Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS22 Review
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS22 (also known as the DMC-FH7) is a slim and stylish digital camera with a 4x, 28-112mm optical zoom lens. The FS22 also features a 3 inch touch-sensitive screen with Touch AF, Touch Zoom and Touch Shutter functionality, and it can record HD movies in 1280 x 720p at 30fps. The 16.1 megapixel DMC-FS22 offers Panasonic's now standard Intelligent Auto mode for quick and easy shooting, Sonic Speed AF system, High Sensitivity mode and Extra Optical Zoom. The FS22 / FH7 is available in silver, black or pink for £169 / $179.
Ease of Use
Slipping neatly into the stylish range of Panasonic's line-up, the Lumix DMC-FS22 looks like a simple point and shooter. It's not until you look a bit closer and see the extra features that Panasonic have used to boost the quality of the camera. The small lens on the front is a Leica DC Vario-Elmar with a 4x optical zoom that is steadied using Mega OIS (Optical Image Stabilisation).
Minimalism appears to be the trend on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS22 because there's only one button which is the shutter release. Wrapped around that is the zoom rocker while the power switch is located just to the left. Everything else is on the 3 inch touch-screen which takes over the entire back of the camera. What amuses us is that with the touch and shoot option that Panasonic add to their touch-screen models, the shutter release button is pretty much redundant. That leaves only the zoom and that could also be integrated into the touch-screen meaning that all buttons and switches aside from the power switch could be removed from a camera. That would be a radical design.
The camera body is built to a high standard with a metal casing. The lens has only a very small amount of play in it which is great and the screen sits flush with the body so won't get caught and chipped at the edges. The battery door can sometimes be an issue with digital compact cameras because they can sometimes be a bit flimsy. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS22 does suffer from this but it's not overly bendy. There's also a lock to keep the door closed and prevent accidental opening while shooting.
Alongside the lithium ion battery is where the memory card is located. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS22 takes an SD type card and is compatible with all variations including the newly released SDXC version. What we do like is the snap open/shut USB cover because some cameras have very feeble covers and some don't have any at all. We think that a similar cover for the battery would be great.
Because of the lack of buttons, there's plenty to do on the screen. The red camera icon accesses the shooting modes such as the two auto modes, both intelligent and normal, beauty skin mode, my scene mode, normal scene mode and video. Below this is the playback button for looking at the pictures you've already taken. The two most interesting buttons are located below these. The button on the left activates touch and shoot where you can simply touch the area of the screen you want to be sharp and the camera will focus automatically before taking a picture.
Remember what we said about the camera being radical if there was an on-screen zoom function? That's what the button in the bottom right corner does. There's a slow or speedy zoom option depending on how fast you need to bring something closer to you. Of course this begs the question of why the manual zoom rocker is still present as the on-screen function renders it obsolete. We think it's simply down to what a consumer expects to see on a camera.
Tapping on the menu button brings up 2 more options for accessing the shooting menu or set-up menu. The record menu scrolls the options along the bottom of the frame while the button with an M and a spanner will allow you to create 2 shortcuts of your favourite modes on the main screen. Simply press the M button, choose the options you want and drag them into the windows on the left of the screen.
Delving into the playback menu, the same menu and display buttons are present on the screen but pressing the menu button changes the shooting menu to the playback menu with the ever present set-up menu beside it. There are lots of options to do in the playback menu such as resizing, cropping, setting for upload and print or select as a favourite. You can also lock images so that they're not tampered with in any way or you can copy them to another memory card.
In the box there's quite a lot comes with the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS22. A basic user's guide accompanies the full guide which is found on the enclosed CD. This CD also stores drivers for the computer, if needed, PHOTOfun STUDIO 6.0 software and Super LoiLoScope which is a video editing system. The charger is a separate unit for placing the battery into and has a cable which is also included.
|Memory Card Slot
There are 2 cables for connecting the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS22 to a computer: the standard USB cable and a video cable that also plugs into USB. Unfortunately, this then converts into an analogue format because of the yellow cable on the other end. Annoyingly, there's also only a white audio lead meaning that there's no stereo sound using this cable. The best option is to avoid using this cable altogether. Either transfer videos directly onto your computer and view them there or use a card reader. Either way, it's best to get rid of the need for this cable to retain digital quality. Along with the wrist strap, there's also a touch-screen nib for precision operation of the screen and its functions.
As we used the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS22 through the test, we found that we were pleasantly surprised by its performance. There are a few features we'd like to see upgraded sooner rather than later such as the slow focusing system on the touch and shoot mode or the painfully slow start up time. There's nothing wrong with using a bit more rigid plastic in the battery lid to continue the trend of good build quality throughout the whole camera.
Everything else works a treat which is pretty much what we've come to expect from a Panasonic digital compact camera of this calibre. So it's a positive response in terms of what the camera is stuffed with. But does the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS22 perform as nicely as it looks?
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.
Image quality on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS22 is very good. Images are sharp thanks to a number of features that aid you when shooting. For a start there's the superior Leica branded lens that gives sharper, clearer results than a standard Panasonic lens, the Mega OIS which steadies your pictures optically, not digitally to retain quality, and the good noise performance that we found the FS22 reveals. Aside from a few blobs of green on darker areas, we were happy with the noise results all the way up to and including ISO 800. The lower end settings are great, pictures are super smooth and sharp. It does start to degrade slowly as the higher settings are used and ISO 800 is probably the worst setting because noise reduction kicks in at the highest ISO 1600 setting and the coloured noise disappears. There's a degree of salt and pepper noise to mess up edge definition but fine details are still noticeable which is a great result.
We loved using the Panasonic on flowers because the colours are rendered perfectly. Even complex colours such as purple or gentle hues are recorded realistically with no bleed over if contrasting colours are next to each other. In other situations, the FS22 doesn't let you down. We found that the only time we had issues with colour was when we hadn't set the correct white-balance setting. We did notice that there's no setting for flash on the white-balance but found that the auto setting works perfectly well when using flash. We thought we could get away with using the shade setting for indoors but it brought the pictures out too warm. Essentially it seems that the camera is set up for indoor photography because the auto system works best if you're in that scenario.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS22 has a close focusing range of 5cm to infinity. There's also a macro zoom feature which allows you to use the digital zoom if necessary although it's worth noting that this will decrease image quality. Pictures are nice and sharp with the macro mode as long as you either use a tripod or act fast enough. If you're the type of photographer that likes to focus first then take a picture a second or so later to make sure it's still framed properly, then even a small movement rocking back or forwards will send the picture out of focus. There is a degree of definition being lost at the edges of the frame but what we're most impressed with is the lack of barrel distortion.
Make sure you zoom into the noise pictures to see how good the results are. Notice that the ISO 1600 picture is actually better than the ISO 800 in terms of colour invasion.
ISO 100 (100% Crop)
ISO 200 (100% Crop)
ISO 400 (100% Crop)
ISO 800 (100% Crop)
ISO 1600 (100% Crop)
We are perfectly happy with the sharpness of the focusing and how the processor boosts it in camera, but adding a little in a photo editing suite such as Adobe Photoshop CS4 does give it a little extra clarity.
Original (100% Crop)
Sharpened (100% Crop)
We didn't find any instances of chromatic aberration at all throughout the test. We did get some purple banding on the screen when the picture was recorded but this wasn't transferred onto the photographs. We also found some instances of purple colour bleeding over from branches when we shot into the light. This could be lens flare though.
Example 1 (100% Crop)
A good macro result from the Panasonic FS22 means you can take pictures of insects in style. We're particularly impressed with the lack of barrel distortion at the edges of the frame although definition does reduce out at the edges of the frame.
We like how the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS22 uses the flash. It's not intrusive and doesn't bleach things out unless they're ridiculously close.
Forced Off - Wide Angle (28mm)
Forced On - Wide Angle (28mm)
Forced Off - Telephoto (112mm)
Forced On - Telephoto (112mm)
We found that with portraits, we don't have to use the red-eye function as we never got it on any pictures, but there is a red-eye removal (software type) that can be enabled in the menu if need be.
|Forced On (100% Crop)
Auto/Red-eye Reduction (100% Crop)
The night shots came out lovely, especially our test shot. Noise is at a minimum and the camera coped with highly conflicted light warmth very well. Some of the street lights are a bit over exposed but in our example we think it adds to the ambience of the shot. Of course this isn't acceptable in every situation and it could be worth trying the exposure compensation to see if that helps.
