An entry level compact with a decent resolution, standard 3x optical zoom and 2.5in LCD screen.
Panasonic DMC LS80: Specification
- Zoom: 3x optical
- Resolution: 8.1Mp
- Sensor size: 1/2.5in
- Sensor type: CCD
- Image size: 3264x2448
- File type: JPEG
- Sensitivity: ISO100-1600
- Storage: SD, SDHC
- Focus types: Normal, macro, quick AF
- Normal focusing: 50cm-infinity
- Close focusing: 5cm
- Metering types: Program AE
- Exposure compensation: +/- 2EV in 1/3 step increments
- Shutter speed: 8-1/2000sec
- Flash: Built in
- Monitor: 2.5in LCD
- Interface: USB 2.0
- Power: 2x AA batteries
- Size: 95.7x62x31.2mm
- Weight: 177g (inc. battery and card)
A relatively low resolution by today's standards but that doesn't necessarily mean it's bad. In fact, a resolution such as the Panasonic's will easily print to A4 and give you decent enough images larger than that too. If you do decide to blow pictures up to this larger size then the image stabiliser will also make sure the images are sharp.
The sensor is a little small so the camera could suffer in low light if you decide not to use a flash. You'll get a phenomena known as "noise" which is multi coloured dots all over the image or in darker areas making the picture look cloudy or snowy.
AA batteries will mean you can pick up replacements at any newsagents or post office if you run out but bear in mind they will run out faster than Li-Ion batteries. Exposure compensation will boost or reduce the amount of light entering the lens onto the sensor which is good for if the camera gets confused and silhouettes someone or if you're inside shooting out and it over exposes.
Suitable for: Photography starters, nights out, happy snappers, holidays
What everyone else says:
Cameras.co.uk: When it comes to overall picture quality it is above average when compared to its nearest rivals.
CNET.co.uk: The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LS80 distinguishes itself as one of the least expensive cameras available with an optical image stabilisation system. Unfortunately, while that feature is handy, it simply can't make up for the camera's sluggish performance and poor picture quality.
Tracyandmatt.co.uk: It's an exceptional camera, with many features you'd only expect higher up the range.
Panasonic DMC LS80: Our verdict
Panasonic are fast becoming a threat to the already established digital camera companies by releasing cameras with either similar features on a cheaper body or better features for the same price.
For the price, it's a camera that can be used as an expendable extra. Need to use a camera in a place where it might get wet? Use that instead of your DSLR. Going on a night out? It's small and pocketable.
The Panasonic DMC-LS80 costs around £80 and is available from Warehouse Express here: