I've owned the Panasonic Lumix FS30 Digital Camera - Black (14.1MP, 8x Optical Zoom) 2.7 inch LCD
for awhile now which was the best camera I had owned, that is until now! As someone wanted to buy my FS30 from me, I thought this would give me a great opportunity to upgrade camera's and already I see just how much this camera has improved.
The camera looks extremely smart and has a very nice texture to the touch, the camera's also really light in weight and is remarkably comfortable to hold.
The contents of the box supplies:
*Panasonic FS35 Digital Camera.
*Battery Pack + Battery Case, Battery Charger & AC Mains Lead.
*USB Connection Cable.
*CD-ROM which features Software to help run the video format, PHOTOfunSTUDIO & Operating Instructions.
The PHOTOfunStudio, ran fine with my PC which has 2GB RAM with the Operating System of Windows 7.
This program lets you copy your photos straight from your camera to your PC at a decent speed via the USB cable supplied, or you can take out your SD card and put it into a card reader *not supplied, if you wish not to use the software. It also lets you browse your photos/video, make slide-shows, edit photos/video, print pictures, copy to media devices and also an option to upload your video onto YouTube.
This camera, like most others do not come supplied with a memory card, so you will need to buy one for it.
The FS35 camera supports various memory cards ranging from: SD (8MB-2GB), SDHC (4GB-32GB) and SDXC (48GB-64GB).
Recording motion pictures will require a card that is equivalent too Class 6 or higher, personally I would recommend going all the way to a class 10 as they are fast & very reliable.
If you're wanting more quality in your SDHC cards and don't mind spending a little bit extra I would recommend Panasonic 4GB Class 10 SDHC Card (up to 22MB/s - Gold Line)
, however if you are wanting bigger memory and have a smaller budget I would suggest going for Transcend 8GB SDHC Class 10 Memory Card
For less hassle in transfering files, I would highly recommend purchasing Integral USB 2.0 Single Slot SD Reader
, they are really cheap to buy and make it more convenient to transfer the files to your PC.
To protect your camera physically, I would suggest you buy a case as you don't get one with this product; Panasonic DMW-PSS13KK Leather Case for FS Series
If you want to buy a spare battery though, it's going to burn your pockets, you shouldn't really need one as the batteries life is decent enough, however if you're the type to take LOADS of pictures and video while being in an area you can't charge the battery, you will need to purchase this model: Panasonic DMW BCK7 Battery
, you wont be able to buy a cheap make as only Panasonic's own brand will work with this camera, they ensure this is because cheap batteries may damage your camera which will void your warranty.
This camera's menu interface has been greatly improved from the FS30 model, I thought the older version was good enough but this one has made the menu even more simplistic and easy to navigate around.
Upon clicking the "Mode" button you will get five different options:
*Intelligent Auto; This option is great for those who don't want to mess with the settings, the camera will adjust it for you and the picture results are fantastic!
When using "iA" you may notice some icons in the top left corner, these range from "i-Portrait", "i-Scenery", "i-Macro", "i-Night Portrait" "i-Night Scenery" & "i-Sunset".
*Normal Picture; this options is mainly for when you want to edit the settings more to your needs.
You also have a choice to choose from two different macro modes:
"AF Macro"; This option will allow you to take pictures of things like flowers and spiders close up. The manual states the lens must be at least 5cm away from the object your taking a picture of. I also suggest not zooming in too far as the camera could find it hard to focus.
"Macro Zoom"; Same distance rules apply with this mode, basically it uses digital zoom up to 3x too get that extra close picture, but the picture quality may not be as good compared to the previous setting.
*My Scene Mode; Choose the scene setting you will be using the most, it basically makes that option turn into the one you choose for faster selecting in the future.
*Scene Mode; with options ranging from 'Portrait', 'Scenery' day or night', 'Fireworks', 'Sports' & more, you're going to get even more out of pictures!
*Motion Picture; record a video ranging from 720p HD resolution, 640x480 or 320x240.
The only downside for me is that you still can't zoom-in whilst recording video, however you can zoom in before clicking that record button to solve that problem, but do note that once recording you can't zoom back until you have stopped recording.
The range of picture settings are fantastic, here are some examples:
*Picture sizes/quality & aspect ratios (4:3 & 16:9).
*Colour mode (Normal, Natural, VIVID, Black & White, Sepia, Cool & Warm).
*Red-Eye removal, image stabilising, exposure & sensitivity.
Or if your taking a picture and need some options quickly, you can press the quick menu which will let you adjust the image stabilisation, focus mode (face or area), white balance, ISO, screen brightness or picture quality.
A new addition to the FS35 is a button named "E.Zoom", upon pressing this button it quickly zooms in by 8x or 10x optical (different for certain modes), if you press it again it will zoom in even further which also depends on what setting/mode you're using. The manual states that the furthest zoom is 18x "optical" when pressing "E.Zoom", however I've also had times when the camera states it's 22.5x instead, however do take in mind that when you're zooming past the normal zoom capability you will be forced to take the picture in 3 mega-pixels rather than the normal 16.1MP.
Now I don't know if this extra zoom is really optical or if it's actually digital, but as I've already said; the manual does state it's "optical" so we'll just have to go with the manufacturers on this one.
Overall, I am extremely pleased to purchase this camera, with the new Venus picture engine and upgraded lens, the pictures are of fantastic quality.
If your a first time buyer or even someone that is looking to upgrade from an old camera, this really is the camera for you!