Night Shot (100% Crop)
This is a selection of sample images from the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS22 camera, which were all taken using the 16 megapixel Fine JPEG setting. The thumbnails below link to the full-sized versions, which have not been altered in any way.
Sample Movie & Video
Front of the Camera
Front of the Camera / Lens Extended
Rear of the Camera
Rear of the Camera / Image Displayed
Rear of the Camera / Turned On
Rear of the Camera / Playback Menu
Rear of the Camera / Main Menu
Rear of the Camera / Record Menu
Rear of the Camera / Record Menu
Rear of the Camera / Shortcut Settings
Rear of the Camera / Touchscreen LCD
Top of the Camera
Side of the Camera
Side of the Camera
Front of the Camera
Memory Card Slot
It's another worthy camera to put the Panasonic name on the front. It looks good, has a great build quality, is dripping with new technology and innovation and above all takes great pictures. We think that the touch-screen could be a bit more responsive, we found ourselves jabbing at the screen every so often but if you're patient, it works just fine.
One thing we did notice is that because of the location of the tripod bush (right at the left side on the bottom), when we put the camera on a tripod, it tended to dig into the plate and therefore was at a slight slant which we had to compensate for. This is a problem with any camera that has a tripod bush in this location, not just the FS22 but it's worth looking out for.
We liked the picture quality of the FS22, pictures are sharp, colours are recorded nicely and the metering works a treat even in difficult situations. We were extremely impressed with how the camera works the noise problems caused from high ISO. The low settings were very good as always in a Panasonic and as the settings rise, it does start to suffer a bit. However, when the noise reduction kicks in, it does a world of difference and it's one of the best ISO 1600 results we've seen.
We think that the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS22 is aimed mainly at the keen technology enthusiast that wants a high specification camera in a small, good looking bundle. The thin body is ideal for travelling types that need something to fit into a pocket while giving them the peace of mind that the picture they're recording are going to be to a high standard.
If you fall into this category or if you're looking for a slim, nice looking, high specification camera that produces great pictures, then take a look at the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS22.
|Ratings (out of 5)
|Value for money
Reviews of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS22 from around the web.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH7 is a slim, stylish compact camera with a 16MP CCD sensor and a 4x optically-stabilized zoom lens, which covers a useful 28-112mm (equivalent) range. Similar in most respects to its predecessor the FH5, the FH7 features a new touch-sensitive LCD screen, which enables Touch AF - a feature which has trickled down from higher-end Lumix cameras which allows you to focus and release the shutter by simply touching the display.
Read the full review »
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS22 was released in May 2010 and boasts a 16.1 megapixel sensor and 3 inch touch screen. The camera is available in black, pink and silver for £159.99. NB. Due to similarities, some of the review is the same as the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX77 review.
Read the full review »
|Dimensions (W x H x D)
|95.2 x 56.3 x 19.4 mm / (3.75 x 2.22 x 0.76 in)
|Approx. 109g without Battery and SD Memory Card (0.24 lb) / Approx. 126g with Battery and SD Memory Card (0.28 lb)
|Camera Effective Pixels
|Sensor Size / Total Pixels / Filter
|1/2.33-inch CCD sensor / 16.6 Total Megapixels / Primary Color Filter
|F3.1 - 6.5 / Multistage Iris Diagram (F3.1 - 9.0 (W) / F6.5 - 20 (T))
|f=5-20mm (28-112mm in 35mm equiv.)
