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The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS45 was announced in January 2012 and features a bright f/2.5 lens which has previously only been features on Panasonic's higher spec cameras. It is available in black, gold, silver, red and violet for £109.95.
Picture taking is made easy by using iA mode, with the correct settings automatically detected for the scene and changed accordingly. Other shooting modes include miniature effect, panorama and beauty retouch. There is also face detection AF/AE, AF tracking, intelligent scene selector and intelligent exposure. Panasonic claim the FS45 has Sonic Speed AF, offering a high-speed response when focusing the camera and pressing the shutter.
Videos are recorded in 720p HD, although optical zoom is not available.
- 16.1 megapixel CCD sensor
- 5x optical zoom f/2.5 lens (35mm equiv: 24-120mm)
- Mega OIS (Optical Image Stabiliser)
- 3.0 inch TFT 230k dot LCD screen
- iA (Intelligent Auto) mode
- 720p HD video recording
- ISO 100-1600
- 5cm minimum focusing distance
- Miniature effect
- Panorama shot
- Beauty retouch
- Available in black, gold, silver, red and violet
The camera menu systems are easy to use, with explanations given for each option, great for a first time user. The 3 inch LCD is bright, clear and easy to view in varying lighting conditions. The battery has a CIPA rating of 260 shots, we managed over 600 during testing, a good return.
We tested the camera's performance at focusing, shutter response, shot-to-shot time, continuous shooting etc. and have posted the results below. To test this we took 6 or more shots and calculated the average.
|Shutter Response||0.15 seconds|
|Wide - Focus / Shutter Response||0.2 seconds|
|Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response||0.35 seconds|
|Switch on Time to Taking a Photo||2.0 seconds|
|Shot to Shot (without flash)||1.2 seconds|
|Shot to Shot with Flash||2.4 seconds|
|Flash burst||0.8 fps|
Burst mode records at full 12 megapixel resolution, high-speed burst records at 3 megapixel, as does flash burst.
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Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS45 Sample Photos
Portrait | 1/60 sec | f/4.5 | 12.3 mm | ISO 400
Landscape | 1/1000 sec | f/2.5 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100
Miniature | 1/125 sec | f/6.4 | 21.5 mm | ISO 200
Pet | 1/100 sec | f/5.1 | 14.8 mm | ISO 320
Sample Photos - The FS45 images are well exposed with really good colour reproduction. Portraits have decent skin tones, with a hint of red-eye when shooting with the flash. Portraits can be enhanced using the retouch menu.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS45 Lens test images
Wide Angle | 1/1300 sec | f/2.5 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100
Full Optical Zoom | 1/400 sec | f/6.4 | 21.5 mm | ISO 100
Intelligent Zoom | 1/500 sec | f/6.4 | 21.5 mm | ISO 100
Macro | 1/15 sec | f/2.5 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100
Lens Performance - Image detail is OK whether shooting wide or with the full optical zoom, but images are prone to purple fringing in contrasting areas of the image. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of 5cm, which does allow you to get close enough to take a good macro shot.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS45 ISO test images
ISO100 | 1/5 sec | f/4.9 | 13.9 mm
ISO200 | 1/10 sec | f/4.9 | 13.9 mm
ISO400 | 1/20 sec | f/4.9 | 13.9 mm
ISO800 | 1/40 sec | f/4.9 | 13.9 mm
ISO1600 | 1/80 sec | f/4.9 | 13.9 mm
ISO Noise Performance - Images are free of noise at ISO 100, with only a small amount appearing at ISO 200. There is a little more noise at ISO 400, with images becoming a little soft at ISO 800. Noise increases quite dramatically when switching to ISO 1600, with lots of detail lost. The FS45 can shoot at ISO 3200 when using high-sensitivity mode, an example of which can be seen below.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS45 White-balance test images
AWB preset - incandescent lighting | 1/13 sec | f/3.2 | 6.8 mm | ISO 100
Incandescent preset - incandescent lighting | 1/13 sec | f/3.2 | 6.8 mm | ISO 100
AWB preset - fluorescent lighting | 1/8 sec | f/3.2 | 6.8 mm | ISO 100
White Balance Performance - Auto White Balance performs quite well under Tungsten light with the Tungsten preset doing little to improve the image, instead giving it a slight orange cast. Auto White Balance performs very well under fluorescent lighting.
Panorama | 1/800 sec | f/9.0 | 4.3 mm | ISO 800
Panorama | 1/500 sec | f/9.0 | 4.3 mm | ISO 800
Panorama mode - Panorama's don't have loads of detail, but are generally stitched together nicely and look good for use on the web, rather than large prints.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS45 Other sample images
Drive | 1/400 sec | f/2.5 | 4.3 mm | ISO 160
i-Exposure | 1/1000 sec | f/2.5 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100
Trees | 1/60 sec | f/2.5 | 4.3 mm | ISO 125
Glass Through Mode | 1/100 sec | f/4.5 | 12.3 mm | ISO 100
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS45 Digital filters
Colour Mode Standard | 0.4 sec | f/5.7 | 17.0 mm | ISO 100
Colour Mode Vivid | 0.4 sec | f/5.7 | 17.0 mm | ISO 100
Colour Mode Black And White | 0.4 sec | f/5.7 | 17.0 mm | ISO 100
Colour Mode Sepia | 0.4 sec | f/5.7 | 17.0 mm | ISO 100
Digital Filters - As well as standard, there are three other colour modes to choose from, with examples of each above.
Video - The video below has been recorded at 720p HD, optical zoom is available during recording, with an example on the ePHOTOzine Youtube page.
Value For MoneyThe Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS45 is available for £104.00. Others to consider are the Samsung PL210 at £79.00, Olympus VG-170 at £79.95, Panasonic Lumix DMC-S3 at £84.00, Canon PowerShot A1300 at £89.95, Nikon Coolpix S3300 at £94.95, Canon PowerShot A3200 IS at £99.00 and Olympus VR-340 at 99.00.
You'll also need to buy a memory card and a case or bag to keep your camera safe and protected - have a look at our complete guide to camera bags.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS45 ProsBright f/2.5 lens
Compact metal body
Can shoot a 7fps, albeit at 3 megapixels
Images have good colour reproduction
Decent noise performance up to and including ISO 800
Battery lasted longer than expected
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS45 ConsMore expensive than most cameras with a similar spec
Panoramas don't have enough detail to view in large format
Purple fringing quite common
|VALUE FOR MONEY|
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS45 Specifications
|Max Aperture||f/2.5 - f/6.4|
|35mm equivalent||24mm - 120mm|
|CCD pixels||14.1Mp (Megapixels)|
|Sensor Size||1/2.33 inch|
|Sensor Size (width)||6.08mm|
|Sensor Size (height)||4.56mm|
|Screen resolution||230,000 dots|
|Shutter speeds shortest||1/1600sec|
|Shutter speeds longest||8sec|
|ISO sensitivity||100 - 6400|
|Optical Zoom with Video||No Data|
|Battery Type||Li-ion Battery Pack (3.6V, Minimum: 680mAh)|
|Box Contents||Battery Pack, AC Adapter, USB Cable, Hand Strap, CD-ROM with PHOTOfunSTUDIO 8.0 Advanced Edition / Adobe Reader|