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I bought this camera to replace one that stopped working!
After much internet research, I settled on the Panasonic Lumix FS35 as being a good balance between price and quality - a good quality camera is important to me, but I can't afford an expensive one.
First looks and use did not disappoint - a well balanced and robust camera with a large and clear image screen, and a few test pictures later I was more than happy with the results.
The controls are clearly labelled and well sited - I found the camera easy to use one handed with no adverse affects. The menus to set up the camera, whilst a bit of a pain are far more logical than some other cameras I have used.
All in all the camera was easy to set up, and could be used relatively easily straight from the box.
I have now had the opportunity to use the camera under a variety of conditions, and all in picture quality is good, even at full optical zoom (8X) - and the stabiliser for shaky hands works well - this includes use in the the UK and on snow and sand overseas. The drawback is when using the flash - there tends to be a bit of image fade to the edges of the shot (darker at the edges than it should be) - this is not enough to bother me but it should be noted. The flash itself is fine and fires with minimal delay.
The camera is 16 MP which produces high quality images, however this size is a memory grabber - you can reduce this through the menu without noticeable effect to 5 MP or 3MP.
The FS35 takes good quality HD video which looks good on a PC or television screen, however the sound quality is quiet and a bit tinny - one of the few areas Panasonic have cut corners on.
The FS35 is a pretty standard size and fits into all generic cases that I tried - no case is supplied with the camera, however a wrist cord is.
Battery life is generally excellent - from a full charge I have achieved moderate use for 2 days whilst on holiday and heavy use for a day at home over Christmas. The battery is a removable Lithium Ion battery that plugs into a separate unit to charge. Charging takes about 2 hours on average.
THe FS35 (like most compacts) comes with minimal internal memory, so an external memory card is required at additional cost. I would recommend an 8GB card, as this will allow significant storage even at 16 MP.
All in all I am very pleased with this camera despite the slight drawbacks and I would recommend it.
Also on CIAO same user name
When my last camera was sent hurtling down a mountainside on my last climb (and in the process losing all of the photos from the last weeks climb) , I was forced to look for another to accompany me on my next trip.
I had done some extensive research trying to find the aforementioned camera so I knew what I wanted.
I knew I wanted something that was light, digital, obviously and small enough to fit into my pocket. So a digital compact basically. I also knew that more specifically I was looking for something with an extremely wide lens capacity and good zoom/ mega pixel capacities as I mostly like taking shots of landscapes or things that are far away, bearing in mind my hobbies.
I also knew that I wanted something relatively inexpensive,around £100 and a camera from a reputable company. I did some online research and settled on the Panasonic lumix. It has a great lens, one of those lens that is developed by a great company like Panasonic and not one of those bespoke lens houses that they try and sucker you in with. The wideangle is very impressive great for my being able to get shots of mountain ranges. It was also by Panasonic, a reputable company with years of experience in making cameras, and as part of its Lumix range I knew it would be of higher quality. It was also, importantly £130 from Amazon.
This camera comes with all the usuals, a 8 times optical zoom capacity that is very fluid, 16.1 megapixel definition, 3 inch screen,macro shot capability for different types of interesting close up shots (although this function broke on my camera after a few short days, see critisisms) flash and face recognition, exposure settings, a short memory capacity to carry out short films, and different camara settings for taking pictures of profile, landscapes, through glass, pets and sporting shots etc.
It also has internal phone memory which can store a couple of hundred photo`s in an emergency and an SD card input. Power-source wise, the battery is easy to charge, but runs out after a couple of hours.
The phone is light, small enough to fit into a back pocket and relatively easy to use, but those who have not had a digital compact before may find some of the technical stuff difficult to navigate through, I sometimes get lost and I have had the camera a little while now.
critisisms: As I mentioned before the Macro shot capacity just stopped working very shortly after I purchased it, I couldnt be bother to return it as I dont take these shots anyway. The camera sometimes finds it hard to turn itself onto night mode if your at a concert where there are single flashing, bright lights, it sorts of tries to reboot over and over, its only happened twice but it is not a regular thing. Lastly the battery life is a bit limited and it cannot tell you when it is fully charged, you just have to charge it for a while just to be sure.
