Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS42

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Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS42

The FS series are remarkably slim and attractive cameras. The sharp edges and flat body design further enhance their sleek camera styling. Extremely c...

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Review of "Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS42"

published 14/09/2009 | MrMopp
Member since : 09/09/2009
Reviews : 5
Members who trust : 0
About me :
Excellent
Pro Build quality, range of useful features, ease of use, price, flash
Cons No AV cable, no view finder.
very helpful
Picture Quality
Range & Quality of Features
Ease of Use
Durability
Reliability

"The entry level camera in the Lumix family is no poor relation."

After four years of hard use my old compact digital camera died. Although I also own a dSLR camera there are times when you don't want to lug a big camera and lenses around, so the search for a small camera to compliment the SLR began.

When shopping in Tesco I looked at the cameras on display just to pass the time really. However at Tesco the display cameras are live, so you can have a play and you're not pestered by staff trying to sell you extended guarantees! I saw a Lumix fs4 camera on offer at £69.95. This is I believe a discontinued model which has been superceeded by the FS42, the only difference is a 10mp sensor as opposed to the older models 8mp one. According to the technical info (instruction book) there are no other differences. Anyway I returned to Tesco the next day armed with a load of club card vouchers and purchased the camera for £40, I was also given a voucher for 5p off a litre of petrol and another one to buy 18 bottles of beer for a fiver!!

When I got the camera out of the box I was immediately impressed with the quality. The body is plastic, but the fit and finish are first class. A polished metal top plate contains the shutter button and zoo toggle, and this adds to the feeling of quality. Like most blokes I put the battery in (there was some charge in it) and had a play.

The camera has three basic modes. The first is an intelegent scene selector mode, this is where the camera searches through it's 22 scene options and chooses the most suitable one. This is great for those quick moments where there is no time to select various picture options, and is dead easy to use.

The second mode allows you to choose the scene option, you can also select mono, colour or sepia along with changing flash settings and ISO values within the scene parameters.

The final mode is 'normal picture'. This is a straight auto exposure shot. However you can modify the exposure settings +/- by 2 1/2 stops, select ISO values (1000 max), force flash on or off, select focus mode (including face recognition), set the white balance and colour profiles. If I was to really split hairs I'd have liked to have seen shutter and apeture priority modes included too.

The flash is really good and pictures remain natural looking without the burned out look of other compact camera flashes, and the folk at Panasonic have got alot out of such a small unit.

Another useful feature is the burst mode where you keep the shutter button pressed and snap away, great for moving targets (or toddlers). The self timer has two settings, 2 and 10 seconds.

In picture playback the picture info (sich as apeture and shutter speeds) can be displayed along with the scene settings etc, another useful feature. The pictures can also be displayed as a slide show with some funky options. However Panasonic don't include an AV cable (USB is supplied), which is an obvious bit of penny pinching. The LCD display is clear and the colours are well defined, another clever trick is that it adjusts according to lighting conditions so it can be used on the brightest of days, the next time the sun shines I'll put this to the test. I would have liked an old fashioned viewfinder, but this feature has largely been confined to history as far as compact cameras are concerned! Panasonic say that the lithium battery will take over 400 pictures per charge.

The picture quality is great and the Leica logo by the lens is another reassurance of quality. I cannot comment about the movie capture as it's a feature I don't use. The supplied editing software is another area I can't talk about as I use Photoshop, however reviewers of other Lumix cameras comment that it's not the best.

As the FX4 is discontinued there will be some great deals to be had, and hey 8mp is more than enough for most users. I've enlarged 6mp pictures to 10x8 without any loss in quality, and at the end of the day a 12mp sensor is great for posters but if it's housed in a flimsy body how good will the pictures be? I've seen the 10mp (and newer) FX42 for under £100 in Argos and this must make it something of a bargain.

The FX4/42 is a well made camera which is easy to use regardless of photographic ability. However the number of useful features should also satisfy the demands of those who want more control over their pictures, and all this for under £100 (or £70 in the FX4 case).

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Comments on this review

  • TheHairyGodmother published 15/09/2009
    great review
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Product Information : Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS42

Manufacturer's product description

The FS series are remarkably slim and attractive cameras. The sharp edges and flat body design further enhance their sleek camera styling. Extremely compact and designed for casual use, they are ideal for traveling and parties, or simply carrying around in a handbag for easy, everyday use. In the Venus Engine LSI, Panasonic improved diagonal resolution by 50% over earlier models by extracting luminance signals from all of the pixels - red, green and blue. And the Venus Engine IV even goes a step further by adding the luminance signal from the green pixels in areas with horizontal or vertical lines. Panasonic has raised horizontal or vertical resolution by about 10%. Images are rendered in fine detail and without visible color bleeding. The FS model is equipped with the Venus Engine IV and the motion detection in the Intelligent ISO control function has been further enhanced to suppress motion blur even more effectively. With a shutter release time lag of as little as 0.005 second, Lumix cameras are literally faster than the blink of an eye. This high-speed response makes it easier to capture the perfect expression on a child's face or a spectacular moment in a sports event.

