Product Type: Panasonic digital cameras
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My new slim camera!
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS41
Member Name: kiss_me2070
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS41
Advantages: small & slim, great picture quality, range of different settings, easy to use, good battery life
Disadvantages: may be too small for people with big hands, leaves fingerprints on the LCD screen
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I wanted to treat myself to a new camera as my one was well over 6 years old and is only about 8 megapixels, so I wanted something that would take better quality photos. There are so many different cameras to choose from and I wasn't really sure what to go for. I didn't want anything too expensive but I wanted a good quality camera that was going to last. I spoke to a member of staff in my local Jessops store and he recommended a Panasonic Lumix camera which is the one I actually ended up buying, hence this review. This camera is exclusive to Jessops and is available in Black or Pink. This camera combines the quality and brightness of an f/2, 8 Leica lens with a 14 megapixel resolution and in the inclusion of optical image stabilisation further improves the low light credentials of this quality camera. The camera has a 5x Wide Angle Leica Zoom, HD Movies, Mega O.I.S, Intelligent Auto and Additional Features. The LCD monitor on the back of the camera is 2.7 inches making you able to see the pictures you have taken clearly. The camera is light-weight weighing just 119g and is sleek and small measuring (WxHxD) 96.4mm x 55.5mm x 19.9mm.
The camera itself is black with the words 'Lumix' on the front of the camera in silver. The memory card and the battery fit into the bottom of the camera behind a door which prevents the battery and memory card from any damage or from falling out. The top of the camera is shiny silver with an on/off button and the shutter button. There is also a zoom lever as well. On the back of the camera is the main LCD screen which is a nice size and there are also other buttons which includes the Mode button, Delete/Return button, Menu/Set button, Playback button and Cursor button. This all may sound a bit confusing to some people; how-ever once you have got used to the camera it's easy to use and also very simple. In the box with your camera should also be a battery pack, battery charger, AC mains lead, Hand strap, USB connection cable, CD-ROM and a book of basic operating instructions.
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The camera also has the following additional features.
* Beauty Retouch
* Auto Panorama (horizontal or vertical)
* Auto Retouch
* Sonic Speed AF for extra fast focusing
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This camera is exclusive to Jessops you can't currently purchase it from anywhere else. The camera cost me £69.95 which is £20 off the original price. My price limit on a camera was about £80, so this was suitable and it sounded and looked like a very good price for the camera. The staff member in the shop actually bundled this with a SD card, camera case and screen protector which is the deal you can get if you purchase the camera from the Jessops website.
Using the Camera
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Before using your camera you will need to charge the battery up fully and then set the date/time. The battery pack slots into the battery charger and this can then be plugged into the mains to charge. When the battery is charging you will see a green light. The green light will go off once the battery has fully charged. It takes approximately 120mins for the battery to charge fully. I ensured that I charged the battery fully before using the camera. You will need to insert a memory card (SD) and the battery into the bottom of the camera which can be done within a few seconds with ease. You need to simply turn the camera on by pressing the button on the top and then it will prompt you to set the date and time. This was done easily buy using the cursor buttons on the back of the camera. You can change the different styles of pictures simply by pressing the Mode button on the back of the camera, you can then choose from the following options by using the cursor button.
* Intelligent Auto - Take pictures with automatic settings. Optimum settings are made automatically from information such a 'face' movement 'brightness' and 'distance' just by pointing the camera at the subject, meaning that clear pictures can be taken without the need to make settings manually.
* Normal Picture - Take pictures with your own settings. Here you can adjust the photos and the zoom to how you want.
* Motion Picture - Take motion pictures.
* Scene Mode - Take pictures according to scene. The scenes included are Sports, Night Portrait, Night Scenery, Food, Baby, Pet, Sunset, High Sensitivity, Glass Through, and Photo Frame.
You can change the LCD screen to show what you want. Mine currently shows the date/time and what Scene Mode I am using. I like to keep this information on the screen so I can see it but if you prefer you can remove this. Although I haven't used every scene mode on the camera I have used a few different one's when trying to get used to the camera and playing with it. The camera is extremely light to hold but as it is also very small so people with large hands may find it slightly too small and fiddly to use. When taking a picture you don't need to press hard on the shutter button for it to take a picture. A gentle push will take a picture. The zoom function is really easy to use and is a lot easier to use on this than it was on my other camera. You simply turn the dial on the top to zoom in or out. If you press the Menu/Set button this will take you into the setup menu where you can change the date/time or take the bleep noise off of the camera as well as do other things to change the settings. Some of the scene mode's may require a flash and this means that you can't change the flash settings, how-ever when taking a normal photo you can take the flash off or set it to automatic or set it so that it goes off no matter what type of picture you are taking.
