Panasonic Lumix DMC-LS2 Review

 
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Panasonic DMC-LS2 Performance


Timing and Performance

Average to somewhat better than average shutter lag, very good shot to shot times.

Operation
Time
(secs)
Notes
Power On -> First shot
3.0
LCD turns on and lens extends forward.
Shutdown
2.1 - 4
First time is time to retract lens, second time is worst-case buffer-clearing time.*
Play to Record, first shot
1.5
Time until first shot is captured.
Record to play
1.5 / 1.0
First time is that required to display a large/fine file immediately after capture, second time is that needed to display a large/fine file that has already been processed and stored on the memory card.
Shutter lag, 5-Area, full autofocus Wide
0.81
This is the default mode, with 5 active AF areas; decreasing the active areas can speed it up, as shown below
Shutter lag,
1-Area full AF Wide
0.73
Switching to 1-Area AF speeds matters up a bit
Shutter lag,
1-Area, full AF Tele
0.79
Zooming to telephoto slows down again
Shutter lag,
1-Area High Speed full AF Wide
0.52
The fastest AF mode is 1-Area High Speed mode
Shutter lag,
3-Area full AF Wide
0.54
3-Area AF mode is still pretty fast, and might be a good compromise between speed and intelligent AF
Shutter lag, prefocus
0.13
Time to capture, after half-pressing shutter button.
Shutter lag, continuous autofocus
0.73
As usual, continuous AF mode offers little or no increase in speed for static subjects. It might help with a moving subject, but we have no way to consistently measure performance with moving subjects.
Shutter lag, manual focus
0.80
-
Cycle Time, max/min resolution
1.55
Shoots at about the same speed regardless of resolution. Buffer clears after each shot.
Cycle Time, Flash exposures
8
(Flash at maximum power output)
Cycle Time, continuous High mode, max/min resolution
0.37
(2.7 fps)
Shoots at about the same speed regardless of resolution. Shoots 3 frames this fast, then slows to about 2 seconds per shot. Buffer clears after each shot.*
Cycle Time, continuous Low mode, max/min resolution
0.63
(1.6 fps)
Times are averages. Shoots 3 frames this fast, then slows to about 2 seconds per shot. Buffer clears after each shot.*
Cycle Time, continuous "infinite" mode
0.77
(1.3 fps)
Shoots at about the same speed regardless of resolution. Shoots this fast continuously, clearing the buffer after each shot.*
Download speed
Windows Computer, USB 2.0
649 KBytes/sec
Typical Values:
Less than 600=USB 1.1;
600-770=USB 2.0 Low;
771-4000=USB 2.0 High
* Note - These timings were collected with a fast 133x Kingston Ultimate 1GB SD memory card. Slower cards could result in shorter run lengths in continuous mode and longer buffer clearing times.

The DMC-LS2's starts up slightly slowly, but shutter response is on the good side of average, particularly in the high-speed AF mode. As you can see above, there are many AF modes to choose from, each with either a speed or intelligence advantage. "Prefocusing" the camera by half-pressing and holding down the Shutter button before the final exposure results in a 0.13 second lag time, which is fairly fast. A special Shot to shot cycle times are quite good, at about 1.5 seconds for large/fine JPEGs, and the camera clears the buffer after each shot. Continuous-mode speed is good also, at about 2.7 frames/second, for up to three shots in succession. The flash takes about eight seconds to recharge after a full-power shot, a little slower than average. Connected to a computer, download speeds are fast enough that you probably won't feel a need for a separate card reader, but nonetheless aren't as fast as many cameras currently on the market. Bottom line, while not a first choice for sports or other fast-paced action, the DMC-LS2 is responsive enough to handle most family photo opportunities.

Battery and Storage Capacity

Battery
Short to good battery life, depending on the type of battery used.

Operating Mode
Battery Life
AA Alkaline Batteries
155 shots
AA NiMH Rechargeable Batteries
400 shots
AA Oxyride Batteries
250 shots

The Panasonic DMC-LS2 uses two AA batteries for power, and ordinary alkaline batteries are included with the camera. The table above shows the number of shots the camera is capable of (on either a fresh set of disposable batteries or a fully-charged rechargeable battery as appropriate), based on CIPA battery-life and/or manufacturer standard test conditions. (See Picky Details page for a discussion of the CIPA battery-life standard.) The battery life with NiMH cells is quite good, but we still recommend buying a couple of sets of high-capacity cells and a good-quality charger to go along with them. (Read Dave's NiMH battery shootout page to see which batteries currently on the market are the best, and see our review of the Maha C-204W NiMH battery charger, his current favorite.)

Storage
No card is included with the Lumix DMC-LS2, although it accepts SD/MMC cards; 14MB RAM is built into the camera.

Image Capacity with
14MB Internal Memory
Fine Normal
2,560 x 1,920 Images 5 11
File Size 2.6 MB 1.3 MB
2,048 x 1,536 Images 8 17
File Size 1.7 MB 850 KB
1,600 x 1,200 Images 14 27
File Size 1.0 MB 533 KB
1,280 x 960 Images 21 40
File Size 684 KB 366 KB
640 x 480
Images 67 110
File Size 216 KB 133 KB

We strongly recommend buying at least a 128MB card, preferably a 256MB one, to give yourself extra space for extended outings.

 

Panasonic DMC-LS2

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