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==Price and Availability==
I bought the Panasonic Lumix DMC-XS1 camera about six months ago now as I wanted something which had a few extra features whilst still being an affordable price. At the time I paid about £80 for it which I didn't think was too bad, it was relatively new on the market but looked like just what I wanted. It currently sells at varying prices, it's still £80 in Curry's but Panasonic themselves sell it for just under £60. Amazon are currently selling this Lumix camera for just £55 with free delivery and for a little extra them also sell the camera with a case and memory card which in my opinion is really good value.
==Panasonic Lumix DMC-XS1==
The Lumix DMC-XS1 comes in four colours, blue, red, black and white, I opted for the white and it's certainly a very nice looking camera. For starters it's only really small; it's less than 2 cm wide and easily fits into pockets and bags making it really easy to carry around. The camera is also really light weight and is easy to carry and use. Although the camera is small the screen is a really good size, it's 2.7 inches which is plenty big enough and is LCD so it shows what's being photographed in good quality. There's a high resolution 16- megapixel sensor to capture both landscapes and close up images, there's also a 5x optical zoom lens.
As soon as I started to use this camera I was pleased with the photos I was taking, they were sharp and good quality, there's image stabilisation which I think really helps as it stops blur. My nephew is just two and a half and occasionally messes around with the camera and even he manages to take blur free photos. A feature which I was pleased to find on this camera was panorama shooting which allows you to capture a very large landscape, up to 360 degrees if you want to, this has allowed me to take some really impressive photos.
There are also 13 different filter modes which allow you to add different effects to images, there's the usual sepia and soft focus options but there's lots of others which I'd never heard of before like high dynamic and dynamic monochrome. The best filter mode in my opinion is one point colour; the majority of the photograph is black and white with just one area being picked up in colour, such as a flower. These photos look really professional and look great when printed off, I've took photos of my nephew which have been black and white but it's just picked up on a particular colour on his clothes and they look really good.
I had a slight problem when I bought the camera as I didn't realise it takes a micro SD memory card, most cameras take a normal SD card. My phone has the micro memory card though so I just used this one for a while but it's worth noting if you're considering buying this camera. The camera battery lasts ages, I would say I take between 200 and 300 photos before it needs charging and then it's just a case of connecting it to a computer via USB, it charges up really quickly and I usually just do this whilst transferring photos to my laptop.
This camera has really impressed me, there's one quite big downfall to it though, when it's sunny the screen seems to turn into a mirror and you can't see what you're photographing at all. The screen is meant to have a special feature which allows it to automatically adjust its brightness in sunny conditions but it doesn't seem to work. It only happens on really bright days but it is quite a big drawback especially as I like to take a lot of my photos on holiday.
I do really like the Panasonic Lumix DMC-XS1, it's a smart looking camera which is really small and easy to carry around. I find it easy to take high quality, professional looking photographs with ease and the many different shooting modes and features means you can play around with this camera for hours just trying out different things. It's a lot better than the basic models whilst still being good value and affordable. The screen is a big problem when it's sunny but on an average British day, or indoors my Lumix camera is more than I could want especially for the price I paid.