Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS37 Review

4.0
May 23, 2011 | Gavin Stoker |

Image Quality


All of the sample images in this Review were taken using the 16 megapixel Fine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 6Mb.

We were lucky enough to be testing the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS37 under ideal conditions: with deep blue skies top of frame and lush late spring vegetation carpeting the foreground beneath. Faced with such primary colours the Panasonic turns on the charm; the vivid option selectable from the colour mode menu lifting any digital flatness and providing some added punch, to deliver results that we largely feel require no further post processing out of the camera. Which is, on the face of it, all anyone wants from an inexpensive pocket snapshot.

At both maximum 28mm (35mm equivalent) wideangle and extreme 224mm equivalent telephoto settings we achieved some detail rich and colour rich results, with the only 'issues' being familiar ones that blight 99% of compact cameras: namely visible pixel fringing tracing the contours of objects - chiefly tree branches - where light meets dark - plus burnt out highlight detail. 

In terms of low/er light shooting, noise starts creeping into shadow areas as low/high as ISO 400, though up to and including ISO 800 we can live with it. At ISO 1600 however we're getting both a grainy wash across the entire image and also softening of edge detail. This top manually selectable setting would however be usable at a push - for example if it made the difference between getting the shot, or not. A better bet may however be purely to choose the night scenery scene mode and deploy the self timer with the aid of a steady surface, which as our sample shots show produces a much cleaner overall result than simply bumping up the ISO.

Noise

There are 5 ISO settings available on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS37. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting.

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-FS37 handled chromatic aberrations well during the review, with some purple fringing present around the edges of objects in high-contrast situations, as shown in the examples below.

Example 1 (100% Crop)

Example 2 (100% Crop)

Macro

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS37 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-FS37 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-FS37'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 6 seconds at ISO 100. 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, 3 inch LCD, 16 megapixel, 720p, touch-screen, lumix, touch screen, 28mm, 8x zoom, fh27, fs37, Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH27 Review, Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS37 Review

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