Panasonic DMC-FS20 Review
|Full model name:||Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS20|
|Sensor size:||1/2.33 inch
(6.1mm x 4.6mm)
|Extended ISO:||100 - 6400|
|Shutter:||1/2000 - 60 seconds|
3.7 x 2.2 x 0.9 in.
(95 x 57 x 23 mm)
|Full specs:||Panasonic DMC-FS20 specifications|
Panasonic FS20 Intro
The similarly styled Panasonic DMC-FS20 and DMC-FS5 feature a 30 - 120mm wide-angle zoom lens, Intelligent Auto, and 10.1-Megapixels.
Panasonic FS20 Features
Both cameras are based around a ten megapixel CCD image sensor and a Leica DC Vario-Elmarit branded F3.3 - F5.8 4x optical zoom lens. Where the two models differ is in their choice of LCD display (as well as the size and weight differences this brings). The Panasonic FS5 has a 2.5" LCD, while the Panasonic FS20 boosts this to 3.0". In both cases, the resolution of the display is some 230,000 pixels. Both cameras store images on SD / SDHC / MMC cards or in 50MB of built-in memory. Power comes from a proprietary Lithium Ion battery pack, which is rated for some 300 shots on a charge in the FS5, and just slightly less at 280 shots per charge for the FS20 due to its larger and hence more power-hungry display. (CIPA standard testing with 50% flash usage at room temperature).
Additional Panasonic FS20 features and details (adapted from the press release):
“Panasonic added the FS-Series to our LUMIX line of digital cameras to address the needs of consumers who want a point-and-shoot camera that is not only affordable, intuitive and easy-to-use, but also stylish and small enough that they slip it in their pocket or into a small purse,” said Alex Fried, National Marketing Manager, Imaging, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company. “The FS-line packages Leica lenses, Intelligent Auto Mode, powerful image processing and superior memory power in a small, sleek design. We want our LUMIX digital cameras to have features that enable great digital photos regardless of the level of the photographer.”
The FS20 and FS5 feature Intelligent Auto Mode, comprised of five functions: Mega O.I.S., Intelligent ISO Control, Intelligent Scene Selector, Face Detection and Quick AF (auto focus).
- MEGA O.I.S. – Gyrosensors in the Panasonic FS20 detect hand-shake and the lens system shifts to compensate, helping to prevent hand-shake from creating a blurry image.
- Intelligent ISO – With Intelligent ISO, the FS20 can determine if the photo subject is moving and change the ISO setting and shutter speed accordingly, thus giving a blur-free photo.
- Intelligent Scene Selector – The Panasonic FS20's Intelligent Scene Selector senses the ambient conditions, recognizes the shooting environment and will automatically select the appropriate scene mode from: Scenery, Portrait, Macro, Night Portrait or Night Scenery mode. This intuitive technology, helps the consumer use the most common scene modes that are built into the camera, but often go unused, without making any manual adjustments.
- Face Detection – Panasonic’s Face Detection detects faces anywhere in the frame and automatically chooses the optimal focus and exposure settings so portraits come out clear and crisp. Detecting up to 15 faces, Panasonic’s Face Detection can even track a face if the subject is moving.
- Quick AF – The Panasonic FS20's Quick AF (auto focus) system starts focus on the subject by just pointing the camera to the subject, thus minimizing the AF time.
In addition to powerful the Intelligent Auto Mode, the fourth generation high-performance image-processing Venus Engine IV LSI helps the Panasonic FS20 produce higher-quality pictures with an advanced signal processing system. It adds a new high-performance noise reduction system that helps reproduce even the most delicate parts of images naturally and without color bleeding. The Venus Engine IV reduces shutter release time lag while still enabling high-resolution picture taking, making it easier to capture spur-of-the-moment photo opportunities.
Other features of the DMC-FS20 and the DMC-FS5 include approximately 50 MB of internal memory and a 3.0-inch LCD for the FS20 and a 2.5-inch LCD for the FS5 – perfect for easy-to-see viewing of images. Furthermore, these models feature Intelligent LCD, which detects the lighting condition and controls the brightness level of the LCD to offer optimal clarity in any situation, whether dark or light; indoors or outdoors.
Panasonic FS20 Pricing and Availability
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS20 will retail for around $300, and goes on sale in the USA from February 2008.
Note: For details, test results, and analysis of the many tests done with this camera, please click on the tabs at the beginning of the review or below.