Product Type: Panasonic digital cameras
Newest Review: ... famous Whitby Abbey, followed by cute shots in natural colours of my two sons. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS35 allowed me to do this beautif... more
What A Picture! What A Photograph!
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS35 Digital Camera
Member Name: karenuk
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS35 Digital Camera
Advantages: Excellent range of features, great quality photos and video, very good value.
Disadvantages: Complex amount of features which are hard to find sometimes.
I am a big fan of digital cameras and have owned several over the last few years. I usually try to upgrade every year, but I have been loyal to the Panasonic Lumix brand for the past three years or so. When my baby son was due, I felt it was an excellent time for an upgrade, so I did an online search to see which would be the best model to buy.
I didn't want to spend more than £150, I wanted more pixels and a bigger zoom than my other models and - being a girl! - I wanted a pretty colour too! The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS35 ticked all these boxes. It has 16 mega pixels, an 8x optical zoom and I bought a red one. A quick search on Kelkoo suggests it is currently available from £94 to £166, so it is well worth shopping around to get the best deal. Amazon UK is selling a violet one for just under £100.
You can search all the technical specifications online, as I don't intend to list them here. My requirements were that it could take really good quality photos that I could print out as 10x8s, if I wanted to. I use my camera for photographing nature a lot, landscapes, scenery and historic buildings, as we go away a lot for weekend breaks and longer holidays within the U.K. and part of the whole travel experience for me is getting artistic photos of important buildings and historic places. A recent family holiday in Whitby meant that I wanted to take atmospheric black and white shots of the famous Whitby Abbey, followed by cute shots in natural colours of my two sons. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS35 allowed me to do this beautifully.
An important aspect of digital cameras for me is the ability to change the colour settings and tones for photos, if I am looking for a specific effect. The basic colour settings are Standard, Natural, Vivid, Black and White, Sepia, Cool and Warm. I have used all of these, but my favourites are Standard, Natural and B/W.
There are really too many features of this camera to explain here, but the best thing to do if you buy this camera is to go through each function and experiment. By doing this, I found a feature which puts a photo frame around your pictures where you can choose the Photo Frame option theme in Scene and this enables you to frame your photos with a standard look, a sparkly hearts one or one saying 'Happy Birthday'. I took a photo of our baby son smiling, while using the Happy Birthday setting and printed it out (10" x 8" size) for my partner's birthday and it looked great.
There are plenty of other Scenes you can choose such as fireworks or snow (both often hard to photograph well) and two settings for photographing babies (called Baby 1 and Baby 2), which are all worth trying. It can be quite hard to remember how to get to a certain option though, especially if you see something to photograph and need to get to the right setting before the moment passes. Using the camera, playing with the options and familiarising yourself with how everything works is the best thing to do, but it does take some time. I have had this camera since January, yet still sometimes forget how to reach a particular setting.
One of the most important settings for me is the picture size, which can easily be changed. This option also explains the use of each size, which I find very helpful. For example, if you use the 4:3 16M setting, this is suitable for printing up to A2 (16" x 20") size, while the smallest 4:3 0.3M setting is suggested for sending as email attachments as it isn't really good enough to print out. I tend to use the 4:3 5M setting, which is fine for 10" x 8" prints. Of course, the size you use determines how many photos you can fit on your SD card and my camera informs me I have the space left for 164 photos at this 5M setting, whereas I would only have space for 75 photos at the 16M size.
A feature I also use regularly is the video camera. Having a new baby provides plenty of scope for filming and I have recorded my son's early babbling and his recent achievement of rolling over by himself. The video is good quality and means you can keep treasured memories forever, without the old hassle of setting up a separate camcorder. As I have family who live away from us, I find it really useful to film my son's milestones and put them up on Facebook, so family and friends can actually see him move and hear his cute baby noises - something which still photographs cannot provide.
The camera itself is the ideal size and weight for me and is sturdy too, as I have dropped it without incurring any damage. I would recommend buying a camera case though, which you can get cheaply (I got mine from Tesco!), to protect your camera from scratches and other damage it may get from being in your bag.
The screen is a good size for viewing your photos and showing others, which is something I also do regularly, as not all the photos get printed, so it is like having a portable photo album on your camera! I do get some printed though and we spent £40 on a photo book from Lulu, which featured photos of our son from birth to six weeks old. I was thrilled with the result! All the photos were ones I had taken on my Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS35 and they came out beautifully.
To sum up, this camera is perfect for my requirements and has enabled me to take some beautiful photos and videos in the five months I have had it. I feel it is very good value for money and it certainly has plenty of features and options which help you make the best of your photographic skills and artistic talents. The only disadvantage I have found is that it is quite complex to access all the options, as you have to remember which buttons to press in which order, but this does get easier the more you use it. It may put off some people from trying all the features though. Apart from this, it is an excellent camera and I thoroughly recommend it.
Summary: A really impressive camera for less than £150.
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