The camera comes with instruction manual, a CD-rom for loading pictures, using Panasonic`s own software suite, a charging USB lead, an AC point charger for the USB lead (this has come in handy when I have been away without my PC, and seperate bags for batteries , wires etc. It does not come with a carry case though.
I hadnt initially wanted to buy this little camera, it seemed too cheap for anything that would be good and it was extremely light so I thought it may not last too long. The guy in the shop had spent a long time with us going through varius options but I knew I needed something that was easy to use, pick it up, point it, click and capture! This, I was told would do just that.
Its a little balck camera with chrome on the top and the lens and has a small display on the back to see what you are taking pictures of, as well as the viewfinder if you want to put your eye to it, no differnt than any other camera I figured. All the buttons for this camera are easy to access whilst holding the camera and if you are inclined to drop things, put the wrist strap on for added security. At around £60 this was a great buy and we took this home to start using at a party the next day.
I am impatient and tend not to read the instruction manual but really this is a must for the camera, the menu setting is on the back of the camera and you can scroll through various options to set time and date and also quality of picture, I now know that the higher the resolution the less pictures you can take, this had caused me a little concern as I believed using a 4Gb SD card was going to allow me thousands of pictures but sadly this didnt seem to be the case.
Using the same menu option on the menu button, you can set the flash for automatic, always or off and this was really handy, I set to automatic to avoid the many requests I would inevitable make to retake a shot because i had forgotten to set it. Autofocus can also be set which I love, I mean who wouldnt want that on a camera, especially wobbly handed people like me?
The viewfinder screen is pretty large for a camera at this price and this enable you to focus better regardless, I love to see and then view the pictures I have taken and check im happy before moving on to take further pictures, I often get asked by the subjects in the pic to see what I have taken. Deleting the picture is easy as you can click on it and delete or delete all pictures.
Optical zoom is something that took me a little longer to sort and I really dont know why other that you can do it slowly or if the button is pushed the other way, it goes quickly. This button sits just in front of the capture photo button and can seem a little fiddly but given the camera size, anyone with bigger hands may also find this problem. The lens will move out as soon as the camera is switched on and back for safe storage when shut off and when you adjust the zoom you have an audible sound to let you know its adjusting for you, to be fair its all very professional for a low cost camera.
Videos on the camera are also excellent quality but tend to drain the battery fairly quickly and. as you would expect, are higher on the storage of the SD card. I dont take many videos as I think people tend to accept a picture but are less accomodating of a video.
Flash is excellent and I produced some great photos even in darker light conditions, battery life decreases significantly if you are using the flash so if you are out for the evening maybe consider buying another battery so you always have a spare one charged up.
I love this little camera and am ashamed to say I doubted its ability due to the weight, its easy to use, takes lovely photos and has good battery life. Would be good as a starter for a teenager or someone like myself who wants something easy to use which does exactly what you expect.
A couple of years ago we were looking for a new camera, and my brother in law had just bought one of these. Sadly, it was just out of our price range at over £100, so we gave it a miss. A few months later, we saw it on offer for well under the original amount and decided to get it as kind of a Christmas present to ourselves!
The camera is nice and compact, yet feels very sturdy when you're holding it. It comes with a wrist strap, which to be fair is pretty standard with cameras now. This is designed well so that you can easily have it round your wrist and take the photo without any restrictions. As you hold the camera, your right hand is well within comfort for all of the functions available to you. The button for taking photos or videos, depending on your setting, is on the top and has two stages - slightly depressing it sets the camera ready for taking a photo, and pushing it all the way down will take the photo. I like this two stage option as it means that taking photos when people are moving and you want to capture an instant moment is much easier than the two second delay which can be plenty of time to ruin it.
Just to the right of this is the very handy autofocus button, a function that's relatively new for most mid level compact cameras such as this one. It's only in the last couple of years that the little red button has been a common occurrence. I find it nearly always useful, and allows for the camera to do the brainwork to choose the right setting for the camera and the light situation you're in. The 12 megapixels on the camera usually mean that this produces a really good image, but in certain situations I find that it's more beneficial to override the autofocus and change things. This is rare, but does occasionally happen.
