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Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS16 Digital Camera Review

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS16 Digital Camera Review - Daniel Bell tests the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS16, with a 14.1Mp sensor, 4x optical zoom and costs Ł119.

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Category : Compact Cameras
Product : Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS16
Price : £119
Rating :
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Features
Handling
Performance
Verdict
Specification

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS16 front

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS16 was announced back in January 2011 aiming to deliver excellent pictures easily in a slimmer, more compact, stylish body. The camera is available for £110 in pink, silver, black, blue and red.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS16 front lens

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS16: Features

The DMC-FS16 has a 28mm 4x optical zoom lens, which can be boosted to 5x with intelligent zoom as well as 4x digital zoom. The optical image stabilising technology will assist the user in taking images which are as sharp as possible.

Intelligent Auto mode is also included on the DMC-FS16 and has AF tracking and Intelligent Exposure, all aimed at making picture taking as easy as possible in any conditions. If Intelligent Auto isn't enough there are 28 scene modes available to choose from.

HD videos are possible at 1280 x 720p at 30fps and are easily uploaded to Facebook and YouTube easily via a PC. The camera is also capable of shooting VGA videos (640 x 480) in motion JPEG.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS16 top

Key Features:

  • 28mm wide-angle 4x optical zoom Leica DC lens
  • 14.1Mp sensor
  • MEGA OIS (Optical Image Stabiliser)
  • iA (Intelligent Auto) mode with Intelligent Scene Selector
  • HD Movie Recording
  • 5x Intelligent Zoom with Intelligent Resolution Technology
  • ISO100 - 1600 (High Sensitivity mode ISO1600-6400)
  • 5cm macro mode
  • Scene modes: portrait, soft skin, 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 and photo frame.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS16 rear

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS16: Handling

The DMC-FS16 is a well built camera and fits easily into your hands as well as pocket. All the buttons are easy to press and the on/off switch is a slide button which makes it harder to switch on by mistake. All the buttons are typical of a compact such as zoom rocker around the shutter button and d-pad.

Burst    
4:3 14.1Mp 1fps
Flash burst    
4:3 3Mp 1fps
3:2 2.5Mp 1.1fps
16:9 2Mp 1.1fps
Hi-speed burst    
4:3 3Mp 5fps
3:2 2.5Mp 5fps
16:9 2Mp 5fps
The camera has several modes which take a set of pictures including burst, flash burst and high-speed burst. The latter two are only capable at a reduced image size.

During use the focus speed was quick and when in single shot mode the camera takes between 2 and 3 seconds in between shots.

The camera is ready to take pictures within a couple of seconds of switching on. The menus are extremely easy to navigate with a good explanation of what each of the scene modes should be used for. The battery is capable of 270 pictures (CIPA Standard), during testing it was only charged once and showed no signs of running out of power.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS16 battery

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS16: Performance

The DMC-FS16 is capable of producing good images with colours accurately replicated. The Intelligent Auto mode works really well and it is rare that it won't take the kind of pictures you are looking for. The IA mode is superb at making landscapes look great especially when there are blue skies above. The camera tended to struggle when the sun was in shot and showed occasional lens flare and under exposed from time-to-time.

ISO and Noise Performance

Noise is handled really well by the DMC-FS16 at ISO100 and ISO200 with only slight signs of image quality suffering at ISO400. Noise is clearly coming in at ISO800 with acceptable images still being produced. At ISO1600 there is clear noise with much reduced image quality. Images produced at this ISO level are best kept for small sized web use.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS16 ISO100 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS16 ISO200 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS16 ISO400
ISO100, 1/2, f/6.5, 20mm (35mm equivalent: 112mm) ISO200, 1/3, f/6.5, 20mm (35mm equivalent: 112mm) ISO400, 1/6, f/6.5, 20mm (35mm equivalent: 112mm)
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS16 ISO800 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS16 ISO1600  
ISO800, 1/13, f/6.5, 20mm (35mm equivalent: 112mm) ISO1600, 1/25, f/6.5, 20mm (35mm equivalent: 112mm)  

There are a range of modes for taking portraits on the DMC-FS16, which generally give good results although red-eye was evident when using the flash. Skin tones are reproduced well and the soft skin mode also does a good job. The results achieved using dynamic mode gives excellent results, retaining plenty of detail in the highlights and shadows.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS16 indoor portrait with flash   Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS16 outdoor portrait
Indoor portrait with flash, ISO640, 1/60, f/5.4, 14mm (35mm equivalent: 78mm)   Outdoor portrait, ISO100, 1/20, f/6.5, 20mm (35mm equivalent: 112mm)
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS16 soft skin   Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS16 dynamic
Soft skin, ISO100, 1/20, f/6.5, 20mm (35mm equivalent: 112mm)   Dynamic, ISO400, 1/100, f/9, 5mm (35mm equivalent: 28mm)