|Extra Optical Zoom (EZ)
|5.1x (4:3 / 10M), 7.2x (4:3 / 5M), 9.0x (4:3 / under 3M)
|LEICA DC VARIO-ELMAR / 6 Elements in 5 Groups / (3 Aspherical Lenses / 5 Aspherical Surfaces)
|Optical Image Stabilizer
|MEGA O.I.S. (Off / On)
|Normal: Wide 50 cm - infinity / Tele 100 cm - infinity / Macro / Intelligent AUTO / Motion Picture : Wide 5 cm - infinity / Tele 100cm - infinity
|AF Assist Lamp
|Normal / Macro, Zoom Macro, Quick AF (Always On), AF Tracking, Touch AF/AE
|Face / AF Tracking / 11 pt / 1pt / Touch Area
|Still: 8 - 1/1600 sec / Starry Sky Mode : 15, 30, 60sec
|Digital Red Eye Correction (Red-Eye Removal)
|Still Image: JPEG (DCF/Exif2.3) / Motion picture: QuickTime Motion JPEG
|Mode Dial / Mode Button
|Intelligent AUTO, Normal Picture, Cosmetic, MySCN, SCN, Motion Picture
|Still Image Scene Mode
|Portrait, Transform, Self-Portrait, Scenery, Panorama Assist, Sports, Night Portrait, Night Scenery, Food, Party, Candle Light, Baby1, Baby2, / Pet, Sunset, High Sensitivity, Hi-Speed Burst, Flash Burst, Starry Sky, Fireworks, Beach, Snow, Aerial Photo, Pin Hole, Film Grain, High Dynamic(Standard, Art, B&W), Photo Frame
|Continuous Shooting Mode
|1.3 frames/sec / High-speed Burst Mode: approx. 4.4 frames/sec (image priority) / (recorded in 3M for 4:3, 2.5M for 3:2, 2M for 16:9, 2.5M for 1:1)
|Motion Picture Recording
|[4:3] VGA: 640 x 480 pixels, 30 fps (Motion JPEG) / QVGA: 320 x 240 pixels, 30 fps (Motion JPEG) / [HD Movie ] 1280 x 720 pixels, 24fps (Motion JPEG)
|1/3 EV step, +/-2 EV
|I.ISO / 100 / 200 / 400 / 800 / 1600 / High Sensitivity mode (ISO 1600-6400)
|Still Picture Recording
|[1:1] 3456 x 3456 (12M) / [4:3] 4608 x 3456 (16M) / 3648 x 2736 (10M EZ) / 2560 x 1920 (5M EZ) / 2048 x 1536 (3M EZ) / 640 x 480 (0.3M EZ) / [3:2] 4608 x 3072 (14M) / [16:9] 4608 x 2592 (12M)
|Auto / Daylight / Cloudy / Shade / Incandescent / White Set
|Color Mode / Color Effect
|Standard, Natural, Vivid, Black & White, Sepia, Cool, Warm, Happy (only in iA Mode)
|2sec / 10sec
|Normal Playback, Slideshow, Filtering Playback?Category, Favorites), Calendar Playback
|Thumbnails / Zoomed Playback
|12,30-thumbnails / Yes / Touch Magnification
|Calendar Display / Dual-Image Playback
|Yes / No
|Set Favorites / Rotate Image
|Yes / No
|DPOF Print Setting / Set Protection
|Yes / Yes
|Resize / Trim / Aspect Conv. / Leveling
|Yes / Yes / No / No
|Copy / Title Edit / Text Stamp
|Yes / No / Yes
|Single / Multi / All / Favorites / DPOF
|Japanese, English, German, French, Italian, Spanish
|3.0" (7.5cm) TFT Touch Screen LCD Display (230K dots) / Field of View : approx. 100%, Wide Viewing Angle / AUTO Power LCD mode, Power LCD mode
|Auto, Auto/Red-eye Reduction, Forced On, Slow Sync./Red-eye Reduction, Forced Off / 0.4 - 3.3m (Wide/I.ISO), 1.0 - 1.6m (Tele/I.ISO)
|Built-in Memory, SD Memory Card, SDHC Memory Card, SDXC Memory Card
|Microphone / Speaker
|Mono / Yes
|AV Output (PAL), USB2.0 High speed
|Li-ion Battery Pack (3.6V, Minimum: 660mAh) (Included)
|Battery life (approx.)
|240 pictures (CIPA Standard)
|PHOTOfunSTUDIO 6.0 / QuickTime / Adobe Reader / Super LoiLoScope ( Trial version)
|Stylus Pen, Battery Charger, Battery Pack, AV Cable, USB Cable, AC Cable, Hand Strap, CD-ROM
|• Motion pictures can be recorded continuously for up to 15 minutes in European PAL area.