back to article Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS20 compact camera

Think of digital cameras and names like Canon, Sony and Pentax come to mind. But Panasonic is proving to be a dark horse, releasing models with impressive looks and good performance. A case in point: the DMC-FS20. It has an all-metal body available in silver or black. It looks neat, compact and stylish and feels good to hold, …

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  1. D
    Happy

    darkhorse indeed

    "Think of digital cameras and names like Canon, Sony and Pentax come to mind. But Panasonic is proving to be a dark horse, releasing models with impressive looks and good performance."

    a: Pentax doesnt come to mind at all...maybe replace that with Nikon for North American readers or Olympus/Fuji for the rest of us.

    b: your quite right, ever the darkhorse Panasonic has become in this marketplace, they've gone in so deep on the digital camera front that classic film camera maker Leica have started rebadging Panny's to edge their way into the Digital market place...Panasonic utilise Leica's lenses and it appears to be a good partnership.

    i've been using a Panasonic LX2 for the past year and it's a top camera, constantly on the look out for it's replacement at the top of the compact camera range but it hasnt arrived yet and only the £500+ Sigma DP1 is looking a worthy replacement right now but i'm sitting tight with my Panny.

    i've got all the manual control i could ask for but as i'm a novice photographer i'm more than pleased it has full auto mode for those moments when the learning goes out the window and you just need to get that good shot 1st time.

  2. leslie

    dark shots

    Would have like a night shot, town centre etc, as low light is were big deferences in cameras show up, as with camera phones, one day reviewers may notice we have a AM/PM thats dark and the day does not finish at pub opening time..........

    7 elements in 6 groups, ???, if it has seven parts to the lens, and each is a glass element etc as the term usually implies, how do they arrange that into 6 groups?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Noise

    As an owner of a Panasonic DMC-FZ50, I'm interested in the positive comments about noise with the DMC-FS20. Noise has consistently been the main weakness in the Panasonic line, and was mainly due (at least, according to my understanding) to the small sensor sizes they use. The DMC-FS20 uses a tiny sensor, and yet apparently does not have a noise issue. Strange.

  4. Marvin the Martian
    Thumb Up

    Food mode?

    I put it to you that the food mode is developed for edible-looking food, not the scary gloop that's britain's finest.

    In essence, it's a reality-filter; it takes your mental image of the plate away and shows you how it really looks.

    Now try the same function with a good paella, or boeuf bourgignon, or tempura, or green thai curry: it will look delicious, because it IS.

  5. andrew

    @leslie

    7 elements, 6 groups looks like this:

    http://albert.achtung.com/cameras/Tamron90mm/planar.png

  6. A J Stiles
    Boffin

    Missing statistic: sensor area

    The only missing statistic in almost every digital camera review is the active area (in mm²) of the image sensor (or the area of each pixel, probably in µm², though that wouldn't be desperately hard to work out).

    The underlying principle of a digital camera's image sensor (and, for that matter, a photocopier and a laser printer) is this: Shining light onto a negatively-charged conductor or semiconductor causes it to lose some of its charge in proportion to the amount of light hitting it. The bigger the area, the more charge it can hold initially. The more charge it can hold initially, the more light it can capture before saturating (with consequent over-exposed appearance). The more light you can capture, the better the contrast between light and shadow -- and the less noise shows up.

    Of course, I can see *why* some manufacturers might not be keen to quote this figure .....

  7. leslie

    @Andrew

    but is that not (2)(2)(2)(1) making 7 elements in four groups?

    I should give up on this lol and go back do something I understand, the coffee pots empty................

  8. Dom

    Wide-angle

    Wider than average wide-angle lenses have been a feature of the Panasonic / Leica cameras for some time: to me it's the killer feature, as most compacts only go down to about 35mm equivalent and a 28 (or 30 in this case) makes it so much easier for indoor group shots and outdoor scenery shots - which is what a lot of people use their cameras for a lot of the time.

  9. David Mantripp

    Dark Horse ? Hardly

    Huh ? Panasonic's LUMIX brand is the digicam market leader in many countries.

    Usual total lack of research or clue by El Reg....

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