Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS30 Review

4.0
August 6, 2010 | Gavin Stoker |

Image Quality


All of the sample images in this Review were taken using the 14 megapixel Fine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 5Mb.

Though occasionally confused by busy scenes the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS30's iA mode mostly does a sterling job of automatically adjusting settings to suit, leaving the user free to concentrate on their subject and their framing rather than fiddling around with camera settings.

Generally though, and taking into account that this is a humble point and shoot just-shy-of £200, shots are among some of the sharpest we've seen from a pocket camera of its ilk, unless shooting handheld at maximum telephoto which did result in some loss of definition. Detail is well defined though and images require minimal if any processing straight out of the camera.

Like its Lumix forebears the FS30 provides warm colours - and especially so if turning on the vivid colour option. Pixel fringing, though there if you're really looking for it, is nevertheless kept well under control. Similarly, shots taken at maximum 28mm equivalent wide angle reveal good edge-to-edge detail and minimal barrel distortion. There's also just enough of this camera to get a reasonably firm grip on and avoid too much in the way of blur when shooting hand held, though as mentioned results at maximum telephoto inevitably come out a little soft on occasion.

Given the amount of pixels crammed on to its sensor, the FS30's performance in low light is a respectable one. As our test shots show, detail is held well up to and including ISO800, only really softening - and revealing tell-tale fuzziness - at maximum manually selectable ISO16000 option. Overall not a bad performance at all - and especially so given the modest pricing.

Noise

There are 6 ISO settings available on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS30. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting.

ISO 80 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

Sharpening

Here are two 100% crops which have been Saved as Web - Quality 50 in Photoshop. The right-hand image has had some sharpening applied in Photoshop. The out-of-the camera images are a little soft at the default sharpening setting and benefit from some further sharpening in a program like Adobe Photoshop. You can change the in-camera sharpening level via the Picture Adjust menu option.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

   

Chromatic Aberrations

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS30 handled chromatic aberrations very well during the review, with limited purple fringing present around the edges of objects in certain high-contrast situations, as shown in the example below.

Example 1 (100% Crop)

Macro

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS30 offers a Macro setting that allows you to focus on a subject that is 5cms away from the camera when the lens is set to wide-angle. The first image shows how close you can get to the subject (in this case a compact flash card). The second image is a 100% crop.

Macro Shot

100% Crop

Flash

The flash settings on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS30 are Auto, Auto/Red-eye Reduction, Forced On, Slow Sync./Red-eye Reduction, Forced Off. These shots of a white coloured wall were taken at a distance of 1.5m.

Forced Off - Wide Angle (28mm)

Forced On - Wide Angle (28mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64
   

Forced Off - Telephoto (224mm)

Forced On - Telephoto (224mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

And here are some portrait shots. As you can see, neither the Flash On or the Auto/Red-eye Reduction settings caused any red-eye.

Forced On

Forced On (100% Crop)
   

Auto/Red-eye Reduction

Auto/Red-eye Reduction (100% Crop)

Night

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS30's maximum shutter speed is 60 seconds in the Starry Sky mode, which is great news if you're seriously interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 8 seconds at ISO 80. The camera takes the same amount of time again to apply noise reduction, so for example at the 15 second setting the actual exposure takes 30 seconds.

Night Shot

Night Shot (100% Crop)

Entry Tags

hd video, hd, 720p, 2.7 inch LCD, 14 megapixel, lumix, 28mm, 8x zoom, Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH20 Review, Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS30 Review, fh20, fs30