Digital cameras have been affordable for a few years now and they have completely changed the way people view photography. When cameras were all film, most people rarely took any photos, usually only on special occasions. It was expensive to get the films developed, it took time to get them done and photos were often poor quality yet still had to be paid for. Digital cameras changed all that.
Photography is a popular hobby and Panasonic is one of the best brands around. Cameras need to be sturdy, available in a variety of colours, a good brand name and able to take large photos of good quality in a variety of situations. A camera needs to be reliable because some photo opportunities are one-offs and you will not have the chance to try a second shot.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS15 has several ways you can change the photo you are taking. The quickest is the Intelligent Auto facility, which – as it suggests – does most of the work for you. You can also choose between Normal Picture, Night Portrait, Scene Mode and Motion Picture. The video facility is a good quality actually and easy to use.
In the Intelligent Auto options, you can choose to take a photo of varying sizes – 2M, 3M, 5M, 10.5M or 12M. For some reason though, the actual photo you end up with will be quite a bit smaller than the maximum. Opting for the 3M means you can fit more photos on the memory card, but they are still good quality at that size. However other photographers will suggest you always keep the camera set to 8M or more.
You can choose to set the flash to ‘forced flash off’ which is useful at sporting events or school shows, where flash photography is forbidden. Another useful feature is the one to change the color aspect to the photos. As well as the Standard ‘Color Mode’, you can change it to Natural, Vivid, Black and White, Sepia, Cool and Warm. It can be fun using the effects in different ways. The Vivid setting is good, as it really brings out the bright colors. If you have lots of time to experiment, you can discover the best ways to use the color modes to give your pictures different tones and atmospheres.
There are a wide range of features to this camera and it can all be a bit confusing which button to press, especially if you are stressed. If you know you are likely to need your camera, check it is set up correctly (right size, right color mode, right scene setting, etc.) in advance. Then you can just turn it on and click!
The screen is a very good size, so you can check your pictures straight after you have taken it and if need be, you can hopefully have a second go to get it right. This is useful when photographing celebrities, especially when some of them want to have a look to check they look okay!
There are some problems with it though. Some photos you take appear to be of great quality when you check on the viewing screen, but once you put them on the computer and can view them at full size, they are quite pixelated. This can be very disappointing.
This camera is around £180-£220 with the coloured ones slightly more expensive than the standard silver or black.
In summary, the advantages of this camera are :-
Good sized screen
Choice of pretty colours
Usually takes good quality photographs
Good variety of colour modes
Big choice of scenes
Video is good quality and easy to use
A confusing array of options
Photos end up much less than the MP you take them at
Some options don’t produce such good quality images