Panasonic Lumix DMC-LS2 Review

 
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Panasonic DMC-LS2 Optics


Lens

Zoom
A typical 3x optical zoom range, with good performance.

35mm
105mm
4x Digital Zoom

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LS2 zooms over the equivalent of a 35-105mm range, very typical for its class. Though a little soft at wide angle, with some noticeable coma distortion in the trees, the DMC-LS2's lens still performs well. The 4x digital zoom takes it out to 12x total, with the loss of quality that you'd expect from digital zoom.

Macro
A small macro area with good detail and high resolution. Flash has trouble up close.

Standard Macro Macro with Flash

The Lumix DMC-LS2's macro setting performs well, capturing a small minimum area of 1.96 x 1.47 inches (50 x 37 millimeters). Detail and resolution are both very good, with only a moderate amount of softening in the corners from the lens. (Most cameras have some softening in the corners in macro mode, the LS2 shows less than average.) The flash had trouble throttling down for the macro area, and overexposed most of the frame, creating a small shadow in the lower corners. (Plan on using external lighting for your closest macro shots with the DMC-LS2.)

Distortion
Relatively low barrel distortion, though low pincushion.

This is the tendency for the lens to bend straight lines outward (like a barrel--usually at wide angle) or inward (like a pincushion--usually at telephoto). The Lumix DMC-LS2's 0.5% barrel distortion at wide angle is a fair bit lower than average among the cameras I've tested (most end up around 0.8%), and pincushion distortion is low as well at telephoto, at only 0.04%.

Barrel distortion at 35mm is 0.5%
Pincushion at 105mm is 0.04%

Chromatic aberration
Bright but limited extent at wide angle, virtually none at telephoto.

Wide: moderate, top left @ 200% Wide: fairly bright, top right @ 200%
Tele: quite low, top left @200% Tele: quite low, top right @200%

Chromatic aberration is moderate at wide angle, showing about 3-4 pixels of bright coloration on either side of the target lines, but decreases to very low levels at telephoto focal lengths. In all cases, it doesn't extend very far into the frame. (This distortion is visible as a very slight colored fringe around the objects at the edges of the field of view on the resolution target.)

Corner Sharpness
Some softening in the right corners of the frame at wide angle, and in the upper corners at full telephoto.

Wide: Soft in the upper right. Wide: Much sharper at center.
Tele: Slightly soft in the upper right. Tele: Sharper, though slightly soft, at center.

The Lumix DMC-LS2 produced soft corners in a few shots, though most notably in the right corners at full wide angle, and in the top corners at full telephoto. The softness never extended very far into the frame though, and so affected very little of the overall image area.

Viewfinder

Coverage
Very good accuracy from the LCD monitor.

35mm eq., LCD monitor 105mm eq., LCD monitor

The DMC-LS2's LCD monitor showed close to 100 percent frame accuracy at both zoom settings, with is excellent.

 

The images above were taken from our standardized test shots. For a collection of more pictorial photos, see our Panasonic Lumix DMC-LS2 Photo Gallery.

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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.

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