There are plenty of functions on the camera, and many of them I've not really had that much cause to use as much as the standard ones you'd expect from any other camera. Switching the flash settings is very easy, and I think the fact that the menu itself is easily navigable makes this a lot more marketable than some of the more technical specific cameras in its range. All too often devices such as this one are ignored due to the complication of finding out how to use it as opposed to its actual use. The Lumix is very clear, with depth to the menus that mirror the sort of style you'd expect on a PC with folder options. It's very logical.
The button to take the photos also houses the zoom, adjusted by a small toggle on the front of this button. This is a scaled zoom, meaning that moving it slightly one way will zoom slowly, moving it further does it quickly, and the opposite direction moves the zoom in the other way. Very easy to use, and as it has a 5xoptical zoom you really can get a lot closer without sacrificing the visual quality. There are cameras with higher specs, but this is still good. Sitting on the back of the camera are the menu functions and quick keys, and these are the ones that give you one click adjustments to your photo setting. It's slightly fiddly to switch to video mode, but other than this I honestly can't find fault in how the buttons and functions are set out.
The viewfinder display is a good size, and I think this is one of the features that attracted us to start with we saw my brother in law using it. Our previous camera had been good, but we couldn't really see what was on screen and it frustrated us. With this one, the designers have tried to fill the reverse of the camera as much as possible with a screen so that you really can see what you've taken a photo or video of. The buttons line up vertically on the right hand side which makes even more room for the screen, and the quality of it is also very good. The only thing I don't like about it is that it's not a touchscreen one, something I'd have liked. I know there are designs out there with this facility included though, and I was aware of it before purchase.
Battery life for this camera is decent enough. Unless you're taking loads of videos then this'll last you hours and hours. I find that taking it on a good day out and getting dozens of photos and a good few video clips as well runs the battery down to low enough that you'd need to recharge it to be on the safe side for another day's use, but by no means gets rid of all of it. The battery pack itself is individual to the model, and the camera comes with a special battery charger that it fits in. I much prefer this to AA or AAA batteries in devices - they hold their charge much better I find. Transferring your data is also easy with the USB connector, which seems to have fast transfer speed when plugged in to your PC.
I don't actually have any gripes with this camera. I'm well aware it's of a standard level as opposed to being high spec, but the ease of use easily boosts this camera's value in my eyes to that of something that may have higher specs. The end product is good, the functions very user friendly and I'm yet to have anything other than small niggly issues, nothing which merits dropping my opinion of it. Could do with a touchscreen display and the autofocus isn't perfect, but for what it is, I'm yet to find something better.
So I have had this camera for a couple of years now and it has been on many a holiday with me. I bought this from the airport when I was going on holiday. The sales assistant took me out of the shop and showed me how far I could zoom and I was sold!
I believe you can zoom in on things upto 1 mile away. I was amazed at the picture quality and I really like the option of zooming in on the pictures I have taken and in fact you can probably zoom in more than you want. I could zoom right in to see all details in the background clearly. When I uploaded them to my PC the pictures was really crystal clear and just as much when I have had some of them processed. The memory holds an SD card, so you can choose the amount you want. I had a 2GB memory card which was ample for hundreds (and I mean hundreds) of pictures.
The camera has various options and the options really are suitable to take a great picture. The camera adjusts well as does the flash. I am no photographer but the pictures do turn out great and even so at night, I have great memories thanks to that camera. the charge on the camera lasts for ages. I would say with constant picture taking of the beautiful scenery on holiday, it lasted for 4 days and if you charge it, it only takes a couple to a few hours.
So onto the cons.. The build quality of this camera is not great, so it may take a great picture when it works. So where do I start? the outer shell of the camera is strong even after a few falls however in order to charge this camera you have to remove the battery. Once you open the camera to remove the charger you see little fidy bits of 'plastic'! One of which is meant to slide in order for you to remove the battery. As I did not charge it that often other than being on holiday, I was not happy when the plastic part broke a little. This meant every time I have to remove the battery, it was extremely fidly and if you did not push it down properly it wont close and the camera wouldnt work. So theres no suprise that this 'piece' of plastic eventually fell off. This was really dissapointing as I was on holiday at the time and did not want to buy one abroad. I had to rummage around to find something to jam the battery in in order for me to take photos. This didnt work great either as it was still slightly loose which basically means the battery isnt in far enough.
When buying a camera I didnt think to check this part of the camera but this is a must in future, you may be able to take a great picture but I suppose in this case thats as and when due to the cheap plastic peices!