The Panasonic Lumix DMC FS15 sits somewhere in the middle bracket of pocket sized digital cameras when it comes to price. So the big question is why should you pay the extra money for the Lumix DMC FS15 instead of buying a cheaper option you might be able to find if you take a look around.
This is a 12 megapixel digital camera with a 5x zoom lens. This is certainly a greater number of pixels than you will find on more basic and therefore cheaper models. But do you really need the extra pixels? 6 megapixels is plenty for snapshot sized prints and a bit above. In fact 3 megapixels will do just fine for 6 x 4 inch prints. In this case there are two main advantages to all these extra megapixels. To start with it gives you the flexibility to crop photos and still have a large enough image to make a smaller print.
For me it is the second advantage of these extra megapixels that is of most interest. Panasonic include a feature called extra zoom on most of their digital cameras. This is available on the Lumix DMC FS15. Extra zoom becomes available when you elect to take pictures at a lower resolution. The maximum amount of zoom can be increased to a maximum of 9.8x when shooting at 3 megapixels and lower. That is an impressive amount of zoom for a pocket digital camera.
The lens has wide angle capabilities. Again this is a feature that you might struggle to find at the cheaper end of the market although there are one or two cheaper digital cameras offering this feature. A wide angle lens gives you the ability to photograph wide scenes. So this is likely to be more attractive to you if you regularly take pictures of sweeping landscapes, groups of people or wide buildings.
Outside of these features The Lumix DMC FS15 offers a few extra features that you do not always find in a camera in this class. These include image stabilisation, a 2.7 inch LCD screen and continuous shooting options. Another area Panasonic are pushing hard is the intelligent auto mode. In terms of what you need to do to activate it, it is not that different to the standard automatic mode. The idea behind it is that the camera attempts to identify common scenes, any motion in the scene you are photographing and the type of lighting in effect. This all sounds good, but it is not really all that different to how the standard automatic mode is meant to work!
When it comes to ease of use the Lumix DMC FS15 is quite straightforward. The main menu runs to three screens, with the set up menu running to four. There are two ways of looking at this. First there are plenty of features to get your teeth into. The second is that it will take a while to master all the options at your disposal.
The design of the camera is not that different to a multitude of other digital cameras. It is available in three colours: silver, blue and black. At around 21mm wide it is not as slim as the very slimmest digital cameras, but it is still small enough to slip into almost any pocket.
There is plenty of choice when it comes to pocket cameras like this one. Panasonic themselves offer a number of similar cameras. If you do not think you will make the most of the wide angle lens or the number of megapixels on offer then it is worth taking a look at the Panasonic Lumix DMC FS6. This camera has the majority of features this camera has, but you can make a significant saving on the price.
Andy writes and reviews digital cameras for Cameras.co.uk. See his test shots and ratings for the Panasonic Lumix DMC FS15
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Andy_Needham
May 6, 2009
-12.1-megapixel resolution captures enough detail for poster-size prints
-5x MEGA optical image-stabilized zoom; 29mm wide-angle Leica DC Vario-Elmar lens
-Intelligent Auto (iA) mode; Face Detection
-2.7-inch LCD screen
-Capture images to SD/SDHC memory cards (not included)