Panasonic Lumix DMC-XS1 Review

3.5
August 27, 2013 | Matt Grayson |

Image Quality


Noise

It's easy when you get a budget camera such as the Panasonic Lumix DMC-XS1 to expect nothing in terms of image quality. If that's the case, then the low ISO pictures will be surprising. The pictures we got at ISO 100 are smooth, sharp, well exposed and with excellent colour rendition.  Don't be mistaken, we can see that noise reduction is at work, but it's working very well and not upsetting the balance of colour in the image.

Viewing the ISO 200 picture at full size, it's obvious noise is coming through as the darker areas are starting to get that muddy painted look as noise reduction blends the image to cover up noisy pixels.

Again, viewing at full magnification, noise starts to appear at ISO 400 in the mid-tones. By ISO 800, the noise reduction system has started to mute the colours on the sensor to try and suppress noise. ISO 1600 sees the noise reduction system start to overwhelm the noise reduction system.

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

 
 

Focal Range

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-XS1 has a 5x optical zoom which starts at 24mm and zooms out to 120mm by 35mm terms. At wide-angle, the picture degrades substantially to the edges of the frame.

24mm

120mm

Sharpening

For a sub £100 camera, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-XS1's pictures are sharp enough without any additional sharpening in an editing suite. If you do decide to add sharpening, you need to make sure there's no noise in the picture first or it will get worse.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

   

Chromatic Aberrations

We struggled to find chromatic aberrations present on the pictures we took, although we were having a spell of bad weather during the test and didn't have the high contrast from bright light that is usually necessary. However, we did manage to locate some and it's only found at the far extremes of the frame.

Chromatic Aberrations 1 (100% Crop)

Chromatic Aberrations 2 (100% Crop)

   

Chromatic Aberrations 3 (100% Crop)

Chromatic Aberrations 4 (100% Crop)

Macro

At wide-angle, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-XS1 can focus as close as 5cm. At this setting, you need to put the subject in the exact centre of the frame, because the image quality dissipates considerably as you move away to the edges.

Macro

Macro (100% Crop)

Flash

Vignetting is noticeable at wide-angle whether the flash is fired or not. Using the flash simply removes any dappled light from the centre of the frame and stabilises it. At full zoom, there's a slight amount of vignette with no flash. This disappears with the flash firing.

Flash Off - Wide Angle (20mm)

Flash On - Wide Angle (20mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64
   

Flash Off - Telephoto (1200mm)

Flash On - Telephoto (1200mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

And here are a couple of portrait shots.

Forced On

Forced On (100% Crop)
   

Auto/Red-eye Reduction

Auto/Red-eye Reduction (100% Crop)

Night

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-XS1 has a night scene mode for taking long exposures which will allow more light onto the sensor to expose the darker scene. The Night scene mode uses a low ISO to reduce the chances of noise. The long exposure creates its own noise though. It also used a 5 second exposure in our test. The Auto mode used a one second exposure, which is the longest it can use. Both cameras had the same settings on all other aspects. Noise performance is actually better on the Night scene picture although they both show it.

Night Scene

Night Scene (100% Crop)

   

Night Auto

Night Auto (100% Crop)

Entry Tags

hd video, hd, compact, wide-angle, 16 megapixel, 720p, hdmi, 5x zoom, 2.7 inch LCD, lumix, panasonic, budget, point and shoot, xs1, xs1 review, Panasonic Lumix DMC-XS1 Review, dmc xs1, dmc-xs1

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