To view the photo's you simply need to press the playback button and then use the cursor buttons to go left to view all the photos. If you want to delete a photo when you get to it simply press the bin button which is located next to the playback button and you will then get given the choice whether you want to delete all the photos, multiple photo's or just the single photo. Depending on how many photos' you want to delete depends on the time it takes to delete them. If you want to delete one picture this deletes straight away, how-ever if you have lots of photo's you want to delete this may take a few more seconds. There is a time on the camera which I often find very useful for taking pictures of me and my boyfriend when no-one else is around. The timer can be set for 2 or 10 seconds. When you choose this setting and press the shutter button this is when the time will start to count down. The seconds are counted down by a bright orange light so you can be sure everyone is ready for the photo. This is a great feature on the camera and one I use quite often.
Although it takes some getting used to using a new camera just like a new phone it didn't take me long to pick up how the camera worked and how to change different settings and scenes when taking specific shots. The LCD screen is very clear and images appear very sharp on the screen. I haven't had chance to use the camera in bright light so I'm not sure how well you would be able to see the LCD screen in sunny conditions. As the winter months are here I am hoping to get some brilliant shots of the heavy frosts and maybe even snow if we get any. Although I haven't used the video very much I have used it to film short clips of my nephew. Depending on how big your memory card is depends on how long you can record a video for. I have a 4GB card in my camera and can record about 8 minutes, if there are no other pictures on the card. The camera does have an internal memory of 70MB so you don't have to buy a memory card, how-ever this is always a good idea so you can print pictures and so that the pictures you take are safe and saved on the card rather than the internal memory on the camera.
Depending on how often I use the camera the battery will last for at least 3 days, if not longer before I have to re-charge it again.
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I don't have a memory card slot on my laptop so I have to transfer pictures via USB cable. Simply plug the USB cable into the port on your computer and then into the right hand side of the camera. (Behind the small grey door). Simply turn the camera on and select PC, it will then install drivers for the camera onto your computer which took about 1 minute. After this you can transfer your pictures. It didn't take long to transfer the pictures form the camera onto the computer, how-ever this will obviously take longer the more photo's you have to transfer.
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As soon as you insert the disc into your computer you can choose the recommended installation or you can choose whether to install the user guide or the editing programme which comes with the camera. I chose the recommended setting so both were installed on my computer. It took approximately 5 minutes for the installation to complete; how-ever this can take up to 30mins depending on your computer. You have the choice whether you want a free 30 day trial of a video editing software called LoiLo. I wasn't really interested in this as I wasn't planning on using the camera for video so I declined this offer. When you install the disc onto your computer a programme where you can edit photos will also be installed on your computer. I did install this; how-ever I had to uninstall it a few days later as it kept crashing my computer. This may be because the disc wasn't properly installed; how-ever I haven't tried installing it again so I can't really comment on the actual programme.
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You can purchase a range of different cases for your camera and other accessories such as LCD screen protectors and spare batteries. I purchased a case at the same time as purchasing the camera and the member of staff gave me some LCD screen protectors at no extra cost. A spare battery for this camera costs about £19. This is handy to have if you don't get time to charge your camera. Accessories can be purchased at Jessops stores or from their website. You may also be able to find other accessories on websites such as Amazon.
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When I first purchased this camera I was a little worried about how easy it was to use, as it was quite different to my previous camera. I love the slim design of the camera and I love how compact the camera actually is. I can see that this wouldn't be suitable for people with large hands as it's probably too small for them. I got used to the camera really quickly and soon learnt how to take really good images using the different scenes that you can select in the menu. The picture quality on the screen and in prints is really sharp with no blurs occurring anywhere unless you want to specifically blur the background so you can concentrate on a closer object/person. Transferring pictures is really easy simply by plugging the USB cable into the camera and then your computer or by removing the memory card and inserting it straight into a printer or computer. In terms of value I think the camera is fantastic quality and I don't think I could have purchased a better camera unless I wanted to spend more money on one which I didn't. For me, this camera does everything I need it to do without complicated menus or shooting modes. The LCD screen protectors are a brilliant idea as the LCD screen on the back of the camera tends to pick up fingerprints and marks very quickly. I would also suggest a good quality case to protect the camera from scratches and any other damage. I have had the camera for at least 1 month and haven't yet found any faults or problems with it. If you are looking for a new camera that is good quality as well as good value then I would highly recommend this one.
(review also on ciao)
Summary: Panasonic Lumix DS-FS41 Camera
|Ease of use:|
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