45 of 45 people found the following review helpful
Great little travel zoom,
This review is from: Panasonic Lumix FS30 Digital Camera - Black (14.1MP, 8x Optical Zoom) 2.7 inch LCD (Electronics)I bought the Lumix FS30 to replace my much loved Lumix FX8, which got sand on the sensor. I was worried that 14mp on the FS30's tiny sensor would result in lots of noise, but Panasonic seem to have cracked this issue, presumably by clever software. Even night scenery shots have almost no visible noise, which was always a problem on the FX8.
The 8x optical zoom lens in such a small camera is astonishing, though images do get a bit soft at longer focal lengths. The 28mm wide angle is significantly more useful than the 35mm on the FX8 too. It's quick to focus and has very little shutter lag. The screen is clear and bright, and the captured images are sharp and full of detail. HD movies are a plus, though there is no HDMI port, so you can't play them back in HD quality on a HD TV. They gobble up SD card space too, so short clips are the order of the day.
The "Intelligent Auto" function works very well, selecting the appropriate scene mode automatically, and employing face detection to set the correct exposure for skin texture. However iAuto defaults to the "Standard" colour mode, which increases contrast and sharpness, and over-saturates colours, much like the "Vivid" mode on the FX8. You can select a "Natural" colour mode, which gives more realistic images, but this is only available in "Normal" mode, not in "iAuto". So in order to get realistic photos, you have to select "Normal" and "Natural", and then select the scene mode manually, negating the advantages of "iAuto".
Other minor drawbacks are the typically quirky Panasonic controls (e.g. none of the buttons have play or stop icons for movies and slideshows, so it's trial and error, or RTFM). No manual control over aperture or shutter speed either, but that's to be expected for this type of camera.
Overall though, I'm impressed with this camera. When you don't want to lug your DSLR on holiday, it's the perfect pocket snapper, and great value too.