When using the lens at its widest, detail is best nearer the centre of the images than the edges but are quite acceptable. The images produced when using the full optical zoom aren't as good. When viewing them at 100% there are patches of detail lost particularly around the edges.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS16 wide-angle   Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS16 full optical zoom
Wide-angle, ISO160, 1/100, f/9, 5mm (35mm equivalent: 28mm)   Full optical zoom, ISO100, 1/200, f/6.5, 20mm (35mm equivalent: 112mm)

White-balance

Auto white-balance works excellently in all conditions including under tungsten and fluorescent lights in our studio. The DMC-FS16 doesn't have a fluorescent lighting preset but it is not needed due to the excellent AWB performance.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS16 Auto white-balance in incandescent lighting Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS16 Incandescent preset in incandescent lighting Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS16 Auto white-balance in fluorescent lighting
Auto white-balance in incandescent lighting, ISO100, 1/6, f/4, 9mm (35mm equivalent: 50mm) Incandescent preset in incandescent lighting, ISO100, 1/6, f/4, 9mm (35mm equivalent: 50mm) Auto white-balance in fluorescent lighting, ISO100, 1/2, f/4, 9mm (35mm equivalent: 50mm)

Video Mode

The DMC-FS16 can record motion pictures in HD (1,280 x 720 pixels at 30 fps in Motion JPEG format) which can then be uploaded onto YouTube or Facebook via a PC. VGA videos (640 x 480) are also possible.

Sample Video

Value For Money

If you are looking at cameras with a 14Mp sensor and 4x optical zoom then you may also be considering the Sony Cyber-shot W530 at £109.00 or the cheaper Pentax Optio RS1000 at £99 which scored a nine out of ten in our test. At this price range there are cameras with a full 5x optical zoom lens such as the Nikon Coolpix S3100 at £111 which scored eight out of ten.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS16

 

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS16: Verdict

The DMC-FS16 is a good addition to Panasonic's range of Lumix cameras capable of taking good images in varying situations thanks to the Intelligent Auto mode. There are many cameras of a similar specification at this price range and the DMC-FS16 is certainly worthy competition. Even more so as the price is bound to drop to around £100 fairly quickly.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS16: Pros

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS16 Excellent auto white-balance performance
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS16 Intelligent Auto mode
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS16 Small, light and well designed

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS16: Cons

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS16 Camera struggles when the sun is shining towards the lens
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS16 Red-eye when using flash

FEATURES Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS16
HANDLING Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS16
PERFORMANCE Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS16
VALUE FOR MONEY Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS16
OVERALL Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS16

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS16: Specification

Price £119
Contact www.panasonic.co.uk
Optical zoom 4x optical zoom, 5-20mm (28-112mm in 35mm equiv.), f/3.1-6.5
Resolution 14.1Mp
Sensor size 1/2.33in
Max image size 4320 x 3240
Aspect ratio 4:3 / 3:2 / 16:9
Focus points Normal / Macro, Zoom Macro, Quick AF (Always On), AF Tracking
Focus distance 5cm
File types JPEG
ISO sensitivity ISO100 - 1600 (High Sensitivity mode ISO1600-6400)
Metering system Program AE
Exposure compensation 1/3 EV step, +/-2 EV
Shutter speed range 1/1600 - 8sec (Starry Sky Mode : 15, 30, 60sec)
Frames-per-second 1.5
Image stabilisation Mega Optical Image Stabiliser
Movie mode 720p HD
Monitor 2.7in TFT Screen LCD Display
Media type 70MB Internal, SD, SDHC, SDXC
Interface AV Output (PAL), USB2.0 High speed
Power Li-ion Battery Pack
Box contents Battery Charger, Battery Pack, AV Cable, USB Cable, AC Cable, Hand Strap, CD-ROM
Size 94.3 x 53.5 x 18.8mm
Weight 118g (with battery and memory card)

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS16 costs £119 and is available from Warehouse Express here:

Panasonic DMC-FS16

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Photographs taken using the Panasonic Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS16

SunsetPutting on a show, when you dress up in your clothesA subculture in a kaleidoscope of fashionBluebells 2012SpiderTulipMagnolia, Middle TempleBashfulForsythiaWood-sorrelAlmost outCamellia
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Comments


18 Mar 2011 10:50AM
Panasonic cameras these days produce fuzzy images. It started with the FZ100 and now also the TZ20 and this one here. It's the same old story: too many pixels on a small sensor.
I wonder how big a print a user of one of the 14mp camera's makes, or at what size images are viewed on screen.

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