Read the full Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS37 review

The FS37 is a mid-range, point-and-shoot compact that discards its physical buttons in favour of touch-screen controls. Sadly though, it’s actually this main selling point that turns out to be the camera’s biggest bugbear. While the FS37 is easy enough to use and capable of delivering solid image quality in good light, the touch-screen fails to deliver an engaging user experience, falling short not only in terms of general responsiveness, but also in overall resolution and a severely limited viewing angle. With an ever increasing number of smartphones boasting high-resolution, touch-sensitive monitors these days, the FS37’s monitor does feel like something of a step backwards.

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May 5, 2011, 6:27 pm

Can someone please explain to me why a touchscreen is necessary on a camera? Or why it would be anything but a hindrance?

Touchscreen makes a lot of sense on a smartphone or tablet because they will be running various different apps which requires different types of input at various points on the screen. A camera does not. The only benefit I see is being able to select an area for focus or metering, but this can be done with buttons or dials which makes for better handling. Meanwhile the touchscreen in many situations (e.g. when wearing gloves) will be a barrier to operation, where physical controls would be far better.

I wouldn't be disappointed that the touchscreen wasn't implemented properly here. I'm disappointed that touchscreens are used at all on compacts, at the expense of physical controls. I love using the touchscreen on my smartphone. The Kindle, for example, would be better with a touchscreen option. But manufacturers have got to think about usability rather than just leaping onto every tech bandwagon.

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