Product Details

Manufacturer: Panasonic

Product Type: Digital camera - compact

Product Description: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS42EF-K - digital camera

Weight: 112 g

Dimensions (WxDxH): 9.8 cm x 2.2 cm x 5.4 cm

Colour: Black

AV Interfaces: Composite video/audio

Display: LCD display - 2.5"

Camera Flash: Built-in flash

Digital Zoom: 4 x

Focus Adjustment: Automatic

Lens System: 4 x zoom lens - 5.5 - 22 mm - f/2.8-5.9

Sensor Resolution: 10.1 Megapixel

Memory Card Slot: SD card

Microsoft Certification: Certified for Windows Vista

Supported Battery: 1 x Li-ion rechargeable battery - 940 mAh ( included )

Min Focus Distance: 50 cm

Exposure & White Balance

Exposure Compensation: ±2 EV range, in 1/3 EV steps

Min Shutter Speed: 60 sec

Max Shutter Speed: 1/2000 sec

White Balance Presets: Cloudy, daylight, halogen, shade

White Balance: Custom, automatic, presets

Special Effects: Cool, Warm, Black & White, Sepia, Neutral, Vivid

Shooting Programs: Portrait mode, party/indoor, night portrait, self-portrait, PET, scenery, food, fireworks, night scene, sports mode, sunset, candle, beach, snow, high sensitivity, starry sky, soft skin, baby1, baby2, aerial photo, hi-speed burst, flash-burst

Exposure Modes: Programme, automatic

Exposure Metering: Multi-segment

Light Sensitivity: ISO 100, ISO 800, ISO 400, ISO 200, ISO 1000, ISO auto, ISO auto (1600-6400)

Dimensions & Weight

Weight: 112 g

Height: 5.4 cm

Depth: 2.2 cm

Width: 9.8 cm

Additional Features

Self Timer Delay: 10 sec, 2sec

Additional Features: Audio recording, USB 2.0 compatibility, built-in speaker, RGB primary colour filter, digital noise reduction, date/time stamp, DPOF support, PictBridge support, in-camera red-eye removal, resizing an image

Continuous Shooting Speed: 6 frames per second, 2.3 frames per second

Lens System

Lens Construction: 5 groups / 6 elements

Focal Length Equivalent to 35mm Camera: 33 - 132mm

Type: 4 x zoom lens - 5.5 - 22 mm - f/2.8-5.9

Focus Adjustment: Automatic

Macro Focus Range: 5cm

Zoom Adjustment: Motorised drive

Features: Built-in lens shield, aspherical lens

Min Focus Distance: 50 cm

Memory / Storage

Image Storage: JPEG 3648 x 2736 ¦ JPEG 3648 x 2432 ¦ JPEG 3648 x 2056 ¦ JPEG 3072 x 2304 ¦ JPEG 3072 x 2048 ¦ JPEG 3072 x 1728 ¦ JPEG 2560 x 1920 ¦ JPEG 2560 x 1712 ¦ JPEG 2560 x 1440 ¦ JPEG 2048 x 1536 ¦ JPEG 2048 x 1360 ¦ JPEG 1920 x 1080 ¦ JPEG 1600 x 1200 ¦ JPEG 640 x 480

Memory Card Slot: SD card

RAM Installed: 50 MB

Supported Memory Cards: SD Memory Card, SDHC Memory Card

Video Capture: QuickTime - 640 x 480 - 30 fps ¦ QuickTime - 320 x 240 - 30 fps ¦ QuickTime - 848 x 480 - 30 fps

Battery

Details: 1 x Li-ion rechargeable battery - 940 mAh ( included )

Miscellaneous

Certified for Windows Vista: Certified for Windows Vista software and devices have undergone compatibility tests for ease-of-use, better performance and enhanced security.

Included Accessories: Carrying strap, battery charger, battery case, USB cable, audio / video cable

System Requirements for PC Connection

Peripheral Devices: USB port, CD-ROM Drive

Software

Software: Drivers & Utilities, ArcSoft Panorama Maker, Panasonic PHOTOfunSTUDIO 3.0, ArcSoft MediaImpression

Connections

Connector Type: 1 x USB ¦ 1 x composite video/audio output

Memory Card Slot: SD card

Microphone

Microphone Operation Mode: Mono

Display

Display Features: Built-in

Resolution: 230,000 pixels

Type: 2.5" LCD display

Camera Flash

Effective Flash Range: 0.3 m - 6.3 m

Flash Modes: Fill-in mode, slow synchro, auto mode, flash OFF mode, red-eye reduction

Camera Flash: Built-in flash

Features: AF illuminator

Environmental Parameters

Max Operating Temperature: 40 °C

Min Operating Temperature: 0 °C

General

AV Interfaces: Composite video/audio

Digital Video Format: QuickTime, MJPEG

Auto Focus Points (Zones) Qty: 9

Auto Focus: TTL contrast detection

Optical Zoom: 4 x

Face Detection: Face Detection AF/AE

Digital Zoom: 4 x

Image Recording Format: JPEG

Product Type: Digital camera - compact

MPN: DMC-FS42EF-K

Optical Sensor Size: 1/2.5"

Effective Sensor Resolution: 10,100,000 pixels

Total Pixels: 10,350,000 pixels

Optical Sensor Type: CCD

Sensor Resolution: 10.1 Megapixel

Enclosure Colour: Black

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