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The Panasonic Lumix DMC-XS1 was announced in January 2013 and is an ultra-thin entry level camera. It has a 16.1 megapixel sensor, 5x optical zoom and available in white, black, violet and red for £86.52.
- 16.1 megapixel CCD sensor
- 5x optical zoom lens (35mm equiv: 24-120mm)
- Mega OIS (Optical Image Stabilisation)
- 2.7 inch 230k dot LCD screen
- Thin 17.6mm body
- 720p HD video recording
- ISO 100-6400
- 5cm minimum focusing distance
- Creative panorama mode
- Creative control
- 1.0 fps full resolution continuous shooting
- Available in white, black, violet and red
The buttons are also tiny so might not be ideal for those with larger fingers, we found the on / off switch particularly hard to press. This is on top alongside the shutter release. Buttons on the back include mode, video recording, playback and delete as well as a zoom buttons and d-pad. This gives access to exposure compensation, timer and flash and menu and is also use to navigate the menu as well.
The menu is easy to navigate, with a sentence at the bottom of the screen to explain what the option highlighted does. The screen is small as you'd expect for such a tiny camera with just a 230k dot resolution, but is clear to see in all light.
Battery life is rated at 260 shots according to CIPA test results, which is remarkably good for a small camera. We took a number of shots to test the camera's responsiveness, from switch on to first photo, shot to shot, focusing speed etc. We take a number of shots and then use the average to ensure accurate and consistent tests, making it easy to compare with other cameras.
|Shutter Response||0.2 secs|
|Wide - Focus / Shutter Response||0.4 secs|
|Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response||0.5 secs|
|Switch on Time to Taking a Photo||3.1 secs|
|Shot to Shot without Flash||2.5 secs|
|Shot to Shot with Flash||2.7 secs|
|Hi-speed Burst||10 fps|
|Flash Burst||0.8 fps|
The camera is a little slow at starting up, but focus speed is good. Burst shooting records at full resolution, but Hi-speed burst and Flash Burst are limited to 3 megapixels.
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Panasonic Lumix DMC-XS1 Sample Photos
Portrait | 1/60 sec | f/6.1 | 17.7 mm | ISO 1000
Landscape With Building | 1/100 sec | f/9.0 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100
High Sensitivity | 1/15 sec | f/6.1 | 17.7 mm | ISO 3200
Pet Portrait | 1/100 sec | f/5.3 | 14.3 mm | ISO 400
Sample Photos - Images have good colour reproduction and are generally well exposed. Portraits have good skin tones, but red-eye is a common problem.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-XS1 Lens test images
Wide Angle | 1/100 sec | f/9.0 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100
Full Optical Zoom | 1/400 sec | f/6.9 | 21.5 mm | ISO 100
Intelligent Zoom | 1/400 sec | f/6.9 | 21.5 mm | ISO 100
Macro | 1/20 sec | f/2.8 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100
Lens Performance - Image detail isn't the XS1's strongest characteristic but as most users will resize their images for sharing on the web this won't really be an issue, just don't expect quality large prints. There is some purple fringing in contrasting areas but this is kept under control. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of 5cm which allows for a fairly decent macro shot.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-XS1 ISO test images
1/5 sec | f/5.8 | 16.2 mm | ISO 100
1/10 sec | f/5.8 | 16.2 mm | ISO 200
1/20 sec | f/5.8 | 16.2 mm | ISO 400
1/40 sec | f/5.8 | 16.2 mm | ISO 800
1/80 sec | f/5.8 | 16.2 mm | ISO 1600
ISO Noise Performance - Noise is low at ISO 100 and 200, with images becoming a little soft at ISO 400. Images become softer still at ISO 800, and even softer at ISO 1600, but not much detail is lost.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-XS1 White-balance test images
AWB preset - incandescent lighting | 1/10 sec | f/3.8 | 8.1 mm | ISO 100
Incandescent preset - incandescent lighting | 1/10 sec | f/3.8 | 8.1 mm | ISO 100
AWB preset - fluorescent lighting | 0.8 sec | f/3.8 | 8.1 mm | ISO 100
White Balance Performance - The Auto White Balance (AWB) performs well under both the incandescent and fluorescent lights. There is an incandescent preset, which gives a slight colour cast under the incandescent light, with no fluorescent preset available, so you have to rely on the AWB here.
