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.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS22 Front
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS22: Features
The FS22 has a high resolution 16.1 megapixel sensor and a 4x optical zoom which is a 35mm equivalent of 28 - 112mm. When using the Intelligent Resolution mode the zoom ratio can be extended to 5x. On the rear of the camera is a 3.0 inch LCD touch-screen where you can operate both the AF and shutter release.
The FS22 has several shooting modes which make picture taking easy such as Beauty Retouch Mode as well as various effects such as clearing the skin texture, teeth whitening, colour of foundation, lips, cheeks or eye-shadow.
To reduce blur the camera has MEGA OIS (Optical Image Stabiliser) and the camera also has iA (Intelligent Auto) Mode which detects the correct camera settings automatically. Other features available are Intelligent ISO Control, Face Detection AF/AE, AF Tracking, Intelligent Scene Selector and Intelligent Exposure.
Movies are recorded at 720p HD at 24 fps and can be easily uploaded to YouTube and Facebook as can images. Just select the pictures and videos you want to share and next time you connect your camera or memory card the files with be uploaded automatically.
If you are looking for a compact digital camera which will fit in your pocket when out and about the FS22 certainly ticks that box. It is stylish looking and the 3.0 inch touch-screen adds to the appearance, with just a couple of buttons found on the top of the camera, these being a sliding on/off switch and the shutter release which is surrounded by the zoom rocker. The touch-screen is responsive, there are occasions when you are having to press twice and if you really find it a struggle, Panasonic provide a stylus.
The menus are fairly easy to navigate, but as we've found before on previous Panasonic compacts, when cycling through options such as recording settings and scene modes, there is just a symbol rather than any text. If you press and hold a symbol, text appears, but you have to be careful about how you remove your finger if you decide that option is not the one you are looking for.
In use the camera is quick to focus and is ready to shoot within a couple of seconds of switching on. The battery life is rated at 240 shots which might not be quite enough if you are out shooting for a full day, so a spare is likely to be a useful addition. The camera has 3 different continuous shooting modes. Burst (full size) achieves around 1.1fps, Hi-speed burst (4:3 3m, 3:2 2.5m, 16:9 2m, 1:1 2.5m) around 3.5 - 4 fps, and flash burst (4:3 3m, 3:2 2.5m, 16:9 2m, 1:1 2.5m) shoots approximately 0.5fps.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS22 Battery
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS22: Performance
The camera takes well exposed images with pleasing colour reproduction. At both ends of the lens, images have plenty of detail throughout, there is a hint of purple fringing in bright conditions on occasion, but generally the camera copes well. With a minimum focus distance of 3cm, the camera takes excellent macro images.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS22 Lens test images
Noise is handled extremely well at ISO100 and it doesn't worsen much through ISO200 and ISO400. At ISO800 a hint of detail and sharpness is evident but it's not much and again at ISO1600, it's only slightly worsened from ISO800. In high-sensitivity the camera can shoot up to ISO6400. Given the high resolution sensor, noise performance is excellent.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS22 ISO test images
Below are example images using some of the scene modes available. Using landscape mode, the camera has enhanced the blues and greens to give a very pleasant scene although not as good as those shot using the FX77. The FS22 takes pleasing portraits, with only a slight touch of red-eye. To see all images shot using the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS22 please visit the ePHOTOzine Equipment Database.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS22 Scene modes
In our testing lighting conditions, the auto white-balance setting performs excellently. There is no prest for fluorescent light, which is typical on Panasonic cameras, so you are relying on the auto white-balance, which doesn't disappoint. There is an incandescent preset which gives an orange cast in the image, with the AWB setting taking the better looking picture.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS22 White-balance test images
There are six colour modes available to add creativity to your pictures, with examples of each below.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS22 Digital filters
Videos can be shot at 720p HD, but doesn't allow the use of the optical zoom lens during recording.
If you are looking for a compact digital camera with a high resolution sensor, the FS22 does not disappoint in terms of image quality. Unfortunately you are restricted as to when you can use an ISO setting higher than ISO1600 and video recording is only 720p with no optical zoom available. The ISO noise performance is good, especially when you consider the large number of pixels available. Overall, the FS22 is a decent camera but there are a wealth of other similar cameras around and it will depend on which features are most appealing as to whether it is the camera for you.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS22: Pros
16.1 megapixel sensor
Good noise performance
Touch screen is responsive
Good image quality
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS22: Cons
No optical zoom available when recording videos
Limited to ISO1600 unless using high-sensitivity mode