Product Type: Panasonic digital cameras
Newest Review: ... from a reputable company. I did some online research and settled on the Panasonic lumix. It has a great lens, one of those lens tha... more
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Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS35
Member Name: pmcds
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS35
Advantages: Easy to use, quality images
Disadvantages: Autofocus not perfect, no touchscreen
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.
Summary: Very good mid level compact camera
|Ease of use:|
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