode were pretty good, and you should be able to get some good action shots with it.
Below the dial is a four-way button. Pressing this button to the left activated the self timer which has two settings. The ten second timer gives you enough time to get yourself into the picture, while the two second timer avoids camera shake when taking pictures without a flash with the camera mounted on a tripod or solid surface. However, how useful this will be is debatable since the LC50 doesn’t have a shutter priority setting. The only way you can get a long shutter is to turn the flash off and hope for the best. What’s really strange is that you have to turn the automatic ISO setting off to get a shutter speed longer than 1/8 sec and you have to switch to “night portrait” mode to get anything longer than two seconds. With all this in mind, Panasonic may as well have included a manual shutter priority, since it would be no more complicated to use. Assuming you get all the settings right, the LC50 will keep the shutter open for a maximum of eight seconds.
Pressing the four-way rocker pad to the right cycles through all the flash modes, while pushing it up lets you set exposure compensation which you can set between –2 and +2 in 1/3 steps. Finally, pushing the pad down will allow you to review the last picture taken, while in record mode.
The final three buttons are delete, display and menu. The delete button is used to delete images that you’re not happy with, but this process is hardly intuitive. If you want to delete an image you press the delete button while viewing it, you are then given a “yes” or “no” option for the delete. However, for me at least, I assumed that highlighting “yes” and pressing delete again would erase the offending image, but this is not the case. To delete the selected image you have to highlight “yes” then press down on the four-way rocker pad (as well as the review function, pressing down also acts as a “set” function when in a menu). If however you try, as I did, to press the delete button when you’ve highlighted “yes”, you get the option of multiple delete or erase all.
The display button cycles through the modes of the LCD display – options are display with no information, display with information (quality setting, flash setting etc.), display with a composition grid or finally with the display off. The menu button, unsurprisingly takes you into the configuration menus.
The LCD display is very good, with a bright clear image and fast response time. You can even adjust the brightness of the display to suit your shooting conditions.