High Dynamic Panorama | 1/800 sec | f/9.0 | 4.3 mm | ISO 3200
Dynamic Monochrome Panorama | 1/640 sec | f/9.0 | 4.3 mm | ISO 800
Panorama mode - You can shoot panoramas using filters, which is quite a unique feature. They are well stitched together but detail isn't great, again fine for sharing on the web though.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-XS1 Digital filters
Colour Mode - Standard | 0.5 sec | f/6.5 | 19.3 mm | ISO 100
Colour Mode - Black And White | 0.5 sec | f/6.5 | 19.3 mm | ISO 100
Colour Mode - Sepia | 0.5 sec | f/6.5 | 19.3 mm | ISO 100
Colour Mode - Vivid | 0.5 sec | f/6.5 | 19.3 mm | ISO 100
Creative Control - Cross Process | 1/8 sec | f/6.5 | 19.3 mm | ISO 400
Creative Control - Dynamic Monochrome | 1/8 sec | f/6.5 | 19.3 mm | ISO 400
Creative Control - Expressive | 1/8 sec | f/6.5 | 19.3 mm | ISO 400
Creative Control - High Dynamic | 0.5 sec | f/6.5 | 19.3 mm | ISO 400
Creative Control - High Key | 1/5 sec | f/6.5 | 19.3 mm | ISO 400
Creative Control - Impressive Art | 1/5 sec | f/6.5 | 19.3 mm | ISO 400
Creative Control - Low Key | 1/13 sec | f/6.5 | 19.3 mm | ISO 400
Creative Control - One Point Colour | 1/8 sec | f/6.5 | 19.3 mm | ISO 400
Creative Control - Retro | 1/8 sec | f/6.5 | 19.3 mm | ISO 400
Creative Control - Sepia | 1/8 sec | f/6.5 | 19.3 mm | ISO 400
Creative Control - Soft Focus | 1/8 sec | f/6.5 | 19.3 mm | ISO 400
Creative Control - Toy Effect | 1/4 sec | f/6.5 | 19.3 mm | ISO 400
Creative Control Miniature | 1/320 sec | f/5.8 | 16.2 mm | ISO 100
i-Exposure | 0.5 sec | f/6.5 | 19.3 mm | ISO 160
Digital Filters - The XS1 has colour modes to choose from when using normal picture mode. But if you're in Creative Control mode there are a wide range of filters to choose from, with examples above.
Video - Below is a video recorded in 720p HD, quality is good. You can't use the optical zoom during recording but there is digital zoom, an example of which can be seen on the ePHOTOzine Youtube page.
Value For MoneyThe Panasonic Lumix DMC-XS1 is available for £86.52. Other entry-level cameras include the Fujifilm FinePix AX650 at £49.99, Nikon Coolpix L27 at £49.99, Olympus VG-180 at £64.99, Canon PowerShot A1300 at £55.80 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS50 at £73.42.
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-XS1 ProsWell made, compact metal body
Respectable battery life
Decent noise performance at higher ISO settings
Available in a variety of colours
Lots of effects and panorama effects
Panasonic Lumix DMC-XS1 ConsImage quality isn't great
Buttons may be a little too small for some
No optical zoom when shooting videos
|VALUE FOR MONEY|
Panasonic Lumix DMC-XS1 Specifications
|Max Aperture||f/2.8 - f/6.9|
|35mm equivalent||24mm - 120mm|
|CCD pixels||16.1Mp (Megapixels)|
|Sensor Size (width)||6.16mm|
|Sensor Size (height)||4.6mm|
|Shutter speeds shortest||1/1600sec|
|Shutter speeds longest||60sec|
|ISO sensitivity||100 - 1600|
|Optical Zoom with Video||No|
|Box Contents||No Data|