Advantages Very easy to operate, great pictures, very good value
Disadvantages Different colours have various prices
|Range & Quality of Features|
|Ease of Use|
It always takes me a while to decide on any electronic device, because I don't consider myself an expert in this field, and for 50 positive reviews about something you always get 50 negative ones, which makes the decision even more difficult. I had been toying with the idea of buying a digital camera for months, so when my sister treated herself to a new laptop for Christmas, I decided enough is enough and spent the whole day researching a choosing a camera for myself.I settled for this Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS30 model in Violet, which is a nice colour, but not a bright very girly violet - it's more toned down and stylish Aubergine colour in my opinion. I had initially placed an order on Amazon, where at £146 I paid about £30 more for the violet colour. The other colours were (starting from cheapest): black, silver and blue. To my disappointment, after 6 weeks of waiting I was told Amazon were out of stock of this colour and model, so I turned to John Lewis and paid £169.5 for exact same product.
The camera comes with a 1-year Panasonic warranty, which I think is not a long time for an electronic device, but I guess most manufacturers nowadays give quite short warranties on their products. John Lewis offered extended warranties for up to 3 years at additional cost, but I didn't opt for these.
I am absolutely delighted with this camera. The pictures come out sharp, clear and in great colours. I don't remember any time that I had to delete a picture because it was blurred, dark or with weird colours. I usually take pictures during sporting events and at parties, so mostly it is fast moving objects and dark lighting. This camera takes great quality photos no matter what lighting you have, whether the object is close or far or whether it moves or not.I have been recently taking a lot of photos of fast moving people as I am a fan and practitioner of capoeira (Afro-Brazilian martial art, for those of you that are curious). All the pictures turn out clear with no smudged or blurry legs or arms.
The same is for the videos - they are what HD movies should be like. They all come out clean with no pauses in pictures. Fast movements are also clear, not blurred, and the sound is pretty good. The only downside with the videos is that you cannot change the zoom setting while you are filming - it is ok to zoom in or out before clicking the record button, but not while the video is being recorded. It is not a major drawback, but worth mentioning. I have found the same minus in all the cameras I used before, so it is not a surprise or a big issue to me.With other cameras I noticed that pictures and videos can look good when you look at them in the camera, but as soon as this is enlarged and the picture or video gets transferred to the laptop, you find that the quality is not so good. It is different with this camera - pictures and videos are great quality on a small and large scale. This is what I have always been looking for.
I usually use this camera with iA (intelligent auto) mode on as it makes the idea of point and shoot just that. It detects hand shake, object movement, face shape and scene conditions to adjust its settings for a perfect shot. You can, of course, choose some settings on your own. For example, there are 20 scene modes to choose from, you can also change white balance, autofocus mode and ISO sensitivity. I find that iA mode is the easiest way to use this camera and the pictures always turn out great.Apart of the fantastic quality photos and videos, I am impressed with the longevity of the battery. All my previous cameras had this negative that the battery wouldn't last long. My previous Pentax Optio 50 camera used 2xAA batteries and they would be gone in a few hours. Also, very often the battery would get eaten while the pictures where being transferred from camera to laptop or deleted. So imagine my surprise and delight when I found this battery to last about a week with heavy use for pictures and videos (Panasonic give approximate number of 300 pictures or 150 minutes of recording time for this camera). Downloading the contents to the laptop and deleting pictures doesn't use much battery either. With my normal use, i.e. taking pictures randomly when there is occasion, this will last months. How good is that?!
Transferring photos from the camera to laptop is dead easy - just use the USB connector and link the camera with laptop, then choose PC mode on the camera screen and the pictures appear on your computer screen so you can choose which ones you want to download. You can create various folders for the photos at the same time, delete them, etc. There is no software that you need to install, no CD to use - just simple downloading straight from the camera. Or you can use software included with the camera if you want to be able to edit photos, make slide-shows etc. The images don't take long to download.The camera doesn't come with much memory (40 MB), so you need to buy a memory card. There are various formats supported: SD, SDHC and SDXC and you could get one that stores up to 64 GB (only for SDXC cards).
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